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.
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.