Saturday, April 5, 2008

Broadband & Mobiles in Canada

Broadband & Mobiles in Canada
Seminar by Catherine Middleton (Ryerson U., Toronto)

3.30pm, Tuesday 8 April
Uni of NSW, Kensington campus
Morven Brown Building, 3rd floor, 308B

Presented by the Journalism and Media Research Centre, UNSW

This talk will present findings from two research projects, one investigating broadband adoption and usage in Canada, the other looking at the love-hate relationships people have with mobile
devices like Blackberries. The presenter will highlight some problems and challenges anticipated in developing additional broadband capacity (an issue the Australian government is tackling at the moment), and present some insights into how mobile devices can help and hinder
work-life balance.

About the presenter:

Catherine Middleton is a faculty member in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, where she holds a Canada Research Chair studying Communication Technologies in the Information Society. Her research focuses on how people adopt and use broadband and mobile technologies, with an interest in understanding
their beneficial and problematic characteristics.


The seminar will be held in Room 308B, Morven Brown building,
Kensington campus, UNSW (close to gate 8). Further details and maps may be found at:

RSVP to Gerard Goggin:

iTunes becomes biggest US music seller

Thanks to a spike in post-holiday sales, Apple’s iTunes online store outsold long-time top music retailer Wal-Mart in the United States during both January and February, the company said Thursday. Research firm NPD has been tracking the meteoric rise of iTunes among music retailers since it broke the top ten sellers in the third quarter 2005.

It entered the rankings at number seven behind Circuit City, FYE,, Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart.Data from NPD, which tracks retail sales in the US, showed that by the first quarter of 2007, iTunes had upset all but Wal-Mart and Best Buy, establishing a comfortable position in third. The margin between third and second place represents the largest gap in the rankings.

Then, citing NPD data again in February of this year, Apple claimed its iTunes store was number two in music sales in 2007, selling over 200 million songs on Christmas Day alone. It was during one of these spikes that iTunes finally ranked higher than Wal-Mart, garnering a 19% share of music sales over the discount retailer’s 15%.

According to the company, it was able to hold that top spot during January and February. Apple has sold 4 billion songs through iTunes and counts over 50 million customers.

Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2008

Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2008

Sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

The Carl Couch Center issues an annual call for student-authored papers to be considered for Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award. The Couch Center welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers that (1) apply symbolic interactionist approaches to Internet studies, (2) demonstrate interactive relationships between social interaction and communication
technologies as advocated by Couch, and/or (3) develop symbolic interactionist concepts in new directions. Papers will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of Symbolic Interactionist approaches and concepts and Couch’s theses, (2) originality, (3) organization, (4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge.
Evaluation will be administered by a Review Committee of four:

Dr. Mark D. Johns, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Dr. Lori Kendall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Annette Markham, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Dr. Dennis Waskul, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all disciplines. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not eligible for award consideration. Entries should not exceed 30 pages (approximately 7500 words) in length, including references and appendices. Limit of one entry per student per year.

The top three papers will receive Couch Awards to be presented at the 2008 meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers ( at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The top paper will be awarded a certificate and a cash prize of $500 US, runner up will receive a
certificate and a cash prize of $300 US, and a third paper will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $100 US. All three authors will be invited to present their work at a session of the AoIR conference, October 15-19, 2008 in Copenhagen.

Those interested should send a copy of their paper, with a 100-word abstract, electronically to Mark D. Johns at Application deadline is April 28, 2008. Notification of award will be sent by June 16.

Those with questions or comments about Couch Award application, please contact:

Mark D. Johns
Dept. of Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, IA 52101 USA
Tel: (563) 387-1347

First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture

First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture

Hosted at the fourth annual iSummit, 29 July -1 August, 2008, Sapporo, Japan
With submission deadline: 26 April, 2008 (for extended abstracts)

The First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture presents a unique opportunity for scholars with various backgrounds, whose work contributes to the promotion or study of an emerging Free Culture, to present their research work to a multidisciplinary audience of academic peers and practitioners.

