I've just finished attending the Mobile Media Conference 2007 held at the University of Sydney from July 2-4. The conference was truly international. I think it may have had more delegates from abroad than from Australia. This did not detract from the conference though. In fact, it felt rather special to be attending a conference as an Australian research student with such an impressive line up of academics and researchers from around the world. Many of the "heavy weights" in this emerging field of study were there, including Rich Ling, Genevieve Bell, Judy Wajcman, Leopoldina Fortunati, Gerard Goggin and Misa Matsuda. They added a depth and grounding to the conference that was very beneficial and well received by the other delegates, it seemed.
I didn't give a paper at this conference although wish that I had! At the time that papers were being invited I was about to go on parenting leave so didn't feel that it would be manageable. Nevertheless, I got a lot out of the conference just by attending, probably more than if I had presented. The first day of the conference was a bit slow in my view, although the opening key note talks were fantastic. I think the subsequent panels may have found it difficult to match the level at which the conference was opened by Leopoldina and Judy. The following two days though were very good and there was a lot of excellent and inspiring material presented. It was good that there was some attention given to mobile media as a technology in process/in definition and not something that is fixed. Assumptions made about shared understandings of central concepts is a problem that I've encountered in a few conferences that I've attended. I'm glad that Genevieve Bell and some other speakers provided an anti-dote to this tendency. I met a couple of students doing research on work and technology. I hope to see there work published or presented in the near future.
This conference probably came at a good time for me. I've completed the draft of the paper for the post graduate seminar and feel inspired to keep writing up my analysis. I'm hoping to now focus on another aspect of my findings and write these up as a journal article for the upcoming issue of M/C on the theme 'error'.