August 2006
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    


This Blog
The author
     Contact me
          My Webpage
          My Faculty Profile
          My Curriculum Vitae (CV)
          My Platial Maps

August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003


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

(in press)
A Longitudinal Analysis of Weblogs: 2003-2004

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
8 December 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
1 December 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.

June 30, 2005



Guest Editor: Ralph D. Berenger
The American University in Cairo


Abstracts due: October 1, 2005
Full papers due: February 1, 2006
Anticipated publication: October 2006


Few human behaviors shape history so dramatically as war. Militarists study the strategies and tools of conflict, but little research by media scholars has examined how information technologies have helped shape public perceptions of wars, particularly when those technologies allow anyone with a computer and Internet account to contribute directly to the general understanding of conflicts.

Widespread use of digital technology has been the spear point of globalization of information. Even minor conflicts and uprisings can instantaneously become global issues in cyberspace, with international involvement, effects and consequences.

The 2003 Iraq war was covered through many new forms of media such as weblogs, e-mail, mediated discussion boards, dedicated Web sites; transfer of digital images and digital photo alteration; various types of information warfare such as hacking and spamming; and a plethora of Urban Legends and disinformation. At the same time, research has indicated that traditional media still command the lion's share of credibility and legitimacy. Who really sets the agenda in today's global, digital world? Are traditional media increasingly turning to these nontraditional forms for news and information? What does the future of war coverage hold?

These are some of the broad issues papers could address in this special issue. But other areas are equally worthy of scholarly examination, such as: How are the digital media used to disseminate news and opinions about war? Who are the originators of such digital messages, and what gratification do they receive by initiating Net-based discourse? What are the general behaviors of Web surfers in time of war? What are the political consequences and concerns of this new form of media on public policy? Is the impact of the shift to New Media evenly distributed among cultures globally? What effects will that have on international relations? What legal issues are involved, and what are the trends?

Answers to these questions, and many more, require a multidisciplinary approach from scholars in political science, psychology, sociology, future studies, business and marketing, mass and interpersonal communications, and international relations, among others.

Comparative studies are particularly encouraged for this special issue, as are contributions from around the world.


Authors should submit a 500-word preliminary proposal by October 1, 2005, to the issue editor Ralph D. Berenger ([email protected]).  The abstract should include the central research question, the
theoretical and/or empirical basis for the paper and preliminary findings or expectations. Those proposing ideas for articles should query the special issue editor.

Proposals accepted for inclusion will be invited to submit a full paper (APA style) of roughly 7,000-10,000 words for peer review by February 1, 2006. JCMC is an interdisciplinary journal, so authors should write papers that will be understood by a general audience. Expected publication date is October 2006.

Final submissions in an MS Word attachment should be e-mailed to the special issue editor, Ralph D. Berenger, at [email protected].

Posted by prolurkr at 08:46 PM | TrackBack

June 29, 2005

Podcasting reaches the masses

Podcasting has officially arrived. Geek News Central apparently had roughly 6500 downloads of their most recent show yesterday, after the release of the new iTunes software that supports podcasts. He comments that servers are getting hammered as new users attempt to download podcasts.

He also comments that Apple didn't check with a significant group of actual podcasters before setting up their software so podcasters are working to get their settings in line with iTunes requirements. Much of it sounds really annoying but not uncommon for new interfaces at roll out. I'm sure both sides will figure it out in time.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:05 AM | TrackBack

June 28, 2005

Skype and a satellite internet connection

Well life with a satellite connection can be amusing to say the least. Today I tried to get Skype set-up for "easy" use on my desktop. I bought a new headset with a mic, a nice one, last week in preparation. So today David Brake called me from London and we played with the system. I have not laughed that hard in a long time, brought tears to my eyes.

First we could not hear each other, though the interface said we were connected. Then I could hear David but it was garbled and in the distance. David said he was yelling into his computer to try to be heard, not a really productive way to communicate. I was sitting in my study talking into the mic, reciting nursery rhymes so I had something to say consistently while I messed with settings and hardware. Neither of us was getting through...communication was not happening. So we disconnected and I kept playing with the computer settings.

Then he called me back, but the connection was still not good...he could hear me some of the time so it was a partial win but I could still only hear him in the background. So we again disconnected while I tinkered with more settings.

Finally I called him and we connected. Though in the process we found out there are some major problems with VoIP and satellite connections. David said I sounded like Stephen Hawking, which wouldn't bother me if I had the mind to go with it.

I sincerely hope the problem will be gone when my ISP changes to Blue Sky (I think this is their website but I'm not at all sure that I am correct) later this year. Their system is supposed to support VPN and if it can do VPN I hope it can to VoIP as well.  I want this system to work so my students in Indianapolis have an easy cost effective way to call me in the fall.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:03 PM | TrackBack

Another Quizilla Meme

The Death Card You are the Death card. Death is a stage in the
cycle of life. Without death, there would be no
room for new things to grow. When you receive
the Death card in a tarot reading, fear not;
Death is only an indication that transformation
is about to occur. Death allows us all to
evolve by removing that which is no longer
needed. The end of one cycle makes way for a
new one. Old behaviours and patterns which have
tied us down are released. Death cleans house
so that we don't have needless drains on our
energy. In Death's ruthless destruction there
lies compassion. Image from: Danielle Sylvie

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via SLIS Blogs

Posted by prolurkr at 03:59 PM | TrackBack

June 27, 2005

CFP - Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowships

Princeton University
The University Center for Human Values

Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowships

The University Center invites applications from all disciplines for Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowships. For fellowships beginning in September 2006, applicants must submit all applications materials by November 1, 2005. Please note that this deadline is earlier than in past years.

These fellowships will be awarded for the academic year 2006-07 to outstanding scholars and teachers interested in devoting a year in residence at Princeton writing about ethics and human values. Applicants typically have a doctorate or a professional post-graduate degree and cannot be in the process of writing a dissertation.

For more details on how to apply, please visit the Center's website at: or call (609) 258-5496.

Princeton University is an equal employment opportunity, affirmative action employee.

For more information about applying to Princeton and how to self-identify, please link to .  

Posted by prolurkr at 04:05 PM | TrackBack

June 26, 2005

Attending the Indiana Flute Circle gathering

Last Sunday, June 19, 2005, afternoon I attended my first meeting of the Indiana Flute Circle. What a great way to spend an afternoon. I sat and listened, did very little playing since I was having trouble with overblowing...I was nervous. *shrug* I was in a room of really good players and I am a complete newby...and yes I know they were all new once as well but that didn't seem to help. Oh well, I'm usually best in a group as a least in the beginning.