It will be held in conjunction with the fourth iSummit, one of the largest annual events for the Free Culture and related movements. Our aim is to provide a platform for scholars to communicate their findings to an audience that extends beyond individual disciplines because we believe that the wider participation in the creative process (and consequently in the formation and dissemination of our modern culture) enabled by new Internet technologies, innovative legal solutions and new business models, are far-reaching and therefore deserve to be examined through the lens of multidisciplinary inquiry.

The focus of the workshop will be on the presentation and critique of work in progress, and with the inclusion of both academic researchers and practitioners, so as to produce a holistic perspective on the future of a more participative, open and free information society. Workshop participants will have the chance to present their work at an event which attracts some of the world's foremost thinkers on the future of the Internet, as well as practitioners, technologists, activists and artists who help shape that future.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

BBC Click - Evolution of social networks

Recent reports of social networking's demise may be slightly premature.
Sure, some users are completely fed up with receiving friends invites, being "bitten", "poked" and indeed having sheep thrown at them.

And there has been a 5% slowdown in new UK users to the larger social networks, Facebook and MySpace, between December 2007 and January this year.

But Alex Burmaster, an analyst at Nielsen Online which compiled the figures showing the decline, says: "The slow down in social networks is being somewhat exaggerated. It's a natural form of any growth that we see in the online eco-system.

"Something starts from a very small base and grows very quickly. It becomes popular, but then it's only natural at some point that the growth has to stop, because it cannot carry on growing at that rate, because there is only so many people it can grow into."

While the bigger players in the game might be experiencing a slow down in growth, they still command the attention of millions of users.

"I think you are going to see a lot of businesses coming up thinking how do we tap this power of social interaction, trusted friends and different advice, to make money," says Travis Katz, managing director, international, at MySpace.

"I think some will figure it out and others won't," he adds.


[this video will not play in many feed readers, please visit the site to watch it]

Social usefulness

This could mean that social networking sites start to evolve, taking on new characteristics, and perform new roles.

After all the power of a social network lies in the sheer number of users accessing that site.

Rather than acting as a glorified friend finder, social networking could provide more practical help. The recent addition of a blood group application to Facebook that tracks down blood donors with specific blood types, ably demonstrates this.

"The idea of social networking on the socially useful sites is all around consumer to consumer content," says Mr Burmaster.

"So rather than a publisher providing information and content, it's all about consumer to consumer. They are providing information to each other.

"With the socially useful site, it's about bringing people's opinions together.

"So a socially useful site is more about what I think about something, rather than who I am as a person," he adds.

Yahoo Launches Site Focused on Women

Yahoo Launches Site Focused on Women

Yahoo has launched a site for women between ages 25 and 54, calling it a key demographic underserved by current Yahoo properties.

This news video from the Associated Press may not play in all feed readers, please visit the site to watch it.

Here is what the press release says:

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced the launch of Yahoo! Shine (, a new website for women that aims to provide the information most relevant to their daily lives. The site offers nine categories ranging from Fashion & Beauty to Parenting, and will feature content from many of the most popular lifestyles publishers, including Conde Nast Publications and Hearst Corporation. Additionally, a new editorial team will develop original stories on a daily basis, and hand pick the best user blog posts to feature prominently on the site. Yahoo! Shine creates a single destination for the approximately 40 million women between the ages of 25 and 54 who already come to Yahoo! each month, making Yahoo! a more relevant starting point for this audience.

The new site will help create a better experience for women on Yahoo!, while providing Yahoo! advertisers with a single lifestyles destination to reach this coveted demographic. Yahoo! Shine brings together the resources of several existing Yahoo! sites, including Yahoo! Food and Yahoo! Astrology, and will incorporate content from Yahoo! Health. Bringing these resources together is an example of Yahoo! Media's focus on building larger category sites for mass audiences, rather than focusing on niche topics and smaller audiences.

"We're executing on Yahoo!'s starting point strategy by ensuring that women who start their day with Yahoo! are offered a more relevant experience," said Scott Moore, senior vice president and head of Yahoo! Media. "Yahoo! Shine adds an important piece to our Media portfolio, which already includes sites that are number one in the News, Sports, Finance and Entertainment categories."

