digital garden of reflections, hopes and fears



"Serendipity is an unplanned fortunate discovery. Serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of product invention and scientific discovery. Serendipity is also seen as a potential design principle for online activities that would present a wide array of information and viewpoints, rather than just re-enforcing a user's opinion." – wikipedia: serendipity

"Personalization of information in social media performs a fundamental role in order to restrain information overload and satisfy Internet users. Yet, over-personalization creates filter bubbles and strengthens echo chambers. Thus, it also restrains exposure to diversity of information. This represents a fundamental issue for media law and ethics which attempts to maintain pluralism in democratic societies. As a result, individuals reduce their informational empowerment and societies become more politically polarized. This short paper discusses the potentials of serendipity as an alternative design principle. Serendipity is indeed a complex phenomenon that can be considered as a capability of seeking and processing unexpected and valuable information. As a precondition, it requires novel and diverse information. As outcome, it causes cognitive diversity. Therefore, serendipity is able to encompass relevant phases of production and consumption of information, representing a positive freedom valuable from an epistemological, educational and even political perspective. The research exposes an emerging theoretical trade-off between relevance and serendipity (or unexpected relevance) that might be tackled with serendipity-driven recommender systems and specific design choices." – Urbano Reviglio. Serendipity as a Design Principle for Social Media. Conference: Proceedings of the 20th International Multi-conference on INFORMATION SOCIETY, Volume DAt: Ljubljana, Slovenia 2017

"..a key challenge in the study of serendipity is obtaining accounts of serendipitous experiences that provide insight into the phenomenon. The exploratory research reported here approaches this problem by examining naturally occurring descriptions of serendipity as found on blogs. The paper lhows how these data can be collected, stored, and analyzed. We also discuss strengths of the proposed approach in comparison to the use of descriptions elicited in controlled settings for the purposes of research. Through a grounded theory approach, we develop a model of serendipity that can inform the design of information systems. The paper contributes to the LIS field by discussing an alternative data collection method for serendipity research, outlining a tentative conceptual model of serendipity, and showing the utility of this model for the analysis of everyday accounts of serendipity found on blogs." – Victoria L. Rubin, Jacquelyn Burkell, Anabel Quan-Haase. Everyday serendipity as described in social media. ASIS&T '10: Proceedings of the 73rd ASIS&T Annual Meeting on Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem - Volume 47. October 2010 Article #152. p1–2