Friday, July 27, 2007

AGYU seeks video art by students, emerging artists

The Art Gallery of York University, one of Canada's premiere contemporary art centres, is seeking video submissions by students and emerging artists for a series of screenings that will take place at the AGYU in November 2007.

This is an open call and we encourage experimental works and diverse thematic approaches/ subject matter, but works should be no longer than 8 minutes, and should be in DVD format. Multiple submissions are welcome.

Please drop off submissions to the AGYU offices by September 14th, 2007, or mail submissions

Art Gallery of York University
Accolade East Building
4700 Keele St.
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Mailed submissions must be postmarked by Sept. 14th, 2007

Submissions should include:
Copy of work with name, address, telephone number, email, title of work, and running time clearly indicated. Submissions may also include a CV, bio, or a short description of the work, but it is not compulsory.

All artists will be contacted via email by early October with full programme details and the exact time and date of screenings.

If there are any questions or concerns feel free to contact Darryl Bank at the gallery by phone at 416.736.5169, or email at

How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life

There's an interesting article in WIRED (issue 15.08) about how millions are wasted on advertising in Second Life. Well, it's not the first time that hype and the "need to be there before the others" shut down any common sense in marketers.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

For months, Michael Donnelly had been hearing all about the fantastic opportunities in Second Life.

As worldwide head of interactive marketing at Coca-Cola, Donnelly was fascinated by its commercial potential, the way its users could wander through a computer-generated 3-D environment that mimics the mundane world of the flesh. So one day last fall, he downloaded the Second Life software, created an avatar, and set off in search of other brands like his own. American Apparel, Reebok, Scion — the big ones were easy to find, yet something felt wrong: "There was nobody else around." He teleported over to the Aloft Hotel, a virtual prototype for a real-world chain being developed by the owners of the W. It was deserted, almost creepy. "I felt like I was in The Shining."

Yet Donnelly decided to put money into Second Life anyway. He's no digital naïf: When he joined Coke last summer, the company was being ridiculed for its huffy response to a spate of Web videos showing the soda geysers that erupt when you drop Mentos into Diet Coke. Within weeks, Donnelly had Coke and Mentos sponsoring a contest on Google Video that's gotten more than 5.6 million views. But Second Life was different. "Many places you go, there's still nobody there," he concedes. That's certainly the case with Coke's Virtual Thirst pavilion, where you can long linger without encountering another avatar. "But my job is to invest in things that have never been done before. So Second Life was an obvious decision."

As with Donnelly and Coca-Cola, so with David Stern and the National Basketball Association. Stern, who's been NBA commissioner since 1984, was introduced to Second Life in July 2006, at the annual media and technology retreat hosted by New York investment banker Herbert Allen in Sun Valley, Idaho. Second Life's creator, Philip Rosedale, was one of the presenters, as was Chad Hurley, cofounder of YouTube, another company Stern had never heard of. "My initial impression was, 'Don't people have better things to do with their lives?' Then I said, 'Stupid! You're not the audience.'"

Stern left Sun Valley convinced he'd seen the future, and he was about half right. YouTube has become a powerful tool for pro basketball. The site's NBA channel, launched in February, has already garnered some 14,000 subscribers; users have posted more than 60,000 NBA videos, which have been viewed 23 million times. But over at Second Life, where an elaborate NBA island went up in May, the action has been a bit slower. "I think we've had 1,200 visitors," Stern reports. "People tell us that's very, very good. But I can't say we have very precise expectations. We just want to be there."

continue reading the full article over at WIRED here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Joystick Soldiers: The military/war video game reader - Call for Papers

Joystick Soldiers: The military/war video game reader

Call for Papers

Edited by Nina B. Huntemann and Matthew Thomas Payne

The editors seek essays on military/war-themed video games which explore the multifaceted cultural, social, and economic linkages between video games and the military. The collection will feature scholarly work from a diversity of theoretical and methodological perspectives, including: close textual readings of military-themed video games; critical histories of game production processes and marketing practices; and reception studies of video war gamers, fandom, and politically resistant game interventions.

As there is no other collection of its kind, Joystick Soldiers will make a significant contribution to the breadth of work shaping the burgeoning field of game studies, complementing analyses concerning the Military-Entertainment Complex, and offering diverse insights on how modern warfare has been represented and remediated in contemporary video games.

The editors invite junior as well as established scholars to submit, and welcome cross-disciplinary work from sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, history, military studies, psychology, economics, media studies, visual communication, graphic arts and game design, education, and so forth.

We are looking for submissions that address a wide range of topics from diverse methodological approaches, including but not limited to:

--Use of games for training, recruitment, propaganda (serious games)
--Video games and military ideology (or Military-Entertainment Complex)
--Representing / playing soldiers, terrorists, & civilians
--Global reception of America's Army and other "pro-US" war games
--Production of war video games
--War video games across genres (e.g., FPS, RTS, RPG)
--Playing war video games of past & near-future conflicts
--War game mods and other user-generated content
--Machinima as social commentary on war (e.g., Red vs. Blue)
--Games and resistance (non-combat games, in-game protests, diplomacy as alternative to force)
--Game for peace
--Networked war games in different spaces (LAN parties, on-line, mobile).
--War games and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

We are interested in defining "military/war" video games widely, but not so widely as to be useless for critical analysis. The following is a partial list of war video games we hope to include, but submissions for scholarly work about other games are welcome, for example games based on past wars (Battlefield 1942; Call of Duty, etc) and non-US based games.

--Marine Doom
--Counter-Strike & its mods
--America's Army & America's Army: Rise of a Soldier
--Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
--Close Combat: First to Fight
--Conflict: Desert Storm II - Back to Baghdad
--FA-18 Operation Desert Storm
--Freedom Fighters
--Full Spectrum Warrior & Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers
--Kuma War
--Ghost Recon 3: Advanced Warfighter
--Operation Flashpoint: Resistance
--Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
--Sniper Elite
--Under Siege, Under Ash, and Special Force

Please submit a 500 word abstract and short bio (100 words max) by September 17, 2007 in Rich Text Format (RTF) to Nina Huntemann and Matthew Payne at We expect final papers will not exceed 5000-7000 words and will be due December 10, 2007. Feel free to repost this CFP on relevant lists. Please contact us if you have questions about potential essays or the book project in general.

