Mark Gaved, KMi PhD student recently attended the Association of Internet Researchers conference, “Ubiquity?” hosted at the University of Sussex (18 – 22 September 2004). Approximately 350 attendees discussed mainly human centred aspects of internet research over 5 days in 9 parallel sessions and workshops.
Sociological interest in the internet has developed rapidly in few years, and the presentations at this year's conference showed the breadth of current work. The title of the conference questioned how close we are to achieving 'ubiquitous access' to the internet and the ways this is affecting society. Mark's paper summarised his current work investigating 'grassroots initiated networked communities' and was presented within the Social Networks and Online Communities thread.
Key note speakers included the legendary Ted Nelson (inventor of the expression 'hypertext') and Sara Kiesler, currently investigating Human-Robot communication.