And now I have a list of flute makers who the folks at the circle think are really good. Even one that makes the low tone flutes I like. Have to save some cash so I can buy one or two or....

Oh and I just got a set of ABS plastic resin travel flutes, the maker - Ken Light - assures me that they will not melt in the summer heat of the car. So don't be surprised if you see or hear me playing somewhere. LOL That will be all the fun.

p.s. They live in my backpack so there are sometimes hours when they are sitting in the car while I am traveling to campus (one of several) or working on something where the backpack would be a hindrance.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:52 AM | TrackBack

June 25, 2005

Book Collector Software

I've tried keeping track of the books I own in Reference Manager but have not found it to be very successful. If the program had a field to automatically keep track of the last time I cited the book in a paper it would be really useful, but it doesn't have that feature. So I've been looking for a software program that would help me track when I use the books on the shelves, so I can clear out those I am not using. Enter Book Collector.

This software lets me enter titles, authors, or ISBNs to search their databases and then downloads information into my desktop edition so I can track which books I own, where they are located, and how I am using them. The program can even read barcodes if you want to buy a handheld scanner.

Very very cool, I will be entering books slowly over time just so I don't kill a lot of time doing it all at once. Then I can enter in which of my papers cite which books and maybe, just maybe, I can get rid of some of the unused ones later this year. Now that would be good, open up some space for the new books that will undoubtedly be coming during dissertation.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:52 PM | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Fantasy research interfaces

I've been thinking about my fantasy research interface over the last few days, probably a product of all the time in the car on Monday and Tuesday. So here is what I want, or at least it is a start toward that end.

What would you add?

Oh and if you are a computer programmer who what's to make a mark on the research community email me and we can have some fun.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:59 AM | TrackBack

More on phishing

Ok I admit it I am fascinated by phishing, not the structure of the emails or the mindset of those that write them. Rather I am fascinated by the way people react to phishing emails, myself included. Clearly we all place a high level of trust in the material that flows into their In-Boxes every day, witness the outcry over the Phishing Experiment at IU. But why do we do that? Why does that even begin to make sense? As for me I don't trust my email I have to verify it, but I always verify it even when I have ever reason to believe what I am looking at is a phish. Trust and communication - interesting stuff.

This is a bit off topic, but it's a fascinating study of what happens when Phishers get a book on Javascript.

First off, I don't specifically understand what's going on here. Ping me if you'd like to get the link and do some forensics. Essentially, you go to the typical locked-down Apache site with lots of fake Paypal material. It asks you to click another link and then you get some sort of strange mini-browser that causes your main browser to auto-supply your email and password. I stopped the script before it could do any harm, but clearly they are piggy-backing on a real site here.

From Gizmodo.

p.s. If you aren't running SpoofStick you should be.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 AM | TrackBack

Is blogging subsumming chat?

It has been apparent, at least with my teenage research population, that blogs have supplanted chat as the preferred medium of internet communication - well blogs, and IM, and Skype for the kids. But I have personally wondered if blogs would simply replace chat or if they would subsume it through special chat events around and through the blogging portal, or the persistent availability of chat on blogging sites. Seems like the later is possible given that Weblogs Inc. appears to be playing with chat modules on there popular blogs.

Weblogs Inc., to include chat rooms for leading blogs?

Weblogs Inc., may be considering the implementation of chats rooms to accompany its leading blog properties The Blog Herald has learned.

Following a post from Jason Calacanis inviting users to watch him as he plays with "webchat", the login to the chat script lists chat rooms for leading Weblogs Inc., sites. The move if implemented fully would be an interesting move for Weblogs Inc., with site hosted chat rooms normally regarded poorly in the web industry in general due to their reliance on having reasonable numbers of people involved in chatting over an extended time period to gain momentum and to keep users.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:00 AM | TrackBack

Inna's application of Habermas to why people blog

My collaborator Inna Kouper has been reading Habermas this summer. Today she has an interesting post giving us one more idea of why people blog. Here is a taste of the post.

According to Habermas, the social evolution can be characterized by the uncoupling of system and lifeworld. Initially conceptualized through the division of labor, systems are functionally specified domains of actions that contribute to the maintenance of society as a whole. Market, law and bureaucracy can be considered such systemic domains. The concept of lifeworld is described in Habermas' "Theory of communicative action" as a cultural milieu, an implicit resource we draw upon to understand, communicate and act. It is "the intuitively present, ...familiar and transparent, and at the same time vast and incalculable web of presuppositions that have to be satisfied if an actual utterance is to be at all meaningful, that is valid or invalid." (p. 131) Habermas constantly emphasizes the "backgroundness" of the lifeworld, its taken-for-grantedness and the unquestionable nature.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2005

Lois and conferences

There are some great conferences and workshops being announced this week, and of course this is just the tip of the summer CFP iceberg. And like a little child at the fair I want everything I see. I want to have the luxury of doing research for each conference and then turning that work into a publishable paper with the addition of all the great conversation and the ideas they spur through conference interactions. And of course I want all of this to be cheap, fun, and non-fattening. *sigh*

But I can't do all of them, heck I probably can't do half of the deadlines and conferences that are now in my "Submissions" tab on UltraRecall. There are enough ideas but not enough time to do good research, write the conference paper, AND do quals and all of the stuff that goes with developing two classes for the Fall. Oh how I want quals to be done, so I can get back to the fun stuff - the stuff that makes me want to keep going in the program and the stuff that fuels my teaching.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:59 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Southwest/Texas Popular Culture & American Culture Associations Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative Area 2006 Conference

Southwest/Texas Popular Culture & American Culture Associations Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative Area 2006 Conference February 8-11, 2006 Albuquerque, NM

Abstract/Proposals due by 15 November 2005

Panels are now forming for presentations about biography, autobiography, memoir, and personal narrative in its various forms and approaches. Papers discussing any aspect of these genres are welcome. Graduate students are also particularly welcome with award opportunities for the best graduate papers. Proposals or abstracts of 200-250 words may be sent to the email or the address below. Please include a short curriculum vitae and a working bibliography for your paper by 15 November 2005.

Inquiries regarding this area can also be sent to the following address or email.

Judith L. Carter
P.O. Box 447
Amarillo College
Amarillo, TX 79178
Phone: 806.371.5181
Fax: 806.371.5399
Email: [email protected]

The conference will be February 8-11, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
330 Tijeras
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 1.505.842.1234

General information and online registration: (updated regularly).

