Category Archives: research

Research and Development, including academic research.

Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search: an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level

I will be giving a research talk (added recently, thus not on the conference Web page yet) titled: Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search:  an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level on October 28 at the American Society of Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08) in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the abstract for the talk:

This talk reviews an exploratory study of sponsored search advertising for a major US university’s academic department. The ad campaign used Google’s AdWord service with the goal of increasing awareness – not eCommerce – as part of the search process.  A behavioral model of information seeking is suggested that could be applied for selecting appropriate types of online advertising for awareness and other advertising goals. Insights into the study methodology will also be discussed including the use of increased integration with server logs, targeted site query terms and alternative awareness strategies. 

The talk is part of the panel AM08 2008 – The Google Online Marketing Challenge: A Multi-disciplinary Global Teaching and Learning Initiative Using Sponsored Search with Bernard Jansen, Mark A. Rosso, Dan Russell, Brian Detlor and Don Turnbull.

This is a summary of the panel:

Sponsored search is an innovative information searching paradigm. This panel will discuss a vehicle to explore this unique medium as an educational opportunity for students and professors. From February to May 2008, Google will run its first ever student competition in sponsored search, The Google Online Marketing Challenge http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/. Similar to other Google initiatives, the extent seems huge. Based on pre-registrations, more than two hundred professors and nearly nine thousand students from approximately 50 countries will compete. This may be the largest, worldwide educational course ever done. It is certainly on a large scale.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a real-life, problem-based, and multidisciplinary educational endeavor of the kind that many educators say is needed to relate teaching to outside the classroom. However, such endeavors are not without risks. The session should appeal to professors that competed in the 2008 Challenge, any professors considering the 2009 Challenge, as well as other educators who might consider the inclusion of Google AdWords as a pedagogical tool in their curricula. The panel will also be of great interest to those information professionals and educators as a possible model for use in other domains besides sponsored search.

Knowledge Management Systems

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Knowledge Management Systems

This course surveys Knowledge Management systems that enable the access and coordination of knowledge assets. Technologies reviewed will include intranets, groupware, weblogs, instant messaging, content management systems and email in both individual and organizational contexts. Students will use these KM technologies, review case studies, research methods of knowledge organization and analyze and design KM processes and systems.

The course is chock full of fun topics including:

Of course, we have a class blog too: Knowledge Management Systems @UTexas

Semantic Web Technologies

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Semantic Web Technologies

This course approaches understanding Semantic Web technologies from three perspectives:

  • Top-down, theoretical approaches to organizing semantic information including ontologies, taxonomies, knowledge representation and software agents.
  • Bottom-up approaches, sometimes called “emergent semantics” or “the lower case ‘S’ semantic web”, for understanding and creating networked information including XML-based solutions including RDF, XPath and RSS. Also included are smaller, informal systems for organizing Web information including tagging (social bookmarking), microformats and other specific markup and distribution systems.
  • Application approaches focusing on Web Services or “Web 2.0” functionality including distributed (client and server) application design, syndication, Application Programming Interfaces, remote databases and “mash-ups”.

Of course, we have a class blog too: Semantic Web Technologies Blog.

Information Architecture Institute Progress Grants

I’m pleased to announce (or remind) that the Information Architecture Institute is accepting applications for the Information Architecture 2007 Progress Grants

The Information Architecture Institute (IAI) will award two USD $1,000 Progress Grants for 2007. The purpose of the program is twofold:

  • to encourage researchers and practitioners to investigate IA-specific issues
  • to publicize useful work that furthers the information architecture body of knowledge

Applications should propose work that will forward the theory and practice of information architecture. This can include original research, a synthesis of important existing research, or the development of an innovative new technique.

The IAI Progress Grant Committee will review the proposals and select those with the highest potential to benefit the information architecture field. Half of the grant amount will be awarded when the grant recipients are announced and half when the work is completed. Progress grants will only be awarded to proposals of sufficient quality, clarity, and originality.

Work supported through this program will be published on the iainstitute.org website, but it should have relevance beyond the Tools and Library collections. For instance, the work could inform future IAI workshop curricula, tie in with potential Institute publishing projects, be responsive to issues raised by members in the email discussion list, or support other Institute activities, such as Local Groups and International initiatives.

The application deadline for applying is October 15, 2007

Applications should be 2,000 words or fewer and must contain:

  • Description of the problem or hypothesis
  • Methodology to be used
  • Explanation of how the resulting work will forward the theory or practice of IA
  • Conditions under which others can use the results (e.g. Creative Commons license)

(Note that I’m on the Awards Jury Committee for this grant.)

Learn more about the Information Architecture 2007 Progress Grants now.

Call for Papers – Special Issue of the Journal of Web Engineering

Along with my colleagues and co-guest editors Jim Jansen, Kirstie Hawkey, Melanie Kellar, and Andy Edmonds, I am happy to announce a call for paper submissions for a Special Issue of the Journal of Web Engineering focusing on Logging Traces of Web Activity.

