Plan for Friday, July 22

- Move Melody's blog to university server - Analyze results of MSN usability


7. Planning: 18:04

Here's what I need to do:

I need to come up with a list of calls for papers for conferences related to my research area. This provides me with an incentive to write.

I need to sit down with Mark Chignell, my research supervisor, to review my research plan and the calls for papers and to break my plan down into smaller milestones. This gives me a concrete action plan. Then I can schedule next actions.

If I can break it down into really small milestones in the beginning, then I'll get a better sense of how much work I can accomplish. I would like to be done with my research before Christmas, so that I can relax without having to coordinate with IBM. Ideally I would also have it all practically written up, just waiting to be translated into "scholarly writing". I can use my internal blog and podcast to think things through.

So here's a coarse sketch of a potential schedule:

Ideally, I'd like to commit the equivalent of two to three days of focused work each week for the rest of August, which leaves me time to prepare for the future and build other competencies. I remember that a former roommate of mine concentrated on her research and studies, and ended up without job offers because she hadn't done enough networking or exploration. I'd like to finish my master's with a good background in research into social computing, but I also want to be ready to be useful to small or large businesses.

I'll take classes from September to December. I'm planning to take two courses and audit a few more to expand my mind. I need to take one more MIE course, and the CS course on requirements engineering has been highly recommended. October or November can be my main data gathering month.

So: August is for reading papers, gathering background information, and learning as much as I can about the theoretical framework and how to measure the effects of an intervention. September is for analyzing the collaboration technologies against the framework chosen, and selecting a factor to modify. I may need to code a fair bit--the actual intervention plus the instrumentation I need to measure the change, so I'll probably use October to set up the experiment. I'll run the experiment in November, and work on polishing my writing in December.

My Christmas break will be a *real* break. I don't want to do IBM-related things then, aside from perhaps an evangelism talk or two at IBM Philippines. ;) I want to reconnect with family and friends, make new friends, and develop business opportunities.

Then I can come back to Canada, finish writing up my paper, have my committee review it (although I hope they'll be involved at each step), and revise it as needed. Once I finish that, there might not be that much point in going for an internship instead of a proper job, so I'll probably start looking for leads in January and aim to finish in April. Although I'd like to be able to bridge worlds and that probably means finding a good place to work in North America, it won't be a huge tragedy if I don't manage to get a good job offer lined up. There's much for me to do in the Philippines, and I might come back and join Exist or QSR or something like that. Besides, the Philippines has its perks. ;)

Yes, I could've done this earlier, but it was also important for me to immerse myself in the culture and to form ties with people who can help me find out how to go about doing this. =)

Yup, definitely sounds like a plan.

On Technorati:

6. Aggregators: 21:54

My research supervisor is tickled pink by the blog aggregator I put up the other day. He likes being able to see all of our personal life stories on one page. Who would've thought?

Alvin and I agreed that something like that would get far more and far fresher content than a new blog just for IML. We're learning our lesson from all of these little half-blogs scattered all over the place...

5. Planner for Eclipse?: 22:38

One of the things I really love about Planner is that my blogging and task tracking tool is built into my working environment. A task or note is never more than a keystroke away.

When Stephen asked me if there was a blogging plugin for Eclipse, I thought: hey, there should be one. Why hasn't something like Planner been written for Eclipse yet? It's insanely useful. A search for "blog" on the Eclipse plugin page turns up nothing promising.

Right after Stephen asked me about blogging plugins, Alvin remarked that it was too much trouble to switch to a separate application for blogging. _Exactly_ why I like Planner so much.

And exactly why a pluggable and hackable wikiblog like Planner would be perfect for Eclipse.

I wonder if we're on to something here. Building blogging and wiki tools into a development environment allows the blog/wiki engine to take advantage of rich metadata. We can make it easy for people to keep project blogs and personal knowledgebases. This would be Good Stuff.

And--more challenging--we can go beyond the line-number hyperlinking done by Planner. We can take advantage of Eclipse's semantic parsing to attach entries to pieces of code that might be refactored. How would that work? I don't know how to do that yet.

What do we get? A developer's notebook. This is good stuff. Time to find out if it's masters-level good stuff...

4. Notes from meeting with Stephen Perelgut, Neil Ernst and Alvin Chin: 14:20

We met at Bahen to talk about the upcoming IBM CASCON workshop on "cool technologies." Stephen gave us an idea of the kind of demand: we've got the biggest room, the best machines, and we're doing the workshop _twice._ I'm _really_ looking forward to evangelizing these insanely useful tools!

We talked about the structure of the CASCON workshop and how the topics would flow into each other:

Introduction of topics, how to post comments on blogs Stephen
Blogging Alvin
Aggregators Alvin
Wikis Neil
del.icio.us and social bookmarking Sacha

A good lead-in for the workshop would be to have participants add the following to an introduction thread for the workshop:

- Who are you? - Why are you here? - What do you want to get out of the course? - Link to webpage, etc.

This not only gives them a taste of how easy it is to respond to a blog, but also gives us plenty of feedback to work into the 3-hour tutorial.

We want to show them that blogging isn't just about personal journals. Getting them hooked on topic-related blogs and convincing them to use project-related blogs or boss-blogs to communicate with others would be a big, immediate win. Blogs are great as a personal lab notebook, and wikiblogs would be even more fantastic.

We talked a bit about the use of blogging in universities. The humanities people really caught on to the idea of blogs. In fact, most of the activity I'm seeing in the edublogging frontier comes from English teachers. Isn't that so cool?

For wikis, we want to emphasize the use of wikis for intranet documentation, because that's another immediately useful big win for them.

I'll get to evangelize social bookmarking. Yay! Yay! I'm a really big fan of using del.icio.us to discover new, useful sites.

Next steps: prepare content for the workshop, move the CASCON blog to the new server, and write content for the blog.

3. Research interest: social information systems?: 14:05

As I think about what I'd like to spend the next two years studying, I find myself going between personal information management and something (new? old?) that for lack of a better term I will call social information management. Blogging, social bookmarking and social networking aren't quite personal-information-management topics, but they aren't quite groupware either. These tools support weak ties with people outside your usual circles, and I'm fascinated by how much we gain when we share information with strangers.

2. Bubblegum and string: 15:21

I finished my first hack for Melody's indie music review blog. She's thrilled by the fact that the sidebars automatically pick up her reviewed music. We're moving the blog to a new Linux server next week. I'll probably redo the hack so that I can make it more elegant. Right now it's just bubblegum and string...

1. Daniel S. Weld: Personalization: 10:16

K. Gajos, R. Hoffmann and D. Weld, "Improving User Interface Personalization" UIST 2004, Santa Fe, NM, October 2004.

D. Weld, C. Anderson, P. Domingos, O. Etzioni, T. Lau, K. Gajos, and S. Wolfman, "Automatically Personalizing User Interfaces" IJCAI-03, 2003.

C. Anderson, P. Domingos and D. Weld, "Web Site Personalizers for Mobile Devices" (IJCAI-01 Workshop on Intelligent Techniques for Web Personalization)

C. Anderson, P. Domingos and D. Weld, "Adaptive Web Navigation for Wireless Devices" (IJCAI 2001)

C. Anderson, P. Domingos and D. Weld, "Personalizing Web Sites for Mobile Users" (WWW10)

Selected Publications by Daniel S. Weld