Posted by prolurkr at 06:45 PM | TrackBack



Mar 27-29, 2006, Stanford University, California, USA


Weblogs are web pages which provide unedited, highly opinionated personal commentary. Often weblogs (also referred to as blogs) are chronological sequences of entries which include hyperlinks to other resources. Blogs are conveniently maintained and published with authoring tools.

The blogosphere as a whole can be exploited for outreach opinion formation, maintaining online communities, supporting knowledge management within large global collaborative environments, monitoring reactions to public events and is seen as the upcoming alternative to the mass media.

Semantic analysis of blogs represents the next challenge in the quest for understanding natural language. Their light content, fragmented topic structure, inconsistent grammar, and vulnerability to spam makes blog analysis extremely challenging. Despite the growing relevance of blogs and an ever increasing population of bloggers existing research has hardly addressed the spectrum of issues that arise in analyzing blogs. Blogs are a different kind of document than the relatively clean text that NLP research is based on. Such differences in term of structure, content and grammaticality will be a challenge considering that blogs will likely represent the most common way of publicly accessible personal expression.


This symposium aims to bring together researchers from different subject areas (e.g., computer science, linguistics, psychology, statistics, sociology, multimedia and semantic web technologies) and foster discussions about ongoing research in the following areas:

[01] AI methods for ethnographic analysis through blogs.

[02] Blogosphere vs. mediasphere; measuring the influence of blogs on the media.

[03] Centrality/influence of bloggers/blogs; ranking/relevance of blogs; web pages ranking based on blogs.

[04] Crawling/spidering and indexing.

[05] Human Computer Interaction; blogging tools; navigation.

[06] Multimedia; audio/visual blogs processing; aggregating information from different modalities.

[07] Semantic analysis; cross-blog name tracking; named relations and fact extraction; discourse analysis; summarization.

[08] Semantic Web; semantic blogging; unstructured knowledge management.

[09] Sentiment analysis; polarity/opinion identification and extraction.

[10] Social Network Analysis; communities identification; expertise discovery; collaborative filtering.

[11] Text categorization; gender/age identification; spam filtering.

[12] Time Series Forecasting; measuring predictability of phenomena based on blogs.

[13] Trend identification/tracking.


Oct 7, 2005 Abstracts/papers due.

Nov 4, 2005 Acceptance decisions mailed out.

Nov 30, 2005 Student travel grant application due.

Jan 27, 2005 Camera-ready versions due.

Mar 27-29, 2006 Symposium.


People interested in participating should email a technical paper (up to 8 pages), a short paper (up to 4 pages), a poster or demo description (up to 2 pages), a position paper or a statement of interest (1 page) to the e-mail specified in the Contacts section by midnight (PST) of Oct 7, 2005.  Each submission should, to the extent possible, indicate a list of relevant areas from the list above (e.g., 03, 04, 10).  We have limited funds to assist with travel expenses graduate students (for more information see the symposium website).


We are planning to publish the proceedings of the symposium as AAAI Technical Report.


For questions and submissions: [email protected]

For further information about the symposium:

Posted by prolurkr at 06:32 PM | TrackBack

CFP - 2006 Central States Communication Association Convention

2006 Central States Communication Association Convention

April 5 - 9, 2006, Indianapolis, Indiana

The Media Studies Interest Group invites submissions of competitive papers and thematic panels on all aspects of media studies, including mass communication, media technology, media and culture, and other studies of media and mass communication for the 2006 Central States Communication Association Convention. In addition, we are soliciting original video submissions for screening at the convention.

This convention marks the 75th anniversary of CSCA, and thus, the conference theme will be "The Diamond Jubilee: Celebrating the Past While Shaping the Future." Given the scope of the convention theme, the MSIG invites submissions that critically analyze our past and discuss the future of scholarship in our discipline. The planner particularly invites submissions that address a "celebration" of communication, and encourages pairings between seasoned scholars and mentors in the field with young scholars and/or graduate/undergraduate students. Panels or papers that specifically tie to the locale of the convention are also highly desirable. Competitive essays may address any aspect of media studies - all theoretical and methodological approaches are invited.

The Media Studies Interest Group presents three awards annually. The Samuel L. Becker Award is given for the top graduate student paper. The Becker Award includes an individual certificate, a cash award, and a traveling plaque that is housed at the recipient's graduate institution for the year. At the annual business meeting, the Media Studies Interest Group also presents awards for top faculty paper and top undergraduate student paper.

For Competitive Paper Submissions: Submit 5 hard copies without title pages and one electronic copy with title page (preferably in Microsoft Word) on CD ROM. In addition, all submissions must include ONE hard copy of the master title page containing the following information: 1) Author's name and position/title, 2) Institutional Affiliation, 3) Complete Mailing Address, 4) Email and Phone Number, 5) Indication of CSCA Member Status (U for undergraduate student; G for graduate student; F for faculty; or N for non-member), and 6) Indication of whether or not the Submission is a Debut Paper.

For Competitive Panel Submissions: Submit 5 hard copies and one electronic copy (preferably in Microsoft Word) on CD ROM. In addition, all submissions must include ONE master title page that contains the following information for ALL participants: 1) Name and Position/Title, 2) Institutional Affiliation, 3) Complete Mailing Address, 4) Email and Phone Number, 5) Indication of CSCA Member Status (U for undergraduate student; G for graduate student; F for faculty; or N for non-member). All panel submissions should include a 250 word justification/rationale for the program, no more than 100 word abstracts for each paper/discussion, and any requests for special consideration (technology, timing, etc.).

For Original Media Submissions: Submit 5 VHS or DVD copies of the work. Videos may be documentary, artistic, educational, or entertainment so long as the core content of the piece engages communication issues. In addition, all submissions must include ONE master title page that contains the following information: 1) Name and Position/Title of Submitter/Creator, 2) Institutional Affiliation, 3) Complete Mailing Address, 4) Email and Phone Number, 5) Indication of CSCA Member Status (U for undergraduate student; G for graduate student; F for faculty; or N for non-member). All video submissions should include a 250 word justification/rationale explaining how the work engages communication issues.

