Saturday, May 5, 2007

Second Life: Virtual worlds, real learning

The Eduserv Foundation event "Virtual worlds, real learning" on Thursday 10th May at the Congress Centre in London will attempt to look past the hype surrounding virtual worlds such as Second Life and evaluate whether they offer real opportunities for learners at UK educational institutions. (For more information see the Eduserv Website)

The event has attracted much interest so although there are no places available we will be streaming all the presentations live into Second Life and on the Web. There will be at least three Virtual venues in Second Life at which the steams can be viewed, including:

-The Virtual Congress Centre on Eduserv Island.

-The auditorium on Cybrary City.

- The outdoor teaching space on NMC's Teaching 2 Island.

We are grateful to Alan Levine at NMC and Lori Bell at the Alliance Library System for the use of their venues for the virtual symposium.

Note that the Symposium starts at 2.00am PDT (Second Life Time)

To attend, you must be registered with Second Life, have installed the Second Life client, and have a working version of the Quicktime viewer. It is recommended that you check that you can view the video stream at the following Second Life location prior to the event:
Instructions about viewing video streams can be accessed from the Eduserv Website.

To help us plan the number of virtual venues, please register your interest in attending part or all of the event using the registration form. Please also join the 'Eduserv Symposium' group in Second Life. This group will be used for announcements prior to the day.

Alternatively if you would like to view the stream directly using the web then the URL will be posted on the Eduserv Website on Wed 9th of May.

In order to ensure that Eduserv staff can get access to Eduserv Island during the day, we want to limit access to that venue. We will therefore be inviting people to that venue, based on the order in which people applied for the Real Life event.

If you require further details about this event, please do not hesitate to contact:
Ed Barker,
Eduserv Foundation
+44 (0) 1225 474328



Thursday 12th and Friday 13th July 2007
at the University of The West of England (UWE) Bristol

Register for the Annual MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference 2007:

This conference is now open for registrations until Monday 21st May 2007. Numbers are limited so register as soon as possible to guarantee a place. Please see below for further details.

=== Host For The 2008 Postgraduate Conference ===
If any of your postgraduate students are interested in organising the annual conference in 2008, please get in touch with the Chair of the Postgraduate Network, Kaitlynn Mendes (, to register your interest and request further information. Interested parties will be expected to present a proposal detailing their plans and confirm the support of their institution. The decision on who will host next year's conference will be taken at the Fourth Annual MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference in Bristol.

=== Registration For The 2007 Conference ===
This interdisciplinary conference features papers on topics relevant to both theory and practice-based research within media, communication, and cultural studies.

The conference is organised by postgraduate students and it is designed for Masters and PhD students, as well as early years postdoctoral researchers.

This is an excellent opportunity for postgraduate students to present their work, and discuss the academic and social issues relevant to postgraduate studies with fellow academics in a supportive and productive environment.

This year’s conference will also include keynotes and workshops from expert academics, intended to encourage debate around teaching, funding, publishing (print and film), and transition from research to employment.

Invited speakers for this year’s conference include (tbc):
Prof. Stuart Allan, Prof. Michael Chanan, Prof. Peter Golding, Prof. Mark Jancovich and Elliot Grove from the Raindance Film Festival.

The subsidised registration fee is £35 and there is an option to book accommodation.
Please register as soon as possible using the form provided on the websites of
and UWE:

The deadline for registration is Monday 21st May 2007

For further enquiries in regard to presentations and workshops please contact:
Einar Thorsen: , or Libia Villazana:

For further enquiries regarding registration, accommodation and travel, please contact the Conference Administrator, Pat Diango:

The MeCCSA Postgraduate Network and the University of West of England look forward to welcoming you to Bristol.

Second Life Users Top 1.3 Million in March

Second Life attracted 1.3 million users who logged in March 2007, a 46 percent increase over January of this year, according to data on the virtual world released by comScore Networks.

Second Life is a virtual world created by Linden Labs. Users create an online persona and interact with other users, own property and build residences, and can hold jobs and earn Linden dollars. Data listed on Second Life's Web site states just over 6 million as the total number of residents, and says 1.7 million have logged in over the past 60 days.

