31.1.11

[italian bakery :: edmonton]

The Little Italy in Edmonton may be little, but it is jam packed with gems like the Italian Bakery...


italian bakery

30.1.11

[typical....no parking for parents!]

I shouldn't complain, really. At least most places in Edmonton have parking spots designated for pregnant mums or parents with children. The wider spots make taking Noah out (and putting him in) of the car seat much easier. As well as more space to put the pram etc... but yesterday at West Edmonton Mall...this was just too funny:


Edmonton-20110129-00173.jpg
No Parent Parking: Cordoned off because the piles of snow have been pushed there...

29.1.11

[cfp: conference on communication]


CALL FOR PAPERS

TPRC Presents
The 39th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy
Hosted by George Mason University Law School, Arlington, Virginia
Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25, 2011

TPRC  is an annual conference on communication, information and internet  policy 
that convenes international and interdisciplinary researchers and  policymakers 
from academia, industry, government, and nonprofit  organizations. Its purpose 
is to present original research relevant to  policy making, share the knowledge 
requirements of practitioners, and  engage in discussion on current policy 
issues. The conference program  consists of presentations selected from 
submitted paper abstracts,  student papers and panel submissions.

TPRC is now soliciting  abstracts of papers, panel proposals, and student papers 
for  presentation at the 2011 conference, to be held September 23-25, 2011 at  
the George Mason University Law School, in Arlington, Virginia. These  
presentations should report current theoretical or empirical research  relevant 
to communication and information policy, and may be from any  disciplinary 
perspective – the sole criterion is research quality.  Themes of particular 
interest include, but are not limited to:

1.       Network Competition
2.       Broadband Deployment and Adoption
3.       Wireless Communications
4.       Innovation and Entrepreneurship
5.       Media, New and Old
6.       Intellectual Property
7.       Privacy, Security, Identity and Trust
8.       Internet Ecosystem Governance
9.       Affordability and Access
10.    International and Comparative Studies
11.    Societal Challenges, Endangered Rights and Social Justice
12.    Emerging Topics 

Full category descriptions can be found via our web site.

Submissions are due by March 31, 2011.  Abstracts and panel proposals must be 
submitted electronically at http://www.tprc.org by following the submit button 
at the end of each topic description.   Standards for abstracts are provided 
below. The review process is single  blind, and a short biographical sketch for 
each author is required.

Acceptances/rejections  will be provided by May 15, 2011. Complete papers for 
accepted  abstracts will be due to TPRC on August15, 2011. Papers not submitted 
in  final form by the due date will be removed from the program. At least  one 
author of the paper is expected to attend the conference to present  the 
accepted submission.

Students are encouraged to submit papers for the student paper competition.  
Visit our web site, www.tprc.org for the Student Papers CFP.  Full student 
papers must be submitted by April 30, 2011.

We  also welcome proposals for panel discussions of broad interest. These  
should include a description of the panel topic, a proposed panel  moderator and 
a list of possible panelists. Panel proposals should be  submitted by March 31, 

The journals Telecommunications Policy and Journal on Information Policy will 
both invite papers for special issues from this year’s conference.  Guest 
editors drawn from the TPRC Program Committee will invite  selected authors to 
submit their papers for review.

Please address inquiries to info@tprc.org.

27.1.11

[Edmonton Snow :: View from Downtown]

Ambling around downtown #yeg this morning and we saw this pretty sight from Jasper Ave. Looking south across the river, all dusted with snow.

Edmonton-20110127-00132.jpg

Edmonton-20110127-00129.jpg

Edmonton-20110127-00131.jpg

Edmonton-20110127-00128.jpg


Taken with my BB Torch

24.1.11

[help stop rape]


Dear friends,


‘Corrective rape’, the vicious practice of raping lesbians to ‘cure’ their sexuality, is becoming a crisis in South Africa. But brave activists are calling on the world to help stop these heinous Hate Crimes -- and finally the government is beginning to respond. Let's support them. Sign the petition and send it to friends! 




Millicent Gaika was bound, strangled, tortured and raped for five hours by a man who crowed that he was ‘curing’ her of her lesbianism.

She barely survived, but she is not alone -- this vicious crime is recurrent in South Africa, where lesbians live in terror of attack. But no one has ever been convicted of 'corrective rape'. 

