I was at the International Communications Association’s annual conference in Chicago this past weekend. The whole thing spans five days and draws about 2,500 participants, so I obviously can’t pretend to summarize everything, but here are a few highlights:
* Cliff Lampe and his various collaborators at Michigan State (Paul Zube, Jessica Vitak) are doing interesting and rigorous studies of online communities. Keep an eye on their work for valuable reality-checks on all the hype about Facebook et al in politics.
* Joe Turow from the Annenberg School at UPenn is in the midst of a very interesting project exploring how a combination of technological and organizational changes in the media buying sector (advertising et al) is shaping our information environment and the news media. It is in its early stages, but seems incredibly rich already.
* Claire Wardle, Andrew Williams, and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen from Cardiff University presented a first slice of what looks like a great, great multi-site ethnography (plus more) investigation of how the BBC in the UK deals with user-generated content. I’ll be following that one closely.