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Introducing Special Technical Communities

posted Jul 6, 2011, 7:23 AM by Christian Timmerer   [ updated Jul 7, 2011, 2:01 AM ]
In January 2011 Sorel Reisman the first time introduced Special Technical Communities (STCs) to the public: «By the end of 2011, we’ll have launched pilot Special Technical Communities in social networking, could computing, education, software engineering, and green computing.» [1]

In June 2011 Dejan Milojicic and Phil Laplante provide an in-depth review of STCs and an overview of existing (pilot) STCs [2]. STCs offer a new engagement model for IEEE CS members and the much broader computer practitioner world to collaborate for their individual and mutual benefit and to advance technical topics to the benefit of the profession. STCs are intended go beyond traditional membership and activities and open new outlets for the membership to create and distribute intellectual property (IP). They will create new revenue-generating opportunities, new products, and services and enrich professional activities (e.g., newsletters, sharing of best practices). Finally, STCs will help strengthen governance by allowing all members to feel closer to decision-making processes through the dynamic organizational structure.

The principles behind an STC can be summarized as follows.
  • Elasticity: STCs will be easy to create, grow, contract, and retire as member needs warrant; comprised of CS and IEEE members and non-members with a shared interest; and with different levels of engagement: news feeds, blogging, information exchanges, reviews, newsletters, virtual conferences, etc. 
  • Self-service: STCs will require little or no staff support; use up-to-date technology, integrate with social networking tools, such as blogs, twikis, alerts, portals and allow for personalization and presence (e.g., in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter).
  • Customization: STCs will integrate into CS existing IP and contribute to it; they will promote publications, technical councils, education, chapters and standards in a holistic manner. They will further link to other organization and services relevant to the underlying STC. 

Special Technical Community on Social Networking

« A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities. » from here.

The aim of the STC on Social Networking (STCSN) is to provide the entry point for researchers and practitioners in social networking, fostering communication and interaction between people in the community. The STC on Social Networking intends to be the Agora for researchers with similar interests to meet and gather. We are interested in (but not limited to) the following topics:
  • Social network services, applications and tools 
  • Social computing and social search 
  • Social Multimedia and social communications 
  • Mobile social networking 
  • Social network analysis and visualization 
  • Standardization trends and Federated Social Web initiatives 
  • Business models 
  • Societal issues (e.g., privacy and data protection)
How to participate?

STCSN Contact

Christian Timmerer, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria;
Email:; Web:

[1] S. Reisman, “Planning for an Inevitable Future”, IEEE Computer, vol. 44, no. 1, January 2011.
[2] D. Milojicic, P. Laplante, “Special Technical Communities”, IEEE Computer, vol. 44, no. 6, June 2011.

This STC has already quite a long history of blog posts (on various sites which is indexed here, newest on top):