Friday, June 22, 2007

'Blog', 'cookie', 'wiki' top list of hated Internet words: poll

LONDON (AFP) - "Blog", "netiquette", "cookie" and "wiki" have been voted among the most irritating words spawned by the Internet, according to the results of a poll published Thursday.


Topping the list of words most likely to make web users "wince, shudder or want to bang your head on the keyboard" was folksonomy, a term for a web classification system.

"Blogosphere", the collective name for blogs or online journals, was second; "blog" itself was third; "netiquette", or Internet etiquette, came fourth and "blook", a book based on a blog, was fifth.

"Cookie", a file sent to a user's computer after they visit a website, came in ninth, while "wiki", a collaborative website edited by its readers, was tenth.

British pollsters YouGov questioned 2,091 adults earlier this month for the poll commissioned by the Lulu Blooker Prize, a literary award for books, which released the results in a statement.

Earlier this month, the growing use of words inspired by cyberspace was highlighted when the Collins English Dictionary announced that a string of them would be included in their ninth edition.

These included "me-media", a term for personal content websites such as Facebook, and "godcast", a religious service which has been converted to an MP3 format.

The dictionary's compilers monitor the use of English through a 2.5 billion word database of websites, magazines, books, journals, newspapers and broadcast transcripts to help them decide if new words should be included.

via Yahoo! News


and here's what Telegraph.co.uk wrote about it:

It is the driving force behind what some experts have hailed a golden age in the development of the English language.

But while the internet may be responsible for the greatest blossoming of new phrases since Shakespeare it has also been blamed for some of the most irritating.

Now a poll has revealed the web-related words that drive most computer users up the wall. "Folksonomy" was voted the most annoying new phrase in a survey to mark the 10th anniversary of the word "web-log".

The YouGov poll, in which 2,000 web users voted for their least favourite word spawned by the internet, celebrates the second annual Blooker Prize, which honours the year's best "blook", or book based on a blog. The 10 most irksome words spawned by the internet:

1. Folksonomy: an ad hoc online classification system
2. Blogosphere: the collective term for the online blogging community
3. Blog: an online journal or web-log
4. Netiquette: internet etiquette
5. Blook: a book based on a blog
6. Webinar: an online seminar
7. Vlog: a video blog
8. Social networking: the use of the web to form "virtual communities"
9. Cookie: a text file stored on your computer from a website you visited
10. = Wiki: a collaborative website in which multiple authors add, remove and edit content
= Podcast: a downloadable audio file
= Avatar: an icon used to represent oneself online
= User-generated content: web content created by use

Podcast Listeners Still Like Radio

And most of them prefer to listen on PCs.

Nearly 20 million US consumers will download and listen to podcasts at least once a week by 2010, according to interviews with Bridge Ratings' "Podcast Panel." The firm interviewed general podcast users ages 15 to 64 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

Based on extrapolations from the interviews, a projected seven million Americans download and listen to podcasts every week, with an additional 21.4 million listening to a minimum of four podcasts every month.

Bridge said that terrestrial radio marketing, branding and promotion of podcasts were directly linked to the growth.

The Bridge study also found that news and talk podcast listening enhanced radio listening. A statistically significant number of podcast listeners said they had started listening more to radio broadcasts as a result of listening to the podcasts produced by that station.

Just over half of respondents said that listening to podcasts affected their radio listening.

The study did not address how listening to podcasts that were not tied to a radio program affected listening habits.

The study revealed what many podcast listeners already know: You do not need an iPod or mp3 player to listen. A majority of podcast listeners said they are more comfortable listening on their PCs than on portable devices. Most felt it was too complicated or time-consuming to transfer podcasts to the devices.

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Generation Y Multitaskers Boost Media Time

Want teens' full attention online? Good luck.

Multitasking is driving up the total amount of time that US teens spend with media, according to a Bridge Ratings study conducted in March to May 2007.

US consumers ages 13 to 17 spend more time with media overall than other age groups do, and their total media time has grown by more than two and a half hours per day since May 2004.

Bridge attributes this change to Generation Y's skill at consuming two or more of types of media simultaneously.

Among teen Internet users, 7.3 million of the total 9.4 million online in 2006 watched TV while online, and 6.9 million listened to the radio, according to eMarketer calculations based on data from a BIGresearch survey.

Although multitasking extends across all age groups, teens are generally more likely to multitask media than adults.

for full article with graphs and stats, click here.

Visualising the internet through Akamai

From their site:

20% of the world's Internet traffic is delivered over the Akamai platform. We combine this global scope with constant data collection to construct an accurate and comprehensive picture of what's happening on the Internet. Bookmark this page to check the world's online behavior at any given moment -- How fast is data moving? Where's the most congestion? What events are causing spikes in Web activity?

