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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.

August 31, 2005

More blog that link to those blogging the disaster

More New Orlean's blogs...or those that link to them WWLTV and SciGuy: A science blog with Eric Berger.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

First hand accounts of Katrina's damage

Josh Britton has been blogging the hurricane and the first baby steps to recovery.  His posts are very detailed I recommend the blog as a way to keep up with what is really happening in the hurricane zone as the mass media seems to be only focusing on New Orleans.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast

I've avoided the mass media the last couple of days...listening to the first hand accounts of lose and devastation are more then my heart can stand, the stories quite simply make me cry.  Which is a bad thing if you are a pale skinned redhead because you get to look red and puffy for hours after a few tears are shed. 

But avoiding the mass media doesn't mean my thoughts haven't been on the folks and places that are the Gulf Coast that I love.  I read Kaye's blog throughout to keep track of her particularly and her part of the world as the winds raged and the rain fell. 

Yesterday while we were getting socked with the remnants of know wield things are going on when NPR refers to "the tropical storm now lodged over Indiana," ain't nothing tropical about Indiana even in the rain...I kept thinking about how much different everything would look if we had the winds as well as the rain.  Let me just say that I would not have been in my forth floor office with the picture window.

As the pictures are winding their way out the devastated areas and on to the net it's become very very clear that the places I loved in New Orleans and Mobile and Gulf Shores may simply no longer exist, Flickr has hundreds of pictures under tags like hurricanekatrina.  It's so clear that a lot of money will be required to house and maintain people until they can decide if they are going to stay in those areas and rebuild.  I encourage you to give as much as you can afford to help out the wonderful people of the deep south.  Check here for a list of relief agencies who are accepting donations

Posted by prolurkr at 11:56 AM | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Most blogs are spam blogs

From The Blog Herald:

A test from Google Blogscoped indicates that 60% of all blogs hosted on Google’s Blogger domain are spam blogs.

The test of 50 random blogs found 30 of them to be rubbish. A later test by the site of a further 100 blogs on indicated a spam rate of 42%.

To quote Philipp Lenssen
Google itself shows there are around 7,500,000 pages hosted on Blogspot. If we extrapolate the number, we might estimate Google is hosting 4 million spam pages. (Of course, this number is by no means in any way precise.) Even though I expected some amount of spam, I was surprised just how much it is. From the small sample I took it looks like on average, a site hosted at Google’s Blogspot is more likely to contain spam than anything else.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Katrina Maps

Thanks to the Map Room for these links.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:15 AM | TrackBack

August 28, 2005

Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog

Kaye Trammell - assistant professor of mass communication at Louisiana State University, colleague, and blog researcher extraordinaire - is blogging the hurricane.  Check out her site Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog for first-hand accounts of the storm.

Oh and Kaye batten the hatches it looks like a bumpy night and day is coming to Baton Rouge, to say the least.  Be safe.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Notes on Promoton and Tenure from the Faculty Retreat, and how that relates to grad students

Friday was the School of Informatics Faculty Retreat. We spent the bulk of the day at the Indiana Historical Society which I had not visited previously. It's a lovely building that runs along side the canal, or should I say the canal runs along side it since I think the building was there first.

During the retreat Larry Garetto, IU School of Dentistry, spoke to us on the topic of "The Research Agenda." In truth he said he was straying from his title and he did. Most of the talk was about preparing for promotion and tenure. I was gratified to see that much of what has already been addressed in my grad school series or is on the list to be addressed in future related posts, was right on the money with his presentation.

So here are some of the notes I took from his presentation with some tie-ins to our grad student world to follow the note in brackets.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Cyberspace Revisited: Digital Revolution vs. Transnational Digital Convergence

APRIL 7-10, 2006
"Conformism, Non-conformism and Anti-conformism in the Culture of the United States"

Workshop Title:
Cyberspace Revisited: Digital Revolution vs. Transnational Digital Convergence

Chairs: Dr. Tatiani Rapatzikou and Dr. Allan Lloyd-Smith

The initial enthusiasm that the emergence and popularization of cyberspace technology spawned in the 1980s has now given way to critical thinking.  The power it has in influencing common sense and globally manipulating the way knowledge and information is disseminated has altered the way we view and appreciate reality, think about the world and ourselves in it. This interdisciplinary two-session workshop will seek to address, within the
context of American literature, politics and culture, the following issues: globalization; identity formation; political and social activism; capitalism and commodity culture; digital modes of representation.

For enquiries and abstract submissions (150-200 words) please email:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 05:06 PM | TrackBack

Katrina to make landfall on top of New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina is currently packing almost 160 mile per hour winds, a speed I simply cannot imagine.  It is bearing down on the Gulf coast with warning from central Louisiana to the border of Alabama and Florida, with the eye expected to come in with a direct hit on New Orleans.  This storm is so big that the we, in Indiana, are expected to start seeing the front end of it on Tuesday...MapQuest says I am 778 miles away from New Orleans.

My personal love for New Orleans has been pretty well documented on this blog check out these search resultsDave at Blogography pretty much sums up my feelings about hearing that New Orleans is in danger from the hurricane.  The post was made before Katrina was upgraded to category 5:

As I leave for Asia, the news from hurricane Katrina is increasingly grim. The projected path is directly over New Orleans (one of my favorite cities), which could be disastrous. The "Big Easy" is very much below seas level, and a large enough storm could send water surging into the city at a cataclysmic depth. Pat O'Briens... Cafe du Monde... The Garden District... St. Patrick's & Jackson Square... Soniat House... The French Market... Bourbon Street... The Hard Rock Cafe... and so much more that New Orleans has to offer is all at risk of being destroyed. I particularly worry about the animals at the beautiful zoo they have there.

CNN has shocking footage of people fleeing the city, and all major routes have been converted to one-way highways leading out of town. It's bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way, and authorities are worried that an accident on any of these routes could trap people in the hurricane's path.

I suppose there's always a chance that the weather will change and the city can be passed by... but wherever the projected "Category 4" hurricane makes landfall, there's going to be a lot of damage. 150mph winds do not strike quietly.

It's going to be difficult to think of much else during a 13 hour flight where I am cut-off from the world and unable to find out what's happening. All my thoughts are with those facing the hurricane, and the city of New Orleans where I have been a half-dozen times (and love more and more each time I visit). Nothing would make me happier than to visit another half-dozen times in the future.

Over at SciGuy: A science blog with Eric Berger, Eric comments:

Here are some more facts from a story I wrote about New Orleans about six months after Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston:

It's been 36 years since Hurricane Betsy buried New Orleans 8 feet deep. Since then a deteriorating ecosystem and increased development have left the city in an ever more precarious position. Yet the problem went unaddressed for decades by a laissez-faire government, experts said.

"To some extent, I think we've been lulled to sleep," said Marc Levitan, director of Louisiana State University's hurricane center.

Allison dumped a mere 5 inches on New Orleans, nearly overwhelming the city's pump system. If an Allison-type storm were to strike New Orleans like it did Houston, or a Category 3 storm or greater with at least 111 mph winds, the results would be cataclysmic, New Orleans planners said.

"Any significant water that comes into this city is a dangerous threat," said Walter Maestri, Jefferson Parish emergency management director.

"Even though I have to plan for it, I don't even want to think about the loss of life a huge hurricane would cause."

The bottom of the bowl in New Orleans is 14 feet below sea level. Katrina's winds are now near 160 mph. Pray for the city and its people.

The BBC story - Are you affected by Katrina? - has some very interesting comments for folks in and around the area.

New Orleans Cams are available here and here and here, as long as they stay in place with the power on or connected to the net.

Think good thoughts for the people of and the place that is New Orleans, and those all along the Gulf Coast as well.  Their worlds will be pretty unsettled for the foreseeable future.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:59 PM | TrackBack

More than half of surveyed journalists rely on blogs

The Blog Herald has an interesting post on journalist's blog use.  Might be more then a casual relationship between this percentage and the media's focus on political blogs as the only "true blogs".

51% of journalists are using blogs regularly and 28% rely on them for their daily reporting, a survey of 1,202 US journalists from Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University.

Despite being happing to use blogs, only 1% believe blogs are credible.

According to the Editors Weblog, 70% of journalists who used blogs reported doing to for work-related tasks: they use blogs to find story ideas, researching and referencing facts, finding sources and uncovering breaking news.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:25 PM | TrackBack

Upgrade to Movable Type 3.2 complete...well mostly

Ok guys I'm sorry but I have to crow, I'm pretty proud of myself for pulling this off. 

You see before I ever decided to try and do the upgrade I had a multi-level backup plan (and lots of physical backups as well) so I could dig myself out if I made a complete mess of it.  I am not a systems administrator nor am I all that comfortable with programming in anything remotely resembling a programming language.  I've taken lots of programming classes over the years but I basically suck at them.  I do ok in HTML with the help of reference books but it's a markup language not a programming language.

So the point here is I got the upgrade installed I did have to send in one support ticket to SixApart and their answer did get me thinking though it didn't solve any of the problems.  Oh and I did have Elijah to bitch at and cry on his shoulder but he's not an MT guy so he couldn't answer either.

Well so with a couple of pointers from the SixApart folks and some diligent searching and examining on my part the blog is now running on MT 3.2.  I'm pretty proud of myself...not to bad for 18 hours work.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

Upgrading to Movable Type 3.2

Ok...this may be a disaster but SixApart is making upgrading to 3.2 sound so easy that I'm going to try to do it myself.  *cracking her fingers*  We shall see how it goes.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:40 AM | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Apparently I'm a Nerdy gal. LOL News to me

Via One Bright Star:

Pure Nerd
78 % Nerd, 34% Geek, 21% Dork
For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 91% on nerdiness
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 43% on geekosity
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 22% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Posted by prolurkr at 08:44 PM | TrackBack

gVisit is a dog

Ok I posted earlier about gVisit under Where do blog readers come from? Check gVisit.  Well as of today I officially declare that gVisit is a dog.  I'm not at all sure where they pull their data from but if I go by there map prolurker has had only one visitor and that person is from Lake Oswego, Oregon.  To that one visitor welcome and to all of the rest of you that have been hanging out in the site...don't ask me I sure don't get it.  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Getting involved in your department and beyond

One of the ways to show your commitment to an academic life is to pitch in and take on a role in the university's shared governance.  Now I'm not suggesting you do this your first year.  You might not even do this your third year, but do plan on taking on some role or roles before you complete your dissertation.  Lots of things are available to you, as with much of this process you just have to ask. 

You have opportunities within your department.  First plan on attending any governance meeting you are allowed to attend including faculty meetings, do that from the beginning.  Not all departments allow this.  I've done grad work in two different department of the same did and one didn't.  But when I could attend I learned a lot.

Also look to your department's governance committees...curriculum, grad student, those sorts of things.  During my first masters degree work I served on a departmental committee that was drawn from all of the IU campuses.  I don't remember the tile of it but I do remember lots of debates about funding.  Most all of these type of committees will have grad student representatives.  Again serving here helps you learn what goes on behind the scenes, say, before a class is listed in the catalogue, or funding is allocated.  Pretty helpful stuff to know when you finally role out of school and into your first tenure-track. 

If your department has a doctoral student association of some sort, take on a role there as early as you can.  It gets you practice, helps you learn your way around the department and the university, and is a great moral booster for those days you are going to feel low.

Then look beyond your department to the university as a whole.  Most university bodies have grad student representative positions.  Though they are often "best kept secrets."  I have held the student representative to the Human Subjects Committee (HSC) at IUB for two years and recently extended my appointment for another two years.  How did I land this seat?  Well funny you should ask, cause that's what I did.  I don't exactly remember how I found out there was a student rep on the HSC but I expressed an interest in the seat and was told that it was not open at that time.  But then out of the blue I got an email asking if I was still interested as their student rep was stepping down...I was and I still am. 

Two years on the HSC has been like attending a monthly master researcher seminar.  I have learned so many things about survey research, experimental research, controversial research, and working with school corporations; all from just sitting and listening and asking questions.  And at the same time I am showing my interest in the university and helping the university get done what must be done.  I love those rare times in life you actually can find a win-win scenario.  Oh and I get to add my two-cents on tech issues which is great because it helps the committee and reminds me that I really do know a thing or two about my field.

Another great thing about serving on university-wide committee is that you get to meet so many more faculty members then you ever would through classes.  I now know a number of full professors in a wide-variety of departments.  That network has come in handy when I needed information or advise, now I can just look up a name and give them a call.  Not something that I would have ever experienced as a student had I kept myself inside the walls of my department.

Then also look to your academic professional organizations.  Most all of them have committees, student representatives - though elections are required for these, and conference related positions.  Take the time to do these so you get your name out there and you can learn as you go. 

In short this post is the beginning of the discussion on what you can do to help yourself flourish in grad school and to prepare yourself so you are well positioned for the job search head.  Now I need to tack on a disclaimer here...I've never gone through an academic job search as a candidate for a position.  But I have gone through business and governmental job searches both as a candidate and as a human resource person (I have literally filled hundreds of vacancies), and thought some will tell you the process is different from what I see it's not THAT different.  *S*  We shall see won't we.  Anyway my goal is to stand out...of course I could be shooting myself in the foot by telling all of you this and giving away my strategy.  Hummmm Might have to think on that one.  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 11:36 PM | TrackBack

Political Commentary Warning

I can't help it I just love this picture. From the Associated Press via Wonketta via Feministing, and now to you dear prolurker reader. I must say that this is my kinda meme!

Posted by prolurkr at 04:50 PM | TrackBack

'Men cleverer than women' claimed by a team of male researchers

This one goes into the "No wonder some folks think academics don't have a grip. Academics in the UK claim their research shows that men are more intelligent than women.

A study to be published later this year in the British Journal of Psychology says that men are on average five points ahead on IQ tests.

Paul Irwing and Professor Richard Lynn claim the difference grows when the highest IQ levels are considered.

Their research was based on IQ tests given to 80,000 people and a further study of 20,000 students.

< snip >

Dr Irwing, a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Manchester University, told the Today programme on BBC Radio Four the study showed that, up to the age of 14, there was no difference between the IQs of boys and girls.

"But beyond that age and into adulthood there is a difference of five points, which is small but it can have important implications," he said.

< snip >

Dr Irwing told The Times the differences "may go some way to explaining the greater numbers of men achieving distinctions of various kinds, such as chess grandmasters, Fields medallists for mathematics, Nobel prize-winners and the like".

The paper will argue that there is evidence that at the same level of IQ, women are able to achieve more than men "possibly because they are more conscientious and better adapted to sustained periods of hard work".

Or, gentlemen, maybe your test just measure the wrong things.  The gender and racial bias of the IQ tests are well documented.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Tube Relief

Today is Tube Relief:

In late August 2005, we are going to go round all the London Underground stations in one day - and are encouraging people to join us! This is similar to a 'regular' world record attempt but instead it's as an act of defiance, solidarity and to raise sponsor money for the official charities for the families of the victims.