Behind the Scenes at Facebook

Kara Swisher visits the headquarters of social-networking company Facebook to speak with Chief Operating Officer Owen Van Natta and Vice President of Media Sales Mike Murphy.

via NewsVids

Casual Video Gamers Are Key Targets

Someone has to sponsor all those sudoku games.

Heavy video gamers comprise only 2% of all gamers, yet they spent more than eight times on games than the average gamer did in the last quarter of 2006, according to NPD Group's "Gamer Segmentation II" study, conducted in January 2007 among gamers ages 6 to 44.

These heavy gamers owned an average of 2.8 video game consoles, and played an average of 39.3 hours every week.

Yet Anita Frazier of NPD noted, "Heavy gamers have always been a focal segment for the games industry because they're so deeply invested in gaming. The potential for industry growth lies with the other, larger groups, and getting them increasingly involved in gaming over time."

US marketers spent $150 million advertising in casual games in 2006, from $124 million in 2005, according to DFC Intelligence and the Casual Games Association, cited in an Advertising Age article.

A 2006 Associated Press/AOL study conducted by Ipsos of gaming types found that close to a third of US players ranked casual games as their favorite type. Interestingly, game types associated with the stereotypical "core" gamer — like action, sports and shooting titles — ranked lower on the scale.

This market is creating opportunities for a broad range of companies. For instance, Eyeblaster is focused on the casual gaming sector, according to Ran Cohen, its director of emerging media. The company recently entered into a partnership with RealNetworks to stream video ads into downloadable games.

"Within this segment, in the US market alone, we estimate that in 2006 there were more than 700 million downloads of casual games," said Mr. Cohen. "The try-and-buy model, where the game is offered for a one-hour trial, is translating to something equivalent to 800 centuries of entertainment time in front of the user. What I'm saying by that is that the inventory available in this segment is incredible. I don't think there's a limitation on the inventory side. The limitation will be more on the growth of the video advertising side."

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

The Many Faces of China

Grabbing the tiger by its Internet.

"It is no exaggeration to say that the Beijing Olympics in 2008 represent the 'coming out' party of China," says Ben Macklin, eMarketer Senior Analyst and the author of the new report, China Internet Audience. "While China has enjoyed terrific economic growth over the last 20 years, and now is the fourth-largest economy in the world — and the second-largest in terms of purchasing-power parity — its international influence and reputation have not matched its burgeoning economic power. But all that is changing."

The 2008 Olympic Games are China's opportunity to step confidently onto the world stage and say, "Hello, I have arrived." In the same way that the 1988 Olympics marked a turning point for South Korea, it is likely that 2008 will mark a similar turning point for modern China.

"In fact, the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics is likely to be the largest international marketing exercise the world has ever seen, and the fierce competition will extend for decades beyond," says Mr. Macklin. "And one of the most important marketing channels will be the Internet."

While eMarketer estimates that Internet users represented only about 10% (134 million) of the total Chinese population in 2006, the figure will grow to 245 million Internet users in 2011.

Raw numbers, however, do not reveal the numerous challenges that face foreign companies trying to get a foothold in China.

"If there is one important lesson that can be gleaned from the numerous failures of past forays into China," says Mr. Macklin, "it is that doing business in China requires an enormous amount of patience, and a thorough understanding of the local people and business dynamics."

Here are some other lessons about doing business in China:

Understand Your Customers
— seek out someone on the ground in China who knows what makes the Chinese tick

Think Local, Act Local
— it may be possible to duplicate some Western marketing strategies when targeting affluent Chinese in the top-tier cities of Beijing or Shanghai, but to target the majority of the Chinese population, a specific and fine-grained local marketing strategy is required

Chinese Are Thrifty and Demand Value
— the average Chinese consumer saves over 25% of his income, a much higher percentage than his Western counterpart does

Chinese Under-30s Are Online
— the average Chinese Internet user is young and well-educated and spends a good deal of time every week online seeking and creating information

"The opportunity is vast," says Mr. Macklin. "By the end of the decade, China is likely to overtake the US as the largest Internet market in the world in terms of sheer numbers."

With annual Internet user growth likely to continue to be in the double digits over the next five years, eMarketer expects that China will have some 40 million more Internet users than in the US in 2011 — and that will still represent only 18% of China's total population, clearly indicating there is plenty of room for growth.

eMarketer predicts that there will be over half a billion Internet users in China in 2025.

"Marketers should not make the mistake of considering China as a single, monolithic market," says Mr. Macklin. "Like Europe, China is a rich tapestry of ethnicities, languages, geographies and socioeconomic regions."

for the full articlew with graphs and stats click here.

Digg Goes with Microsoft for Online Advertising

Microsoft text and display placements will replace Google ads on Digg, while the social news site will continue to work with Federated Media on integrated sponsorships and custom programs.

Social news site Digg has signed an exclusive advertising agreement with Microsoft for its U.S.-based text and banner ads for the next three years. The deal replaces a previous relationship with Google.

By partnering with Microsoft for its ad network sales, Digg will be able to "completely focus on new feature development," said Kevin Rose, founder and chief architect of Digg, on the company's blog. Over the past year Digg has seen tremendous growth, with 4.4 million unique visitors in the U.S. for June 2007, a 222% increase over the same month last year, according to comScore. Internationally Digg had 9.5 million visitors in June, representing 296% growth over the previous year.

"This one is straight forward. It's a great deal for us and we'll be off as quickly as we can selling and serving display banner ads," said Adam Sohn, director, Online Services Group for Microsoft. "They are a very interesting company, and most of Microsoft's employees are deep users of this site."

