goodtosee #12: geek girl meetup Umeå

Before leaving Umeå on Friday (!) I’ll turn into a geek girl tomorrow afternoon! According to the HUMlab blog (and Emma Ewadotter, who is in the Geek Girl Umeå steering committee) Geek girl

“started out in Stockholm in 2008 as a way for women interested in web, technology and innovation to meet and exchange ideas. It is for women, by women and all about professionalism and fun. It has become increasingly popular and the growing number of Geek Girls is a good indication that it is something that is here to stay. It is indeed  a marvelous concept that is already spreding over the world (there are Geek Girl initiatives in London, Gothenburg and Copenhagen just to mention a few).”

I’ve heard about Geek Girl Dinner in Vienna, which seems to be some kind of sister event, which was founded in London (2005) by Sarah Blow “who was tired of being the only woman at technical events” (Wikipedia). Since I haven’t attended any Geek Girl events yet I’m excited to present my work in this illustrious circle.

The motto of tomorrow’s meeting is search engines, and Google in particular. I’ll talk about the “Googlization of Everything” (Vaidhyanathan 2011) and about social search, as well as user profiling, surveillance and exploitation, most importantly. Moreover, Mikaela Pettersson will be speaking about search engine optimization. I’m looking forward to that! It should be fun (and will distract me a little from the annoying packing, tidying, cleaning, …, I’ve to do right now!) 😉

Documentation of the event: video & pics. Thx for a great evening & good luck with future Geek Girl events!!!

biofuels in public spheres

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a seminar talk together with Jenny Eklöf from Umeå Studies in Science, Technology and Environment (USSTE). The title is “BIOFUELS IN PUBLIC SPHERES: How old and new media shape the biofuel controversy under the influence of technoscientific marketing”. All Umeå people are very welcome!!!

November 8, B 203, 13:00-14.30; Abstract:

While biofuels have been celebrated as an eco-friendly alternative to petrol with the potential to slow down climate change in the past, they have come under scrutiny due to their environmental and social impacts more recently. This seminar talk discusses our ongoing research project on the biofuel controversy in public spheres. The main research question to be addressed is how the controversy plays out in the Swedish press and in (Swedish) search engine results. Using “classical” (content analysis) and “digital” methods (search engine queries, link network analysis, issue clouds) we aim to show who the dominant actors are in both spheres, what visibility strategies they employ, and how actors from different sectors (industry, policy, academia) merge. In this analysis we specifically focus on blurring boundaries between different types of information (scientific, journalistic, activist, commercial etc.) and the way strategies of “technoscientific marketing” influence the staging of the controversy in the media and search engine results. This case study enables us to draw conclusions on how actors’ visibility strategies and different media (and their underlying mechanisms and business models) work in tandem to create blurred knowledge boundaries/ processes of information commercialization.

image credit © http://thecostaricanews.com/