Second Life users are primarily European with 777,000 participants or 61 percent of the total. Germany's users number 209,000, or 16 percent, and narrowly outnumber US users at 207,000 or 16 percent. Growth from January to March of 2007 was higher in the U.S. with a 92 percent increase in U.S. logins versus 70 percent in Germany.

"With nearly 800,000 active residents in Europe, Second Life is proving to be popular on an international scale," Bob Ivins, MD of comScore Europe, said in a statement. attracted 3.6 million visits worldwide in March, a 17 percent increase from February. Visits to the Web site, "indicates a continuing and potential future growth in Second Life residents, since the software application used to access the Second Life world is only available from the site," comScore said a statement.

The data are derived from comScore's panel, a permission-based global cross section of over 2 million consumers tracking browser and transactional behavior. Panelists also participate in survey research.

Friday, May 4, 2007



Panel Discussion
Monday, May 14, 2007, 5.30 - 7.30 p.m.
City University
Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB
Convocation Suite
Travel instructions:

This panel discussion is open to the public.

One of the long-standing claims of the Internet is that politics is becoming an open playing field, allowing persons previously excluded from the political process to become engaged. This and related claims have concerned a legion of activists and scholars during the past decade, but only recently have empirically-grounded studies been conducted that examine and - in some cases - contest these ideas.

As a contribution to this continuing debate, the Stanhope Centre for Communication Policy Research ( is organizing a panel involving scholars active in this area. The editors and authors of three recent or about-to-be published books will be taking part, together with staff members from the Department of Sociology at City University. The most immediate publication in this genre is entitled The Internet and National Elections: A Comparative Study of Web Campaigning, to be released by Routledge in May 2007. This volume provides a comparative analysis of the use of the Web in countries around the world during political campaigns. Drawing upon a common conceptual framework, the book examines how the Internet is employed by a variety of political actors.

At the conclusion of the discussion a reception will be held celebrating publication of The Internet and National Elections.

Buy the book from Amazon US
Buy the book from Amazon UK

Scholars participating in the panel are:
- Jean Chalaby, Professor, City University, author of "American Cultural Primacy in a New Media Order: A European Perspective" (Gazette, 2006)
Books by Jean Chalaby on Amazon US
Books by Jean Chalaby on Amazon UK

- Endre Dányi, Research student, University of Lancaster, author of chapter in The Internet and National Elections

- Kirsten Foot, Associate Professor, University of Washington; co-editor of The Internet and National Elections and co-author of Web Campaigning (MIT Press, 2006)
Books by Kirsten Foot on Amazon US
Books by Kirsten Foot on Amazon UK

- Nicholas Jankowski, Visiting Fellow, Virtual Knowledge Studio, Amsterdam, co-editor of The Internet and National Elections
Books by Nicholas Jankowski on Amazon US
Books by Nicholas Jankowski on Amazon UK

- Randy Kluver, Director, Institute for Pacific Asia, Texas A&M University, co-editor of The Internet and National Elections
Books by Randy Kluver on Amazon US
Books by Randy Kluver on Amazon UK

- Wainer Lusoli, Assistant Professor, Chester University, author of Voice and E-Quality: The State of Electronic Democracy in Britain (Hampton Press, forthcoming)
Booky by Wainer Lusoli on Amazon US
Books by Wainer Lusoli on Amazon UK

- Steven Schneider, Professor, State University New York, co-editor of The Internet and National Elections and co-author of Web Campaigning (MIT Press, 2006)
Books by Steven M. Schneider on Amazon US
Books by Steven M. Schneider on Amazon UK

- Frank Webster, Professor, City University, author of Theories of the Information Society (Routledge, 2002)
Books by Frank Webster on Amazon US
Books by Frank Webster on Amazon UK

New Books on Communication Activism

A two volume set on Communication Activism Communication Activism, Volume One: Communication for Social Change and Communication Activism, Volume Two: Media and Performance Activism has just been published by Hampton Press.

