Saturday, February 10, 2007


The conference includes 13 workshops on topics ranging from communities of practice in work settings, healthcare communities and technology, online social networks, digital cities, community informatics, research communities and technology, business
communities, and techniques for visualizing and analyzing community data. The full list of workshops can be viewed at:

Thirty competitively selected papers are organized into 10 sessions, with contributions from scholars worldwide. In addition, two panels are planned: one examining ICT use in everyday life, and a second exploring ethical issues raised by analyses of online communities.

Three keynote sessions are featured, including Judith Donath, Director of the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group, Rob Malda and Jeff Bates, the co-founders of Slashdot, and Marc Smith, Director of Microsoft's Community Technologies Group.

A number of social events are planned as well to help strengthen the C&T research community.

Please join us in East Lansing from June 28-30 for what is shaping up to be an excellent forum for sharing the latest research on communities and technologies.

With best regards,
Charles Steinfield, Brian Pentland, Mark Ackerman, and Noshir Contractor
Conference Organizers
Third International Conference on Communities and Technologies
Michigan State University

conference email:
conference website:


Miles Bullough, Head of Broadcast at Aardman Animations talks about how Angry Kid became popular through Digital Platforms

The Media School - Bournemouth University

5-45pm for 6-30pm - Wed Feb 14th

Two-thirds of the income from Aardman’s Angry Kid character comes from exploitation on digital platforms. The session will outline how the company successfully developed the character in this way before Angry Kid ever appeared on BBC3. Miles Bullough will argue that if producers want to reach the ever elusive younger age group they must get to grips with digital media. He will talk about other successes and failures the company has had in this arena, outline the production structures needed and unveil Aardman’s next youth oriented development. There is no charge for this event but you will need to book a place by sending an e mail to

Thursday, February 8, 2007

WWW2007 Workshop: Tagging and Metadata for Social Information Organization

Tagging and Metadata for Social Information Organization
Call For Papers and Participation

User-generated content has transformed the web. This new content -including video, blogs, photos, etc. - is often also organized collaboratively, using tags, or keywords, supplied by users. Tags are useful entry points into exploring the content by searching, filtering, navigating, and so on. Collaboratively tagging content sources allows them to be used for knowledge and information sharing and constitute a kind of social interaction, and the relations between keywords can be used to create associations in topic networks.

As the services supporting tagging grow, questions of scale become pertinent. From a social standpoint, as communities grow, changes(similarity, trust, etc.) make successful interfaces for small groups ineffective for large ones, making new designs necessary. From a technical perspective, growth of data sources presents new opportunities for semantics and data mining.

In this workshop, we hope to bring together researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and engage them in discussion about tagging, especially how it fosters social information organization and collaboration, and how to leverage the explosive volume of metadata.

Topics of Interest
We hope to bring together researchers as well as practitioners to explore social, design and computational aspects of tagging and social information organization. The topic space is wide, but the following aresome of the areas of special interest:

Semantics. Ontology and hierarchy creation; Semantics issues incross-system tagging; Standardization efforts.

Cognition. The cognitive aspects of categorization; Organizing and retrieving tagged objects.
Social networks. Social sharing; Relationship building; Ratingssystems and collaborative filtering; Identity management self-presentation; Tagging in blogs, wikis, etc.

Usability and Interfaces. Search navigation, browsing and filtering; Novice users and tags; Evaluating existing tagging environments and user behavior; Motivations for tagging.
Multimedia. Tagging multiple kinds of media; tagging across mediatypes; Tagging at varying scales; Non-text-based annotations and tags.

How to Submit
Submissions will be managed using the EasyChair conference management system. Go to and create an account, then choose the track for this workshop.

Papers must be submitted in PDF format, and in the style as WWW2007papers. See the WWW2007 submissions page ( for templates and info.
Papers will be reviewed by the Program Committee and an appropriate setof submissions will be accepted. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their work at the workshop. The workshop proceedings will also be made part of the WWW2007 CDs, which will be distributed at the conference.

Workshop Format
The schedule of the workshop is designed to be as interactive as possible, and will include paper presentations and moderated discussion. Under consideration are breakout sessions and possible guest speakers.
1. Paper/Area Discussions. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their work, with an emphasis on discussion with the attendees. Accepted papers will be grouped into coherent topic groups so topics may also be discussed at a more general level.
2. Breakout sessions. Breakout sessions will allow attendees to engage in small-group, deeper discussion about particular areas. Design exercises or other prompts may stimulate discussion.
3. Moderated Discussion. As a way of bringing closure to the workshop day, the co-organizers will solicit questions from the attendees and moderate discussion among them.
Key Dates & Contact Info
Mon 12 February 2007 - All papers must be submitted via Easychair by this date.
Fri 16 March 2007 - Authors will be notified whether submissions have been accepted or not.
Fri 30 March 2007 - Camera-ready copies of accepted papers are due.
Tue 8 May 2007 - Workshop will be held at WWW2007 in Banff, Alberta,Canada.

