This is the second of two posts I've made on WebSci'13. Here I'm going to summarise a couple of lows and a lot of highs. If you'd like a more detailed account, please check out my previous post on my time at WebSci'13 (and CHI'13!).

Let's get the negative stuff out the way first:

  • The proceedings weren't available before the event
  • Lack of clarity as to the location of lunches (I missed at least one lunch since I didn't know it existed!)
  • A couple of venue issues: poor signage to the rooms, and a really strange (long, squashed) shape of some rooms
  • The papers still aren't on the ACM DL :(

Having done it myself in the past, I'm well aware that organising events like this is a huge task, and I'm very grateful to the organisers for what was in fact such a smooth event. People are often quick to notice and criticise the problems, while not even noticing what went well due to months of effort! So, thanks to the organisers for their stellar efforts.

The rest of this post concerns highlights. Firstly, and on a personal note, I was delighted by the opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues, both within the WebSci community and also Hypertext and CHI (woo for co-location). Although it is not strictly a WebSci'13 item, I was over the moon on behalf of my friends and colleagues Dave Millard, Charlie Hargood, Mike Jewell and Mark Weal, who were quite rightly awarded Hypertext'13's Best Paper award for their work modelling location-aware narrative systems.

Aside from the above, and Doctorow's excellent keynote, my WebSci'13 highlights included:

Conversations. I had a couple of good discussions (health WebSci and alt-metrics) that yielded follow-up conversations that are still on-going: huzzah.


Papers. My favourites include:

  • Ricardo Kawase, Bernardo Pereira Nunes, Eelco Herder, Wolfgang Nejdl and Marco Antonio Casanova: Who Wants To Get Fired?
  • Fabian Eikelboom, Paul Groth and Laura Hollink: A comparison between online and offline prayer
  • Aristea-Maria Zafeiropoulou, David Millard, Craig Webber and Kieron O’Hara: Unpicking the Privacy Paradox: Can Structuration Theory help to explain location-based privacy decisions?
  • Tamas David-Barrett and Robin Dunbar: Women Universally Favour Dyadic Relationships, Men Prefer Male Alliances
  • Stéphane Bazan and Michalis Vafopoulos: The Web Science Curriculum at work: The Digital Economy Master Program at USJ-Beirut
  • Marie Joan Kristine Gloria, Stephane Bazan and Qingpeng Zhang: When Freedom Goes Global: Are we all equally safe on social media?


(I missed the presentation of the final paper above, but it is clearly an important piece of work.)

Posters. As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn't have half as much time as I needed in the poster session and certainly didn't see everything. Still, here are some of the ones I saw that really struck me:

  • Antonio Lieto and Fabiana Vernero, Unveiling the link between logical fallacies and web persuasion
  • Terhi Nurmikko, Jacob Dahl, Kirk Martinez and Graeme Earl. Web Science for Ancient History: Deciphering Proto-Elamite Online
  • J. Nathan Matias, Measuring Social Media Quotations in Journalism
  • Peter Kraker, Kris Jack, Christian Schloegl, Christoph Trattner and Stefanie Lindstaedt. Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics
  • Munmun De Choudhury, Scott Counts and Eric Horvitz. Social Media as a Measurement Tool of Depression in Populations
  • Lisa Thomas, Pamela Briggs and Linda Little. Location Tracking via Social Networking Sites
  • Gemma Fitzsimmons, Mark Weal and Denis Drieghe. On Measuring the Impact of Hyperlinks on Reading


If this hasn't been enough for you, Lisa Harris is maintaining a list of posts reflecting on WebSci'13. Enjoy.

Final thought: this year's conference dinner was boat-based, as seems to be the tradition after similar events in Koblenz (2011) and Chicago (2012). How will we cope in Indiana next year?!