I used to be an academic, a grad student 1996-1999 doing the workshop and conference tours. Write a small paper, propose it, take a trip to present it. It was kind of fun because the MIT Media Lab was stupidly overfunded, letting me do interesting if not productive things like wangle a trip to Budapest.

The downside is that now, eight years later, I'm still getting spam about once a week inviting me to go to third-rate workshops. Like the "Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication, and Management". Sounds hideous. I'm not in the business anymore, but a conference you've never heard of whose papers are published in a journal you've never heard of isn't a good sign. Neither is filling your conference up with papers from people you spam because ten years ago they were doing something vaguely related. And the program has the stench of the Semantic Web, which as everyone knows is a total academic rathole.

This conference is at least in the US, albeit organized by someone in Venezuela. A lot of the spam I get is for conferences in small countries with no academic influence. Dear US grad students: a paper published in a workshop in Macedonia is not going to help you get a job at a top American university.

I understand that my email address is on giant lists for Viagra spam. But what list am I on that I keep getting academic conference spam? At least the Viagra spam has amusing pictures.

  2008-01-19 16:54 Z