Editorial Model

Lifestyles publishing veteran Brandon Holley serves as Yahoo! Shine's editor-in-chief, overseeing a team of seasoned editors who each bring a unique point-of-view to their topic. The editors join Yahoo! from many of the leading print and online lifestyles outlets, including Lucky magazine, The Wall Street Journal's Career Journal, and BluePrint magazine. Editors will program content in nine categories daily by featuring partner content, stories from a women's blog network, and developing original stories. Yahoo! Shine's nine categories are:

- Fashion & Beauty - Parenting
- Food - At Home
- Healthy Living - Entertainment & Culture
- Work & Money - Astrology
- Love and Relationships

"You can count on us to bring attitude and personality, and find humor in almost every topic we cover, whether it's a post on men who wear skinny jeans, how you can get back into your skinny jeans, or whether you'll be taken seriously if you wear jeans to work," Holley said. "Yahoo! Shine speaks to you as a friend, telling you the secrets and tips to simplify your life."

Yahoo! Shine offers a blog platform for all users to share their thoughts and discoveries in a trusted environment. Editors will handpick entries from these blogs to feature alongside the partner and editorial content.

Like Yahoo!'s other category-leading media properties, Yahoo! Shine has partnered with the top content providers in its category. Yahoo! Shine's partners will create original content and feature choice magazine content. Partners include:

-- Conde Nast Publications and CondeNet - Glamour, Self, Bon Appetit, Lucky, Allure, Domino, Cookie,,

-- Hearst Corporation - Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Real Age, House Beautiful, Daily Green, Country Living

-- Rodale, Inc. - Prevention, Women's Health, Men's Health, Best Life

-- Time, Inc. - InStyle

-- Eating Well Media - Eating Well

"Yahoo! is an ideal partner for us because they are pioneering a unique way to present content online," said Christopher Johnson, vice president, content and business development, Hearst Magazines Digital Media. "With more than 130 million visitors each month to Yahoo! in the U.S., Yahoo! will become a giant megaphone for us and allow Hearst's network of bloggers to elevate their voices and be heard by a much larger audience. Increasing the visibility of our blog content is a key element in driving additional traffic and converting passive readers into loyal fans."

"We're delighted that Yahoo! has turned to so many of our magazines and websites for content for its new women's website," said Rick Levine, vice president, editorial operations, Conde Nast Publications. "By speaking to Yahoo!'s huge audience, this partnership will give our great editorial properties a significant growth opportunity."

Building on Yahoo!'s Advertising Leadership

The female (age 25-54) audience, which Yahoo! has designated as "Chief Household Officers," is a highly sought-after demographic for advertisers. It is made up of heavy Internet users, who are frequently the household purchasing decision-makers. Yahoo! Shine creates an opportunity for advertisers to reach this audience in an environment that is relevant and meaningful to women, and several advertisers have signed up to participate at launch. Yahoo! believes the site will be especially attractive to advertisers in the consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and retail categories, where combined online advertising spend is expected to exceed $1.8 billion in 2008, based on competitive spending analysis done by TNS Media Intelligence.

Visit or go to Yahoo! and search "Shine."

EDem2008 - E-Democracy Conference

EDem2008 - E-Democracy Conference

Danube University Krems (Austria)
29.09.2008 - 30.09.2008

„E-Democracy“ has managed the jump from trendy “e-word” to reality. Following recommendations issued by the European Council, studies and projects conducted in Europe are starting to provide initial findings and results.

We are looking for contributions on all areas and levels of electronic democracy and participation systems, precedence will be given to those contributions which include national and/or international experiences. Concrete projects can also be submitted, and, if accepted, would be presented as examples of “hands-on” demonstrations of E-Democracy and E-Participation.

Papers and projects can be submitted in English or German, the tracks in German and English language will be held parallel.

We invite individuals from academic and practical backgrounds as well as public administration offices, public bodies, NGOs, education institutions and independent organisations, to submit their contributions.

Cost: EUR 95,- including proceedings

The Proceedings will be published by the OCG (Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft)

In cooperation with the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

There are a number of E-Democracy applications, ranging from providing information to discussion, deliberation, decision-making and voting, thus encompassing the entire democratic process. The technical devices have become a means to an end, and there are other questions that now need to be raised and answered:

- To what extent can E-Democracy support and enrich our democracy?