Since I couldn't afford to go - not in money and not in time away...sorry I'm not an one-night-trip to London type.  When I go I want to stay a bit.  But today I am following along on their progress via Going Underground blog and their frequent updates with text, pictures, and audio. Check it out and lend your support from a distance.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Youth doing research on youth subjects

Marika at Constructions blog has a fun assignment, I hope she will share some of the findings from the students study:

Next Tuesday I'm going to Fredrikstad to talk with pupils at Glemmen upper secondary school. They are one of six schools that are part of this year's The Holberg Prize school projects in which youth research youth. At Glemmen, they have chosen "youth and media influences" as their primary research theme. The pupils have formed three groups with the following approaches:

1. Are young people dependent on mass media? How do they cope living without?
2. What are the differences between the means of communication for youth today compared to those of their parents?
3. What media do youth use to develop love-affairs, and how are they used?

There is a lot to be said about the research questions they have chosen, and whether they are appropriately formulated. My assignment is to guide the pupils, and to give them an introductory talk about researching such themes. My own phd-project is clearly relevant, and I will obviously give examples from my work. I'm also supposed to talk about methodological approaches. Guess they'll have a few questions to ask as well. Cool project though.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:39 AM | TrackBack

Oh my god not another prolurker post?

In response to Kaye's implied question in her meta-post - I live and die as a blogger because of desktop blogging clients.  Love these things.  I see something interesting I want to post for the client and click, click, click it's on its way to the blog.  If I had to actually open my blog's posting page I would have far fewer posts then I do now.  LOL 

Oh and this post was written on WB Editor 2, picture at right.  I also use w.blogger as a backup. Oh and I have a lot of the usual HTML coding I need programmed into ActiveWords, very very handy.

Funny thing is I commented to a friend late last night, roughly 10ish, that I couldn't believe I had seven posts up for yesterday AND I did first-day of classes prep AND taught from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  No wonder I went to bed last night very very tired.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Blogs and the gift economy

Dave Pollard at How to Save the World has a fascinating post on Blogs and the Gift Economy as 'Disruptive Innovations'. It was really tough to pick a section to excerpt here...this is just a very dense and interesting discussion that I highly recommend. I'm going to have to reread it tomorrow when I am fresher and mind is fully engaged.

But blogs don't quite meet the definition of a Low End Disruptive Innovation (LEDI) because the incumbents do care about losing business (readership) to bloggers. And they don't quite meet the definition of New Market Disruptive Innovation (NMDI) either, because blog readers are not 'new' to newsreading -- they were mostly (except perhaps for 'pure' personal diary bloggers) already avid consumers of news in another format.

The legacy media initially ignored blogging as a fad, and then as blogging has continued to grow, they have taken potshots at it ("a million guys in pajamas") and tried to coopt it with their own blogs. A few have even formed partnerships with bloggers, using them as 'extensions' of their print and online editions. And many newspapers now offer stripped-down tabloid size editions free to commuters, funded entirely by advertising and full of teasers to additional information only available in the paid editions. Many magazines have done the same thing -- embargoing each edition so that paid subscribers get the 'scoop' first, or offering some articles only to subscribers. But bloggers persist because the legacy media can match neither the price (zero) or the variety (virtually infinite) of entertainment and information that bloggers offer. And the legacy media persist because:

* The majority of their audience is still on the other side of the digital divide (those who can't, don't or won't use computers and the Internet for information and communication).
* People don't have the time or inclination to search and browse the blogosphere (or time to read more than capsules and sound bites on any subject).
* Most people are disinterested in news and information that is not (a) actionable, (b) easy to understand, and (c) suitable fodder for social conversation.

What then is the future of blogs? Much has been written about what blogs could become or might evolve into, but as interesting as this is to read, most of it won't happen because of the three constraints bulleted above. In fact, the newest reports indicate that the proportion of blogs that are active is dropping sharply (lots of people find they just don't have that much to say, or the time to say it to people they don't know well) and that the ratio of blog readers to blog writers has plateaued and is now also falling.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:13 PM | TrackBack

PEW data on teens who don't use the Internet

PIP Comments has some very interesting statistics from Mary Madden and Amanda Lenhart.

We released a report recently that described the online teen population, which is made up of 87% of teens according to polling we conducted towards the end of 2004.

Clearly, the teenage population is pushing forward internet usage, and if any subgroup of the U.S. population approaches full penetration first, it may very well be those who haven't yet left home—America's youth.

But even with this overwhelming majority of online teens, there are about three million youth between ages 12 and 17 who do not use the internet. What about the 13% of teens who aren't online?

Unfortunately, when only 13% of an already small subgroup of the U.S. population fit the profile we seek, it is hard to get a big enough sample of these offline teens without spending a very large sum of money. In our national phone survey of 1,100 teens, only 129 respondents were in this non-user category. With a sample this small the statistical analysis that may be done on the data is very limited.

Still, we can give some insights as long as readers treat the results with caution. We don't want to make great claims about how our sample applies to the larger population, but we see some tendencies in the data that fit a "common sense" understanding of what's going on.

In our sample, non-users of the internet among teens tend to be younger and poorer than the pool of internet users. Non-users seem to be more likely to live in households where the adults do not use the internet and where the adults are less likely to have a college education.

These are the basic contours of our non-user sample:

# 56% are boys; 44% are girls.
# 68% are 12-14 years old; 32% are 15-17 years old.
# 67% are white; 33% are non-white.
# 25% are urban residents; 42% are suburban residents; 33% are rural residents.
# 35% live in households with an annual income below $30,000; 65% live in households with an annual income of $30,000 or more.
# 67% have parents who have no college education; 32% have parents who have some college education.
# 72% have parents who are married; 28% have parents who are unmarried.
# 55% have a parent who is an internet user; 45% have a parent who is not an internet user.

In comparison, data on online teens show that:

# 51% of internet-using teens are boys, 49% are girls.
# 46% of internet users are 12-14 and 54% are 15-17.
# 72% of online teens are white, 28% are not white.
# 28% of online teens live in urban areas, 47% live in the suburbs and 25% are rural residents.
# 42% of online teens' parents have no college education and 58% do.
# 87% internet-using teens have married parents, and 13% have unmarried parents.
# 83% of online teens have internet-using parents, and 17% have parents who do not go online.

It is also interesting to note that of this 13% of teen non-internet users, about half told us that they had used the internet at some point previously and had since stopped, and about half told us that they were interested in becoming internet users at some point in the future. This indicates that there may always be a part of the population who are not currently internet users but have been in the past or might again be in the future.

Few other groups have been able to describe these populations in great detail. Our colleagues at the Kaiser Family Foundation released a report in March of 2005 that provided a very rich description of media in the lives of pre-teens and teens. They too reported that most teens are online; 96% of their respondents indicated that they had ever been online or used the internet. And their small number of non-internet users was fairly demographically similar to ours.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:51 PM | TrackBack

Looking beyond your first year

Hopefully during your first year you will be acclimating to your doctoral studies and getting your feet damp with a little research.  But after your first year you need to broaden out a bit.  The next set of posts will be looking at what you can do to add depth to your studies and start to build a solid CV for your future job search.  The next set of posts will be organized around some of the topics found in the lists in my earlier Recordkeeping for Grad Students post.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:30 PM | TrackBack

Forming your advisory committee

Profgrrrrl at Playing School, Irreverently has a good post which give us a word of advice to students forming committees. Here is a sample but you really should check out the complete post it's loaded with great information.

When putting together a doctoral committee, you'll have many things you want to consider. Just a few of them include:
  • Can you work effectively with the head of the committee? Do you have a good rapport with this person? Does s/he give you adequate time/feedback? Do you understand this feedback?
  • Are the committee members likely to get along? What (and between who) will the points of tension be? Can you effectively manage them?
  • Are these the people who can help guide you toward gainful employment? Will they be good recommenders?
  • Do these people support you? Can they look beyond their differences (interpersonal, theoretical) to support you?

Posted by prolurkr at 03:18 PM | TrackBack

The Well is for sale

The Well is for sale

From Robin Hamman's cybersociology listserv Digest Number 267:

The Well, an online community founded in 1985, is to be sold by it's current owner Salon bought the community in 1999 for US $5 million. Since then, it's always managed to turn a profit but memberships (costing $120 to $150 per year) have declined from 6000 to 4000 between 1999 and today. Salon expects to achieve a sale price of around $500,000 - about the equivalent of one year's subscription fees. That's probably a bargain if the members themselves buy the community... More at -

Chat is taking a hit...possibly a mortal blow...what with the surge in IM's and VoIP. To bad I love chat and always will. Now I have something else to add to my "What I would do if I won the lottery list." I would buy The Well and make myself grand high pubba. *maniacal laugh*

Totally Academic

Posted by prolurkr at 02:55 PM | TrackBack

Google Talk Launch

From BetaNews, another IM client. Goody a new social software toy. *w* Me loves my toys.

Google Talk Beta Publicly Launches

Google TalkIt's official. Google late Tuesday released a beta of its highly anticipated Google Talk instant messaging client. Much like the search giant's Web site, the software sports a straightforward no-frills user interface free of the clutter and advertising that bog down other IM clients.

Weighing in at only 900kb, Google Talk is a much smaller download than other popular IM services, including AIM, MSN, and Yahoo. However, for the time being its feature list is quite sparse.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

60% of Chinese bloggers are female

From The Blog Herald. Not sure there is much to say on this one...the Chairman's logic just boggles the mind.

An interesting interview over on Businessweek with the Chairman of Blogcn, Hu Zhiguang, one of China's biggest blog hosts, on the interesting nature of the Chinese blogosphere. 60% of their bloggers are female, according to Zhiguang because:
Boys and men don't have time to write very much. Girls are more emotional, more articulate about their feelings. Besides, a lot of boys are busy playing online games.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:15 AM | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

Female Faculty Members and stress

Inside Higher Ed has a story on a new study, Stress and the Female Faculty Member, that should be a mandatory read for all grad students and administrators. There is probably little new information here for the professoriate since many of them resemble the remarks found in the article.  Emphasis added. 

Women in the professoriate are more stressed out than men. That's probably not shocking to female professors (or many of their male colleagues). But a new study - based on both surveys and in-depth interviews and focus groups - attempts to provide new insights into that stress. And the study says that women are justified in their stress - answering strongly in the negative the question the study poses: "Are women faculty just worrywarts?"

Posted by prolurkr at 10:09 PM | TrackBack

Your CV - write one now

Assuming you are not applying for any of the fall deadline training grants, then one of the initial things I would do in my first semester is to pull together my Curriculum Vitae (or CV for short); if you are applying for one of the grants then you will need to do this for the packet so get hopping.  A CV is necessary for all sorts of things like grant applications, some workshop applications require them with the packet, and in truth people ask you about your CV all the time so you need to have one in place fairly quickly.  Like the other things listed in my earlier Recordkeeping for Grad Students post, learning to put together a CV and keep it updated is an important skill that is easier to acquire early when your updates are simpler then to wait for a future time when you are under the gun.

Like resumes there are some general theories on how one of these documents should be organized but in truth CV's are somewhat individualized.  I have seen a few self-help books that have a CV section, in what are otherwise resume writing books, though I think the internet is your best training tool.

When I wrote my first CV I did searches to find the CV's for a list of academics in my field whose work I admire and would like to emulate.  I made notes of how they organized the document and what types of activities went into each section and subsection.  I redo this process periodically just to calibrate what I am doing in my document against others in the field, you want to standout but not to far-out if you know what I mean.

Note that the examples you choose should be from people up and down the academic ladder.  While there is no doubt that my CV is more consistent with other grad students, than with full faculty members, I want to make sure that I am hitting and highlighting the same things faculty members touch upon, more on this in a later post.

I think that CV's should be updated once a semester or roughly three times a year.  Now that gets harder as you get busier but I do think that a higher goal is good...if it slips and you update twice a year it's still better then letting that slip to annually because then the document is almost always out of date.  Of course as I wrote this I opened a second browser window to check that mine had been updated in the last six months, May 23, 2005 not to bad.

If you can I would recommend that you put your CV online on a site that is indexed by search engines.  That way you can have a document with an accepted format; it carries some weight, out there as a marketing tool.  Get your name out there where others can find it.

So do some research and decide what information you need to put into your CV.  Then build a skeleton and plug in the information you have already noted.  Finally keep it updated...easy enough.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Do you want splog with that post?

Do you want splog with that post?Mark Cuban at blog maverick has coined a new-to-me term in his post about blogs that add no new value tot he blogosphere - A splog here, a splog there, pretty soon it ads up… and we all lose.

The media and some blog search engines have gotten excited about counting the number of blogs in the blogosphere. If the number of blogs is growing, the medium must be real. Right?

Right in concept. Unfortunately it's impossible to count the number of blogs in the blogosphere due to the number of spamblogs, splogs, zombies, whatever you want to call them.

While the number of blogs has been placed by those who like to speculate about such things in the 15mm range, new blogs per day in the 30k to 80k range, and blog posts per day in the 500k to 900k range, no one seems to want to put an asterick next to any of those numbers and try to remove the number splogs.
Totally Academic

Posted by prolurkr at 11:04 AM | TrackBack

AoIR Student Representative results

Well election results were announced this morning and Ted Coopman, University of Washington was elected AoIR Student Representative.  Thanks to all of you who voted for me, I appreciate your confidence.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:48 AM | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

Joining from afar

A few people start a Ph.D. program with a clear goal in mind for their research and they stick with it unwaveringly...a very few people do that.  Most students have a rough idea of an area but aren't really zero'd in on what exactly they want to research once they have completed classes.  And this is as it should be.  As academics, those that want to be good academics, we should be open to change and new perspectives on our work.

I have a four pieces of advise for ways to explore the edges of your interests.  Knowing where the edges are will help inform you as to what type of work you enjoy and how flexible you can be in your research interests.  At this point in your studies I think flexibility is a very important trait.

How do you do this?  First take as many classes in as broad a selection of departments and specialties as you can.  This exposes you to new ideas...and other people to your ideas which can be helpful as well.  It challenges your thinking in explaining your research through new lenses.  It makes you work to fit your interests into a new paradigm...which is very useful.

Second, subscribe to as many listserv groups as you can.  Do this for any group that looks like it may have a link to what you find interesting.  Do this no matter how loose that link may be at first glance.  Set-up a folder in your email to hold all of the "how to unsubscribe" emails you will get when you register, mine lives under the intuitive title of "HOLD." 

Give any list you subscribe to at least 90 days before you unsubscribe unless they cross standard lines of decency.  During that 90 days you should be reading the posts and watching for trends in who is posting, and on what topics.  No this isn't a CMC study rather it is getting to know the flavor of the group and the field.  You will get a feel for who are the movers and shakers in a field by watching whose work is referenced in the text of the messages.  Sometimes those people will also be ubber-posters on the list but I actually think that is rare.  Also look over some of the literature that is referred to the gives you a feel for what kinds of work are regarded highly in the group. 

At some point post a question to the group about something you are working on that loosely relates to them.  This is very telling, especially for those of us that do bleeding-edge research.  I can learn a lot about a field by asking an internet research question and seeing what answers I receive.  I do log all reading suggestions to Reference Manager and have read most of the work I have been pointed to from these questions. 

If, and for many of these lists the answer will be when, you find that your work is not closely enough linked to the interests of the group or the group is closed to the work you are interested in doing, then you should unsubscribe.  Do so politely, you were just there to observe after all.