Digg had previously worked with Google and Federated Media to sell its ads, and it will keep its relationship with the latter for special projects, integrated sponsorships and custom programs. In a blog post, Federated Media founder John Battelle said the deal with Microsoft was not surprising as "It's no secret that Digg is the kind of property -- like Facebook -- that was bound to get the attention of the Big Guys as they continue to play an ever more fascinating game of Internet chess."

Sohn said Microsoft welcomed the opportunity to work with Federated Media on ad representation for Digg.

"Ultimately we'll do the selling for the display and the text stuff and the serving, and Federated Media will do the innovative high touch sponsorship campaigns kinds of things," he said. "Having Federated at the table thinking about the advertising opportunities will be great."

Rose, Battelle and Sohn all compared the deal with a similar agreement Microsoft struck with Facebook. Sohn said the two partnerships were steps in Microsoft's strategy to craft a means of reaching the long tail audience for advertising. Both relationships, he said, support Microsoft's "deep interest in allowing consumers to experience the online world with their relationships close at hand."

"Having a company like Digg that is at the cutting edge of the community driven stuff, and Facebook at the cutting edge of the social networking stuff, that's' where there is the meeting of the minds," he said. "We're doing strategic deals to bring the right audience to bear. We're starting to put some very attractive pieces in place to let digital marketers and publishers really connect with an important and high quality audience."

Kevin Rose's announcement on the digg blog.

Pew Study: Web Users Want Professional Video

Sixty-two percent of online video viewers prefer professionally produced content over amateur video.

Over half of online adults share a hunger for online video, while 19 percent watch or download video on a typical day, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report on online video.

Those who pursue video favor sophisticated content. Sixty-two percent of online video viewers express a preference for video created by professionals, versus 19 percent who would rather watch video produced by amateurs. Eleven percent remains agnostic to the skill level of the creator. YouTube, which provides a mix of consumer-generated and professionally-produced video, is frequented by 27 percent of the online video audience.

Commercials and other forms of video advertising, whether users sought the content specifically or saw ads in the form of a rich media banner or in-stream placements, were viewed by 13 percent of online video watchers, the report found. Additionally, advertising-driven events like the Super Bowl tend to act as motivators for people to seek out ads online. Two percent report watching ads on an average day.

"We wanted to pick up on the Super Bowl effect of people using the Internet to watch commercials or ads after the fact," said Mary Madden, senior research specialist at Pew Internet. "Also, there is a whole rise of commercials that look like they were generated by individuals in their living rooms, but [were] in fact funded by some marketing campaign."

With some overlap, content categories such as news, comedy, movies and TV, music, sports, commercials and political videos are regularly watched on the Web. News is among the most popular, partly because news organizations were among the first organizations to invest in online video. The format also lends itself to Internet browsing patterns.

"News has a foothold in this realm," said Madden. "The nature of news content is short, bite-sized clips. They lend themselves to online." Madden also notes news accounts for a significant portion of content on YouTube.

Unsurprisingly, Broadband adoption has increased the supply of video content and ad inventory. Three-quarters of broadband users have watched video online. Among those relegated to dial-up, Madden said, "one in three have watched online video,"

Young adults, and particularly males, are more active in watching and uploading content. "Young adults are what we call the most contagious carriers in the spread of online video," Madden said. "They are more likely to share links, more likely to upload video themselves, and feed the discussion of online video with things like posting comments and rating content."

While a larger portion of consumers watch online video at home, the study finds one in four users watch at work. "While some of that viewing may be work-related, it is a sign of the new coffee break culture where video snacking replaces heading outside for a jolt of caffeine," said Madden.

Debating the debate


[...]. . . But TV got in the way. The candidates responded to most of this with their over-rehearsed, well-spun, often-used cant: empty words about change and experience – and if anyone mentions a soldier in the family, the candidate is obligated to deliver the thanks of the nation. This is how politicians behave before the big cameras. But the folks on the YouTube videos were speaking to little cameras; they were more direct, intimate, authentic.

The two media did not mix well. CNN displayed the YouTube videos in small squares on a big screen shot by a big camera – reduced, finally, to postage stamps on our screens at home, so we could barely see them. It seemed the network was afraid to show the videos full-screen because they would not look like real TV. But, of course, that’s just the point. They weren’t real TV. They were bits of conversation.

But TV doesn’t know how to have a conversation. TV knows how to perform. The moderator of the event, prematurely white-haired Anderson Cooper, acted almost apologetic about the intrusion of these real people, who speak without benefit of make-up. He interrupted the candidates constantly, allowing them shallow soundbites a fraction the length and depth even of a YouTube video.

So I wish we’d have the YouTube debate on YouTube and leave CNN at home. A few of the candidates are beginning to answer voters’ questions and challenges directly, small-camera-to-small-camera (as Nikolas SP Sarkozy did in his campaign and as David Cameraon does on his web site). Thus they are opening up a dialogue between the public and the powerful that was not possible before the internet: a conversation in our new public square. That is how elections should be held, amid the citizens. . .[...]

read the full article here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EFF: miniLinks

The week's noteworthy news, compressed.

~ Google Policy Blog: "We're Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is". The search engine giant bids $4.6 billion to influence broadband debate.

~ Google Raises the Stakes Against Wireless Providers. Some analysis of what motivates Google to put that much money in its mouth.

~ When Mobile Phones Aren't Truly Mobile. NY Times: Wireless carriers view total control over customers as their inherited birthright.

~ Copyright Board of Canada Gives Thumbs-Up to "iPod Tax". A ruling says that Canadians who buy digital music devices should pay an extra tax.

~ Exploiting the iPhone. Security researchers have found the iPhone vulnerable to attack.

~ University of Kansas Adopts One-Strike Policy for Copyright Infringement. A new campus policy threatens to toss students off the residence network forever if they are caught downloading illegally.

~ Is Blogging Hazardous to Your Career? A study claims that nearly 10% of companies have fired bloggers.

EFF: Google's Cookie Monster

Contrary to Google's recent statements, the company's new policy for issuing cookies won't meaningfully help protect users' privacy. Shorter cookie life spans can help limit a site's ability to track you, but Google's change doesn't amount to any practical difference.

