Friday, November 26, 2010

CHI Twitter Hashtag

In September I submitted my first CHI paper.  Since then we've got our reviews back and written a rebuttal, and now must wait until the final decision comes down in December (though we already know what it will most likely be).  During this process, I've found an unexpected source of insight into how the CHI community works: the #chi2011 Twitter hashtag.

My Twitter Class of '08
My Twitter Class of '08 by mallix

Cate Huston's Masters research is all about Twitter, and she recently wrote a blog post on exploring conference hash tags.  She grabbed data from the Eclipse Conference 2010 hashtag and visualized a few different things, including a Wordle and frequency graph on tweet content and various information about clients used to tweet.  She also captured insights into the users participating in the chatter.  I immediately thought about what information would be available from the CHI hashtag because of how useful it's been to me in the past few months.

One of the biggest things the hashtag did was make me feel like I was part of the community, even though I'm really completely new to it (I haven't even attended a CHI conference yet).  Watching everyone panic together as the submission deadline loomed ever closer was actually kind of thrilling, for example.

The review period was a bit of a roller-coaster ride, with tweets about how great and how horrible the papers were - you never know if it's yours they are talking about! But when those reviews did come back, it was relieving to see how many people fared as well (or, more accurately, not-so-well) as we did.  It was even more fun to see the exact complaints people were making about their reviews and how they would position their rebuttals.

And then there's the entertainment value.  One of my favourite CHI tweeters is @SottedReviewer, who makes various witty and timely remarks in all-caps.  A couple of my favourites:
IF YOU STILL HAVEN'T COME TO TERMS WITH HOW BAD YOUR PAPER WAS ALL ALONG, SUBMITTING A REBUTTAL IS A GREAT WAY TO STAY IN DENIAL.
IF YOU'RE NOT STUDYING MICRO-BLOGGING TURKERS USING MULTI-TOUCH EYE-TRACKERS FOR SOCIAL GAMING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING INTO  
FUTURE VERSIONS OF THIS PROMISING PAPER SHOULD INCLUDE LESS SUCK, MORE FLATTERING OF MY EGO, AND USE OF NETWORKED TABLETOP TURKERS.

Interestingly enough, I get the feeling this humour also gives me insight into some of the inside jokes of CHI, also making me feel more part of the community.  Like that whole turkers thing.  What's up with that?

It sounds like Cate's going to be doing some analysis on the CHI hashtag.  I'm looking forward to seeing if any of her data gives me more insight into my reflections here.  For example, am I getting only a small part of the picture because only some small cliques do most of the tweeting? How many more people use the hashtag close to the submission deadline, review release date, and rebuttal deadline?

What has your experience been following conference hashtags before, during, and after the event?

2 comments:

Female Computer Scientist said...

Ha! That sotted reviewer person is too funny. Turker I assume refers to people who use mturk, which is a crowdsourcing tool from amazon. It's a hot topic lately in a lot of circles.

Never tried the conference hash tag thing, but I generally only submit to smaller conferences that are very tight-knit. It'd be a bit weird to discuss papers publicly, since everyone would know a) who you were and b) whose paper you were talking about.

But you've piqued my interest, so I'll have to go look and see... :)

Gail Carmichael said...

One certainly has to be very careful about not revealing the papers being discussed. ;)

The archives for the tag can apparently be accessed here (I haven't looked yet myself):

http://twapperkeeper.com/hashtag/chi2011
http://archivist.visitmix.com/d08308dc/1

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