It’s important to stay in touch with what’s happening in your area of research and also those related to your area. If you have time it’s also nice to dip into the sort of thing you would normally have nothing to do with like graphics in my case for example. It’s good because it broadens your reach and allows you to have even more interesting ideas that you already have. It is also really important to keep abreast of new things to make sure that you don’t re-invent the wheel and also so you can connect with people doing similar things to you.
Conferences are loved and loathed. How many free pens did you score this year, and how many publications? Regardless, whenever I go I always meet some interesting people and come away with a million and one new things to try and papers to read. Conferences help keep things fresh.
The SEO community followed the SIGIR conference with great excitement this year, especially with Matt Cutts taking part and speaking at the Industry track. None other than our favourite Noisy Channel man Daniel Tunkelang took care of organising things and it made for a really interesting conference once again. ACM SIGIR is the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval and the 1st conference took place in 1978. It is the most anticipated IR event of the year, no doubt about it, but for those of us working in specialist areas such as cross-language information retrieval, natural language processing, Machine translation, data storage and so on, there are other conferences to look forward to.
My area of research takes me to A.I, semantic web, NLP, and linguistics conferences as well. Due to the SEO profession increasingly finding computing interesting, I thought I’d share a list of conferences that I think are worth watching.
- IAT: IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology
- MIRW: Mobile Interaction with the Real World
- ACM SIGMOD: special interest group on management of data
- VLDB: Very Large DataBases
- ICDM: IEEE Conference On Data Mining
- ACM KDD: Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining
- ACM CIKM: ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
- ISWC: International Semantic Web Conference
- SWWS: Semantic Web and Web Services
- IJCAI: Intl Joint Conf on AI
- ACL: Annual Meeting of the ACL – Association of Computational Linguistics
- CHI: ACM SIGCHI – Computer Human Interaction
- IAAI: Innovative Applications in AI
- ICDAR: International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition
- DAS: International Workshop on Document Analysis Systems
It’s impossible to attend all of these conferences, they’re dotted all over the world. What I do is check the list of accepted papers and get hold of the ones I think are interesting. Then I’ll see if I can find someone who is going and I ask them to let me know of anything interesting that they saw or discussed. If I have questions on the papers I’ve read, I’ll usually drop an email to the authors. The computing community as a whole is pretty friendly and I have yet to have someone not answer.
If you’re a blogger and you’re going to be covering any of these events or any others that I haven’t mentioned here, let me know and I’ll add you to the list.
One common observation is that conference websites are usually very 1990′s – it’s ok to go for the retro look but it would be nice to see a little bit more polish on those pages.