To its credit, Google did decide in March to delete key identifying information in its search logs, including cookie ID numbers, after 18 months. As we said at the time, this is a good first step towards protecting users' privacy, but more is needed. Unfortunately, Google's new policy for issuing cookies doesn't move the ball forward.

If you actually want to limit how Google and other search engines can track you via cookies and other means, check out our white paper, Six Tips to Protect Your Online Search Privacy:

Read Google's July 16 blog post, Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy:

For this post and related links:

EFF: Takes the Lead on Log Retention; Microsoft and Yahoo! Follow

We've often regretted that the most popular search engines have been keeping a dossier of everything you search for -- forever. It's easy to forget just how intrusive this kind of record can be until something like the AOL search history leak occurs and confronts users with even a portion of the search logs that track their everyday on-line activities.

Thus, it's exciting to hear that plans to take a leap into the lead of search engine privacy by expressly allowing users to opt-out of tracking -- as the Associated Press and Ars Technica report, Ask has pledged to launch a service called AskEraser that allows users to decline to stop their search histories from being logged.

And now, it looks like our hope that other search engines would follow Ask's lead is becoming a reality, and faster than we expected: Microsoft announced over the weekend that it is now intending to offer users the ability to opt out of having their searches automatically associated with a single identifier. Meanwhile, Yahoo! is reportedly shortening its retention period to 13 months, so far the shortest such period amongst the major search engines.

Read the full post and see related links:

Keep Copyright Holders' Hands Off of Campus

Major copyright holders are backing a legislative proposal to make colleges do their dirty work. The Higher Education Reauthorization Act is supposed to make going to college more affordable, but a last-minute amendment threatens to force certain schools to divert funds away from education and toward policing corporate copyrighted content on their campus networks.

Twenty-five schools annually will be singled out and required to provide evidence to the Secretary of Education about their efforts to stop file sharing, including use of "technology-based deterrents" (read: network surveillance technologies).

This amendment is a moving target and may come up for a vote very soon, so it's critical that you call your Senators now and voice your opposition:

Schools are already being forced to expend significant resources in the face of the RIAA's lawsuit campaign against students. More enforcement won't stop file sharing, as students will simply migrate towards other readily accessible sharing tools that can't be easily monitored. But it will chill academic freedom, as legitimate uses of the network will inevitably be stifled.

The federal government shouldn't be in charge of schools' network management decisions. Congress ought to reject this misguided proposal and take up real solutions that get artists paid and let students keep sharing. Please take action and call your Senators now:

Thanks to EDUCAUSE for alerting us to this bill. Check out their site for more about the bill here:

Read EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann's analysis, A Better Way Forward on University P2P:

For this post and related links:

Mobile Search in the US

Still waiting for a market leader.

Competition for the US mobile search market promises to be fierce, thanks to the large US online ad market and strong pushes by portals.

eMarketer projects that by 2011, mobile search will account for around $715 million, or almost 15% of a total mobile advertising market worth nearly $4.7 billion.

Granted, a $715 million mobile search market is not a foregone conclusion, but many of the behavioral factors are in place in the US market to push mobile search forward. For one, there is already a strong correlation between mobile Internet use and accessing mobile search services.

In April 2007, iCrossing reported that three-quarters of mobile Internet subscribers access mobile search services. This is in contrast to the little more than 20% of general mobile phone users in the US who access mobile search.

The US mobile search market can be expected to suffer some growing pains over the next two to three years as the tug of war between the major operators, the major portal players, major media and a gaggle of mobile search start-ups compete for the title of mobile search leader.

eMarketer Senior Analyst John du Pre Gauntt said, "Mobile search in the US has all the right parts on the table: a huge online advertising ecosystem, the world's leading content industry, massive portal players, major league mobile operators and a host of VC-backed start-ups.

"In other words, it'll be a bloody mess over the next few years sorting out the center of gravity for mobile search, as each player tries to convince the others to follow its lead. The good news for marketers is that there's enough of a prize for the winner(s) that resolution will come."

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Being in Second Life

Join us at -empyre- in August 2007 for:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Being in Second Life

when hostess Melinda Rackham is joined by special guests:
Annabeth Robinson, Patrick Lichty, Stephan Doesinger, Dr Ricardo Peach
Christy Dena, Kathy Cleland, Adam Nash and Dr Fabio Zambetta

Neal Stephenson's Metaverse reigns supreme. One of it's current incarnations- the multi-user virtual universe Second Life claims a population of 8 million avatars. SL is embraced by many as an innovative and safe fantasy scape - enabling play, creativity, education, companionship, love and lust. It is reviled by some as a cesspit of antisocial isolationist addictive behavior; and SL is dismissed by others as simply an over-inflated hype driven commercial venture expounding the values of property acquisition and commodity exchange. Whatever your perspective, SL is serious business with an exchange rate which fluctuates against the $US and an estimated Second Life avatar electricity consumption equivalent to the average citizen of Brazil. In this seemingly infinitely expandable universe aesthetic endeavors, creative constructions and artistic performances are enacted daily.

---> Annabeth Robinson (UK) is a Second Life Artist focusing on interactive and sound driven projects, Metaverse consultant and Sim builder, Lecturer - Design for Digital Media at Leeds College of Art and Design. aka AngryBeth Shortbread

---> Patrick Lichty (US) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer,independent curator, co-founder of the Second Life based performance art group, Second Front, animator for the The Yes Men, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine.