Amazingly, from a tiny Cape Town safehouse a few brave activists are risking their lives to ensure that Millicent’s case sparks change. Their appeal to the Minister of Justice has exploded to over 140,000 signatures, forcing him to respond on national television. But the Minister has not yet answered their demands for action.

Let's shine a light on this horror from all corners of the world -- if enough of us join in to amplify and escalate this campaign, we can reach President Zuma, who is ultimately responsible to uphold constitutional rights. Let’s call on Zuma and the Minister of Justice to publicly condemn ‘corrective rape’, criminalise hate crimes, and ensure immediate enforcement, public education and protection for survivors. Sign the petition now and share it with everyone -- we’ll deliver it to the South African government with our partners in Cape Town:


South Africa, often called the Rainbow Nation, is revered globally for its post-apartheid efforts to protect against discrimination. It was the first country to constitutionally protect citizens from discrimination based on sexuality. But in Cape Town alone, the local organization Luleki Sizwe has recorded more than one 'corrective rape' per day, and impunity reigns. 

'Corrective rape' is based on the outrageous and utterly false notion that a lesbian woman can be raped to 'make her straight', but this heinous act is not even classified as a hate crime in South Africa. The victims are often black, poor, lesbian women, and profoundly marginalised. But even the 2008 gang rape and murder of Eudy Simelane, the national hero and former star of the South Africa women's national football team, did not turn the tide. And just last week Minister Radebe insisted that motive is irrelevant in crimes like 'corrective rape.'

South Africa is the rape capital of the world. A South African girl born today is more likely to be raped than she is to learn to read. Astoundingly, one quarter of South African girls are raped before turning 16. This has many roots: masculine entitlement (62 per cent of boys over 11 believe that forcing someone to have sex is not an act of violence), poverty, crammed settlements, unemployed and disenfranchised men, community acceptance -- and, for the few cases that are courageously reported to authorities, a dismal police response and lax sentencing.

This is a human catastrophe. But Luleki Sizwe and partners at Change.org have opened a small window of hope in the fight against it. If the whole world weighs in now, we could get justice for Millicent and national action to end 'corrective rape':


This is ultimately a battle with poverty, patriarchy, and homophobia. Ending the tide of rape will require bold leadership and concerted action to spearhead transformative change in South Africa and across the continent. President Zuma is a a Zulu traditionalist, who has himself stood trial for rape. But he condemned the arrest of a gay couple in Malawi last year, and, after massive national and international civic pressure, South Africa finally approved a UN resolution opposing extra-judicial killing in relation to sexual orientation.

If enough of us join this global call for action, we could push Zuma to speak out, drive much-needed government action, and begin a national conversation that could fundamentally shift public attitudes toward rape and homophobia in South Africa. Sign on now and spread the word: 


A case like Millicent’s makes it easy to lose hope. But when citizens come together with one voice, we can succeed in shifting fundamentally unjust, but deeply ingrained practices and norms. Last year, in Uganda, we succeeded in building such a massive wave of public pressure that the government was forced to shelve legislation that would have sentenced gay Ugandans to death. And it was global pressure in support of bold national activists that pushed South African leaders to address the AIDS crisis that was engulfing their country. Let’s join together now and speak out for a world where each and every human being can live without fear of abuse. 

With hope and determination,

Alice, Ricken, Maria Paz, David and the rest of the Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Blog of Luleki Sizwe, South African organization leading the call to their government to stop 'corrective rape', and provides support to victims

Minister of Justice Radebe’s nationally televised interview (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

Protest against ‘corrective rape’ (The Sowetan)

Petition launched on Change.org by activists from Luleki Sizwe

"South Africa's shame: the rise of child rape" (The Independent)

"Exploring homophobic victimisation in Gauteng, South Africa: issues, impacts, and responses" (Centre for Applied Psychology, University of South Africa)

"We have a major problem in South Africa" (The Guardian)

"South Africa: Rape Facts" (Channel 4)

"Understanding men’s health and use of violence: interface of rape and HIV in South Africa" (Medical Research Council)

"Preventing Rape and Violence in South Africa" (Medical Research Council)


Support the Avaaz community! We're entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way -- donate here.

20.1.11

[Edmonton Sunset]

Sent from my BlackBerry

[edmonton weather]

ok...I know it's warmed up here recently but really??