At one point I was receiving emails from around 30 listservs in probably 6 disciplines and a myriad of sub-specialties.  I learned much...some rewarding...some infuriating...but all useful in telling me the boundaries of my work.  I found the listservs by following links from other listservs, one group mentions that many members belong to another aligned group.  I got pointers in classes and at conferences.  I did searching online to find areas I thought I would find useful.  I got pointers from posts and comment to my own and to other blogs.

Five years into the process I think I have around 10 listservs to which I am subscribed.  A couple of the lists are very active but most are fairly quiet.  That's fine, it makes my reading interesting and manageable. 

Third as you can see from my sidebar I still read fairly broadly, but now it's blogs and other RSS feeds.  I recommend this process too for the same reasons as subscribing to listservs.  The difference is that with listservs you get to hear a myriad of voices which helps give you the tone of the group.  With blogs and other RSS feeds, it is usually only one voice at a time.  This is very useful for information but it doesn't tell you how the specialty functions as a group.

And fourth join as many professional organizations as you can afford.  Remember student memberships are much less expensive then full memberships.  Join broadly...attend the conferences when you the publications...and ask questions.  You will be amazed how many links you can find and the network you can develop.  As I've already mentioned in a previous post there is nothing more fun then being the one at a conference that is makes your work stand out and it is spotlighted.  Of course that does mean you have to know how your work fits into the greater scheme of things...but then that is what all this is about isn't it.  *S*

So pull out your course lists for spring and be adventurous.  The same with your reading on listservs and online.  Oh and let me know if you find anything you think I might enjoy...I love referrals. And get a little wild and join some professional organizations that challenge your thinking.  Come on it's fun.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:39 PM | TrackBack

PodcastCon UK 2005

PodcastCon UK 2005 is the first conference in Europe dedicated to podcasting. The conference will include an exciting combination of presentations, practical sessions and debate on all aspects of podcasting as it moves into its second year.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:45 PM | TrackBack

CFP - International Auto/Biography Association

Fifth IABA Conference, Mainz, Germany, 27-31 July 2006

Organizer: Alfred Hornung

The fifth biennial conference of the International Auto/Biography Association will take place at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany, from 27-31 July 2006. The general topic of "Auto/Biography and Mediation" will permit a wide range of papers dealing with issues of auto/biography as media and auto/biography in the media, performing a process of mediation.

 Auto/Biography and Mediation

All forms of life-writing represent specific processes of mediation, thematically between the self and the world, technically between the author and the chosen medium of self-representation. Thematically, an auto-biography may mediate between individual positions and choices taken in life, in the sense of the critical concept of relational selves, or it may mediate between self and place as in imaginary geographies and eco-biographies. As such, auto-biographies are involved in literary, cultural, psychological, legal or political processes of mediation in which the auto-biographer becomes a mediator in intercultural, interethnic, and interracial affairs. An auto-biography can also mediate between different disciplines of the humanities, the social and natural sciences,
neuro-science and medicine. Auto-biographical memory functions as a medium for time and reality. Technically, auto-biographers can choose from a wide range of media in which to present their lives: print media, performance, film and video, radio and tapes, or the internet. Many auto-biographers combine different media for intermedial effects, such as the inclusion of photography in texts, voice and music on the radio or tapes, sound and images in filmic auto-biography, music and dance in self-performances.  Auto-biographical multi-media installations dissolve boundaries between genres and technologies of signification. The overall goal of auto-biography as mediation is to find some kind of resolution between different positions and the choice of media for the representation of life.

We invite proposals for individual papers and workshops within the range of these areas. Please choose one of the following sections for your contribution:

1.      Theory of mediation and intermediality via auto-biographies

2.      The mediation of medicine, natural sciences, neuro-sciences or social sciences in auto-biogaphies.

3.      Media of culture(s) as expressed in auto-biographies

4.      The mediation of cultures in auto-biographies

5.      The mediation of African and Latin American worlds in auto-biographies

6.      Performance and auto-biographies

Please send a one-page abstract of your proposal and a one-page curriculum vitae by 20 November 2005 to my e-mail address below. We would like to encourage auto-biography scholars, especially from Africa and Latin America, to participate and to focus also on auto-biographical material outside of the Anglo-American canon.

We will set up a home page for this Fifth IABA conference in September with further details. Mainz is located centrally in Germany, with easy connection to the Frankfurt airport, about 25 miles away, where most
international flights arrive.

We are looking forward to your proposals and hope to see you all next year here in Mainz.

Prof. Alfred Hornung
American Studies
Johannes Gutenberg UniversitE4t Mainz
PF 3980
55099 Mainz
Phone: +49-6131-392-3535

Fax. +49-6131-392-5577

e-mail: [email protected]>[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 09:31 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Digital Eves: Transgression/ Transcendence in Cyberspace

Women Writers: A Zine is seeking previously unpublished essays and original works of fiction, poetry, and hypertext for an upcoming special issue, "Digital Eves: Transgression/ Transcendence in Cyberspace." Women Writers: A Zine is a digital, peer-reviewed publication that features creative work by women writers and artists as well as scholarship on any aspect of women's writing, women's studies, and feminist scholarship by both male and female authors. See the journal's Website at for more information.

"Digital Eves" will explore cyberspace as a contemporary arena for originary human sin: a transgressive space in which, like the biblical Eve, individuals for varying reasons seek to transcend their ontological limits, be they physical, temporal, intellectual, or creative. Submissions should engage the central question "In what ways does or can cyberspace function as an imaginative space in which beings attempt to repeat Eve's original 'encounter with the apple,' perhaps in the hope that computer technology will help afford a success that biblical mythology and tradition has not accorded her?"

Related questions might include:

How are these attempts at transcendence also a conscious spiritual transgression, and of what sort?

With what perceived benefits and consequences?

How does striving for transcendence through cyberspace mirror and extend earlier human attempts to reach out at the divine through the construction of transgressive spaces?

What role do AI (artificially intelligent agents) play in this drama, and how do they complicate human aspirations?

Approaches could include but are not limited to treatments of virtual reality, online identity and presence, feminist theories of gender and the body, speculative/science fiction, Artificial Intelligence, human consciousness, cyberspace as contemporary carnival, and/or the search for immortality. Creative and interdisciplinary pieces are welcome and encouraged.

Send complete piece and CV/brief bio via email to . If selected, final revisions should be ready for publication by March 1, 2006. All submissions will be acknowledged. Those not selected will be deleted from our files.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:18 PM | TrackBack

Tomorrows Professor listserv

In a comment to my post on Owning Your Own Program Kathy pointed me to a both a new blog,, and a cool looking listserv.

The listserv is Tomorrow's Professor. The list of past email topics looks very useful so I signed up.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:26 AM | TrackBack

Has blogging hit the third generation of evoluation?

Duncan at The Blog Herald has an interesting post where he posits that blogging has entered it's third generations.  His analysis is based on Technorati and Feedster standing.  The post is a good read and I will be thinking it through today for sure.

Blogging has essentially developed in waves or generations, each of which was notable for the backgrounds of the majority of people entering the blogosphere at each point.

< snip >

3G: the consumer bloggers (2005+)

You know I chuckle when I see articles discussing whether blogging has gone mainstream or not because its as though the people writing such nonsense must be so insular as to not see a thing that's going on around them, because blogging has gone mainstream, and 3G bloggers are flooding into the blogosphere at the rate of millions per week. This generation of bloggers is different to the past two generation of bloggers because the geek companionship of the 1st generation and the extroversion that drove the 2nd generation has been replaced by a sense of normality. Most new bloggers blog because they can, because others are, and because to many people (perhaps more so amongst younger people, and in particular amongst teens) having a blog is now regarded as a normal behaviour, just like having an email address and mobile phone are normal as well. For me the dawning of the consumer generation was MSN Spaces, because (perhaps much to the delight, or even credit of Mike Torres) Spaces works, and despite the initial limitations on launch I'd noted at the time Microsoft once again displayed an amazing ability to get inside the head of the average person and deliver a product they would use.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:53 AM | TrackBack

August 21, 2005

The value of conference attendence

I ran across this on the SocialTwister blog, a great social informatics blog, in their post the 80-20 Rule of Conferences.  Now while I am probably one of those people who would quibble about the percentages, especially for academic conference, I do agree with the over all discussion here...conferences are for networking.  I do think you need to attend sessions at conferences...and as a student attend conferences where you are not presenting.  So keep all of that in mind as you read this post and the one to which it links.  I'll come back to conferences a bit later in the series.

p.s.  If you are interested in social informatics, CMC, or related disciplines you should be planning to attend the Association of Internet Researchers Conference in Chicago, October 5-9, 2005.

For some time now I've been slowly telling people about the underlying value of conferences and workshops. In having that conversation, I'll often relate to people my 80-20 Rule. It goes something like this:
Conferences are:
80% people (the networking)
20% presentations (the actual content)
It's hard for anyone to really argue with this, though they sometimes want to tweak the numbers. The folks that have a vested interest in the content are willing to pump up the value of the presentations. The people that are shy also tend to align with this thinking. The extroverts don't even go to the sessions!

Generalizations aside, meeting people face to face is not just desirable, it's necessary for most things that are going to really stick (IMHO). Fortunately, I'm not alone in this thinking. I came across this link from Dave Taylor (via Business Opportunities Weblog):

The Critical Business Value of Attending Conferences

I definitely recommend you give it a read.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Owning your program

It feels very strange to be writing this as the fourth (not counting the elaboration on my NSF application post) in this series.  It felt strange to decide that this post would not be first as it is by far the most important thing I will write on the subject.  But I made it fourth because the first three are time sensitive and this is a more philosophical perspective.

Ph.D. work is not like undergrad or masters studies, in both of the later you have a fairly proscribed list of requirements and when you meet all of those requirements you are done.  With Ph.D. work the phases are more amorphous...slippery...and often damn elusive.  So how do you flourish in this environment?  You have to own your own work and drive your own degree.

I've seen many Ph.D. students flounder, both since I became one myself and previously, because they were looking for the known comforts of a requirement list and someone to hand hold them through the process...either actually or metaphysically.  Sorry folks that is not how it works. 

In my opinion Ph.D. studies are a bit like being forced on to a tightrope in heavy fog and without training.  You can see the rope a few feet ahead of you but you don't know how long it is or where it ends.  You know there is a chasm under you, and falling will kill your prospects, but you never know with any give faltering step how close you are to that wrong move that will send you tumbling.  How do you survive and get to the end of the process in one piece?  You have to own your own work and drive your own degree.  Even if you do the best job in the world when selecting your advisory committee, and mine has been unbelievably supportive I will owe them the world shortly, you are the one that really cares if you finish.  

To survive and flourish you need to:

At the end of every one of these sentences you should add "Don't wait for someone else to tell you to do this or what to do."  They are all busy...doing their research and teaching and often walking on their own tenure & promotion tightrope.  Talk to them, seek their guidance but it's up to you to select what you will do...there are so rarely hard and fast right answers in this process.  In truth if you don't have a high tolerance for ambiguity then the academic life may not be the best place for you.

There are two great ways to build the relationships you will need so that you can gather the required information to make your decisions.  In chronological order - first make friends among the group of more senior students in your program.  These are likely to be third and fourth year students who are still taking classes - i.e. who are around the building on a nearly daily basis - but get to know a few of those who are out of classes, candidates, and those dissertating.  All of them can help give you information that you won't find in the manuals.  Don't be afraid to send a fellow student an email and ask to meet with them for say lunch or coffee so you can discuss their experiences in the program.  Always remember that most students will probably not give you the whole story in an email - on one wants written evidence - so always invite them to join you for a face-to-face discussion.

Second choice your advisory committee carefully.  Like 1B* said in the snip I posted under Advice for first year PhD students

Select your advisor carefully. Finding a match is so hard! Yet finding an advisor that fits you can make or break your experience in graduate school. I'd take the first year and purposefully interview faculty and "audition" them for this role in your academic career. I would look for someone who is has some background in the work your interested in doing (obviously), but I think personality traits and interaction style is even more important than an academic match. I wanted someone who would be willing to talk with me about work-life balance issues, who would engage in helping me develop as a person, not just as a scholar, who would be able to give me feedback in constructive ways that also felt supportive and encouraging. I wanted to believe my advisor actually liked me and believed in me. I also think a junior faculty member could be as good of an advisor as a senior faculty member, but it's hard to say... some people prefer the senior folks as advisors because they tend to be better connected in the field (and can introduce you) and perhaps more effective as giving feedback with writing because they're more experienced at both writing and giving feedback.

Your advisory committee can be very helpful in giving you advise when you ask.  While good advisory committee members may take the initiative to talk to you about issues before you are faced with them, often they will - and should be - responding to your questions and concerns.  As silly as it sounds to say this, you need to talk to them.  If they aren't open to those interactions or you aren't comfortable going to them then replace them on the committee...yes you can do that and you should if you need to.

Like I said in the beginning the ball is in your court.  It's your degree and you have to police everything related to the process.  But you aren't alone...not at all.  Look around you.  There are lots of other people dealing with the same ambiguity...first years, second years, third years, etc....and tenure-track faculty (though their road is different then ours).  All of us are in this together but separately...remember that.  The people I have seen struggle the hardest in Ph.D. studies are those that feel totally alone...and many of us have been in that dark place at some time during the process.  Remember first that you are not alone and second if you can't remember that please take advantage of the universities assistance through their health services.  Ph.D. work is supposed to be hard...but not depressing.

Oh and take if from me...there is light ahead if you keep carefully walking that tightrope and keep your eye on where you think the prize will be.  I'm starting to see rays of it breaking through now...stay on the path and it's there for you too. 

Don't be like the lady in the graphic and try to hide behind dark (or worse rose-colored) glasses, that is a sure way to the bottom of the chasm my friends.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My experience applying for an NSF training grant

I was asked in a comment on Grad School funding - for U.S. based students to give more detail on my own experience applying for an NSF grant.  The response would take somewhat more space then I think of as a comment so here is a post on the topic to give you more information.

I entered my PhD program Spring semester of 2001 while completing my masters work.  I earned my MIS in August 2001.  In October 2001 I applied for an NSF training grant.  At that time the general application included "Women in Science" awards, which was actually the group I was targeting. 

To be considered as a qualified applicant you had to be "young" in your educational career.  Usually this meant that applicants were in their first or second year of their masters work and they were applying for funds to pay for their remaining masters classes and their PhD work.

Well at the time I applied I was completing my second masters and was over 40 so I'm not "young" on anyone's scale.  (My first masters is in public administration with a focus on human resources, I earned the MPA in 1989.)  Though I did find a loophole that allowed those who have a previous masters to qualify if, and only if, they are changing careers.  As I remember there was an example of a lawyer who was no going to become a biochemist. 

I spent a considerable amount of time writing my essay so that it was clear that my doctoral work in Computer-Mediated Communication is distinctly different from my previous work in Human-Computer Interaction, the difference from Human Resources fairly obvious.  It was a good essay, but the NSF reviewers didn't buy it and well they should not have...LOL...because HCI and CMC are very tightly linked fields.  So I have no judges comments at all my application never got that far.

Now let me say here that I knew when I applied it was a total long shot.  But what did I have to lose?  Only the time it took me to complete the application packet.  I explained to everyone who write a reference for me that I seriously doubted that I would make it through the initial screening process.  They were all supportive and wrote wonderful letters tyeing into my descriptions of the differences between the two fields.  Not a one of them felt like the process was a waste of time for me or for themselves as letter writers. 