Previously, only Akamai and our customers had access to this information. Now we're opening that window into the online universe.

Canadian Journal of Communication: Wireless Technologies, Mobile Practices - Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Canadian Journal of Communication

Special Issue on: Wireless Technologies, Mobile Practices


Mobile wireless devices such as handheld pdas, cellular telephones, and portable computers are part of a changing landscape of communications and culture. In the last decade alone, for instance, the use of cell phones has increased fourfold in Canada signaling a remarkable shift in the telecommunications industry, the convergence of a number of technologies onto a single platform, and new ways of conducting person-to-person communication and creating community. In addition to these devices, Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth, WANS, and GPS comprise integrated segments of the new infrastructure of the so-called wireless world as well as an emergent vocabulary for citizens and consumers. The Canadian Journal of Communication invites submissions, in English or in French, for a forthcoming special issue on mobile communications and wireless technologies. We are interested in innovative, critical approaches that decipher a range of mobile technologies and practices in wireless contexts. Possible themes include:

Everyday uses: sharing our lives via the mobile (text, voice, video)

Civic engagement, activism and mobile technologies

Wireless services and emergency communication

Privacy, surveillance and mobile phones

Community Wireless Networks

Policy: CRTC regulations and spectrum policy

Mobility, Labour: new conditions of work

Shifting notions of space, place and time in a mobile world

Rhetoric and discourses on mobility and wireless worlds

Art, design and mobile technologies

Mobile genres and cellular convergence

Global and international perspectives on mobile technologies


Full-length papers (@ 7000-9000 words) should be submitted electronically following the guidelines laid out on the CJC submissions website http://www.cjc-online.ca/submissions.php . Make sure to write in all caps "MOBILE" in the Comments to the Editor field, and to include it on the cover page of your article as well. Do not include your name on the cover page.

Deadline for papers is Sept. 1, 2007. Papers selected by the editors will then be sent for peer review for final decision.

Comments and queries can be sent to one of the special issue editors:

Dr. Barbara Crow, York University, [send email to bacrow@sympatico.ca via gmail]

Dr. Kim Sawchuk, Concordia University, [send email to kim.sawchuk@simpatico.ca via gmail]

Dr. Richard Smith, Simon Fraser University, [send email to smith@sfu.ca via gmail]

Geographies of the Information Society: Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS

Special Issue of The Information Society on Geographies of the Information Society Revisited


Guest Editors: Hamid R. Ekbia and Nadine Schuurman


The information society can be usefully characterized as a universe at the intersection of three distinct but interdependent spaces: the geographical space, the social space, and the informational space. Although there are obvious differences among these spaces, there are also interesting similarities. In each of them, we discover asymmetries, inequalities, and hierarchies. We also identify similar features and activities -- most notably, links, bridges, and associations being continuously assembled, disassembled, and reassembled; borders drawn, erased, and redrawn incessantly; and boundary objects shuttled along the links and across borders tirelessly. People, organizations, and communities find it increasingly difficult to negotiate their way through this convoluted universe.

Individuals find it hard to balance between often contradicting demands of local and global norms, expectations, and institutions; governmental, non-governmental, and supra-governmental organizations have to manage an immense flow of people, information, and material and cultural goods; and communities need to flexibly accommodate an equally enormous flux of ideas, individuals, and objects. Making sense of this complex state of affairs is beyond the scope of any single discipline, the capacity of any one method, or the resources of any individual philosophy. Rather, it can emerge from the exchanges and interactions among multiple ideas, methods, models, and disciplines. This is a call for such a multidisciplinary endeavor.

In 1997 the National Science Foundation launched Project Varenius with the aim of advancing geographic information science (Goodchild et al. 1999). Varenius incorporated three components: computational, cognitive, and societal. In a review paper titled “Geographies of Information Society,” Sheppard et al. (1999) explored the third (societal) component with the aim of introducing the key research initiatives and also to set “a benchmark by which to assess, a few years from now, the specific contributions of the Varenius project to that increasingly vital research area” (p. 798).

Judging by the diversity of topics and the scope of literature of the last few years, one could safely argue that research on the societal aspects of geographic information science and technology has maintained, and indeed increased, its vitality. Researchers from geography and neighboring disciplines have since tackled many key and critical issues, specifically around the three initiatives of the societal component of Varenius Porject-- namely, (i) Place and identity in an age of technologically regulated movement, (ii) Measuring and representing accessibility in the information age, and (iii) Empowerment, marginalization, and public participation GIS. The growth in recent years of interest in critical GIS also contributes to this line of work, posing new questions and offering fresh insights.

This has resulted in a healthy exchange of ideas between those who are concerned with the social, cultural, and political implications of modern technologies and practices and those who take more interest in the development and application of those technologies (see, for example, Schuurman and Kwan 2004, Harris and Harrower 2006).

These exchanges can be further extended by involving information scientists who also think about similar questions in regards to modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and the information society. There are many interesting parallels between the types of questions and issues that face these scholars, making a mutual conversation intellectually productive. The purpose of this special issue is to contribute to that conversation.

The range of possible topics is rather large. We take our lead from Sheppard et al.’s original review, revisiting its key themes and questions. As these authors had suggested, the title “geographies of the information society” is interpretively flexible, meaning different things to different people: the actual geographies that evolve on the surface of the earth in the information age, the virtual geographies that are the direct products of modern ICT, or the conceptual geographies gradually developed in individual and social consciousness through the representations of earth by these technologies.

Each of these meanings introduces its own set of themes, questions, and challenges. The themes include, but are not limited to: the socio-political relations inscribed in maps and in GIS use; limits of representation in GIS; a critical history of GIS; ethics, privacy, and GIS; alternative GIS; the use of GIS in debates about global change; and gender and GIS. The questions are similarly vast in number:

- How has the development of modern ICT and especially geographic technologies altered the regulation of flows of people, goods, and information?

- To what extent has the regulation of borders at various scales - from neighborhood to nation state and beyond - moved away from geographical borders, and been replaced by ubiquitous forms of control?

- How are these various regulatory regimes related to personal and group identity?

- How have alternative non-place-based identities been promoted and maintained? How have they been controlled, and how successful have these controls been?

- What lessons relevant to the world of the Internet can be learned from these experiences? And vice versa?

- What future is there for borders and boundaries in a world where ‘there is no there’?

- What space-time topologies need to be developed to accommodate both the physical and virtual worlds?

- How do emerging conceptions of virtual space map onto traditional conceptions of geographic space and how do we handle their interface analytically?


Many of these questions were previously formulated in projects such as Initiative 19 (cf. Sheppard et al. 1999), and have been explored by geographers and non-geographers, but an adequate understanding is still far from available. Other questions have emerged as a result of intellectual developments in the last few years -- e.g., in social theory (Latour 2005, Pickles 1999). Of particular interest to information science is the question of flow, change, and movement.

Traditionally, the focus in geography has been on places, shapes, and boundaries. In a similar fashion, geospatial technologies (including GIS) rely on practices that tend to fix boundaries. An alternative conception would arise if we put flow, circulation, and displacement first, and shapes and places second. What conceptualizations of geography would allow this shift of perspective? How can we develop a geography of networks rather than places? Are there ways that boundaries asserted through geospatial practices could be made less absolute and less stable?

The guest editors invite abstracts by September 1, 2007, which should be sent to hekbia@indiana.edu. Authors with the most to offer to the dialogue will be invited to contribute full papers, which will go through the normal review process of the journal. For more information on TIS guidelines, please refer to:

http://www.indiana.edu/~tisj/contributors/guest%20editors.html


References
Goodchild, M., Egenhofer, M., Kemp, K., and Mark, D., and Sheppard, E. (1999). International Journal of Geographical Information Science 13 (8): 731-745.

Harris, L. and Harrower M. (2006). Critical Interventions and Lingering Concerns: Critical Cartography/GISci, Social Theory, and Alternative Possible Futures. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 4 (1), 1-10

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford University Press.

Pickles, J. (1999). Social and Cultural Cartographies and the Spatial Turn in Social Theory. Journal of Historical Geography, 25: 93–98.

Sheppard E., Couclelis H., Graham S., Harrington J. W., and Onsrud H. (1999). Geographies of Information Society. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 13(8): 797-823(27)

Schuurman, N. and Kwan, M. (2004). Guest editorial: Taking a walk on the social side of GIS. Cartographica 39(1): 1-3

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

FOURTH AUSTRALASIAN CONFERENCE ON INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

THE FOURTH AUSTRALASIAN CONFERENCE ON INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT, 2007
EXTENDED DEADLINE: CFP


3-5 December, 2007
Storey Hall, RMIT University,
Melbourne, Australia
http://www.ie.rmit.edu.au

An in-cooperation conference with the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM).


SUBMISSION DATES:
****** Extended Submission Deadline *******

Full Papers (max 8 pages): 23 July 2007
Short papers (max 3 pages): 23 July 2007

Full and short papers will be refereed by an international program committee for publication in the conference proceedings. All accepted papers will be archived in the ACM Digital Library.


INTRODUCTION
The Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment is a cross-disciplinary conference that brings together researchers from artificial intelligence, cognitive science, media studies, drama, HCI, psychology, interactive media, cultural studies, graphics, audio, as well as researchers from other disciplines working on new game specific technologies or providing critical analysis of games and interactive environments.

