Friday, March 23, 2007



2007-2008 Large Grants Competition
Letters of Inquiry Due April 22, 2007

The SSRC is pleased to offer two types of 'Collaborative Grants' in 2007 for academic-advocacy partnerships in media and communications.

Small Grants provide up to $7500 for short-term academic research in support of advocacy and activism in media and communications. The next application deadline is April 4, 2007 with subsequent competitions held at roughly 4-month intervals. For application procedures, criteria, past recipients, and other details, see .

Large Grants provide up to $30,000 in support for academic-advocacy research collaborations designed to change media / telecommunications infrastructure, practices, or policies. General areas of interest for the program include:

* Measuring the success or failure of mainstream media in advancing different public interest goals or values.

* Measuring the impact of existing alternative or community media systems on communities, public discourse, or democratic processes.

* Developing better, actionable accounts of the role of 'new media' in people's lives.

* Analyzing policymaking and/or regulatory systems.

* Analyzing emerging systems, frameworks, or models of media and communications that transcend the current regulatory framework.

* Analyzing economic models, industry structure, markets, or audiences for different kinds of media

* Creating analytical tools or research resources for use by advocates, communities, or the public.

* Documenting or evaluating advocacy or organizing strategies around communications and media issues.

Both large and small grants are awarded through competitive application processes, with recipients selected by an independent committee of researchers and advocates.

Grants are expected to fund up to 1 year of work.

Grant recipients will be part of a cohort that meets and communicates over the course of the program.

Application for the Large Grants Competition consists of two stages:

* A 'Letter of Inquiry' of less than 1,000 words outlining the proposed project, partners, and goals. Entries will be vetted by program staff in order to help applicants navigate the challenges of building effective collaborations in this area. More substantial proposals will then be requested from those LOIs that meet the program criteria. The LOI must be submitted by April 22, 2007.

* A more detailed proposal describing the research, the partners, budget, timeline, and proposed outcomes.

The LOI must be submitted via email to mediahub at with subject line "Collaborative Grant Letter of Inquiry."


Projects must involve substantive collaboration between:

* A researcher based at a university, college, or other academically-oriented research institution. Advanced graduate students are eligible.

* A US-based non-profit advocacy, organizing or community group working on media and/or telecommunications issues.

Letters of interest and proposals must be submitted by the person primarily responsible for conducting the proposed research.

Other Conditions:

* Public-interest groups with unusual financial status (e.g., non-profit fiscal sponsorship or non-commercial for-profit status) should contact SSRC program staff.

* The academic research partner cannot be a paid staff member of the partnering nonprofit organization.

* International proposals will be solicited from SSRC partner organizations.

* There are no citizenship requirements for participation in the program.

* Applicants may apply for both small grants and large grants. Applicants with current SSRC collaborative grant funding should explain how the new proposal builds on completed work from that grant.


All projects must:

* Be strategically useful in their proposed advocacy and/or organizing context.
* Produce scholarship that meets academic standards.
* Have a realistic workflow, budget, and timeframe.

Collaborations will be evaluated in part on whether they meet some or all of the following criteria:

* Have a clear plan for the application of research findings in policy-making processes or advocacy campaigns. Research that facilitates field-building (i.e. curriculum development, tool-building, analysis of best practice) is also eligible.

* Are useful for organizations, communities, and advocacy efforts beyond the partner organization.

* Build new capacity-skills, tools, experience, access to data sets-within the "user" organization and/or community.

* Involve collaboration between two or more advocacy/community groups in the project design and the plan of use for the research.

* Use participatory methods to engage community and/or advocacy group members in framing the questions, data collection, and/or analysis.

* Use methods or models of research that have proved effective in analogous contexts.

* Address issues of disparate impact on communities on the basis of race, class, gender, ethnicity, age or other identity/status category.

* Reflect diversity in the staff or group involved with the project.

Letters of inquiry not exceeding 1,000 words should include the following:

* Name or topic of the proposed research project;

* A brief statement (two or three sentences) of the purpose and nature of the proposed study;

* The significance of the issue addressed by the project;

* How the research will address the issue;

* How the issue relates to the applying organization, and why the organization is qualified to undertake the project;

* Novelty and utility of the project vis à vis existing research;

* Geographic area or country where the work will take place;

* Time period for which funding is requested;

* Information about those who will be helped by and interested in the work and how you will communicate with them;

* Amount and breakdown of the funding requested (estimates are acceptable).
SSRC staff will respond to letters of inquiry within three weeks.

