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INFSCI 3550: The Social Web

Doctoral Seminar, Systems

(Spring 2010, CRN 39539)

[ Formal Data | Syllabus | Tools| Wiki | CourseWeb ]



The new generation of web sites and applications, which is frequently called Social Web or Web 2.0, celebrate the power of the users. Different sources stress different aspects of the Social Web. Most frequently it is associated with the power of users as content contributors through Wikis, blogs, and resource sharing sites. Others look at the Social Web as a new linking and communication medium stressing various social linking sites such as LinkedIn, FaceBook, and SecondLife. In our own field, Information Science, a number or research groups worldwide explore social information access technologies, which help users get to the right information using “community wisdom” distilled from the actions of those who worked with this information earlier.

The goal of this Doctoral Seminar is to get immersed into the world of the Social Web and to form jointly a broad wholistic understanding of it. The attendees will learn about many aspects of the Social Web, get familiar with major Social Web technologies, and study many examples of modern Social Web systems. After the end of the seminar the students should be able to design their own Social Web systems as well as to apply Social Web technologies in the context of their own research.

Those who will successfully complete the seminar will have a chance to join a small cohort of experts on the modern Social Web. The Social Web industry is on the rise. In the coming 2-3 years universities, research labs, and companies will need hundreds of experts who understand Social Web technologies to lead various exciting projects. This is your chance to be among the leaders of this new and exciting field.


To show the list of topics, which we hope to cover during the course, we developed a small ontology of the Social Web. Click on the picture to enlarge it and to see more details. An updated list of topics is provided on the class Wiki.

Course Work and Grading

After a brief introduction into the field provided by the instructor we will switch to a regular work mode. Every week we focus on one or two topics and will read and discuss several research papers related to it. Doctoral students, guest speakers, and the instructor will alternate in leading presentation for each of these topics. To complement the "reading part", the students will perform a range of weekly activities with several selected social Web systems. The practical part of the course include one small assigment and one large research or development project, which can be peformed individually or in groups.

Attendance (12pts)

Weekly Coursework (6pts each week)

  1. Resource discovery, sharing, and tagging(3pts each week)
  2. Reading and reflection (3pts each week)

Other Assignments (14pts)

  1. LinkedIn/CourseWeb Profile Assignment (4pts)
  2. CoMeT Assignment (8pts)
  3. Eventur Assignment (2pts)

Topic presentation (35pts)

Final Project (55pts)

Course Policies

Academic Integrity

You are expected to be fully aware of your responsibility to maintain a high quality of integrity in all of your work. All work must be your own, unless collaboration is specifically and explicitly permitted as in the course group project. Any unauthorized collaboration or copying will at minimum result in no credit for the affected assignment and may be subject to further action under the University Guidelines for Academic Integrity. You are expected to have read and understood these Guidelines. A document discussing these guidelines was included in your orientation materials.

Special Considerations

If you have a disability that requires special testing accommodations or other classroom modifications, please, notify both the instructor and Disability Resources and Services by the second week of the term. You may be asked to provide documentation of your disability to determine the appropriateness of accommodations. To notify Disability Resources and Services, call 64807890 (voice or TDD) to schedule and appointment. The office is located in the William Pitt Union, Room 216,

Copyright © 2010 Peter Brusilovsky
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