Xi Rao bio photo

Xi Rao

This is the second time that I’ve been to CSCW. Last year, I brought my poster about Asian American Chicago Association. This time, although I still didn’t bring a real paper to the conference, I brought a poster with great quality. I wrote a blog post about the article. You can also read the full article here. We used qualitative method, content analysis, to compare formal and informal Non-profit Organizations’ use of Facebook and Twitter.


I got lost on the first day’s workshop. This workshop was titled “Advancing the Open Collaboration Data Exchange (OCDX): Building a Social Computing Infrastructure”. Basically, about 6 people worked together on a continuing project about Wikipedia articles for a whole day from 9am in the morning to 5pm in the afternoon. At the end of the workshop, participants gave a short presentation,talking about the day’s achievement.

This sounds a great opportunity. However, people in the group except me and another guy seem already have worked on this project for a couple of times. So the group just quickly separated to three teams and distributed tasks for each team. And I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to work on in the first hour. Luckily, I was in a team with Aaron from Wikimedia Foundation. He patiently explained the project to me. This form of practice makes me think of the hackthon that I had in my undergraduate college. This workshop a great chance to know what people are working on and to be a part of the project. Though I didn’t contrubute to the project much this time, I still think it’s a great chance to practice my skills such as programming, public speaking, networking, and working with teams.


I’m taking a seminar talking about all kinds of things that a PhD may face this semester. One of the things is to network with other in a conference. I went to different panels and knew several great scholars in the field. And to understand what they are doing opens my own idea about Human Computer Interaction. Even a short conversation with Facebook recruiting team gave me a deeper understanding of User Experience Research.

It is really awesome to see a lot of intelligent people in the field get together and talk their work. The Double Tree Hotel in Portland where we had the conference is quite a small one, compared to the Hyatt Agency in San Franscisco which CSCW 2016 was held. But it is not necessary a bad thing. Because it’s very easy to come across the person you want to talk to, in such a small area. One thing bad about small hotel is that it would be a little hard to get coffee on the table in the center of the Hall, because you’ll have to go through the crowd. I also met a great UX researcher at Facebook. She cordially introduced the UX research intern at Facebook and makes me feel that I may need some practice in the industry before I graduate.


With the help of Dr. Libby Hemphill, the poster section went very well. Many people were interested in our study. And I got a lot of great suggestions and comments. One person from another poster group came and talked to me that this field about NPOs was very promising! They build a online tool to help NPOs to organize events and communicate with stakeholders. Though they didn’t conduct any research to support their artifact, it is good for me to know that people are actually caring about this area. I’m thinking to continue this research. Maybe later on I will build an artifact as well based on my research.

Though I feel this time I didn’t meet as many as people I met last time, I was quite busy. I didn’t get a chance to walk around and see others’ posters.

I also find that as I go to CSCW more, I know more people in the field. It’s great to build a network in the field. Hearing about their story gives more inspiration about my own research and future plan. Currently, I’m thinking about my disseration topic this semester. A lot of people gave me great suggestions. I’ll work hard to go to this conference in the future. I hope next time I can bring a real paper!