In an epoch marked by convergence, cross-platform media and the rise of social software/ networks, how are the digital industries - most especially gaming - being transformed? What types of new genres and modes of interactivity are evolving? And how are these social technologies informed by cultural context? The 2007 Interactive Entertainment conference considers the difference between convergence as rhetoric and practice, imaginary and reality.

The conference will accept innovative submission types that present new scientific ideas, improvements to existing techniques or provide new ways of examining, designing and using computer games. All full paper and short paper submissions will be peer-reviewed by an international program committee.

Authors of selected IE2007 papers will be invited to revise and expand their submission for submission to a special issue of the Journal of Game development. These expanded versions would be subject to the journal's existing review process.


TOPICS OF INTEREST
The papers and presentations should include original and unpublished contributions. Suggested research topics include but are not limited to:

* Artificial Intelligence
* Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality
* Art, Design and New Media
* Convergence and cross-platform media
* E-learning and the roles of games in pedagogy
* Technology, co-presence and place
* Pervasive (location aware) mobile technologies
* Policy and legislative responses to mobile and locative media
* Cultural and Media Studies on Computer Games
* Education, Training, and Edutainment Technologies
* Graphics/Animation Techniques
* Interactive Digital Storytelling
* Mobile Media
* The rise of social software and networking (technical and social)
* Sound and Music


FURTHER INFORMATION:
Please see the conference web site: http://www.ie.rmit.edu.au

Inquiries should be forwarded to: ie2007@ieconference.org

Rumors Of The Decline Of MySpace Are Exaggerated

Interesting article via techcrunch.

"The negotiations between News Corp and Yahoo that would see MySpace owned by Yahoo in exchange for 25% of Yahoo itself have bought out some interesting assessments of MySpace. Most commentary has been negative, Michael Arrington describes MySpace as a fading star and others have suggested that MySpace is struggling, that it has lost the battle based on the fact that Facebook gains far more attention amongst early adopters.

[...]

MySpace is not in decline, MySpace is growing. At current growth rates Facebook may take several years to come close to matching MySpace in terms of traffic and user numbers baring a massive drop in user numbers by MySpace during that time. (charts etc follow)

[...]"

full article here.

Mapping the Internet

via Technology Review:

Routing traffic through peer-to-peer networks could stave off Internet congestion, according to a new study.

The increased use of peer-to-peer communications could improve the overall capacity of the Internet and make it run much more smoothly. That's the conclusion of a novel study mapping the structure of the Internet.

It's the first study to look at how the Internet is organized in terms of function, as well as how it's connected, says Shai Carmi, a physicist who took part in the research at the Bar Ilan University, in Israel. "This gives the most complete picture of the Internet available today," he says.

While efforts have been made previously to plot the topological structure in terms of the connections between Internet nodes--computer networks or Internet Service Providers that act as relay stations for carrying information about the Net--none have taken into account the role that these connections play. "Some nodes may not be as important as other nodes," says Carmi.

The researchers' results depict the Internet as consisting of a dense core of 80 or so critical nodes surrounded by an outer shell of 5,000 sparsely connected, isolated nodes that are very much dependent upon this core. Separating the core from the outer shell are approximately 15,000 peer-connected and self-sufficient nodes.

Take away the core, and an interesting thing happens: about 30 percent of the nodes from the outer shell become completely cut off. But the remaining 70 percent can continue communicating because the middle region has enough peer-connected nodes to bypass the core.
With the core connected, any node is able to communicate with any other node within about four links. "If the core is removed, it takes about seven or eight links," says Carmi. It's a slower trip, but the data still gets there. Carmi believes we should take advantage of these alternate pathways to try to stop the core of the Internet from clogging up. "It can improve the efficiency of the Internet because the core would be less congested," he says.

To build their map of the Internet, published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers enlisted the assistance of 5,000 online volunteers who downloaded a program to help identify the connections between the 20,000 known nodes.

The distributed program sends information requests, or pings, to other parts of the Internet and records the route of the information on each journey.

Previous efforts had relied upon only a few dozen large computers to carry out this task, says Carmi. But by using this distributed approach, which meant collecting up to six million measurements a day over a period of two years from thousands of observation points around the world, it was possible to reveal more connections, says Scott Kirkpatrick, a professor of computer science and engineering at Israel's Tel-Aviv University, who also took part in the study. In fact, the project has already identified about 20 percent more of the interconnections between Internet nodes than ever before.

Read the full article here.

Fred Turner winner of 2007 James Carey Award

Dr. Fred Turner, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, is the winner of the 2007 James W. Carey Media Research Award competition sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research (www.cccsir.org).

Turner’s award-winning entry was his recent book, “From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism” (University of Chicago Press, 2006).

