INTEL and Microsoft conference "a coming-out party" for ethnography
It's no longer news that high-tech companies are deploying ethnographers and anthropologists. The first-ever Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC), organized by ethnographers at Intel and Microsoft was held at Microsoft's campus on November 14-15, as TechnologyReview reports:
One talk examined an ongoing effort by ethnographers to root out organizational problems slowing down a software company's development process. Another examined how bi-lingual, multinational teams could be formed more effectively, while yet another examined how technology affects, and is affected by, the trend toward "great rooms" in private U.S. homes. (...) It was an ethnographer who figured out that Japanese people don't use instant messaging on their PCs, because interruptions are considered impolite.
The conference was "a coming-out party" for ethnography, said Marietta L. Baba, an ethnographer at Michigan State University.
All conference papers are available online! (pdf)