Friday, May 18, 2007

AV PhD Day - free Symposium at the Centre for Material Digital Culture

AVPhD - A Symposium presented by

The Centre for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex and The University of Brighton Research Student Division


Supported by the AVPHD Network

Wednesday 4 July 2007

Lecture Theatre A5, Arts A Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton

To register please send your details and institutional affiliation to v.a.sammut@sussex.ac.uk.
There is no charge for this event.


Programme
The aim of this one-day event is to explore approaches to beginning and developing doctoral work that uses the moving image as a major element of a research project at PhD level. We also hope the day will foster a network of practice-based researchers, both in the region and nationally, which crosses disciplinary boundaries and encourages an exchange between people working in different contexts.

Further information about the Centre for Material Digital Culture may be found at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/rcmdc/


9:30 Coffee and Registration

10:00 Welcome and Introduction
Lizzie Thynne, University of Sussex and Dr. Christopher Pierce, University of Brighton,
Tony Dowmunt, AVPhD Network

10:15 Keynote Lecture: ‘What kinds of knowledge are involved in making?: towards an epistemology of practice-based research’
Professor Desmond Bell, Queen's University, Belfast

11.00 Coffee

11:15 Session 1: Presentations by PhD students followed by respondent panel.
Chair: Lizzie Thynne
Kate Buxey (London Metropolitan University), ‘Praha: Journey of a poetic documentary and a practice-based doctorate’
Fran Apprich (Queen’s University), ‘A study of experimental sound and its influence on contemporary cinema’
Sandra Lim (University of Brighton), ‘Producing Audio-Visual Inscribed Field Notes in the Everyday Towards Creative Video Practice’
Discussion/Respondent Panel: Dr. Caroline Bassett (Sussex),
Tony Dowmunt (Goldsmiths),
Dr. Christopher Pierce (Brighton),
Professor Jonathan Woodham (Brighton).

12:45 Lunch

1:45 Keynote Lecture: ‘Starting an Audio Visual PhD’
Dr. Joram ten Brink, University of Westminster

2:30 Session 2: Presentations by PhD students followed by respondent panel.
Chair: Dr. Christopher Pierce
Ken Wilder (Chelsea College of Art and Design), ‘The Tactile Screen: the screen as threshold between levels of reality’
Katherine Nolan (UCCA, Epsom), ‘The Narcissistic Erotic: Negotiating the Male Gaze in Feminist Video Art’
Marisa Zanotti (University of Chichester), ‘Edges 2, the body in the screen: expanding notions of choreography as a field of practice’

4:00 Tea

4:15 Discussion/Respondent Panel: As above.

4.45 Plenary – Future Directions

5.15 Drinks Reception

the programme is also at the following link: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/mediastudies/1-1.php?output=html&refer=4833&oftype=announcement&fromdept=1&id=18036

Texting in noisy environments

There's a very interesting article in yesterday's Washington Post about the growth of texting in noisy environments, like clubs, to communicate with those with whom one is physically co-present:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/16/AR2007051600649.html


Although, if they were really clever, they'd use the chatroom function on the Nintendo DS.

Here's the article:


Staying in Touch Only a Thumb Tap Away
Resourceful Youths Are Finding Imaginative Uses for Text Messaging

By David Betancourt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 17, 2007; DZ01


As Holly Williams chatted with friends in the Red Room at Love nightclub in Northeast one Friday night, six unfamiliar guys surrounded her, danced a bit and then asked the young woman repeatedly to leave the club for some after-hours fun.

The guys wouldn't take no for an answer. So Williams, 21, discreetly tapped a text message into her new T-Mobile Sidekick 3.

"I sent a message to my guy friend telling him to come get me," said Williams, of College Park. "And about five minutes later, he was there to grab us from the crowd."

Tech-savvy young people are finding ever more inventive ways to use text messages, and wireless communication companies are paying attention, introducing cellphones, such as the Sidekick 3, designed to simplify the process.

The Sidekick and the new Verizon Envy have full keyboards and are aimed at customers who send frequent text messages. In November, Sprint introduced the LG-150, its first phone with a dedicated key for text messaging. Similar to the key for a camera phone, the text message key allows a user to start a message at the press of a button, instead of having to scroll through a phone screen menu.

The new cellphones are all the rage among the young adults and teenagers who are undoubtedly helping to drive the explosive growth of text messaging. A currently popular TV commercial for Cingular offers unlimited text messaging for an extra $5 a month. It features a mother and her young daughter (maybe middle-school age) discussing a bloated phone bill caused by excessive text messaging. The clearly exasperated mother asks: "Who are you texting 50 times a day?"

Della Stevens, 14, a freshman at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, had to hand over her new T-Mobile Razr phone to her mother shortly after getting it in January. Della sent 3,000 text messages that month, escalating her cellphone bill to $800. She said she thought her plan offered free text messaging.

She was mostly chatting with her high school buddies, especially at times when talking on the cellphone was not an option, she said. Once, she received a text message from a friend during a live school concert.

"I just continued the conversation with him through texting because I couldn't talk while I was in the audience," Della said.

When Della's mother got the bill and saw the number of text messages her daughter had sent and the associated costs, she wasn't amused.

"She called me from work and told me to put the phone in her room," Stevens said. "She said she'd give it back to me when I learn to be more responsible with it and she thinks I'm ready."

The exponential growth of text messaging can be traced to Sept. 11, 2001, when people in crisis discovered that their text messages got through when cellphone voice lines were jammed, said John Johnson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless customers sent 5 billion text messages last September, more than double the same time in 2005, Johnson said. By December, the number of text messages had jumped to 6.3 billion a month, triple the volume the previous year.

Many parents and their children sent text messages back and forth during the shooting rampage last month at Virginia Tech. Now, some universities are studying how to use text messaging to reach their students in emergencies.

