The development of technologies and practices of broad public participation are changing the notion of the public . As the use of participatory and social media has become widespread in society and enabled a more collaborative information production, the potential for a transformation of production relations through crowd-based activities affect many aspects of life. There are new potentials for transformative developments in government, work life, science, and emergency response.
In civic life, a more participatory, crowd-based regime is believed to boost innovation and strengthen democracy , through projects like crowdsourced policymaking , participatory budgeting , and civic hackathons . In organizations, open design practices  and wiki-technologies are used to enhance collective intelligence within , and between agencies , and to develop government information . In science, data is collected and developed by the public [23, 8, 36, 39]. During emergencies, crowds have been engaged in data sourcing [20, 30, 38] as well as performing physical activities .
However, despite good ambitions and technical potentials, these new platforms for participation have not solved many of the pre-crowd problems regarding participation, such as lack of representativeness and flawed deliberative processes. Studies of the demographics in the crowd at Amazon Mechanical Turk , Wikipedia  and Twitter  indicate large differences in participation between groups along differences in terms of age, gender and education. According to Menking and Erikson , women face marked obstacles to effective participation in Wikipedia.
The power imbalances and socio-spatial relations in the geographic web also affect the ways maps are developed [9, 35, 41], and may affect classification systems that influence the organization of knowledge for millions of people .
Therefore it is interesting to look at the power relations within crowd production and to examine how different tools handle participatory processes in the crowd.
In the wider field of participation, in areas like participatory planning, design or participatory research, the power relations in the participatory setting are seen as central for the outcome of the participation. Two useful references to articulate the different types of power relations in participation are Arnstein’s ladder of participation in urban planning , and Wulz’s stages of participation in design. Arnstein’s ladder of participation describes seven stages of participation focusing on the role of the participants in urban planning (e.g., as informant, consultant, stakeholder, decision-maker), and the aspects of power and domination of the participant. Wulz’s stages of participation partly overlap Arnstein in range but have a designer perspective, from an abstract representation of the user in designer’s imagination to the user as designer.
Another way of looking at the participant’s power in the design and research process is depending on the mode of participation, from the participant as a passive object to an active agent. Here existing social structures affect participation in design work when involving communities, as discussed in Light and Akama , not least the power relations into which the designer steps, while Light and Miskelly explore how sharing cultures can be created by fostering certain types of social relations .
In design research, the role of artifacts such as prototypes and interfaces are also described as something with agency, relations and power . For example, Houde and Hill show how different modalities and materializations of prototypes and tools change the way they are perceived and used .
In crowdwork settings power relations have been highlighted from a labor rights perspective, as certain aspects of crowdwork may contain striking power differences between the crowd of workers and the people who “source” work from that crowd leading to calls for collective action by crowdworkers . Martin et. al’s analysis of the online discussion in the community of workers at the Mechanical Turk , shows the tensions between the system due to asymmetry in the information and power available to them. Gupta et. al’s study of Indian workers shows the collaborative processes in the community, and how aspects such as digital literacy and infrastructure affect workers’ work and reputations. Other ways to regulate power are enforced by the rules and the technical system , as well as economic capital .
However, we haven’t seen a more structured overview of typologies of participation indicating levels of power and agency in the context of crowdwork. For this workshop, we therefore invite participants to look more closely at different types of participation within crowdwork, and at different levels of interaction. Possible sites of analysis could be the interaction between crowdworkers, the participation in the work by different stakeholders, the potentially privileged levels of interaction with the data, or tensions in the agency of the crowdworkers in relation to the task.
What types of ontologies exist in different types of crowdsourcing contexts, and how do these ontologies reflect one or more epistemologies? How is this expressed in the relations between the crowd and the sourcer, or in how different interfaces and tools support different roles and different modes of crowd participation? What are the relations between different attitudes towards knowledge and the social relations in the crowdsourcing process? What are the implications for power relations between different modes of participation? If we learn more about how participation in crowdwork can be described in terms of power and relations, we might get a better understanding of how participation can be articulated, how different tools for crowd participation can be developed, and how the different perspectives and stakes in crowdwork might be harmonized, or at least clarified.
