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What I Should Have Said at My First Conference/Workshop as a PhD Student

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In 2009, I started working on my PhD. I was trying to get a decent overview on the research related to Personal Information Management (PIM). With sheer luck, my first positional paper "Why Personal Information Management (PIM) Technologies Are Not Widespread" got accepted to the PIM workshop 2009 which was held at the ASIS&T conference in Vancouver.

The PIM workshop was the perfect starting point for my PhD thesis. The majority of people relevant to PIM research was at one spot in a room with probably 40-50 participants. Yes, the research field is that small - unfortunately.

Instead of presenting what I wrote in the positional paper, I should have talked about completely different things.

What I Should Have Said

Dear research fellows,

I'm honored to stand in-front of you, being allowed to talk about Personal Information Management to the field experts.

I consider my positional paper a good first step of a long journey. I mean every word of it. However, everybody of you, being the expert group on PIM research, does have her or his own opinion about the topic of my paper, why there aren't more PIM tools out there in the wild, making users happy ones.

Instead of boring you with my opinion on that - which you all can read by yourself as well - I do think that it is more important to talk about different things at this point in time.

I recently started to work on my PhD thesis, being new to this field of expertise. I'm sitting at a very nice university in beautiful Graz/Austria. My professor is awesome for giving me the freedom of choice on my PhD topic. It had to be PIM, as it was always PIM for me, before I even knew that PIM exists as a term or research field.

The choice was a tough one. No well-known PIM research group where I can learn from peers. No well-known PIM professor that will be co-author on my papers. No previous work to extend except the experience I can read within your papers and books. This is going to be really hard work.

I'm going to fight the "academic publication fight" without one of your well-known names as my local supporter.

(These are my positional and research thoughts and beliefs.)

(These are my current research questions I want to address.)

(These are my plans for the upcoming years.)

If anything here resonates with you, please do talk to me, Give me advice and opinions in order to avoid dead ends from the start.

If you would like to join me on a similar topic you're working on, I do have an open ear.

I can't offer more than my enthusiasm and the inner fire burning for bringing PIM research a significant step forward.

Thanks for listening and thanks for having me at this wonderful workshop.

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