Professional-Lurker blog was listed as the Feedster Feed of the Day on November 13, 2005.
Professional-Lurker blog was the recipient of Best Research Based Blog High Esteem ranking in the 2004 EduBlog Awards.
The blogger is co-author of the 2004 EduBlog Awards winning paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.
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George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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December 27, 2003
Writing in the middle of the night
I awoke this morning at around 3:00a.m., not a usual thing for me. Within 30 minutes I was dictating notes to myself for a paper in response to a CFP from The Information Society. At that point I figured it was best to let the muse work and write it all down rather then expect my feeble brain to remember what I was dictating.
ICT Research and Disciplinary Boundaries: Is "Internet Research" a Virtual Field, a Proto-discipline, or Something Else? asks the question “Is Internet Research a virtual field wherein we have resigned to the permanence of disciplinary boundaries and created an overlay or virtual network across them? Or, are we seeing the emergence of a proto-discipline whose growth will knock down disciplinary boundaries and create a new institutional space? Or, is Internet Research a forerunner of some other configuration we barely understand? This special issue seeks to explore and chart out this evolving intellectual landscape.” Very cool, I cranked out 500 words before the sun arose.
But then I stopped and began to re-engage with the questions the CFP poses. Such as: What is a discipline? Is it the study of a place? A set of methodological tool? A organizational structure? An academic membership organization? Me thinks it is a good thing that this paper isn’t due until February 27, 2004. I’m sure there will be more musings on this work posted here in the future…long into the future.
December 26, 2003
Teens & chat
I have been having an email discussion today with a person who posted a question about setting up CMC options – chat and IM – to the Association of Internet Researchers listserv. Some of the issue we have been discussing frame this blog entry.
The balance between three points frame my concerns about the addition of synchronous CMC elements to websites for teens – legal/ethical considerations, the cost of maintaining safe systems, and using CMC as a lure for other materials. Teen chat sites are disappearing from the web. The primary reason is one of protection for the teens online from unethical persons who wish to take advantage of them in a variety of ways. While sexual predadation is often the “official” stated reason, teens are open to other predator behaviors including stalking, harassment, and extortion by persons – often other teens – in synchronous online environments. The creation of sites where teens can meet others and form friendships is a great addition to the web, but sites supporting CMC features must be clear on the legal and ethical issues created by including these features. Consult your legal advisor and do some background research so you are clear on how all of this impacts you before you institute any CMC feature.
Assuming background research is completed and all the legal/ethical issues are understood, then the cost of maintaining a safe site becomes a clearer issue. Synchronous elements require oversight; chatrooms must be moderated or monitored to maintain the participant’s safety. This raises many questions that must be answered by the sponsor: Will the CMC feature be available 24/7 or only limited hours? Where will the moderators/monitors of the site come from? How will they be selected, and supervised (which raises employment issues)? All of these issues become financial decisions, aside from the fact that synchronous elements increase the technological requirements of site maintenance and cost.
My last element is probably the most important when considering adding CMC features to a site: What is the goal? In my opinion a site must be designed to be a draw on its own. If the information isn’t important to the target audience, useful, and easily accessible then no amount of luring will make people visit the site regularly. I think the most important question that must be asked over and over again during a design process is – What’s the point? It is impossible to have thought about this question to much.
Ok, all that said I feel a need to say that I love chat. It was my entrée into the Internet, teen life online, CMC, and a the research I love. But I don’t think it is the right addition to all sites nor do I think all teens should chat. I advise parents and teens I know to hold off allowing unsupervised access to these sites and features until the teen is roughly 16. Would you let your teen age child roam around a large terrestrial public venue like a state fair or the Mall of America without adult supervision? If you wouldn’t why would you let them roam around the world, via the internet, without supervision? Chat and IM’s are wonderful, adult predators online are probably overstated by the media, and most kids you meet online are nice stable healthy kids. However one incident of kids being hurt by activity online is too much in my opinion, so I tend to err on the conservative side.
December 23, 2003
Welcome to my new blog. Right now the look is a little rough but that will be changing soon as I get the hang of Movable Type.
I am a doctoral student studying adolescent life in online environments. Hence the ?professional-lurker? title for this site. An academic who studies adolescent sites is a professional-lurker by profession. You sit, you watch, you take notes, you think about all of it, you read what others have written on the subject and lots of related subjects, you think some more, and if you are lucky you come up with something you can write about that is different then what has been written before and you publish.
My professional webpage, shameless self promotion involved in all these links ? just hit one they all go to the same site: Lois Scheidt, Lois Ann Scheidt, and http://www.loisscheidt.com/. There I post what's new in my academic life. Here I talk about all of it.
Right now I am working on research related to blogs and blogging. I belong to a research team at Indiana University, the Blog Research on Genre or BROG as we like to call it. Our group blog is available at http://www.blogninja.com/. We have a publication that will be out shortly - Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Bonus, S., and Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Proceedings of the Thirty-seventh Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-37). Los Alamitos: IEEE Press. If you are interested in blogs and blogging take a look at the paper, I think you might find it interesting and useful.