Some local nightclubs already have figured out how to use text messaging to reach their young partygoers with instant news about upcoming entertainment. Ti' Jean Beezer, assistant to Love owner Marc Barnes, said he often uses the Web site clubtexting.com, which is designed to help nightclubs promote their events through text messaging. Beezer said he gets cellphone numbers from patrons and regularly enters them onto a database at the site. He can type one message and reach 1,000 patrons at once.

"You don't have to worry about doing it yourself, texting one by one, thousands of people," Beezer said. "It's very effective."

Inside the clubs, patrons are just as likely to be text messaging each other as dancing.

Jasmin Meyers, 21, of College Park, who also owns a Sidekick 3, said text messages are the perfect way to communicate in a noisy place. The four-level Love, for example, is usually crowded, and when the music is blasting, normal conversation can be practically impossible. On any given night, it's common to see patrons sending text messages on their cellphones, sometimes to friends standing beside them.

Meyers said that she often goes out with a large group of friends and that she keeps track of them through text messaging. "It's not like I can call, because no one can hear each other once they're inside the club," she said. "So texting is really the only way of communicating."

There's another advantage, Williams said, "especially if there's an annoying guy in your face that you don't want to talk to, and you're trying to get your friend to move somewhere else so that you don't have to talk to him anymore."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

EZTV: Popular Torrent site turns two

EZTV, a popular torrent database for downloading TV rips, has turned two. Here's what another release site, Releaselog, has to say about them:

EZTV, a popular TV torrent distribution site celebrates its 2nd birthday online. EZTV is the most reliable, and most frequently updated ’scene quality’ TV torrents web site. EZTV reaches over 5 million users each month and is growing at an increasing rate. The benefits from the technology of torrents has brought the average user into a media-rich content platform wherein they can actually use the features and benefits of new CPU and GPU technology to playback the higher resolution videos.

The generation “Y” is the internet age. We get what we want, when we want. Corporations and companies that won’t catch on will ultimately fail in the future. Traditional TV is almost dead for us.

The current generation watches TV shows on their computers for certain reasons. The user controls when he wants to watch. There are no commercials. The content is DRM-free. The content is acquired at no cost to him (except high-speed internet costs) . To really see how much EZTV has changed, view webarchive of 1 year ago, and 2 years ago.

Amazon to launch DRM free Music Download Store

Amazon.com to Launch DRM-Free MP3 Music Download Store with Songs and Albums from EMI Music and More Than 12,000 Other Labels

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced it will launch a digital music store later this year offering millions of songs in the DRM-free MP3 format from more than 12,000 record labels. EMI Music's digital catalog is the latest addition to the store. Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon's DRM-free MP3s will free customers to play their music on virtually any of their personal devices -- including PCs, Macs, iPods, Zunes, Zens -- and to burn songs to CDs for personal use.

"Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. "We're excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone."

"Amazon.com is known around the world for the unique experience it offers music customers through features such as customer reviews and personalized recommendations," said Eric Nicoli, EMI CEO. "They have been an important retail partner of ours, and we are delighted they will be offering consumers EMI's new premium DRM-free downloads in their new digital music store. We think having a trusted destination like Amazon.com offer a high-quality digital music product that will play across a number of devices gives consumers more options and will be a significant boost for the overall digital music market."

Source: Amazon.com Press Releases

Google rolls out Universal Search

Google rolls out Universal Search

In its latest technological leap, online search leader Google Inc. will begin showing videos on its main results page Wednesday along with photos, books and other content previously separated into different categories. Under a new “universal search” approach that Google began rolling out Wednesday afternoon, some requests will produce more than just a series of links and snippets pointing to other Web sites. As an example, the results to the search request “I have a dream” will include an actual video showing Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous 1963 speech along with the usual assortment of Web links. The videos will be shown on Google’s results page if it’s contained in the company’s own database or the vast library of its YouTube subsidiary. A thumbnail will direct traffic to videos hosted on other sites like Metacafe.com.

Other Google results will more frequently show photos or information from the more than 1 million books that the company has copied during the past two years. More news stories and local information pertaining to search requests will be displayed on Google’s first results page - perhaps the most prized showcase on the Web. Google’s database has included photos, books, videos and local information for several years, but fetching the content usually required searching through one of the customized channels featured in a row of links above the main query box. A new link to Google’s increasingly popular e-mail service, Gmail, will be added above the query box in the next day or two to make it easier to access for existing users and presumably more alluring to Web surfers who haven’t already opened an account. By intermingling different types of Web content on its main result page, Google is betting it can become even more useful to its millions of users and maintain the competitive advantage that has established the Mountain View-based company as a cultural and financial phenomenon.

Source: PCWorld, SeattlePost

Canada: Residential Telephone Service

For those interested in recent stats on wireless-only households, the latest Canadian numbers were released last week by Stats Canada. 5% of Canadian households have given up their landlines and are now wireless-only.

See the report here -
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070504/d070504a.htm

While the majority of Canadian households rely on land-line telephone services, a full two-thirds also have cellular telephone service, according to new data from the Residential Telephone Service Survey.

As of December 2006, about 90.5% of households reported having a land-line, while 66.8% reported having at least one cell phone.

About 80% of Alberta households reported using cellular phone service, the highest proportion among the provinces. This contrasted sharply with rates in New Brunswick, where only 57.5% used cell phones and in Quebec, where the proportion was 57.9%.

The proportion of households that relied solely on cell phones remained relatively unchanged from the previous year. About 5.0% of households reported having only a cell phone in December 2006, compared to 4.8% in December 2005.

For the first time, respondents were asked about their use of two additional telecommunication technologies: cable telephone services and "Voice over IP" services.

Cable telephone services are offered by cable television companies and allow subscribers to deliver and receive telephone calls over a cable network. "Voice over IP" or "VoiP" services allow the customer to make and receive calls using the Internet.

