Archive for October, 2007

Talk at Berkman

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I’m speaking in the Berkman Center Luncheon Series this Tuesday. (The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is based at Harvard Law School and is home to several exciting projects on IT and policy.) I will present recent findings from survey data on young adults’ digital media uses. The event will be webcast, which may be of interest to those who’d like to hear the talk, but are not in the Boston area.

A good recipe for cookies?

Monday, October 29th, 2007

A few weeks ago the Berkman Center for Internet and Society posted an interesting contest: create a short informative video about Web cookies and have the chance to win up to $5,000 and a trip to DC where the video would then be shown at the FTC’s Town Hall workshop on “Ehavioral Advertising“.

I’m afraid we’re past the deadline for submissions and I apologize for posting about this so late (life intervened and I got behind on a bunch of things). I wanted to post about it nonetheless, because I think it’s an interesting initiative and the resulting videos are available for viewing.

I was very intrigued by this contest given my interest in improving people’s Internet user skills. What would be a good way to communicate the concept of a Web cookie to folks who have little technical background? I haven’t looked at all of the submissions, but the ones I’ve seen I find are still too technical and are likely only comprehensible to those who already know at least a few things about Internet cookies. Alternatively, the clips are too vague and so likely have limited utility for that reason. I was a bit surprised and disappointed that people didn’t do more with the cookie analogy. Some of the videos have related cute/amusing components, but not incorporated in a particularly effective way. However, note that I have not watched all of the submitted videos so I may have missed some gems. Feel free to post links to ones you think are especially informative. I think the timeline for submissions was a bit short (I know there were particular logistical reasons for this), which may have prevented more people from getting involved and may have limited the amount of effort that could go into creation of the entries.

An interesting aside about how YouTube posts videos (assuming I understand this correctly, but I haven’t explored this aspect in depth so feel free to correct me): it seems that the creator of the video has little say over what becomes the thumbnail image for the clip. As far as I can tell, the frame is taken from the middle of the video, which is not always ideal as it’s not necessarily the most informative segment.

Links for 2007-10-27

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

A year of photos

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

One year ago today I started a project: take at least one photo each day and post it online. Yesterday, I took the 365th photo in the project and today I compiled a video of the set:

This has been an amazing experience and I’m going to continue with it. Setting aside a few moments each day to look around and find something worthy of a photo adds a very interesting and nice component to everyday life. I’ve started noticing things I never saw before. Looking back at the full set is also a great reminder of all that I’ve been up to over the last 12 months.

I highly recommend a hobby of this sort. I have two pieces of advice. First, it’s helpful to have a small enough digital camera that you can take it with you everywhere. You never know when a great photo opportunity will present itself. Second, don’t expect to maintain a separate blog or even blog section for this (as I naively did), it’s hard to find the time for that. Rather, post the photos to a community photo-sharing site like Flickr that makes posting and organization easy and can connect you to a group of people engaging in a similar project.

I want to send a shoutout to folks on Flickr who’ve been participating in this concurrently. A great community has built up around the project, which has been another great aspect of all this.

links for 2007-10-24

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

links for 2007-10-19

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Upcoming travel

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

I’ll be on the road in the next few weeks, let me know if our paths might cross:

* Vancouver, BC – Association of Internet Researchers annual meeting
* Milwaukee, WI – Research Symposium on Mobility and Social Networks in Information Behavior (sponsored by SIG USE of ASIST)
* Ann Arbor, MI – Talk in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Michigan
* Cambridge, MA – Talk at the Berkman Center, Harvard Law School

Once all that is over, things might even pick up around here.

Links for 2007-10-16

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Hiring, again

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Work around here is expanding and so I’m hiring again, this time with my colleague Peter Miller. See ad below. Please forward to people who may be interested. Thanks!

Job Opportunity
Research Associate, Youth Digital Media Use Survey Project
Northwestern University

The Youth Digital Media Use Survey Project at Northwestern University is looking for a Research Associate for a project funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The Research Associate will work closely with Professors Eszter Hargittai and Peter Miller to collect and archive information on surveys of youth digital media use. In addition, the Associate will organize and document several in-person and on-line meetings of youth digital media researchers. The end product of the project, which the Research Associate will help to draft, is a report making recommendations to the MacArthur Foundation on survey design options for the study of youth digital media use.

*Responsibilities: Collect and archive published and “grey” literature on youth digital media use; collect and archive information on survey projects that have been or could be employed for the study of youth digital media use; work with the principal investigators, organize and document several meetings of researchers in this field; help to synthesize the information from these various sources for a project report. Depending on skills and interests, serve as a co-author on scholarly articles resulting from the project.

*Qualifications: Master’s degree in social science (e.g., communication, sociology, political science, economics, psychology, human development, learning sciences, library and information science); 1-3 years of work experience; strong organizational skills; strong written and verbal communication skills; excellent interpersonal skills; strong problem solving and analytical skills; ability to work in a professional manner as both a self-starter and a team member; intermediate-advanced skills in Microsoft Office (particularly Word and Excel); and intermediate-advanced skills in using Web interfaces.

*Desired Qualifications: Terminal degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D.) in quantitative social science with experience in survey research; project management experience; archival experience; advanced skills in Microsoft Office (particularly Word and Excel); experience with analysis of quantitative data, especially in the use of Stata.

*Salary: $3,125 per month for 30 hours/week.

*The position starts immediately and will last eight months.

*Northwestern University is an EEO/AA employer.

*Please send cover letter, resume and reference contact information to

Jason Gallo, Project Coordinator (Web Use Project) at

links for 2007-10-07

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

links for 2007-10-06

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

links for 2007-10-05

Friday, October 5th, 2007

links for 2007-10-02

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

links for 2007-10-01

Monday, October 1st, 2007