- What and where are the interfaces, what methods can be used to integrate E-participation in present politics public administration processes?

- How can we ensure that the greatest number of people are reached and are able to use the means of participation?

- How can the modern media support political education?

- How can the Internet increase participation in political discussion?

- What are the limitations and the risks of E-Democracy?

The EDem2008 conference presents the opportunity to look into these questions and discuss the answers. During the conference experiences will be collected, examples good and bad practice analysed, the State-of-the-Art and future scenarios will be presented and discussed.

[more here]

Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture: new issue

The new issue of Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture is now available. WPCC is an Open Access journal. You can obtain the full text of any of the articles by visiting the issue's page at

Table of contents, Volume 5 Number 1 - March 2008

Salvatore Scifo (London Metropolitan University)

Kerrie Foxwell, Jacqui Ewart, Susan Forde and Michael Meadows (Griffith University)
Sounds like a whisper: Australian Community Broadcasting hosts a quiet revolution

Stefania Milan (European University Institute)
What makes you happy? Insights into feelings and muses of community radio practitioners

Dickie Wallace (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Reinventing the Wheel vs. Grinding the Same Old Axe: An Ethnographic View of the Students and Community Members at a Massachusetts College Radio Station

Jan Pinseler (Lüneburg University)
The Politics of Talk on German Free Radio Stations

Özden Cankaya, H.Serhat Güney and M.Emre Köksalan (Galatasaray University)
Turkish Radio broadcasts in The Netherlands: Community Communication or Ethnic Market?

Book reviews

Lawrie Hallett (University of Westminster)
The Alternative Media Handbook and Understanding Alternative Media

Fredrik Stiernstedt (Södertörn University College)
Other Voices. The Struggle for Community Radio in India

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Contemporary Film Form and Film Criticism

Continuity and Innovation: Contemporary Film Form and Film Criticism

5th - 7th September 2008, University of Reading Film Conference

Contemporary film displays both its debt to the established forms and practices of narrative cinema, and to international developments in aesthetic practice and in new technologies that subtly shift the boundaries of cinema's aural and visual field.

At the same time, contemporary film criticism negotiates a shifting relationship with its own histories and present its histories of textual analysis and film theory, and its present landscape of concerns with identity, new delivery and reception contexts, digital remediation, and so on, explored against the backdrop of a volatile socio-historical moment.

This conference seeks to consider the critical challenges contemporary film form poses for us as film critics and theorists, in an approach rooted in the detail of the film text itself. In addition, the conference wishes to reflect and engage with the diversity of contemporary aesthetic choices and filmmaking practices. On the one hand, the conference will explore the continuities and innovations in contemporary film style, to move towards an account of contemporary cinema’s aesthetic practice and the ways in which these formal elements shape the production of meaning. On the other hand, the conference will provide an important opportunity to explore and extend
the continuities and innovations possible in contemporary film criticism.

Keynote speakers will be Gilberto Perez, Douglas Pye and Adrian Martin. In addition, film practitioners will be discussing their work.

We invite papers that attempt to meet these interpretative, analytical and critical challenges through direct engagement with contemporary films.

In addition to the familiar pattern of panel discussions and plenaries, the conference will include workshops in which speakers will present frameworks for analysis of the detail of a movie, as an introduction to discussion. Titles of films to be discussed at the conference will be circulated in advance.

Proposals for three kinds of presentation are invited:

- Close readings grounded in detailed analysis (20 minute papers).

- Discussion of historical, theoretical or critical issues related to the interpretation of contemporary film style (20 minute papers).

- Workshop introductions, designed to open up issues about a sequence (or sequences), as a prelude to extended debate (workshops will last 90 minutes).

The deadline for proposals is 1st April 2008.

Please send us your 200-word proposal and brief biography by email to: Enquiries should be directed to the conference organisers Lisa Purse and John Gibbs at the same email address.