As of December 2006, about 10.6% of Canadian households reported using a cable telephone service or a "VoiP" service. About 13.5% used them in Alberta and 13.2% in Quebec, the highest rates among the provinces. Only 4.9% used them in Newfoundland and Labrador, the lowest rate.

Usage rates may reflect availability. Only 3.5% of households in rural areas reported using one or the other of these technologies, compared to 14.1% of households in urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more. Less than 1% of households reported cable telephone or "VoiP" services as their only means of telecommunication.

Almost 10% of Canadians households that reported not having land-line telephone service cited basic local monthly rates and installation charges that were too difficult to afford.

Among those households without a land-line, 78.2% reported having cellular phone service and 31.7% reported using cable telephone or "VoiP" services.

The survey also showed that 1.2% of households did not have any telephone service at all. This rate was unchanged from the previous year.

LEA Dispersive Anatomies - Call for papers

Dispersive Anatomies
http://leoalmanac.org/cfp/calls.asp#dispersive

Guest Editors: Sandy Baldwin, Alan Sondheim and Mez Breeze
leadispersive@astn.net

Editorial Guidelines: http://leoalmanac.org/cfp/submit/index.asp
Discussion Group: leadispersive-subscribe@googlegroups.com
Deadline: 31 May 2007


Call for papers - LEA Dispersive Anatomies

The Leonardo Electronic Almanac (ISSN No: 1071-4391) is inviting papers and artworks that address dispersion - dispersion of bodies, objects, landscapes, networks, virtual and real worlds.

A fundamental shift in the way we view the world is underway: the abandonment of discrete objects, and objecthood itself. The world is now plural, and the distinction between real and virtual is becoming increasingly blurred, with troubling consequences within the geopolitical register. This shift is related to a cultural change that emphasizes digital deconstruction over analog construction: a photograph for example can be accessed and transformed, pixel by pixel, cities can be taken apart by gerrymandering or eminent domain, and our social networks are replete with names and images that problematize friendship, sexuality, and culture itself. One issue that emerges here: Are we networking or are we networked? Are we networks ourselves?

LEA is interested in texts and works that deal with this fundamental shift in new and illuminating ways. Specifically, anything from essays through multimedia through networks themselves may be considered. We're particularly interested in submissions that deal with the incoherency of the world, and how to address it.


Key topics of interest
Topics of interest might include (but are not limited to):
- Networked warfare in real and virtual worlds.
- The wounded/altered body in real and virtual worlds.
- Transgressive sexualities across borders, sexualities among body-parts, dismemberments and groups, both real and virtual.

- Critical texts on the transformation of classical narrative - from its emphasis on an omniscient narrator and coherent plots/characters, to literatures of incoherency, dispersed narrations, and the jump-cut exigencies of everyday life.

- Deleuze/Guattari, TAZ, and other phenomena at the border of networking.
- Internet visions and their abandonment or fulfillment.
- The haunting of the world by ghosts, virtual beings, dreams and nightmares that never resolve.

- The geopolitical collapse of geopolitics.
- Military empires as scattershot entrepreneurial corporations.

Dispersion has two vectors: the breakup or breakdown of coherent objects; and the subsequent attempt to corral, curtail, or recuperate from this breakdown. How do we deal with networks that are constantly coalescing and disappearing? Where are we in the midst of this? In an era of pre-emptive culture, is guerilla warfare to be accompanied by guerilla culture as the order of the day?


Want to be kept informed?
For the latest news, updates and discussions, join the LEA Dispersive Anatomies Mailing List. Email: leadispersive-subscribe@googlegroups.com


Publishing Opportunities
As part of this special, LEA is looking to publish:
- Critical Essays
- Artist Statement/works in the LEA Gallery
- Bibliographies (a peer reviewed bibliography with key texts/references in Dispersive Anatomies)
- Academic Curriculum (LEA encourages academics conducting course programmes in this area to contact us)

LEA encourages international artists / academics / researchers / students / practitioners / theorists to submit their proposals for consideration. We particularly encourage authors outside North America and Europe to submit essays / artists statements.


Proposals should include:
- A brief description of proposed text (200-300 words)
- A brief author biography
- Any related URLs
- Contact details

In the subject heading of the email message, please use *Name of Artist/Project Title: LEA Dispersive Anatomies Special - Date Submitted.*
Please cut and paste all text into body of email (without attachments).
Editorial Guidelines: http://leoalmanac.org/cfp/submit/index.asp
Deadline for proposals: May 31, 2007

Please send proposals or queries to:
Sandy Baldwin, Alan Sondheim, Mez Breeze
leadispersive@astn.net

and
Nisar Keshvani
LEA Editor-in-Chief
lea@mitpress.mit.edu

Profile of a Spanish Second Life resident

Profile of a Spanish Second Life resident
http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/?p=578

Profile of a Spanish Second Life resident: Victor Gil from the Cocktail Analysis http://www.tcanalysis.com (a Spanish MR house) has kindly given me the findings from a recent market research exercise they carried out. The findings support the ‘Early Adopter’ profile of a typical user across any country.

Here are the main findings:

*48% of Second Life users in Spain access the virtual world on a daily basis*

The cocktail analysis has presented today the results of the first study ever conducted on the visibility and profile of Spanish Second Life users. Second Life (SL) is a virtual world platform that’s already surpassed 6 million residents, 3% of whom are Spanish, according to Linden Labs.
The profile of the Second Life user from Spain is a male (65%), avg. 33 years old, with a college degree (54%), and employed (69%) . It’s a user profile markedly different -mostly because of its older age- to the average users of both videogames and other virtual worlds.