The Carey Award is presented annually from among nominated or submitted books or papers that have been presented or published in the previous year. To be worthy of the award, the work must be of highest quality and employ Carey’s theories to focus on communication and public life and the relationship between journalism and popular culture.

The winning entry this year was chosen from an exceptionally strong field of works submitted by a long list of outstanding scholars.

Dr. Turner’s book traces the transition of computer networks from cold war military equipment to instruments of social and communal interaction during the period from 1968 to 1998. He will receive the award plaque during a presentation at an upcoming national communication convention to be announced.

The Couch Center established the annual Carey Award in 2004.

The Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research is a non-profit organization established to promote the scholarship of the late Carl J. Couch and his academic associates. Couch is recognized as the founder of The New Iowa School in sociological and communication inquiry, and was a pioneer in the qualitative research of information technologies.

The Center provides networking opportunities for students and scholars who conduct social and Internet research, inspired by Couch's work.

Brazil Beats a Path Online

Although home connectivity still remains too costly for the majority of Brazilians, the country already leads Latin America in the number of Internet users, ahead of both Argentina and Mexico.

Like most of the world, many Brazilians have become accustomed to going online as part of everyday life, with Internet usage increasing steadily from about 9% of the total population (17.5 million) in 2005 to an expected 22% of population (43.7 million) in 2011.

Although less than 15% of Brazil's population currently uses the Internet either in their homes, at work or in online cafés and public access kiosks, by 2011 nearly a quarter of Brazil's population will be online.

A survey of Brazilian adults conducted late last year by Ipsos Public Affairs for Núcleo de Informação e Coordenação do Ponto Br (NIC.BR) found that 40% of them used the Internet from home, while 30% accessed the Internet from a public paid access location, such as an Internet café. Smaller percentages went online at work or school.

However, Brazil now has the third-largest number of broadband lines in the Americas, behind only the US and Canada.

Research published by Point Topic shows nearly six million total broadband lines in use in Brazil.

In addition, Brazil has established a sturdy foothold in e-commerce, including both online purchasing and online advertising.

ZenithOptimedia ranks Brazil as the seventh-largest online advertising market in the world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Emerging Technology-New Opportunities for the Community Sector: Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS -- Academic Paper Submissions now close 1 July 2007

Making Links 2007
Emerging Technology: New Opportunities for the Community Sector


Tuesday 30th - Wednesday 31st October 2007
NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, Surry Hills, Sydney
http://www.makinglinks.org.au/

The 4th annual Making Links conference is one of Australia’s leading forums for workers in the not-for-profit and community sectors to showcase their work and to explore current and emerging new media and information and communications technology (ICT). This two-day conference has regularly attracted delegates and presenters from many fields including health, environment, education, business, government, philanthropy and human services to discuss their experiences with ICT, multimedia and web technology. This year we are adding a peer reviewed academic stream to the conference and look forward to also welcoming practitioners, researchers, academics and students from a wide range of disciplines.


CONFERENCE TOPICS
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Community networking, community development, community capacity building
- Technology for social action, transformation and community activism, including online campaigning
- Social capital
- Open source software for non-profit and community organisations
- Online deliberation, community consultation and engagement
- Web-based training, education, e-learning and professional development
- New Media, community arts and community cultural development
- Client / constituent relationship management
- Fundraising
- Technology infrastructure, implementation and maintenance
- Strategies of using ICT to give marginalised communities a voice
- Practical workshops in IT, web development and/or multimedia


ACADEMIC PAPER SUBMISSIONS
Academic paper submissions (max 5000 words, APA 5th style) will be subject to a double blind review process and evaluated on the basis of their significance, originality, and clarity of writing in accordance with DEST E1 requirements. This review will be based on the full text of the submitted paper. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the academic journal 3CMedia. It is necessary for at least one author of any accepted submission to register and attend the conference to have the paper published in the proceedings. Submissions should be emailed to Dr Marcus Foth at m.foth@qut.edu.au

01 July 2007
Full academic paper submissions due: NOW DUE 01 JULY 2007

20 August 2007
Notification of acceptance and review reports sent to authors

01 October 2007
Revised, camera ready papers
Program announcement and close of early bird registration


OTHER CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
We seek proposals for non-peer-reviewed oral paper presentations, workshops and interactive multimedia displays. A computer lab and video lounge will be available for multimedia and film presentations. Abstracts and proposals should be submitted at http://www.makinglinks.com.au/ and will be reviewed by the conference committee.