Art and Power graduate conference - call for papers

"Art and Power"
A one-day graduate conference

School of English, University of Leeds (UK)
27 September 2008

Joseph Conrad expressed apprehension about the political and moral utility of literature, W.H. Auden claimed that poetry makes nothing happen, and Theodor Adorno asserted that there could be no poetry after Auschwitz. Yet, in the postmodern era there is no shortage of art or of
theories that speak to political realities, conflict and calamity. In the 21st century and in the 7th year of the official "War on Terror" we ask: is the pen mightier than the sword? Is art acting as a social corrective? Is it politically effective? Or conversely, how and when is it co-opted and/or
appropriated, and to what ends? This conference invites papers that speak to art's politicisation, neutralisation, instrumentalisation, and its relationship(s) to power more generally. Our objective is to establish a dialogue that takes up the various intersections between art and power in contemporary "globalised", "capitalist", "postmodern", and "post"-colonial societies. Art and Power is an interdisciplinary conference, and thus topics for papers are not restricted to literature.

The keynote speaker will be Prof. Derek Attridge (University of York). The conference will moreover include a session designed to advise young scholars on publishing their academic work. Prof. Shirley Chew (University of Leeds, general editor of Moving Worlds) and Dr. Mark
Taylor-Batty (University of Leeds, European editor of The Pinter Review and co-editor of Performing Ethos) will give a talk on various aspects of academic publication.

Presentation topics for the conference may include but are not limited to the following:

- Art and totalitarianism

- Utopian/Dystopian visions in contemporary literature

- Paranoia and conspiracy theories

- The fluidity/rhetorical constructedness/abuses of the concept "democracy" and its ideological derivatives

- The role of the artist and the academic under capitalism

- Globalisation, cultural imperialism and forms of cultural resistance

- Models of inclusion and exclusion in democracy and multiculturalism

- Expressions of dissent

- The instrumentalisation of art and journalism in "democratic" societies

- Politics and aesthetics

- Art and religion, art and atheism

- Issues of epistemological "access" and perceptions and discursive constructions of "non-democratic" cultures and political crises through western art and the media

- Creating feminist art within patriarchal societies

Abstracts for twenty minute presentations should not exceed 300 words and should be accompanied by a short CV. Please direct your submission to: by 1 May 2008. Visit the conference website at:

Selected Concepts of Comparison and Methods of Empirical Migration Research

"Selected Concepts of Comparison and Methods of Empirical Migration Research”

International Summer School
29. 09. – 03. 10. 2008

This summer school provides insights into the state of the art of empirical migration research.
Renowned specialists in their fields introduce selected quantitative as well as qualitative
research methods and situate them in the context of current research approaches. Additionally,
methods are treated and discussed in more detail in small working groups. Overall, the program
offers advanced M.A.- and Ph.D. students the opportunity to present and discuss their research
projects in a professional environment of scholars and experts.

The first day is dedicated to five keynote speakers who present current research questions and
compare various (migration) research approaches and their methodological implications.
Participants will have the chance to discuss with the experts in small working groups throughout the day as well as during the conference dinner on Monday night. During the second and third day four workshops (two parallel at a time) on qualitative and quantitative methods with regard to the study of migration will be held, including the analysis of migration regimes, migrant organizations, and migrants’ biographies and life courses. Participants may choose two out of the four workshops. On the fourth day each participant will have the chance to present his or her research design either in a plenary session or in small thematic working groups and is invited to make comments on the research outlines/designs of the other participants. The fifth day is an optional day, which could (according to participants’ interests) include a cultural visiting program in cooperation with local or regional migrant organizations.

Application Process:
Please submit an abstract of 300 words and a short letter of motivation until 30 June 2008 to the following address: Additionally, the two preferred workshops should be indicated. The language of the international summer school will be English.
No conference fee is raised. We are sorry to announce, that neither travel nor lodging reimbursements can be given. Information regarding accommodation options and conference details are available on our website at
The Summer School is organized jointly between the Faculty of Social Science/Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Prof. Dr. L. Pries), the Department of Social Sciences/Universität Duisburg-Essen (Prof. Dr. A. Weiß) and the Research School of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (PhD candidate M.A. Kerstin Rosenow).