[cfp: social side of gaming]

Image from conference site.

The social side of gaming: International Conference on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming


Thursday 21 July to Saturday 23 July 2011

University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany


Topic

In the past decade, digital games have become a widely accepted form of media entertainment, even outside the traditional ëcore gamerí segment. In tandem with this shift into the mainstream media market, we have seen an increasing interest in ësocialí multiplayer gaming activities, from both the audience and the gaming industry.

The development of social games is of great academic interest. Wide-ranging studies have been initiated to investigate the sociality of virtual worlds, massively multiplayer role playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer shooters, e-sports, and cooperation in party-oriented console gaming, yet games research remains a relatively new field. Despite explosive growth in the field over the past decade, many aspects of social gaming still remain largely unexplored.

This international conference, titled The Social Side of Gaming and hosted by the University Hohenheim (Germany), will take a closer look at the various forms of human interaction in digital games. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines interested in social interaction in games, including (but not limited to) the fields of communication research, media studies, sociology, psychology, education studies, and economics.

Papers and presentations will address one or more of the following conference topics:

- Theoretical and empirical approaches to social interaction in digital games

- Forms of communication in digital games

- Interaction among co-located gamers

- Game communities and cultures, social interaction in and around games (e.g., clans and online discussions)

- Avatars, identification, and self-representation in virtual worlds

- Development of interaction rules and social norms, including questions of ethics, morality, economy & justice in digital games

- Entertainment through social interaction

- Design and implementation of social interaction

- Methodology of research on social interaction in games

- Violent interactions, griefing, and sexual harassment in digital games

- Excessive use and forms of addiction related to social aspects of gaming


Abstracts

An extended abstract of no more than 3 pages in length (7500 characters in total) should be prepared for blind review as a Word file (.doc or .docx). When submitting the abstract, please include a separate cover page including e-mail address

The abstract should provide a clear outline of the status of the proposed work (for empirical studies: status of data collection and analysis) and confirm that the research will be ready for presentation at the conference. By sending an abstract, the author(s) agrees to personally present the research at the conference.

The abstract should be sent to the organizing committee by email (gamescon2011@uni-hohenheim.de) before 28 February 2011. The double-blind review process will take place during March, with the results returned on 31 March 2011. Further information on the conference program, including keynote speakers, will soon be available on the conference Website at

sofoga.uni-hohenheim.de/conf2011


Organization

- The ERC (European Research Council) project group The Social Fabric of Virtual Life

- The Sociology of Media Communication section of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)


Additional Information

The conference language is English. The conference proceedings will be published after the conference. Papers selected for the proceedings volume should be prepared for a book publication until October 2011.

19.1.11

[cfp: electronic lit]

Image from net poetic.


Reading Writing Interfaces: Electronic Literature and the “Interface-free”

2012 Modern Language Association Conference in Seattle (Jan. 5-8)

Send 300 word abstracts and a brief bio. by 15 March 2011 to Lori Emerson (lori.emerson@colorado.edu)

Given that, as Lisa Gitelman puts it, “media represent and delimit representing,” this special session seeks papers on how electronic literature creates, responds to, or reworks reading/writing interfaces; papers may also explore the relationship between electronic literature and the recent turn to the “interface-free” (or the interface that tries to disappear in the name of appearing "natural"; it seems to me that a lot of e-lit intentionally works against the transparency of the interface).

17.1.11

[cfp: sns]


Call for Papers
A Workshop On “Organizations and Social Network Sites”
International Conference on Communities and Technologies
Brisbane, June 29 – July 2, 2011

Rationale
Social network sites (SNS) are increasingly being used in organizational settings to improve relationships among employees and enhance prospects for information exchange and cooperative work.  The bulk of the research on SNS, however, focuses on their use by young people and students. While this work has produced significant insights into user behaviors and impacts of SNS use, more work that takes into account the organizational context is needed. Hence, this workshop will bring together researchers examining SNS use in organizations.

SNS use in organizational settings may differ in important ways from student use. For example, people using a workplace SNS may use it in more instrumental and goal oriented ways, based on organizational requirements. There may be less uninhibited humor and playful content, less self-disclosure and self-presentation, depending on the organizational cultural context, if users know that supervisors are viewing SNS interactions. Information sharing may be more difficult due to concerns about proprietary data. These differences may lead to different outcomes from SNS use in organizational settings than have been observed among students and young people.

