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Connor Graham <[log in to unmask]>
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Connor Graham <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 17 May 2008 00:52:43 -0400
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Contributions in the form of 4 page position papers (ACM SIG format) are
invited for a one and a half day workshop at Microsoft Research, Cambridge
(supported by Supported by Microsoft Research).

This workshop is supported by a Microsoft European Research Fellowship
"Social Interaction and Mundane Technologies" and follows a similar
successful event held at the University of Melbourne in November 2007:

The workshop this year is continuing to respond to the proliferation and
developing constellations of 'social' and 'mundane' technologies in people's
everyday lives. These technologies are often simple, minimalist and 'loose'
and yet support richly layered social interactions that are sustained and
develop across time, place, and culture. Despite the success of last year's
event and the quality of the presentations and papers, some issues remain
untouched and some questions were not addressed. Thus SIMTech '08 hopes to

* Computer gaming and social life - how computer games support social
networks and social worlds;
* Technology's temporality and longevity - the implications of
technologies being readily available and 'at hand' over time;
* The transformations that we perform on technology - the process of
how we 'tame' them, the phasing in making them ordinary;
* The rhetoric around technology and how we talk about technology in
terms of being "mundane", "magical", "smart" and even "emotional";
* Lessons from and methods associated with the long-term deployment
of simple technologies in particular settings (e.g. the home, health care
* Issues with the potential immortality of technology - concerns with
personal data 'living on' on after death;
* Technology and 'dark' emotions - how technology can support anger,
perversion, criminal actions, addiction etc;
* Digital living - the implications of spending large segments of life
engaging with others through technology (e.g. via email, social
networking tools, virtual worlds etc.);
* Death, technology and memorials - how ordinary technology evoke
powerful memories, nostalgia and interact with the grieving process.

Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft Research, Redmond
Abigail Sellen, Microsoft Research, Cambridge
Professor William Gaver, Goldsmiths, University of London

Our primary interest is in understanding how 'mundane technologies'
really work in people's lives. We are concerned with (but are certainly not
restricted to) answering questions like:
- What is the role of mundane technologies in sustaining social life?
- What are the issues associated with ordinary action being recorded and
available long-term?
- How does the use of ordinary technology change over time, if at all?

As with last year's workshop, a secondary interest is how mundane
technologies can be useful methodological instruments in the research
enterprise and how they can be combined with other, more 'traditional'
approaches in social science research, to inform how technology is used and
how practices, rhythms and routines are structured around technology to get
work done. 

We accept the following submissions for the workshop:

1. Full Papers
Please submit a 4-page paper in accordance with the ACM SIG format. All
submissions should be submitted to Connor Graham at c.graham [at] Submissions should be anonymised: they will be reviewed by
the Program Committee and selected on the basis of their relevance and interest.

2. Posters
Please submit a 2-page paper in accordance with the ACM SIG format. All
submissions should be submitted to Connor Graham at c.graham [at] Submissions need not be anonymised: they will be reviewed
by the Program Committee and selected on the basis of their relevance and
interest. Authors of successful poster submissions will be asked to display
a poster at the workshop and will briefly present their work.

3. Proposals
Please submit a 1-page proposal with a brief description of relevant work
that you have done/are doing that is relevant to the workshop themes.
Successful applicants will be added to the list of participants.

For Full Papers and Posters the following are acceptable submissions:

* Position statements;
* Work-in-progress;
* New themes with old data;
* Early reports from the field;
* Initial case study findings;
* Design proposals.

Full Paper and Poster submissions should clearly describe the nature of the
work to be discussed and how the work relates to the themes of the workshop.
At the end of the submission, please include points for discussion for the
end of the presentation and any references participants should read before
the workshop. Full Papers and Posters will be made available to all
participants before the workshop.

During the second, half day of the workshop we aim to work on developing
workshop submissions. The aim is to consolidate these ideas through planning
a further publication: either another special issue of a journal or an
edited volume.

All presenters, poster submissions and participants should indicate their
planned attendance at the workshop dinner (evening of 20th November) as soon
as possible after receiving confirmation of their attendance.

Friday 5th September*:
Papers due
Monday 12th October:
Acceptance notification
Friday 24th October*:
Final papers due
Friday 17th October*:
Posters due
Wednesday 22nd October:
Acceptance notification
Wednesday 19th November:
Workshop preliminaries
Thursday 20th November:
Workshop registration
*2400 (EST) to c.graham [at]

Workshop Chairs
Mark Rouncefield, Senior Research Fellow, Computing Department, Lancaster
University and European Microsoft Research Fellow, Microsoft Research,
Cambridge, UK.
Connor Graham, Researcher, Computing Department, Lancaster University and
Honorary Fellow, Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne.

The cost of attending this workshop will be GBP()90 (full fee) and GBP()50
(student/unemployed). This will include refreshments (e.g. coffee) over the
day and a half and a dinner. The cost for the first or second day will be
GBP()45. This single day fee will include refreshments on that day.

Initially we will aim at a special issue of a journal. Eventually we intend
to publish an edited book from the themes and papers seeded at the workshop.

Please contact Connor Graham for further information:
c.graham [at]

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