Thursday, January 10, 2008

SSRC Collaborative Grants in Media and Communications

The Social Science Research Council alerts you to the second round of the SRC 'Large' Collaborative Grants in Media and Communications. Large Grants provide up to $30,000 in support for academic-advocacy research collaborations designed to change media and telecommunications infrastructure, practices, or policies in support of a richer and more democratic public sphere.

The Deadline for an initial 'letter of inquiry' (<(<1000 words) is February 8 (12PM EST), submitted via email to mediahub@ssrc.org with subject line: "Collaborative Grant Letter of Inquiry"

Large grants are awarded once a year through a competitive application process, with recipients selected by an independent committee of researchers and advocates. In 2007, grants of $30,000 were awarded to six projects. A similar number will be awarded in this round. If you choose to apply, please give special attention to the project and applicant criteria here: http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/grants/large-grants.


To note the most important, projects need to:

- Be strategically useful in their proposed advocacy and/or organizing context

- Produce scholarship that meets academic standards


Applicant partnerships need to include:

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

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

(International proposals will be solicited via SSRC partner organizations)


The program encourages a wide range of project types and goals, supporting projects that:

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

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

- Have a clear plan for the dissemination of the research to target audiences

- Have uses outside the immediate intended context

- Use methods or models of research that have proved effective in similar contexts

- Reflect diversity in the staff or group involved with the project

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

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


Overall, the program has rewarded projects on a wide range of topics, from digital inclusion, to the future of community media, to analysis of media industry structure and barriers to entry. Descriptions of all the successful applications are available at
http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/news/ssrc-announces-grants-totaling-180-000-for-six-media-and-communications-projects/.

SSRC program staff will be happy to answer questions about your proposed project or the program criteria. Please write us at mediahub@ssrc.org.

New Study on Copyright and Creativity from the Center for Social Media

A new report from the Center for Social Media, called "Recut, Reframe, Recycle," takes a close look at user-generated video sites and finds that there is much more at stake than the SNL and Daily Show clips often referenced in the typical accusations of copyright infringement.

Far from simply uploading others' content, more users are remixing prior works to create new and surprising works of transformative creativity. With illustrations of some of the best examples of user-generated content from the past few years, the study attempts to clarify "the difference between quoting for new cultural creation and simple piracy."

The study recommends the establishment of a "blue ribbon panel" to establish a set of "best practices" principles -- not unlike the "Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use," which the Center for Social Media also spearheaded last year.

For the Center for Social Media report, "Recut, Reframe, Recycle":
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/publications/recut_reframe_recycle

For EFF's report "Fair Use Principles for User-Generated Video Content":
http://www.eff.org/issues/ip-and-free-speech/fair-use-principles-usergen

For the complete post:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/01/new-study-copyright-and-creativity-center-social-media

[via eff.org]

Last Major Label Gives Up DRM

Back in December 2005, EFF announced the beginning of the end for DRM on music. Two years later, we're getting close to the end of the end, with Sony-BMG announcing that it, too, will be giving up on DRM for music downloads (at least for some of its catalog). Sony-BMG is the last of the four major labels to take this step.

It's about time. As online music retailers have been pointing out for years, DRM has only held back the authorized downloading services in their efforts to compete
against the unauthorized world of P2P file sharing.

The next step will be a blanket license for music fans -- pay a small monthly fee, and download whatever you like, from wherever you like, in whatever format you like. This is the inevitable end-game in a world where file sharing remains hugely popular and the labels want to prevent new retailers, like the iTunes Music Store, from controlling distribution.

For the complete post by EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/01/last-major-label-gives-drm

[via eff.org]

Come Celebrate EFF's 17th Birthday!

Come Celebrate EFF's 17th Birthday!

Join EFF in celebrating our 17th year of defending digital rights! Since 1990, EFF has been there fighting for freedom and civil liberties.

The birthday bash will be on January 15, 7-11 PM, at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Adrian & the Mysterious D (A+D), the DJ duo that founded the seminal mashup party "Bootie," will be dropping a shameless, genre-smashing blend of tracks, backed up by DJ sets from Bay Area copyfighters Ripley, Kid Kameleon and EFF's own J Tones and Qubitsu.

The EFF party will also feature an exclusive chocolate sampling from TCHO, "a new chocolate company for a new generation of chocolate enthusiasts." Founded by Wired co-founder Louis Rossetto and legendary chocolatier Timothy Childs, himself a former technologist, TCHO will be bringing a "beta release" of its best dark chocolate to the party table. Attendees are invited to vote for their favorite TCHO beta chocolate flavors at the party -- feedback that will help define TCHO's next steps as they gear up for a national release.

We'll be asking for a $20 donation at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, but all proceeds will go toward our work defending your digital freedom.

What:
EFF's 17th Birthday Bash
TCHO chocolate
and mashup pioneers Adrian & the Mysterious D

When:
January 15, 2008, 7-11 PM

Where:
111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
www.111minnagallery.com
Tel: (415) 974-1719

This fundraiser is open to the general public. 21+ only, cash bar.

Please RSVP to:
events@eff.org

For more information about EFF's 17th Birthday Bash:
http://www.eff.org/eff17

Video Sharing Sites Go Mainstream

The popularity of video sharing sites continues to grow as more of the American public spends time on YouTube and other similar destinations. A study released by Pew Internet & American Life Project finds the number of Web users who watch video online grew 45 percent between late 2006 and late 2007.

Forty-eight percent of Internet users now visit video sharing Web sites, up from 33 percent in a previous study in 2006. "The grand story here is how the material is mainstreaming," said Lee Rainie, director at the Pew Institute & American Life Project.

The report attributes that sharp increase in adoption to a combination of factors, including the spread of broadband and the growing catalog of content on YouTube and comparable sites. Over the past year broadband at home grew from 45 percent of American households to 54 percent.

"What we see with broadband, once people get used to it, invest in it, and figure out what it means in their lives, the Internet becomes a much more central utility in their life," Rainie said. As much as it is a utility, he added the Internet can also function as a diversion, entertainment channel, or vehicle of enlightenment.

The sheer volume and range of content is a draw for many, particularly as the caliber of video talent extends beyond the amateur. Rainie noted professors post lectures, Ministers film sermons, and other instructional videos find their way to various sites. In addition, professional content including music videos, TV and movie clips are posted and viewed. Clearly, he said, what's behind the growth is partly the technology and "partly that there's a lot more stuff to enjoy."

The demographic characteristics of those who peruse YouTube have broadened. The percentage of women who view videos on an average day increased from 5 percent to 11 percent in the past year, a 120 percent jump. Additionally, more of those between 30 and 49 have added viral video to their media routines. The percentage of people in that age range grew from 7 percent in 2006 to 14 percent by the end of 2007, a 100 percent increase.

Video is populated by a smaller pool of U.S. adults. Twenty-two percent of Americans shoot their own video, and 14 percent post their videos online. The percentage of Internet users posting videos has tripled since an earlier study conducted in the first quarter of 2006.

"Part of the supply side of the story is that the technology used to create videos has become easy to use, and less expensive," said Rainie. He adds that so many cell phones have video capabilities, filming video is "is now a highly spontaneous act in many cases."

The data are from a survey of 2,054 American adults. It was conducted between October 24 and December 2, 2007. Of those surveyed, 1,359 Internet users were asked questions pertaining to video-sharing.

[via clickz.com]

BET Digital Launches Black-Focused Ad Network

Companies aiming to reach African Americans on the Web will be able to advertise on more than 30 black-oriented sites through a new vertical ad network set up by Viacom's BET Digital Media Group.

The ad network, a first for the group formerly known as BET Interactive, will be focused on music, entertainment and lifestyle sites "relevant to the urban and African American communities," said BET Digital Media in announcing the service.

The company cited Jupiter Research data that shows about 22.7 million African Americans regularly go online, making them second to Hispanics in Web use.

In addition to allowing advertisers to "easily target African American consumers across relevant and professional Web sites," the new network will help match publishers seeking ad revenue with "top-quality advertisers" with an eye on the black audience, said BET Digital in a statement.

BET Digital Media oversees BET.com, BET Mobile, BET on Blast (an African-American focused broadband platform) and BET on Demand, a video-on-demand platform offered via Comcast, Cox, Charter, Time Warner and Verizon networks.

BET Digital did not list the sites to be included in the ad network.

In a statement announcing the ad network, BET Digital's new president, Denmark West, said publishers that join the network "will gain access to high quality branded advertising, with the network allowing them to target campaigns most relevant to their audience." He also said the network is a monetization solution for Web sites that have "a large scale of premium inventory but don't necessarily have a sales force to match."

