Experiencing virtual CSCW2022 Conference

ACM CSCW
6 min readAug 15, 2022

This blog post introduces you–a CSCW attendee–to our planned virtual conference experience (the rationale for moving online was discussed previously). Our goal here is to introduce you to the platforms through which you will gain access to the content, and through which you interact with authors and other attendees. By the end of this blog post, you will understand how these platforms work with one another, and how to use these platforms to get the best CSCW 2022 experience. An upcoming companion blog post will provide more instructions on how to set up these platforms on your computer.

CSCW 2022 at a Glance

CSCW 2022 will run as a virtual conference from Nov 8 through Nov 22, 2022.

  • Each Tuesday, there will be two live sessions (about 1h30 each), timed for 10am Taiwan time, and 10pm Taiwan time. These include plenaries, panels, the lasting impact award, and the town hall.
  • The posters/demo reception will also run twice as live sessions within Gathertown.
  • Pre-recorded paper presentation videos will be streamed on “CSCW TV”. There, you can also converse with other synchronous viewers (or paper authors if they are present), or continue the discussion with authors on Discord asynchronously.

How will I attend CSCW 2022?

We expect that people will attend CSCW 2022 much like they have during most of the COVID-19 pandemic–in a drop-in, and drop-out manner that fits into their lives. To this end, we expect folks to attend the pieces that they can make time for (e.g. large gathering sessions, or paper presentations for topics they are interested in) in ways that are suitable for their timezone and their “real life” schedule.

Live sessions: The live sessions are scheduled to 1h30 each, and occur regularly at the same times each week–thereby allowing folks to plan to attend in an “appointment viewing” kind of way. Most of the time, these will happen through Zoom, with the exception of the posters/demo reception, which will happen through Gathertown.

CSCW TV: We also want to support semi-synchronous and asynchronous interaction between attendees. To this end, CSCW 2022 will stream pre-recorded paper presentations on Gathertown in a shared space, allowing you to interact directly with authors and attendees in the sessions. Papers will be grouped together into virtual sessions, and these will play together. We expect each paper will be streamed at least twice over the two weeks of the conference to accommodate different time zones for authors. Discord will also allow you to carry on the discussion with the authors asynchronously.

Platforms

We will use a handful of platforms to make the CSCW experience happen.

programs.sigchi.org. This is the main platform through which attendees will “begin” their experience. The program for the conference will be listed here, so you can see when sessions are scheduled for–be it live sessions like the plenary or panels, or for the session/paper times for pre-recorded presentation videos. You can use this to help plan your time, or to tag papers to retrieve an asynchronous playlist of the presentation videos to watch in your downtown. Programs.sigchi.org will have deep links to the other platforms for the CSCW experience, including a deep link to Zoom (for live events), Gathertown (for the poster/demo session and CSCW TV), Discord (for the paper discussions), as well as YouTube and ACM DL (for asynchronous presentation videos and papers themselves).

Zoom. Live synchronous sessions such as the plenaries, panels, and so forth, will run through zoom. The text chat in these sessions will be moderated.

Gathertown. We will host the posters/demos reception in a Taiwan-themed Gathertown. Presenters will have virtual booths that they will present from, and attendees can wander between booths based on their interests. The space will also facilitate and support conversations between colleagues, who can join from the comfort of their own homes. CSCW TV will also be available from here.

Discord. Discord is a channel-based system that supports text and voice chat. CSCW 2022 will use it to facilitate discussions between attendees and authors.

ACM Digital Library/SIGCHI YouTube. The ACM DL will be updated with full papers, and the presentation videos will be made available on the SIGCHI YouTube channel. These will be made available to allow people to watch the videos on their own time, and to read the papers asynchronously.

New for CSCW 2022

CSCW 2022 will introduce two new venues for attendees: the emerging scholars' track, and the translations track.

Emerging Scholars. The Emerging Scholars track is designed specifically for newcomers to CSCW (e.g. students), and introduces these scholars to our global community of scholars. Emerging scholars identify themselves during registration, and sign up for small group sessions with academic and industry mentors for intimate, small group chats. Invitations to these small group chats will come to attendees by email. If you would like to volunteer to be one of these mentors, please let us know at emergingscholars2022@cscw.acm.org.

Translation Panels. How can researchers work across academic and industry lines? What do success stories look like? How can we set these things up? Elizabeth Churchill will host a series of panels with seasoned researchers to answer these questions and discuss their experiences.

FAQs

  1. I’m new to the community, what is there for me?

Welcome to the CSCW community. We have created a new “Emerging Scholars” track specifically to support new scholars to welcome them into our community. In addition to this, our virtual chairs will host a number of social sessions through Gathertown and Zoom. Finally, we encourage you to engage with our colleagues on the Discord for even more extended discussions.

2. How and when will “CSCW TV” run?

CSCW TV will be a long continuous stream of pre-recorded presentation videos from paper authors. Each presentation video will be 8 minutes in length, and they will be grouped into sessions of about 4 papers.

CSCW TV will play through the duration of the conference on Monday through Friday (Taiwan local time). This will be a “single track”, meaning only one talk would play at a time, and they will play “around the clock.” This will allow you to drop-in to the conference talks at times that are convenient for and interesting to you. CSCW TV will be streamed through Gathertown, allowing attendees to gather together and interact.

We expect each paper presentation to be played at least twice during the duration of the conference. For each paper, these “playback” times will be staggered so they will play at different times of the day.

3. What about Taiwan?

Unfortunately, as detailed in our previous blog post, the COVID situation in Taiwan is such that we could not make the in-person conference in Taiwan happen. This is a big disappointment to the entire CSCW 2022 Organising Committee.

With that said, our local and virtual chairs have taken great efforts to develop a Gathertown experience that is filled with cultural references to Taiwan, so you can experience bits and pieces of Taiwan and Taiwanese culture during the conference.

4. What about accessibility for Gathertown?

Gathertown remains limited in terms of its accessibility for our low vision colleagues. We have developed a program that allows our colleagues to request support from a SV to guide them through Gathertown. This is being supported by our equity and accessibility chairs (virtual2022@cscw.acm.org).

We also have a back-up video stream for colleagues to use. This is being supported by the virtual and video chairs (virtual2022@cscw.acm.org).

Finally, it is possible to enable closed-captioning through Chrome on Gather town.

5. When will conference registration go live?

We expect to go live on conference registration on the week of September 12.

--

--

ACM CSCW

ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.