international workshop on social interaction and mundane technologies (simtech)

1½ day event in Melbourne (Australia), November 26-27th

A preliminary program is below. The details of this program will change but the general structure of the days will remain the same. All events will be held in Lecture Theatre 3, Level 2, the ICT Building, 111 Barry Street, University of Melbourne unless otherwise stated. Paper authors who presented and/or attended are marked with *.

DAY ZERO (Sunday 25th November) – Meet and Greet



Ying Thai 2, 110 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria

Please contact Shawn Ashkanasy if you wish to attend.

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DAY ONE (Monday 26th November) – Invited Talks


REGISTRATION: outside Lecture Theatre



Professor Liz Sonenberg, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science [slides]


Associate Professor Barry Brown (Department of Communications, University of California San Diego)

The Magical Emotion of Location's Family Values [abstract] [slides]

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Outside Lecture Theatre



How can the mundane be social? Defining the mundane (Chair: Dr Mark Rouncefield, Computing Department, Lancaster University)

The papers in this stream will explore notions of mundaneness and mundane technology, and the relationship with social interaction through specific examples and cases.

Magical beginnings of the Mundane Wally Smith* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne) and Hannah Lewi (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne) [slides]

Technologies of Presence and Accountability. Paul Dourish* (Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California Irvine) [slides]

Appropriating commonplace technology for autism support. Peter Francis* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne)

Leadership and Mundane Technologies. Mark Rouncefield* & Connor Graham* (Computing Department, Lancaster University) and Marian Iszatt White and Simon Kelly (The Management School, Lancaster University) [-->slides-->]

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Outside Lecture Theatre



How do we approach the mundane? Mundane settings and methods (Chair: Dr Margot Brereton, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland)

The papers in this stream will explore specific settings where the use of mundane technologies plays out and the methods used to investigate these settings.

Visible voices, shared worlds: using digital video and photography in pursuit of a better life. Vincent O'Brien* (School of Rehabilitation and Public Health, University of Cumbria), Kenesh Djusipov (Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) and Flavio Wittlin (Viramundo, Rio de Janeiro , Brazil) [slides]

[Short Paper] Domesticating Design by a Disenfranchised Community. Dianna Hardy & Nicola J Bidwell* (Discipline of IT (Cairns), James Cook University), Yvonne Cadet-James (School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University) and Ian Atkinson (Information Technology and Resources, James Cook University) [slides]

I don't get out of bed until my PIM tells me to. Stephen Viller* and Ann Morrison* (School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland) [slides]

Photos as Mundane Technology. Connor Graham* and Mark Rouncefield* (Computing Department, Lancaster University) [slides]

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Outside Lecture Theatre



How do people use mundane technologies? Sharing the mundane (Chair: Dr Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Department of Informatics, Sussex University)

The papers in this stream will explore technologies supporting the sharing of the mundane and issues with their design.

Giving Serendipity a Nudge by Sharing Everyday Mobile Content. Christine Satchell* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne) [slides]

Staying Together as Family while Separated: Picture Blogging through eKISS. Mikael Skov*, Thomas Dalsgaard and Bo Ramsdahl Thomassen (Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University) [slides]

Photo-Conferencing: a novel approach to interactive photo sharing across 3G mobile networks. Kharsim Yousef* and Eamonn O'Neill (Computer Science, University of Bath) [slides]

'Time' and the Design of Familial Social Connectivity Systems. Hilary Davis* and Shawn Ashkanasy* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne) [slides]

Leveraging mundane technologies for group mobile social communication. Clint Heyer* and Margot Brereton* (School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland)

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Dr Dave Randall (Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Experiences with SenseCam: How mundane is mundane? [abstract] [slides]

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Abla's Lebanese Restaurant, 109 Elgin Street, Carlton

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DAY TWO (Tuesday 27th November) – Half Day Symposium


REGISTRATION: outside Lecture Theatre



Dr Keith Cheverst (Computing Department, Lancaster University)

Social Interaction, Messaging to Place and Situated Digital Displays [abstract] [slides]

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In this session, presenters will briefly describe their posters.

