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Rob Capra <[log in to unmask]>
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Rob Capra <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Jul 2013 20:37:57 -0400
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*  CALL FOR PARTICIPATION -- Workshop on Personal Information Management
*  Submission deadline:  Sept 15, 2013
*  PIM 2013: Breaking Out to More Practical Progress 
*  Held as a workshop at ASIST 2013 -- November 1, 2013
*  Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Personal Information Management (PIM) refers to the practice and study of the activities a person performs in order to locate or create, store, organize, maintain, modify, retrieve, use and distribute information to meet life’s many goals and fulfill life’s many roles and responsibilities. More informally, we might say that PIM is the art of getting things done in our lives through information. 

We are interested in motivating the PIM community to examine ways we can positively influence the evolution of PIM technologies and techniques as our information (and we) continue a migration from paper and desktop computers onto the Web and a variety of devices.  Existing research has increased our understanding of PIM, but studies that focus on the design and evaluation of PIM tools tend to be limited in scope due to the difficulty of evaluation of such tools in the wild.  As a result, few practical guidelines have emerged for the use and development of such tools. It is time to re-assess our methods of study for this area.   For example, it may be possible to develop well-supported best practices of PIM that could be further advocated for and studied.

This year's PIM workshop will be held as part of ASIS&T 2013:

Workshop Format / Participation
This year’s PIM workshop involves a change of format and focus from previous workshops.  The workshop will serve as a gathering to collaborate on real, productive, focused work, as opposed to a forum for sharing existing findings.  Proposals are solicited from cross-organizational groups outlining real steps to move PIM research and practice forward.  Those steps will be initiated at the workshop, and then carried forward by participants afterwards. This may involve a research proposal, where efforts will be initiated at the workshop by members of the submitting team and other attendees, but may also include initial prototyping of a PIM system or synthesis of existing PIM research.  This format is a departure from a presentation style workshop and a move toward a working style similar to the approaches of recent “-camp” gatherings such as CrowdCamp at CHI/CSCW.

We encourage proposals in the PIM-related areas listed below as well as other similar areas from groups of authors (two to four is preferred).  We encourage proposals that are focused on the establishment of “best practices” of PIM with respect to each of these areas. Authors may propose a variety of types of “work” to be done by participants, from designing a study, building a tool (HTML 5 or other) to support a specific PIM need, collecting a PIM dataset (perhaps with a pre-workshop assignment), analyzing an existing data set, writing a set of best practices/guidelines about how to manage PIM on a specific service (e.g., cloud, social network), or discussing the effectiveness of the methodologies we employ. Proposals should provide the initial background and motivation for the breakout group, and describe the “work” that will be done.  Proposals should also state whether or not the group is seeking additional members to participate during the workshop, and if so, what background/skill sets (if any) are sought.

Authors are encouraged to form small groups to submit proposals.  Individuals may submit proposals, but may be asked to work with an existing group at the workshop. The expectation is that all authors of a proposal will attend the workshop, and preference will be given to proposals where all authors are able to participate in person.

Important Dates

   *   September 15 – proposals and position statements due
   *   October 1 – notifications of acceptance
   *   November 1 – workshop to be held at ASIS&T


   Prepare a proposal that addresses the following:

      1.  The proposers and their backgrounds
      2.  The overall goals of the proposal
      3.  The nature of the work to be undertaken
      4.  The initial steps that will be taken at the workshop
      5.  The potential impacts of the work
      6.  Any additional resources that are needed (datasets, people, skill sets)
      7.  Statement of which authors will attend (preference for all authors to attend)

   Proposals should be submitted in a PDF by email to:  [log in to unmask]

Topic Areas of Interest
Suggested topics include (but are not limited to) the senses in which information can be “personal”:

1.  The information we “own.”  How can people best maintain and organize the information now scattered across their devices and various Web services both for better use now and for longer term archival and curation?

2.  The information about us.  How can people best track the information about them that is “out there” on the Web and in various databases?

3.  The information directed towards us.  What to let in when? What to screen out? What to “keep” for later use? How to insure that what is kept doesn’t fall into a black hole?

4.  The information we send or share. People may use many on-line accounts/identities to project themselves (and their alter egos) in accordance with the images and impressions they wish to make. How to users manage this? What does it mean to practice search engine optimization (SEO) at a personal level? Do all our personas converge?

5.  The information we’ve experienced.  Logging life events (including physical state). Personal informatics. Digital/quantified selves. Self-tracking. What to capture and how to analyze?

6.  The information that is or might be relevant to us. How find, make sense of, and use information in support of goals and decisions?

7.  Methods of PIM.  Personal information has moved beyond the “computer desktop” (and the paper filing cabinet) to hundreds of Web services, the Cloud, and a host of mobile devices. This migration, in turn, forces re-thinking of conventional methods of data collection, storage, and management. How do people manage information across Web services and mobile devices? How to do this over time? Can we engage people (including ourselves) in efforts to self-track and then collaboratively share personal information (esp. log data)? What can we glean from the public face of the Web?

8.  Design of PIM tools. Can the PIM community agree upon and establish “good practices” in the design of PIM tools (including social services)? What can we say about the representation of personal information and the use of associated standards such as XML and RDF? What minimal standards should hold for the privacy and security of personal information? What standards apply concerning when people can be interrupted or distracted (e.g., via email messages)?

Kirstie Hawkey , Dalhousie University
Robert Capra, University of North Carolina
Jaime Teevan, Microsoft Research
Manuel A. Perez-Quinones, Virginia Tech
William Jones, University of Washington  


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