---> Stephan Doesinger (Austria) is a conceptual artist and architect. His second book "Learning from Sim City," will be published in September. He initiated Bastard Spaces the 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition in SL to be announced at Ars Elctronica. aka Doesi Beck

---> Dr Ricardo Peach (AU) is the Program Manager for the Inter-Arts Office at the Australia Council for the Arts, which is funding a SL residency. Born in Volksrust, Mpumalanga in 1968, he and his family migrated to Perth, Australia in 1980. aka Ricardo Paravane

---> Christy Dena (AU) is researching changes to art and entertainment in the age of cross-media production for her PhD at the University of Sydney. Dena works as an industry strategist, mentor, educator and journalist. aka Lythe Witte

---> Dr Fabio Zambetta (AU) lectures at School of Computer Science and Information Technology at RMIT University Melbourne and researcher in the area of 3D embodied conversational agents, 3D virtual environments, and interactive storytelling. aka Fabio Forcella

---> Kathy Cleland (AU) is a writer, curator and lecturer in the Digital Cultures Program at The University of Sydney and is currently completing her PhD investigating avatars, digital portraiture and representations of the self in virtual environments. aka Bella Bouchard

---> Adam Nash (AU) is a media artist, composer, programmer, performer and writer who works in networked real-time 3D spaces, exploring them as live audiovisual performance spaces. His work has been presented at SIGGRAPH, ISEA, and the Venice Biennale. aka Adam Ramona

---> Dr Melinda Rackham (AU) is the Executive Director of ANAT - Australia's peak body for artists working with emerging technologies. Her Ph.D. explored the nature and construction of avatars and multi-user Virtual Reality Spaces. aka Marina Regina

Screenscapes: Past Present Future

Screenscapes: Past Present Future
University of Sydney
November 29-December 1 2007

The proliferation of screens is a signature feature of modern and contemporary life. Screens located on computer, cinema, television or mobile platforms offer possibilities for entertainment, communication, art, manipulation and surveillance, creating new forms of identity, community, expression and social control. These developments in turn have created a rich and rapidly changing set of research initiatives within and across academic fields.

Screenscapes: Past Present Future offers a space for the examination of these and other issues, including the creation of screen communities and identities, the remediation of screen technology into other cultural forms, the history and future of screen technology, aesthetics, audiences, developments in mobile screens, and the use of screens in visual and data surveillance.

Keynotes speakers are Professor Sean Cubitt (University of Melbourne) and Professor David Trotter (Cambridge University. Other confirmed speakers include Professor Peter Kuch (University of Otago) Professor Gerard Goggin (University of New South Wales) and Professor Julian Murphet (University of New South Wales).

We call for abstracts for papers and panels addressing themes related broadly to the past, present and future of screens. The deadline for submission of 250-word abstracts is September 15 2007 (although we welcome earlier proposals). Abstracts submitted before that time will be assessed immediately. The conference papers should be 15-20 minutes long.

All enquiries to Dr Peter Marks
Department of English
University of Sydney

Visit the website at


17/18/19 AUGUST 2007

Beside the traditional c64 demo-show, we're having an "alternative demo competition" where we had c64 entries in the last years.

Buenzli-traditionals like the famous OHP (over head projector) competition, an open game development compo, 4k generative graphics competition and much much more. Along with these demoscene traditionals, you'll be able to enjoy a lot of entertainment, chill corner, cozy atmosphere, cheap bistro and the unique air of Swiss noblesse.

The entrance fee has not been raised since years and is still stuck at CHF 45 (EUR 25) for all three days of party. The excellent and clean location is in the city center of Winterthur with many bars, hotels, discos and shops. Winterthur is easy reachable by car from neighboring countries, located close to Zurich airport and of course not far from everywhere in Switzerland.

Expect some more c64 specials there. You can register for the party at

About the Event
“Buenzli 16 - The Sky Is The Limit ” - 17/18/19 August 2007 in Winterthur (Switzerland). It's time for the next row of Buenzli events, now organized by the “Echtzeit - Digitale Kultur” association which basically consists of the old Buenzli organizing crew. “Echtzeit” brings you a new party feeling - only the sky is the limit!

Why come to Buenzli?
The exclusivity of Buenzli, the location and the shows is the best reason to come to Buenzli. Our huge chill-out corner creates a relaxing and familiar atmosphere for all you guys and girls needing a break of the daily computer business. There you can enjoy life, have a beer, talk to all your scene friends and watch the incredible shows and competitions on one of our big screens. The always friendly organizing team around scene personalities like Robocop, Pro, Genox and Unlock will be available for you to make your stay as sweet as possible.

Buenzli 16 is organized by “Echtzeit - Digitale Kultur ”, a Swiss association aiming to establish and support the demoscene in Switzerland. The Buenzli 16 organizing committee consists of the following individuals, which are already wellknown to your from previous Buenzli events.
CCP / Atlantis
Ei8th / Atlantis
Genox / Calodox^Vantage
Pro / Nuance
Robocop / Atlantis
Unlock / Vantage^Padua
Voodoo / Fake That
Zehbra / Atlantis

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Network Nation Festschrift - Hiltz/Turoff - Call for Participation


The Network Nation and Beyond
A Festschrift in Honor of Starr Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff

October 12 - 13, 2007
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University Heights - Newark, New Jersey, USA

Festschrifts celebrate honorees' legacies through original publications influenced by their contributions.

Starr Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff continue to actively contribute after more than 30 years to the fields of computer-mediated communication and decision support, online learning, delphi and emergency response. Their groundbreaking book "The Network Nation," published in 1978 and updated in 1993, has been hailed as a landmark, visionary publication. This festschrift will both honor their contributions upon retirement from their full-time academic positions and explore how their legacy will continue to influence research and societal developments in the decades to come.

The festschrift includes keynote and research presentations, numerous opportunities to socialize and network, and a dinner at which people can relate stories about working with Roxanne and Murray, and their ideas. A special journal issue will follow.

The research community is invited to join the celebration, and also to express their good wishes to Roxanne and Murray online.

We invite session proposals, refereed research papers and posters addressing the Network Nation in 2007 and beyond, which consider:
- the legacy of Starr Roxanne Hiltz and/or Murray Turoff
- current research inspired by their contributions
- insightful speculations on future research and societal developments influenced by their foundations

Special sessions will be reserved for research presentations by advisees of Roxanne and Murray from the last three decades.

Especially high-quality papers will be reviewed and edited further for a special journal issue. Details will be forthcoming.

Session Proposal deadline: August 13, 2007
Paper Abstract deadline: August 20, 2007 (strongly requested)
Full Paper deadline: September 10, 2007
Poster deadline: September 17, 2007 (no abstract required for posters)

Journal Article deadline: January 22, 2008
Journal article submissions also will be invited from festschrift submissions.

Registration Deadlines
- early-bird: September 10, 2007
- regular: September 24, 2007

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Ronald E. Rice and Ben Shneiderman.

Keynote panelists include Linda Harasim, Abbe Mowshowitz, Karen Swan and Bartel Van De Walle. (Additional keynote panelists to be announced.)

Expressions of good wishes will be presented to Roxanne and Murray, and displayed on the Festschrift Web site. Please post your comments on their legacy online.

For further information, registration, travel and hotel information, please see:

Spam Spread Goes Global

Does the US like the taste of spam?

The US relays more spam than any other nation, with nearly a fifth of all spam passed along in the second quarter of 2007, according to Sophos. The firm scanned all spam messages received in its spam traps, and noted where the e-mail had traveled.

The amount of spam relayed from European countries has been rising. Six of the top 12 spam-relaying countries are now in Europe, together passing along more spam than the US.

Overall global spam volume grew about 9% in the second quarter of 2007 over the same period in 2006.

More nations are now contributing to the problem of spam-relaying, and the UK is back among the top spam-relaying countries in the world after having dropped out of the top 10 in 2006.

The number of Asian nations relaying spam meant that Asia was the biggest spam-relaying continent during Q2 2007. Europe has reduced its spam-relaying percentage, but Asia, North America, South America and Africa all grew in the amount of spam they sent along.

Measuring spam, viruses, spyware and phishing, the consumer watchdog Consumer Reports estimated that Americans spent at least $7.8 billion for computer repairs, parts and replacement over the past two years as a result of viruses and spyware alone.

Add in the cost of phishing scams and lost productivity dealing with spam, and the figure is probably double. (And this does not factor in the cost to businesses in dealing with these problems.)

While e-mail was the primary vehicle for spreading viruses and other malicious software (malware) in the past, spam filters have done much to reduce this threat.

Still, eMarketer Senior Analyst Ben Macklin noted the ongoing link between spam, privacy and e-commerce, since spam still infects some PCs with malware used in identity theft.

"Internet users have a reasonable expectation that governments and businesses will adequately protect their personal information from unauthorized access," Mr. Macklin said.

"Online consumers are prepared to forgo elements of their privacy to reap the benefits of participating in the online world, but if the costs begin to outweigh the benefits, consumers will opt out."

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

Some Users Distrust Search Engines

Over six in 10 US Web searchers do not trust their search engines with their information, according to a poll conducted by The poll questioned 295 Web searchers who read top technology Web blogs from May through July of 2007.

The small but tech-savvy sample group said search engines could regain their trust in two ways. One would be to quit storing data entered by searchers altogether. The other would be to grant users editing permission on the data the search engines retain.

Riza C. Berkan of Hakia said, "It is not the data or cookies... it is the intent in handling them. The problem is purely in communications. Search engines must openly declare what they are doing with the data and all tracking devices, almost like a confession. Alternatively, they can ask users' permission when the data is being captured and the privacy line could be seemingly crossed. Once such clarity is exercised, then it is a fair environment."

Young News Readers Rare

Have you seen, read or clicked on the news?

News may be an endangered species if teenagers and young adults continue to follow the news as little as they do now.

That is the main finding of "Young People and News," conducted by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The Center surveyed 1,800 Americans on their news habits, and found that younger people generally do not follow the news as often or as closely as older adults.

Only 16% of young adults ages 18 to 30 said they read a newspaper every day, and 9% of teenagers said they did. By contrast, over a third of adults older than 30 read a newspaper daily.

As for other news sources, teenagers and young adults were twice as likely to get daily news from television than from the Web.

Harvard professor and study author Thomas Patterson said, "What's happened over time is that we have become more of a viewing nation than a reading nation, and the Internet is a little of both. My sense is that, like it or not, the future of news is going to be in the electronic media, but we don't really know what that form is going to look like."

The future of newspapers is a separate issue from whether people follow the news, but Mr. Patterson has a point. Reading is an also-ran for teenagers compared to time spent with TV and the Internet.

Among teens ages 15 to 18, TV consumed 2.5 hours per day, while Internet use took up nearly 1.5 hours, according to a Veronis Suhler Stevenson report published in September 2006. The report cited data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, PQ Media and Teen Research Unlimited.

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

Material Digital Culture/ECREA: European Perspectives - Call for Papers




The aim of the workshop is to explore distinctive critical, theoretical and methodological perspectives around networked and pervasive media, especially those emerging in European research.


o Evening panel session and reception on Thursday 1st November
o Full-day workshop on Friday 2nd
o Concluding section meeting on Saturday 3rd

This workshop is the first in a biannual conference/workshop series of ECREA's Digital Culture and Communication section. It will examine new approaches in the study of digital culture and communication within European contexts and to serve as a networking hub.

We are looking for papers that address questions around digital, networked and pervasive media in a European context. We especially welcome work that contrasts European perspectives and theories with other traditions. This does not mean that we restrict our focus to European policy, or wish to focus on European-specific issues to the exclusion of others. Instead, we welcome work across a range of approaches, work based on different methodologies, and work that is nationally based within Europe. Historical, critical and technological perspectives are all welcome.

So, for example, we invite proposals that examine digital culture and communication in relation to:

o issues in specific national traditions of thought, such as German medium theory, French post-structuralism, 'national' traditions of cultural studies
o issues in European-wide traditions, such as post- and neo-Marxist socialism, post-autonomy, and network theories, or critical utopian/dystopian thinking
o issues of specific techno-social experiences, such as communication networks, aesthetic, industry, and governance structures
o issues of identity, activism and autonomy, such as race, nation, migration, gender/sexuality, trade, economy, and labour

We invite proposals for papers on these topics and any other issues that might enable a critique of, as well as an exploration of issues, theories and approaches emerging in European research around digital media.