SQL+PaWS: SQL and People as Web Services. Steve Goschnick* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne) [poster]

Mundane metaverses communicating by voice in virtual worlds. Greg Wadley* (Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne) [poster]

A Survey of Revenue Sharing Social Software's Systems. Kevin Chai, Vidyasagar Potdar* and Elizabeth Chang (Digital Ecosystems and Business Intelligence Institute (DEBI), Curtin University of Technology) [poster]

Digital Communication Technology Use in a Spatially Distributed Interest Network Alexia Fry* (Deakin University) [poster]

Nnub: Getting to the Nub of Neighbourhood Interaction Fiona Redhead*, Andrew Dekker*, Margot Brereton*, and Ian MacColl* (University of Queensland and Australasian CRC for Interaction Design) [poster]

Third Places and Third Screens Ian MacColl* (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design and University of Queensland) and Ingrid Richardson (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design and Murdoch University) [poster]

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Outside Lecture Theatre



New directions (Chair: Professor Paul Dourish)

This stream will explore notions of mundaneness through the discussion of new technologies and methods.

[Short Paper] A Portal for You and Me, and Us, and Others. Michael Arnold* (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Arts Faculty) [slides]

[Short Paper] 'Mundane' technologies for capturing and mobilizing liminality. Jolynna Sinanan* (School of Social Enquiry, University of Melbourne) [slides]

Claiming Digital Places of the Mundane Mapping Culture. truna aka j.turner* (The Australasian CRC for Interaction Design Pty Ltd. Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane)) and Nicola J Bidwell* (Discipline of IT (Cairns), James Cook University) [slides]

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Ways forward & Closing (Dr Mark Rouncefield & Connor Graham, Computing Department, Lancaster University)

At this point will summarise the outcomes of the workshop, discuss next steps, including planned publications...and move swiftly on to lunch.

Next steps. Dr Mark Rouncefield [slides]

Publishing in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. Professor Peter Thomas, Carey Thomas Australia

Summary and farewell. Connor Graham



University House, University of Melbourne Parkville Campus

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Other participants

Participants (other than presenters and paper authors who attended) were Nigel Bajema (James Cook University), David Browning (James Cook University), Natasha Dwyer (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Frank Feltham (RMIT University), Susan Hansen (CSIRO Australia), Jesper Kjeldskov (Aalborg University), Ralf Muhlberger (University of Queensland), John Murphy (Independent), Jeni Paay (Aalborg University), Yolande Strengers (RMIT University)

Keynote descriptions

The Magical Emotion of Location's Family Values

Rather than see location as a mundane part of our lives, this talk will explore how being aware of ordinary routines can cause pleasure and delight for family members. In particular, he will discuss a technology called the 'whereabouts clock'. The clock was a location technology that displayed family members’ current location as one of four privacy-preserving, deliberately coarse-grained categories (HOME, WORK, SCHOOL or ELSEWHERE). In use, the Clock supported not only family co-ordination but also more emotive aspects of family life such as reassurance, connectedness, identity and social touch. This emphasized aspects of family life frequently neglected in research, such as the ways in which families’ awareness of each others’ activities contributes to a sense of a family’s identity. He will draw further on the results to differentiate between location as a technical aspect of awareness systems and what we can characterize as “location-in-interaction”. He will describe how "location-in-interaction" is revealed as an emotional, accountable and even moral part of family life.

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Experiences with SenseCam: How mundane is mundane?

This talk will explore how Harvey Sacks’ remarks concerning the way that technology is ‘made at home’ in the world are easily misconstrued, particularly in the light of methodological decisions made by some ethnomethodologists. This paper will reiterate the force of Sacks’ remarks by showing how people orient to a new, but in some respects banal, technology. Their creative and unexpected (for the analyst) uses of a so-called ‘life logging’ devices do not preclude descriptions of these uses as ‘mundane’, for ‘mundane’ simply refers to the way in which technologies are reflexively made available to members in ways that reflect their concerns and interests, whatever they may be. It is not, as is sometimes suggested, a contrast category for ‘exciting’, ‘dramatic’ or ‘emotional’ for a use can be all of these things and yet remain utterly mundane.

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Social Interaction, Messaging to Place and Situated Digital Displays

Abstract to follow

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