02 July 2007
Abstracts and proposal submissions due

03 September 2007
Notification of acceptance

01 October 2007
Program announcement and close of early bird registration


CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Conference Chair
Jill Sergeant, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)

Academic Program Chair
Marcus Foth, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Organising Committee
Simon Gee, CommunIT, Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA)
Jonathan Hallett (Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, Curtin University of Technology)
Liz Landray, Infoxchange Australia
Liliana Ruti, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE)
Juan Salazar, Media Studies and Production, University of Western Sydney (UWS)

Dear WIPO: Don't Break Internet Broadcasting

via eff.org's EFFector Vol. 20, No. 23 June 13, 2007:

In 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was inches away from finalizing a treaty that would have crippled Internet broadcasting.
Called the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty, it gave traditional broadcasters and
cablecasters new copyright-like rights over their signals. Under the Treaty, video hosting websites like YouTube could suddenly face new legal liability and innovative products like the SlingBox could face crippling lawsuits.

In an astounding turnaround, WIPO Member States told the WIPO Secretariat to rewrite the Treaty and make it focus more narrowly on broadcast signal protection. Thanks to the efforts of technology companies, independent podcasters and activists, the delegates agreed that the treaty shouldn't be premised on creating new rights. Instead, any new treaty should be based simply on protecting against theft of broadcast signals, which transmit radio and television content over airwaves. This was a huge victory for podcasters, their fans, and other innovative businesses that are pushing audio and video on the web.

But in May of this year, WIPO released a "new" draft of the treaty that looks disconcertingly like the old one. Sure, there was some tinkering around the edges, but the Treaty still gives broadcasters and cablecasters new exclusive rights, and it still expands broadcast signal protection to include transmission over the Internet. Worse, it includes an expanded technological protection measure provision that opens the door to a U.S. Broadcast Flag-style technology mandate law, which would give Hollywood the power to control how you receive and use content.

Don't let WIPO get away with this shell game. It promised to draft a narrow treaty, and it should be held to that promise. Sign our petition today and help stop WIPO's Internet-breaking treaty!

More info:http://www.dearwipo.com/
Sign the Petition:http://www.dearwipo.com/petition

UK Youth Like MySpace Too

UK residents ages 15 to 24 are a quarter more likely to be online than the general population, according to data from comScore World Metrix. The group also spent 24% more time online than the average Internet user in April 2007.

Bob Ivins of comScore Europe said, "The higher use of the Internet among those aged 15 to 24 reflects the fact that this age group has grown up online, demonstrating how integral the Internet is to their lives."

The five most popular sites among 15-to-24-year-olds were the same as those named by the general population, except for Fox Interactive Media, whose MySpace was in fifth place over BBC sites.

Social networking sites are among the favorites for 15-to-24-year-olds. Other popular sites for this age group in April 2007 were ARTISTdirect Network and Alloy, which are news and entertainment sites.

A November 2006 Ipsos MORI study conducted for the UK's Office of Communications also showed heavy Internet penetration among 15-to-24-year-olds and a strong correlation between Internet connectivity and household income.

Future networked interactive media systems and services for the new-senior communities: enabling elderly users to create and share self authored

Journal of Computers in Human Behavior - Special issue:

"Future networked interactive media systems and services for the new-senior communities: enabling elderly users to create and share self authored multimedia content"



OBJECTIVE
This Special issue looks at understanding crucial design issues of incoming scenarios of pervasive networked systems for elderly people. These systems should seek to improve elderly peoples' access to social services, to facilitate social contacts as well as access to context-based infotainment and entertainment, to facilitate social participation and independent living, in sum, to improve the welfare and quality of life for the industrialized world aging society and reducing the digital divide. More specifically this special issue addresses three major obstacles that must be overcome for elderly citizens to take advantage of these new technological developments:
1) lack of methods and tools to identify elderly users requirements for a social and creative media usage,
2) lack of knowledge in understanding the factors motivating usage of such applications as well as its social impact on senior citizens and
3) the complexity of multimodal user interfaces in networked applications.


IMPORTANT DATES:
-- Deadline for paper proposals: 1st of August, 07
-- Feedback to proposal authors: 15th of September, 07
-- Full paper submission deadline: 1st of December 07

-- Referee, reviews: November- 1st February 2008
-- Meta reviews and feedback to authors: 22nd February 2008
-- New paper iteration, submission revised papers: 2nd May 2008
-- Proofreading final submissions, 4th July 2008
-- Publishing, October 2008


PROPOSALS:
Please submit a 300-500 word proposal* for your paper to both editors by 6th July. A plain text abstract in email is preferred; otherwise, please attach a document in either PDF or MS Word format. If you cannot meet this deadline, please feel free to contact the Special Issue Editors to discuss your plans:

Anxo Cereijo Roibás [ a.c.roibas@brighton.ac.uk ] and
Petter Bae Brandtzæg [ Petter.B.Brandtzag@sintef.no]

*Note that proposals are not a prerequisite for submitting a paper, but are strongly preferred, as they will help us shape the special issue and help you plan your paper. If you have missed the proposal submission deadline, please contact us to let us know you intend to submit a paper.


