Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gerrit for President!

Last week I heard that my graduation professor Gerrit van der Veer has been nominated as a candidate for the Presidency of ACM SIGCHI.

When I graduated from Twente University in 1995, Gerrit encouraged and supported my efforts towards combining ergonomics with computer science to create information ergonomics.

Gerrit (whose homepage still has a very 1995 feeling to it!) has been instrumental in organizing CHI conferences, both as co-chair (twice) and as a long-time member of the conference management committee. He is currently professor of interaction design at Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit.

Carolyn Gale, Gerrit's team-mate, isn't a bad choice either. She is the Director of the Stanford Research Communication Program and has been active in the SIGCHI community for years too. I specifically remember CHI 1997 in Atlanta where we were both volunteers with too much time on our hands and spent a lot of time in sunny parks and dark bars.

For those who read Dutch, there's an interview by SIGCHI.NL that gives some insight into Gerrit's background and interests.

So, if you receive a ballot to vote for the 2006 SIGCHI Officer elections, you know who to vote for! Go Gerrit!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Another winner: Folksonomy is one of NY Times' ideas of the year

Congratulations to Thomas Vander Wal for having his neologism 'folksonomy' featured in the 'Year in Ideas' issue of the New York Times!

Not convinced about folksonomies? As the item says:
People aren't really categorizing information," Vander Wal says. "They're throwing words out there for their own use." But the cumulative force of all the individual tags can produce a bottom-up, self-organized system for classifying mountains of digital material.
Now, that's a powerful idea, isn't it? Well done, Thomas!

The rest of the list is a bit weird. There are some good ideas, like the readable medicine bottle, do-it-yourself cartography and the man who discovered why yawning is contageous (usability people beware; it's to do with empathy!), but I wasn't so sure about in-vitro meat (apparently co-developed by NASA and some Dutch scientists) or, for that matter 2-dimensional food.

Still, I guess they are all signs-of-the-Times, and folksonomies is one of them.

Friday, December 09, 2005

EURO IA presenter named "Information professional of the year"

Euan Semple was one of the panelists at last October's EURO IA conference. He was selected by Filip Borloo to talk about "Using Community Tools to Capture Knowledge in the Organization". The panel was regarded as one of the best sessions of the conference, and Euan clearly contributed to that.

It seems others appreciate him too, because Euan was named IWR Information Professional of the Year by Online Information.

Congratulations to Euan, and a tip of the hat to Filip for inviting this smart man to the conference!