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In the Flow: Evolving from Utility Based Social Medium to Community Peer

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Transparency in Social Media


In a broad sense, a social medium is an online interaction space. Most commonly known online interaction spaces are infrastructures that allow members to interact around one or more nexuses of interaction using one or more modes of interaction. Success or failure of an online interaction space depends on how effectively the nexuses and modes meet the needs of the intended community of users. is described as an online interaction space that was designed largely by considering how members of the intended community could satisfy the “needs of the one” through chosen nexuses and modes. Based on satisfying several acute needs of individuals, the nanoHUB online interaction space grew into a large community that is beginning to behave more as a social unit than as a group of individuals. The primary nexus of interaction, a simulation tool, was chosen as an active rather than passive nexus (i.e. consuming from the nexus creates new information in the process). The active nexus more easily facilitates the design of features where the social medium itself can consume from the nexus and produce novel information useful to its community of users. In effect, it can become more than an infrastructural platform. It can become a member of its own community.

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Mark S. Lundstrom founded in 1998. In 2005, Michael McLennan created the Rappture Toolkit and Rick Kennell wrote the scalable middleware of HUBzero that, respectively, enable and power interactive nanoHUB simulations. The Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) manages and has been funded by various NSF Awards Nos. EEC-0228390, EEC-1227110, EEC-0228390, EEC-0634750, OCI-0438246, OCI-0832623 and OCI-0721680.

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Correspondence to Michael G. Zentner .

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Zentner, M.G. et al. (2015). In the Flow: Evolving from Utility Based Social Medium to Community Peer. In: Matei, S., Russell, M., Bertino, E. (eds) Transparency in Social Media. Computational Social Sciences. Springer, Cham.

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