Studies of SNS use in the workplace suggest that this is an emerging and fertile area of work that is beginning to attract a community of researchers. Case studies of Facebook and LinkedIn use in the workpace reveal the tensions that are created when work and home networks collide. Among the awkward situations generated by what is coming to be known as “context collapse” are when competing clients friend the same salesperson, or when a manager asks to be friends with subordinates.  The user faced with such situations may be unable to refuse the requests, and has to alter usage behavior or risk alienating important clients or reveal information that may cause his or her standing at work to be diminished.

Some companies, particularly large technology companies, have created their own internal SNS software.  A series of studies of IBM’s Beehive system (now known as Social Blue) reveals that such sites can attract large numbers of employees from around the world, can aid in socialization of new employees, and can enhance employees’ access to new people and sources of expertise around the company.

In addition to the private and internally developed systems like Beehive, a host of competing enterprise social network site providers such as Yammer, SocialText, INgage Networks, NewsGator, Spigit, and other vendors have rushed to provide products for this emerging market.

If you are investigating any aspect of the development, use, and impacts of social network sites in organizational settings, we invite you to submit a paper to this workshop, which will be held in conjunction with the Fifth International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T 2011) in Brisbane, Australia on June 29, 2011.

Suggested Topics
We will encourage paper submissions that address the development, use, and impacts of social network software in organizational settings.  Social science research is particularly welcomed.

Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Case studies of public and private SNS in the workplace
- Tensions between work and non-work use of public SNS
- Identify management in organizational SNS
- Consumer behavior and SNS
- Expertise sharing and SNS
- Social capital at work and SNS
- SNS as a tool for organizational socialization
- ‘Digital natives’ entering corporate world and its effect on SNS use
- Organizational learning and SNS use
- Business communities and SNS
- Global organizations, cross cultural issues and SNS

Key Dates
- April 1: Submission of an extended abstract (1500 words). Full papers are also acceptable.
- April 15, acceptance notifications sent out
- June 1, final papers due (7000-10,000 words)
- June 29, workshop

Author Guidelines
Extended abstracts and/or papers should be written in English and submitted via email to the workshop organizers at steinfie@msu.edu and mhuysman@feweb.vu.nl. Extended abstracts should be approximately 1500 words, while final papers should be between 7000 and 10,000 words, including references, tables, figures, and footnotes.  Manuscripts should follow APA style guidelines for citations and formatting.

Publication Prospects
After the workshop, several papers will be selected and invited for submission for a journal publication. Presently we are in discussions with the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication about the possibility of a special issue on this topic. If the special issue is approved, all papers will undergo a double-blind review at the journal. However, we will work with the authors of selected papers to revise their papers to increase the likelihood of acceptance at JCMC.

Workshop Organizers
Charles Steinfield, Michigan State University (steinfie@msu.edu)
Marleen Huysman, VU University Amsterdam (mhuysman@feweb.vu.nl)

11.1.11

[phd :: social media]


acancy: Full Time PhD position, Free University of Brussels
(ref. IBBT/SMIT/Privacy)

The research centre IBBT-SMIT at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) offers a full time PhD position in the field of Social Sciences, more in particular of Media and Communication Studies. The vacancy is open for a research position of 4 years, in order to realize a PhD on the use of social media and social networks sites, the reconfiguration of privacy practices and the social and technological consequences thereof. The position starts in January 2011, and is supervised by Prof. Jo Pierson.

Candidates are expected to show strong affinity with and interest in the domain of audience and user studies, social media technologies and media sociology, and are holder of a Masters degree in Social Sciences (Communication Studies, Sociology, ...). Applications are to be sent electronically as soon as possible (at the latest by 14th January 2011) to Hans De Canck (Hans.De.Canck@vub.ac.be) and Prof. Jo Pierson (jo.pierson@vub.ac.be). When applying, a motivation and an elaborated vision on the theme under concern are expected to be included with the CV.