- Tanja Aitamurto and Hélène Landemore. 2015. Five design principles for crowdsourced policymaking: Assessing the case of crowdsourced off-road traffic law in Finland. Journal of Social Media for Organizations 2(1). pp. 1-19.
- Tanja Aitamurto, Donal Holland, and Sofia Hussain. 2015. Three Layers of Openness in Design: The Open Paradigm in Design Research. Design Issues, 31 (4) pp. 17-29. (Autumn 2015)
- Arnstein, Sherry R. 1969. “A Ladder of Citizen Participation.” Journal of the American Institute of Planners (July): 216–24.
- Ben B. Bederson and Alexander J. Quinn. 2011. Web Workers Unite ! Addressing Challenges of Online Laborers. Human Factors, 97–105.
- Eli Ben and Jim Hutchins. 2010. Intelligence after Intellipedia : Improving the push pull balance with a social networking utility. Research Report in Information Science. Technology Directoratet. Defense Technical Information Center, February 2010.
- Felsteiner, A. Working the crowd: employment and labor law in the crowdsourcing industry. Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law 32(1), 143-204. (2011)
- Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. 2000. Sorting things out: Classification and it consequences. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.
- William T. Causer, and Valerie Wallace. 2012. Building a volunteer community: results and findings from Transcribe Bentham. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 6.
- Jeremy W. Crampton, Mark Graham, Ate Poorthuis, Taylor Shelton, Monica Stephens, Matthew W. Wilson, & Matthew Zook. 2013. Beyond the geotag: situating “big data” and leveraging the potential of the geoweb. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 40(2), 130–139.
- John Dewey. 1927. The Public and its Problems. New York
- Maeve Duggan, Nicole B. Ellison, Cliff Lampe, Amanda L. Lenhart, and Mary Madden. 2015. Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms. Pew Research Center. Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/demographics-of-key-social-networking-platforms-2/
- Cynthia R. Farina, Dmitry Epstein, Josiah B. Heidt, and Mary J. Newhart. 2013. Regulation Room: Getting “more, better” civic participation in complex government policymaking. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 7(4), 501–516.
- Anna Filippova & Hichang Cho. 2015. Mudslinging and Manners. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing – CSCW ’15 (pp. 1393–1403). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.
- Karën Fort, Ada Gilles, K. Bretonnel Cohen. 2011. Amazon Mechanical Turk: Gold Mine or Coal Mine? Computational Linguistics 37(2), 413-420.
- Toby Fyfe & Paul Crookall. 2010. Social media and public sector policy dilemmas. Toronto: Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
- Johannes Gartner and Ina Wagner. 1996. “Mapping Actors and Agendas: Political Frameworks of Systems Design and Participation.” Human Computer Interaction 11(3): 37–41.
- Neha Gupta, David Martin, Benjamin V. Hanrahan, and Jackie O’Neill. 2014. Turk-life in India. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1- 11.
- Karin Hansson, Kheira Belkacem and Love Ekenberg. 2014. Open government and democracy: A research review. Social Science Computer Review, (December).
- Houde, Stephanie, and Charles Hill. 1997. “What Do Prototypes Prototype?” In Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction, eds. M Helander, T Landauer, and P Prabhu. Elsevier Science B. V, 367–81..
- Amanda L. Hughes, Lisa A. St. Denis, Leysia Palen, and Ken M. Anderson. 2014. Online public communications by police and fire services during 2012 Hurricane Sandy. CHI 2014, 1505-1514.
- Lilly Irani and M. Six Silberman. 2014. From critical design to critical infrastructure: Lessons from turkopticon. interactions 21(4), 32-35.
- Jyldyz Kasymova. 2013. Reforming local government in developing countries: Implementation of a participatory budgeting process in Kyrgyzstan. The State University of New Jersey.
