Current Status: Mapping out my Academic To-Dos…

Brisbane: Day Four (AoIR IR:7.0 Conference '06)

Giving myself one last year to do this, I’d better get my so-called scholarly act together. If you come across research or articles related to any of these, please drop me a line as some of you kindly have. Here’s a brief on what I’m working on arranged by priority:

1. The Anti-Censorship of China: A Social Media Perspective
Heading: A Critical Assessment of Internet Censorship and Circumvention in China (includes social media)
Event: For Qualifying Paper
Location: University at Buffalo (SUNY)
Date: Draft by 17th August 2007

2. “Leveling up” students with class blogs (Gaming + Blogging)
Heading: Engineering active learning through game mechanics (with Derek Lackaff)
Event: Internet Research 8.0 – Let’s Play
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Date: 17th to 20th October 20, 2007

3. Measuring and Reporting Message Impact in the Blogosphere (tentative title)
Heading: Reporting an aggregate score from blog content analysis, including Intensity, Direction, no. of comments, length, etc.
Event: 2nd International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: March 31-April 2, 2008

4. How Blogs Influence Purchasing Decisions (fix the crappy survey)
Heading: How online credibility (blog vs. web site) is assessed and in turn influences an individual’s intention to purchase.
Event: 2nd International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: March 31-April 2, 2008

Possible Dissertation Topics
1. International Citizen Journalism: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Motivations for the Individual Production of News
Brief: In a 2003 Online Journalism Review article, J. D. Lasica classifies media for citizen journalism into the following types: 1) Audience participation, 2) Independent news and information Websites, 3) Full-fledged participatory news sites (OhMyNews), 4) Collaborative and contributory media sites (Slashdot, Kuro5hin), 5) Other kinds of “thin media.” (mailing lists), and 6) Personal broadcasting sites. Thing is, why do some citizen journalism services seem to work better in some countries than others? Does anyone know if this has been done anywhere?

2. Intercultural Motivations of Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) Citizens
– Comparison of MUVEs (Second Life, There, HipHi, CyWorld, etc)
– Inspired from the conference theme at State of Play IV
– Building a better online metaverse through intercultural understanding
– Connecting East and West: Think Gloabally; Act Virtually: Exploring variations in playing styles, the influence of game mechanics on cross-cultural cooperation, the challenge of intercultural communication, and outcomes of forced localization. Issues of society, governance and virtual worlds as a vehicle for people-to-people diplomacy are also explored.
– Include thoughts from “Social Capital in Second Life” survey. The survey questions are partially based on earlier surveys Bullen 1998, de Nood & Attema 2007, NMC 2007 and Holmberg & Huvila 2007.

3. Personal sousveillance streams as 1) memory prosthetic + 2) real-time crowdsourcing
File under: I-would-love-to-write-but-my-dept-won’t-get-it-kinda-paper
Alex Halavais tells me that information society type folks have been looking at dataveillance rather than visual surveillance for a while now. Such is the networking and digitizing of mobile visual content. People I should track include Mimi Ito on the social aspects of mobile phones. There’s also three famous folks in neighboring Toronto, namely Steve Mann (the original cyborg), Jason Nolan, and Barry Wellman, who incidentally co-wrote an article in Surveillance & Society entitled “Sousveillance: Inventing and Using Wearable Computing Devices for Data Collection in Surveillance Environments”. They also recently wrote a chapter in “Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools” (2008). How does “UK Rolls Out Police Headcams” (Active) differ from how China deploys around 20,000 with facial recognition (Passive)?

Aside: I am also toying with the idea of getting my lifecasting cam going so you can check on me and send me “gentle” reminders to get my work done.

  • http://lackaff.net derek

    Next time we catch up, remind me to bring my “stack o’ online credibility lit” — I’m working in this area too.

    Also have some thoughts on dissertation topic #3 (especially steering this through the dept).

    Finally, are you aware of the new online survey setup Stefanone and I are using?

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    Thanks Derek. Do you have time to meetup to talk about that? I’ll email you.

  • http://jasonnolan.net jason

    Oooh. I’m famous (barry emailed me about your post from a google alert he got). The funny thing is that I met Alex H. because Mimi Ito invited the two of use to a Social Software in the Academy thing at her school a couple of years back. You might like a paper I did with Michelle Levesque (now at google) called Hacking Humans, as it relates to Alex’s stuff. Michelle is friends with Mimi’s brother Joi, just to make it all nicely twisty

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    @Jason: Thanks for the backgrounder. I’ll look it up the paper you mentioned. It’s neat that some of the work mentioned included Citizen Lab, which ties back neatly into my study of censorship circumvention techniques in China. :)