People are now using the World Wide Web (Web) to seek, gather, and share information in increasingly complex ways. In order to develop the next generation of Web information systems, we must have an understanding of people’s goals, their context, and their situational aspects. These aspects are difficult, if not impossible, to investigate in laboratory settings. Therefore, researchers must turn to naturalistic studies involving large number of users who may be separated geographically. In these settings, many researchers require logs of user behaviour on the Web to study the interactions of Web users, both with respect to general behaviour and in order to develop and evaluate new tools and techniques. Traces of Web activity are used for a wide variety of research and commercial purposes including user interface usability and evaluations of user behaviour and patterns on the Web. Unfortunately, current tools and processes do not support consistent and detailed studies using logs of user behaviour. As such, there is a duplication of effort, which hampers progress in the field.

This special issue is inspired by the Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection workshop at the WWW 2006 Conference this May in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Relevant research themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Methodologies for data collection (client-side, server-side, proxy-based)
  • Collection of browser data (e.g. events, bookmarks, history, and caches)
  • Collection of data from users across different browsers
  • AJAX-compatible logging systems
  • Using mixed data sources for data validation
  • Cleaning Web data
  • Web data warehousing
  • Using Web data for proactive user functionality
  • Methods for matching user behaviour to task models
  • Qualitative annotation of Web data

Submissions

Submissions should be full length articles. All submissions will be peer reviewed and should describe original research that is not under consideration in any other forum. Please follow the formatting guidelines of the journal. Submissions should be emailed to melanie@cs.dal.ca in PDF format. All questions regarding submissions should be directed to Melanie Kellar (melanie@cs.dal.ca).

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: January 8, 2007
Reviews Due: February 8, 2007
Notification to Authors: February 19, 2007
Final Papers Due: March 19, 2007

Seattle & Portland this week

I am in Seattle this week for the Seattle Innovation Symposium, where academics and industry are working together to understand and distribute the innovation. I will also be talking with some of the smart people at Microsoft about the OpenChoice project: a platform for Web Content Classification & Filtering that I’m working on with many others at UT.

I have already been in town a day and half. I’ve been enjoying the nice weather (no, that’s not a Seattle rain joke) and the downtown area. Yesterday I hit Dilettante Chocolates and walked down to the Pike Place Market for some fresh crab cocktail and hot french bread (a tasty sandwich indeed) at the waterfront park. Then a trip over to the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project (museum) and ran smack dab into a Star Trek convention (no, that’s not a Seattle geek joke). Then somehow I ended up at REI, which seems inevitable here in town (yes, that is a Seattle treehugger joke).

Later in the week, I’m driving down to Portland and will plan on at least one Lewis & Clark related stop, but am open to any road trip recommendations or must-sees in Portland. (I’ve never been to Oregon and I’m happy to correct that error. Also, that’s one more state I can say I’ve been to.)

2006 Information Architecture Institute Progress Grants

The Information Architecture Institute (IAI) will award two USD $1,000
Progress Grants for 2006. The purpose of the program is to twofold:

  1. to encourage researchers and practitioners to investigate IA-specific
    issues
  2. to publicize useful work that furthers the information architecture
    body of knowledge.

IAI Progress Grant pplications should propose work that will forward the theory and practice of information architecture. This can include original research, a synthesis
of important existing research, or the development of an innovative new
technique.

The format of the applications should be 2,000 words or fewer and must contain:

  • Description of the problem or hypothesis
  • Methodology to be used
  • Explanation of how the resulting work will forward the theory or
    practice of IA
  • Conditions under which others can use the results (e.g. Creative
    Commons license)

The grant application deadline is September 15th, 2006.

Please see 2006 IA Progress Grants information page, including information on last year’s winners.

This year, I am a member of the awards jury for the grant, for even more information, see the details for the progress grant.

Logging Traces of Web Activity workshop at WWW2006

Yesterday we had a great workshop about Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection at the WWW 2006 Conference.

All of the papers, presentations and statements of interest provided a number of insight into different methods for collecting data about Web use including using both server and client based tools including the issues faced when trying to decide what to log about users’ interactions and what the log formats should look like too. A number of revealing studies also reviewed some current views of how Web users do interact with the Web as well as a number of applications, plug-ins and scripting methods for getting data, distributing it and what users’ perceptions of their data might mean to them.

We were just one of the many excellent workshops at WWW2006.

The entire day went well thanks to my excellent co-organizers for the panel: Kirstie Hawkey, Melanie Kellar, and Andy Edmonds.

I'll be in Scotland

in the next few weeks, primarily to attend the 15th International World Wide Web Conference where I’m co-chairing a workshop on Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection with Melanie Kellar, Kirstie Hawkey and Andy Edmonds. If you won’t be attending, you can check out the excellent program schedule, including links to the submissions that will be presented at the workshop.

Fortunately, before the conference I will be doing some touring throughout Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. If you have some recommendations, on “must see” experiences, I’m happy to hear about it. I’ve already added a few events to my trip from excellent suggestions including the Isle of Skye and a whisky distillery or two. Feel free to comment on this post or send me an email.