Please direct all papers, panel proposals, and inquiries to:

Dr. Michaela D. E. Meyer, Chair CSCA MSIG
Department of Communication Studies
Christopher Newport University
336 Business & Technology Center
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 594-7495
[email protected]

You MUST include a request for technology at the end of the title page if you should need it on all proposals

Posted by prolurkr at 04:06 PM | TrackBack

CFP - 2006 Conference of the Americas / Congreso de las Américas

The American Communication Association & The University of Saint Martin de Porres
"2006 Conference of the Americas / Congreso de las Américas"
July 20th to July 22nd, 2006
Lima, Peru

The American Communication Association and The University of Saint Martin de Porres, located in Lima, Peru, jointly announce a call for papers, panels, and poster submissions for the "Conference of the Americas / Congreso de las Américas," to be held from July 20th-22nd, 2006, in Lima, Peru.  This is a multidisciplinary call, including but not limited to academicians and professionals from Communication Studies, Political Science, Latin Studies, Modern Languages, and Gender & Ethnic Studies throughout North (includes Canada), Central, and South America.  Participants from Asia and Europe are also encouraged to submit abstracts, completed papers, or panel ideas.

The theme for the conference is "Education and Communication," and is designed to bring together educators and businesses that have interests in the English/Spanish/Portuguese experience in the classroom and business environments. Special session guest speakers, hotel accommodations, and excursions to historic sites such as Cuzco and Machu Picchu, will be announced in November 2005.  Please refer to the ACA website ( for further details.

Please submit panel or paper ideas by December 15, 2005 to ACA Executive Director Peter A. DeCaro ( [email protected] ).  Completed *competitive papers* will be due on April 30, 2006.  To inquire about any details email to: [email protected], Peter A. DeCaro, CSU, Stanislaus, or call -- 209.667.3374.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:35 AM | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

Podcast Camp

Elijah Wright and I spent Monday and Tuesday this week at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest IL working with David Park on our collaborative research agenda on podcasts and podcasting. We got a lot of work done in a very short time, including laying out an outline, and timeline for an article to have in review by the end of the year.

While on campus we stayed at a beautiful old mansion that had been left to the college, Glen Rowan House. My room was nicely done with an attached bathroom.
The part of the house we all loved was the sunroom. It is a beautiful space that looks out over the grounds. If I lived in a house like this I would definitely spend most of my time in a room like this. Picture books everywhere and a computer table with maximum window exposure. There is a nice sitting area off to the left of the picture, two couches and a coffee table surrounded by windows.
Next to the sunroom is a parlor, I can picture it full of men with cigars.
There is a large formal dinning room. The door you see in the picture leads to the back half of the house that is made up of a butlers pantry, a large one with lots of storage and the kitchen. Ahhh to have a staff, at least I think I would like that but in reality I probably would not.
The formal living room has a seating group in front of the fireplace and a conference table to the left of me as I took the picture. I'm sure when the house was a residence there were two seating areas in the room. Probably one highly formal and one sightly less so.
I snapped a couple of "lawn" shots from inside the house. Now this kind of "city" living I could do. The greenspace is behind the house while the water feature is in front.

Would you believe all of this was just $20 a night? Wow I have to be a visiting scholar more often. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 11:09 AM | TrackBack

Lilia - Researching blogs and blogging research: synergies of colliding worlds

It's probably totally redundant to mention any of Lilia's posts here, since I am betting that most of my regular academic readers already check out Mathemagenic, but if you don't check out her post Researching blogs and blogging research: synergies of colliding worlds she has done some very cool data mining of her own blog as well as asking interesting questions about blog research.  The post is link heavy so I'm not copying it here, sorry.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:53 AM | TrackBack

Kaye Trammell's podcast of her University of Toronto Guest Lecture

From Josh Hallett at hyku blog.

Kaye Trammell has posted a podcast about her blog research. The podcast was done as a 'guest lecture' for a University of Toronto class.

I recently met Kaye at the Gainesville podcast meetup. I knew a little about the research she had done, but her podcast served as a great introduction/review to her research.

Leave it to Kaye to be the first academic I know to catch the podcast creation bug.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:55 AM | TrackBack

CFP - CITASA Graduate Student Publication / Software Award 2005

The Committee of the "Communications & Information Technology section of the American Sosociological Association [CITASA]" is seeking for papers from students in a wide range of disciplines that examine computing technology and society. The papers can be works in progress, white papers, position papers, etc. The only restriction is that the primary author should be a student.

Details of the award:
For an application which either addresses a unique problem in sociological analysis, or a paper which provides exceptional analysis of a specific issue related to computing technology and society. Submissions involving new or existing software should include detailed descriptions of the projects and copies of the software. The award shall pertain to applications or papers written in the two calendar years prior to the award being presented.

Submission of Paper: July 1
Notification of Award: July 15
Please send papers or questions to Anabel Quan-Haase ([email protected]).
Committee Members: Anabel Quan-Haase, Gustavo Mesch & Uwe Matzat.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:38 AM | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Young People and New Technologies Conference

The web site for the Young People and New Technologies Conference, 7th - 9th September 2005, University College Northampton is now up and running at

Oh how I wish I were going. *sigh* Hopefully some of you will blog it so I can partake from across the pond.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:20 PM | TrackBack

Genre of blogs in the National Library of Australia's archive

As I have previously mentioned, The National Library of Australia is archiving blogs, I spent some time this afternoon looking at the 18 blogs that are currently available through Pandora, Australia's Web Archive, National Library of Australia.

I did a bit of genre analysis on the 18 blogs on the list. The following graphic gives you the breakdown by genre and count.

Preference is of course given to filter blogs, as has been discussed here and elsewhere this privileges educated white males. But I am very pleased to see that they have gathered k-logs and diaries as well, though most of those are also by white males. One step in the right direction for inclusion of difference. Let's hope there are several more steps so that women and children's voices are included as well.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:52 PM | TrackBack

A wonderful quote on skinning the onion

I have been working on quals today and noting some points that probably will turn up in later writings. In trying to answer a question for myself I spent sometime rereading Suzanne L. Bunkers homepage. In doing so I ran across this quote:

I'm only supposed to tell one story at a time, one story. Every writing course I ever heard of said the same thing. Take one story, follow it through, beginning, middle, end. I don't do that. I never do. Behind the story I tell is the one I don't. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear. Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.

-- From Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know For Sure

Allison says it well, there are always so many things I want to say when I write here or in a paper, so many layers, so many levels of the work, and the process, and my world as I work on it. How to say everything I need to say and want to say beyond what I must say. Her words will resonate as I go back to my current section of the quals paper.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:38 PM | TrackBack

Hip Hipster PDA cards

If you have been or have thought about switching to a Hipster PDA then you need to check out D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition. The files contain all you need to print your own very cool 3x5 cards. I'm going to play with them as soon as I get time.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:58 AM | TrackBack

June 15, 2005


April 12 – 15, 2006
Atlanta Marriott Marquis

For more information on the PCA/ACA, please go to


We are considering proposals for sessions organized around a theme, special panels, and/or individual papers. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, ideally with four papers or speakers per standard session.