Globalization: Cultures, Institutions and Socioeconomics

International Conference on "Globalization: Cultures, Institutions and
Call for Papers

To be held in Hong Kong, December 12-13, 2008

Co-Sponsored by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Washington University in St. Louis

Along the recent trend of globalization, perhaps one of the most significant focal points is the study on issues related to "Greater China," a notion that originally entails potential economic integration of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (including Macau) and has lately been broadened to include Singapore, Southeast Asian Chinese communities, and overseas Chinese in other countries. Despite some political repercussions, Greater China has become an indisputable economic reality today. But economy is not the strongest element at play; rather, a more prevalent and consequential factor is culture and the underlying formal institutions and informal social customs.

This conference is designed to study the causes and consequences of globalization from cultural, institutional and socioeconomic perspectives, focusing more on topics related to Greater China. It invites scholars to investigate:

* What perspectives can we deploy to investigate the different and yet similar cosmopolitan cultures of Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Macau, Shenzhen, and others?

* How do cultures of these cities work in practice and how are they embedded in everyday-life situations as locatable phenomena?

* What approaches can we use to explore the experience of place and space, the dynamics between local and global, culture and economy, and the dilemmas of knowledge?

* How do states, empires and nations, corporations, shops and goods, literature, music, film, etc., figure in our examination of the cultures of consumption and production?

* How do places develop meanings for people? What are the struggles over defining who belongs in a place?

* What role do travel, information technology, and other means of communication play in shaping a global city network among these three cities and beyond?

The conference will feature several distinguished keynote and plenary-session speakers, including Nobel Laureate Douglass North and Professors Frank Dikotter, Robert Hegel, Chang-Tai Hsien, Gordon Mathews, Hui Wang, and Shaoguang Wang. All sessions will be held on the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus, while the conference dinner will be housed at the world-known Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Although we prefer complete papers, submissions of long abstracts will be considered. Submissions of organized sessions are also welcome. All submissions must be made through e-mail to all the co-chairs of the program committee no later than May 31, 2008: Lingchei Letty Chen (, Ann Louise Huss (, Laikwan Pang
(, and Ping Wang ( We anticipate having the preliminary program posted by June 15, 2008.

Monday, March 31, 2008

CFP Global Internet Governance Academic Network Symposium 2008

Third Annual GigaNet Symposium
Call for Papers

2 December 2008 - Hyderabad, India
Hyderabad International Conference Center (HICC)

The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet is a
scholarly community that promotes the development of Internet governance as a recognized, interdisciplinary field of study and facilitates informed dialogue on policy issues and related matters between scholars and governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society.

Each year, GigaNet organizes a one-day research symposium in conjunction with the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and in the same premises. After the first two editions in Athens, Greece (October 2006) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (November 2007), the
third GigaNet Annual Symposium will be held on December 2, 2008, in Hyderabad, India, the day before the 3rd IGF meeting. Attendance at the Symposium will be open to all and free of charge. The Symposium will be at the same location as the IGF and registration with the UN
as an IGF participant may be necessary to gain entry to the building.

This is a call for papers from scholars interested in presenting an original research paper at the conference.

Submission topics
In addition to papers on methodological aspects of Internet governance-related studies, this year's Symposium particularly encourages submissions on the following themes, which are described in more detail below:

1. Comparing Internet Governance to other Global Governance Domains

2. Networked Governance Theories and the Institutionalization of Internet Governance

3. The Role of NGOs, Social Movements and Civil Society in Internet Governance

4. Year 3 of the UN Internet Governance Forum: Assessing its Structure, Process and Impact

5. Law and Jurisdictions in Internet Governance

6. Copyright Protection, Internet Service Providers and Technical Mechanisms of Control

7. Internationalized Domain Names: Expanding Access or Tower of Babel?

Submission requirements
Applicants should submit: 1) an abstract of 800-1000 words, in English, of the proposed paper that describes the main research question(s), methods employed, and the paper's relevance and value to the thematic area; and 2) a one page summary curriculum vitae listing in particular the applicant's current institutional affiliation(s), advanced degrees, scholarly publications relevant to Internet governance, and web sites, if available.

Submission materials should be emailed directly to the chairperson of the 2008 Program Committee, Dr. Meryem Marzouki, at by no later than July 15, 2008, midnight GMT.

Members of the 2008 program committee will review submissions according to the same criteria. In order to ensure fairness of the evaluation process, submissions that do not conform to the requested format will not be considered.

The Program Committee will notify applicants of its decisions via email by September 15, 2008.

A full paper upon which oral or poster presentation will be based must be delivered to the same address by October 10, 2008, midnight GMT in order for the author(s) to be included in the program.

While GigaNet asserts no copyright to authors' work, it is expected that the version of the paper presented orally or as poster will be made available for posting on the GigaNet website.

Travel scholarships for a few outstanding accepted papers may be available for scholars who would otherwise be unable to attend. Applicants who are accepted will be informed of these opportunities after September 15.

2008 GigaNet Symposium Program Committee:
- Ana Abreu, Labeurb/Unicamp and Paulista University, Campinas (SP), Brazil

- Slavka Antonova, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

- Meryem Marzouki, LIP6/PolyTIC-CNRS Laboratory, Paris, France (Chair)

- John Mathiason, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse (NY), USA

- Milton Mueller, Syracuse University School of Information Studies, Syracuse (NY), USA

- Max Senges, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

- Rolf H. Weber, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Important dates:
- 15 July 2008: abstract submission deadline (to be sent to:
- 15 September 2008: notification to applicants
- 10 October 2008: full papers due
- 15 October 2008: 2008 GigaNet symposium program finalized
- 2 December 2008: 2008 GigaNet symposium, HICC, Hyderabad, India

Topics Description

1. Comparing Internet Governance to other Global Governance Domains

The concept of global governance has flourished in a number of fields: trade, security, environment, development -- as well as Internet. However, most general analyses of global governance ignore global Internet governance. Conversely, very few Internet governance
analyses are conducted through comparative frameworks. Submissions are invited to help frame Internet governance in a broader, global governance perspective. What could be learnt from experiences of global governance in other fields? Are there any general instruments and methods of global governance, irrespective of the domain area it addresses? Could some similarities or invariants of a global governance process be identified?

2. Networked Governance Theories and the Institutionalization of Internet Governance

The global policy discourse on Internet governance involves more diverse actors and newly created institutions. There is a need to explore the dynamics of this changing institutionalization process through theoretical and empirical analysis. Recent work explores network forms of organization in political and governance contexts, at national and international levels, most notably with the concept of "transgovernmental networks" to solve sector-specific problems.
We call for papers that apply, test and criticize ideas of "networked governance" in the context of global Internet governance. We encourage submissions that analyze collaborative policy-making in related institutions and interactions between them. We are especially interested in papers that critically analyze these forms of governance in terms of fairness and accountability and their relationship to democratic principles. Can presently excluded or minority communities enhance their participation? Beyond the expert discourse and the interplay amongst dedicated stakeholders, can networked governance represent people, rather than just established interests and agencies? What are the available tools and practices to facilitate their participation and deliberation, in terms of discourse, collaboration and decision-making?

3. Role of NGOs, Social Movements and Civil Society in Internet Governance

Important but subtle transformations have occurred in the role and participation of non-governmental and non-business actors in the 6 years since the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). WSIS witnessed a somewhat usual situation, where organized social actors
participated from inside the process through structured non-governmental organizations, and social movements exercised some more radical pressure from the outside. Since the creation of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), this mode of participation has turned into a "consensus-based cooperation", where civil society actors are supposed to contribute on equal footing with governments and business actors, in most cases in their individual capacity and
rather disconnected from social movements. We seek papers that analyze the evolution of involved social actors and their structuring, especially with regards to the historical evolution of
the concept of civil society, and to explore in which ways and to what extent these transformations may be related to the move from government to governance.

4. Year 3 of the UN Internet Governance Forum: Assessing its Structure, Process and Impact

The WSIS created and mandated the IGF to address critical, value-adding global Internet governance functions that cannot be entirely performed by any existing institution. This includes: highlighting emerging issues, assessing the embodiment of WSIS principles, and
strengthening the participation of stakeholders in Internet governance mechanisms. Furthermore, the IGF was defined as "multilateral, multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent" body; it has been structured through a Secretariat, a multi-stakeholder advisory group (MAG), and a special advisory group to the MAG's chair; and for 3 years, it has been operating as an open discursive space, prepared through open consultation sessions. Submissions are invited to explore whether the IGF has fulfilled its mandate at this step, which difficulties can be identified and how they could be solved. Has the IGF structure, management and advisory mechanisms proven to be adequate and compliant with the WSIS Tunis Agenda
requirements? What strengths could be reinforced and weaknesses overcome?