Frank Smadja, RawSugar.
Program Committee:
Lee Iverson, University of British Columbia
Emanuele Quintarelli, Reed Business Information
Vova Soroka, IBM Haifa Research Lab
Andrew Tomkins, Yahoo! Research
Jennifer Trant, Archives & Museum Informatics

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Consumers Open One in Six Phishing Messages

As many as 59 million phishing e-mail messages are sent each day, and up to 10 million of those may be opened by consumers. A study released by Iconix finds one in four phishing messages are opened.

Divided into eight categories, spoofed or phished messages had open rates ranging from 1 in 4 to 1 in 10. Fake social-network-related messages maintained 24.9 percent open rates. Other categories, including as e-cards (17.1 percent); payment (16.2 percent); financial (15.5 percent); auction (14.7 percent); information (12.9 percent); retail (12.1 percent); and dating (9.5 percent), had lower open rates.

"Late last year there were several public cases of phishing via MySpace where people using the site were pretending to be somebody else," said Jeff Wilbur, VP of marketing at Iconix.
While the volume of e-mail purporting to be from a financial institution or payment service like PayPal remains higher than categories like social networking and e-cards, open rates for the categories hovered at 15.5 and 16.2 percent, respectively.

"The historical figure you always hear about is a bank or financial institution, [with social networking] you're using the trust factor of friends," said Wilbur. "It's not necessarily just 'enter your information here.' There are a lot of ways for crooks to get information out of a user."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


To find out about the various activities that happened at the 20th Transmediale Festival Berlin, visit

The IMP teaching team attended the festival as part of our teaching and research activities in IPE (Research Centre in Interactivity, Personalization & Experience). Beyond being fun, these podcasts will be invaluable teaching and research resources for all of you interested in what's happening at the cutting-edge of interactive and digital media.

Throughout the festival, the Interactive Media Practice teaching team posted video and audio pod casts for students on the IMP blog of all the interesting and bizarre things they experienced at Transmediale.07

"The 20th transmediale Festival explores how art and society are changing under the influence of Media and Technologies which become more dominant in our everyday lives". (Transmediale 2007) This exciting festival took place from 31st January to the 4th February in Berlin.

As many of the Interactive Media students were unable to go themselves to the Transmediale art & digital culture festival in Berlin <>, lecturers from The Media School thought they would bring the festival to them...


For 50 years broadcast media have played a powerful role in shaping political culture and mediating citizen engagement in the democratic process. Now a participatory culture is putting the tools of media creation and critique in the hands of citizens themselves. We invite you to explore the means and meaning of this transformation:

Beyond Broadcast 2007
From Participatory Culture to Participatory Democracy

Saturday, February 24th, 2007
Kirsch Auditorium, Stata Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Keynote: Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies
program at MIT and author of "Convergence Culture: Where Old and New
Media Collide"

Followed by panels, open-meeting discussions, demos, and birds-of-a-
feather dinners.

On February 24th, MIT Comparative Media Studies will host a conference in collaboration with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. The one-day event will be held at MIT, and is entitled "Beyond Broadcast: From Participatory Culture to Participatory
Democracy." It will bring together industry experts, academic leaders, public media professionals, and political activists for panel discussions and focused working groups.

Beyond Broadcast 2007 builds on the overwhelming success of last year's sold-out event, "Beyond Broadcast 2006: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture" held at Harvard Law School. Over 350 people took part in-person and online through the virtual world Second Life. Attendees used several unique online tools, including a web-based "question tool" to probe panelists, a collaborative wiki, live blogging, flickr photo sharing, tagging, and YouTube video production. These tools enabled the conference to practice what it preached, turning the event into a two-way participatory interaction in contrast with many conferences. The tools have been
expanded upon this year, already spurring an active conversation on the conference web site, weeks before the event.

Henry Jenkins will give the Keynote Address, followed by panel discussions from media makers and policy commentators. Details of these panels are being updated on the conference web site

In the second-half of the day, the conference turns its focus to working groups that attendees will help organize. Building on themes coming from the plenary sessions, participants will target specific issues or questions and join efforts with the diverse crowd of others. In the past, these groups have been facilitated by thought
leaders in technology, policy, and academia. Many attendees last year expressed their appreciation for this hybrid conference approach in which they had a chance to "do something before heading home."

There will also be an evening reception, called "Demos and Drinks" showcasing groups that are doing exciting work related to conference themes.

Registration is only $50 (before February 9), and includes lunch and the evening reception. There is also a special 50% discount for students. The conference follows the 2007 Public Media Conference taking place in Boston February 20-23 ( It is suggested that you register early to avoid losing a spot if Beyond Broadcast sells out again this year.

