Out on the town, always online

/ November 19, 2011/ New York Times

“It’s a generational thing,” Ms. Beaudreault said. “I could be out with my friends, and we’re all on our phones, still carrying on the conversation, and it’s not weird to anyone.”

For people of a certain technological proclivity, this has become the new multitasking: to live simultaneously in the physical world and in their smartphones, without missing out on either.

Is life more interesting through the filter of a phone? Or are the heavy users like the 30 percent of young adults in a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project who said they sometimes used their phones to avoid interacting with the people around them?

Read the rest here.

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SIS Seminar Series: Smart Mobile Devices: A New Direction for Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

Event Date:
Mon, 2011-11-21 12:30 – 14:00
Location: 3661 Peel, McGill University : Rm 106, SIS Building

Language plays an important role in our lives: it helps us express our feelings, communicate ideas and information, and build relationships. Most of us accomplish these tasks with ease; however, for those with a communication impairment such as aphasia, expressing a thought can be a difficult and frustrating task. Though a number of computerized devices have been developed to help those with speech and language difficulties, these devices have not been well adopted. In this talk, I will present findings from two research projects aimed at improving communication technology for individuals with aphasia. In the first, we used a survey and a series of focus groups, to gain clinician perspectives on why current aids are not being adopted. From these findings, we identified opportunities for improving design. In the second, we developed a novel communication aid that leverages the location-sensing capabilities of smartphones to better predict the user’s communication needs and refine the support provided. A field trial of this device is currently underway. The talk will close with additional discussion of unmet needs and future directions for research.

Karyn Moffatt is an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies. Previous to joining McGill, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Toronto Department of Computer Science, supported by NSERC and the CIHR-STIHR in Health Care, Technology, and Place. Her research explores the ways in which technology can be employed to meet human needs and enable individuals to overcome everyday challenges and obstacles. She focuses this work primarily on the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities. Karyn received her PhD in Computer Science in 2010 from the University of British Columbia, where she worked with Professor Joanna McGrenere on methods for increasing the accessibility of pen-based interaction for older adults.

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Women in Digital Media conference

This could be very interesting – some great speakers are booked:


Women in Film and Television presents a conference about women in leadership roles in digital media.

From the website:

“The iWDMS 2011 is set to bring together professionals from traditional and digital media communitites, as well as educational/research institutions from around the world.  With high level keynotes, cross-sector dialogue, expert panelists, controversial debates and structured networking, the Summit will promote knowledge-sharing, and will explore innovation, skills gaps, policy and research in digital media–including gaming, mobile, and social media–and the impacts on and advancements by women globally.  Through engagement with a range of topics the iWDMS promises a fresh and exciting look at the ever expanding field of digital media, including:

Women in Leadership – Technology, Corporations and Entrepreneurs
New Media Literacy
Gender and Technology
Evolution of Business Models (particularly in female-led businesses)
Emerging Technologies
International Innovation
Labour Market Research for Women in Digital Media
Applications of Digital Media in Crossing the Digital Divide
Transmedia Content Creation
2012 Predictions….and more!”

Posted in Conferences, Gender, Speakers | 1 Comment

LGBT Youth of Color and Mobile Media

Hi everyone,

Here’s a slideshare presentation by Prof. Jessie Daniels of CUNY that might be of interest to some:


There is some quantitative data on race, ethnicity and age as well…

Happy summer!


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Article: Village Phone Program, Commodification Of Mobile Phone Set And Empowerment Of Women

While reading for the final paper, I fell on an interesting article in the Journal of Community Informatics (CI-Journal).
Village Phone Program, Commodification Of Mobile Phone Set And Empowerment Of Women
written by Quamrul Alam, Mohammad Abu Yusuf, Ken Coghill


The objective of the article is to examine the role of the Village Phone (VP) Program of the Grameen Bank in the empowerment of women. The article takes a case study approach that draws on a close examination of the literatures on the VP Program in Bangladesh, its role in providing telephone service to rural people, creating income opportunities for the rural women (who predominantly operate the owner-operated village pay-phone program) and thereby empowering them. We find that the VP empowered village women economically and socially by reducing and/or eliminating their dependence on other members of their families and giving them increased roles in family decision making. The empowering role of the VP also spilled over to its users. The article demonstrates how an innovative idea by social entrepreneurs in the Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) sector can act as change agent in transforming the lot of rural poor women by empowering them and making them self reliant.

