giovedì, marzo 30, 2006

IVSA conference in Urbino

The annual conference of the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) will take place here in Urbino - University "Carlo Bo" on July 3rd 4th and 5th. Main topic of the conference is "Eyes on the City" trying to keep together the Visual methodology with the Urban Sociology. Quite far from my personal field of interests. Never-less watching at the list of sessions I've found two "non topic related sessions" that seems to be quite interesting: Theoretical and Methodological Issues of Visual Research and Visual Methods: New Approaches and Possibilities. I decided to keep working on the idea of visual semantic (I've posted about this topic before) and to submit an abstract about how it's possible to use flickr in viusal sociology research. I still have several doubts about this concept of visual semantic, but maybe the better way to solve them is to work on this concept and to share it with as many people as I can.

martedì, marzo 28, 2006


Usually when you buy something using your visa or mastercard (or any other credit card you could imagine) you gain bonus points. You can use these points to get various prizes or discount but usually you are to busy spending real money to find the time to check out you awards. MAKE reports that very soon credit cards companies will reward their best costumers whit MMORPG currency: instead of getting useless bonus points you will get precious wow gold. This is far more than a funny news. Spending money (M) will give you virtual money (vM); but if you consider that it's possible to sell vM being paid in real money (M) you'll see that we're facing the fascinating Marx's schema M -> M. Now a "funny" question: if money gives you money, what's money for?

giovedì, marzo 23, 2006

Gen M

Time Magazine cover story is about "Multitasking Kids". How will learn and act kids that are user to carry on several IM conversation, watch MTv, download files and listen to their mp3 all at the same time? As usual "Scientists" are split in two between "that's all good" and " that's all bad", what's funny here is that now we've got a name for the phenomena: Gen M (I suppose that M is for Multitaskink). By the way, we noticed the problem some time ago when we conduced a research project on students attending lectures with their own notebooks. here you can fine a short abstract of the research results.

Flickrs knows it

Back from Spain. A week in Tarragona with a school trip, I was supposed to be the Professor (kind of). It was fun, and Flickr knows it.

sabato, marzo 11, 2006

on air

a couple of weeks ago RadioUno Rai (the italian national radio broadcaster) made a live radio show called "il baco del millennio" (the millenium bug) directly from our department. I was invited to speak about the future of the radio and the convergence with Internet. Well, that's not exactly my filed of interest but some ideas like the movement towards a personal media system and the shifting from media users to media creators seem to be still good even when you think about the future of the radio. You can listen the show in real audio here

giovedì, marzo 09, 2006

next search engine

Maybe the search engine war is not over as all. I (as many) was convinced that Google already won the war for "how to get quickly what you need on the web"; well it seems that at least from the quality of the search service I was wrong. Jean Véronis made some interesting research about the relevance of the results provided by several engine. The research reported in John Battel's Blog generated an interesting debate between Jean and Jakob Nielsen about how to measure the real relevance search engine result because users don't necessarily click the first hit so relevance should be calculated using the average relevance rather that single hit relevance. What's interesting here is that if you count 10 hits Yahoo is slightly better than Google. If this data are correct this means that search technologies are getting better also away from the "pagerank home", but the main point is that if get you quick on the right page is becoming easier the core business for search engines will be the interaction between real world and online data... and Google knows it very well.