Contact Information

In order to expedite a letter of inquiry, the applicant must provide the following contact information in a separate memorandum:
* Name, address (and postal address if different), phone number, and fax number of principal researcher;

* Name of the partnering organization;

* Organization's address (and postal address if different), phone number, fax number, e-mail address and web address, if any;

* Name of the partnering organization's chief executive officer or equivalent;

* Name and title of the main project contact person at the organization, if different from the above;

* Address (and postal address if different), phone number, fax number and e-mail address of main contact.

The Collaborative Grants project is part of the Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere (NKDPS) Program of the Social Science Research Council, working in partnership with the Center for International Media Action and the McGannon Center for Communications Research at Fordham University. The program is funded by the Knowledge, Creativity, and Freedom program of the Ford Foundation.

For more information on the program, see For all program-related inquiries, please write to mediahub at . Subscribe to MediaResearchHub-News for program updates, research funding opportunities, and conference information at .

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

CALL FOR PAPERS: 3rd International Second Life Community Convention (SLCC07)

3rd International Second Life Community Convention (SLCC07)
August 24-26, 2007, Chicago, USA
Track: *Business in Second Life*

The emergence of virtual worlds and Web 3.D change the way of doing business. Web 3.D is the synonym for Internet-based virtual worlds, where people can create own 3-D *virtual* personalities. One of the most famous of these virtual worlds is Second Life. It is undergoing an evolution similar to that of the Internet in the mid nineties and it might impact profoundly the way people cooperate, communicate, collaborate, and conduct business. The recent entering of companies such as Toyota, American Apparel, Nissan, or Adidas on Second Life is a first indication for the upcoming role of this platform for the next generation of conducting business online.

The conference provides a forum for industry, academia, and government to present their latest findings in virtual worlds like Second Life and the underlying technology to support these applications. Therefore, we invite contributions (research paper, working paper, work-in progress) from a broad spectrum of disciplines including economics, management, business, marketing, finance, information systems, and computer sciences.

The track focuses on but is not limited to the following topics:

- Product Testing in SL
- Image, Branding, Advertising in SL
- Marketing in Second Life
- Selling, Cross-Selling Real and SL
- Intellectual Property, Copyright, Trademarks in Second Life
- Business Planning for Non-profits in SL
- Promotion, Fundraising Tool and SL
- Customer Integration and SL
- Technology & Business, Strategy in SL
- Financial Systems, Investments, Currency Exchange in SL
- Emerging Media Presence in SL
- Fashion Industry in Second Life
- The Future of Second Life and Beyond
- Second Life as a Web 3.0 Technology

Submission Papers: June 1, 2007
Notification of Acceptance: July 1, 2007
Final Paper Submission: August 1, 2007

Submissions should describe original research work not submitted or published elsewhere. The author is responsible for correspondence, including the author*s name, mailing address,telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address has to be identified. One of the authors of each paper must register and present the paper at the conference. Submitted papers will be double-blind reviewed and evaluated on significance, originality, quality, and exposition. They should clearly establish the research contribution, methodology, finding its relevance to Second Life. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference and published in the Conference Proceeding. Best papers will be published either in a book or in a Journal.
There will also be *Best Paper Awards*.

In order to have your proposal considered, please submit it no later than 1st June to: or

using the following guidelines.
- Follow the *Guide for Authors* from the Journal of Electronic Commerce Research (
- You need to submit the file as a Microsoft Word-Format file
- Your email should use the subject line "SLCC Business Track"

We will release registration details and hotel rooming information in the coming weeks. We can share that the cost of registration will be in the range of about USD 200 and will include breakfast snacks and lunch on both Saturday and Sunday as well as some awesome musical performances and conference materials. The event is being held at the Hilton Chicago and the hotel rates with our block is $159 per night before tax. THE ROOM BLOCK IS NOT SET UP YET SO PLEASE DO NOT CALL TO BOOK A ROOM AT THIS RATE YET! We are all very excited about SLCC 2007 and will get you all details as soon as we have them (for updated information,

Marc Fetscherin, Rollins College, USA
Christoph Lattemann, University of Potsdam, Germany
Guido Lang, University of Bern, Switzerland
Peter Lokke, CEO Crucial Armitage Inc., (Crucial Creations (SL)), New York, USA

More Information and details at the conference website on or
General inquiries and requests about the track: *Business in Second Life* should be sent to