West came to BET this summer from MTV Networks, where he was executive vice president and chief of operations for MTV Global Digital Media.

[via clickz.com]

International Workshop on Designing the Internet of Things for Workplace Realities: Social and Cultural Aspects in Design and Organisation

Social-IoT 2008 Call for Papers and Participation

International Workshop on Designing the Internet of Things for Workplace Realities: Social and Cultural Aspects in Design and Organisation, 26 March 2008, Zurich, Switzerland


In Conjunction with the Internet of Things Conference 2008 - International Conference for Industry and Academia

Submission Deadline: 23 January 2008

http://ubicomp.lancs.ac.uk/workshops/social-iot2008
PDF of this call: http://ubicomp.lancs.ac.uk/workshops/social-iot2008/assets/cfp.pdf

Conference Website: http://www.internet-of-things-2008.org/


The rise of the Internet of Things has important socio-technical implications for organisations. While ubiquitous and wireless technologies are developed to enable new ways of working, to increase safety and to facilitate coordination, they may interfere with established work practices, undermine productivity and individuals’ satisfaction, and have an unforeseen impact on relations of power and control. These issues, however, are rarely addressed in development and research projects for the Internet of Things and in the public discourses surrounding it. We are interested in research, that addresses a wide range of social and organisational issues, such as organisational flexibility, organisational alignment, working roles, practices and strategies, and power and control.

The workshop has the goal to increase awareness of organisational issues of the Internet of Things and to provide a forum for discussion of design approaches to manage critical organisational issues.

Furthermore we would like to build a bridge between the various research communities exploring organisational, social and cultural aspects of the Internet of Things and ubiquitous computing. A multitude of methods and guidelines (e.g. participatory design, work place studies, ethnomethodology, resilience engineering, socio-technical system approach, scenario-based design, ANT) have been developed to address organisational, human and social issues in technology design, deployment and use. However, those methods have often not yet been adopted and tested for the Internet of Things or ubiquitous computing. We encourage submissions presenting a particular design method to address social, cultural and organisational perspectives or relating experiences from modeling these processes within research and development projects.

The Internet of Things is emerging as a powerful force for reshaping organisational and social realities, potentially affecting the (work)lives of millions of people. Current political agendas, a rising awareness of health and safety issues, security, and new legal requirements due to the European legislation often first cause the need for a new (ubiquitous) technological system and also have an impact on the role ubiquitous computing plays. We welcome especially attempts to gauge the wider implications of these developments on society and culture that then in turn have an impact on organisations and workplaces. We not only want to consider the impact of the Internet of Things but rather understand those technologies and the surrounding cultural and social logics in a co-constitutive process.


Scope of the Workshop

We welcome contributions that investigate the Internet of Things and ubiquitous computing from a technical, organisational, cultural and social perspective from areas such as organisational studies, science and technology studies, anthropology and human computer interaction.

We are especially interested in papers by practitioners, technologists, designers and social scientists and contributions that are interdisciplinary.


Position papers on the following topics are welcome:

- Organisational drivers and issues of the Internet of Things

- Adoption and use of Internet of Things technologies in organisations

- Real world case studies of Internet of Things applications in organisations

- The Internet of Things as a socio-technical system

- The alignment of the Internet of Things to workplace realities

- Design methods and processes that address organisational, cultural and social issues

- Methods that address how to manage opportunities and risks associated with the Internet of Things

- Public perception of and discourse about the Internet of Things (and the impact on technology development and adoption)

- High level and general drivers of the internet of things such as risk and information society

- Conceptual frameworks for the Internet of Things


Format

The workshop will be highly interactive to maximize information exchange and foster collaborations. Three or four issues will be set as the agenda of the workshop. The activities will be based on the position papers and on the participants’ background. Major workshop activities will take place in discussion groups following presentations of workshop participants and invited keynote speakers. The selection of workshop participants is based on submitted position papers describing ongoing research and experiences.


Submission Guidelines

We solicit papers describing original research. Contributions should cover current, ongoing or recently concluded work and cannot in this version have been published elsewhere. The position paper should address at least one relevant organisational or social issue of the Internet of Things and will be peer reviewed by an international program committee.