Link to the full text: here

Posted in Activism, Gender | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Cultures Mobiles/Mobile Cultures Schedule

Cultures Mobiles/Mobile Cultures

 A graduate student symposium on mobile media and wireless communications

Hexagram Resource Room: EV 11-705,  1515 St Catherine Street, West, H3G 2W1

Wednesday, April 20 from 1 pm – 5 pm

Thursday, April 21 from  10am – 5pm


Wednesday, April 20

 Wed 1:00- 3:00: Transforming Practices, Mobile Productions. Transformation des Pratiques, Productions Mobiles

Moderated by Chantal Francouer, Department of Journalism, Concordia University

« No need, we’re already here », Mobile Media, Social Networks, and the Displacement of Traditional Media

Alexandre Cayla-Irigoyen, Université du Québec à Montréal

Les journalistes citoyens n’ont pas encore tués le journalisme : les impacts des technologies mobiles de communication sur l’information journalistique

Marc-Olivier Goyette, Université du Québec à Montréal

Media production in flux: Kickstarter as mobile assemblage

ME Luka, Concordia University

*coffee: 2:30- 3.

3:30- 5:00 pm: Music in Motion: From Podcasting to Mobile Composing. Musique et déplacements: du podcasting à la création mobile.

Moderated by Olivier Asselin, Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques, Université de Montréal

Moving Outside the Sound Bubble: RJDJ and the ‘Reactive Music Revolution’

Samuel Thulin, Concordia University

L’imaginaire de la mobilité et la pratique du podcasting indépendant

Mélanie Millette, Université du Québec à Montréal

THURSDAY, April 21.

10- 11:30: Knitting, Designing, Hacking. Tricot, design et hacking : femmes et mobilités

Moderated by Leslie Shade, Communication Studies, Concordia University

Yarn Bombing, Knit Graffiti and Underground Brigades: A Study of Craftivism and Mobility

Jacqueline Wallace, Concordia University

Jailbreak Me, Possess Me — DIY Practices and Mobile Phones

Christina Haralanova, Concordia University

11:30- 1 Lunch

1- 2:30: Relational identities: dis/ability and affect. Identités relationnelles : in/habileté et affect.

Moderated by Steven High, History Department, Concordia University

La normalisation de l’utilisation pratique et identitaire du téléphone mobile: une réflexion

Joëlle Rouleau, Université de Montréal

Habiter l’espace, au croisement du réseau géo-social mobile et de l’amitié

Maude Gauthier, Université de Montréal

*coffee: 2:30- 3.

3-5:00:  Virtual Politics, Sacred Spaces. Politiques du virtuel (ou politiques virtuelles?) et espaces sacrés, Moderated by Darin Barney, Department of Art History & Communication Studies, McGill University

Virtual Citizens and Emancipatory Politics

Timothy Swiffen, Concordia University

“Tweeting Out A Tyrant”: Social Media and the Tunisian Revolution

Mariam Esseghaier, Concordia University

Tweeting from Mecca: Mobile media, time, and sacred experiences

Krista Riley, Concordia University

This symposium is organized by Kim Sawchuk, Professor, Communication Studies, Concordia University as a part of the Doctoral Seminar, Mobile Media, Wireless Communications Coms 893J.

Thank you to: The Department of Communication Studies, The Mobile Media Lab-Concordia, Mediatopias working group-McGill, and Hexagram.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Recommended Reading: “Configuring the Mobile Use: Sociological and Industry Views”

The process of writing a presentation on a new subject requires a lot of new reading, too. However, not everything is extremely useful, and many things just bring you into different,, undesired directions.

One article I found very good was

Green, N, Harper, R.H.R., Murtagh G, and G.Cooper. “Configuring the Moble User: Sociological and Industry Views”. Personal and Ubiquitous Comupting, 2001 (5), 146-156.

Even if dated for the fast development of the mobile industry, this article provides an important mapping of the social science research done with respect to the mobile users, in comparison with the industy ones (service providers, network operators, resellers).

Good points in the article related to users’ behaviour, the techniques of collection of data by service providers and other companies on the users and what they do with them. They also point out the difference between social science research and the industry (including marketing).

Recommended for the user -centered researchers.

Posted in Publications | Tagged , , | 1 Comment