PAPER SUBMISION:
Authors should submit an electronic copy (preferably in MS Word or PDF formats) by email, with full contact details by 1st of August 2007, to

Anxo Cereijo Roibás [ a.c.roibas@brighton.ac.uk ] and
Petter Bae Brandtzæg [ Petter.B.Brandtzag@sintef.no]

Information about submissions to Computers in Human Behavior can be found at the journal's web site:
http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/759/authorinstructions. Submissions should in the journal style, which is best understood by looking at a recent issue of Computers in Human Behavior.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Robert E. Boostrom, Jr., Winner of Couch Award

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa
The Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research (www.cccsir.org) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award.

Robert E. Boostrom, Jr., a doctoral student in Department of Marketing, College of Business and Administration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the First Place winner for his paper, “The Social Construction of Virtual Reality and the Stigmatized Identity of the Newbie.”

Jijesh Devan and Dany DiTullio, doctoral degree candidates in management information systems at Queen's Business School in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, are Second Place winners for their paper, “Socialization in Open Source Software Communities: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective.”

The Third Place award winner is Alvin S. Concha, a master’s degree candidate in gender studies at the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City, Philippines, for his paper, “Filipino cyborg sexualities: Chatroom masculinities, self-ascribed identities, ephemeral selves.”

The Couch Award is presented annually and recognizes excellent student-authored papers. Winning papers apply symbolic interactionist approaches to internet studies as advocated by the late Dr. Carl J. Couch, long-time professor of sociology at the University of Iowa.

The Couch Center established the Couch Award in 2002 as the centerpiece of an extensive awards program.

Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all disciplines, and winners are selected by a committee of university professors in communication studies and sociology from across the U.S.

This year’s competition was rigorous, with a record number of entries. Papers were received from students from undergraduates through Ph.D. candidates, and were submitted by students from a half dozen nations, studying in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, as well as North America.

Winners receive a cash award as well as the opportunity to present their papers at a national or international conference. This year’s awards will be presented at the annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers in Vancouver, Canada, October 17-20.

The Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research is a non-profit organization established to promote the scholarship of the late Carl J. Couch and his academic associates. Couch is recognized as the founder of The New Iowa School in sociological and communication inquiry, and was a pioneer in the qualitative research of information technologies.

The Center provides networking opportunities for students and scholars who conduct social and Internet research, inspired by Couch's work.

Journal of Electronic Commerce Research: Virtual Worlds Call for Papers

JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE RESEARCH: SPECIAL ISSUE ON VIRTUAL WORLDS

CALL FOR PAPERS


Submissions due: November 1, 2007
Scheduled Publication date: August 2008


Overview:
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. Virtual Worlds such as Second Life and others are undergoing an evolution similar to that of the Internet in the mid nineties and 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 indicate the upcoming role of this platform for the next generation of conducting electronic business. This call for papers is intended to cover a wide range of business and research topics that fall within the broad description of activities, challenges, opportunities, applications, innovations and implications associated with Virtual Worlds as the emerging new online business landscape.


Purpose of the Special Issue:
The purpose of this special issue is to encourage discussion and communication of important research issues that underpin Virtual Worlds as an important aspect of e-commerce and to showcase interesting and significant research work in this critical area. Specifically this issues is focusing on business and legal issues of doing business in Virtual Worlds. Of particular relevance to the described focus are papers about business models, marketing, promotion, pricing, customer integration, consumer behavior, legal, cultural and cross-cultural research. The issue, however, will not be restricted to these topics; rather, it welcomes reports of theoretical or empirical research that examines pertinent business issues related to Virtual Worlds e-commerce.

This special issue will be of interest to researchers, governments, small and large businesses, marketing and PR companies among others.


List of possible topics are:
*Product Development and Testing in Virtual Worlds
*Image, Branding, Advertising in Virtual Worlds
*Marketing in Virtual World
*Avatar-based Marketing
*Promotion of Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds
*Pricing of Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds
*Selling, Cross-Selling Real and Virtual Worlds
*Business Planning for Non-profits in Virtual Worlds
*Fundraising and Virtual Worlds
*Convergence of Real and Virtual Worlds
*Customer Integration and Virtual Worlds
*Technology, Business, Strategy in Virtual Worlds
*Financial Systems, Investments, Currency Exchange Real and Virtual Worlds
*Emerging Media Presence in Virtual Worlds
*Consumer Behavior, Consumer Acceptance and Virtual Worlds
*Trust, Cross-Cultural Studies and Virtual Worlds
*Intellectual Property, Copyright, Trademarks and Virtual Worlds


Submission of Manuscript:
JECR publishes original empirical research, theoretical and methodological articles, evaluative and integrative reviews, field research, business surveys, and application papers of interest to a general readership. A submission based on a paper appearing elsewhere (such as conference proceedings or newsletters) must have major value-added extensions to the earlier version. For conference papers, it should have at least 30% new material. The submitted manuscripts should follow the format as suggested in the Submission Guideline found in the journal website: http://www.csulb.edu/journals/jecr/s_guide.htm.