The study: “Knowledge, valuation and experience of Spanish users in Second Life. Opportunities for Spanish brands” focuses on assessing the current position of this virtual world in Spain through 2 surveys, one directed towards web users and the other towards Spanish users in the largest Spanish community in the virtual world: secondlifespain.com (http://www.secondlifespain.com)

The results of the survey manifest a consolidation in the access habits of a considerable number of Spanish SL residents. Almost half of the respondents access Second Life on a daily basis. One out of four (20%) remain connected for more than three hours. Once connected the majority of residents (68%) pays dedicated attention to the experience, which can be now defined as truly “immersive.”

Other results from the study:

62% Of the Spanish residents heard of Second Life through mass media. The majority (65%) acknowledges they initially entered SL out of curiosity. Only 22% of respondents created accounts with the explicit intention of meeting other people. Even though 76% of user-residents are satisfied with the experience so far, the volume of the most enthusiastic users –those for whom SL has exceeded their expectations- is very similar to the volume of disappointed users: 22% and 24% respectively.

The great majority of users (73%) spend most of their time wondering and exploring different locations of the virtual world. Interaction with other residents is the other main activity for approximately half (55%) of users. The personalization of the avatar -3D representation of the user- is the third activity to which users devote the most time.

The study confirms the importance of the social dimension in SL. Interaction with other users is not only one of the most extended practices, but also one of the most demanded when users are questioned about the kind of future evolution they would like to see the virtual world take. Furthermore the study shows that the utilization of Second Life as a space for social interaction becomes more and more important as the user’s “second life” consolidates.

Additionally the study spans consumer behavior analysis and the relationship of the residents with brands and advertising in the virtual world.

More than half of the respondents (58%) have Linden Dollars, the official currency of Second Life, used for commercial transaction in the platform. However, only 30% have purchased the currency using real money. The great majority have obtained the Linden Dollars through methods internal to the system.

Most of the users´ expenses are devoted to improving the appearance of their avatars (62%) through the purchase of clothes, physical attributes, or animations and movements.

According to Felipe Romero partner of The Cocktail Analysis and responsible for the study “Beyond the media noise and the expectations created around the Second Life phenomenon our objective was to try to understand what Second Life means and what it represents in the lives of its users. Many Spanish companies are considering entering the platform in order to take advantage of some of the commercial and marketing opportunities that this new environment theoretically offers.

We’ve tried to assess whether this opportunities are real at the present time in terms of Spanish consumers and always from the perspective of second Life as an environment with a limited audience and whose future direction has yet to take concrete from.”

In order to deepen in the possibilities offered by Second Life to Spanish brands the study has carried out an extensive survey of user’s attitudes about the increasing presence of commercial brands in the platform, as well as the results in terms of exposure that the companies already present are harvesting. The data shows, on one hand, a latent rejection by users of any brand initiatives that don’t contribute with some sort of added value for the residents. On the other hand the study found a high receptivity among residents for brand initiatives based on exchange. For example 68% of respondents were willing to watch advertising from the brands in second Life in exchange for some sort of incentive payment “in kind” as a reciprocal consideration. When asked to explicitly state what types of incentives they would value the most the principal demand was for “entertainment and cultural contents”
(theaters, concerts, shows…)

Since many of the large Spanish companies that already have a presence in second Life –or are considering one- are searching for data on its impact beyond SL residents, the study has also explored Second Life’s visibility among Spanish Internet Users.

At the time of the study 40% of Spanish Internet users had heard of Second Life, however less than half (40%) acknowledged understanding “very well, or well enough” what the virtual world was about.


METHODOLOGY

The study was comprised of two online surveys:
Online survey on Internet Users.
Individuals of both sexes, between 18 and 55 years old, representative of Internet Users.
Sample size: 1170 individuals.
Fieldwork: February 26th and 28th, 2007.
Online survey of Second Life residents from Spain.
Online survey among SecondLifeSpain.com, the largest Spanish community in Second Life users.
Sample size: 651 individuals.
Fieldwork: March 28th and April 2nd, 2007.


ABOUT THE COCKTAIL ANALYSIS
The Cocktail analysis is market research and strategy consulting agency specialized in consumer, communications and new technology trends.

For more information contact
Felipe Romero / Víctor Gil
+34 91 567 06 05
info@tcanalysis.com
http://www.tcanalysis.com
Second Life Offices: http://slurl.com/secondlife/novatierra/81/26/61/ or
the coordinates: Novatierra 81/26/61.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

ArtAbilitation conference 2007

ArtAbilitation conference 2007

28.-30. November, Aalborg University Esbjerg, Denmark

http://artabilitation.expositus.com/

The ArtAbilitation Conference will be held for the second time, this year alongside ICAT 2007 (http://www.icat2007.org).


This conference is an Esbjerg initiative and speculatively fulfils a void in the field where scientific research is presented of the creative practise exploring artistic expressive potentials in applications to improve the quality of life and in supplementing (re)habilitation therapy.

It is the human-centered process involved in creating or playing that is considered the art, not the artefact or product from the interaction.

Many laboratories around the world are actively exploring virtual environments, virtual reality, serious gaming, and other associated applications as a means of exploring the potentials of creative and play processes utilising solutions that apply technology as a training/analysis intervention - however a common denominator is the fun aspect for the participants, both client/patient and facilitator. This fun occurs from tailored activity and is witnessed as motivating engagement for the client whilst alieviating the stress, monotiny and tedium for the facilitator - the intervention data is a measurable for development learning, and continued refinement of systems.

Topics include, for example, the therapeutic practice of digital video games, multimedia environments and interactive music alongside traditional art form "digitized for interaction" such as music, painting, theatre, dance, etc. Research issues spanning age, ability and gender are presented.

Communities and Technologies 2007 conference

Only a couple of weeks remain for the early registration period for the Communities and Technologies 2007 conference, to be held June 28-30, 2007 at Michigan State University. Early registration ends on May 31st. A fantastic program has been assembled, with 30 outstanding papers, 13 workshops encompassing a range of methodologies and research topics, four keynote speakers who have made significant contributions both to research and practice, and three panel discussions about aspects of communities and technologies by leaders in the field.

