If I could only pick three conference sessions to go to… #MRMW #MRX

If I can’t be there in person, I’ll certainly be there in spirit. MRMW Asia is sure to be a great event given the line up of speakers and topics in a fascinating city. And though I’d go to every session if I was there, if I could only see three, these are the three that I’d pick.

I’d love to see Frank Kelly’s presentation on the use of mobile devices in different countries. Canada, where I’m from, is known for its multiculturalism but that doesn’t mean I’ve had the opportunity to step into the homes and experience the lives of people who are so different from me. Anytime we can gain a better understanding of the differences between cultures means our research results will be better and more relevant to the right people. Even better, it means that as humans, we’ll have an increased understanding and more empathy for each other. And we all know we need more of that on this planet.

annie mobile

Self portrait via mobile for a facial coding exercise

I’m also thrilled to see that ethics and standards are on the agenda twice, first with a solo session by Mark Michelson and second with a panel moderated by Michelson. As a social media researcher, I see the problems of loose standards and ethics day in and day out. Companies have been charged with deceiving consumers, consumers have been furious over their loss of privacy, and clients have given up on methodologies because multiple vendors have misled them about validity and capabilities. This isn’t good for anyone, and certainly not good for an industry that prides itself on fairness and honesty. I’d love to see Ho, Ooi, Niles, and Foreman take a hard stand for consumer privacy and research ethics.

And last, I’d love to see Pankaj Jha’s presentation on facial coding. As a past Psychologist, I know there is validity behind the theory of facial coding. I know that researchers are also getting better at transferring the theory of facial coding into valid practice, though we aren’t there quite yet. If that’s not enough, let’s just see if we can take something that is already difficult and make it even more difficult by going mobile. Hopefully, the mobile picture I took of myself thinking about this conference will be easy to code – good lighting, clear expression. I’m sure every consumers’ image will make it this easy for Jha.

To those fortunate enough to be attending, keep the rest of us in the loop with your blog posts and tweets. We’ll be anxiously waiting for them!

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