Deadline for abstracts/proposals of 300 words: 1st September 2007

Kate O'Riordan: and Maren Hartmann:

Fee £35, this includes lunch, coffee and a drinks reception. It does not include accommodation and travel costs. To register email:

ECREA and the Section:
ECREA is the European Communication Research and Education Association, and
the main objectives of the digital culture and communication section are:

o To exchange and develop research in the field of digital culture and communication through virtual and physical networking and other events
o To revisit existing media and communication theories, approaches, and research methods as they are challenged by digital media, and to develop new ones
o To contribute to building a research culture in the field of digital media and informational culture at the European level

More information here:

Caroline Bassett, University of Sussex, UK
Maren Hartmann, University of the Arts Berlin, Germany
Kate O'Riordan, University of Sussex, UK

TV Commercials Move Online

The line between online advertising and offline advertising is blurring.

At 89%, 2007 will show the greatest year-over-year growth for US online video advertising. Coming from such a small base, however, makes this high rate relatively easy to attain. More important indicators come over the next four years, as spending continues to rise at rates of 39% or higher.

Still, putting these high growth rates into perspective, video will represent only 3.6% of the total online ad spend this year. Even by 2011, when video ads will be commonplace on the Web, less than 10% of the annually escalating spend will be devoted to the format.

"Looking over the numbers, it is not difficult to see how even a small shift in TV ad spending will be a driving force in overall Internet ad spending gains," says David Hallerman, eMarketer Senior Analyst and the author of the new report, Video Advertising Online: Spending and Audience. "Video will be behind the wheel."

Video's high engagement factor, combined with the Internet's tracking and targeting capabilities, potentially offers brand advertisers a highly accountable method to sway the hearts and minds of their target audience. For Web publishers, video advertising represents a new and potentially large revenue stream.

"Unfortunately, a third element in the equation — the audience — is not entirely ready for TV-like advertising on the Internet," says Mr. Hallerman.

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication (CATaC'08)


ICTs Bridging Cultures? Theories, Obstacles, Best Practices 6th International Conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication (CATaC08)

24-27 June 2008
Université de Nîmes, France
Conference languages: English and French

The biennial CATaC conference series – 10 years old in 2008! – provides a premier international forum for current research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologes (ICTs). The conference series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse cultural and disciplinary perspectives in their presentations and discussions of the conference theme and topics (listed below).

Nîmes, inhabited by Celts since the 4th ct. B.C.E., became a Gallo-Roman city in 18 BCE, and is home to some of the best-preserved examples of Roman engineering and architecture. The Pont de Gard, an aquaduct bridge across the Gard river, serves as our primary metaphor for CATaC 2008: ICTs as technologies bridging cultures. Our venue in multi-cultural Nîmes further provides us with a number of cultural experiences and pleasures unique to the South of France. Finally, CATaC 2008 emphasizes francophone participation in a number of ways, including, translation provided for abstracts in French and English, and for questions and answers following presentations.

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results) are invited.

TOPICS include but are not limited to:
- Language as a core issue in cultural diversity with IT: are languages shaping a new IT world?
- CMC as fostering and/or threatening cultural diversity
- Theoretical and practical approaches to analyzing "culture" and its impact on the use and implementation of ICTs
- ICTs in the francophone world, including: influences of francophone usages globally and cross-cultural comparisons
- Beyond glocalization and homogenization: new mixtures of identities and cultures as facilitated by ICTs
- Empowerment and CMC, including issues of gender, languages and power (economic, political, social)
- Values, ethics, justice, and ICTS
- Cultural and linguistic diversity and e-learning

All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of scholars and researchers. Accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings. Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Papers may be submitted in either French or English. We strongly encourage submissions to include abstracts both in French and English, since accepted papers will be published in the Proceedings with abstracts in both languages. We will translate abstracts if necessary. Accepted papers must be formatted according to the conference proceedings template (download from

The program also includes a panel on culture psychology chaired by Professor Alexander Voiskounsky.

Submission Schedule:
Full papers (maximum 15 formatted pages) - 14 January 2008
Short and panel papers (3-5 formatted pages) - 21 January 2008
Notification of acceptance - mid February 2008
Final formatted papers - 28 February 2008

See the conference website for further information about submitting papers, travel and accommodations, etc.

Université de Nîmes
Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres de Montpellier
Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Béziers

Charles Ess, Drury University, USA,
Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia,
Marie-Christine Deyrich, IUFM de Montpellier, France,
Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria



Les TIC: des ponts entre les cultures? Théories, obstacles, bonnes pratiques/ICTs Bridging Cultures? Theories, Obstacles, Best Practices

6ème conférence internationale sur les Attitudes Culturelles dans la Technologie et la Communication (CATaC08)
24-27 juin 2008
Université de Nîmes, France
Langues de la conférence : Anglais, Français

La série de conférences biennales CATaC – 10 ans en 2008 ! – offre une tribune internationale pour faire l’état de la recherche sur la façon dont les attitudes culturelles dans leur diversité influencent l’introduction et l’utilisation des technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC). Chaque conférence réunit des chercheurs du monde entier qui apportent des perspectives culturelles et disciplinaires diversifiées, tant dans leurs communications
que dans les discussions sur les thèmes abordés dans le colloque (cf. liste ci-dessous).

Ville celte depuis le 4e s. av. J.-C., devenue gallo-romaine en 18 av. J.-C., Nîmes regroupe un certain nombre de vestiges parmi les mieux protégés de l’architecture et de l’ingénierie romaine. Le Pont du Gard, aqueduc qui traverse la rivière Gard, sera notre métaphore principale pour CATaC 2008: les TIC établissent des ponts entre les cultures. Faire de Nîmes le lieu de cet événement sera l’occasion d’expériences culturelles qui font le charme du Sud de la
France. Enfin, CATaC 2008 mettra l’accent sur la participation francophone, notamment par la traduction dans les deux langues de tous les résumés et par la traduction des questions et réponses à l’issue des présentations.

