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Hot Apps: Queering Location/Mobilizing Media Design

A Workshop Sponsored by the Social Media Collective @ Microsoft Research New England organized to think about what it means to "queer" the spatial and technological assumptions embedded in the industry shift toward mobile digital networks.

The Social Media Collective, led by danah boyd, at Microsoft Research New England, cordially invites you to join us for a one-day symposium, Monday April 11, to think about what it means to queer the spatial assumptions embedded in industry efforts to push for more mobile digital networks. From smartphone applications that encourage us to check in as citizens of GayCities to location-based services that allow us to map where the queers are in our midst, mobile social media increasingly ask us to queer our spaces. But they also compel us to think about who does not fly under the rainbow flag, who may have constrained access to the physical publics that underpin queer cultural scenes and sexual spaces, and the broader politics of visibility and mobility that shape what we may seek through media practices. More broadly, queer studies has a long history of thinking about space, time, and mobility and, as such, offers a corrective to the norms that stake out and reinforce the everyday built environments that queer folks have long found ways to upend and work around.

We hope that you will join this invitation-only event to take part in thinking through these and other questions that demonstrate the value of queering mobile social media and technology design. For more information or to RSVP contact: Mary L. Gray, Visiting Researcher @

Confirmed guests include: Mike Ananny, Margy Avery, Fiona Barnett, danah boyd, Thomas DeFrantz, Mary L. Gray, Dai Kojima, Alex Leavitt, Alice Marwick, Chuck Morris, and Sharif Mowlabocus

WHEN/WHERE: Monday April 11, 10AM-3PM Microsoft Research New England in Kendall Square—One Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA 02142, First Floor Conference Rooms.

Workshop Program



Guests arrive


Presentation by Sharif Mowlabocus (Title: Waving at Hot Guys: Gay men, phatic practices and mobile media) in Deborah Sampson Conf Room, 1st Floor


Group discussion of morning presentation/shift to goals for breakout sessions/themes


Lunch provided for registered workshop participants


Breakout groups (5-6 people)

Group 1: Privacy in Public

Group 2: Censorship and Access

Group 3: Design in Motion

Group 4: Location and Mobility




Large group discussion/report back from breakout groups


Plans for future conversations/directions


Mingle/head out for drinks and informal dinner





Date & Time

Monday, April 11, 2011
10 AM to 3:00 PM


Microsoft Research New England
First Floor Conference Center
One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Arrival Guidance

Upon arrival, be prepared to show a picture ID and sign the Building Visitor Log when approaching the Lobby Floor Security Desk. Alert them to the name of the event you are attending and ask them to direct you to the appropriate floor. The talks will be held the First Floor Conference Center, Horace Mann Conference Room.


Please send an email to the organizing committee.