Archive for the 'Dance' Category

Gender differences in sharing creative content online

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

This ArsTechnica write-up of some recent research of mine has received numerous votes on the recommendation site Digg in the last few hours. I wonder if it will make the front page of Digg, although as a Twitter contact of mine noted, since it’s not a top-10 list (nor, if I might add, does it cover Google or Apple), that may be unlikely.

The post reports on a study in which we found that male college students are more likely than their female counterparts to share creative content online even though both men and women in the sample are equally likely to create such content. However, when controlling for online skill, the gender differences in posting go away.

Gina Walejko and I published the paper “The Participation Divide: Content Creation and Sharing in the Digital Age” this Spring in the journal Information, Communication and Society. We examine the extent to which college students share creative content online and whether we can identify any systematic differences by user background. In particular, we looked at whether students create and share the following types of material: poetry/fiction, artistic photography, music, and video (both completely own and remixed in the case of the latter two), including both private and public sharing.

Administering a paper-pencil survey on a diverse group of over a thousand first-year college students at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2007, we found that men are significantly more likely to share their creative output online than women. This was especially true for video (with 40% of men sharing such content compared to 15% of women), but holds for the other types of material as well.

Curious to see what explains these differences in sharing, we looked at whether various measures of Internet experience account for the divergences. We controlled for years of use, frequency of Internet use, number of Internet access locations, and online skill. Of these four, skill was a significant predictor of sharing activity. In fact, once skill is in the model, gender is no longer a significant predictor of posting one’s material.

There may be additional issues going on for which, I’m afraid, we have no data. For example, women may be more concerned about privacy issues or the critiques their content may receive. I’m working with another student on doing some qualitative follow-up work on this aspect of the question.

There are some more details in a press release Northwestern put out about the study or feel free to send me a note for a copy of the full paper.

Same-sex waltz

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

This week, Chicago has been hosting Gay Games VII. It’s been fun to have all the various high quality sports competitions in town. Of course, as a spectator, there is not much difference when you watch the competitions at these events vs others since most sports tend to be divided by gender. However, couples sports (like figure skating or dancing) may look a bit different. But actually, only if you focus in on the gender aspect.

It should not be much surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention that I opted to go see the Dance Sports event. I only made it to the A-level competition of the men’s Latin dances and the women’s 10-dance, but this was just as well since this is the highest level under international rules. It was superb.

Anecdotally, my impression has been that most people in Chicagoland have either been excited about the Gay Games in town or haven’t paid much attention. But of course there is the occasional hostile approach. You really do have to wonder why people can’t just let others be as you’re standing there in the ballroom with all the energy and enthusiasm from both the crowd and the participants. Better yet, imagine if peope realized that they could even get something out of these events themselves, like enjoying the hard work of some very talented people.

The surprise of the event for me was to find out that the World Champion couple for men’s Latin hales from Hungary. In the Gay Games this week they placed third. I found out from them that Budapest will be hosting this year’s Same Sex Dance Competition . This made me wonder how the competition (and related associations and studios) got that particular name. Is use of the term “gay” exclusionary? Is it less politically charged to say “same sex”? Is the idea that not everyone who participates is gay? Anyone know the history of this? Apologies if I’m missing something obvious.

Busy weekend

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Wow, the past few days were incredibly busy with lots of fun activities. Instead of writing lengthy descriptions, I offer you batches of photos if you’re curious.

First, my friend Olivia was graduating (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude and prize for her thesis in history) and celebrations (e.g. Phi Beta Kappa ceremony) started already early last week. See photos.

Second, my dance club, Chicago Dance, was hosting the annual Chicago’s Crystal Ball ballroom and Latin dance competition. Given everything else, I only made it to part of it, but even those few hours were super fun! See photos plus a video. No, there are no pictures of me dancing since I don’t compete. Granted, I did dance one cha-cha.. in front of hundreds of people.. wearing sandals. Hah.

Making an Oink

Finally, the Custer Street Fair, also known as Custer’s Last Stand was on this weekend. That’s my neighborhood summer art fair and also provided plenty of entertainment including the opportunity to create an Oink entry for this month’s Flickr scavenger hunt. See photos.

Dance dance evolution

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

As the resident danceoholic I have to link to this video on the Evolution of Dance. It’s been viewed millions of times so I suspect it’s not new to all of you, but perhaps some of you haven’t seen it yet.

I’m not sure if I should be proud of, embarrassed, excited, or feel pathetic about the fact that of the approximately thirty songs featured in the clip, I have definitely danced to most at parties or clubs in the past (there were 3-4 that I don’t recall). To be sure, I certainly had not used most of the moves featured on the video. I’m more confident that that part is probably a good thing.

Watching the clip is a trip down memory lane as the various moments from life rush back when the particular songs were popular at parties and clubs. For example, Cotton-Eyed Joe by the Rednex will forever transport me back to the Arcade 46 bar and dance floor in the basement of our dorm in Geneva where I spent my junior year in college. Just imagine hundreds of people in this hole dancing away to this and other songs (Macarena anyone?). Those were the days…

Dancing with the Stars is back

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

I just realized that Dancing with the Stars is back and on tonight.
I only got to see one or two episodes over the summer, because, ironically, it conflicted with my dance classes. However, this Fall my club has Salsa classes on Tuesdays and I don’t like Salsa that much so I am not going to those classes. Thus: no conflict. (For those who are curious, my favorites are Cha-Cha and Samba, but I’m also taking West Coast Swing this term.)