A student wants to do his bachelor thesis on Web 2.0 and social software, so I’m looking for literature to recommend to him. He should, obviously, read Granovetter (here are my old notes from a talk Terje Rasmussen gave about this), and as he suggests, O’Reilly’s “What is Web 2.0?” is obvious, but apart from that he needs more academic texts. He’s interested in tagging, so something about classification would be good – is there a classic work about that? I came over a great list danah posted a few weeks ago of a dozen or so recent, peer-reviewed articles about social networking sites, so some of them might be good. Any more suggestions?

Oh, and what do you think is a reasonable stance on letting students use pop science books as references? Like, say, Six Degrees? Just help them find more academic texts, and try to explain the difference?

13 thoughts on “bibliography for student working on web 2.0

  1. Thomas

    Ambient findability by Peter Morville

  2. i1277

    There’s loads of litterature about classification, for instance Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences by Susan Leigh Star and Geoffrey C. Bowker. This is a huge and quicksandish field of its own though, I wouldn’t really recommend going to far into this in a thesis on Web 2.0.

  3. Elizabeth Perry

    I think your link to the danah boyd post is broken…? (And thanks for all that you share in this blog!)

  4. Jeremy

    Hi Jill,

    On a side note, the href attribute to your link, “a dozen or so peer-reviews articles…” is empty.

    I tend to get confused when trying to differentiate between “academic” and “non-academic” with regard to topics like Web 2.0 and social networking, mainly because I can’t think of anything “academic” on Web 2.0. Is there a requirement in your department for “more academic texts”?

    One book that comes to mind that might be useful is Linked by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, on social networking more broadly defined.

    A few non-academic articles off the top of my head that I’d recommend:

    Web 2.0 for Designers and Writing Semantic Markup at Digital Web

    Should also look at the backlash against “web 2.0″…see Zeldman’s Web 3.0 at A List Apart for an example. This would be a very interesting section in your student’s thesis.

    I’d also recommend your student look into the role of microformats in social software and Web 2.0, as well as some of the “older” (ha!) stuff on the Semantic Web from folks like Tim Berners-Lee.

    I imagine that the bulk of your student’s sources are going to be from weblogs, online magazines, forums, and email discussion lists. It should be a very interesting thesis. Good luck to your student!

  5. Donovon

    I am in the same boat sort of, except I am working on my Masters thesis. I am focusing on web 2.0 and blogs for teachers as tools, but also for critical analysis of a growing form of rhetoric. I also am finding pop science books mostly, and trying to refresh on rhetorician’s theories concerning peer-review and collaborative writing. Will be watching these comments closely : )

  6. McChris

    The reading list for a “Semantic Web Technologies” class I took last semester might be helpful.

    Bowker and Star is good but it might complicate things a bit too much. One reason is that B&S focus on institutional ontologies for categorization, while Web 2.0 stuff like del.icio.us is based on the categories users create.

    An approach I might suggest to the student is to write about the rhetoric in the popular and trade press that surrounds Web 2.0 and discuss things like technoutopianism, etc.

    BTW, the text box here is wider than my iBook screen can accomodate. The right sidebar covers a good portion of the field, so I’ve been having to add and delete line breaks to see what I’ve been writing.

  7. Luca

    Working on web2.0 from an academic point of view is everithing but easy.
    Especially if you’d like to have some theoretical background for your analysis. Anyway I think that you should find a good theory and use that frame to observe the 2.0 phenomena. A lot of books are, in this way, useful as studies on specific issues. O’Reilly’s “What is web2.0?” is a nice descripion of what it is but doesn’t say what is going to change in our society.
    By the way Fabio (former guild member) is holding a class named “Web 2.0 Lab.” next semester and the book he’s going to used is “blog generation” from G. Granieri (unfortunately there’s no english version of this book).

  8. Knud

    At the edge of the Web2.0 sphere there is Semantic Blogging, and here I can suggest the following (might also be interesting for Donovan):

    [1] S.†Cayzer. Semantic Blogging: Spreading the Semantic Web Meme. In XML Europe 2004, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Proceedings, April 2004. http://www.idealliance.org/papers/dx_xmle04/index/author/7691905a7307fb7f2731ee67e8.html
    [2] D.†R. Karger and D.†Quan. What Would It Mean to Blog on the Semantic Web? In Third International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2004), Hiroshima, Japan, Proceedings, pages 214ñ228. Springer, November 2004.
    [3] K. Mˆller, U. Bojars and J. G. Breslin. Using Semantics to Enhance the Blogging Experience. In 3rd European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC2006), Budva, Montenegro, June 2006. http://sw.deri.org/~knud/papers/eswc2006PaperPresentation/semanticBloggingESWC2006.pdf

    Ok, the third is a shameless self plug.

    And by the way, I have the same problem with the text-box!

  9. Jill

    Wow, thanks guys, that’s lots! Oh, and I fixed the link to danah’s bibliography. Will follow up these papers later 🙂

  10. amanda

    Hi Jill – I’m teaching a grad course in social software this term and I’ve got the readings on our course blog at http://www.mlis757.blogwithoutalibrary.net/?page_id=6. It’s a library & info science program so our focus is on social software and libraries, but most of the readings I’ve assigned are from the more general body of social software literature (mostly popular, but a few academic). Since it’s a library school, the topic of social bookmarking, tagging, and folksonomies is of particular interest, so there are a number of articles he might find of use for that topic.

  11. Magnus Enger

    I have collected a list of reading materials about tagging/folksonomies, but be warned that it’s a mixed bag of (more or less shcolarly) articles, blogposts etc:

  12. nick

    Oh, and what do you think is a reasonable stance on letting students use pop science books as references? Like, say, Six Degrees? Just help them find more academic texts, and try to explain the difference?

    I guess Duncan Watts’s Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness from the Princeton Studies in Complexity series would be a classic example of an academic book, as opposed to the book you mentioned, Duncan Watts’s Six Degrees. What do you see as the important difference?

  13. Jill

    I’m not sure about these particular examples – I haven’t yet read them thoroughly – I guess this is more a general impression that students, when asked to find works to base their research on, tend to come up with largely popular science rather than academic work. Often the difference is in fact blurry, but given the point of a bachelor thesis (which is what we call the research project they’re supposed to spend 17 hours a week on for the last semester of their undergraduate degree) is for students to learn to do independent research on a topic, coming up with better sources than the wikipedia or third hand blog posts or articles in Wired referring to some phenomenon. I guess Duncan Watts is hardly third hand.

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