- Michelle Blanc, M.Sc. commerce électronique. Marketing Internet, consultante, conférencière, auteure. 15 ans d'expérience - https://www.michelleblanc.com -

Une thèse de doctorat sur la collaboration de masse

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Via Wikinomics [2], j’apprends l’existence d’une première thèse de doctorat sur la collaboration de masse. Le document, Stigmergic Collaboration: A Theoretical Framework for Mass Collaboration [3], est évidemment disponible en ligne. Je ne l’ai pas encore lu au complet, mais j’y ai noté un concept que je ne connaissais pas, la stigmergie.

Dans Wikipedia
La stigmergie est une méthode de communication indirecte dans un environnement émergent auto-organisé, où les individus communiquent entre eux en modifiant leur environnement.
La stigmergie a d'abord été observée dans la nature – les fourmis communiquent en déposant des phéromones derrière elles, pour que d'autres fourmis puissent suivre la piste jusqu'à la nourriture ou la colonie suivant les besoins, ce qui constitue un système stigmergique. Des phénomènes similaires sont visibles parmi toutes les espèces eusociales comme les termites, qui utilisent des phéromones pour construire de grandes et complexes structures de terre à l'aide d'une simple règle décentralisée. Chaque termite ramasse un peu de boue autour de lui, y incorporant des phéromones, et la dépose par terre. Comme les termites sont attirés par l'odeur, ils déposent plus souvent leur paquet là où d'autres l'ont déjà déposé, ce qui forme des piliers, des arches, des tunnels et des chambres.
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Lorsque je pourrais souffler un peu, c’est avec grand intérêt que je prendrais connaissance de cette thèse. Entretemps, voici le résumé de la recherche.

This thesis presents an application-oriented theoretical framework for generalised and specific collaborative contexts with a special focus on Internet-based mass collaboration. The proposed framework is informed by the author's many years of collaborative arts practice and the design, building and moderation of a number of online collaborative environments across a wide range of contexts and applications. The thesis provides transdisciplinary architecture for describing the underlying mechanisms that have enabled the emergence of mass collaboration and other activities associated with 'Web 2.0' by incorporating a collaboratively developed definition and general framework for collaboration and collective activity, as well as theories of swarm intelligence, stigmergy, and distributed cognition.
Accompanying this creative arts thesis is a DVD-Rom which includes offline versions of the three Internet based collaborative environments designed, built and implemented in accordance with the frameworks for digital stigmergy and mass collaboration developed in the written work. The creative works in conjunction with the written thesis help to explore and more rigorously define the collaborative process in general, while testing the theory that stigmergy is an inherent component of collaborative processes which incorporate collective material production.
Supported by a range of contemporary examples of Internet activity, including the accompanying creative works, it is found that stigmergy is a deeply rooted mechanism inherent in not only traditional material collaborative processes, but a range of emerging online practices which may be broadly categorised as digital stigmergic cooperation and collaboration. This latter class enables the extreme scaling seen in mass collaborative projects such as Wikipedia.org, open source software projects and the massive, multiplayer environment, Second Life. This scaling is achieved through a range of attributes which are examined, such as the provision of a localised site of individualistic engagement which reduces demands placed upon participants by the social negotiation of contributions while increasing capacity for direct and immediate creative participation via digital workspaces. Also examined are a range of cultural, economic and sociopolitical impacts which emerge as a direct result of mass collaboration's highly distributed, non-market based, peer-production processes, all of which are shown to have important implications for the further transformation of our contemporary information and media landscape.
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