Interaction Research Dead at WWW

WWW2010 Raleigh, NC, USA…but before I get on to that, a word or two about WWW2010.

So this years Web Conference was an organisational triumph, great food1, great venue2, great location3, and great events4. Indeed, of this last the Carolina Chocolate Drops and, for me, their tune ‘Genuine Negro Jig‘ was the highlight; an 18th century tune so powerful in melancholia it is at once both painful and absorbing.

Back to work – my top three talks where:

On to my main point, over the last two to three years I’ve noticed a gradual reduction in the amount of interactivity domain research papers presented at the World Wide Web conference. By this I mean that work which pushes back the boundaries of the interactivity domain seems to be in decline at the conference, while papers that propose its use and application to a different domain seem to be holding steady or gaining ascendancy.

In this last conference even with two browser sessions and a user modelling session there was nothing that I would rate as being first-class interactivity research. While I understand that many papers will go to CHI there should still be a home for many papers focused on Web interactivity at the Web conference; however this seems to be becoming less and less the case.

In my opinion the problem is that the coupling between the area chairs and the tracks for which they are responsible is becoming weaker. This means that when the area chairs meet to discuss an acceptances, certain domains are squeezed out while other domains seem to be increased. I’ve spoken to a number of people who attended this year’s conference and they seem to concur with my view that solid research which pushes back, our knowledge, and the boundaries of interaction research (and the interaction domain) is, if not dead, at least in a critical condition at the World Wide Web conference.

Lets be honest, if you’re into linked-data, search, or social networks you’re going to get some papers within your domain, if you’re into interaction research its going to be very meagre pickings.

Challenge

Now I could be completely wrong about this, and so I’d like to issue a challenge to anyone who attended to point me at a research paper at WWW2010 which will allow me to fill in my top research track choice from the interaction domain.

Old School Drinks

Old School Drinks at the West Raleigh Community Grocery & Deli

Footnotes

  1. As we all know a conference is as much about talking as it is about research – and so good food goes a long way to set the right attitude for that to take place; WWW2010 didn’t skimp on this part of the conference – much to their credit.
  2. Brand new venue, the Raleigh Convention Center is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in September 2008. It is located in the heart of down-town Raleigh and steps away from two major hotels, restaurants, arts and entertainment, meaning great network, and great meeting spaces.
  3. Down-town Raleigh is calm and easy to navigate, even the 40 minute walk from the hotel was easy and pleasant, not as many people down-town as I’d imagined – but this just left more pavement (side walk) space for alfresco eateries and pubs.
  4. Well structured events – the only down side was the Conference Dinner buffet – I’d much prefer a sit down meal as this means that buffet cliques are less likely to form and everyone is included in table conversations.
  5. West Raleigh Community Grocery & Deli
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4 thoughts on “Interaction Research Dead at WWW

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Interaction Research Dead at WWW « Thinking Out Loud… -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: ‘Testability and Validity of WCAG 2.0: The Expertise Effect’ at #assets10 « Thinking Out Loud…

  3. Pingback: WWW 2011 – Trip Report [#accessibility #a11y #w4a11] « Thinking Out Loud…

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