All accepted workshop papers will be published in a single workshop proceedings volume. Submission should be in IEEE 8.5x11 conference format and should not exceed 6 pages. Submission should be formatted in strict accordance with the IEEE Computer Society author guidelines: ftp://pubftp.computer.org/Press/Outgoing/proceedings/INSTRUCT.HTM

For your convenience, templates are available here:
ftp://pubftp.computer.org/Press/Outgoing/proceedings/8.5x11%20-%20Formatting%20files/

Please forward the workshop paper to social-iot@comp.lancs.ac.uk in PDF format.


Important Dates

January 23, 2008: Submission Deadline - Extended
February 14, 2008: Notification of acceptance
February 18, 2008: Early registration deadline
March 1, 2008: Submission deadline for camera-ready papers
March 26, 2008: Workshop


Date and Place

This workshop will be held on March 26, 2007 in Zurich at the Conference Hotel of Internet of Things 2008 the International Conference for Industry and Academia.


Organisers

Daniel Boos, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Katharina Kinder, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Gerd Kortuem, Lancaster University, United Kingdom


Program Committee

Abraham Bernstein, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Monika B├╝scher, Lancaster University, UK
Paul Devadoss, Lancaster University, UK
Gudela Grote, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Stephan Haller, SAP Research
Lorenz Hilty, EMPA, Switzerland
Erik Hollnagel, Ecoles de Mines de Paris, France
Kalle Lyytinnen, Case Western Reserve University, USA
Martina Merz, University Lucerne, Switzerland
Werner Rammert, Technical University Berlin, Germany
George Roussos, University of London, UK
Saadi Lahlou, R&D, Laboratory of Design for Cognition, France
Craig Shepherd, University of Leeds, UK
Nils Zurawski, University of Hamburg, Germany

Additional PC members will be added on the website.

For further information please contact the workshop organisers at social-iot@comp.lancs.ac.uk

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Viral Videos Spread The Word

Viral Videos Spread The Word: a news video from CBS news about the youtube clone GodTube.

" GodTube features viral videos with a Christian message. Maggie Rodriguez speaks to its founder and CEO, Chris Wyatt. "

International Conference on Computer Mediated Social Networking (ICCMSN - 2008)

This conference aims to explore issues in the context of social networking such as formation of online communities and how collaboration and cooperation can be achieved.

Applications that can benefit from models of social network structure include, social norm spreading, disease propagation, opinion dynamics, and collective knowledge construction. The network topologies play an important role in these applications. This conference will address the links between these topics. Additional topics of interest include:

- Facilitating effective structure in a Social Network environment

- Agent-based simulation for studying the dynamic behaviour in on-line societies

- Issues and solutions in modelling virtual collaborative environments

- Integration of various communication tools such as Wikis, Blogs, Discussion Boards etc.


Call for Papers

Even though the use of HTML and early Web browsers expanded the Internet experience from mostly one-to-one interactions to that of one-to-many (massive publishing), this development still did not afford the sophisticated kinds of social interactions undertaken by people in the real world. Recently, however, new technologies (such as Weblogs, Web services, RSS/Atom, tagging with folksonomies, and Wikis – sometimes collectively called “Web 2.0") have appeared that offer more socially-oriented network interactions. This has led to the new system development mode of (a) employing lightweight scripting languages to bundle various Web 2.0 elements, or plugins, and then (b) deploying them on network servers, thereby establishing Social Network Systems (SNS).


The physical nature of the new network architectures is increasingly heterogeneous, comprising more lightweight portable devices (cell phones and PDAs) interacting with ever-more powerful multi-core network servers that host SNS. From these developments have merged such popular services such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, LiveJournal, Flickr, and YouTube, which employ tagging so that people can find others with similar tastes and share media files stored on the servers. But analysts and observers predict that SNS have much greater potential than merely exchanging media files: these are expected to afford opportunities to meet and engage in extended, creative, and more meaningful (in fact, unforeseeable) interactions that will greatly enhance their Internet experiences. How can this vision be achieved?

An important new platform technology where all these developments come together and which has inspired many expert observers is that of the new virtual environments, such as Second Life and There, which enable people to meet and engage in virtual, three-dimensional social interactions. The future of SNS will certainly be played out on these platforms, and their scalability can only be tested presently on high speed networks.

The Key Issues: In all societies, whether electronic or real, there is a fundamental tension between freedom and rules. If the interaction rules of behaviour are too rigid, people feel constrained and leave the society. On the other hand, if interaction rules are too lax, aimless inhabitants become bored – plus the society can be overrun by vandals and free-riders. Those who want to ensure that the SNS is a success must find a way to establish a balanced set of interaction protocols that enable life in the society to be spontaneous and interesting. To address this concern we need to explore the following questions:

- How can we facilitate effective structure in a SNS?

