Do you have questions about how to improve your community? Or wonder if interventions you’ve implemented are successful? Collaborating with The Citizens and Technology Lab (CAT Lab) can help you address burning questions you’ve been having about your community. 

We have invited moderators from a small number of subreddits to a workshop to learn more about the issues your community is facing, and how we may be able to help through field experiments where we would test an intervention you’ve identified.

After the workshop, CAT Lab will review the ideas and follow up about possible collaboration on projects that seem promising, especially ones that you think are likely to receive community support.

The workshop will be held July 21, 2022 from 7-9pm Eastern

What will we do in the workshop?

We’ll start out the workshop with a quick introduction to CAT Lab where we’ll talk about the kind of work we do and what our software does. 

You’ll then work with mods on your team to fill out “experiment cards.” These cards can help us and you define possible interventions and how we might test them. The card gives you something concrete to discuss with other moderators, and it gives us a chance to think more about the connection to science. Here’s what a card looks like:

The image shows a blank "experiment card" that is designed to help community members design an experiment for their community. The title asks, "How can your community design an experiment?" The card is broken into quadrants to fill in: goal, intervention, united of assignment, and measure(s).
Experiment card
  • Goal: What change would you like to see? (It helps to think about who the goal relates to as well as what outcome you might hope for)
  • Intervention: What could be done to reach that goal?
  • Unit of Assignment: Where could you vary an intervention for assignment? (note: good experiments need a large enough sample of units, usually in the hundreds or thousands).
  • Measurement: How will you measure that the outcome matters? 

We’ll finish up by discussing the completed cards as a group. 

We hope to see you there!

About the Citizens and Technology Lab

The Citizens and Technology Lab (CAT Lab) at Cornell University works alongside the public to test effective community ideas for change in ways that also advance scientific knowledge. Since 2016, we have conducted over twenty studies with communities on Wikipedia, Reddit, and Twitter, including r/science, r/worldnews, and r/IAmA (here’s an example; here’s the academic paper). We have also worked with r/politics in the past.
Projects with CAT Lab typically involve: (a) working alongside communities to identify ideas for change you want to test, (b) analyzing community data with permission, and (c) coordinating an experiment to carry out a scientific test. We only work with community consent, have high privacy standards, and we make all our methods and findings open to the public. We are funded by charitable foundations and the National Science Foundation.

CAT Lab (formerly CivilServant) Community Research Summit Jan 2018.