In truth I got a lot of support because so few Information Science students apply for these big grants.  I believe in taking long shots assuming that in the process no one is likely to shot you with a Uzi because you did whatever you are doing...not something that is likely to happen with a grant application.  So take that as a hint.

Of course you mail the thing off and you cross your fingers but when the letter arrived I knew what it would say.  "Thanks but no thanks on this one.  Apply for something else soon."  And so I will.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Where do blog readers come from? Check gVisit

ResearchBuzz pointed me to a new blog tracking tool with their post See Where Your Site Visitors Are Coming From With gVisit.

Want to know where your site visitors are in meatspace? (Meatspace: The "real world", where people live, as opposed to online space where they everybody drifts around reading blogs and playing Furious George.) gVisit can tell you, with a Google Map! Check it out at .

Enter your site name and URL, and gVisit will give you a line of JavaScript. Paste it into your site, and they'll start generating a map for you showing the locations of your last 20 visitors. Maps are updated hourly.

If you make a donation (of "any amount" as the site says) you'll be able to see the last 100 visitors instead of the last 20.

The major downside is that tracking 20 or even 100 visitors in an hour will tell you only so much. You can license the service however; for more details check out .

So I signed up and I think I will play with this a bit before I donate. Check out the map.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:30 PM | TrackBack

TypePad now supports Podcasts

jkOnTheRun has brought to my attention that TypePad now supports podcasting:

TypePad bloggers who have been itching to get into Podcasting but didn't want to get into a complicated distribution setting can now distribute them directly in TypePad.  This added feature is part of a slew of functionality recently added including Notes TypeLists and XML feed handling.  Way to keep improving, Six Apart!

Posted by prolurkr at 12:20 PM | TrackBack

Moves to improve female scientists lives in the lab

Feministing has the following:

The BBC reports on a new article in Science Magazine which found that women still have a long way to go before they are integrated in the science profession.

Lead author of the study, Professor Jo Handelsman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains that female scientists often receive a *chilly* reception on campus. "There is still a lot of covert and overt hostility on American campuses. Some of it is outright illegal behavior, but most of it is subtle. It makes women feel undervalued and not respected." (sigh).

Grrrr -- hello -- anyone remember the Summers debacle?

One of Handelsman recommendations is to make science labs more family-friendly -- "The responsibilities for family caretaking continue to fall disproportionately on women. Universities aren't set up to deal with family issues." Her suggestions include on-campus breast-feeding rooms and child care facilities. Well, at least it's a start...

Posted by prolurkr at 12:06 PM | TrackBack

Recordkeeping for Grad Students - hint keep everything

Many Ph.D. programs, including the one I am in, require that annual reports be submitted by students so that "continuing" status evaluations can be conducted.  Consider doing this type of report even if your department does not currently require it to be done, read to the end of the post before you decide to skip recordkeeping.  The annual report process is time consuming and not near anyone's the "Top 10 Most Fun Things I Get to Do Every Year" list.  BUT it is a process that has much value for the student particularly since those of us that go on to become faulty or research scientists in industry will be required to go through a similar process every year. Plus as I often state here about my monthly advisory committee reports, it reminds me that even when I feel like I'm not moving forward I most likely are doing so anyway.

For new SLIS students, and those of you at other schools who do not have a required format for reports, you can find the required forms linked off the PhD forms page.  Note:  The SLIS forms are altered slightly on an almost annual basis and the change is usually announced about a month before they are due.  So don't assume that form you are using is the current one, always check in late April to make sure you are presenting the required information.

I did some editing on my forms so that information is presented in a complete and logical manner.  You can see my 2004-2005 report for an example. 

Why bother?  Well as I said earlier you will have go through a similar annual process as a faculty member, and then there is the tenure review.  All of the information you use in annual reports, well once you are a on a tenure-track, will be required for your tenure packet.  I have a distinct feeling it is much much easier to gather the info and summarize it periodically then it would be to try to gather it three or five or seven years into the process.  Your universities Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Dossiers are undoubtedly online so you can get an idea of what is required; you can click the link for access to IU Bloomington's pages.

Ok so if I don't have you convinced you need to do annual reports at this point I never will, so I'm assuming you are with me from here forward.  Ok the rest of this is recordkeeping.  Obviously each one of you will need to find a system that works for you.  I've seen people use all types of systems from a single box into which everything is dropped for later sorting, to paper file systems, to computer files...guess which ones I use.  LOL

I have a multi-tier system that works for me, any long-term readers out there who haven't figured out I'm an organization freak bordering on OCD...well if you haven't you will know for sure now.  Well I'm not OCD, you should see my order at all.  * sigh* 

I use UltraRecall (UR) for my future planning; any good Personal Information Manager (PIM) will do roughly the same thing.  (The graphic at the right is a screen shot of my set-up, you can click on it for a larger version.)  Within each calendar year division I  have subsections for each of the major areas of my academic life.

Each has subfolders that help me organize information in that category.  I should note that research work is not tracked in UltraRecall but in KnowledgeWorkshop (KW) because I like having the information separated and KW allows me some features that UR doesn't possess thought I would say UR is the superior program.

Ok so once something I plan to do is completed I annotate it in UR and add a note to a database I keep in FileMaker Pro.  (The screen shot at the left gives you an idea what is in this database, you can click on it to see a larger version.)  I started databasing information for reports using a now obsolete program called Recordian so categories are somewhat of a holdover from that tool. 

Why do both types of entries?  Well UltraRecall works well for future planning but it categorizes and does not order by date across sections.  FileMaker lets me order by date, or category, which I find very helpful when I produce my monthly reports.  Likewise FileMaker lets me work outside my set category structure so I can enter new things that occur without redesigning.  In essence I stick with these two systems because I see archiving and to do lists as different faces of the same process...oh and I like the graphical capabilities in UltraRecall and could care less about that for the archive in FileMaker.

Beyond this notation and archive system I have folders set-up to contain actual copies of what is applicable to this process.  I have a folder titled "2005 stuff" in my university email account so I can stuff email messages into it that relate to something in the UR or FileMaker records.  For example I have my thank you notes from reviewing in that file so I can print them out if needed.

Likewise I have a series of electronic folders in which I store files related to both annual progress report and tenure & promotion information, preparing for the future.  Many of the titles of these folders came from information provided at the last Future Faculty Fellows Workshop, lead by Jay Howard.  These folders are:

Some of these folders have subfolders though in truth I am just beginning to use this system myself so I expect to customize it a lot over the next couple of years. I think there my be some duplication in the layout, at least for my purposes.  Plus I have to see how much of this system I actually use.

It seems like a lot of work to keep all of this information in a useable format, but it really isn't that hard.  The worst part is setting up your system, and training yourself to keep stuff, once that part is done maintaining the system and using it very easy.  Now I read an email and immediately think "Should I save this for the files?"  The same happens with hardcopies that cross my desk...if I think I may need them I scan them into the system for future use.  I keep very few hardcopies because I hate filing so things that need to be filed tend to sit forever in my "To be filed" box and are not easily accessible.  I usually add the paper to the recycling box.

Finally if you set your system, any system, up early it is much easier.  First you have fewer things to track so you can more easily train yourself to work the process.  Second it will be easier to tweak the system as you find better ways to make it all work for you.

So get to work and set-up your tracking system.  And remember save everything even your rejections/declinations and negative reviews.  All of it is important to establishing your track record.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:36 AM | TrackBack

Feedreader readers comments wanted

I've been debating another change to the professional-lurker blog so I've decided to again ask the readers what you want. From an information retrieval standpoint I really like blogs that aggregate their comments and trackbacks into the posts, then all the information I want is in one place with the side benefit of no more pesky pop-up windows. But there is a drawback, by doing this it means that feedreaders will receive the post as an "updated entry" every time a new comment or trackback is added. Does this bother you when it happens on other blogs? Should I work on adding this functionality to professional-lurker?

Thank you in advance for your input.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:15 AM | TrackBack


For the last few days I have been getting slammed with spam forcing me to delete hundreds of comments and trackbacks a day...not an overall effective use of time nor is it good for my view of the world.  This even though I have a multi-layered protection system including SpamLookup, MTBlacklist, Comment & Trackback moderation, and MTCloseComments in place. 

Ok well there are apparently a few problems, one that I fixed being that MTCloseComments was not properly setup so that comments were not closing...Daaaaa.  Oh well so now I have comments closing properly which is a good and bad thing since I have a few posts I would have liked to keep comment open on indefinitely.  *sigh*  In a perfect world.

But there are also obviously problems with SpamLookup and MTBlacklist.  Since the first group of spam when I would go through the moderation process and I would activate MTBlacklist, after much clicking I get a screen that tells me that the posts were deleted but no url fragments were added to the database because all of them were already there.  THEN WHY WERE THE SPAM NOT BLOCKED BECAUSE THE URL FRAGMENT WAS IN THE DATABASE?  Annoying annoying annoying.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:37 AM | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

What pen & paper day planner do you use?

For those of us that have either stuck with pen and paper day planners or, like me, reverted to one after doing the Palm thing the quality of the book we use is important. I've been using a Moleskine weekly planner since the first of the year. I like the form factor but hate the paper. You see I write my appointments in pencil and erase as necessary, which is often in my world. Sadly Moleskine paper doesn't like to be erased and pencil marks bleed through from other pages.

Aligned with this issue is the debate about what calendar I should be using to run my life...annual or academic year. Both have their advantages and it is impossible to switch my life completely to either format. Wish I could, but I assume that is a common problem for academics as the real world and the office use different calendars.

So I'm curious what paper journal do you use - brand, calendar format, etc? I'm hoping to find one that doesn't have the drawbacks I'm experiencing with my Moleskine.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:15 PM | TrackBack

100 blogs in 100 days or how to increase your blog traffic

Duncan at The Blog Herald, one of my favorite blogging blogs, seems to have grown tired of the discussion of the A-list and who should or shouldn't be on it, and who isn't getting tired of the debate.  So he's doing his own thing to up some undiscovered blogs traffic.  He is running "100 blogs in 100 days" as a way to draw attention to some under-trafficked blogs.  First I should note that The Blog Herald is on many of the top ### blog lists, so anyone he cites can expect a pretty significant traffic bump.

Is your blog sitting unloved and unvisited? are you writing the next big thing yet you don't know how to get some high profile attention? or do you just want a link from a blog in the Feedster 500? Introducing The Blog Herald 100 blogs in 100 days.

While others bleat on about diversity in the blogosphere, I'm going to show over the next 100 days some of the wonderful cross-section of blogs out there that others may not have yet discovered (including myself). It's also your chance to get a post here at the Blog Herald just about your blog, and its all very simple.

Email me at [email protected] with subject line of "100 blogs in 100 days" with your blogs details (name, url etc..). You also need to include up to, but no more than 100 words about your blog, what it does, what it's about, or why the readers of the Blog Herald should visit it that will be published as part of the post. In return though I'll be inviting Blog Herald readers to provide some feedback in the comments here on what they think about your blog.

Conditions: well there isn't a lot. You don't have to provide a link to the Blog Herald, but if you do I'm going to look at your application more favourably. Blogs that are already linked in my blog roll here at the Blog Herald (or in the sidebar generally) are excluded from entering. No porn or spam blogs will be considered. By all means email me from day one, but as this is going for 100 days you can email me next week, or next month if you like as well. I'll be stock pilling the entries and running them as time goes on, so if you're not featured in the first week don't be discouraged because 100 days is a lot of time, and there is 100 slots available.

Send in your blog info if you met the criteria, and I'll be looking for folks I know to appear on the list.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:55 AM | TrackBack

Deconstructing distributed conversations

Will at Weblogg-ed has an interesting post on Deconstructed Distributed Conversations. If you are interested in the topic check out his post. It's just to long and detailed to repost here, and snipping would only be confusing.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:38 AM | TrackBack

Life Caching or diary writing by any other name

Will at Weblogg-ed has the following post.

Life Caching
(Via Jeff Jarvis) Probably not a new term, but new to me. Is this what we're doing with all of these tools? Caching our lives:

LIFE CACHING is enabling GENERATION C to become a generation of true storytellers, helping them to visually and compellingly share their experiences with friends and family, which makes them stand out and feel special. In fact, sharing an experience may become as valuable if not more valuable than the actual experience itself.
There is something to be said for that storytelling part, isn't there? When we decide to share content, be it text, photo, audio, whatever, we're telling part of our story. Edtech storytellers...student storytellers...learner storytellers...

Where do people come up with these terms? And WHY?  Storytelling is a verbal art form, yes it has ties to written forms in that writers must be able to tell a story and from written forms there are ties to blogging as I have shown in some of my previous work...but storytelling it is still a verbal art form. Why not call a diary blog what it is...a publicly accessible version of the old diary form and a serial-autobiography. Why do men especially shy away from the term "diary" much association with those little pink books with locks?  Well call them online journals then, it's all the same either way.

p.s.  There are some excellent SciFi stories that revolve around "archiving lives".  One of my favs has the well-heeled characters accompanied through there lives by an archivist.  The main characters archivist uses an avatar of the black cat.  Now if that isn't overlaying SciFi and myth, I sure don't know what is.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:28 AM | TrackBack

RSS feed reading study

The Sum of My Parts blog has a teaser for her upcoming Bloggforum 2.0 paper on RSS reading including the graphic at the right.   

i just finished compiling the data from the survey and was a bit surprised to see that the number of people who report their reading behavior changed by the adoption of RSS is still quite low. Most reported that they have just begun to use aggregators and that it has caused an increase in the number they read with an increase in scanning and a decrease in in-depth reading. One even mentions reading feeds on his mobile.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:09 AM | TrackBack

RSS reading and posting here

Switching to Bloglines has been great for my RSS reading.  Now I can organize my list, well attempt to organize it as the job is not completed; scan and read posts from far to many blogs and the list is growing; click to open the post in a new Firefox tab; and then move to WB Editor to post information on to you and at the ASIST SIG Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting blog.  At one point this morning I had six tabs open.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:58 AM | TrackBack

Grad School funding - for U.S. based students

You can, of course, rely on your university to provide your funding through grants or work.  Likewise for many of us loans were our only recourse for part or all of our education.  But there is money out there...big money for those hardworking and lucky enough to be chosen.  Both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have competitive processes that, if selected, can virtually pay for your doctoral training - courses, books, conferences, and money for you to use for expenses.  Yes these are competitive processes and a limited number of applications are chosen. 

Here are five reasons why you should take the time to check out these and other similar grant programs.

Two notes on grants 1) read the instructions fully and comply to the letter, and now with that said 2) the only foolproof way NOT to get a grant is to not apply.  I know it's easy to say "there are many more qualified people then I out there and there is only so much money I just know I don't have a chance."  Well you do have a chance, as good a chance as anyone else...and this is definitely one of those processes that gets easier each time you do it so dive in the pool early.

