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Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Thomas Erickson Social Computing Group IBM T. J. Watson.

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Presentation on theme: "Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Thomas Erickson Social Computing Group IBM T. J. Watson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Thomas Erickson Social Computing Group IBM T. J. Watson Research Center Revisting Online Trust CSCW 2006 Workshop Banff, November 4, 2006

2 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Overview The Blender The story An analysis Trust Among Strangers The trust of sidewalks Designing for Trust Social proxies Some conjectures

3 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. The Blender: the Story The Purchase At a local kitchen equipment story from ‘Carl’, a clerk Factors: look, brand, Carl’s recommendation Outcome: a new blender, a sales slip (and a warranty)

4 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. The Blender: the Story The Problem It broke, after about 6 months (really, 6 weeks) I had lost the sales slip

5 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. The Blender: the Story The Resolution On a visit to the store for a different matter I saw ‘Carl’ and chatted with him about it and discovered the lost sales slip was not a big problem Factors: Carl ‘recognized’ me; also, possibly: (leeway under store policy); (Waring or perhaps the distributor’s policy)

6 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. The Blender: an Analysis The Riegelsberger Framework Signals from trustee and context - symbols - symptoms Warrants (why trustee may act to fulfill trust) - embeddedness: temporal, social and institutional - intrinsic: ability, internalized norms, benevolence (‘manifested’ through interpersonal cues) Problems I had applying the framework Not sure on what is trustee and what is context Difficult to distinguish between symbols and symptoms Treatment of signals and warrants not parallel The three types of embeddedness difficult to entangle

7 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. The Blender: an Analysis A few thoughts It seemed easier to focus on objects and entities - the blender, the sales person, the store These are levels of analysis that may vary systematically Kitchen Window Amazon eBay It also struck me that we can make a distinction between natural trust and artificial trust

8 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Jane Jacobs and the Trust of Sidewalks The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by at the bar for a beer, getting advice from the grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man, comparing opinions with other customers at the bakery and nodding hello to the two boys drinking pop on the stoop.... Most of it is ostensibly utterly trivial but the sum is not trivial at all. The sum of such casual, public contact at a local level – most of it fortuitous, most of it associated with errands, all of it metered by the person concerned and not thrust upon him by anyone – is a feeling for the public identity of people, a web of public respect and trust, and resource in time of personal or neighborhood need. (p 56) Photo © 2004 Project for Public Spaces, Inc.

9 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Triangulation and engagement Triangulation: Events that cause strangers to interact with one another Note the possibility for degrees of engagement - Passerby - Watcher - Participant - (Payee!)

10 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers Non-entangling relationships According to Jacobs, one important thing that makes sidewalk interactions ‘work’ is that they are ‘non-entangling’

11 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Trust Among Strangers In a previous workshop I argued The trust exhibited among strangers in face to face interactions is supported by social norms Social norms work among strangers, even when the possibility of “enforcement” by an authority is distant or non-existent And that social norms are supported by visible cues, which include - cues embedded in the environment -and behavioral cues from people Photo © 2004 Project for Public Spaces, Inc.

12 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Q: How do we design systems that support trust amongst strangers? A: Support the development of ‘non-entangling’ familiarity by making people visible to one another

13 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Visibility via social proxies A social proxy is a minimalist graphical representations that make people and their activities more visible An example for a multi-room text-based chat system...

14 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy A conversation is represented by a circle

15 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy People are represented by colored dots

16 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy People in the ‘current’ conversation are shown inside the circle...

17 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy People in other conversations are shown outside the circle

18 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy When a person is ‘active’ in the chat (types, clicks or moves the mouse), their dot moves towards the center of the circle...

19 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy So an active conversation in which lots of people are speaking or listening looks something like this

20 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy As a person is idle, their dot slowly drifts outward (over the course of about twenty minutes)

21 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust A social proxy An inactive conversation (but one in which people are still ‘around’) looks something like this

22 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust The Babble system The social proxy was implemented as part of the Babble system, a persistent chat application

23 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust The Babble system Over the course of five years it was deployed to about two dozen groups And it was generally quite successful: participants liked the proxy “It makes me feel like people are in the room with me”

24 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust The Bottom Line on Babble The Babble proxy was easy to learn Participants used it, often in unexpected ways And it seemed to be have interesting social and experiential aspects

25 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Other Social Proxies Design sketch for a lecture proxy Giving a talk during a conference call Design issues - it makes the lecture ‘norm’ visible - and can serve as a resource that participants can use to steer their own interaction

26 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Other Social Proxies Design sketch for an online meeting A ‘meeting room’ with a shared whiteboard and chat facility. Design issues - Spatial access to special functionality - Ability to (publicly) assume role

27 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Other Social Proxies For search For auctions For wikis For any online situation in which people are involved, there are ways to make them and their activities mutually visible

28 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 1. Support visibility People need to see one another, and the activities being engaged in

29 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 2. Support recognizability This does not mean that real names or personal details must be revealed, but simply that participants must have a distinct and persistent identity that makes it possible for them to be recognized as the same person, over time and across places

30 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 3. Support Non-Entangling, Minimal Interactions If one can have an interaction, without fear of further entanglement, one is more likely to become enter into it. Interestingly, online spaces rarely support minimal interactions. Often, the most minimal interaction one can engage in with another is to start a conversation – which is not very minimal at all.

31 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 4. Support a Hierarchy of Involvement Though people rarely come to an online space seeking to become involved, they can be lured into greater involvement, through a series of progressive (and positive) interactions

32 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 5. Support triangulation In line with Whyte’s observation that external events can cause strangers to begin interacting with one another, designers of online systems might think of online equivalents. Scheduled events, or activities, or even things like interactive polls have been used in online systems to catalyze activity.

33 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Designing for Trust Six Conjectures 6. Provide traces of past activity (especially good behavior) As noted in the discussion of the blender story, trust doesn’t occur on its own. Evidence of various sorts – from memories, to material tokens like sales slips that serve as ‘proof’ – provides a sort of scaffolding for trust. As trust grows stronger, it can span larger gaps in evidence, but at the beginning best not stretch it too far.

34 Thomas Erickson, Social Computing Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Thank You! Thanks to those involved in the Babble project... Erin Bradner, Jason Ellis, Brent Hailpern, Christine Halverson, Wendy Kellogg, Mark Laff, John Richards, David N. Smith, Cal Swart, Tracee Wolf, and several generations of users...and to my colleagues at IBM for support and inspiration The Social Computing Group Next Generation Web Interfaces...and The Project for Public Spaces (http://www.pps.org) For many photos (as noted) For more information


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