These two texts showcase how scholars have engaged in communication activism to assist individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to secure social reform.

Volume 1 presents research studies that promote public dialogue, debate, and discussion and that demonstrate how communication consulting can be used to accomplish needed social change.

Volume 2 focuses on research studies that show how media can be managed to promote social change and how performance can serve as an important form of communication activism.

Together, these two volumes demonstrate the significant effects that communication scholars, working from many different theoretical and methodological traditions, can have on promoting social change, especially for those who are most marginalized, when they engage in communication activism.

Editors Lawrence R. Frey and Kevin M. Carragee have put together a great collection of serious, rigorous, empirical research.

Each of the chapters explain the people involved in the social change effort, the specific projects or interventions designed to secure social change, the theories and methods that inform the projects, and what lessons these scholar-activists have learned about engaging in communication activism.

Buy them from Amazon US:
Communication Activism: Communication for Social Change
Communication Activism: Media and Performance Activism

Buy them from Amazon UK:
Communication Activism: Communication for Social Change v. 1
Communication Activism: Media and Performance Activism v. 2

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Essential Guide to Email lists relating to Cyberculture, Cyberspace, Virtual Communities, and other Internet related topics

Email lists relating to Cyberculture, Cyberspace, Virtual Communities, and other Internet related topics

The following is a guide to some of the more popular and important Email list that deal with cybercultural aspects like virtual communities, cyberspace, digital culture, etc. The list wasn't compiled by me - all credits for this summary of available Email lists got to the members of the Cybersoc Mailing List (

Association For Community Networking (AFCN)
List descripton: A closed, members only mailing list for community networking professionals. and

List descripton: a bi-weekley newletter covering everything related to cyberculture and society. It's written by Spanish speaking Internet users around the world. The list is in Spanish.
For subscriptions send an e-mail to:

List description: Community and Civic Network Discussion List. This list has an explicit focus on a certain kind of on-line communities, namely "the establishment and maintenance of free-access communitynetworks".

List description: a list that Frank Schaap and a few others started. They're taking their cue from the intentions that Cybermind started with and 'updated' them.
Info on Cyberculture can be found here:

List description: a somewhat older list (1994) which has truly grown into a community. while there is a lot of "community talk" going on, a lot of very interesting articles/opinions appear on-list.
Info on Cybermind can be found here:

List description: primarily a list for the sharing of resources relating to the social scientific study of virtual communities and life online, this moderated list is connected to the Cybersoc and Cybersociology Magazine websites.

List description: Cyberspace and Society is a research and academic list relevant to social sciences and related disciplines. It will review, disseminate and report of advances in cyberspace, virtual environments and new cultural technologies. It encourages multi-disciplinary perspectives.
All commands should be sent to the Mailbase SERVER at:
The Mailbase web site is located at:

List Description: a discussion mailing list about the interaction of the cyberspatial perspective (as NetCulture, Virtual Communities, Digital Politics, Medialogy, Hypertextuality, etc.) with classical space concepts(as in Urban Space Syntax, Critical Theory and Late/Post-Modernism, Environmental Studies, etc.).
To subscribe send a mail to (without any subject) including only the following line in the main body of the message: subscribe cyberurbanity First_Name Last_Name
To see an HTML gateway to the Cyberurbanity List:

Forum One Online Community Report
List description: Excellent monthly email report about online communities. Forum One Communications maintains the Forum One Index tracking over 260,000 web forum discussions, and also provides consulting services to organizations building or maintaining online communities.
e-mail: web:

The MUD Development mailing list
List description: Itis not platform, language or game specific, but concentrates on discussing the design and implementation of any and all MUD servers and systems. Another large related topic is game design. This does not mean that the details of a specific server or game design point can't be discussed in excruciating detail, or even that server or game source can't be bandied about and picked over, just that the lst isn't to become a religious stomping ground for your platform, language, server, or hobby horse of choice. The topic definition is not limited to technical areassocial engineering, cultural considerations, applicability of technical addresses to "soft" problems, and other less rigorous avenues of investigation are also fair game.The goal is high signal, low noise. The MUD Development list is NOT an email version of the* newsgroups.
Subscription instructions can be found at:
List archives can be found at:

Netdynamics: reflexive group dynamics online
List description: This list was founded over three years ago to examine the formation of group dynamics online through the discussion of the work of a psychologist Wilfred Bion.
more info:

List description: Of course we must have Geert Lovink's original Nettime List, populated mostly by critically thinking Europeans who argue about whether the net is good or bad. Or as they say, "a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism, collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets" Expect full length articles and fierce debates.
more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body contact:

Town Talk
List description: a list mainly for virtual community managers, developers and planners.

The GNA-Virtual Community List
List description: Contains mostly news and information about the Internet, usually culled from the usual online news sources (Wired, Reuters, C-Net). There is also the occasional commentary and discussion. A very good list for those short on time.

List Description: a mailing list for those interested primarily in streaming audio and video over the net. Many, although probably not the majority, of it's members are activists living in former Communist states of Eastern Europe.
IRC chat: #xchange

ICS Communication Technologies of Empowerment Conference

ICS International Postgraduate Conference: "Communication Technologies of Empowerment"

Leeds, United Kingdom, 18 May, 2007

The Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) at the University of Leeds will be hosting an international postgraduate day conference. Under the title "Communication Technologies of Empowerment", this event seeks to provide a platform for exchange and collaboration by bringing together young scholars who are studying how the latest developments in communication are affecting democracy and cultures by enabling new forms of political participation and citizen engagement, and enriching cultural experience.

Welcome address:
Prof. Stephen Coleman, Dr Graham Roberts, Dr Katharine Sarikakis

Panel sessions:
- E-Participation top-down: Institutional and Governmental Initiatives
- E-Participation bottom-up: Individual and Public Engagement
- Digital Governance and Social Change
- Politics and Media Regimes
- Culture and Media Technologies
- Social Representation and Media Technologies

Poster Session:
Culture, Technology and Protest

Registration is now open. All welcome!

(Attendance Fee: 15 £, the fee is intended to cover refreshments and lunch)

Programme details and registration information are available at the conference website:

Anna Zoellner
Institute of Communications Studies
University of Leeds
Houldsworth Building, level 3
Leeds LS2 9JT

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

ETHICOMP Doctoral Consortium 2007

ETHICOMP Doctoral Consortium 2007
13-14 September 2007
Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

In the 12 years that ETHICOMP has been in existence it has grown a vibrant international academic community concerned with the ethical and social dimensions of information and communication technologies. One of the most important aspects of this growth has been the number of doctoral students studying in this area. It is from this part of our community that our academic leaders of the future will emerge. To support their development a new initiative, ETHICOMP Doctoral Consortium is to be launched 13-14 September 2007 at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

Consortium Directors
Dr Penny Duquenoy, UK, Assoc Prof Nancy Pouloudi, Greece and Dr Bernd Stahl, UK

The consortium will comprise a series of master classes in which doctoral students will engage with experienced supervisors in the field to help them hone their research ideas and review their research strategies. Keynote addresses on relevant topics will complete the programme.

The cost of attendance will be confirmed but will be kept to a minimum. There is a limited number of places (probably 20-25) due to the interactive nature of the consortium. Students at any stage of their studies can apply. Places will be awarded on the basis of submitted proposals.

Submission procedure
A proposal should be submitted using the following headings:

Personal Details
Full Name, Nationality
Country of residence
Email address
University of study, Name and title of first supervisor
Title of research, Year of study, Mode of study (pt/ft)

Details of Proposal
Part A - 500 words explaining the nature of the research being undertaken and the approach being adopted
Part B - 250 words explaining why a place at the consortium should be awarded.
Part C - a brief endorsement by the first supervisor

Personal Details, Part A and Part B embedded in an email should be submitted by the student.
Part C should be emailed by the first supervisor (the student should arrange this)

The language for the consortium is English, and all submitted proposals must be in English.

