By John Fowler, HCDE PhD student
From January 8 - 11, 2023, I had the opportunity to attend the annual The ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP).
My attendance at the conference this year was remote but it still provided a great opportunity to connect with colleagues who share similar interests to my own, especially the study of online communities. The past few years of this conference were postponed due to COVID, so it was great to finally be able to present my paper on the experiences of former foster youth in an online community. This was the first paper that I had published in the HCI field and having the opportunity to share the work with other HCI researchers was very valuable to me. Although I was not able to attend in person, I was still able to connect with other researchers through the online Discord channel and engage with questions and comments related to the work.
Some of the researchers who I had the opportunity to talk with included people who I had previously cited in my work but not yet met. In particular, this presented a chance to engage with others who have an interest in the ethical considerations that researchers should take into account when including public social media data in a study. I was also able to watch other researchers’ remote presentations and make connections over other online community and data research interests. Overall, the ability to remotely attend this conference was really valuable to me as an opportunity to finally share my work in an HCI context and make connections with researchers in the field. I am grateful to have received the funding that allowed me to attend.