Mailing Lists: Why Are They Still Here, What’s Wrong With Them, and How Can We Fix Them?

Online group discussion has been around almost as long as the Internet, but it seems we still can’t create tools for it that satisfy everyone. Starting with the first mailing list in 1972 and evolving to modern social media tools, we see tensions between people’s desire to participate in productive discussions and the struggle to [...]

Allocating CHI Reviewers, 2014 Edition

As is now an annual tradition, I’ve performed my analysis of the allocation of reviewers for this year’s CHI conference.  The data from the CHI review process suggests that we can reduce the number of reviewers per paper (and thus reduce the workload on our community) without significantly affecting the outcome.  At present, every paper [...]

PhD: Part 1

Fig. 1: An early version of SIEUFERD, the Schema-Independent End-User Front-End for Relational Databases.
It’s my sixth year in graduate school; my committee has been formed, my PhD thesis proposal has been submitted, and I am coding along on SIEUFERD, the research system from which I hope to squeeze my remaining research contributions. The project and [...]

Semantic Web for End Users: Keynote from ESWC 2013 now Online

A final addendum to my series of three posts on the Semantic Web and End Users.  The talk that I summarized in those posts is now online here, synchronized with the slides I presented.  I think I did a pretty good job getting through 217 slides in 75 minutes, and there’s some interesting Q&A at [...]

Keynote at ESWC Part 3: What’s Wrong with Semantic Web Research, and Some Ideas to Fix it

I’ve just returned from the European Semantic Web Conference, where I gave a keynote talk on “The Semantic Web for End Users”.   My talk addressed the problem that has interested me for eighteen years: making it easier for end users to manage their information.  The thesis was that

The current state of tools for end [...]

To improve the CHI conference, would you share which talks you attended?

I’m having a great time at CHI (including my first time two-stepping today) but I strongly believe, as Jonathan Grudin asserted today, that we can make use of data to improve the conference.  I’ve already analyzed historical data that demonstrates that we can substantially reduce reviewer workload.  We’ve also created a way you can use [...]

For CHI 2012: Discussion Forums in the Document Margins

Would you like some feedback on your CHI paper?  We’ve set up a site to let people read and comment on it.
On Wednesday at CHI, we’ll be presenting our paper on nb, a discussion forum situated in the margins of documents being discussed.  Its original intended usage was for discussion of classroom lecture notes, but [...]

Allocating CHI reviewers, a sequel

Last year I used an analysis of CHI review data to argue that we could save a lot of reviewers’ time on low quality papers by modiyfing our review process.  With all the current talk of the value of replication, I figured it was worth testing the same procedure with this year’s review data, which [...]

Forums in the Document Margins for Classes and Reading Groups

This year at CHI we’ll be presenting a paper on nb, a tool that lets students have forum-style threaded discussions in the margins of pdf documents.  We’ve posted it in advance at the link above in hopes of getting some comments on it that can help us prepare our presentation.  We’re also making nb available [...]

Personal (Information Management) is not (Personal Information) Management

I spent last weekend at the 2012 PIM workshop, located at CSCW 2012.  This was the 5th such workshop.  Appropriately for its setting, this one focused on “PIM in a socially networked world”—i.e., the aspects of PIM emerging in the interactions between multiple individuals.  The focus clearly highlighted the distance between two different notions of [...]