Monday, February 5, 2007


This is a promotional video made for Microsoft. It was sent out to retailers to promote Windows 386.


Everyone on the Internet has to deal with spam. Reading offers about playing online poker, party poker, the best slot machines at the online casino, or even bingo. It seems like online betting and online gambling are major drivers in this business. But there's more, so much more. Inboxes full with offers on car insurace, currency trading, debt consolidation and the usual suspects regarding cheap deals where to buy viagra or cyalis online.

However, from the sender's perspective, spam is an extremely efficient and cost-effective way to distribute a message, but to most recipients, spam is just junk email. Recipients sometimes fail to differentiate between spam and legitimate email marketing campaigns, but there are clear differences.

The essential elements of a legitimate email marketing campaign are: It's permission-based: messages are sent to people that have expressed interest in receiving such mailings. Typically, messages are sent to a smaller, targeted group of recipients. Although most spam is unsolicited commercial email (UCE), the term also encompasses other types of mass mailings, such as email chain letters, personal campaign mailings, messages with virus-laden attachments, and messages containing virus hoaxes, among other possibilities. So it's not just about online poker, currency trading, or viagra and cyalis.
People are becoming increasingly unlikely to open messages they haven't agreed to receive. Furthermore, the overwhelming volume of spam in people's inboxes makes them much less likely to open anything that isn't a personal message from someone they know. Because the number of messages is often so great, many just routinely delete all messages that aren't of a personal nature, whether or not they've expressed an interest in receiving messages from some of the senders. They might also add criteria to make their spam filters more stringent, which makes the programs more likely to flag legitimate mail as spam. Frequently, people maintain "throwaway" email accounts specifically for any mail generated by an online sign-up.

Spamming is easy and lucrative; that's why it's getting more prevalent all the time. Spammers wouldn't do it if it didn't make them a profit. Ron Scelson (known as the "Cajun Spammer"), for example, claims to make $4,000-5,000 per mailing and to get a 1% response rate for his clients. Most spammers tend to think of themselves as entrepreneurs who are hard-pressed to dodge the stringent anti-spam measures imposed by ISPs. To get around such measures, Scelson has sometimes used offshore servers to send his mailings, though they can be up to five times more expensive than domestic systems. Scelson tests all his emails against spam filters to make sure they can get through. He claims that he can get spam through a new filtering system in less than 24 hours, and sometimes in as little as three minutes. Scelson said he will spoof email addresses if he has to. "It's a last resort for me, a backup system, but again, it can totally be done," he said during a recent webcast.

In direct contrast to spammers, responsible marketers do a great deal of preparation in advance to a mailing, selecting a target group according to its characteristics and interests, and preparing high-quality mailings to send out in a responsible manner. As a result, the campaigns of a legitimate marketer are much more expensive than those of the spammer, but they're vastly more likely to help establish good customer relationships. So beware of emails containing offers on car insurance, debt consolidation, or playing at the online casino.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


What strategies do consumers adopt to find info on the Internet?

Actually there are only 2 major ways for sophisticated consumers.
a) search engines or b) directly typing the URL. The latter normally generates a higher number in comparison to search engines if the visitor is familiar with the source of information (knows the company URL) or has a very good idea where to look for information. Search engines are normally the first stage when the there are several sources of information or the visitor does not know where to start the search. An alternative approach is to try and guess the URL of the source of information, i.e. many companies try to align the names to the URL so that guessing has a good chance of succeeding. Yet that doesnt always work.

What strategies do companies adopt to find consumers on the Internet?

Companies normally try to be a clear as possible when defining their websites in Search engines, to increase the chance of being found straight away. Advertising on related sites is also a way of attracting consumers, i.e. attaching advertising to sites that are related to the company, its product/services. Also, using URL in customer collateral and traditional media advertising to increase awareness.

Can flow be observed?

Maybe not in real-time, but there are sophisticated tracking software that collect a lot of information. I.e. Visits, Page views, entry pages, exit pages, type of entry (URL, search engines, other)I actually worked with one of these software and I found it very amazing. You can literally measure everything - even time spend on pages. For companies these tracking systems are very mportant since they can tell which pages are visited and which ones are not. But it has to be pointed out that they are quantitative, reasons for not visiting are not collected.Also web measurements can that they give you an idea, but dont proove quality visits.

Can we identify factors that lead to flow and factors that prevent flow?

I think here it becomes important to understand the theory of flow. And maybe practitioners need to revisit their webpages from time to time to assess that flow is not disrupted from a mechanical perspective (downloads). Also, marketers should understand the reasons why consumers visit their websites and crosscheck whetehr the site fulfils these objectives.


This is a rather interesting 2 part lecture by the CEO of Compucall Web Marketing, Ophir Cohen about how marketing works -or should work- in the age of Web 2.0.