Some possible topics include:

--Music and the Internet (downloads, Ipods, etc.)
--Using the Internet in the Classroom
--Fan Fiction
--Google the Giant and Other Search Engines
--Vice Made Easy:  Internet Ethics and Censorship
--Computer Crimes:  Identity Theft
--The World of Message Boards:  Communities or Cliques?

All submissions related to the theme of Internet Culture are welcome.  

Should you or any of your colleagues be interested in submitting a proposal or have any questions, please contact the area chair (see below).

Submit a one-page (150-250 word) proposal or abstract (via regular mail or e-mail) by October 15, 2005, to:

George Lewis
Sociology Dept.
Univ. of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Fax: 209.946.2318
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 09:18 PM | TrackBack

Wayback Machine

Hubby called this morning - he's at the office - to ask if I knew about "", he's always on the lookout for internet things I should know about. Of course the site rang a bell but the content didn't immediately come to mind. I stammered into the phone something like "Is that the site that archives newsgroups?" It was early, I didn't sleep well last night, and well sometimes I'm just dense. But then the logo popped up on my screen, "Ahhhh the Wayback Machine, I love the Wayback Machine."

I love the site but haven't been there in quite a while. So I explained what the site does to hubby, who also likes the idea of seeing website development over time. While we talked I entered prolurker's url just to see if they are now archiving blogs as well. Interestingly this site is in the archive, but only for 2004. I found the following in their FAQ that may explain the lag.

Right now there is a 6-12 month lag between the date a site is crawled and the date it appears in the Wayback Machine.

So we are up on ancient internet history, it's the near history that has problems.

Great so now I know I can check the Wayback for earlier versions of blogs I am researching. May be some interesting developmental info buried there.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

June 14, 2005


Dave Pollard has posted an interesting set of ideas to help get an individual blog to the right readers in his post Four Ideas for Getting Great Little-Known Blogs Discovered

I'm intrigued with his idea for "Blog-Jackets" which are static (or rarely updated) pages that act like book jackets to help the reader vet the blog.

Blog-Jackets: Something analogous to book-jackets, that would contain the kind of information readers want to know when they first stumble upon a new blog:
- A short bio of the author(s), with your credentials and background, and perhaps a 'why you blog' paragraph 
- A quick overview of your blog content, how much/how long you've written, and perhaps a list of your best articles or table of contents
- What makes your blog unique, different, and valuable to readers
- Who your intended audience is (almost no blogs include this information today)
- Endorsements from readers, and/or Technorati, Bloglines or SiteMeter rankings and data

Where should this information be kept to attract the attention of readers? First, I think blog software should provide this blog-jacket functionality, on a separate 'About This Blog page' that can be accessed from any other blog page, just as your blog 'home' page is. This would allow blog directories to be more complete and to be compiled automatically, without the authors having to fill in a separate form for each directory. It could also serve to introduce your blog to new readers, both passively when they first happen upon it, and actively in your other promotion efforts, such as when you e-mail someone 'cold' with a request that they look at your blog or an article in it. I would certainly use a standardized blog-jacket to orient myself to a new blog, if it were available.

I had not given deep thought to the "audience" for this blog until about a year ago when my friend John commented that he read my blog but wasn't exactly the audience for whom I was aiming. That really hit me between the eyes, because in truth he is part of the audience I thought I was writing to, though in actually that wasn't how it worked. I had thought that part of my audience was friends and family who would be interested in what I was up to since I spend so much time locked in my study rather then out and about with them. But dear me wouldn't the average person be bored to tears reading my blog since I talk extensively about arcane things like CFP's and notes from conference and readings. *yawn*

The ideal reader for this blog is probably a fellow academic who is interested in CMC research, with a special interest in blogs, and who either knows me personally or figures we will cross trails in the real world someday. I'm sure there are others that do read this blog and they are all welcome, very welcome. 

You know as I write this I'm realizing that maybe I haven't strayed as far from the original intent of the blog as I thought I had. You see originally I was going to write this for myself, and reading that description maybe I still am doing so...for me and those like me. *w*

Posted by prolurkr at 10:41 PM | TrackBack

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has posted a Legal Guide for Bloggers that may provide some bloggers with useful information.

Table of Contents
Blogger Legal Liability Issues

The Overview of Legal Liability Issues FAQ briefly addresses some common legal issues that affect you as a publisher, especially situations where you may face legal claims or threats based on the information you published on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property addresses issues that arise when you publish material created by others on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Online Defamation Law provides an overview of defamation (libel) law, including a discussion of the constitutional and statutory privileges that may protect you.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Section 230 Protections discusses a powerful federal law that gives you, as a web host, protection against legal claims arising from hosting information written by third parties.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy addresses the legal issues surrounding the privacy rights of people you blog about.

Bloggers As Journalists

The Bloggers' FAQ on the Reporter's Privilege is useful to bloggers who report news gathered from confidential sources.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Media Access can help bloggers who need to get access to public records and government meetings, as well as secure press passes to help with newsgathering.

Other Legal Issues for Bloggers

The Bloggers' FAQ on Election Law addresses the legal issues you may face blogging about political campaigns.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Labor Law addresses legal issues with workplace blogging, including union organizing, protections for political blogging away from the workplace, and whistle blowing.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:10 PM | TrackBack has been acquired by Yahoo!

Put this one in the "boy I sure didn't see that one coming" category. Check out their announcement at news.

welcome yahoo has been acquired by yahoo!. Be sure to read Jim Winstead's post about the news and if you are a cloud listener note that we've changed the cloud port and we now need to know your IP address. Also, yahoo! is keeping the privacy policy.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:01 PM | TrackBack

June 13, 2005

CFP - International Conference on Television, Video, New Media, Audio and Feminism: Console-ing Passions

The biennial International Conference on Television, Video, New Media, Audio and Feminism: Console-ing Passions will return in 2006!

The 2006 conference will be held May 25-27, 2006 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the conference will take place in downtown Milwaukee, in close proximity to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the shores of Lake Michigan, and approximately 80 miles from both downtown Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin.

