[Air-l] some more conference thoughts

Frank Schaap architext at fragment.nl
Wed Oct 31 01:27:51 PST 2001

I enjoyed the conference very much, Minneapolis too, and I'm positively sure
now that missing the first conference was and is a shame.

Some quick thoughts on the conference though, maybe they're of use for
organising the next one.

I attended the pre-conference web analysis workshop and I feel that the format
of that workshop worked very well. You're stuck in a room for most of the day
with about 20-30 people, so you get to know eachother a little better. Working
through different aspects of a particular topic also means that you get
progressively more indepth and at the end of the day I felt that my thinking
and understanding of the matter had been enriched by the trajectory taken in
the workshop.

It might be an idea to have several such day-long workshops on different
topics, either as it was organised now, sort of semi-official, or maybe as a
part of the conference.

This ties in with something I briefly spoke about with David Silver. A lot of
people work in their own niche of research and for whatever reason have never
ventured into MUDs, IRC, games or database driven websites (and/or
ethnographic, qualitative or quantitative research). It might be a nice idea
to have something of a 'technology workshop,' where you could get a good
overview of the different technologies behind the different
fields/environments people research (and maybe, as the methodological icing on
the cake, what methods they use).

Although I understand the need for the crammed schedule of the conference, I
missed a proper, organised lunch break where you can sit down, eat, relax and
chat with some people. Maybe this is an American vs European thing as I
discussed with some people, but having no lunch break in the programme means
you either skip lunch, skip a session or attend a session munching on a sub.

As they say, HTH, just my .02 euro; I liked the conference as it was and these
are just a couple of things that I think might be even better next time.


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