Finally be open to working with organizations that may not be the usual ones with which your faculty are associated.  Here's a story.  Several years ago I wanted to attend the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Biennial Meeting in New Orleans it was held at the Hilton, read lots of money needed for housing and transport.  Well I didn't have all the money I needed and had basically given up the idea of going when a announcement for a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant to attend came across email.  They had money and I needed I applied for their grant, all the time figuring I was a long shot at best.  But you know what I won and I went to the conference. 

But the cool part of this is what happened after the conference.  Now I am a NIDA grant winner, and because of that status I have been invited to training sessions they host where I have learned many more tricks for grant applications. 

Now if you know my research you are probably scratching your head wondering how what I do fits into any of the research areas in which NIDA is interested.  Well it doesn't directly, but peripherally it is a perfect match.  NIDA, and other similar grantor's, are interested in new technology as ways to get their message out to their target audience.  NIDA's target audience includes teens, teens talk online, therefore NIDA is interested in how teens talk and how they receive messages online.  Makes it perfect for me to step in and fill that niche.

Let me tell you some of the absolute more fun I have had at academic gatherings have been at NIDA sponsored events.  Last summer I was in DC for a gathering of folks who had won the same grant I had, everyone there was either medical, biomed,  or social work...and me.  When we did our posters I have simply never had to speak to as large a crowd of interested people pressed in around my board.  It was a huge ego boost to have biomedical researchers, a field for which I have huge respect and absolutely no talent in, telling me how interesting my research is and how they just couldn't do what I much computer, to much communication, to much time with the teens I research - all of these are the things I love of course. 

In the future I will be developing a grant application for NIDA requesting funding for my dissertation.  I have contacts and I know they are interested, thanks to my little travel grant.  *S*  Life is good.  Of course these are still competitive processes so anything can happen...but now I know I can compete so that fear is off my back. 

Oh and the most important note here is that as far as I know no one else in my department works with NIH institutes like NIDA...most of our funding comes from NSF.  It would have been easy for me to miss this funding source because faculty doesn't go there...but it has been a ride not at all worth missing.  *S*

SO crawl through the NIH and NSF sites really soon, some of the grants must be applied for during your first year and that cut off date was in October the year I applied for NSF funding.  I didn't get it but I learned so much about how the processes works it was well worth the effort.  Also I archived the material I used so for my next application some of it will just need updating rather then writing from the ground up.  Very valuable.

Oh and let me know when you win.  *w*  Cause someone will might as well be you.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Reference Management Software

The first thing a new grad student should do is to acquire a copy of a reference management (aka bibliographic or citation) software program.  The technologically advanced among us might want to use BibTeX...but only if they like doing coding with things like @string{jgg1 = "Journal of Gnats and Gnus, Series~1"}.  Totally not my cup of tea.

Thomson ISI has three products for bibliographic management, two of which are available free to IU students, staff, and faculty from the IU Ware site and other universities have similar agreements check with your technical support personnel.  All three have trial downloads available on their respective websites if you don't have access to free versions.  All are around $99 US to purchase, and it is money well spent.

By far the most popular of the three is EndNote, it's one of the ones that is available free to IU students.  EndNote is a very powerful program that allows you to enter bibliographic citation information, "cite-while-you-write" in the major word processing programs, and output your bib in a large variety of styles including APA and MLA.  Most importantly the program has fields for your personal notes, as well as, an abstract for the citation.  You can even search the web and many major databases from inside EndNote and the citations found through the search can be automatically added to the program.  Likewise you can search through IU resources and download your results then add them automatically.

Thomson also makes Reference Manager and ProCite, only Reference Manager is available through IU's site licensing agreements.  I use Reference Manager and have done so for several years now, though I would not recommend it to new users.  The program is designed for work groups and is best suited to that application.  I began using it because at the time it was the only product with a spell checker, something that I require.  Now EndNote spell checks and allows you to have multiple database files open (another feature that was unique to Reference Manager when I began using it). 

Procite was developed by a librarian and many in the profession swear by it.  Though Thomson has not updated the program in several years and IU no longer carries the software under their cite licenses. The main advantage to Procite is its extensive customizability.  I feature set that I hope will eventually be added to EndNote.

All three of these programs were originally developed by independent companies and later acquired by Thomson.  They seem to put most of their development work into EndNote, especially adding popular features from the other programs into EndNote's functionality.  So if you have no pre-existing relationship with Reference Manager or Procite I recommend you go with EndNote.  In truth I think we will all be using EndNote eventually as I expect support for the other two programs to decline and disappear.  Oh and all three are cross-compatible so if you start out with one program and it doesn't serve your needs you can export your database to another of the product line. I started with EndNote and moved to Reference Manager when I found it had a speller, I anticipate moving back to EndNote in the next couple of generations of the program.

I found an article that gives an Overview of Personal Bibliographic Software online.  They list several programs that I have not run across before and that would require purchasing software.  Warning the information appears a bit dated so read with that in mind.

Pick the program that looks like it will work for you and get it as soon as possible.  Then take the time to enter the information on everything you read.  And yes I do mean everything.  My goal for using the software was to develop a database that would allow me to do much of my research on my own system without regularly returning to the hard copies or electronic copies of the works I have read.  Now, after five years, I can write  simple essays on any of several topics using Word and Reference Manager only.  Of course that means that I have a layered backup system because my bib is my world...electronically speaking.

p.s.  Make a subdirectory somewhere on your system and copy all of the electronic papers, websites, blog posts, etc. that you use in your writing.  Research has shown that there is a serious decline in the availability of electronic texts after about 2 years.  So something you use a lot is likely to disappear and if you don't have an archived copy you probably shouldn't cite the work.  Example:  I often site blog users statistics from the 2003 NITLE Blog Census in my papers.  This is a very useful citation that is no longer available online as their more current data overwrites the older statistics.  So I archived the page the first time I cited it...and now I have the stats I need every time I want to use historical information.

It would be nice to think that electronic journals maintained by the university are immune to this problem, but they are not.  Say you cite a journal article today and want to use it in the future, if the libraries subscriptions have changed the article may no longer be available at your fingertips and some journals do go out of production so their electronic copies may totally disappear at some point in the future.  Make sure you archive journal articles too.

To finish up, I believe that unless you have a photographic memory every grad student needs to be using a bibliographic management program.  Try using is as I said here and if that way doesn't work for you alter your usage to support your style.  All three products have listservs for their users, with subscription information on their websites.  Sign up for the listserv that supports your will learn a lot and it gives you a place to ask questions should you run into problems.

Reference List:

NITLE Blog Census (2003). National Institute for Technology & Liberal Education (NITLE). Retrieved Mar. 15, 2003 from

Posted by prolurkr at 01:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Grad School survival tips

I've had so many positive comments on my reposting of 1B*'s post at Advice for first year PhD students that I have decided to add a category to the blog for Grad to help you flourish.  I will be adding to the list of posts over the next few weeks and then as new ideas become apparent to me.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:36 PM | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

IU's technological investment pays off in ranking

Ok I admit it I'm totally technologically spoiled. I study and work on campuses of the "Hottest Big State School" where lots of money and time have been invested in making sure I have access to all sorts of technology. Scares me to think that I might not have all of this at my fingertips after I finish my diss.

Newsweek names IU Bloomington "Hottest Big State School"

Placing IU among its latest list of America's top twelve hottest colleges, Newsweek named IU's Bloomington campus the "Hottest Big State School" in no small part because of IU's embrace of information technology across all campuses. The designation follows Intel's ranking IU as the nation's top wireless university last year.

Since 1998, IT has been a strategic priority for all IU campuses, ensuring that the highest quality IT resources and facilities are available to every IU student regardless of campus.

UITS, with offices on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, develops and maintains a university-wide information technology environment to support excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong learning. The UITS divisions and offices work together to support IU in its use of information technology.

For more see:

IU Media Relations:


Posted by prolurkr at 09:00 PM | TrackBack

WWW 2005 2nd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem: Aggregation, Analysis and Dynamics Papers available online

Stolen wholecloth from Lilia at Mathemagenic

Papers from WWW 2005 2nd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem: Aggregation, Analysis and Dynamics (see also papers from the workshop in 2004):

I believe that engaging with researchers is something to be seriously considered while thinking of blog metrics - hopefully will have more time to write about it...

Posted by prolurkr at 07:05 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Personal Presses? The Legal Realities Behind the Blogging Revolution

Boston University
Journal of Science and Technology Law

Personal Presses? The Legal Realities Behind the Blogging Revolution

A Colloquium on Blogging

February 11, 2006

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."

Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law announces a Colloquium, to be held February 11, 2006, to consider the legal complexities facing the growing blogging community.  Our goal is to collect a body of scholarship on the legal issues bloggers face in order to provide courts with some guidance as cases are litigated in these areas. We therefore welcome submissions from a broad and diverse range of voices and research areas: practitioners, judges, activists, and academics.

Some questions to consider:

Paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 1200 words, as well as the author's curriculum vitae. Please send proposals via e-mail in Word document format to [email protected] by September 10, 2005. Your subject line should read: Colloquium Paper Proposal: [Title]. The Journal will announce its decisions by October 1, 2005. Papers from the Colloquium will be published in Volume 12 of the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:41 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Language Attitudes and Popular Linguistics

Language Attitudes and Popular Linguistics Area
2006 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia - April 12-15, 2006

The Language Attitudes and Popular Linguistics Area of the Popular Culture Association is seeking presentations on any language-related popular culture topic, such as:
-- language and advertising or other media;
-- professional, corporate, or other industry-related language;
-- dialect, code-switching, or historical studies of language and language attitudes;
-- animal or extraterrestrial communication;
-- language and education, including pedagogical approaches;
-- gendered communication or other sociolinguistic topics;
-- language and censorship;
-- second language acquisition;
-- any topic that relates to popular linguistics or language attitudes.

See the end of this message for a rundown on last year's paper topics.

Paper length is 15 to 20 minutes, with four presenters per 90 minute session.

Send your presentation title and abstract (of up to 200 words), along with your name, position/title, school/work address, phone number, and email address to me at the address below by November 1, 2005. Email submissions are encouraged.

For more information, feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Patricia Donaher, Ph.D.
Area Chair, Language Attitudes and Popular Linguistics
Assistant Professor of English
Dept of English
Missouri Western State University
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507
[email protected]

For further information about the conference, please visit the PCA/ACA website at

Papers presented last year in the area of Language Attitudes and Popular Linguistics included the following topics:
-- the dynamics of verbal aggression
-- male bonding through language
-- dumb blonde jokes
-- the language of the French rap group IAM
-- language attitudes in cartoons
-- effects of instant messaging on student writing
-- language on The Jerry Springer Show
-- the language of technological crises
-- a linguistic analysis of the Kerry and Bush acceptance speeches
-- translation and diplomacy during the American Revolution
-- the language of financial statements

Posted by prolurkr at 05:25 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Women's Autobiography: Private Memories, Public Voices

I won't be submitting anything for this conference and probably won't get to attend. But I certainly will be looking for papers that may come out of it. This would be a good opportunity for anyone interested in women's or girl's diary (aka serial autobiography) blogs to present to a new audience.  Personally I like working with new lets me spread what I have learned around the academic sphere.

Panel for Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA), Philadelphia, March 2-5, 2006.

This panel will examine critical questions about women’s autobiographical writing, a topic which has generated wide interest over the past three decades. Looking at women’s writing in this genre from historical and theoretical perspectives complicates the issues raised in discussions of autobiographical writing and identifies the use of strategies such as imitation, masquerade, subversion, and disruption of conventions. Papers may focus on different types of autobiographical writing by women in different historical time periods and cultures.

Send papers or 250 word proposals by Sept 15, 2005 to: Marilyn Rye
                Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.
                285 Madison Ave.
                Madison, NJ 07940
                or send by email (preferred)    
                to <[email protected])
                Phone: 973-443-8343
                Fax: 973-443-8087

Posted by prolurkr at 08:51 AM | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Learning about my own blog through others research

Learning about my own blog through others research

It seems that professional-lurker has been the subject of another study.  Walt Crawford at Cites & Insights newsletter has published Investigating the Biblioblogosphere, scroll down to page 2. 

What did he find?  Well he placed this blog in the top 60 LIS blogs.  His criteria was:

Blogs by one or a small group (up to four) of self-identified library people (not "official library" blogs or large-group blogs such as PLA Blog and LISNews), with at least one posting in 2005 (some of the lists don't weed dead blogs) and at least one RSS/ATOM feed (because it's too hard to investigate otherwise).

I assume that all are also English language blogs though that is not explicitly stated in the criteria.

Professional-lurker was mentioned in these areas during April-June 2005:

Professional-lurker falls into the "Broad Reach by Some Measures: Group 3"

I've included here blogs that, while not scoring in the top 50 (well, 48) on the final "reach" measure, were in the top 40 of either Bloglines subscriptions or the top 30 in Google links, MSN links, or AllTheWeb links. Any of these-and, arguably, others as well-could belong in the "top 50."

Crawford said the following about professional-lurker specifically. NOTE: I love to listen to Louis Armstrong but it's his name not mine...the Louis part. *sigh*

Professional-Lurker Subtitle: comments by an academic in cyberspace. Author: Louis Ann Scheidt. Mostly professional, moderate voice. Metrics: frequent posts, second-highest overall word count, essayist.

The list is interesting.  I certainly don't see myself as an essayist...though without the CFP's - which do get long - professional-lurker would still be above the averages on word count or at least that is my impression.  I was introduced to one of the new webmasters in my department last week when I was on campus...his first comment was "Oh your the one that has all those long post on your blog."  Then he made a hand gesture of a scroll unrolling and unrolling.  *sigh*  Yes that is me.

I think the only metrics that I am unhappy with are the conversational ones.  I do wish that professional-lurker was a more conversational space.  Of course I know I had very limited choices about limiting the availability of comments before the upgrade, but now that comments are back on I hope these metrics will be distinctly different in a year.  Based on the number of comments added since the upgrade I have no doubt that will be true.

Word count = 530.  Over the average yet again.  LOL  Even exceeded professional-lurker's average for the period.

Meta discussion of the blog itself

Posted by prolurkr at 09:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005


Today's mail brought my copy of Henwood, Flis, Kennedy, Helen M. T., & Miller, Nod (eds.) (2001). Cyborg Lives? Women's Technobiographies. York UK: Raw Nerve Books Limited. The publisher explains the book as follows:  

Cyborg Lives? is a groundbreaking collection of women's autobiographical accounts of everyday relationships with technology. The 'technobiographies' presented here describe encounters with technology ranging from CDROMS and web pages to science laboratories, ante-natal screening, nuclear power and appliances in the home. These very personal stories offer insight into lived experience where gender intersects with class, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, generation, and subcultural identity in shaping technological encounters.

Cyborg Lives? uses Donna Haraway's now well-known cyborg metaphor to examine the centrality of technology to daily life. The result is a series of fascinating life-stories that stimulate thinking about the ways that technology intersects with ordinary, everyday experiences. The volume asserts that, in the twenty-first century, technology is an intrinsic part of our subjectivity - whether we like it or not.

Cyborg Lives? is written in an accessible way, while at the same time reflecting a range of sophisticated theoretical perspectives. The book will be of interest both to new students and experienced researchers, and will become an invaluable resource in the fields of women's and gender studies, auto/biography, sociology, literature, and cultural, technology and communication studies.  