Mark your calendars: May 25-27, 2006

Conference organizers: Carol Stabile and Elana Levine

Watch for the Call for Papers and Videos

See the Console-ing Passions website for information updates:

Posted by prolurkr at 09:37 PM | TrackBack

June 09, 2005

And now for Thursday satire

I found this great satirical look at How my Marriage was Destroyed by the Homosexual Agenda in this mornings searches.  I'm still laughing because the author hit all of the high points that illustrate how ridiculous the right's arguments are on this issue.  Read and enjoy.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

CFP - Hypertext 2005 (Short Papers)

Hypertext 2005 is in Salzburg in Austria this year, September 6-9.  The list of accepted full papers is already available ( and now the call for short papers has just been extended till June 16.

Short papers are a great chance to get new ideas or work in progress out there and discussed in a brief format. You can also submit a paper as a hypertext.

I'd be especially keen to see papers on blogs. We're putting together a panel on blogs and considering making blogs a theme of their own in future Hypertext conferences. I'm program co-chair for literary papers, George Landow is the chair for humanities papers, and Mark Bernstein is the chair for papers submitted as hypertexts. So feel free to ask if you have any questions!

Posted by prolurkr at 10:22 AM | TrackBack

The structure of research subject queries

Today I received an apparently bulk email from a researcher who had identified my blog as being "work focused" and he wanted me to participate in his study. Of course this incident has me thinking about how such his request is structured and how I would personally structure a similar type of request. I should mention off the top that the researcher who emailed me was from the U.K. and that our Human Subjects requirement differ.

So how would I do this? First I think I would email potential participants with links to my academic website and to a research information sheet on a university website, yes I know not all researchers have the luxury of IT resources to which I have access and they can't build their ties to the university quite so explicitly. I know I would provide some definition of the terms just so I can make sure that I am comparing apples to apples. Saying "work" is just to loose, students work and school is their job but are their blogs "work blogs"? Which reminds me that the email I received had no age cut-offs, another point to ponder since asking adolescent question and asking to interview them can be problematic in both nations.

Second I would keep my personal blog link list and my research requests far far apart. I have added blogs to my list because they were found though data analysis but I have never told the subjects that I have done so. I think that if I have mentioned that part of it on the blog it was done so after the research itself was completed. Though I expect I have not specifically mentioned any blogs I found through research data analysis.

Lastly I would structure my survey so that it was focused on my stated research topic. While it is difficult to tell exactly what the researcher is doing with his network analysis, it does appear that there may be some extraneous information being gathered. Along with that would be my requirement for more than passive consent to participate in the survey. Especially when I am requesting information about third-parties and personal information. I find a discussion of who I communicate with and how that communication is done to be pretty personal, far more personal then say why I began my blog which has been answered publicly in the blog itself. And also in my blog I have stated that I keep third-party information private, except where the name of the person is publicly linked to the statements being made...such as when I blog a conference presentation or discuss an article I have read.

I rarely say no to requests for my participation in research projects...well most of those phone call things don't count cause they aren't legitimate research they just want to sell you something at the end. I truly believe that if I want others to participate in my research then I must also participate in general. That is me putting pressure on me. But this one I am passing on because of my concerns about the structure of the research as it was presented.

There are many ethical issues embedded in this case. Honesty, transparency, and privacy immediately come to the front. I'm curious how would you conduct a web-based survey?

Posted by prolurkr at 10:16 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 08, 2005

Qualitative vs. quantitative grading

New Kid on the Hallway has a very good discussion of qualitative vs. quantitative grading in their post Grading and grade complaints (another cross-blog comment).

I much prefer to give letter grades rather than numbers because I'm very comfortable describing the qualitative difference between a B paper and an A paper (or even a B, B, and B+ papers); given the way the 100 point scale works, however, a B can be anything from an 83 to an 88 (or whatever range you use), and I'm much less comfortable making distinctions within that point range - what is the difference between an 83 B paper and an 88 B paper? or an 83 B paper and an 84 B paper? Because you know there's going to be that student out there who has calculated their grade and figured out that if they get the 84 instead of the 83, they will get the A- instead of the B+, and they're going to argue for that damn point. But if I give a student a B, then they've earned a B. I'm sure some would argue that the B should be a B+, but to me, the difference between a B and a B+ is much more significant than the difference between an 83 and an 84 (and I know an 84 isn't a B+; my point is that a B and a B+ feel like much more different grades than an 83 and an 84 do). I suppose one of the things this reveals, really, is that I don't think in terms of numbers when I grade papers. Instead, I think in terms of scales, or degrees. Paper X does this, this, and this that I asked students to do; it goes in the A category. Paper Y does this and this but not that; it goes in the B category.

I agree and I wonder if all of the "purely" quantitative researchers can explain the difference between say an 89, 90, and a 91 grade in their classes. My guess is they can't because the distinctions are too fine. I certainly have never heard anyone talk about writing rubrics that cover all the point levels individually. Man now that would be a master work to read...but I sure don't want to write the thing that way.

Read the whole post it's very well done.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:40 AM | TrackBack

"A 24 Your eBay Bid was Cancelled !!!" OR another new eBay phishing email

I get phishing email everyday. Almost all of them come to my university account - which I never use for non-academic websites, etc. - so it's fairly easy to tell it's a phish just because it's in the wrong email account. Beyond that the phishing email I get in my home account is the standard, and also easily identifiable fare: i.e., Please verify your eBay/PayPal account. But today I got a new one, one that isn't even listed on the list. Following is the full text of the email followed by the complete .txt file (minus my email addy of course). I killed the links in the fake email just so no one can click through.

I was tipped off that this was a phishing expidition since I have placed no bids on eBay in the last 24 hours. Then I did a search on their site to find the item with the auction number "4385546965." It is a Waverly Black Toile Shower Curtain that closed for bids 6/6/05, the winner is paying $44 for the item.  I even checked the bid history, just to cover my bases, to see that none of the bids are from my username. 

$44 is way more, WAY more then I would pay for a shower curtain, nor would I buy a shower curtain on eBay.  *shivers*  Oh and did I mention it's really really ugly?  LOL 

Dear eBay Community Member,

The bid that you entered for the item (
4385546965 ) has been cancelled.
To view the reason provided for the cancellation
Click Here


This email appears in the language of the eBay site where you are registered.

eBay treats your personal information with the utmost care, and our Privacy Policy is designed to protect you and your information. eBay will never ask their users for personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, pin numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers in an email. For more information on how to protect your eBay password and your account, please visit
User Account Protection.
This eBay notice was sent to you based on your eBay account preferences and in accordance with our Privacy Policy. To change your notification preferences, click here. If you would like to receive this email in text format, click here.

