New materials on computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) from

Posted: June 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: events | Comments Off on New materials on computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) from

The folks at have just released a new chapter on computer supported collaborative work (CSCW).  The chapter presents a nice overview of CSCW, including relevant publications, scholarship, journals, and conferences.  Note that the 2013 CSCW conference is coming up soonish.  It will be held in February in San Antonio, Texas.  Submission deadlines have passed but it would certainly be an interesting event to attend.

Public ethnography

Posted: June 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: events, public scholarship, research work | Comments Off on Public ethnography

I recently presented some of my dissertation research at a conference on public ethnography, organized by the folks behind the e.m.a.c. network.  The idea behind “public ethnography” is much like that behind “public scholarship.”  Namely, that academic work should be useful in the real world, that it should have connections to people’s lives and lived experiences, and that it must be used to improve people’s situations, at least in some small way.

At the conference Dr. Phillip Vannini gave a very interesting talk on how researchers can make their ethnographic work public, thus achieving some of these goals.  In his talk he discussed the following tips and strategies:

  1. For every journal article that you write, produce a magazine article too.  Since fieldwork often involves travel, sometimes to unusual destinations, it can be good and translatable material for popular outlets.
  2. Collaborate with journalists.  Give them time, interviews, and material for stories.
  3. Focus on the local.  Emphasize how your work speaks to issues of local importance and relevance.
  4. Radio is often a more accessible medium than TV, so try doing stories and/or interviews for radio stations.
  5. If you’re on the web, be sure to cross-link between channels.  Don’t just post a blog article — tweet about it, link to your research videos (if you have them) and to other sites that you are present on.
  6. Look to local media outlets.  If you can get your stories picked up by local channels, there’s a chance that they’ll be picked up by larger ones, too.
  7. Invest in learning about public relations.  Publicity doesn’t happen by wishful thinking.
  8. Carefully consider the audience and the medium for each story and adapt the content accordingly.

For more details on these points, see Phillip’s post “Early reflections on public ethnography” on the e.m.a.c. network website.

AoIR taking place in Seattle this week

Posted: October 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: events, research work | Comments Off on AoIR taking place in Seattle this week

The annual Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference is in Seattle this week, and promises an exciting line-up of panels, keynote speakers, and events.  See this link for the conference program and this one to learn more about AoIR in general. If you can’t make it to the conference you can always follow the AoIR Tweets, which are tagged with #ir12.

This morning I gave a talk on online labor, a topic that I have mentioned in previous posts.  My talk dealt with the pros and cons of being an online laborer in one particular community that I have studied.  The pros I discussed included enhanced feelings of freedom and flexibility vis-a-vis the work; better choices for jobs and new opportunities for professional development; and the chance to engage in meaningful communication with clients and colleagues alike.  The cons that I included in my talk were increased surveillance and monitoring; the control of employee communication through the use of service scripts; and tensions between increasing the scale of communication services and having to (de)personalize service communication.

This is a topic that I am increasingly interested in, so please do contact me if you’d like to learn more about this research.

What books, articles, and/or websites on the subject of online labor do you recommend?

Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating women in science and technology

Posted: October 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: events | 1 Comment »

Who was Ada Lovelace?  (Bonus points to you if you already know the answer.)

Ada Lovelace was an early pioneer in computing.  She collaborated with Charles Babbage (the mathematician who conceived of programmable computers) and she is reputed to the be world’s first computer programmer. That’s right — the world’s first computer programmer.  Talk about (geek) grrl power.

Today is the third annual Ada Lovelace Day, an occasion for celebrating the work and the achievements of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  In honor of this I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the two women who introduced me to the use of computing in qualitative data collection and analysis:  Dr. Olga Vasquez (UCSD) and Dr. Lynda Stone (CSUS).  Any inclination I had towards embracing computing in communications research can be traced back to the work that I did with them.

Which women in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics have inspired you?  Share your stories and spread the word.

Conference: Ethics in Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Relations

Posted: January 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: ethics, events | Comments Off on Conference: Ethics in Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Relations

Reposting this conference announcement:

Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiry 2011
Crossing Boundaries: Ethics in Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Relations will provide an opportunity for researchers and students to discuss current ethical and philosophical issues related to information technology from an international and interdisciplinary perspective.  The CEPE conference series is recognized as one of the premier international events on computer and information ethics attended by delegates from all over the world.

CEPE/2011 is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA,  from May 31 to June 3. Papers will focus on such topics as
Possible topics for papers/presentations:

  • Internet Governance
  • E-waste
  • Intercultural Ethics
  • Professional Ethics
  • International Ethics, Law and Policy Issues
  • Cybercrime, Cyberwarfare, Cyberterrorism and Security
  • Internet Research Ethics
  • Intellectual Property
  • Privacy and Surveillance
  • Agency, Autonomy and Trust in Computing Systems
  • Accessibility, Inclusion and Digital Divide
  • Bioinformatics
  • Library Ethics and Intellectual Freedom
  • Artificial Intelligence, Agents, Embedded Systems and Artificial Life
  • Ethics, Grids and Clouds
  • Ethics in Information Architecture and Design

Extended abstracts of 2000 words are due by 15 January 2011 and should be sent to

For full details, please see:

i-conference 2011

Posted: December 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: events | Comments Off on i-conference 2011

The next i-conference will be held in Seattle, WA from February 8-11, 2011.  It is being hosted by the University of Washington’s Information School (aka i-school).  Go team!

The conference blurb says:

“The iConference is an annual gathering of researchers and professionals from around the world who share the common goal of making a difference through the study of people, information, and technology. …we seek to showcase diversity in research interests and approaches, with an eye to demonstrating how the field creates leadership and impact on a global scale.”

Should be a fun and productive event.  See you there!