Des propositions originales sont attendues, en version longue (concernant en particulier des modèles théoriques, en relation avec des exemples illustrant valeurs culturelles, pratiques, etc.), ou en version courte (ex. description de recherches en cours ou de résultats préliminaires)

THÈMES abordés (liste non exclusive):
- Le langage comme question centrale pour la diversité culturelle des TIC: les langues façonnent-elles un nouveau monde technologique?
- La communication informatique : promotion et/ou menace pour la diversité culturelle
- Approches théoriques/pratiques pour analyser la “culture” et son impact sur l’utilisation et la mise en œuvre des TIC
- Les TIC dans le monde francophone: influence au niveau global des usages des TIC francophones, comparaisons interculturelles
- Par delà la glocalization et l’homogénéisation: nouveaux mélanges d’identités et de culture induits par les TIC
- Répartition du pouvoir dans la communication informatique : questions du genre, des langues, du pouvoir (économique, politique, social).
- Valeurs, éthique et justice dans l’emploi des TIC
- Diversité culturelle et linguistique dans le e-learning

Toutes les propositions seront évaluées par un comité international de chercheurs. Les communications retenues seront publiées dans les actes du colloque.
Il est impératif que ces propositions n’aient pas été soumises ou publiées ailleurs. Chaque proposition retenue sera présentée à la conférence par au moins un des auteurs.

Les propositions pourront être rédigées en Français ou en Anglais. Il est fortement conseillé que deux résumés soient rédigés, l’un en Français et l’autre en Anglais, car, pour chacune des communications retenues, la publication dans les Actes comprendra un résumé dans chacune des deux langues. Si cela s’avérait nécessaire, nous procéderions à cette traduction. Le formatage des communications se fera selon le modèle Proceedings template, téléchargeable à

Le program comprendra aussi un symposium sur la psychologie de la culture. Il sera presidé par le Professeur Alexander Voiskounsky.

Communications longues (15 pages formatées maximum) - 14 janvier 2008
Communications courtes ou pour le symposium (3-5 pages formatées) - 21 janvier 2008
Notification d’acceptation - mi-février 2008
Version finale formatée - 28 février 2008

Voir le site de la conférence pour des informations complémentaires, sur les procédures de soumission, le voyage, le logement, etc.

Université de Nîmes
Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres de Montpellier
Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Béziers

Charles Ess, Drury University, USA,
Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia,
Marie-Christine Deyrich, IUFM de Montpellier France,
Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria

AVPhD 'North' Regional Workshop 14-15 September 2007

AVPhD - the AHRC-funded support network for PhDs in Audio-Visual Media will hold a regional workshop at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday/Saturday 14-15 September 2007 (organisers - Dr Jim Aulich, Jane Linden, Prof Robin Nelson). The location will be the Faculty of Art & Design on Oxford Road, Manchester.

Notice 1: Workshop

There is no charge for this workshop BUT delegates are asked to register their intention to attend for catering and organisational purposes.
TO: Cheryl Platt
BY: Friday 20 July 2007

Notice 2: Call for Presentations

The workshop will focus upon digital media and new media arts and invites current (or recently-completed) PhD students to present their work and we ask presenters to foreground issues of methods and methodology.

Proposals with other interesting topics and perspectives will, however, be considered (some bursaries for student presenters are available on application). Encourage any appropriate students you know to think about how they might contribute.

Email abstract (max 250 words) for presentations of 20 mins, with examples and short descriptions of visual practice:
TO: Cheryl Platt
BY: Friday 20 July 2007 (deadline may be extended)

Please contact Cheryl Platt for further details of the Regional Workshop and/or submission of presentations.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

MeCCSA 2008 Conference: First call for papers

MeCCSA is the UK subject association for those teaching and researching in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies. It joined with AMPE (the Association of Media Practitioners in Education) last year and the new organisation holds its first conference from January 9th to 11th 2008, hosted by the School of Journalism Media and Cultural Studies, at Cardiff University (with some locations as featured in Dr Who!)It includes a reception in the Wales Assembly Building (the Senedd) and evening meal in the nearby Millennium Centre, both in the Bay area.

We are inviting papers, presentations of practice, posters and panels across the range of interests represented by the Association and its networks (see Some sessions we hope will weave together ‘practice’ and ‘research’ focused papers, and there will be separate screenings in full of material referred to in these. George Monbiot’s presence signals the hope that at least one panel will explore the relation of media and cultures to environmental politics, and perhaps also to H.E. practices.

Confirmed plenary speakers:
- Toby Miller (University of California, Riverside)
- George Monbiot (Guardian columnist and environmental activist)
- Greg Philo (Glasgow University)
- Annabelle Sreberny (SOAS).

Other speakers who have said they intend to take part include Martin Barker, Nick Couldry, Ros Gill, Ian Hargreaves (OFCOM), Sonia Livingstone, Angela McRobbie, Gillian Swanson, Richard Tait (BBC Trust) and Valerie Walkerdine, as well as staff from the Cardiff School.

There will be a poster competition with a prize of £100, to be judged by the MeCCSA Exec.Cttee. (see for advice if you’re uncertain how to present this).

The Art Design Media - Higher Education Academy Subject Centre (ADM-HEA) are also offering a £300 prize, and publication, for the best paper analysing key issues impacting on media, communications and cultural studies in higher education.
Submission details as for other papers etc. below.

Abstracts of papers, presentations of practice and posters, no longer than 250 words, should be sent to by September 30th in order for peer review to take place. They will be accepted from July 1st onwards.

For panels, let us have a short description and rationale for the whole (200 words), abstracts for each of the papers (250 words each) and the name of the person chairing.

If you’re screening in full material referred to in a ‘practice’ presentation, make sure you send some DVD or VHS preview material (not the whole item) with the abstract.

We’re aiming to produce a conference CD so will need full electronic versions of any paper (pdf format please) shortly before the conference date.