Copyright C 2005 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc.

Subject: TKO NOTICE: A 24 Your eBay Bid was Cancelled !!!
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 09:41:00 -0700

    <table cellSpacing="0" cellPadding="0" width="600" border="0">
        <td bgColor="#d6dcfe" colSpan="2" height="2">
        <img height="2" src" width="1"></td>
      <tr vAlign="top">
    <table cellSpacing="0" cellPadding="0" width="600" border="0">
        <td vAlign="top" width="600">
        <font face="Arial" size="2"><br>
        Dear eBay Community Member,<br>
        The bid that you entered for the item (a href=""         4385546965</a> ) has been cancelled.<br>
        To view the reason provided for the cancellation
        <a href="">Click'">Click Here</a><br>
        Regards, <br>
        eBay <br>
        <td><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">
        <table cellSpacing="0" cellPadding="0">
            <td><hr color="#d2d3d2" noShade></td>
            <td><font face="Arial" color="#666666" size="1">This email appears
            in the language of the eBay site where you are registered.<br>
            eBay treats your personal information with the utmost care, and our
            Privacy Policy is designed to protect you and your information. eBay
            will never ask their users for personal information, such as bank
            account numbers, credit card numbers, pin numbers, passwords, or
            Social Security numbers in an email. For more information on how to
            protect your eBay password and your account, please visit
            <a onclick="return openNonHelpWindow(this.href);" href="">
            User Account Protection</a>.</font></td>
            <img height="15" alt=" " src="" width="1"></td>
            <td><font face="Arial" color="#666666" size="1">This eBay notice was
            sent to you based on your eBay account preferences and in accordance
            with our
            <a onclick="return openNonHelpWindow(this.href);" href="">
            Privacy Policy</a>. To change your notification preferences,
            <a onclick="return openNonHelpWindow(this.href);" href="">
            click here</a>. If you would like to receive this email in text
            <a onclick="return openNonHelpWindow(this.href);" href="">
            click here</a>.</font></td>
            <img height="15" alt=" " src="" td>
            <p align="center"><font face color="#666666" size="2">Copyright C
            2005 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved. <br>
            Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their
            respective owners.<br>
            eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc.</font> </td>


Posted by prolurkr at 07:32 AM | TrackBack

June 07, 2005

A left leaning list of "Books we beg to differ with"

David Brake at Media @ LSE found a left leaning list of books posted by The Washington Monthly. Books we beg to differ with is a response to the Human Events list of the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries" which I pointed readers to earlier.

[The Washington Monthly] created two rules by fiat:

* The time period is 1800-1975. The starting date is so we're playing by the same rules as the Human Events folks, and the ending date is because I think it's impossible to judge the cultural importance of a book in less than 30 years or so.
* No books by Nazis or communists. These are already well represented on the Human Events list, and I just figured it would be more fun to try to come up with ten completely different books.

I think their starting rules are very good ones. I totally agree that the impact of books from 1975 to present is to amorphous to judge accurately. In truth I think my line would be closer to the 50 year mark as that moves us closer to two generations of impact so we can judge the staying power of the ideas.

Likewise it is good to exclude Nazi and communists books from the list since they have been well covered elsewhere, although a separate list that gives a union set of those volumes would have been helpful. As it stands it appears that The Washington Monthly would say that all communist books are bad and I wonder if that is true.

Finally unlike the Human Events list the The Washington Monthly is made up of works I have never read nor have I ever heard of most of the books. The three exceptions being Spencer's Social Statics (heard about it in classes), Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom (have read sections from it in classes), and Rand's Atlas Shrugged (read most of the book as a teenager, found it silly and boring).

Posted by prolurkr at 09:25 AM | TrackBack

June 06, 2005

CFP - Blogging, Citizenship, and the Future of Media

Blogging, Citizenship, and the Future of Media

A book edited by Mark Tremayne, School of Journalism , University of Texas at Austin


Book Summary

This research volume will address the phenomenon of blogging and its implications for traditional media.  Some of the topics for which submissions are sought include the following:


  Chapters can address these or other related aspects of blogging.  The book will not be limited by methodological or theoretical approach.


Submission Procedures

Completed papers in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 words are preferred but chapter proposals of 3-5 pages will also be considered.  Submissions should not currently be under review for publication elsewhere.  Microsoft Word is the preferred format.  Please e-mail all inquiries and submissions to Mark Tremayne, [email protected]



Submit chapters by Friday, July 1, 2005.  Authors of accepted chapters will be notified by August 15, 2005. 

Posted by prolurkr at 03:17 PM | TrackBack

CFP - e-Relationships: The Blurring and Reconfiguration of Offline and Online Social

Information, Communication & Society (iCS) invites papers for a Special Issue exploring how the rapid expansion in the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) is influencing offline and online social networks and relationships at different levels (friendship, family, workplace and community).

Social science researchers have shown growing interest in understanding the changes in social relationships tied to this widespread diffusion of ICTs. Early empirical explorations of the effects of ICTs on social and personal interactions directed attention to the technologies effects on existing face-to-face relationships, such as a shift to more isolated activities focused on computer interactions. More recent studies have shown how ICTs are becoming part of everyday life, with increasingly blurred boundaries between offline and online social relationships as they interact in ways that reconfigure an individual's or household's social circle. For example, the Internet is often used to maintain and support geographically-dispersed relationships with friends and family. Online relationships also often translate into face-to-face meetings over time.

iCS invites contributions from authors who are investigating the integration of online and offline social relationships. These studies can adopt any theoretical and methodological perspective and should address any of the following issues:
- To what extent are online social relationships being integrated into offline activities and social networks?
- In what ways do social ties created online differ from offline relationships?
- To what degree do individuals make online connections with socially similar or socially distinct others?
- What are the differences in the quality of social relationships created offline and online (e.g. in terms of the weakness or strength of ties and the levels of emotional and material support, friendship and sense of belonging)?
- What circumstances affect the migration of Internet-initiated relationships to other settings?

The deadline for receipt of the abstracts is October 31 2005. Abstracts, not exceeding 300 words, must be sent electronically to Gustavo Mesch, the Special Issue's Guest Editor ([email protected]). The Deadline for receipt of full papers (not exceeding 7,000 words and with an abstract of up to 300 words) is March 31 2006. See for author guidelines and journal information.

iCS is a peer-reviewed international journal devoted to high quality empirical research and theoretical works that include analysis of the emerging properties of the Information Age in a multidisciplinary and transcultural perspective. It is published by Taylor & Francis.

Gustavo S. Mesch, Academic Visitor
Oxford Internet Institute, U. of Oxford
Senior Lecturer,
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Senior Research Associate
Minerva Center for Youth Studies
The University of Haifa, Israel
email:gustavo[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

June 04, 2005

What I learned from the IU Phising experiment

Recently I have been involved in an interesting ethical debate with myself. Here's the background. Two Indiana University (IU) School of Informatics (SoI) Bloomington, grad students proposed a phishing study as part of their course work in an SoI class. In essence the study gathered the names and email contact information for pairs of friends from publicly accessible sites - think friend-of-a-friend (FOAF) sites. Then the researchers sent an email to person B spoofing person A's email addy. The email requested that the receiver access a specific site and in so doing they were required to provide their user name and password. No names were retained, no passwords were collected. The only data collected were counts, "x people were successfully phished". The research took place over a one week period and at the end of the week both spoofed email addresses and phished addresses received notification of what was going on. Then the proverbial doggy-do hit the fan.

I don't have space here to go into all of the arguments why some people thought this research was "unethical." If you want a complete debate hit the search engines with the following terms "phishing" and "Indiana." I will note that several of the pages that turn up on the first page of the search are IU University Information Technology Services (UITS) pages that predate this issue and are targeted at preventing successful phishing attacks.

I want to stress that the students involved did apply for Human Subject approval and were granted such. That part is massively important and I think underlines that the research is not inherently unethical, though there were some serious lessons learned by me. If I were designing a similar study at this point I would do the following:

I think that one of the main things I learned from this study and the fallout after it was completed is that no matter how hard everyone involved tries to be when considering human subject protections in designing useful research, we all make mistakes. This research was not the mistake, this research is important. However all of us missed some potential issues that caused excessive concern from some of the participants.

Here is a sampling of the available press on the experiment:

- From the Indiana Daily Student (IDS), Students go 'phishing' for user info: Research technique used to show ease of login, user name theft.

- Also from the IDS, 'Phishing' experiment attracts national a debate about ethics of study

For Information Technology watchers around the country, the reaction of IU students to the misleading nature of the study has been a mix of disappointment and sympathy.

Director of Io's Center for Applied Cyber-Security Research Fred Cate said he hopes students can look past the deception.

"I can completely understand why people would be upset about this," Cate said. "When I first heard about this I was like, you've got to be kidding ... but you can't do this type of research and tell people in advance."

Cate, who is also a professor of law, said phishing is the biggest and fastest-growing fraud in the United States and affects those who use the Internet the most, like students on highly wired campuses.

"It seems like (the study is) addressing a real problem," he said.

So it seems. Studies estimate that the normal success rate of identity theft using commercial addresses, such as the auction Web site, eBay, is around 3 percent. But Filippo Menczer, one of the professors who advised Jagatic and Johnson's study, said preliminary results of the IU test show 70 percent of students clicked on the link provided in an e-mail sent by their acquaintances.

It was the Human Subjects Committee's hope that students will learn from being duped by familiar e-mail addresses that convinced it to approve the study earlier this semester.

Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Human Subjects Committee Peter Finn said there were four criteria the committee considered before approving it: whether the risk to subjects of being spoof-attacked was greater than it would be on a day-to-day basis; whether the element of surprise was needed to obtain accurate results; how the lack of prior consent would affect subjects; and lastly, whether subjects would be properly debriefed after being attacked.

"We anticipated that some people may be upset, but there's an awful lot of learning that will go on for everybody," Finn said.

- This link is to the researchers blog which was used to gather comments and questions related to the research, Phishing Attacks Using Social Networks

- "Phishing" E-mail Attacks Could Soon Get a Lot Nastier this article dated Oct 18, 2004 discusses an SoI professors concerns about the growth of phishing attacks.

Phishing messages that appear to be sent by such trusted companies as eBay, Citibank and others are currently duping 3 percent of the people who receive them, according to a recent survey by Gartner Inc. Aware of the threat, members of Congress are currently debating passage of the Internet Spyware Prevention Act, which would provide the Justice Department with $10 million to apprehend phishers and other online scam artists.

Jakobsson said preliminary data suggest that savvier, "context-aware" phishing attacks could have success rates as high as 50 percent.

Context-aware attacks, as Jakobsson envisions them, would take advantage of users' unique circumstances or personal relationships.

- And finally here is the link to the SlashDot story with some interesting, though often illogical, comments. Check out Phishing for Credit.

I have been a SpoofStick user for sometime now. SpoofStick decodes website urls so that it is visible the actual url of the site you have accessed. SO if you thought you were on PayPal responding to an email request for information with SpoofStick you can see that the actual site url bears no resemblance to PayPal. I'm probably not really likely to get sucked in by phishing emails, though everyone screws up, rather I use this tool to verify sites when I am clicking through from websites and blog posts. I really recommend the product.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

June 01, 2005

Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Ok now some scary stuff for all you liberal thinking librarians and scholars and wanna-be's of either stripe. Would you believe a conservative site has created a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Of course it begs the question of who or what these books are harmful too. Me thinks they are harmful to conservative thought only. Read and expand your mind...usually that makes you less conservative. Check the site for the complete list, oh and pay attention to the "Honorable Mentions" as well.

HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to help us compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Each panelist nominated a number of titles and then voted on a ballot including all books nominated. A title received a score of 10 points for being listed No. 1 by one of our panelists, 9 points for being listed No. 2, etc. Appropriately, The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, earned the highest aggregate score and the No. 1 listing.

I need to go back to wearing my "Read Banned Books" button.

Found via that's how it happened.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:38 PM | TrackBack

Newer media is moving in on older new media outlets?

Standard & Poor's sees Podcasting 'A Growing Threat' To Audible so they have listed the stock as "sell."

Standard & Poor's Equity Research reiterated a "sell" rating on Audible (nasdaq: ADBL - news - people ), noting that "podcasting constitutes a growing threat" to the company, "particularly its Periodicals and Radio and TV categories." Podcasts are Internet audio programs that may be listened to on computers or portable music players, although the name is derived from the iPod player from Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ). S&P Equity Research noted that a number of media outlets have recently announced new and free podcasting offerings, "which we think will detract from interest in similar content from Audible that generally costs $6.95 to $12.95 a month per download." The research firm noted that earlier this week, Apple indicated that iTunes 4.9, to be released by the end of July, will include enhanced podcasting features, while emerging companies are also developing podcasting portals and infrastructure tools.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:23 PM | TrackBack