Proposals should be submitted to by 15 June 2007

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Virginia Tech Launches April 16 Archive

Virginia Tech Launches April 16 Archive

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 30, 2007 - Virginia Tech's Center for Digital Discourse and Culture (CDDC) is pleased to announce the launch of the April 16 Archive ( This new online archive assists artists, humanists, social scientists, and all other scholars who seek, today and in the future, to develop a better understanding of the violent events of April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech. It is also available to the general public of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States of America, and the world at large as we come to terms with a local, national, and global event that will have ramifications for years to come. This archive works actively to deploy electronic media for the collection, interpretation, preservation, and display of stories and digital objects related to the tragedy of April 16, 2007 and its many effects as text, image, and sound.

Developed in cooperation with George Mason University's Center for History and New Media (CHNM), this project is receiving technical, curatorial and administrative support from Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.

The archive will preserve a diverse record of the events surrounding April 16, 2007 by collecting first-hand observations, photographic images, sound recordings, media reports, personal writings, official statements, individual blog postings, and any other documents that can be stored as digital files. In addition to local reactions, the archive welcomes responses from across the globe in any language.

Through this archive, we aim to leave a positive legacy for the larger community and contribute to a collective process of healing, especially as those affected by this tragedy tell their stories in their own words. The larger trend exemplified by this project is the "digital memory bank." Memory banks are being used to preserve the richness of the present as it transitions to the past, thereby ensuring that the collected records can be both readily accessible and carefully preserved for future access.

The April 16 Archive welcomes contributions from the Virginia Tech community, as well as from anyone around the world who wants to share words of support or reflection following the events of April 16, 2007. The attacks happened in Blacksburg, Virginia, but they were experienced around the world through mass media and community ties. The accounts of that day from any site across the globe are, therefore, very important to the April 16 Archive as it documents
the full impact of this tragic event.
For more information, visit or contact
For media inquiries, contact Brent Jesiek, Manager of the CDDC, at (540) 231-7614 or

Established in 1998, Virginia Tech's Center for Digital Discourse and Culture is one of the world's first university based digital points-of-publication for new forms of scholarly communication, academic research, and cultural analysis. Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS) as well as the Institute of Distance and Distributed Learning (IDDL) actively support the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture. The CDDC is also working with Virginia Tech's newly established Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment (ISCE) to develop new scholarly initiatives, such as the April 16 Archive, tied into the practices of rhetoric, representation and the public humanities.

This story is also posted on the April 16 Archive website:

The 3rd Living Knowledge conference

3rd Living Knowledge conference

Communities building knowledge:
innovation through citizens' science and university engagement

Paris (Fr): August 30 - September 1, 2007

The conference will provide a forum where information on community based research, carried out in both community and academic settings, on new forms of partnerships between research and civil society and on new modes of innovation, can be shared and developed. It aims at disseminating and exchanging information on community based and participatory research, on citizens' science and cooperative innovation.

Registration for the conference is open now!

You can also submit a proposal for a contribution (workshop or presentation)
within on of the five conference theme's. At the conference website you will find an overview of topics that can be addressed in the theme's.
The (extended) deadline to submit a proposal is April 30.
Proposals can be submitted online at the conference website

Conference themes:
* University engagement with communities
* Citizens' science and social movements
* Research policy - from local to global
* Innovation and citizens - added values for communities
* Participatory processes in science and technology

For additional information about the conference you can contact:

The conference organisation committee and the Living Knowledge Network hope to meet you in Paris this summer.

Monday, April 30, 2007



For a special issue of
Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture,
2009, edited by Sharon Lockyer and Feona Attwood.

Controversial images are increasingly central to media which are concerned with scandal, titillation and horror, and in a culture where images and image making is so important. Controversial images circulate in a wide range of different media forms from films, TV programmes, newspapers, and advertisements, to internet sites, video games, and music videos. In recent years there have been a number of instances where controversial images have become the primary focus of public fascination and debate. These include the paparazzi shots of Princess Diana's fatal accident, images from Abu Ghraib, the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons and footage of the execution of Saddam Hussein. More generally, images of sex, scandal, destruction and abuse function as the emblem for some of the major social and cultural concerns of our times.

