Day Three of my Brisbane trip includes a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a tour of the amazing Creative Industries Precinct of QUT, a welcome reception for the AoIR ’06 Conference and me bumping into an old classmate back in my Ngee Ann Poly “Mass Comm” days. Terry Johal is currently pursuing his PhD in Communication at RMIT, where he’s also teaching and researching on blogs, specifically in South-East Asia.
Since it’s my first time to AoIR, I don’t have any cliques to hang with. At times I’m trying to chat people up, but it’s not easy. Instead, I spend my time surveying conversations from afar. Here you see the well-respected Chinese researcher Guo Liang speaking with a younger Chinese researcher. She was studying the economics of digital goods in China. IMHO, this is a big deal in China since that infamous SL real estate tycoon, Anshe Chung, runs a real business in China dealing in virtual property. It’s so successful that the China government gave her special innovator status for creating a new forms of work. Read this BusinessWeek interview with her to find out more.
Checking in with Technorati, the blogging scene still seems pretty disappointing in terms of academic bloggers. Terry and I were just talking about how so many Internet researchers don’t have a blog, let alone an online presence at all. Leading the charge, Alex Halavais has started blogging about the mobile learning session he attended. He found a neat hack for SMS in the classroom, where the instructor would use BluePhoneElite to receive SMS from students in class and have these messages displayed via his laptop to the class projector. Students would typically send questions in a backchannel fashion, which is less invasive (less pressuring) for them than say disrupting the class in real life.