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Call for Participation

This workshop will be held at Group 2010 in Sanibel Island, Florida on Sunday, November 7, 2010.

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) has been a longstanding focus of study in the fields of HCI and CSCW dating back to the first incarnations of the media space in the early 1980s. Since then, this research sphere has explored many different forms of technology. The early focus of this work was largely workplace-oriented where researchers focused on improving and understanding workplace communication practices. However, over the last decade, there has been an increasing focus on studying computer-mediated communication in the home.

Computing technologies are rapidly changing the way families can communicate, coordinate, and connect with others through readily-available (and often free) applications, such as Google Talk, Skype, or iChat. The accessibility and proliferation of these applications means that family members are increasingly faced with new mechanisms to reach out and connect with their family and friends. For this reason, technology is now rapidly reconfiguring the way we think about and design for domestic spaces. As it does so, researchers now must directly confront issues of family relations and the subtle negotiations that are part of that realm. “Connection” can be emotionally expressive or merely informational. Analytic frameworks as well as technologies developed to support work may not be appropriate for understanding this setting. The objective of this workshop is to bring together researchers, designers, and practitioners who study family practices or domestic technology design with a particular emphasis on mediating family communication within the home and also between homes. Our focus is on technologies that allow family members to directly connect with one another either synchronously (e.g., video conferencing) or asynchronously (e.g., instant messaging), as opposed to technologies where one broadcasts or shares information with many (e.g., social networking sites). Here research typically aims to support communication between parents, children, grandparents, and close friends. We want to build community around this topical area, explore the themes of this research over the last decade, and discuss the relevant research themes of the next decade.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • family coordination
  • family communication
  • video communication
  • communication across time zones
  • social relations in families
  • analytic frameworks for ICT in the domestic realm
  • domestic awareness appliances
  • methods for studying domestic settings