My introductory students will be writing their own technobiographies in lab. I think it is a great idea to ground ones thinking about technology more explicitly through the lense of personal experience.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:55 PM | TrackBack

Death of CMI at SoI at least for Fall 2005

Well it appears that today is the day that School of Informatics will have to pull the plug on my Computer-Mediated Instruction class, registration level equal one student.  The class has not filled for a number of reasons including marketing...I didn't know I was teaching the class early enough to get a good leg up on my preparatory reading in time to have anything about the class in writing soon enough to market it to students.  We shall fix that problem before the spring when I will be teaching a Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) class.

But at least I have another class I am prepared to teach, the syllabus is done all it needs is a completed "policy" section.  Of course that would vary from university to university and across subdivision within said universities so I don't think missing that part is a big deal.  If you are curious you can see a copy of my working CMI syllabus and let me know what you think about the design.  I will be doing notes for a class portfolio on this one, it took a lot of thinking and reading to design so I want some bang for the buck.

 I400 Topics in Informatics/Computer Mediated Instruction (3 cr.) This course will introduce students to the selected concepts of Computer-Mediated Instruction (CMI). The course is run as a seminar and students will be required to read and prepare for each class discussion. The semester is divided into three modules. First the class will examine the theories and techniques for developing training programs. The second module will look at ways that computers are used in the classroom with an eye to new and developing technologies that may be useful in classroom settings. The third module will focus on distance education including design and delivery issues. Students will be required to create and maintain a class related blog that will include their writing on class readings, discussions, projects, etc. Instructions on this requirement will be given early in the semester. Students will be evaluated on their preparation and participation, blog entries, three projects - one for each module, and a final examination. P: at least junior standing or permission of instructor. Variable topic. Emphasis is on new developments and research in informatics. Can be repeated twice for credit when topics vary, subject to approval of the dean.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:35 AM | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

Advice for first year PhD students

Yesterday I sent this to my department's PhD student listserv and targeted it to the new students specifically.  I've gotten such positive response from older student "Gezzz I wish I had had that when I was a first year" that I decided to post it here for all of you.

I could not have said this better if I had tried...which I haven't done to this point but will at some point in the future. The only note I will attach now is that if you have a graduate degree going in to PhD...this is different in so many, and so often hard to quantify, ways so don't assume you've been there and done that.  I actually had two masters degrees when I started and my first year of PhD was ever so much harder then my time in either of those of which is within my current department.

From One Bright Star (1 B*) and her post Five Questions:

5. What advice would you give to someone starting out in graduate school, pursuing a PhD?

Select your advisor carefully. Finding a match is so hard! Yet finding an advisor that fits you can make or break your experience in graduate school. I'd take the first year and purposefully interview faculty and "audition" them for this role in your academic career. I would look for someone who is has some background in the work your interested in doing (obviously), but I think personality traits and interaction style is even more important than an academic match. I wanted someone who would be willing to talk with me about work-life balance issues, who would engage in helping me develop as a person, not just as a scholar, who would be able to give me feedback in constructive ways that also felt supportive and encouraging. I wanted to believe my advisor actually liked me and believed in me. I also think a junior faculty member could be as good of an advisor as a senior faculty member, but it's hard to say... some people prefer the senior folks as advisors because they tend to be better connected in the field (and can introduce you) and perhaps more effective as giving feedback with writing because they're more experienced at both writing and giving feedback.

Start working on your own research interests as soon as possible, but don't foreclose too early on a topic or question. In my graduate program, we had course projects that we could tailor in order to pursue our own interests. They were useful for me to jump start my research. Read widely in grad school, especially early on, because you might think you know what topic you're interested in, but once you learn about newer topics, you may realize that you never knew your passion actually was something else.

Appreciate the other grad students in your program. Many of the folks I met over the years in graduate school are now valuable colleagues of mine and dear friends. They serve as a supportive network for me now. I miss them.

Attend conferences and network as soon as possible. Some people think of networking at meeting "famous" professors. I thought of networking as meeting other grad students around the country in my field and also newer faculty members. Now I feel like a whole cohort of us are coming into our own as faculty, and I feel a part of something larger than myself. Plus, it's nice to have people to see every year at conferences, people I can share my writing with outside my building, collaborators in other locations, etc.

Be gracious to yourself. Honestly, I think the first year of graduate school was one of the harder years in my life. I went from being a professional to being a student again, from feeling confident about my skills to being broken down and starting over. I was humbled more than I expected to be. I was also built up more than I expected to be. One of the important skills to develop in graduate school (at least for me) would be learning to be kind to yourself when you're feeling extremely inadequate, extremely behind schedule, and completely over your head. It's okay not to know things and it's okay to be a developing scholar, because we go to school to learn, and then once we're out of school, we're learning for a career, and with learning causes dissonance and challenge. The thing is, researchers are at the edge of understanding something new, so it's not ever possible to feel like we have things all figured out, so there is so much opportunity to feel like we don't have it all together, when, really, we're just trying to learn something new. Be comfortable with the not knowing and embrace yourself for taking the risk and challenge of establishing new knowledge.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:08 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

CFP - The 2nd Annual IBM TJ Watson HCI Symposium

The 2nd Annual IBM TJ Watson HCI Symposium
As We May Work: Advancing Social Technologies for the Distributed Enterprise

Call for Abstracts (Graduate Students Only)
The structure of organizations is being rapidly transformed:  Increases in mobile workers, globally distributed teams, and federated enterprises are changing the environment in which we work.  These and other factors disrupt workers' established means of knowing within the enterprise and create new challenges and opportunities for them.  Social technologies offer means for evolving more suitable work practices that flexibly draw on distributed expertise. These include technologies that support interaction with known colleagues as well as technologies that seek to leverage the knowledge and expertise of strangers.  This symposium seeks to provide rich and analytical descriptions of how these important advances are transforming enterprises, describe the technologies on which these advances rest, and prognosticate what trends will emerge in unlocking the collaborative potential of enterprises.

Example topics:
  Expertise brokers and connectors
  Blogs and wikis for professional reputation creation and distribution of information
  Technologies that enable more productive distributed work
  Socially-aware code management systems
  Social network visualization to compound social capital
  Collaborative augmentation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems
  Technologies to better support mobile workers
  Technologies that better mobilize the collective intelligence of an enterprise

We are seeking contributions from currently matriculated graduate students, particularly those in departments of Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Management Science, Organizational Science, and Learning Sciences.  Students are asked to submit an extended abstract (1000 words) describing their work, a current CV, and a supporting letter from their advisor.  Students whose abstracts are accepted will be provided with limited travel funds.

Submission deadline:          September 26, 2005
Acceptance notification:      October 10, 2005
Symposium date:         November 7, 2005

Email abstracts and supporting documentation to:
Catalina Danis ([email protected]) or Douglas Gordin ([email protected])

Douglas Gordin
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY  10532
Voice: 914.784.7806
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 06:08 PM | TrackBack

Using content in the classroom

Will at Weblogg-ed News has a very interesting breakdown of issues/categories related to how we as educators should be able to use the web.

1. We need to be able to Access Content--The Web is the greatest repository of knowledge and information that we've ever had. The fact that a good number of children in this country (and elsewhere) still don't have access to it is downright sinful. These days, when it seems like knowledge doubles every couple of days, how can those kids be expected to compete, not just with kids around the world, but with kids from my district, for instance? The ironic thing to me is that now with this two way relationship, the one technology that could put everyone on an even playing field is instead just growing the divide between those that have access and those that don't. Sinful.

2. Teachers and students have to learn to individually and collaboratively Create Content--Especially now when it's becoming easier and easier to do, teachers need to do this to provide models to students of how to use the tools effectively. Students need to do this to begin creation of a digital portfolio of work that can serve as a lifelong repository of personal learning and reflection. We need to do this collaboratively so as to create our own networks and systems of support that go beyond the traditional classroom and the traditional school day.

3. We need to effectively Collect Content--With so much to consume, the ways in which we find, assess and archive relevant, interesting, important information is a crucial new literacy. This means being able to, manipulate search engines, evaluate sources, read critically, synthesize information, use technologies like RSS, and organize the results in effective ways.

4. We need to effectively Connect Content--Learning is a social act, and very little of what we learn is static and absolute. As George Siemens says, "learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity." And so we must be skilled at finding ways to connect what we know to the database that is the Web, and, in turn, learn even more from those connections.

I've thought a lot about these issues this summer as I was heading into class design. How to engage the students not just with the class content but also with the available related content that is open to them on the web and through IUPUI resources. I have a great, well at least I think it is great, plan that I hope I get to use - class enrollment is low at the moment - but if not it will turn up in class design for the spring semester.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:59 PM | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Lois is one of the authors of the ASIST SIG Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting blog

Just to let all of you know.  I have become one of the authors of the ASIST SIG Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting blog. You can see my rather short and to the point introduction at Greetings from Indiana. At the SIG blog we will be tracking information on blogs, wikis, and other words I will be posting much of the same information there that I post here with the addition of info on wikis which I have not tracked extensively on prolurker.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:06 PM | TrackBack

In possession of the elusive "A" parking tag

Yesterday I held my first official "A" parking tag, as I walked back to my car, as though it were made of some rare and fragile substance.  In truth it is...the substance is money.  Now in all fairness I knew they were expensive, but gezzz they hand you the annual figure for the beast and your eyes roll back in your head and well...I've been a grad student for a very long time and a farm girl for a life-time before that so cheap is a way of life to me.  But, at least for now, I'm going to enjoy the convenience of parking on both campuses.  Ok I know that "'A' .NE. automatic parking availability" but it sure is easier than with an "E" tag where "'E' .EQ. extremely inconvenient parking" at least in Bloomington. 

Of course my "C" from Bloomington did me no good in Indy last spring as staff in Indy get "B" tags...and as any 5 year old can tell you "B" comes before "C" in the alphabet of parking, so a "B" can park in a "C" spot but not the reverse.  Hierarchies my friends hierarchies.

So now I have a lovely pictorial "A" tag hanging from my review mirror.  An outward sign that, at least for now, I play at being faculty.  Add the cost of the tag to the actual costs of garnering a Ph.D. and you get...expensive, very expensive.  And that was before I went shopping for back to school clothes.  LOL  Still haven't found a handbag/sling that I like either.  *sigh* 

Posted by prolurkr at 07:29 AM | TrackBack

To list or not to be able to list

This is a test post to check out the availability of list codes in HTML. Seems we sorta lost then in the redesign and before I tell the designer "Thank you very much for your hard work" I want to make sure that everything is up and running correctly. I like lists. *S*


Posted by prolurkr at 07:01 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

Sifry - The A-list and mainstream media

Sifry's current run of daily blogosphere stats continues with today's contribution State of the Blogosphere August 2005 Part 5: The A-List and the Long Tail

I'm always struck when I see a list like this...I read so few of the A-list blogs.  In truth I find so few of them to be interesting on a regular basis.  *shrug*  One woman's opinion.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Attendance Policies - your input please

I am finalizing my syllabi for fall classes and I wanted to get a little general input from prolurker readers. If you are an instructor, what verbiage do you use for attendance policies? If you are a student, what realistic attendance policies have you had during your class work?

I'm struggling with this a bit so your input would be most appreciated. Thanks

Explanation will be forthcoming once we have a dialogue going.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fellowship perks

Today I am off to IUPUI to set-up the eReserves for my classes.  I have each request form, total of 30 to be exact, neatly filled out with the required information.  Though I do have to sit down and add my campus address so they can send the originals back to me...just got my office assigned yesterday.

Next it's across campus to get my photo for my ID, my JagTag, and then one more office so I can hold in my hand something more precious then gold...a faculty parking permit, or rather my own faculty parking permit. Come on we all know that the Ph.D. work is really just so we can get better parking on campus. LOL Well if I get my parking tag today, then tomorrow, when I'm on main campus, I don't have to park in Outer Mongolia, aka the stadium, and wait for the campus bus to get a ride into central campus.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:50 AM | TrackBack

BROG...ya baby

It appears to be branding day as both Elijah and Pete have posted a version of our cool BROG logo...we even have t-shirts. Are we are the cool kids on the block or what?  *strutts and giggles*

Posted by prolurkr at 07:34 AM | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

Sifry Part 4 - Spam and Fake Blogs

Todays post for Sifry, State of the Blogosphere August 2005 Part 4: Spam and Fake Blogs, has lots of detail so I recommend you read it on your own if any part of the following summary catches your eye.


* Along with the explosive growth in the blogosphere, there has also been a growth in spam blogs and fake blogs
* These blogs are almost always created by automated programs, not by people
* They are usually created with an economic incentive - to get better search engine rankings, or to create affiliate or advertising revenue
* Technorati has been working closely with major toolmakers, search engines, and hosting providers to quickly identify and stamp out spam and fake blogs
* The key to reducing blog spam is to eliminate economic incentives, and we are working with major advertising and affiliate programs to create roadblocks for spammers and creators of fake blogs
* Industry players including Amazon, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Drupal, Google, MSN, Six Apart, Technorati, Tucows, and Wordpress and others are getting together in the second half of September for the second Web 2.0 Spam Squashing Summit.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Senior Bloggers

PEW has a commentary on Senior Bloggers.

Pew Internet Project data suggests that bloggers over the age of 65 are quite rare. According to our January-March 2005 surveys, 27% of Americans age 65+ go online. Just 15% of these wired seniors (or just 4% of all seniors) have read a blog and only 2% of online seniors (or less than 1% of all seniors) say they have created a blog. By comparison, 66% of Americans age 18+ go online. One in four of all adult internet users say they have read a blog and 9% say they have created one.

What a difference a decade in age can make on internet use...and those decades accumulate pretty quickly.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:49 PM | TrackBack

New weblog audiences study

There is a new blog study from comScore Networks, Behaviors of the Blogosphere: Understanding the Scale, Composition and Activities of Weblog Audiences. Key findings from the study follow.

- 50 million U.S. Internet users visited blog sites in the first quarter of 2005. That is roughly 30% of all U.S. Internet users and 1 in 6 of the total U.S. population
- Five hosting services for blogs each had more than 5 million unique visitors in that period, and four individual blogs had more than 1 million visitors each
- Of 400 of the biggest blogs observed, segmented by seven (nonexclusive) categories, political blogs were the most popular, followed by "hipster" lifestyle blogs, tech blogs and blogs authored by women
- Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections
- Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online

Get a look at #3, women authored blogs as a separate...significantly less popular...category. Gezzzzzzz.  Wonder how "non-exclusive" their categories were if they seem to think that women don't write in all of the categories listed and many more they don't recognize.  At least, give this list, their category construction was not parallel...not even close.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:16 PM | TrackBack

CFP - The Wild, Wild Wiki: Unsettling the Frontiers of Cyberspace

 *The Wild, Wild Wiki: Unsettling the Frontiers of Cyberspace, *edited by Matt Barton and Robert Cummings

Wikis are without a doubt one of the most interesting and radical of the new writing media available to the wired society, yet they also one of the most misunderstood. Many of us know of them only by encounters with "that wacky website anybody in the world can edit," the (in)famous Wikipedia, that is showing up more and more in our students' works cited lists. For others, wikis represent the incarnation of the openness, decentralization, and collaboration dreamt of by the Internet's founders. For those of us in the computers and writing community, wikis represent a fertile field for rhetorical analysis and one of the richest opportunities for teaching writing in the classroom.

