As reported elsewhere , Harsha de Silva and I had a productive time at the Mobile Preconference organized by Rich Ling (http://www.richardling.com/ ) and others. One of the outcomes was that LIRNEasia has undertaken to organize this event for the next two years, in conjunction with the ICA conferences scheduled for Chicago, May 21-25, 2009 and for Singapore in June 2010.
As Jonathon Donner mentions , there is a distinct value to discussing related papers among a group of like-minded researchers for a day and a half. Discussion at ICA conferences proper is choppy and disjointed, and in some cases, there are more people who are presenting than in the audience. At a pre-conference, the conversation flows without distraction among a group of committed researchers.
Harsha and I thought it would not be a bad idea to respond to Rich Ling’s request that someone volunteer to organize the next event because we expect to have a whole lot of research findings related to mobile in hand by mid 2009, both from the Teleuse @ BOP 3 research and from the Mobile 2.0 research. But obviously, we cannot flood the sessions with our own research. What we want to do is to form a panel of reviewers to do double-blind review of extended abstracts, somewhat on the same lines as we do in CPRsouth . Obvious candidates are Rich Ling , Jim Katz (who gave the keynote in Montreal) and Francois Bar, who is leading an interesting research effort on mobile at U of Southern California. In addition I hope to invite some colleagues from DIRSI and RIA . We will ensure that developed-country topics as well as developing-country topics will be featured. The Chicago meeting should be of interest to IDRC as well. Once the advisory committee is formed, we hope to disseminate the call for abstracts through all the above networks
In the case of Singapore, we will try to get some of the regional operators and equipment manufacturers to participate, in addition those working on mobile issues within CPRsouth.
Some participants at the preconference had expressed interest in forming a Special Interest Group and laying claim to time inside the conference program. Having been too immersed in the political economy of scholarly communication in my previous life, I indicated to Rich that we have no interest. Of course we would have absolutely no objection to anyone else taking the lead on forming a Special Interest Group.
Suggestions are welcome.