- How can we enable collaboration/cooperation in social networking application areas such as education, e-commerce, world-wide research etc?

- How can collective knowledge be constructed and shared?

- What is the role of network topologies (scale free, small world, random) in the areas such as disease spreading, opinion dynamics, and norm spreading?

- How can we model the dynamic growth and shrinkage of online communities?

- How can software agents be used in the development and simulation of on-line societies?

- How can various Web 2.0 tools be integrated to satisfy the needs of electronic communities in a holistic manner?

- How can realistic virtual environments be modelled, designed and developed? What are the issues and solutions?

- How can high speed networks such as KAREN (Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network, http://www.karen.net.nz/home/) facilitate the real world experience of virtual environments?

- How can privacy, security, and trust issues be addressed in on-line communities?

We invite experts (both national and international) on social networks, games, education to participate by submitting high quality research articles and sharing ideas on how to address these important questions.


The submission date is February 27th.

For more information please view the associated Website:

http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/infosci/conferences/isn2008/index.html

4th International Conference on e-Social Science - Call for Papers

4th International Conference on e-Social Science
Manchester, June 18th-20th, 2008

Initial Announcement and Call for Submissions


The aim of the conference on e-Social Science is to bring together leading international representatives of the social science, e-Infrastructure/ cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities in order to improve mutual awareness, harmonize understanding and instigate coordinated activities to accelerate research, development and deployment of powerful, new research methods and tools for the social sciences and beyond.

We invite contributions from members of the social science, e-infrastructure/ cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities with experience of, or interests in:

1) exploring, developing, and applying new methods, practices, and tools afforded by new infrastructure technologies - such as the Grid and Web 2.0 - in order to further social science research; and

2) studying issues impacting on the wider take-up of e-Research.

Submission categories include: full and short papers, posters, demos, workshops, tutorials and panels.


Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

* Case studies of the application of e-Social Science research methods to substantive social science problems

* Advances in tools and techniques for quantitative and qualitative e-Social Science, including statistical analysis, simulation, data mining, text mining, social network analysis and collaborative environments

* Enabling new sources and forms of sociological data through e-Social Science, including ethical issues and challenges in the collection, integration, sharing and analysis of sociological and other personal data

* The e-Research technical roadmap, including grids, web 2.0 and their future (co-evolution)


Important Deadlines:

Paper abstracts: January 25th, 2008.

Workshop, tutorial and panel outlines: February 22nd, 2008.

Poster and demo abstracts: March 21st, 2008.

Submission instructions will appear on the conference web site in December.

Authors will be informed of the programme committee’s decision in early March, 2008.

For full details of this call, including a full list of topics of interest and submission instructions, please visit
http://www.ncess.ac.uk/events/conference/call/

Congressional Research Awards

Congressional Research Awards Announcement

DEADLINE: All proposals must be received no later than February 1, 2008.


The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the U.S. Congress. A total of up to $30,000 will be available in 2008. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to $3,500.

The competition is open to individuals with a serious interest in studying Congress. Political scientists, historians, biographers, scholars of public administration or American studies, and journalists are among those eligible. The Center encourages graduate students who have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus to apply and awards a significant portion of the funds for dissertation research.

The awards program does not fund undergraduate or pre-Ph.D. study. Organizations are not eligible. Research teams of two or more individuals are eligible. No institutional overhead or indirect costs may be claimed against a Congressional Research Award.

There is no standard application form. Applicants are responsible for showing the relationship between their work and the awards program guidelines. Applications are accepted at any time. Applications which exceed the page limit and incomplete applications will NOT be forwarded to the screening committee for consideration.

All application materials must be received on or before February 1, 2008. Awards will be announced in March 2008. Complete information about eligibility and application procedures may be found at The Center's Web site: http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_grants_CRAs.htm.
Frank Mackaman is the program officer -- mailto:fmackaman@dirksencenter.org

The Center, named for the late Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to the study of
Congress and its leaders. Since 1978, the Congressional Research Awards (formerly the Congressional Research Grants) program has paid out $680,000 to support 350 projects.

Situated Advocacy - Call for Proposals

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Situated Technologies Pamphlet 3: Situated Advocacy
http://situatedtechnologies.net/?q=node/76


Deadline for abstracts: February 15, 2008


The Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series invites submissions for its upcoming volume on “Situated Advocacy.”

Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular issue, idea or person, and addresses issues including self-advocacy, environmental protection, the rights of women, youth and minorities, social justice, the re-structured digital divide and political reform.

How might Situated Technologies be mobilized toward changing and/or influencing social or political policies, practices, and beliefs?

What new forms of advocacy are enabled by contemporary location-based or context-aware media and information systems?

How might they lend tactical support to the process of managing information flows and disseminating strategic knowledge that influences individual behavior or opinion, corporate conduct or public policy and law?

+ Submission details:
We are seeking submissions from pairs of authors, in keeping with the format of a “conversation” between two individuals or groups. Please submit a 500 word abstract and short bio for each author (150 words max) in Rich Text Format (RTF) by February 15, 2008 to editors@situatedtechnologies.net. We expect final manuscripts will range from 7500-10,000 words and will be due by May 16, 2008. Please contact us if you have questions about potential essays or the Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series in general. More information is available at http://www.situatedtechnologies.net.

+ About the Series:
The Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series consists of nine short pamphlets to be published over the next three years, exploring the implications of ubiquitous computing for architecture and urbanism: how our experience of space and the choices we make within it are affected by a range of mobile, pervasive, embedded or otherwise “situated” technologies. The series, published via print-on-demand (POD), consists of a succession of “conversations” between researchers, writers and other practitioners from architecture, art, science and technology studies, comparative media study, performance studies, and engineering.

+ Series Editors:
Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, Mark Shepard

+ Advisory Committee:
Keller Easterling, Anne Galloway, Malcolm McCullough, Howard Rheingold

+ Publisher:
The Architectural League of New York
http://www.archleague.org

The Cult of Difficulty: Critical Approaches to the Comics of Chris Ware

Call for submissions for The Cult of Difficulty: Critical Approaches to the Comics of Chris Ware, edited by Dave Ball, Dickinson College, and Martha Kuhlman, Bryant University.

The Cult of Difficulty is a proposed collection of essays on the work of Chicago-based contemporary graphic novelist/comic book artist/cartoonist Chris Ware. Author of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000, winner of the 2001 Guardian First Book Award), Quimby the Mouse (2003), and The Acme Novelty Library (2005), Ware has quickly emerged as one of the central figures in contemporary graphic narratives.

We are currently seeking abstracts for 20- to 25-page articles that analyze Ware’s work, with particular interest in multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to his oeuvre.

Essays that address the following questions are especially encouraged, but please feel free to send your own ideas for Ware papers as well:

-- How do Ware’s texts raise questions about representations of race, gender, class, and disability? In particular we are eager to receive cultural studies analyses of Jimmy Corrigan and Acme Novelty Library that engage with these topics.

-- How has Ware’s work as an editor, anthologist, and collector shaped the landscape of contemporary comics and informed his own corpus?

-- In what ways are questions of narrative and temporality engaged and complicated in Ware's texts? What insights do narratological and semiotic approaches offer to a reading of Ware’s comics?

-- How does Ware's work intersect with advertising culture, web sites, media, and packaging?

-- What is Ware's relationship to the literary canon (both in terms of graphic and conventional literature) and how does he re-imagine our relationship to the idea of literariness?

Please send 500-1000 word abstracts (or completed articles), c.v., and contact information in Word format to warecollection@gmail.com by March 10th. Papers from a diversity of disciplinary orientations and methodological approaches are especially encouraged.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rating the best social networks

Rating the best social networks: News report (video from Reuters)
The ranking is based on the findings of a single anonymous expert who tested 10 popular social networking sites. Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan reports.

we're back!

hi there,
after a fairly long break for the holidays I am back at uni.
it was great to see my family again, but now I have to concentrate even more on my studies. for a little while I thought about not continuing this site, mainly because of the lack of visitors, but then again I think that I am offering a great service, and it helps me to keep in touch with the issues that are currently going on in the academic world in terms of research and conferences, so I will continue to update this site with internet and online related news, conferences, and academic stuff that could be of interest to anyone dealing with online marketing, like me.

if you like my blog and would like to support me, then you can click an any of the amazon affiliate links and help me through university. although I must say that so far I have made like 3 dollars from the Amazon thing, so you're probably more likely to help me get a book or DVD rather than financing my studies.... now there's another internet myth gone, easy money on the net, not for me at least...