The time has come for an edited collection of essays on wikis entitled *The Wild, Wild Wiki: Unsettling the Frontiers of Cyberspace.* Editors Matt Barton and Robert Cummings would like to invite you to submit your thoughts for a volume on the theory, politics, future, and application of wikis for teachers of college composition (and beyond). These essays will be organized into the following three categories:

* Theory and Politics: 12-25 page essays that discuss wiki issues from theoretical perspectives. Such essays might examine how knowledge gets constructed and legitimated in wikis, or how wiki users negotiate authorship. Do wikis liberate or erase identities? What roles, if any, should copyright laws play in the regulation of wiki discourse? Why is that the most famous wiki happens to be encyclopedic; could other types of discourse flourish in wikis? How do wikis remediate other media, old or new? What can you do with a wiki that you can't do with any other media? Should we think of wikis as related to the open source phenomenon through Commons-Based? Peer Production and, if so, does this predict how and where wikis will expand? Do wikis fundamentally alter the practice of revision? The concept of collaboration?

* Applications: 8-12 page essays that examine how teachers can use wikis in the classroom. This includes assignments involving Wikipedia, but also creating new wikis specifically for classroom use. The essays here will look at practical applications as well as limitations and technological matters (How hard is it to install a wiki? What kind of support is needed? What are the differences among the many wiki servers now available? Can a classroom wiki achieve critical mass or low cost content integration? What are the ethical implications of asking students to write in a wiki where writers, other than their teachers, make editorial decisions about their text? Do contributions by student writers, as part of a class assignment, differ substantially from those offered freely by self-selecting wiki contributors?)

* Lore: 6-12 page narratives that describe teachers' experience using (or reacting) to wikis in their classrooms. How have you been using wikis in your writing or teaching? What went right and what went wrong? What would you do differently next time? How have you assessed writing in wikis?

We also plan to "eat our dogfood" during this project--in other words, we will be using wikis extensively to plan, draft, review, and revise the essays in our collection. All authors will share in the reviewing and editing process. We also hope to secure a publisher who will allow us to publish under a Creative Commons license rather than traditional, full-blown copyright. Our goal is to produce a volume of accessible and engaging works that will help secure wikis a prominent place in composition.

Tentative Timeline:

Abstracts: October 10, 2005
Abstract acceptances: October 17, 2005
Submissions Deadline: May 1, 2006

No simultaneous submissions. We also cannot accept previously published essays. Send your enquiries, queries, or abstracts to either of the co-editors:

Matt Barton
[email protected] [email protected]
(320) 308-3061 (phone)
(320) 308-5524 (fax)
Dept of English
720 Fourth Avenute South
St. Cloud, MN 56301-3061


Robert Cummings
[email protected] [email protected]
(706) 542-2103 (vox)
(706) 542-2128 (fax)
Dept of English
University of Georgia
254 Park Hall
Athens, Georgia 30602-6205

Posted by prolurkr at 12:48 PM | TrackBack

Amazing things you can get from Amazon

Amazing things you can get from Amazon

Ok in the past I have gotten some unusual books from unusual places via Amazon. I've received electronic books that were billed as hardbacks, excess library copies that were not listed as such, and autographed copies again that were not listed as such. I've received books from Korea, Japan, United Kingdom, and Australia - often without being clear on where the book would be coming from.  But today receipt is the weirdest so far.

I ordered a very inexpensive copy of Stoll, Clifford (1999). High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian. New York: Doubleday, I'm using a chapter in my Computer-Mediated Instruction class. It was supposed to be a hardback copy of the 1999 edition of the book I think it cost 0.99 which, of course, means I spent more in postage then in the cost of the book.

So what did I get? I got a copy of the hardback edition bound in a trade cover and marked "Bound Galley Not for Sale." What is a bound galley? That term is completely new to me, I thought all galleys were looseleaf. I found the following explanation on the Crane Duplicating site (link added)

Bound Galleys are the pre-publication version of an upcoming published book that are printed, perfect bound books. The covers of the bound galley are generally not the cover of the book to be published. The covers contain information useful to marketing the book to reviewers and book store distributors and buyers. Comments from these reviewers are frequently printed on the back of the production ("book store") version of the book printed after the review stage. A bound galley may contain hand written editorial marks. It may be missing photographs, illustrations, charts, and even text that will appear in the final finished edition.

Bound galleys are often not the same size the published book is going to be. The size of a bound galley is based on printing economics. Usually they are 5 3/8" x 8 3/8" and frequently are 6 x 9. Other sized bound galleys such as oblong bind or an odd sizes are available and used. Crane's/Bound Galleys are printed on specialty designed printing presses. The physical appearance of the bound galley is distinctive and reviewers know a bound galley from finished books.

Printed usually using paper plates on duplicator type printing equipment. Text papers are 50# white text stock print with black ink. Covers are 65# Color Cover stock printed with black ink perfect bound. Occasionally the covers are four color digitally printed laminated on 80# stock.

Run lengths are from 20 to 1000 or more copies. Bound galleys are also known as Crane's, Uncorrected Page Proofs, and/or Advance Reader Copies.

Well you learn something everyday. *S*

Totally Academic

Posted by prolurkr at 09:13 AM | TrackBack

Good list of things to think about before classes start

Phantom Professor has a great post with a Golden Rules List for the class of 2006.  Personally I think it applies to any college student since I've seen more then a few masters students do some of the less then attractive stuff on the list. 

Oh and a many of listed issues are or have professorial corollaries.  Check it out and send this to students in your life and take notes yourself.  I did.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:39 AM | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

Summer reading becomes Reference Manager notes

I've finished reading Mallon, Thomas (1984). A Book of One's Own: People and Their Diaries. New York: Ticknor & Fields. It is an excellent work that will be fueling my thinking on diary blogs from henceforth. I was afraid I was underlining far to many passage to actually enter into Reference Manager, but it does appear that I got the meat without the shell on this one. *S*  Once I have my notes distilled I will post some of them here...for detail you will either have to read the work yourself or wait for my diss.

One note I will share is that Mallon sees Chroniclers, those folks who record everything in minute detail, as folks who see all of life as interesting and worth it's not necessarily an obsession-with-self thing.  It is only when readers try to absorbe too much of the writing in a single dose that the chronicler's habit of recording everything becomes wearing:

Ye gods, you ask yourself, how many times can someone have breakfast? In fact, the diarist doesn't eat any more often that you do; it's just that recording it is his tic, and by reading so much of his book at once you've got to down a couple of hundred eggs in a sitting. Life, from this vantage, seems even more repetitive than it is (p. 11).

Next I am tackling Fothergill, Robert (1974). Private Chronicles: A Study of English Diaries. London: Oxford University Press. Fothergill is a much cited work in the diary literature and is a bit hard to find, at least to find a copy of one's own - my only other choice would have been interlibrary loan as IU does not own a copy. I got mine through Amazon used books, and had it shipped from Japan...if only books could talk.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Logged On but Disaffected? Young People, Citizenship and ICTs

A symposium to be held at Wentworth College, University of York, York, UK
26th -27th September 2005
Sponsored by Community Informatics Research & Applications (CIRA), University of Teesside, UK.
Department of Sociology, University of York

This two day symposium brings together a number of leading scholars, policy practitioners and activists who are involved in the study and adoption of ICTs as a means to facilitate the active engagement of young people in democratic governance. The symposium aims to address such questions as:
*        How can ICTs be best used to facilitate active participation by young people in democratic politics?
*        Can ICTs become a part of citizenship education curriculum?
*        What kinds of online interaction facilitate effective deliberation between young people?
*        What kinds of ICTs are most likely to engage the hard-to-reach groups of disaffected young people?
*        How can ICTs enable genuine respect and involvement of young people in national and local decision-making?
*        Do ICTs make participation more difficult?

There are a few places still available at the symposium for delegates.  For more information including registration and a copy of the programme, please go to

Posted by prolurkr at 09:40 AM | TrackBack

JCMC Double Issue

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the publication of a double special issue, available at:

Special Theme: Online Communities
Guest Editors: Jenny Preece and Diane Maloney-Krichmar

Special Theme: Computer-Mediated Collaborative Practices
Guest Editor, Caroline Haythorthwaite

Posted by prolurkr at 08:24 AM | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Hometown boy wins the Brickyard

Ok I've never met Tony Stewart, I seated his Dad at the diner more then a few times last fall when I was working there so that's my only connection.  Most of what I know about Tony is hearsay because - he's younger then I am, from the west side of town (a line you don't break around here, unless like me you could but don't want to), and went to Columbus North High School and I went to Columbus East.  My neighbor knows him pretty well from the go-kart tracks and speaks of him in fond terms. I just know that he can be a less the stellar example of how one should handle the public spot light one has chosen and I'm not always thrilled about that part of his reputation and his connection to my hometown.

But given all those disclaimers he is from the same general place as I, so I am happy that he won the Brickyard.  Of course everyone in the county knows how much he has wanted to win that hear it every year in the wind-up to race day. 

Wonder if the DQ will be giving out ice cream to celebrate.

General info to make any of this make sense.  The first couple of stories are gems.

Tony's return sparks frenzy
NASCAR's Stewart returns to his roots
Stewart longs for win at Brickyard
Tony Stewart Official Website

Posted by prolurkr at 05:44 PM | TrackBack

Authorship studies

Seems I have another field I play around on the edges of.  Check out Krista's post at Arete, What is authorship studies? for her working definition.

 My subfield, authorship studies, is a hybrid that falls in between several larger disciplinary and methodological schools. It studies the historical production of texts and texts themselves, but it is not book history, historicism, or textual criticism. It considers economic and political factors that influence the production of texts and the varied ways we conceive of the Author, but it is not economics, political science, or cultural criticism. It relies heavily on copyright law and legal theory related to textual ownership, but it is not legal criticism or pure law scholarship. It delves into reader response theory and collaborative process issues, but it is not psychology or sociology. It examines issues of responsibility and liability, but it is not ethics. Rather, it is the careful application of one or more of these factors as they relate to authorship to a specific textual site, whether it be Quintillian’s Institutio Oratoria, problems of student plagiarism, or networked texts such as Wikipedia. Practitioners generally specialize in one particular area of analysis. 

Posted by prolurkr at 12:56 PM | TrackBack

Technorati "knowledge management" listing

Apparently prolurker made the "knowledge management" search list on Technorati yesterday.  To the new readers who found the site because of that listing....hello.  And hello to anyone else who has joined us by other any means.

It's always weird to see the MyBlogLog stats climbing during the day but to have no idea why traffic has increased so significantly.  Sadly I can't get good real-time stats, most everything has to wait until the end of the day.  Something about how my ISP has it all set-up or so I'm told. 

In this case the increased visits seem to be because of the National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) Programme available online entry, specifically the paper Textual and Quantitative Analysis: Towards a new, e-mediated Social Science by K. Ahmad, L. Gillam, D. Cheng, Centre for Knowledge Management, Department of Computing, University of Surrey.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:14 AM | TrackBack

August 06, 2005

A good evening with hubby

Hubby and I started out our evening at a local church hog roast. Good food and great company. There are some folks that I have known since childhood that I only cross trails with once a year at the hog roast. We probably go as much for the greeting as for the food (vegetarians turn away now) - roast pork, roast chicken, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, green beans, cold slaw, fresh tomato's, and rolls, and tea or lemonade to drink.  Ice cream and cookies available for an additional charge.  We had strawberry ice cream in foam cups.

There is always lots of music as well.  A quartet was playing in the sanctuary as we waited for our number to come up for service.  There was a brass band outside entertaining folks on the lawn.  Hubby has tried to get a picture of these guys for several years now, every time we are too late.  Either we arrive too late, or we dally too long in the dining room visiting.  This year it was the later.  I have to work it out for next year that he gets his picture.

From dinner we wondered into town for a movie.  Must Love Dogs is a cute formulaic film which I completely enjoyed, what can I say I like John Cusack.  The idea is that two divorced folks meet through an online dating site. 

Ok so I'm an online researcher...and old CMC type.  There is a scene where Stockard Channing is explaining to Diane Lane that she can play with her identity online and that it's fun...which Diane then proceeds to do with her own profiles.  I laughed until I cried.  For some of us ubber-geeks it was Usenet in the 80's and early 90's, or chat in the mid to late 90's.  For the general population it is dating sites in the late 90's and 00's.  Been there done that...still can laugh about it. 

This flick is definitely joining the archive of CMC related films to be used as teaching illustrations.  Plus it's fun.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Top 10 Web fads from MSN

Earlier this week hubby sent me this great link to Top 10 Web fads. I am so sad to say that I remember almost all of them. Guess that is what comes from being "bleeding-edge" you get the good with the bad, or at least with the voluminous. LOL I even have a nominee for the 2005 entrant...NUMA NUMA. *does the "sumba beef" eye thing* You know I still can't watch this thing and keep from smiling.

Internet phenomena. Memes. Grist for the e-mail forwarding mill. Whatever you call them, Web fads are entertaining, unintended consequences of life on the World Wide Web. Once the masses could put anything online easily, they turned up weird fetishes, hilarious parody, jaw-dropping narcissism, and moments of brilliance. And over the past 10 years, some of these ideas broke through to the mainstream. Whether it was dancing hamsters, a kid enjoying his day as a Jedi Knight, or the sudden ability to publish your thoughts online with just a few simple clicks, the following 10 Web fads still make us laugh, make us wonder, or make us feel guilty enough to update our blogs.

Links are to the current sites unless otherwise noted.

Hampsterdance (1998) the original and still classic hampster dance is online as well as lots of "new" dances. A phenomena that won't die a natural death.

Mahir (1999) not much to say about this site except I could not, and still can't, decide if it was cultural differences, knowing self-parody, or something weirder that attracted all the attention.

All your Base are Belong to Us (1998 - 2001) video game text translation done with Babelfish...or something similar. More lame then funny.

Dancing Baby (1997). Ahh the dancing baby. This was everywhere in the teen chats. Poor kid danced to all sorts of tune and in every video was always just on the edge of losing that diaper. Potentially messy situation avoided through the clever use of cgi.

Hot or Not (2000) not sure I would class this one as a meme. Lord know the link did roll around the chats. Teens were rating each other like mad. They even put a few up that were supposed to be me, with accompanying negative ratings. LOL I may not win a beauty pageant but I NEVER have looked as bad as those pics do. As memory serves not a one of them was even a picture of a redhead.

Friendster (2003). Also not a meme in my definition of the term, though the site is well transmitted via CMC links.

Ellen Feiss (2002). I do remember the Apple Switcher commercial series but not this particular one, thought that might be appropriate since I wasn't online that much in 2002 - was busy caring for ill relatives who have since passed. I just watched the commercial and it made me smile so it gets my belated vote. Oh and I want to take a class from Fabiola Torres she looks like she is great fun in a classroom.

Star Wars Kid (2002). The link takes you to a site that requires you download the video to watch it. Not into that many security issues. I've never seen this one, still haven't.

Blogger (1999). The software that started the revolution. Yah Baby!