The conference also will feature the opportunity to explore an innovative online event/ conference networking service designed to enhance discussions among participants (more information will be available soon on this). We have put together a social program that includes a dinner/reception at the historic Cowles House on the Michigan State campus as well as an evening dinner/reception at the Michigan Historical Museum.

Early registration fees for the meeting are $400 for regular attendees (that is, non-students), and $100 for students. Registration at these rates includes participation in a workshop. Late registration begins on June 1st, with fees increasing to $450 for regular attendees, and $150 for students.

The International Conference on Communities and Technologies has developed into one of the premier meetings for interdisciplinary exchanges related to the development, usage, and impacts of technology-supported communities. Please visit the conference web site (http://ebusiness.tc.msu.edu/cct2007/) for more detailed information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JCMC: double-themed special issue

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is an open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. It has been published on the Web quarterly since June 1995.
http://jcmc.indiana.edu/

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication has just published a double-themed special issue:

Theme I: The Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions of Search Engines, guest edited by Eszter Hargittai

Theme II: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Religion and Computer-Mediated Communication, guest edited by Charles Ess (with Akira Kawabata and Hiroyuki Kurosaki)

The table of contents is appended below. All current and past JCMC articles can be accessed at: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/



Contents of JCMC - Volume 12, Issue 3, April 2007


Special Theme I: The Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions of Search Engines

1. The Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions of Search Engines: An Introduction
- Eszter Hargittai

2. Heuristic and Systematic Use of Search Engines
- Werner Wirth, Tabea Böcking, Veronika Karnowski, and Thilo von Pape

3. In Google We Trust: Users' Decisions on Rank, Position, and Relevance
- Bing Pan, Helene Hembrooke, Thorsten Joachims, Lori Lorigo, Geri Gay, and Laura Granka

4. Searching for Culture-High and Low
- Jennifer Kayahara and Barry Wellman

5. Learning to Search and Searching to Learn: Income, Education, and Experience Online
- Philip N. Howard and Adrienne Massanari

6. Is Relevance Relevant? Market, Science, and War: Discourses of Search Engine Quality
- Elizabeth Van Couvering

7. Equal Representation by Search Engines? A Comparison of Websites across Countries and Domains
- Liwen Vaughan and Yanjun Zhang

8. Google Bombing from a Time Perspective
- Judit Bar-Ilan


Special Theme II: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Religion and Computer-Mediated Communication

9. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Religion and Computer-Mediated Communication
- Charles Ess (with Akira Kawabata and Hiroyuki Kurosaki)

10. Diaspora on the Electronic Frontier: Developing Virtual Connections with Sacred Homelands
- Christopher Helland

11. Internet Use among Religious Followers: Religious Postmodernism in Japanese Buddhism
- Kenshin Fukamizu

12. Online-Religion in Japan: Websites and Religious Counseling from a Comparative Cross-Cultural Perspective
- Akira Kawabata and Takanori Tamura

13. Conflict and Intolerance in a Web Community: Effects of a System Integrating Dialogues and Monologues
- Mitsuharu M. Watanabe

14. Who's Got the Power? Religious Authority on the Internet
- Heidi Campbell

15. Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post 9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards
- Rasha A. Abdulla

16. Islam and Online Imagery on Malaysian Tourist Destination Websites
- Noor Hazarina Hashim, Jamie Murphy, and Nazlida Muhamad Hashim

17. Virtually Sacred: The Performance of Asynchronous Cyber Rituals in Online Spaces
- Stephen Jacobs

18. Technological Modernization, the Internet, and Religion in Singapore
- Randolph Kluver and Pauline H. Cheong

2007 NMC Summer Conference

The 2007 NMC Summer Conference will be held June 6-9, 2007, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This year's host will be the School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Registration is now open! Click Here to Submit a Proposal


About the Conference
The NMC Summer Conference is a one-of-a-kind event, attracting an audience of highly skilled campus professionals who are very knowledgeable about and interested in the integration of emerging technologies into teaching, learning, and creative expression.

NMC conference attendees are often early adopters and represent the most innovative and creative areas on their campuses. Of the attendees from colleges and universities, about 30% of attendees are IT executives or senior managers, with titles such as CTO, CIO, Director of Academic Computing, or other Director-level posts; about 15% are mid-level IT managers; and about 15% are faculty. The remainder of the academic audience, about 40% of attendees, are generally specialists in specific technologies, such as digital video, web design, streaming, animation, or graphics.

See the Invitation video!
This video was produced by the IUPUI School of Informatics.
View as QuickTime or Windows Media

Registration and Fees
Registration includes entrance to all conference activities as well as to all receptions and meal events.

Category Regular Late
NMC Member $349 $399
Non-member $699 $749


Past NMC Summer Conferences
The 2006 Summer Conference was hosted by the Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Click here for the 2006 conference archives.

The 2005 Summer Conference was hosted by the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. Click here for the 2005 conference archives.

The 2004 Summer Conference was hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Click here for the 2004 conference archives.

The 2003 Summer Conference was hosted by Virginia Tech in Blackburg, Virginia.
Click here for the 2003 conference archives.

The eight types of graduate student

The eight types of graduate student

Why are we postgrads here? Well, for lots of reasons, says Patrick Tomlin

When I started this column, I promised myself I wouldn't let it become a monthly whinge about how poor I am. Partly because that would be as boring as if I stood in your garden and recited excerpts from my thesis, and partly because, as graduate students go, I'm not too badly off.

But I have had to make financial sacrifices to pursue my studies. Given that everyone else has presumably had to do so too, I initially figured that we must all be there because of a pure thirst for knowledge. I've since realised, however, that the impulses that draw someone to academic study beyond graduation are a lot more varied than that.