The New Avatar In Town
Cyndi Lester, 20, recalls her first meeting with future husband, Frank: "My avatar walked past his. He noticed me and typed: I like your hair." After their real-life wedding last year, Cyndi and Frank bought digital rings and staged a second, virtual-world wedding.It all happened in MapleStory—a fantastical online game where players hunt cartoon monsters and communicate in text. For Lester, a Huntington (W.Va.) homemaker who devotes three to six hours a day exploring this two-dimensional universe, the allure of MapleStory is more about show than shoot-'em-up. She spends up to $100 a month buying new clothes (at 9 cents to $7 apiece) and hairstyles ($5.70) for her digital double.Suddenly it looks as if Second Life, that 3D virtual world that last year became a favorite hangout for hard-core techies and trend-watching corporations, has competition. A new crop of online multiplayer games is coming, targeting a broader audience with simpler navigation and customization than Second Life. These games also rule out lewd behavior. The companies behind them have a novel way of making money, selling digital goods such as avatars and their outfits. The games themselves are free......

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society

The Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society invites submissions for a special issue dealing with the relationship between privacy and technology.

Possible themes include (but are not limited to):

The changing face of privacy:
Privacy-enhancing or privacy-compromising aspects of technology; technology and
surveillance; the meaning of privacy in the technological context.

Perceptions and expectations of privacy in the technologically-mediated world:
Influenceof technology on our understanding of privacy; changing privacy attitudes as a result of technological innovation; privacy concerns arising as a result of technological innovation; expectations and assumptions regarding surveillance.

Public understanding of privacy-enhancing and privacy-compromising technologies:
Conceptions of new technologies and their influence on privacy; representations of privacy and privacy-related technologies in the media; public concerns about privacy and technology.

Regulatory and legal implications of privacy-enhancing or privacy-reducing technologies:
Consent and information disclosure; data aggregation and anonymization; regulatory frameworks for new technologies; data mining and transaction logging.

Big-picture issues:
Interactions between privacy-related technologies and others; positive and negative synergies; overall influences on human life and society.

Please note that a future issue is planned on technology and surveillance. We recognize that the boundary is fuzzy between technology and privacy on the one hand, and technology and surveillance on the other hand; and potential authors should keep this in mind.

Prospective authors are asked to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to the guest editor, Dr. Jacquelyn Burkell, by March 30, 2007. Authors will be notified within 2 weeks whether their proposals are suitable for the special issue. Full papers must be submitted electronically to Dr. Burkell no later than July 15, 2007. Papers should be limited to 25 pages (double spaced) including references, though longer papers may be considered if the topic is particularly important and appropriate treatment requires additional length. The special issue is to appear early in 2008.

Dr. Jacquelyn Burkell, Associate Professor
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
Phone: 519-661-2111 ext 88506
Fax: 519-661-3506

Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships available

Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships

Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, administered by the Institute of International Education, are for U.S. students to conduct research abroad for one academic year on study projects of their own design around an aspect of international musical culture. For its pilot year (2007-2008), up to 4 Fellowships will be awarded to outstanding U.S. students nationwide. In addition to proposing unique projects on "the power of music" as a global force for mutual understanding, applicants must submit an outreach plan describing how they intend to share their activities with their peers during their Fulbright year.

The Fellowship will provide the following benefits:

- Maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country

- Book and research allowances (Grantees with projects that require extensive research
support, materials, or equipment must obtain funding from other sources for such purposes.)

- Supplemental health and accident coverage

- Language or orientation courses, where appropriate
- Media resources (e.g., camera and Internet uplink for students to send dispatches to mtvU)

Applicants can submit their project proposals between March 1st and March 29th, 2007. The Fellowship recipients will be featured online and on-air by mtvU as they complete their projects during the 2007-08 academic year.

American Communication Association's Annual Conference 2007

Determining Place, Establishing Identity, and Shaping Change

The American Communication Association's Annual Conference

October 4-6, 2007

Taos, NM USA

Defining visions ranging from cowboys riding the open plains to astronauts exploring outer-space, the word Frontier truly indicates the charting of new territory. As professionals we are challenged daily to step out of our comfort zone and into unknown terrains to analyze audiences, contexts, and results of communication transactions. For most of us, this provides an ongoing challenge for growth and learning. According to Karin Dovring, "Communication must be interpreted against the background in which it is spoken or printed and that failure to understand it in that light will result in misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and utter failure."