JibJab (2004). Ok it's a site...not a meme, more of a

I'm surprised that so many of their top 10 are sites rather then meme's. Yes they the sites garnered a lot of buzz but is it the same thing?  Take out the websites that function for larger purposes - Blogger, JibJab, Friendster, Hot or Not - and the top 10 is really the top 6. Something is wrong here...very wrong.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:45 AM | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

ASIST SIG Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting

The American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) has started a new "proto-special interest group" called ASIST SIG Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting.  The p-sig blog can be found at , RSS and Atom feeds available.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:32 PM | TrackBack

National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) Programme available online

The National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) Programme from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) is now available online.  Thanks for the pointer Howard.

Selected papers of interest are:

Confidentiality issues from the user perspective (SP)
S. Musgrave, D. O'Neill
Department of Health and Human Sciences, University of Essex

U. Kruschwitz
Department of Computer Science, University of Essex

 P D F document Presentation       P D F document Full Paper

Material culture and the shaping of e-science
C. Hine
Department of Sociology, University of Surrey

P D F document Full Paper


Panel session 1: Security, confidentiality and ethics in e-Research
Mark Elliott
National Centre for e-Social Science, University of Manchester

P D F document Presentation

Simon Musgrave
Department of Health and Human Sciences, University of Essex

P D F document Presentation

Richard Sinnott
National e-Science Centre, Edinburgh

P D F document Presentation

Marina Jirotka
Centre for Requirements & Foundations, Oxford University Computing Laboratory


Working with text logs: some early experiences of e-SS in the field
A. Crabtree
School of Computer Science & IT, University of Nottingham

M. Rouncefield
Computing Department, Lancaster University

P D F document Presentation       P D F document Full Paper


Textual and Quantitative Analysis: Towards a new, e-mediated Social Science
K. Ahmad, L. Gillam, D. Cheng
Centre for Knowledge Management, Department of Computing, University of Surrey

P D F document Presentation       P D F document Full Paper

Posted by prolurkr at 08:14 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Sustaining Community Workshop

Group 2005 Workshop on: "Sustaining Community: The role and design of incentive mechanisms in online systems"

At Group 05: International Conference on Supporting Group Work
6-9 November 2005, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA

What makes communities grow and prosper, or wither and die? In this workshop we'll explore this question by taking a close look at how incentive structures interact with short and long term viability.  We'll address questions such as "What motivates participants to contribute?" "What social and technical mechanisms support (or deter) contribution?" and "How and to what extent can designers design sustainable communities?"

We are interested in open source communities, community-managed discussion spaces like Slashdot, social network-based communities such as Orkut, open content communities like Wikipedia, group blogs, "real world" communities, and other similar environments.

Our hope is to attract participants from a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, computer science, economics, interaction design, psychology, sociology, and so on.

Our goal is to raise questions and begin answering them from the divers directions supplied by the approaches of the attendees. The workshop will be highly interactive with minimal presentation of the position papers.

See for a complete description and submission information

12 September - Position papers due
24 September - Accept/Reject decisions made
06 November  - Workshop

Note: The first two dates are provisional; and may change once the early registration deadline is announced.

Jason Ellis, Christine Halverson, Tom Erickson
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

- Full description and information on submission requirements see
- General information about the Group 2005 conference see
- To contact the organizers write to
    [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 07:30 PM | TrackBack

New stats on broadband use, blog readership, RSS use, etc.

Forrester Research has released their latest report, The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2005. They surveyed more than 68,000 U.S. households to gather information on how consumers adopt and use technology. Of course since this is a private research firm the report is propritary, but they do have the following available in a press release on their website.

Device, Broadband, And Home Network Adoption

- Twenty-nine percent of North American households connected to the Internet using broadband connections in 2004, up from 19 percent in 2003.

- Broadband access will more than double this decade, reaching 71 million US households in 2010. This growth will be spurred by providers like SBC and Comcast, which target tech pessimists with lower prices, better in-home support, and a clearer statement of benefits.

- Only 8.8 percent of US households have a home network today, dominated by households with multiple PCs and broadband access to the Internet. Benefits like surfing the Internet while watching TV, shopping in the kitchen, and listening to digital music in the living room will drive home networking adoption to 46.5 million households by 2010.

- Last year, MP3 player adoption more than doubled to 10.8 million of US households; 15 million US households bought digital cameras; and 8 million households purchased laptops.

Media Consumption And Online Behavior

- Today, only 6 percent of online consumers read blogs and 2 percent use RSS, while 70 percent of online consumers use the Internet to research products for purchase. Marketers should focus on identifying the early-adopting tech optimists who read blogs to tap effective viral marketing opportunities.

- Households with a laptop and home network watch three fewer hours of TV per week and read the paper an hour less per week than offline households do.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:44 PM | TrackBack

Blog stuff to add some advertising to your life

Cafe Press has an amazing selection of blogging stuff...tees, buttons, mugs, totes, etc. May have to find myself a top to wear on campus this fall.  This tote might be fun too...specially in a technology driven school.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

Blog Depression Pamphlet

For some unknown, at least to me, this has been a great day for humor online.

Check out a nonist public service pamphlet for the full text of this gem. I had a really good laugh over this one.

there is a growing epidemic in the cyberworld. a scourge which causes more suffering with each passing day. as blogging has exploded and, under the stewardship of the veterans, the form has matured more and more bloggers are finding themselves disillusioned, dissatisfied, taking long breaks, and in many cases simply closing up shop. this debilitating scourge ebbs and flows but there is hardly a blogger among us who has not felt it's dark touch. we're speaking, of course, about blog depression.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:52 PM | TrackBack

I Blog Stamp

Don't you think that grad student academic bloggers should buy a supply of these to use on our application packets? *w* Might as well get it all out there in the open. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 05:42 PM | TrackBack

The Word Meter

Jill aka jill/txt pointed me to an awesome tool for academic writers, The Word Meter.

This is a word meter that you can use in your projects or signature files, to give you and others an idea of how you are progressing with your work. Simply put in a current and expected total for your project, hit enter and we'll do the rest.
Current word count on my quals compared to the minimum requirement (which I will undoubtedly exceed before I am done writing.)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
24,485 / 30,000

Amended 8/5/05: I wish the gifs were connected so they appeared to be a solid bar as they do in the preview, rather then the broken graphic that appears here or in jill/txt.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:48 PM | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

Sifry on Tags

So I'm in the majority on the tagging issue.  Life is cool.  Of course it puts a crimp in my early adopter status but oh well, can't be first all the time.


- Growth has been tremendous in the last 6 months: Technorati has tracked over 25 Million tagged posts from January to July of 2005

- About 300,000 posts with tags were tracked each day at the end of July

- About a third of all blog postings use tags or categories

- People are tagging more than blog posts: Popular services include tagging photos and links (social bookmarks)

- About 12,000 unique tags are discovered each day

- Tagging is growing in languages outside of English as well, including high adoption rates in asian languages like Chinese and Japanese

Posted by prolurkr at 08:04 AM | TrackBack

Shortening individual blogroll categories

Darren at ProBlogger is doing 31 days of tips to improve your blog, and some of his readers are joining him by posting tips on their own blogs. Yesterday I grabbed one idea from all the reading, sorry I can't find the blog I got this from. 10 demerit points for me.

The suggestion was that link lists can become far to long and thereby unusable. The authors said that his goal was a maximum of seven entries under any heading. That works for me as my blogroll categories have long outgrown their usefulness under the weight of the list. So I will be making changes to the blogroll over the next week or so, as time permits. The list will probably look pretty junky until it is done.

Added 8/4/05:  Wow it's interesting to try to lump links into narrower "categories."  I'm sure not a cataloger by any means, and my hat is off to people who can visualize keyword connections on the fly.  I think I may go for 10 or less in a grouping for now until I get it worked out.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:21 AM | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

An animated London Tube Map

Found via Going Underground this map is way fun. Little multi-colored chicklets speeding around the system, the still photo doesn't do it justice. Kinda freaky when they "pass" each other. Check it out at tubez + trainz from Quick Maps.

Quick Maps has some other great animated maps of London as well. I like the map for the Notting Hill Carnival to be held 27-29 August. But then I just like Notting Hill. Check out The Notting Hill Carnival - a gallery of photographs for some great pictures from past Carnival's.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:12 AM | TrackBack

Sifry part two - post volume

In a follow up to yesterdays post on blog creation, Sifry has a deeper look at the blogosphere in his post State of the Blogosphere, August 2005, Part 2: Posting Volume.


- Technorati is tracking about 900,000 blog posts created every day
- That's about 10.4 blog posts per second, on average
- Median time from posting to inclusion in the Technorati index is under 5 minutes
- Significant increases in posting volume are due to increased mainstream use of easy hosted tools as well as simple posting interfaces like post-from-IM and moblogging tools
- Weekends tend to be slower posting days by about 5-10% of the weekly averages
- During the day, posting tends to peak between the hours of 7AM and noon Pacific time (10AM - 3PM Eastern time)
- Worldwide news events cause ripples through the blogosphere - not only in search volume, but also in posting volume

Posted by prolurkr at 06:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

Sifry says Technorati is tracking 80,000 new blogs per day

David Sifry has a great post on the growth of the blogosphere at State of the Blogosphere, August 2005, Part 1: Blog Growth. One of the things he says is that Technorati is tracking 80,000 new blogs each day, on average of course.

He comments:

Moblogging sites like Textamerica and Buzznet have also been growing as well, as more people are blogging from their camera-enabled mobile phones.
Both of these sites are visual blogging from a cell phone, both still and video. I'm wondering if the mobile audio blog has disappeared from English language sites? A few years ago there were several sites that would allow bloggers to call in and leave audio blog entries but I haven't found a single one of late. If anyone knows where an audioblog site, in English, is available please let me know.

I so wish we had good stats on how many of that 80,000 are first time bloggers and how many are new blogs from those that have had at least one previously. Of course I always want more stats, I need them for both my quant and qual work so there are just never enough.  Here is Sifry's statistical summary for his post.


- Technorati was tracking over 14.2 Million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links in July 2005

- The blogosphere continues to double about every 5.5 months

- A new blog is created about every second, there are over 80,000 created daily

- About 55% of all blogs are active, and that has remained a consistent statistic for at least a year

- About 13% of all blogs are updated at least weekly

Posted by prolurkr at 10:17 AM | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

New professional-lurker categories

I've added five new categories to better describe the information in this blog.  They are:  Community Service, some of the fun stuff, Conferences & Workshops...I've attended, Professional Development...learning as I go along, Professional Service...working with friends, and Research...making the world go around

I've thought a lot about the tagging issue and have decided to stay out of that fray for now.  You see from my perspective you as a reader do keyword searches to find the information you want to read, assuming you aren't regularly reading a specific site in which case neither keywords or tags matter.  You pick the keywords and, hopefully, narrow your search as you work through the sites you find in the outcome.  I can assign whatever tag I want to a post, but if it doesn't match your keyword then it does nothing to help you find the information I posted.  So I, in essence, I see tags as something that might help a blog author find information in their own blog.  Personally I too do keyword searches when I am looking for information so I see very little benefit to adding tags to my posts.  As usual I reserve the right to change my mind at a later date.

August 21, 2005: I've done away with the "Conferences & Workshops...I've attended" category because I decided it was duplicated in the new "Professional Development...learning as I go along" category.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:31 PM | TrackBack

Summer is getting away from me

Summer is totally getting away from me. I have to much to do and not enough time in which to do it.  1)  I have an abstract due today.  I have started writing but am completely unhappy with how it is going. 2)  I have two syllabi to complete and both  must be done this week. 3)  I have two nieces and a nephew who are waiting for me to schedule their "fun day" - each summer I take one of them out for the day and we do whatever they want to do, within reason of course. Fun days have to be completed before either they or I return to time is getting short. 4)  At some point I need to spend some time picking up my house...not a pretty site at the moment. I need a clone or at least a personal assistant. *sigh* Wonder if any of my lottery tickets hit this weekend?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:20 AM | TrackBack

Just in time for back to school

This morning jkOnTheRun as a great discusson about gadget bags for those of us that transport far to many electronic devices with us when we roam. His recommendation is a Booq bag. If you want a backpack you pack on your back, it will be hard to beat a Booq - I've owned one for a couple of years now.

Booq's are well made and have a well thought out design. I've carried mine to conferences around the US and Europe. People often stop me to ask about the bag and I rave - in a good way. Mine is most similar to their BP3 model that it still available.

On a daily basis I use a rolling backpack, have never packed it on my back nor do I ever intend to do so, from eBags. It is heavy...way to heavy, and it doesn't have lots of storage area...though it does have an amazing amount of padding which is what I wanted in a laptop case.

Though I might consider their Boa.XS bag as a handbag replacement. I have not been that pleased with my Ameribag New Yorker as I would have liked. It is very resistent to overstuffing...and what academic doesn't end up overstuffing their bags with books, and notes, and electronics, etc?

Posted by prolurkr at 08:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Ahhh I think this is a joke? Ahhh but then again...who knows. Check out the video's and testimonials. Pretty amusing for a Monday morning. Check out the AutoBlogger site.

Ten Top Reasons to Switch

1. Autoblogger. It works, so you don't have to.

Consider how much time you spend on each entry, painstakingly crafting columns complete with appropriate links, accompanying photos, etc. Just think - now clever and witty updates are just a click away!

2. Blogging hot chicks, or bagging hot chicks?

There are only 24 hours in a day. You decide.

3. Frees up your hands for more, ah, "important" things.


4. No compromise between your hit count and your rating.

Why force yourself to play favorites? AutoBlogger is the ultimate tool for egalitarian time management on the web.

5. More time to go out on dates.

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAAAA. Yeah, right. Moving on...

6. Add your voice to the futile protest against George Bush.

Because you know, if you whinge about him enough just maybe he'll cease to exist from the sheer force of your will. Can't hurt to try, right? Not that you lot need to be encouraged. AutoBlogger will quickly and efficiently put together your political profile and post accordingly; bashing those right-wing soulless fascists or those tree-hugging communist potheads depending on your own personal leanings.

7. Take a vacation.

Hop on a plane and jet off to one of those exclusive resorts that now charge money not to come equipped with 'net access and phone lines. Take a break and get away! Not that you really work anyhow since you spend all your time online, but whatever.

8. #2 and #5 failing, at the very least you'll have more nightly pr0n time.


9. Publish academic papers that you never would have been able to write on your own!

One of the benefits of being able to pick which entries AutoBlogger culls for information is that you can choose a sampling of posts which make you sound much more interesting, innovative, and clever than you actually are. In the interest of preserving what AutoBlogger perceives to be such brilliant insight on your part, it utilizes a function much like The Postmodernism Generator to make you sound deep and intellectual.

10. More time to dream up stupid internet pranks.

Because we all know your main goal in life is to attract the attention of the blogosphere in a pathetic attempt to be /.'ed.

You have a life. AutoBlogger helps you live it.™

Posted by prolurkr at 07:48 AM | TrackBack

Talk Digger

This morning's reading brought me a new online tool. Talk Digger is a meta-search site that takes your keyword or url entries and crawls through a series of blog related sites to put together individual search results. Of course it has it's own bookmarklet which I had to add to my growing collection. I plugged in this blogs url and was surprised at all of the links I found, many of which were new to me. It appears to be a cool tool.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:30 AM | TrackBack