5. Law and Jurisdictions in Internet Governance

The Internet must now be considered a major factor when elaborating regulatory principles to deal with the circulation of content and data and with the protection of the general communications infrastructure. This is not an easy task because of its implications on the respect for universal human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, where States differ widely on their implementation of these international standards, even among coherent regional
entities. The task becomes even more complex due to conflicts of competences among overlapping jurisdictions. We seek papers that identify and explore conflicts among national laws and attempts to harmonize them. We also seek papers that explore the relevance to the global Internet of public and private international law currently in force or being considered in ongoing international negotiations. Submissions analyzing the role and positions of various players in
these processes are also encouraged.

6. Copyright Protection, Internet Service Providers and Technical Mechanisms of Control

We encourage papers that examine attempts to impose copyright protection on the Internet through the intermediary of Internet service providers. This theme bridges the topics of network neutrality and intellectual property, inspired by recent incidents, such as a Belgian ISP's order by a court to use deep packet inspection to catch copyright infringement in transit, and Comcast's notorious interference with BitTorrent, which also was probably stimulated in part by copyright protection concerns. Papers can explore the feasibility and "state of the art" of packet inspection and other relevant techniques, analyze copyright industry and ISP industry interactions from a political economy standpoint, or examine appropriate policy responses to new and powerful packet inspection techniques.

7. Internationalized Domain Names: Expanding Access or Tower of Babel?

We encourage papers on the economic, cultural and compatibility issues raised by the migration to a new standard for Internet domain names that allows them to reflect non-Roman scripts such as Chinese or Cyrillic. Internationalized domain names (IDNs) have a double-edged effect: they widen access for non-English or ASCII readers by making domain names easier to use, but they also introduce compatibility problems among people communicating across language
boundaries, as one party may not know how to read or input the address of the other party. There are also interesting questions of competition policy, as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) must decide whether to give new generic top level
domains (TLDs) in IDN scripts to incumbents operating ASCII TLDs with similar meanings, or to new competitors. Issues of consumer confusion and cross-linguistic disputes can also arise.

CHArt 2008 Conference - Seeing Vision and Perception in a Digital Culture

Call for Papers

CHArt (Computers and the History of Art) 2008 Conference

Thursday 6 - Friday 7 November 2008 (central London venue to be confirmed)

This year's CHArt conference takes seeing as its theme and the associated questions of vision, perception, visibility and invisibility, blindness and insight - all in the context of our contemporary digital culture in which our eyes are assaulted by ever greater amounts of visual stimulus, while we are also increasingly being surveyed, on a continual basis.

What does it mean to see and be seen nowadays? How have advances in neuroscience or developments in technology altered our understanding of vision and perception? What kind of visual spaces do we now inhabit? What new kinds of visual experiences are now available? And
what are now lost or no longer possible? How does the increasing digitalisation of media affect the experience of seeing? What and who might be rendered invisible by the processes of digital culture? What are our current digital culture's blindspots? What are its politics of seeing?

For the twenty-forth CHArt conference we are looking for papers that reflect upon these issues. We welcome contributions from all sections of the CHArt community: art historians, artists, architects and architectural theorists and historians, curators, museum professionals, scientists, cultural and media theorists, archivists, technologists, software developers, educationalists, philosophers and any others who have a stake in the question of seeing in a digital culture.

Please email a three to four hundred word synopsis of the proposed paper with brief CV of presenter/s by30 May 2008 to Hazel Gardiner (

CHArt (
c/o Centre for Computing in the Humanities
Kings College, University of London
26 – 29 Drury Lane

News Video: Online Video in the Classroom

News Video: Online Video in the Classroom

The evolution of video in the classroom is underway, with more teachers turning to online sites modeled after YouTube. WSJ's Joseph De Avila reports.

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