The American Communication Association (ACA) offers you the opportunity to share scholarship and exchange ideas at its 2007 Annual Conference held October 4-6, 2007 on the Southern Methodist University's (SMU) Taos, New Mexico campus. SMU's campus is located at the old Fort Burgwin, which, for more than 100 years, lay buried and forgotten. Born of the clash of cultures in the early days of the New Mexico territory, it gradually decayed under the weight of other forces changing the face of the North American frontier.

Today, resurrected and restored, Fort Burgwin thrives as a center for academic discovery. While there are plenty of hotels in Taos, New Mexico, the campus has casitas for on-site lodging. Since the campus is in the Carson National Forest, it is a wonderful place for walks and talks. The town of Taos, has something for everyone. Seated on the high-desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is rich with art, steeped in history, and provides visitors with a variety of experiences. Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures are proudly preserved through art and architecture, music and dance, and food and festivals for all to enjoy throughout the year. According to one website, " The region's frontier sagas of romance and history, its big-hearted cowboy quests, and the enduring mystique of ancient culture have woven themselves deeply into the tapestry of our collective memory and imaginations."

The ACA conference will begin on the evening of October 3 rd with a meet-and-greet event, followed by three days filled with intellectual presentations and discussion. An amazing experience has been planned to conclude the conference on Saturday evening, Oct. 6th . Student submissions are welcome. The deadline for submitting papers and panels is May 31, 2007.
Acceptance notices will be sent early in July.

Theme One: Determining Place -Objective and Subjective Contexts

By examining how communication defines circumstance, conditions, factors, state of affairs, situation, scene, and backgrounds, the populace forms categories consisting of communities and groups in which to make meaning. During the first day of the conference, participants will examine such themes as: How do we construct places or socially shared contexts? How do we make the places known to others? What role does ecology play in communication? How do we learn the fabrics of socially shared contexts in traditional and virtual settings? Do newly created places provide for more or less expression? Are all contexts virtual in that we perceive them
according to our own templates of reality and how does this impact communication? How is the substitution of nonhuman for human technology, transforming our lives into controlled environments and affecting the selection of communication channels and participants?

Theme Two: Shaping Change through Communication

Successful action, movements, operations, engagement, power, influence, happenings, events, and activities are bringing people together to shape society. During the final day of the conference, participants will focus on how actions link place and identity to create virtual and electronic campaigns, many of which have given previously silent people more visibility to take part in such movements to transform their lives and communities. Topics such as The Third Force -- how people are coming together via the Internet to impact social problems -- from Hurricane Katrina to hunger. What are the social, cultural, and technological factors that facilitate or hinder people from working with each other from different locations? Do we need a new "place" to foster collaboration? How do we communicate what we need and what we can offer across boundaries? How do we create a shared social context so we can organize and coordinate our actions? In a society that wants instant, preformed solutions to social issues, how do we find the language to bind rather than divide us?

Theme Three: Establishing Identities - Exogenous and Indigenous Identities

Through examining the roles of participants, contributors, entrants, competitors, players, and candidates, the second day focuses on the native and the innovative roles people play when communicating. Who are we, traditional people or displaced people in a diasporic world? A networked world? How do we communicate "we"? Are "we" changing all the time? Are we empowered to revive or revise who we are? Are we free to choose how to express who we are? Who will be counted in "we" vs. "them"? How do we communicate to people that we are (not) one of them? The effects of a virtual society on multiculturalism: are we more homogenous because of the Internet or less so? In a culture that tends to believe deeply that in general 'bigger is better' how do we humanize a McDonaldized society? Do we define our society as intracultural or Multicultural? How do we protect and pass down our oral traditions and ceremony in a fast paced society? Does technology help or hinder the preservation of storytelling?

Student Submissions

The American Communication Association is open to all participants. Students are encouraged to submit full-length papers and panel proposals.

SUBMISSION PROCESS: Please submit papers and panels to Rita Kirk ( All submissions should be submitted electronically. You will receive notification that the submission has been received, and again later when the panels and schedules are posted.

Convention Costs: The convention will cost $150 USD for professionals and full-time professors and $75 for students. There will be many "together events" where drink and food will be served, representing a significant outlay of this capital.

International Research Workshop on Analysing eParticipation Contributions

International Research Workshop on Analysing eParticipation Contributions

In conjunction with dg.o 2007 - Bridging Disciplines and Domains
8th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research
May 20-23, 2007, Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Overview: The purpose of this one-day workshop is to develop a better understanding of the technological and socio-technical tools and techniques to analyse user-contributions in eParticipation initiatives.

Find the full call for participation at
Find more information about the dg.o 2007 conference at