This special issue seeks to address the significance of controversial Images and their subsequent public debates, and reflect on what they can tell us about the production, content and reception processes of contemporary media.

Proposals are welcomed on, but not limited to, the following topics and areas:

Shock sites
Extreme porn
Religious controversies
Atrocity images
War reporting
Body horror
Invasion of privacy issues
Media representation of sensitive subjects
Censorship and regulation

Proposals with an international focus are particularly welcome, as are those which focus on controversial images in various different countries.

Proposals of 200-250 words, accompanied by a biographical note of 100 words should be sent by Tuesday 31st July 2007 to Feona Attwood,

The deadline for submission of drafts will be March 2008 and June 2008 for finished drafts.

Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture

The journal provides a forum for the scholarly investigation, analysis, and dialogue on communication symbols, forms, phenomena, and strategic systems of symbols within the context of contemporary popular culture across the globe. Popular Communication publishes articles on all aspects of popular communication, examining different media such as television, film, new media, print media, radio, music, and dance; the study of texts, events, artifacts, spectacles, audiences, technologies, and industries; and phenomena and practices, including, but not limited to, fan, youth and subcultures, questions of representation, digitalization, cultural globalization, spectator sports, sexuality, advertising, and consumer culture. The journal welcomes diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives within the tradition of media, communication, and cultural studies as well as interdisciplinary research in and across related disciplines.

Cornel Sandvoss (University of Surrey, UNITED KINGDOM)
C. Lee Harrington (Miami University, USA)
Jonathan Gray (Fordham University, USA)

Workshop on learning and research in Second Life

Call for Papers/Participation

Please join us in a
Workshop on learning and research in Second Life on October 17, 2007 in Vancouver at Internet Research 8.0

Paper Deadline August 15th.

Second Life is a 3d virtual environment created by Linden Lab which has captured the attentions of researchers and teachers from around the world from a variety of disciplines.

This workshop aims to improve the understanding of Second Life as a Learning and Research environment. It will bring 35 researchers together to collaborate, discuss and workshop diverse topics related to research and learning in Second Life. We will pursue a full-day schedule in which participants will discuss their work and interests on four different topics: learning in Second Life, integrated learning, the contributions of research to the community and ethical research methods. How can we better enable learning in this sphere? How can we better enable research?

As a highlight, Robin Linden will give a talk to the group, and members of Linden Lab will likely participate throughout the day.

We encourage researchers to submit papers and short biography to
which will be selected and distributed amongst participants before the workshop. First invitations will be offered to those who provide full papers for consideration.

These papers have two purposes: first is to provide a common platform for understanding our research and teaching and second submitted papers may be considered for publication in an edited volume being produced in relation to the workshop, or possibly in peer reviewed publication derived from the workshop (these are currently under discussion).

Subsequent invitation will be made based upon research/teaching statement and biography. If you are interested in participating, please send an email containing your information to

Decisions will be made by September 1st, barring incident. There is a limit of 35 participants at the physical meeting; the event will be simulcast into Second Life.

We welcome professionals, faculty and graduate students to participate.

This workshop is sponsored by Linden Lab creators of Second Life and is organized by Jeremy Hunsinger and Aleks Krotoski. Free lunch, coffee breaks and the room is included in participation.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend roundup at IMM

Every Sunday we present you a weekend roundup of interesting articles you might have missed during the week, a selection of the best content that we presented here to you on Internet: Marketing and Messages (IMM).

Here goes:

AoIR 8.0 Doctoral Colloquium
click here for story

Public Practices, Social Software: Examining social practices in networked publics
Workshop for 3rd Annual Communities and Technologies Conference

click here for story

'Mobile Media'- an international conference on social and cultural aspects of mobile phones, convergent media, and wireless technologies in Sydney, Australia
click here for story

Inclusive Design of Interactive Systems (call for book proposals)
Advances in Technology and Human Interaction Series (ATHI) Book Series

click here for story

Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2007)
click here for story