Monday, October 09, 2006

Slowly getting back into it

I haven't really recapped on my AOIR 7.0 experience. I must admit to having been struck by the same slight feeling of embarrassment that Adam talks about in his blog. The idea that there really are people out there reading my ravings sometimes, and that I don't even need to imagine them, because I met three of them at this conference, is a bit daunting.

The conference was very enjoyable but also a bit mixed. This probably has more to do with the disruptions to my accommodation than to the conference itself. I think there were some great papers and it was a wonderful community of researchers. I did feel that the broadness of the subject area - the "internet" - drew together such disparate approaches and topics that it felt at times that papers associated with panel themes didn't really have explicit meaningful ties. Also, I found myself wanting to have more in-depth, engaged discussions with people's work and ideas but somehow there didn't seem to be a forum for this.

The doctoral colloquium was fascinating and I really enjoyed meeting other doctoral students from around the world. I did, however, feel a bit out of place. I don't know, perhaps this is related to my subject area or my expectations. I didn't come across any one else at the conference doing related research on information technologies at work, and few from a cultural studies discipline. Being exposed to some of the social network approaches to "virtual communities" on the internet, particularly those of the U.S. students, was a real eye-opener but it's not an area or approach I have any expertise in. Overall, I found the conference immensely valuable and I hope I can go to future AOIR conferences. I commend the organisers for locating it in Australia this year as this made it possible for myself and others in this region to attend (although I recognise the location may have meant that some researchers from the northern hemisphere couldn't come this time).

No comments: