In which our hero frantically tries to tie all the loose ends in this conference together.It seems that an eight hour time zone difference isn't half as bad as a six hour difference. Last year in Boston I was awake extremely early each morning. This year I had no such trouble. On the contrary, I was usually late every morning. This morning was no exception. Hurry through breakfast, hurry to the conference center. I still had to do some copying, so I hurried to the conference center (at least now I knew where it was), and then hurried back again. Relax. Have coffee.
At least I got back in time for the CHI user feedback session. This small session is actually the place for comments and suggestions from the floor. A small group of people had gathered. First the panelists presented their views on SIGCHI and its conference. Among them was Rodney, one of my roommates during CHI, and also my partner in the CHIVAS project. The session was OK, and some interesting suggestions were made. For instance, I wasn't the only one who felt that meeting people at this CHI had been very hard.
After the feedback session I had lunch with Keith Instone and Mikael Ericsson about our HCI indices on WWW. During the SIG the other day we had already made plans to integrate our databases, and create a single, possibly SIGCHI-sponsored effort. During lunch we decided on our course of action, and we brainstormed a bit about possibilities. This might turn out to be an interesting project.
Next, I had planned an informal SIG on "User Interface Design Patterns". I was very unsure about possible interest in this SIG. I had been contacted by two people who were potentially interested, but other than that everything was a big gamble. I must admit I was a bit nervous walking up to the room I had reserved. I hadn't prepared anything, because I just wanted to get some like-minded people together, but a vision of 150+ people waiting for me to guide them kept coming at me. Well, no need to worry. There were just one people there (a second person showed up later). So much for that effort. However, I did make some interesting contacts there!
It really was a busy day, because after the informal SIG I had to meet Noi. She's been my day-to-day MSc. adviser at Georgia Tech, and she certainly a fun person as well. Every CHI we try to catch up, but between our busy schedules this usually isn't very easy. I couldn't find her, though (I did already mention that finding people was hard this CHI). I did run into Birgitte, though, who was anxious to share her shopping results with me (and I really like the hair clasp with the cats!). I did run into Noi after that without effort, and after she gave me a hard time (which she normally does anyway) about showing up so late we had a good conversation, like we usually do (I miss working with you, Noi).
No. Not done yet for this day. Closing Plenary time. The subject was Interactive Television, but you've got to go to these sessions to be part of the mosaic, right. We were sitting in the back, and we had a good time. Rodney's intelligent questions were passed to the front, but unfortunately not asked. It would have been interesting to know the answer to that one question.
After the plenary the conference was officially over and done with. However, the Student Volunteers have one last task left: tear-down. Basically we roam through the building, cleaning up and taking with us everything which is, might be, or will be CHI property. After this we got some dinner at the conference center, and then we went back to the hotel to change and fresh up a bit.