Category Archives: Conference

Mozilla Festival at Ravensbourne

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been involved in teaching some first year under-graduate students at Ravensbourne over the last few weeks. This has taken the form of the introduction to and production of WordPress websites.

Part of this project was linked in with the Mozilla Festival which took place at Ravensbourne over the weekend. Students were asked to prepare WordPress sites ready to use and for filling with content over the course of the festival. It was heartening to see the multi-disiplinary groups of students firstly grapple with the new software and concept of content management systems and then steam ahead with innovative ways of using it.  Some implementing live feeds and others procured sponsorship and deals with local businesses.

Each team chose a different subject to cover and during the weekend they filmed interviews, edited videos, wrote articles and constantly updated their site with content from the festival. I went along on the Saturday to observe and take in the festival. The project was a very good example of collaboration, networking, pooling skills and resource as well as learning how to work as a team.

Their sites are available here to view:

Ravezilla: audio and video innovation
Children and Education
Mozilla Gaming

Transforming Audiences 3 conference

Last week University of Westminster hosted Transforming Audiences 3 conference which is held bi-annually. I was one of a number of PhD students helping with the organising. One of my tasks was to take photos, some of which are included in this post. A conference programme including list of events can be found here.

Unfortunately David Guantlett, the lead organiser, had to miss the conference due to the imminent arrival of his second child but sent a message to the conference (below).

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There was a list of high-profile and internationally known keynote speakers throughout the two-day conference, notably; Nancy Baym, author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age; Jean Burgess (left), co-author of YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture; Adriana de Souza e Silva, co-author of Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces and Net Locality and Patricia G. Lange, co-author of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out.


Nancy Baym (right) was the first keynote speaker on Thursday. She gave a very engaging presentation on the the relationship between audience/fans online relationship with musicians titled: Biting and Feeding the Hands that Feed, Audience – Musician Interactions Online. Download her presentation here.

It must be noted that Nancy’s book, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, has been evaluable to me in the groundwork of my research.


I made two presentations at the conference. The first was for the pre-conference COST Actionʼs Working Group 2. Iʼd been asked by them to give a 25-minute presentation that links my industry experience to my research project. I gave this the title ʻFrom Punch-cards to Social Media: A Digital Lifeʼ. It tracked my 30-year association with digital technology via broadcasting to the digital tools available today. The second presentation related directly to my researched and was delivered in the ʻuser-generated contentʼ parallel session at the main conference. This initiated much positive feedback and comments and really the first time I had enjoyed presenting. Both of these presentations served as a very useful experience not only for the opportunity to communicate my research project but also for the feedback and comment from the audience.

Above: Lunchtime and delegates discuss the conference and share media

The conference was subtitled Online and Mobile Media, Everyday Creativity and DIY Culture which was reflected in the wide variety of subjects covered in many of the parallel sessions throughout the two days of the main conference. Abstracts can be downloaded here.

As you would expect with a conference about transforming audiences the conference adopted the Twitter hashtag #TA3. This was used extensively and to great effect. It helped give an added source of comment and discussion during the presentations. It was also a good way for people who weren’t able to make it to keep in touch with the proceedings. I took and uploaded photos of the keynotes on my phone and these were shared too.

Preparing for the Transforming Audience 3 Conference

I had a double meeting today down at the Marylebone campus today. The first was to receive feedback on my literature review with my supervisor and apart form very minor changes everything seems to be in order. As I’m just about to enter my third year I have to hand in the lit. review, a methodology chapter and a progress report in October as part of the ‘application to transfer’ from an MPhil to a PhD. This is standard practice on most UK doctoral programmes. So I’m pleased I don’t have massive re-writes. At the end of November each doctoral student is called before a panel to defend their work so far, a bit like a mini-viva.

The second meeting was about organising the Transforming Audiences 3 Conference hosted by the University of Westminster. It’s a bi-yearly event that flies in keynote speakers from around the world. This year the keynotes are Nancy Baym, author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age; Jean Burgess, co-author of YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture; Adriana de Souza e Silva, co-author of Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces and Net Locality; Patricia G. Lange, co-author of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out and University of Westminster’s very own David Gauntlett, author of Making is Connecting.

There are three doctoral students helping organise the conference, myself included, and we’re also each giving 15 minute presentation on one of the many panel sessions throughout the two days. I’ve also been asked to present at the pre-conference meeting of the COST project, Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies. COST is an “intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology”. I’m giving a 25 minute presentation which relates my industry experience to my current research. I’ve, therefore, entitled my presentation: ‘From Punch-cards to Social Media: A Digital Life’  This relates to my 30-year association with digital technology and content creation. Using my personal experiences throughout this period, I’m going to trace the history of computer-generated visual content. This will start with the humble punch-card, which was my introduction to computers in 1981, through the world of broadcasting and use of one of the first computer graphic workstations, the Quantel Paintbox, to the digital tools available today and my research project.