post-conference highs

Last week was super-intense, what with presenting the paper on Everyday Creativity as Civic Engagement, which I co-authored with Marcus Foth and Helen Klaebe at the Communications Policy and Research Forum in Sydney, then zooming back to Brisbane to get my AoIR paper happening and throwing myself into conference mode for the rest of the week. I had organized a panel with Mel Gregg, Christina Spurgeon and Sal Humphreys called Creativity and Its Discontents.

Quite unexpectedly, our session ended up being totally packed out – we almost, but did not quite, achieve the distinction of having an actual mosh pit type situation happening, but we did have people sitting on the floor. Rock stars or not, I felt it went very well, and we had some good feedback. But then again, the impression of it going well could just be a result of my excellent mood. I’ve uploaded my own paper (well, the script for my presentation) Vernacular Creativity, Cultural Participation and New Media Literacy: Photography and the Flickr Network as a pdf. It was the first time I got to rehearse my interpretation of the idea of a tension between ‘usability and hackability’ in the socio-technical construction of vernacular creativity, kind of comparing the ‘Kodak moment’ with the ‘Web 2.0’ one.

Somehow I avoided conference fatigue, enjoying most of the papers, having an awesome time at the dinner and the inevitable after-dinner drinks, feeling very excited about converting blog friends into real friends. And easing out of conference mode by watching the AFL Grand Final at the pub with a hybrid crowd of friends and loved ones, new conference acquaintances and complete strangers (i.e. the ubiquitous old-men-perched-on-bar-stools, with whom I always seem to strike up interesting conversations) at the Royal Exchange Hotel. But after finally allowing myself to get emotionally invested in the footy, was quite gutted to see the Swans lose by one lousy point.

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