While I've only been at it a short while, I am sufficiently aware of the unwritten columnists' code to know one is expected to make wild generalisations, shun nuance, and present categories in a list format. So, without further ado, I present the eight types of graduate student:

1. The Wannabe Undergraduate
They had such fun as undergraduates that they cannot bear it to end. They prop up the bar, talking to undergrads about their thesis, rather than actually writing it. They judge success by notches on the bedpost and hangovers accrued instead of marks, grades and the intellectual respect of their peers.

2. The Student Who Tried Employment
Some postgraduates have been out into the real world and had a real job, with a desk and a computer and a pay cheque and a lunch break and a pension and appraisals and meetings and everything. And, for whatever reason, they have found it wanting.

3. The Couldn't-Survive-Anywhere-but-at-University
The group most likely to be cultivating eccentricities - keeping a mouse in their pocket or wearing socks with Marxist slogans sewn into them - while still too young to shave.

4. The CV-Filler
Their primary focus is not what they study, but what it will look like on their CV. They believe this qualification will give them "that extra edge". Most likely to end up as accountants or lawyers, never employing the knowledge gained.

5. The Prestigious Scholarship Recipient
Rather than worrying about what the subject they study will look like on their CV, their primary focus is who is paying for it. In a reversal of the usual relationship between funding and studying, in which the former is a means to the latter, the funding is regarded as an end in itself and the studying something that has to be endured to be able to call themselves a [insert name of dead white man] scholar for the rest of their lives.

6. The One Who Just Needs Answers
They really are motivated purely by the desire to find answers about their specific area of interest.

7. The Eternal Student
They are not bothered whether their academic career shows linear progress, they're just collecting qualifications and trying to get every letter of the alphabet after their name.

8. The Polymath
These geniuses could have studied anything, anywhere. They will probably go on to great things across several disciplines, and already understand your thesis better than you do. An unfortunate subset are also charming, witty and good-looking, and therefore hated by everyone.

And which am I? I'd like to think No 6, but I suspect there's more than a touch of No 2 about me, too.

- Patrick Tomlin is researching a doctorate in political theory at Oxford University. His column appears monthly.

via http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,2079342,00.html

RESEARCHING CHINA’S MEDIA

RESEARCHING CHINA’S MEDIA
A one-day workshop and conference organised by the China Media Centre
University of Westminster

309 Regent Street, London
13 June 2007



The rapid economic growth of China has been accompanied by an increasing western interest in the changes taking place in Chinese society. The mass media are one of the key points of change, and research on their production, content and audiences is on the increase. Knowledge in the west is still very patchy, but there are more and more articles, books and theses analysing different aspects of the situation.

This workshop and conference will offer an opportunity for the presentation and discussion of current research into all aspects of the media in China. It is open to all researchers, whether they wish to present a paper or not. The intention is to put an emphasis on the work of younger scholars.

The day will be split into two parts. In the workshop, there will be opportunities to discuss informally with Professor Guo and scholars from other Chinese universities the problems of conducting media research and current trends in China today. In the conference section of the day, researchers will present and discuss scholarly research that they have recently finished or are currently undertaking.

The working language of the conference will be Chinese. For registration, please email: Dr. Yik Chan Chin, chiny@wmin.ac.uk. Staff £50; Students £20 (on presentation of student ID).


Programme Outline

10:00 – 10:30 Registration

10:30 – 12:00 Keynote Speech
Current Research Problems in Chinese Media
Professor Guo Zhenzhi Tsinghua University, Beijing China

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 15:30 Panel 1
Li Shuang, University of Westminster, UK
International consumer magazine brand in China: the post-localization of monopoly

Ding Hanqing, Renmin University, Beijing, China
The overall model and main conclusions drawn from an empirical research on advertising In China

Lin Zhong, University of Arizona, USA
The production and performance of Hero and its implications on Chinese film industry

Shixin Ivy Zhang, University of Leeds, UK
Impact of globalization on the organization of Beijing Youth Daily

15:30 – 16:00 Tea/Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:00 Panel 2
Xin Xin, University of Westminster, UK
Understanding the interrelations between fuzzy logic, complexity theory and systems thinking

Tong Jingrong, University of Westminster, UK
Examining how powers struggle in journalistic field in China

Ting Wang, University of Leeds, UK
Mass media and celebrity culture: Does China face a new cultural revolution?

Jing Sheng, Lancaster University, UK
Identity formation and multiliterate development of Chinese migrant children

Yuan Yan, University of Westminster, UK
Making sense of home in Chinese urban villages: Displacement, settlement, and media consumption

18:00 Conference Ends

Monday, May 14, 2007

C'lick Me – 2nd International Netporn Festival

C'LICK ME
Public Display of Internet Pornography
2nd International Netporn Festival
Paradiso, Amsterdam – Saturday, 2 June 2007, 1pm to 5am


Website: www.c-lickme.nl
List: www.listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/netporn-l_listcultures.org

C'LICK ME is an event to investigate internet pornography in a non-conventional way. We are looking forward to a queer event without any rigid queer correctness (as queer doesn't always mean good porn!). We want to re-think the society of the netporn spectacle: the digital zeitgeist that has given us a hypersexual body. What to do with our bodies and digital machines? Pornography has found its way into every nook and cranny of the Internet, but how can we still be queer radicals or body artists, private hedonists or fervent bloggers in this climate? Do we still need to have a sanctified space like an underground or a dungeon, when we produce desire with our floating networked bodies? Porn went porn-chic years ago. Today netporn goes into Myspace bedrooms and everyday "realcore".

C'LICK ME is not only netporn displays, but strategies of public engagement and sharing thoughts about netporn. While creating a visibility of desire, we try to experiment with a new "invisibility" of identities. From the era of queer communities, we move into the culture of crossbreed pornography. Even amongst those horny mobs targeted by the netporn industry giants, people cherish their own queer varieties. Netporn means the messy process of personal affections and anomalies melting into the databases of porn masses. In the era of pornification of mainstream imagery, there is no more society without netporn, but a lot has to be done to sexualize the critical "multitudes". Queer and net activists, theorists and artists once again gather in Amsterdam to discuss the growing pains of autonomous culture zones, but also netporn as sexwork, production of affective commodities and one of the biggest global markets.

