Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

David Metzger

Committee Director

Liza Potts

Committee Member

Timothy Bostic

Committee Member

Janet Bing

Committee Member

Jeffrey Grabill


As I show in three separate case studies, content, technology, and participant relationships are key components in the design of social artifacts and spaces. One study highlights the invention and evolution of content across multiple spaces. The second shows content used as leverage for authority. The last case study examines the relationship between content and technological interfaces and how disruption may not always be successful.

All of these components make up what I refer to as disruption. Disruption describes participant acts that are executed to change existing power-based structures of information sharing. Using the insights gained from this research, I develop the concept of disruption as a component of design that emphasizes the value of participant work and the ability of participants to alter existing structures of information sharing.


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