Contact information:

Hans De Canck
IBBT-SMIT
Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Pleinlaan 9
B-1050 Brusssels
Tel.: +32-(0)2-6291628

Prof. dr. J. Pierson
Dept. of Media and Communication Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brusssels
Tel.: +32-(0)2-6292412


Description of research theme:

We are witnessing the rapid growth of a new generation of participatory and collaborative network technologies that provide individuals with a platform for sophisticated online social interaction. Social networks today have hundreds of millions of users and are transforming our social and professional interactions and to some extent are shaping society itself. Gradually, society is discerning that this development not only brings strong benefits to the social and economic fabric, but also introduces new risks related to privacy violations. At this stage, these issues are often perceived as isolated incidents that most organizations do not take accountability for. Yet, the implications of social networking environments for individual users, communities, organizations and society at large will become much more evident and most likely more substantial if necessary precautions are not taken. Especially alarming is the massive responsibility that individuals incur with respect to managing privacy and security risks arising from the information collected and shared about their everyday life on social networking sites. This phenomenon is has been coined as the responsibilisation of individuals.

The main objective of the overall research project is to mitigate the responsibilisation of individuals who use or are affected by social networking services by making the underlying social networking infrastructures and the organizations that run them more accountable. In order to achieve this objective first an understanding of the target audience is required as well as forms of responsibilisation. This target audience includes users, communities and organizations in Flanders (Belgium). The plan is to develop solutions that facilitate better decision making with respect to the target groups’ privacy and security concerns, and that mitigate the risks, threats and concerns that currently are manifest in this domain.

The PhD research position at IBBT-SMIT (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) is part of this larger four-year interdisciplinary research project on security and privacy in online social networks, involving different Belgian universities and one American university. More in particular the doctoral research has a twofold perspective. On the one hand it wants to understand the practices and needs of users with regard to privacy issues within social network sites, mainly based on the use of qualitative and ethnographic methods. On the other hand it will focus on the critical design variables and tools for social software. For the latter a translation needs to be made from the user research findings to possible guidelines and requirements for future media en technological solutions.


Requirements:

A Master degree in Social Sciences, (Communication Studies, Sociology, ...)
Good knowledge of Dutch (and English)
Strong affinity and/or interest in the domain of audience and user studies, social media technologies and media sociology
Good knowledge of user research methods
Good writing skills
To be flexible and to be able to cope with deadlines
Team player with strong social skills

4.1.11

[ongo: social media news]

Interesting new social media news "paper":




Ongo Inc. Announces Investment by
Three Leading Media Companies:
Gannett Company, Inc., The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company
Cupertino, Calif. — September 29, 2010 — Ongo Inc., a start-up company soon to launch a consumer service for reading and sharing digital news and information from multiple publishers, today announced it has received a $12 million initial round of financing from Gannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).
Ongo Inc. will introduce the Ongo service before the end of the year.
“We are building Ongo to reflect the many ways consumers prefer to read, organize and share digital news,” said Alex Kazim, Ongo Inc.'s founder and chief executive officer. “We're gratified three such influential media companies recognize the value of what Ongo is creating, and we look forward to opening our doors soon.”
Kazim is an accomplished Silicon Valley leader and technologist. During nine years at eBay, he served as president of the company's Skype subsidiary; senior vice president of new ventures; and head of marketing and business operations for the company's PayPal subsidiary. Prior to joining eBay, Kazim held senior engineering and management positions at Apple and other technology companies.
Ongo is an independent company based in Cupertino, Calif. Terms of the initial round of financing are confidential. The Ongo service will be launched at www.ongo.com.
Media Inquiries:
press@ongo.com

3.1.11

[professorship in digital media design: swinburne uni]

Creativity, critical inquiry, and ethics guide the Swinburne philosophy of respectful design. We value understanding, empathy, and appreciation for people, for nature, and for the world we shape through design. Our designers, researchers, and graduates serve business, industry, and the public sector. We base our actions and choices on sustainability principles for positive social and economic outcomes. 

We emphasize rigorous research for effective results in today’s challenging design profession. All new appointments to the academic staff have a PhD degree. Teaching, creative practice, and research are the foundation of robust professional education. We expect senior staff to have a strong research profile, and we expect junior staff to demonstrate the potential for innovative research. Our emphasis published research enables us to share what we do with Australia and with the world.


For more information on the positions click below:



Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor - Digital Media Design --

application deadline 21-Jan-2011

Academic level C / D, $88,725 - $117,548 Plus 175 Superannuation

See Position Description 28624

To learn more about Swinburne Design click below: