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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

Time until my next publication submission deadline
27 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Links to my conference papers online
The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

Time until my next conference submission deadline
31 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Adolescents and Teens Online Bibiliography
Last updated July 8, 2005.

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

My CiteULike Page

My Book2
New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

January 31, 2004

Today's Reading

Culley, Margo (1985). Introduction. In M. Culley (Ed.), A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to Present (pp. 1-26). New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.

Reading Notes: This Introductory chapter to Culley's edited volume of American Women's dairies is a deep intellectual analysis of the diary and its place in women's lives. Culley states that until the mid-ninetieth century the numbers of journals and diaries kept by men exceeded those kept by women (90% to 10%), though she acknowledges that her sources, Matthews' American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of American Diaries Written Prior to the Year 1861 (1945) and Arksey, Pries, and Reed's American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of Published American Diaries and Journals (1983), are subject to the under-valuation of women's writing that may have lead to fewer documents written by women making their way into the hands of preservationists.

Culley argues that modern readers tend to attack reading diaries as an entrance into the secret inner life of the writer. However prior to the late 1880's diaries were not documents filled with private thoughts and feelings to be read only by the writer and possibly persons with whom they choice to share those thoughts and feelings. Rather, diaries of the 18th and 19th centuries were semi-public documents intended for an audience, men's journals as records of public life in particular. Women also wrote for a current and future audience of family members in their roles as family and community historians.

The function and content of American diaries has changed from it's forms early roots in spiritual autobiographies that chronicle the authors' religious journey. The function and content than moved to more secular purposes as writers functioned as witnesses and social historians with a focus that is external to the author. Modern diaries have often taken an inward focus where the principle subject is the self exhibited through the extensive use of personal pronouns.

Like the function and content of diaries the reasons for keeping them have varied through time. The keeping of a diary always begins with the same kernel, the idea that one's personal experience is remarkable enough to record and maintain. Often diaries were begun around a transition from one state to another; physical relocation, marriage, and widowhood are but a few. Keeping a diary allows the writer some continuity between their old lives and the new.

The process of selection and arrangement of the details present in the diary create a set of literary concerns including "'audience (real or implied), narrative, shape and structure, persona, voice, imagistic and thematic repletion' and what James Olney [1972] calls 'metaphors of self'" (p. 10). This process dislocates the real from the imagined self of the author which forces the real to stand apart and view the self.

The audience for the writing is a primary part of the objectifying process. Some journals are intended for real, often known, audiences. In some cases the diary itself stands in as the ideal audience ("Dear Diary"), or naming of the volume through personification. No matter the envisioned audience the sense that an audience exists is central to the writing of all diaries.

Through address to the audience the writer creates their envisioned self, by selection of detail and arrangement of information, and the writers' choices in amending and editing their written materials. The ideal manuscript diary contains not only the written words of the diarist but also any physical memorabilia the writer may have included. Culley suggests that as much can be learned about the diarist from their physical artifacts, including the physical diary itself, as can be gleaned from the written words. Likewise she suggests that repetition of material events and the silences within the document are illustrative.

However access to manuscript diaries is difficult for the general public. Most easily accessible are published volumes, like Culley's, that invariably are formed and fashioned through editing. Editor may exhibit a light hand, as has been written of Bunkers' Diaries of Girls and Women: A Midwestern American Sampler (2001), or a with a heavy hand to appeal to the current sense of personal/private distinctions (see Culley's discussion of editing of Maria Mitchell's diary, p. 16), however either tactic creates a second diary that differs from the original. This editing often changes the trajectory of the document from one targeted to the audience for whom it was written and now for one to whom it will be read.

Unlike novels, diaries are a continuing work in progress; diaries are periodic in both creation and structure. Where a novel has a structured beginning, middle, and ending - a diary's shape is often derived from external events, including the calendar year, the end of travels, or the authors marriage. This periodicity of diaries determines the relationship of the writer and reader to the text; in a novel the ending is known to the author allowing them to build anticipation for what will happen next. Because diaries are written in a constant present the author does not have the ability to structure the events for the audience. Their entries are a series of surprises for both the author and the audience.

Reading diaries can be difficult for readers as the documents require much decoding before their meanings can be understood. Culley remarks that the writer invariably knows more about their own worlds then the reader can hope to understand, while the reader may have access to knowledge that was unavailable to the writer. To transcend this gap the reader must take an active role in identifying the writers "presences, including their technology, ritual, etiquette, plan, history, and form" (p.23). The reader's engagement with the materials is a powerful recreation of the text in the present.

Reference List

Arksey, L., Pries, N., & Reed, M. (1983). American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of Published American Diaries and Journals. (vols. 1) Detroit: Gale Research.

Bunkers, S. L. (2001). Diaries of Girls and Women: A Midwestern American Sampler. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Culley, M. (1985). A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to Present. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.

Matthews, W. (1945). American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of American Diaries Written Prior to the Year 1891. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Olney, J. (1972). Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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What more can one's very cold

source Weather Underground

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January 29, 2004

Music is an important part of my world

I have fairly eclectic musical tastes as you can see from the link list at the left. Oldies (well they weren't oldies when I started listening to them LOL), celtic, folk, jazz, and world music. I actually went for a short list because the full list is ever growing and changing. Expect to see this list change over time. Click through some you don't know. *S* Never know what you might find that you like.

Doing this list was informative. I had no idea that I don't listen to many "groups" anymore. Mostly these are solo performers, singer-songwriters actually.

In my usual place as a counter of things there are 9 females, 12 males, and 4 groups. LOL Very different then it was when I was in high school. Then I listened to mostly groups or male performers.

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Todays reading

Today (Wednesday January 28, 2004) I prepared to teach my class and read one article (well 1.5 actually but I won't post the second article until I have finished it).

Kennedy, Helen (2003). Technobiography: Researching lives, online and off. Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 26(1), pp. 120-139.

Published abstract (taken from the University of Hawai'i Press): This article is an argument for technobiography, a term coined in Cyborg Lives? Women's Technobiographies, a collection I coedited in 2001. I outline what technobiography is, and how, by allowing access to what it feels like to live certain digital experiences, it can contribute to building a comprehensive picture of cybercultural landscapes. If we want to understand lived experiences of the Internet, we need to study not only online, virtual representations of selves, but also lives and selves situated within the social relations of the consumption and production of information and communication technologies. Drawing on two technobiographical projects involving a group of black, working-class women returning to education with the aid of networked technologies and computer-mediated distance learning, and another exploring social relations in a digital multimedia production center I indicate ways in which technobiography can contribute to this important project.

Reading Notes: This article presents an argument for technobiography as a tool for studying digital experiences and the relationship between online and offline lives. "Technobiography" is defined as a first-person narrative that explore the intersections between gender, power, and subjectivity, with technology at the center of the authobiography.

Kennedy cites Bell (2000) in arguing that stories of stories of human interaction with technology (be that interaction material, symbolic, or experiential) create cyberspace. From this discussion Kennedy has created technobiographies as a form of autobiography discussing ones use of and interaction with technology. In particular she stresses the use of technobiography as a way of studying the relationship between online and offline lives.

"First, technobiography makes it possible to examine online lives in offline contexts, and so facilitates moving beyond a focus merely on virtual representations of lives and selves, to a fuller understanding of the social relations of the production and consumption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Second, technobiography allows access to the context in which online lives are produced, to lived experience and to living experience -- that is, what it feels like to live certain experiences of digital multimedia from the inside, or to occupy privileged and non-privileged identity position within the micro-power dynamics of technology-rich environments" (p. 121).

Kennedy further grounds her discussion in the works of Kendall (2002) and Baym (1995) for their work in online communities; Chandler (1998) for his work with anonymity and personal home pages; and Hines (2000) for her work in online ethnography.

I found Kennedy's argument for the utility of technobiography so compelling that I will be undertaking my own technobiography that will be linked from this blog page in the future.

Reference List

Baym, Nancy K. (1995). The emergence of community in computer-mediated communication. In S. G. Jones (Ed.), Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community (pp. 138-163). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.

Bell, David (2000). Cybercultures Reader: A user's guide. In D. Bell & B. M. Kennedy (Eds.), The Cybercultures Reader (pp. 1-12). New York: Routledge.

Chandler, Daniel (1998). Personal homepages and the construction of identities on the Web. Daniel Chandler's Webpage, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth [On-line]. Available:

Hine, Christine (2000). Virtual Ethnography. London: Sage Publications Inc.

Kendall, Lori (2002). Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.

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January 28, 2004

Politics in 2004

I sat and debated on whether I wanted to take this blog to a political place. Truth is I really don't but I can't resist posting this. Found it on the SiteMeter page when I went to check blog stats. The click through is my own addition. *evil grin*

My best political advise is to get out and vote for the person who best fits your world view. ALSO be tolerant of those whose views differ from your own, in the end we are all trying to make the best choices we can. Finally there is no "wasted vote" regardless of who wins merely voting is winning, lots of people in the world don't get that privilege.

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January 27, 2004

Reading for Scientists and Subjects

The assignment for this week is to read and then answer one or more of a list of questions prepared by our moderator, Ken Pimple. The reading is: Jonas, Hans. (1969). Philosophical reflections on experimenting with human subjects. Daedalus, 98, 219-247. This is a seminal paper by the founder of bioethics addressing a number of the moral dilemmas surrounding medical research involving human subjects of research.

Question 3a. Jonas' discussion turns, in large part, on the conceptual framework of "individual versus society." In your own words, describe the fundamental values that are pitted against each other by experimentation on human beings. Can these values be placed in a hierarchy? What risks would arise by placing one of these values above the others?

Answer: As Jonas (1969) states, the fundamental value is the status of the individual (as unit of analysis) versus society (as a collective of all individuals). However history has often shown that society has missed the value of the individual when that individual is part of a lesser valued group and over-valued individuals who are part of more highly valued groups. Therefore while western culture has stated that individuals are valued, in this struggle it has often read as group (valued) verses group (under-valued) with the valued group standing as society.

I concur with Jonas on his appraisal that the society is owed nothing from the individual, nor is the individual owed anything from society by way of biomedical research. And therefore from a philosophical standpoint the needs of either can not be placed in a single hierarchical ranking. But like most things in research this depends on the lens used to view the situation. From this macro stance there is no hierarchy.

From a micro stance there is always the hierarchy of the known verses the unknown and that is the risk of placing values above the others. I know the children in my life. I think they are precious and irreplaceable; the unknown is of lesser value. At that unit of analysis then anything goes to save them should they we ill.

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It strikes me

You can tell I do content analysis as well as ethnographic research. I'm still counting things and comparing them - like the number of bibliographic entries and Orkut contacts. LOL Not sure if this is just funny or funny-sad.

I spent much of the day doing data entry into Reference Manager and filing. Reference Manager count was up to 2578 at 5 p.m. of course that doesn't reflect all the filing of articles that had been previously entered.

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January 26, 2004

Fog is closing in

The fog is starting to close in. When you stand in the yard visually it is like being surrounded by white cotton. However the sound is not cotton-like. All around you hear the crack and pop of ice covered branches. Ice pellets are starting to fall bouncing off the already frozen top of the snow. The picture of the front yard clearly shows the ice covering that coats every surface. More winter weather is coming tonight with additional snow and ice fall predicted.

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Snow and Ice is simply not nice

Well I would have been suprised if we had gone through the entire bad weather event without someone going through one of our farm fences. Though rarely is it quite this dramatic or the outcome so positive. A west bound SUV apparently hit a bump, an ice covered bump, while driving too fast. She became airborne and actually rolled the thing in mid-air. Must have been quite a sight, a neighbor said it was an amazing sound. She hit the corner post of the sheep lot with the roof of the SUV, apparently still headed west. The SUV rotated at least once on the ground so it came to rest on it's side facing east. Amazing and wonderful...she is ok...only a scratch on her finger from climbing out of broken truck window. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger pic.

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This week

This week I am working diligently to complete these piles of Reference Manager input so I can start my first quals chapter next week, per the semester plan. This work includes finding bibliographic input, finding abstracts online or keying them in, linking .pdf files from archives to the bibliographic entries, and filing hardcopies of articles. While the work is pretty repetitive and very administrative it does free the mind to ruminate on the information being manipulated. As I start working today my Reference Manager reference count is 2527. I have no good estimate on what it will be when I'm done, nor can I estimate fully if I will be required to buy more filing boxes.

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Late night when there is a winter storm

You never really notice that the road in front of our house is a busy thoroughfare until it isn't busy. Tonight is one of those nights. I sit here at nearly midnight and all I can hear are the night sounds of the house - the fish tank bubbling, the computer humming, the quiet breathing of the old floor boards as they adjust to the cold that creeps in from outside. But there is nary a sound from the road. The snow plows won't touch the pavement outside my window for several more hours as they prepare for the morning commuters from Decatur County heading into town for their factory and office jobs. Until is a sea of silence and stark white drifts. Beautiful, clean, and quiet.

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January 25, 2004

Winter Storm

Wish-TV Channel 8 from Indianapolis is reporting that we received 5.5" of snow. No local schools are open tomorrow. It's every parents fear...a snow day. The snow in our yard is so quiet it's reflecting the evening sky and looks like water.

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Orkut taken off-line

Hard to check your numbers when the site is taken off-line. Oh well it's a good thing since the spam rate was going up. Can't wait to see the improvements they make.

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Today's reading - Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 23.3

Huff, Cynthia (2003). Reading as
re-vision: Approaches to reading manuscript diaries. Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 23, 505-523.

Published abstract (taken from the University of Hawai'i Press): "Reading as Re-Vision" argues that readers of manuscript diaries might profitably avoid textually-based reading strategies in favor of ones conducive to a multimedia approach, since nineteenth-century British women often constructed themselves and their diaries not as records of a unitary self but rather as chronicles of significant others and the empire.

Reading Notes: This article compels us to use a simultaneously close and extensive reading strategy when approaching manuscript diaries. The author states that "manuscript diaries construct themselves and their texts through their use of space, extra-textual material, voice, ideology, and historical and family positioning, among other factors" (Huff, 2003, p. 521). There are many points of comparison between Huff's discussion of manuscript dairies and diary weblogs, both rely on text but use elements of multi-media to extend and shape the text; both may link text not only to private family matters but to the larger cultural context; and both may exhibit a variety of voices and textual positioning.

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Amazing how this thing grows

Amazing how this thing grows. This clip was pulled at roughly 9 a.m. EST.

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January 24, 2004

Today's Reading - Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 26.1

Killoran, John B. (2003). The gnome in the front yard and other public figurations: Genres of self-presentation on personal home pages. Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 26, 66-83.

Published abstract (taken from the University of Hawai'i Press): In light of empirical research showing that personal home pages are not as personal as their reputation suggests, this paper proposes that sustained self-presentation on the Web by ordinary people has been hindered, in part, by the feeble legacy of suitable genres. Drawing on a sample of over one hundred personal home pages, this paper illustrates how, in the absence of generic precedents, public self-presentation is instead achieved through innovation with past genres.

Reading Notes: This paper looks at the ways that personal home pages are rooted in older media. It gives illustrations to show how the generic legacy does not limit personal home page authors to the production of derivative representations. Instead authors draw upon past genres as heuristics deploying them creatively while finding a public voice and profile for themselves. An excellent literature review of extant writings on the personal home page is included.

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Egocentric Networks are so amazing

In five hours my network has grown from one to 2078 people, 2078 people through 5 friends. Not sure how many degrees that is from the source but it's amazing none the less. The interesting part for me is that only one of my immediate friends on the list has more then 10 listed friends in their network. These circles grow quickly.

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Google has launched an online networking site called Orkut. At this point it's in beta testing and the only way to access the site is through invitation. Well I lucked out and got an invitation so I signed up. *S* A related news story = Google eyes social networking with Orkut: Company seen moving beyond information-gathering niche by Stacy Cowley, IDG News Service.

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January 22, 2004

A Scholarly Diary Weblog Bonanza

I just found that Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 26.1 (2003) did a special issue dedicated to the online diary, it's a bonanza of information. I will be reading from this issue for the next several days. I will post abstracts as I complete each article.

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Colloquia and reading

Today was spent on campus attending the monthly IRB meeting, I serve as student representative; attending a colloquia; and doing some reading.

The School of Informatics Colloquia was presented by Kathryn Stam, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, N.Y. her topic was "Organizations Catching Up to the Information Age: Learning about IT Adoption from Employees' Expectations, Motivations, and Perceptions." The following abstract was provided by Stam: The introduction of new information technology systems into organizations results in a variety of changes that affect the organizational structure and job functions of key stakeholders. Current demands in the realm of information security and privacy add to the complexity of these changes. Further insights can be gained when these changes are studied within social and behavioral frameworks, following the evolution of the technology adoption process. This talk presents a longitudinal study of six not-for-profit health and social service agencies in Central New York undergoing IT change. The results are based on interview transcripts and field notes that were analyzed using Atlas T.I. software for qualitative research. Issues of technology acceptance and motivation as they affect users, managers, administrators, and information technology professionals will be explored.

I read two articles while I waited for the IRB meeting time. Was a lovely day to sit in the law library next to the huge windows that overlook Dunn Woods, hit this link for a virtual tour. I sat there wrapped up in my coat to keep out the cold that was seeping through the mile high windows. But it was a great place to read. *S*

Bunkers, Suzanne L. (2003). Whose Diary Is It, Anyway? Issues of Agency, Authority, Ownership. A/B: Auto/Biography Studies, 17, 11-27. Discusses the concepts that diaries are neither always intended to be private nor are they always the sole property of the dairist. Bunkers' states that while diaries were (are?) often private in the sense that they are not meant for publication they were often intended to be shared with family and friends. Some dairies functioned as collaborative texts between two or more authors, making the diary both personal and communal. Bunkers work in this paper and the Introduction to her book [Bunkers, S. L. (Ed.) (2001). Diaries of Girls and Women: A Midwestern American Sampler (pp. 3-40). Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press] are proving foundational to my thinking about diary blogs.

Gill, Joanna (2001). Someone Else's Misfortunes: The Vicarious Pleasures of the Confessional Text. Journal of Popular Culture, 35, 81-94. Gill argues that confessional texts knowingly anticipate the anxieties of their readers in order to ensure a successful reading. She reminds us that these are mediated textualizations of an experience and that the authors solicit our attention in strategic ways. Further she cites Foucault and other who have argued that "there must be a listener/reader/confessor in order for the speaker/penitent's confession to be realized (Gill, 2001, p. 82).

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January 20, 2004

Blogs I read semi-regularly

I am fascinated by the audiences for blogs. Not those that actually read the posts but those that the writer is addressing; the implied or explicit audience. I'm doing reading on the subject of diaries and audiences for presentation at conferences this year. More information is available on my website.

So the following are blogs that interest me because of their audiences as much as their content. First is Davina in Oz. This blog is an extended letter home to people she knows face-to-face from a doctor serving overseas, in this case an Englishwomen in Australia. The blog is filled with chatty content and vacationy-type pictures of her activities. I am not part of her implied audience but I enjoy reading her exploits none the less.

Discordia: Information InFiltration. Artivistic, mediatechnic, culturive, and more is a fascinating "critical and innovative weblog working at the intersection of art, activism and emerging networked technologies." They take an external focus to their topics and utilize a social weblog format to allow criticism and community to coexist. It's probably the only "A-list" blog that I review with any regularity, and definitely the only one that holds my attention.

A friend turned me on to Autopsy Report: Log of experiences as a Medical Examiner Intern. This blog garners lots of comments. The author takes a scholarly tone to his discussion of his work as a medical examiner intern. This is not a place I would normally go, call it the CSI effect I guess. It is certainly a subject I knew very little about before I began reading this blog.

Mercy Me v. 7.0: lay back the top and ride with me is written by a college freshman. She has interesting hobbies or obsessions as she calls them: Civil War Reenacting, genealogy, and performing arts. When this blog took a vacation last fall, I missed it. That is the best endorsement I know.

poupou: the future is meow is the only blog I read where the author is known to me personally. Not sure I am part of her intended audience but I do enjoy commenting from time to time.

I read it for the pictures. They make me warm. The Island Chronicles. Random thoughts, musings, and memories good pics. I like photoblogs.

That will do for now. I'm sure I will be adding more as we pull more data for BROG and as I go searching for blogs for my audience presentations.

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Teaching Research Ethics (TRE) 2004

I opened some mail that had been set aside while I was in Hawaii. In that group I found an announcement for this year's Teaching Research Ethics Workshop offered through the Poynter Center. If your institution is a sponsor check on the possibility of attending this excellent workshop. I have to admit that I would love to go again this year. I learned so much last year that I'm sure I missed many useful points while I thought about some previously presented materials.

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Sidebar Additions

I've added links to the side bar for blogs, webpages, and software recommendations. My first substantive move into customizing my blog. Let me know if you find any of these interesting or useful.

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I'm testing a new blog posting tool called w.bloggar. to me not actually new. The tool allows you to make entries while online or offline, for later automatic upload. It works with many blogging software programs not just Movable Type.

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January 19, 2004

Interpersonal Communication Syllabus

This class has a coursebook that was developed at IUPUI Department of Communication Studies, in it are topic breakdown and readings for each week of the course. The instructor, me, has to finalize the dates for each topic and test, plus develop written assignments. The class had a unit on CMC designed into the structure, I added a second week and some additional readings to round out the topic. Check out the syllabus and due date list if you are interested in the class structure. (Links added 01/20/04.)

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International Communication Association Conference 2004

Just got the word that my paper has been accepted for presentation at ICA. My paper Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces is available on the SLIS Working Papers site. The abstract is as follows, check the paper for color avatar pictures:

This paper explores the types of avatars adolescents use in graphical chat spaces and how gender is represented in these avatars. Content analysis found that adolescents predominately utilize publicly available avatars depicting drawn images of Caucasian human forms. Specifically it was found that females adopt postures that indicate subordination to others, while males display psychological withdrawal from the actions around them. The influence of gaming and fantasy is seen in male avatar selection.

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January 17, 2004

Sticking a Toe in an Academic Pool

I am going to spend the rest of today trying to be productive. I have two projects that are pressing:

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Last Day on the Big Island, part 2

Well needless to say it got interesting after I fell. I got an additional night in Hawaii?good but not for this reason. I enjoyed a nice Champagne Brunch on Sunday with friends, at the King Kamehameha.

My flights back to Indiana totaled only 13 hours which is a VERY good thing. So the remainder of the week has been tied up with doctors, workers compensation paperwork, and resting. Though today I am ready to tackle something academic, just not sure what to do first.

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January 10, 2004

Last Day on the Big Island, part 1

Today was the last day on the island, or was to be the last day but more on that later. I spent part of the day driving south on HI-11 stopping to see what I could see. I got as far south as Ho'okena before turning around and coming back into Kailua-Kona,

Then I wandered around town. Best places I found were Mermaid's, Hang Loose Brudda, and a return visit to the Kona Farmers Market.

I sat on a retaining wall at the harbor and watched the sunset. For those attuned to the Hawaiian environment time stops for the 15 minutes around sunset.

Well I ran some errands then returned my rental car before I headed to the airport to catch a redeye flight back to the mainland. And from that point things went fairly radically off course.

After checking in I was instructed to take my carry-on luggage and walk close to a block on pavement to the open-air waiting area for this flight. I got maybe half way when I tripped, stumbled, and fell down landing on my face. The end result is two black eyes, bruises and contusions, broken glasses, and a fractured nose. (I'm saving you from pictures of this new look, or maybe I'm saving what's left of my tattered pride.)

I can tell you that the security, fire personnel, paramedics, and hospital staff were wonderful. They went out of their way to help a solo traveler feel less alone.

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January 09, 2004

Exploring the Big Island

St. Peter's Church next to Kahaluu Beach ParkToday was another wonderful day in paradise. First I went out alone to walk a few beaches at dawn. I picked up some very cool coral and shells to use in beadwork. I then drove down into Kahual-Kona stopping to talk pictures of interesting sites as I went. Then back to the condo.

We rolled out about 10:00 a.m. heading toward Kohala Mountain to Flume the Ditch. See pics below. Unfortunately we arrived early and were instructed to return in 45 minutes. So our intrepid crew pulled out a map and decided we could picnic at Mahukona Beach Park. According to the map we could reach a coast road by turning off the highway toward Upolu Airport. We passed a nice herd of Holstein cows before we found that the map road was a rutted one lane dirt road, not easily navigable in a Dodge Neon. So we picnicked in the parking lot next to the airport.

Fluming the Ditch was a great trip. The four of us were in one kayak with Adam our guide. He was great. He pointed out fresh water prawns, waterfalls, and Kona coffee plants. Then he sang songs from Israel Kamakawiwo'ole albums as we floated through the tunnel system. I had mentioned that I had bought one of his albums the previous day, at Hilo Hatties, called Facing Future. As I check links to add to this post I find that his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which is amazing, is the #1 download from iTunes World Music section and #4 over all for today's date (1/16/04).

After the ride we were ready for a swim. So we headed down the coast stopping at various beaches and bays until we arrived at Holoholokai Beach Park. There I swam at the boat ramp were the water was calm. A prediction of swells rising to 25 feet had made many of the sites to choppy for this midwesterner.

After swimming we drove into town for an excellent dinner at Wasabi Japanese Restaurant. The sushi was wonderful. I have never tasted fish so buttery smooth. Who knew I really would like Nigore style.

And so here I am again sitting on the lanai pecking out this entry on a Palm. It's my last night in Hawaii and I'm wondering if I should spend part of it sleeping on the lanai. It is 30 degrees with ice in Indiana, maybe I will stay here. Will be a long time before I wear shorts and sleeveless tops again otherwise.

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January 08, 2004

Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort

After the minitrack we wondered around the grounds of the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort for some time. messages in coral on lava rock at the beachAs you drive up to the hotel you see many messages formed from the coral rocks that wash up on the shores of the leeward side of the Big Island. The white coral is in stark contrast to the black lava rock formed by the islands volcanic action. Several of us made our own messages along the hotel bay, the third message that to the untrained eye looks like random rocks, is a Braille message created by a member of our party.
casual picture of Lois Ann Scheidt

This evening there was a luau to close the conference. Got a good picture of me on my new digital camera. For those that haven't seen a picture in sometime, yes I did cut my hair. Three sections of hair, at 18 inches in length, were donated to the Locks of Love.

As has been true all week, the food at the luau was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the Hawaiian sweet potato. The flesh is a very interesting shade of purple, my favorite color. The taste is similar to standard orange sweet potatoes but with a firmer tooth. Got my fix of southern pork bbq with the pulled pork that was served. I actually think I like it best with no sauce at all.

The desserts were amazing. The best was the visually plain coconut square. I have no idea how it's made, but it looks and tastes like jelled coconut milk. Totally fantastic.

After dinner a Polynesian dance show was presented. We were shown dancing from throughout the Polynesian triangle. It was clear that the dances (steps, costumes, music, etc.) have been significantly modernized, however this show is as close as I and many others are likely to get to any native dancing. I think some flavor may be better than none at all. Though I would love to someday be treated to a performance or to see a hula contest live, so I can see the 'original' dances.

I'm sitting in the dark on the lanai (it's 10:35 p.m. here or 3:35 a.m. in Indiana) tapping this post into my Palm Pilot and listening to the surf. The waves are rolling in from almost due west, at a fairly gentle rate. Unlike previous nights there is no hard pounding on the rocks below the condo. Everyone else here is abed and the house is still. I could sit here, in a comfortable chair that is ;) forever. But that is seriously impractical so I guess I will plan on flying home to cold, wet, frozen Indiana on Saturday.

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Persistent Conversation Minitrack

Back to HICSS. Today was the Persistent Conversation mini-track, Thomas Erickson and Susan Herring Co-Chairs, within the Digital Documents and Media Track, Michael Shepard Chair. The following papers were presented:

Wallop: Designing Social Software for Co-located Social Networks
Shelly Farnham, Sean Uberoi Kelly, Will Portnoy, Jordan L.K. Schwartz

Temporal Properties of Turn-Taking and Turn-Packaging in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication
Claude G. Čech and Sherri L. Condon

Speech Act Profiling: A Probabilistic Method for Analyzing Persistent Conversations and Their Participants
Douglas P. Twitchell and Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr.

The Value of Persistence: A Study of the Creation, Ordering and Use of Conversation Archives by a Knowledge Worker
Christine A. Halverson

Designing for Deep Conversation in a Scenarios-based e-Learning Environment
Martin A. Siegel, Sean E. Ellis, and Megan B. Lewis

Coherence and Interactivity in Text-Based Group Discussions around Web Documents
Kerstin Severinson Eklundh and Henrry Rodriguez

Digital Artifacts for Remembering and Storytelling: PostHistory and Social Network Fragments
Fernanda B. Viégas, danah boyd, David H. Nguyen, Jeffrey Potter, and Judith Donath

Newsgroup Crowds and AuthorLines: Visualizing the Activity of Individuals in Conversational Cyberspaces
Fernanda B. Viégas and Marc Smith
Winner of the best paper award.

Wallop: Designing Social Software for Co-located Social Networks Shelly Farnham, Sean Uberoi Kelly, Will Portnoy, Jordan L.K. Schwartz Microsoft Research, University of Washington Abstract: Technology is increasingly being incorporated into people’s day-to-day social relationships, particularly for people whose friendships occupy the center of their social lives. In the following paper we discuss a collocated social group's tendency to integrate planning and re-experiencing around social events with tools for persistent conversations. Through a questionnaire study we found that emails and mailing lists were used as much as phone conversations to plan social activities, and that said usage was positively correlated with measures of friendship satisfaction, sense of community, and percentage of time spent socializing. In response to our observations, we designed a sharing and communication application, Wallop, to enrich the co-located social group's planning and sharing around social events. Wallop provides both communication and social awareness tools, enabling users to build conversations in the context of shared content and browse their implicit social networks. Initial responses to Wallop from a focus group and limited deployment to test users have been positive.

Temporal Properties of Turn-Taking and Turn-Packaging in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication
Claude G. Čech
Department of Psychology and Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Sherri L. Condon
The MITRE Corporation and Institute of Cognitive Science Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Abstract: Turn structure and timing are examined in a variety of quasi-synchronous computer-mediated interfaces. The message window size, presence of scrolling, a single message window vs. message windows for each participant, and message persistence were systematically varied for pairs of interlocutors engaged in the same decision-making task. Participants produced more total words and more turns in conditions with larger windows and in those with scrolling, while separate windows conditioned even larger increases on these measures. Turn sizes were smaller in the latter conditions and response times were faster. In the persistent separate-window conditions, messages from the partner intervened before participants completed responses in over half of the messages.

Speech Act Profiling: A Probabilistic Method for Analyzing Persistent Conversations and Their Participants
Douglas P. Twitchell
Department of MIS
University of Arizona
Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr.
Department of MIS
University of Arizona
Abstract: The increase in persistent conversations in the form of chat and instant messaging (IM) has presented new opportunities for researchers. This paper describes a method for evaluating and visualizing persistent conversations by creating a speech act profile for conversation participants using speech act theory and concepts from fuzzy logic. This method can be used either to score a participant based on possible intentions or to create a visual map of those intentions. Transcripts from the Switchboard corpus, which have been marked up with speech act labels according to a SWBD-DAMSL tag set of 42 tags, are used to train language models and a modified hidden Markov model (HMM) to obtain probabilities for each speech act type for a given sentence. Rather than choosing the speech act with the maximum probability and assigning it to the sentence, the probabilities are aggregated for each conversation participant creating a set of speech act profiles, which can be visualized as a radar graphs. Several example profiles are shown along with possible interpretations. The profiles can be used as an overall picture of a conversation, and may be useful in various analyses of persistent conversations including information retrieval, deception detection, and online technical support monitoring.

The Value of Persistence: A Study of the Creation, Ordering and Use of Conversation Archives by a Knowledge Worker
Christine A. Halverson
IBM T.J. Watson Research
Abstract: This paper argues that designers of Computer Mediated Communication Systems (CMCs) need to pay attention to the storage, organization and retrieval of conversations. It presents an ethnographic study of ‘Bob,’ an expert consultant to consultants in a large organization, and examines the ways in which he fashioned what he calls his “external memory pack” from the thousands of conversations he has had via instant messaging, email, and other forms of CMC. Particular attention is paid to the way in which he organizes, searches, and weaves together conversations to achieve his ends. We conclude by outlining the design implications of his use.

Designing for Deep Conversation in a Scenarios-based e-Learning Environment
Martin A. Siegel, Sean E. Ellis, and Megan B. Lewis
Indiana University
Abstract: While synchronous and asynchronous applications such as chat and email effectively foster casual communication, such applications are less successful in facilitating deep, insightful conversation. This is a particular challenge when asynchronous threaded discussion forums are used in e-learning settings. This paper examines the implementation of discussion forums in the context of WisdomTools Scenarios™, an e-learning tool which exploits case-based narrative to provide authentic contexts for asynchronous, collaborative persistent conversations. An analysis of usage from two independent scenarios, one used in an academic context and the other in a corporate context, shows that embedding forums within narrative scenes encouraged learner involvement and focused conversation. At the same time, we identify directions for improving the interaction design of these forums, including the ability for learners to join and “catch up” in ongoing conversations, tools to view summarization postings and track learner participation, and the use of social proxies. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how narrative-based e-tools may lead to deeper learner insights, smarter strategies, and better judgments.

Coherence and Interactivity in Text-Based Group Discussions around Web Documents
Kerstin Severinson Eklundh and Henrry Rodriguez
Interaction and Presentation Laboratory, NADA
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm

Abstract: This paper reports on a study of text-based communication in a Web-based groupware system, DHS. The system supports annotation of a set of shared documents, where the annotations are gathered in a common dialogue space for each document. Since the system does not support threading of messages, it is of interest to explore how participants use the referential space to connect to each other's contributions. The analysis reveals that the evolving dialogues are characterized by a dual discourse context of documents and comments. The modes of linking are conversational and often implicit, which may lead to coherence problems. We present a visualization tool designed to explore interactivity and referencing strategies in these document-centered dialogues, and discuss implications of our findings for the design of computer-mediated communication.

Digital Artifacts for Remembering and Storytelling: PostHistory and Social Network Fragments
Fernanda B. Viégas1, danah boyd2, David H. Nguyen3, Jeffrey Potter4, and Judith Donath1
1MIT Media Laboratory
2University of California, Berkeley – SIMS
3College of Computing
4Atof, Inc.
Abstract: As part of a long-term investigation into visualizing email, we have created two visualizations of email archives. One highlights social networks while the other depicts the temporal rhythms of interactions with individuals. While interviewing users of these systems, it became clear that the applications triggered recall of many personal events. One of the most striking and not entirely expected outcomes was that the visualizations motivated retelling stories from the users’ pasts to others. In this paper, we discuss the motivation and design of these projects and analyze their use as catalysts for personal narrative and recall.

Newsgroup Crowds and AuthorLines: Visualizing the Activity of Individuals in Conversational Cyberspaces
Fernanda B. Viégas
MIT Media Laboratory
Marc Smith
Microsoft Research
Abstract: We discuss the design, implementation and evaluation of two related visualizations of authors’ activities in Usenet newsgroups. Current Usenet news browsers focus on messages and thread structures while disregarding valuable information about the authors of messages and the participants of the various discussions. Newsgroup Crowds graphically represents the population of authors in a particular newsgroup. Authors are displayed according to the number of messages they contribute to each thread and the number of different days they appear in the space, illustrating and contrasting the interaction patterns of participants within the newsgroup. AuthorLines visualizes a particular author’s posting activity across all newsgroups over a period of one year. This visualization reveals temporal patterns of thread initiation and reply that can broadly characterize the roles authors play in Usenet. We report the results of a user study that explored the value of these interfaces for developing high-level awareness of the activity and population in these conversational spaces. We suggest that interfaces that convey information about the social histories of populations and individuals may support better selection and evaluation of newsgroup content.

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January 07, 2004

Wednesday is a good day to be lazy

We took today off from the conference. Most of us were fairly slow getting started in the morning. One car went into town to the Kona Farmers Market.

Unlike the farmers markets at home, this one is fairly permanent and includes stalls for jewelry, clothing, and gifts. closeup of Lois' toe ring I bought a 14K toe ring and received the stall owners’ assurance that the solder is also gold and will not turn black as solder on my previous toe rings have done.

Yes I have two semi-webbed toes. It's a family trait coming down through the Blessing line.
green gecko with red markings on a fruit box at Kona Farmers Market

While at the farmers market we saw this little guy running along the fruit boxes. Beautiful colors and markings. Not sure what type he is...let me know if you know and I will add it to the entry.

The second car headed south along the coast, I was shanghaied into joining them. We drove south on HI-11 and made the slow decent to Keauhou Bay. My colleagues stopped at a coffee roaster and bought coffee beans to take home with them. I stayed in the car and watched the birds.

We then went to Hilo Hattie’s to find Hawaiian souvenirs. We got clothing, jewelry, and hanks of keychains. Keychains are great give a ways.

Finally an amazing meal was communally cooked. We eat our meal on the lanai. Later I spent part of the night sleeping on the lanai...a girl could get used to this.

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January 06, 2004

Bridging the Gap Presentation at HICSS

Today we presented our paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. The presentation went well and was well received. Discussion was lively with questions about the potential for change in entries over the life of the blog, placement of CMC structures within eBay and Amazon on the continuum, and the possibility for automating the framework.

I had an interesting conversation with Fernanda Viegas of MIT's Media Lab, about Wiki's and blogs. She asked me a question but I learned the most from the conversation. I love when that happens. *S*

If you blog check out her site for a survey she has posted: We are interested in finding out how bloggers think about issues of privacy and liability as they publish online. To that end, we are asking bloggers to fill out this survey.

Full citation for our paper, and another link just in case: 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.

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Sunset at Kahaluu Beach Park

people enjoying the beach at Kahaluu Hawaii

After changing into more casual wear at the condo, the group drove up to Kahaluu Beach Park. There we walked along the beach, collected rocks & shells, and watched the sunset.

sunset at Kahaluu Beach Park, January 6, 2004

Part of the night was again spent sleeping on the Lanai. Very restful if less then infinitely comfortable sleeping on a lounge chair.

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January 05, 2004

Persistent Conversation Workshop

First day at HICSS consisted of attending the Persistent Conversation: Perspectives from Research and Design Workshop. The workshop keynote speech was given by John C. Thomas. The Conference Schedule gives the following explanation of the Workshop:

Persistent conversations – interaction that occurs via instant messaging, email, collaborative environments, etc. – afford new uses (e.g. searching, replaying, restructuring) and raise new problems. In this multi-disciplinary workshop (associated with the Persistent Conversation minitrack), participants will analyze a to-be selected (before the workshop) CMC site, and compare and discuss their findings. The workshop is intended for participants (both authors and others) in the Persistent Conversation minitrack. Because the minitrack aims to be strongly interdisciplinary – participants from previous years have come from disciplines such as anthropology, computer science, English literature, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, and sociology – there is a need for a forum in which participants can become familiar with one another’s assumptions, terminology, methods and other disciplinary predispositions. Thus, the workshop will provide a background for the sessions and set the stage for a dialogue between researchers and designers that will continue during the minitrack.

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January 04, 2004

Hawaii in January

I flew to Kona HI today to attend and present at HICSS. The trip was maddeningly long. Since plane travel to HI is considered an 'international flight' I was to be at the airport two and a half hours early. Which, when your flight leaves at 7:30 a.m., is very early in the morning. picture of the rain taken from the window of the St. Louis Admirals Club

Then it was on to St. Louis for a three plus hour layover, with a plane change. The rain was blindingly heavy at the St. Louis Airport. Rain drops shown actual size.

Next came LAX with a four plus hour layover and a plane change. Finally we reached Hawaii at roughly 12:00 a.m. local time. All toll the trip took nearly 24 hours from the first to the last footstep in an airport. lanai at condo Kahaluu Hawaii

Sleep had been snatched as possible on the flights. So once we were settled into the condo I fell blissfully asleep on the lanai to the sounds of surf and crashing waves. It was heavenly.

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Musings on Professional-Lurker Status

For the trip to Kona I sat in row 41, the last row available for public seating. As I watched the flyers ahead of me group and seperate as they found their configurations for the night flight, I thought about my status as a professional lurker.

As such while I am never a regular member or a total part of the action, I am also never totally apart from the group either. It is a unique position this professional hocky-pockey foot in the circle that boundaries the group and one foot outside.

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