Of particular note is that the manuscript should be prepared in Microsoft Word format. The names, affiliations, and contact information (i.e., phone, fax, email addresses) of all authors should be provided only on the cover page. The submitted paper will undergo a double-blind review. Contributing authors may be asked to serve as reviewers for the special issue. Authors may submit completed manuscripts electronically at any time prior to November 1st 2007 deadline. Manuscripts and questions send to mfetscherin@rollins.edu.


Important Dates:
Deadline for Submission: November 1, 2007
Paper acceptance/rejection: January 15, 2008
Revised paper submission: March 15, 2008
Final acceptance following revisions: May 15, 2008
Publication Date: August 2008

YouTube Research

Over at creativitymachine Jean Burgess (who does cultural studies and new media studies at the Queensland University of Technology) has posted a nice little overview about current YouTube research projects.

Head over there now to have a look!
http://creativitymachine.net/2007/06/15/youtube-research-gazette/

Virtual Sport as New Media: Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Virtual Sport as New Media
Special Issue of Sociology of Sport Journal
Guest Editor: David J. Leonard


Daily, sports fans throughout the globe visit various sports websites, participate in fantasy sports, celebrate and criticize teams, players, and sporting cultures on blogs, in discussion groups, and list serves, and enjoy immense pleasure in playing sports video games. Each of these media, to varying degrees, embodies what has come to be known as new media, a catch-all phrases that includes everything from the Internet to the Blogosphere to video games, virtual reality, and other examples in which media technologies are defined by increased accessibility, fluidity, and interactivity.

In 1998, David Rowe found that Yahoo UK and Irish Search engines offered 4,271 categories and 14,591 sites devoted to sport. As of 2007, a U.S. Google search landed 822,000,000 sports websites, yet yielded few scholarly inquiries of sports and new media, especially in regards to race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Moreover, when much of the video game industry faced losses in sales in 2005, sports games remained strong within the industry, accounting for more than thirty percent of all video games sales. In total, sports video games represent a $1 billion industry, a fact that demonstrates the economic power and cultural significance of sports video games. Yet, to date, the literature within sports sociology, amongst commentators and scholars of global sports culture, has with few exceptions remained relatively silent to the cultural, political, sociological, economic, and overall significance of new media within a globalized sports culture. While there are countless examples and evidence of the increasing significance of new media within global sporting cultures, the academic community continues to lag behind in terms of analysis and critical interrogation.

This special issue attempts to bridge the gap between old media, and new, reflecting on the ways in which new media cultures infect and affect fans, teams, sporting cultures.
Possible topics include but are not limited to: sports video games; sporting blogs; the Internet and global sports culture; white masculinity and virtual sports culture; fantasy sports; sports discussion groups; ESPN.com and virtual sports media; virtual sport as minstrelsy; the intersections of race, nation, sexuality, gender, and class with sports and new media; race, gender and fantasy sports leagues; analysis of the cultural affects of Youtube, Myspace, or Google video on sporting cultures; sports talk radio and podcasting/the Internet (particularly as they relate to race and gender); virtual sports culture and Diaspora: Sports as imagined community; links between racism, sexism and other institutions of domination and virtual sporting cultures, and, virtual sports culture as racial/ gendered performance.

This issue will consider textual, empirical (data-based), case study, and/or theory-based papers grounded in sociological theory and related to virtual sports culture, but is especially interested in papers that are empirically-based and those that critically engage the links between virtual sport and race, gender, sexuality, nation or globalization, as well as papers that push analysis into realms of comparison (beyond the U.S.).

Authors should follow the ‘Instructions to contributors’ found in every issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal. Essays should be roughly 6,000 words, excluding endnotes and reference list. Questions should be sent to Dr. David J. Leonard, djl@wsu.edu. All submissions are due by March 1, 2008 and should be submitted on line to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_ssj

About the recent lack of updates

Hi there,

You probably have noticed that there were no updates here and on my other blogs for the last couple of days (about the last two weeks really). Well, usually things don't go smoothly in life, and changing internet providers is apparently one of them. I was without internet connection and no landline for my phone and felt like being thrown back to the stoneage. My mobile phone bill on the other hand went through the roof...

However -and this is the good news- I now have a much faster internet connection and can update (almost) daily again! So apologies for the lack of recent updates, and be sure to check back today for a couple of updates!

Regards,
Wiseguy