C'LICK ME wants to create a networked debate, continuing the discourse started with the first Netporn Conference in 2005, that was organized by the Institute of Network Cultures in collaboration with Katrien Jacobs and Matteo Pasquinelli. This conference afterwards connected to other experiences across Europe and elsewhere, like the Porn Film festival and the Post Porn Politics symposium both held in Berlin in 2006. What does a “post-porn politics” mean after entering the digital realms of the network society? And what will be the destiny of the porn genre in the age of the affective technologies? Before brainstorming the dissolution of porn into commodities or its uture explosion in global conflicts, our specific DIY contribution is an anti-essentialist and intoxicated event, with input from new publics, with a nostalgic embrace of (post) punk wet dreams and sex revolutions. Most of all, C'LICK ME invites you to experience the sexual evolution of the digital generation.

Your stimulators,
Katrien Jacobs, Matteo Pasquinelli and Marije Janssen


Program

- Day program
C'LICK ME day program will feature an international selection of speakers from various disciplines presenting their views and thoughts in a performative setting. Guests, among others, are American film producer, sex blogger and writer Audacia Ray, multi-media artist and musician Terre Thaemlitz, post-porn theorist and performer Tim Stuttgen, 21 century activist Francesco Palmieri ‘Warbear', and genetic pornography demagogue, Adam Zaretsky. Visitors and participants will meet during the dinner, especially designed by food artist Patrick Faas for C'LICK ME. The day program will be hosted by Nat Muller.

- Evening program
The evening program features video and film screenings, which includes the European premiere of Audacia Ray's film The Bi Apple, the (least) favorite porn scenes brought to you by participants and celebrities, the bareback monologues and a soiree of irreverent porn acts. The evening program will be hosted by Bahram Sadeghi.

- Night program
As the evening turns into night, C'LICK ME invites you to an unforgettable party with in the main hall: Dj Sprinkles a.k.a. Terre Thaemlitz, live performances by: Khan of Finland en LeClic and Dj's Sandrien and Abraxas. Get sweaty on the dance floor or lose yourself in the underground atmosphere created in the small hall by the Phag Off collective from Rome who for the first time will collaborate with Cruise Control queer crew. Team Plastique will perform live. If this is too much you can relax in the basement and listen to the whispered dirty stories in the ‘For Your Ears Only' project by SXNDRX.

List of participants: Audacia Ray, Terre Thaemlitz, Tim Stuttgen, Warbear, Florian Cramer, Lotte Hoek, Feona Attwood, Sharif Mowlabocus, Adam Zaretsky, Dominik Bartkowski.

Ticket prices:
Passepartout (including festival dinner) 27,50 euro
Day ticket: 7,50 euro
Evening ticket: 12,50 euro
Night ticket: 12,50 euro
Tickets can be bought at:

Ticketservice: www.ticketmaster.nl
national: 0900 300 1250

AUB Ticketline: national: 0900 0991
international: +31 20 621 12 88

If you would like more information on the program, participants and practical info, please visit our website: www.c-lickme.nl or myspace: www.myspace.com/clickmeamsterdam

You can also join our mailinglist to discuss topics with participants:
http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/netporn-l_listcultures.org

For more information, Marije Janssen: marije (at) paradiso.nl


C'lick Me – 2nd International Netporn Festival is made possible by:
- Institute of Network Cultures
- Stichting Democratie and Media
- Fonds voor Amateurkunst en Podiumkunsten

Institute of Network Cultures Newsletter

Institute of Network Cultures Newsletter
http://www.networkcultures.org

Upcoming events

Media Archive
All audio and video documentation from our past events and conferences is currently available at the INC Media Archive. The November 06 MyCreativity documentation includes Video On Demand and podcasts of all sessions, and a PDF version of the newspaper. Also check the archive for audiovisual material on Urban Screens 05, The Art and Politics of Netporn, Incommunicado 05 and A Decade of Webdesign, at http://www.networkcultures.org/archive/


New Network Theory
On June 28-30 2007, the Institute of Network Cultures, Media Studies (University of Amsterdam) and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) will organize the New Network Theory conference. Please see http://www.networkcultures.org/networktheory/ for the full program and additional information. Registration for the conference has opened at
http://www.networkcultures.org/networktheory/index.php?onderdeelID=12&paginaID=73. Due to limited capacity of the venue, we kindly advise you to register shortly.

The New Network Theory discussion list has been set up in preparation of the conference. The list is meant for all those interested in the topic, and will possibly continue after the event in June 2007. To subscribe to the list, go to http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/networktheory_listcultures.org


Network Notebook nr.1
Network Notebooks is a series of publications on recent new media theory. INC proudly presents: Network Notebooks nr.1 by Rosalind Gill: Technobohemians or the new Cybertariat? New media work in Amsterdam a decade after the web. To order printed copies, please send an email to info (at) networkcultures.org. For more information and a freely available pdf of thye book, visit http:// www.networkcultures.org/networknotebooks

About the publication
Accounts of new media working draw heavily on two polarised stereotypes, veering between techno-utopianism on the one hand, and a vision of web-workers as the new ‘precariat’, victims of neoliberal economic policies and moves to flexibilisation and insecurity on the other. Heralded from both perspectives as representing the brave new world of work what is striking is the absence of research on new media workers own experiences, particularly in a European context. This report goes beyond the contemporary myths of new media work, to explore how people working in the field experience the pleasures, pressures and challenges of working on the web. Illustrated throughout with quotations from interviews, this research examines the different career biographies emerging for content-producers in web-based industries, questions the relevance of existing education and training, and highlights the different ways in which people manage and negotiate freelancing, job insecurity, and keeping up to date in a fast-moving field where software and expectations change rapidly.