- Ece Kamar, Severin Hacker, and Eric Horvitz. 2012. Combining human and machine intelligence in large-scale crowdsourcing. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems-Volume 1 (pp. 467-474). International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems.
- Aniket Kittur, Jeffrey V. Nickerson, Michael Bernstein, Elizabeth Gerber, Aaron Shaw, John Zimmerman, Matt Lease, and John Horton. 2013. The future of crowd work. Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM, 2013.
- Ann Light and Yoko Akama. 2012. The Human Touch: participatory practice and the role of facilitation in designing with communities, in Proc. ACM PDC 2012.
- Ann Light and Clodagh Miskelly. 2015. Sharing Economy vs Sharing Cultures? Designing for social, economic and environmental good, IxD&A
- Thomas Ludwig, Christian Reuter, Tim Siebigteroth, and Volkmar Pipek. 2015. CrowdMonitor: Mobile Crowd Sensing for Assessing Physical and Digital Activities of Citizens during Emergencies. In: Proceedings of the 33th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15), Seoul, South Korea, ACM-Press.
- David Martin, Benjamin V. Hanrahan, Jackie O’Neill, & Neha Gupta. 2014. Being a turker. Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing – CSCW ’14, 224–235.
- Ricardo Matheus, José Carlos Vaz, and Manuella Maia Ribero. 2011. Anti-Corruption online tools: Online monitoring systems against corruption in Latin America. First Global Conference on Transparency Research, Rutgers University, Newark [,NJ, USA], May 19-20, 2011.
- Jim McKay. 2014. How Sandy changed social media strategies in New York City. Emergency Management. Retrieved February 21, 2014, from http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Sandy-Social-Media-Strategies-New-York-City.html
- Amanda Menking and Ingrid Erickson. 2015. The heartwork of Wikipedia: Gendered, emotional labor in the world’s largest online encyclopedia. Proc CHI 2015, 207-210.
- Felipe Ortega, Jesus M Gonzalez-Barahona and Gregorio Robles. 2008. On the inequality of contributions to Wikipedia. In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008). Waikoloa, HI.
- Erika Poole and Jonathan Grudin. 2010. A taxonomy of wiki genres in enterprise settings. WikiSim 2010, article 14.
- Niloufar Salehi, Lilly C. Irani, Michael S. Bernstein, Ali Alkhatib, Eva Ogbe, Kristy Milland, and Clickhappier. 2015. We are Dynamo: Overcoming stalling and friction in collective action for crowd workers. CHI 2015, 1621-1630.
- Taylor Shelton, Ate Poorthuis, Mark Graham and Matthew Zook. 2014. Mapping the data shadows of hurricane Sandy: Uncovering the sociospatial dimensions of “ Big Data .” Geoforum, Forthcoming.
- Tomer Simon, Avishay Goldberg, and Bruria Adini. 2015. Socializing in emergencies — A review of the use of social media in emergency situations. J. Info. Mgmt. 35(5), 609-619.
- Six Silberman, Joel Ross, Lilly Irani, & Bill Tomlinson. 2010. Sellers’ problems in human computation markets. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Human Computation – HCOMP ’10 (p. 18). New York, New York, USA: ACM.
- Robert Soden & Leysia Palen. 2014. From Crowdsourced Mapping to Community Mapping: The Post-Earthquake Work of OpenStreetMap Haiti. In 11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems.
- Andrea Wiggins and Kevin Crowston. 2012. Goals and tasks: Two typologies of citizen science projects. Proc. HICSS 2012, 3426-3435.
- Wulz, Fredrik. 1986. “The Concept of Participation.” Design Studies 7(3): 153–62.
- Matthew Zook, Mark Graham, and Andrew Boulton. 2015. Crowd-Sourced Augmented Realities: Social Media and the Power of Digital Representation. In S. P. Mains, J. Cupples, & C. Lukinbeal (Eds.), Mediated Geographies and Geographies of Media. Springer.