The research is based on 35 interviews, held in Amsterdam in 2005, and contextually draws upon a further 60 interviews with web designers in London and Brighton. The interviews were carried out by Danielle van Diemen and Rosalind Gill.


(C)lick Me: 2nd International Netporn Festival
On Saturday June 2, Paradiso will host (C)lick Me, organized by Paradiso, Katrien Jacobs, Matteo Pasquinelli and the Institute of Network Cultures. (C)lick Me is an international manifestation where scholars, artists, producers and critics join to discuss the social, political, ethnic and artistic aspects of internet pornography. The event will be divided into a day program, an evening with dinner and screenings, and a performance night. For additional information and the full program, see http://www.c-lickme.nl.


Recalling RFID
September 20-21 2007, in collaboration with De Balie, Rob van Kranenburg and Oliver Leistert. Seminar and workshops on the social, cultural and political implications of RFID (radio frequency identification). Speakers include people from the industry, researchers, artists, and programmers. They will address questions such as: What happens to privacy? How safe is a tag? What is the role of the designer in a smart environment? And is there something like RFID etiquette? More information: info@networkcultures.org.


Urban Screens Manchester
October 11-12 2007, in collaboration with BBC Public Space Broadcasting, Cornerhouse Manchester, MDDA. The next Urban Screens Conference focuses on the development of
non-commercial content for big urban displays such as LED, LCD, plasma screens, media façades and projections onto buildings. What characterises these huge displays as media platforms in urban space and which particular spatial and social situations do they create? How are they perceived? How does creative content flow from this? At the two-day international conference media experts, designers, artists, architects and broadcasters will present and explore the vast spectrum of potential content. Conference homepage: http://www.manchesterurbanscreens.org.uk/


Video Vortex
On November 30 and December 1 2007 the INC, in collaboration with Seth Keen and Vera Tollmann, will organize the Video Vortex Conference at PostCS 11 in Amsterdam. The Video Vortex conference aims to contextualize these latest developments through presenting continuities and discontinuities in the artistic, activist and mainstream perspective of the last few decades. Unlike the way online video presents itself as the latest and greatest, there are long threads to be woven into the history of visual art, cinema and documentary production. The rise of the database as the dominant form of storing and accessing cultural artifacts has a rich tradition that still needs to be explored. The evening program will feature live performances under the banner of video slamming. We will trace the history from short film to one-minute videos to the first experiments with streaming media and online video, along with exploring the way VJs and media artists are accessing and using online archives.
For additional information, see http://www.networkcultures.org/videovortex/

-----------------------------------
Institute of Network Cultures
Amsterdam Media Research Centre
info(at)networkcultures.org
http://www.networkcultures.org

Free onlince conference: Assessment Design for Learner Responsibility

International Online Conference sponsored by the REAP Project:
Assessment design for learner responsibility
29th - 31st May 2007
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN


Registration is now open (until 18 May) for this exciting international online conference exploring the interplay between the theory and practice of assessment and feedback in tertiary education in the digital age. Focusing on assessment for learning in tertiary education the conference has three themes to be addressed through keynotes, case studies and structured discussions:

1. Assessment and the first year experience
2. Great designs for assessment
3. Institutional strategies (designs) for assessment


KEYNOTES:
Mantz Yorke, Visiting Professor in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University

David Boud, Professor of Adult Education and Dean of the University Graduate School at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Trudy Banta, Professor of Higher Education and Vice Chancellor of Planning and Institutional Improvement at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, USA


Conference facilitators, experts in the field of assessment and learning, will chair online sessions where theory and practice will inform discussion and debate. These expert facilitators include Steve Draper, Stephen Ehrmann, Lewis Elton, Peter Kandlbinder, Terry Mayes, David Nicol, Derek Rowntree, and others.

The conference will take place entirely online via your web browser, and taking part is easy. Delegates will be given the opportunity to read case study materials and presentations in advance, and to participate in online debate with the authors, expert facilitators and other delegates via real-time chat sessions and asynchronous forum boards.

How to register:
To register for the REAP conference please visit the conference website at: http://ewds.strath.ac.uk/REAP07 and click on the 'register' link on the top left of the screen.

Please note that registration will be open from the 10th - 18th May 2007 only. The conference itself takes place from 29th - 31st May 2007. The conference organisers reserve the right to limit numbers so please book early. Participation is completely free of charge.

If you have any further queries, please contact the conference team at: reapconference@inspire-research.co.uk.

The conference is part of the Re-engineering Assessment Practices (REAP) project www.reap.ac.uk, a £1m initiative funded by the Scottish Funding Council under its e-Learning Transformation initiative. REAP is a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University. REAP is evaluating the impact of new assessment practices supported by technology at course, faculty and institutional level.

We look forward to welcoming you to this exciting online conference!
The REAP project team, and Conference Organisers Inspire Research Ltd
(www.inspire-research.co.uk)

Weekend roundup at IMM for 05/07-05/13

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).

However, today is Monday and not Sunday. Just like last week, one day late but nonetheless informative. Last week was a bit slow, so I included some other useful information (e.g. reports on SL and the MI, just look in the archive for last week) for all those people doing research out there. After all, this is not just a site listing conferences and calls for papers. Feel free to comment on any of the posts you find interesting! I am also looking for great new websites related to online research and online marketing to add to our linklist - so if you know any good ones or want to exchange links, just leave a comment!


DOCTORAL TRAINING PROGRAMME - Using Moving Image Archives in Academic Research
click here for story


Workshop on new sociotechnical insights in interaction design (Sociotech-ID'07)
(Call for Papers)
click here for story


Web 2.0 Transformation of Learning
(Call for chapter proposals)
click here for story


Free Online access to SAGE communication and media studies journals
click here for story