Professional-Lurker blog was listed as the Feedster Feed of the Day on November 13, 2005.
Professional-Lurker blog was the recipient of Best Research Based Blog High Esteem ranking in the 2004 EduBlog Awards.
The blogger is co-author of the 2004 EduBlog Awards winning paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.
Joseph Fire Crow
Folk Alley: Folk Music, Traditional Music, Celtic Music, and World Music an online radio station
particularly the NPR channels.
Prolurkr's last.fm Recent Tracks
... Internetwork Ecology ...
Dover Electronic Clip Art Series (CD-ROM)
HTTrack Website Copier
Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count
Visited States (United States)
Web Frequency Indexer
The Word Meter
See Prolurker's Personal List at MyProgs
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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September 30, 2005
The Lego Tech Queen
I really enjoyed it...now I know where Reavers come from. *shivers* Hubby, who doesn't know all the backstory from the episodes liked it too and says he would recommend it as well.
I'm not telling you any more than that...just go see it. Get up and go...now...scoot...move. LOL
Fall is falling into my frame
It's been chilly here today, high of 72 F and low of 45 F. Of course my house has not warmed up appreciably from last evenings chill. Fall is definitely here. The leaves will be turning in 10 days or so.
I'm sitting here writing this wearing jeans and a long sleeved sweater with a scarf, one of those partially knitted scarves that are popular. You know the kind where the mixed yarns and ribbons are held together with an inch of knitting for every six inches of open work. My frugal country girl ways are in direct conflict with the concept of paying money for holes. Oh well...my occasional dip into fashion.
Well none the less it is getting colder. I am so jealous of Anya and her world of spring blooms in AU, the picture is from her Flickr feed. I wonder if it is possible to work some sort of wild cross university appointment so I can always have warm weather, you know spring and summer in Indiana and spring and summer in Australia or New Zealand. Yeah I know it won't work but a girl has to have dreams and warm weather dreams are way better then my upcoming reality of tights and long undies. *sigh* I hate winter.
CFP: The Theory and Practice of Life Writing: Auto/biography, Memoir and Travel Writing in Post/modern Literature
CFP: The Theory and Practice of Life Writing: Auto/biography, Memoir and Travel Writing in Post/modern Literature (Turkey) (2/20/06; 4/19/06-4/21/06)
We are inviting 20-minute papers for a symposium to be held by Halic University in Istanbul, Turkey, 19-21
April 2006 on the subject of the modern self in and as writing.
What does it mean to transform the self – or oneself – into writing in a modern or postmodern world? This symposium will focus on the theory and practice of auto/biographical writing from the end of the 19th century until today, and on its many genres and sub-genres; from memoirs to family histories to travelogues. Along the way, some of the following questions may be addressed: How do auto/biographies reflect cultural differences? What are the strategies employed by authors to turn their lives into narrative? Is there an ethics of auto/biography? Is all writing in some sense autobiographical?
Additional sub-genres and topics may include:
-Auto/biography and gender studies
-The (in)significance of the body in auto/biographies
-Concepts of nationhood and history in auto/biography, memoirs and travelogues
-Creation of cultural and/or collective memory through life writing
-Film as auto/biography
-Use of photograph and other media in auto/biography
-Exile and diaspora
-Auto/biography and psychoanalytic theory
Selected contributors will be invited to expand their papers into essays to be published in a collection.
More information / abstract submission (one-page abstract of your paper and a brief curriculum vitae by
20 February 2006): halic2006_at_yahoo.com
Shelob is available for your research pleasure
Shelob is a F/OSS system for collecting, analyzing, and sharing blog data that is driven by a number of Perl scripts and a PostgreSQL database. It will go beta at my AoIR presentation on October 7, 2005.
I've seen a couple of test runs on he program and the output is impressive. If you are interested in blog link analysis I suggest you give the site a look see.
Dealing with the university's course software beta release
Just got off the phone with a very nice and polite tech guy who explained to me that what I needed the courseware software to do is unavailable. Now what I want the software to do is pretty simple and straightforward, and should be available in a "Beta" release but isn't in this pre-Beta Beta release.
The tech gay said "It's a special feature that the software doesn't perform that action at this time." SOOOO in other words it's now a special feature that the software sucks. I complemented the tech on both his professionalism and his ability to keep his sense of humor, he was working hard not to laugh along with me at what was said. Sorry this one was just to funny not to share.
Remember this line the next time you need to get out of a sticky situation, "It's a special feature..."
Lotus Fest 2005
Last Saturday night, Sept 24, hubby and I caught up with each other in Bloomington and attended the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. If you love world music than Lotus Fest is the place to visit. We heard three groups, all outstanding.
- Creole Cowboys: Cajun and Zydeco music from southern Louisiana. Dance baby just get up and dance! What can I say hubby and I both love Cajun and Zydeco and the Creole Cowboys were outstanding.
- Samarabalouf (site in French only): Samarabalouf are French performers of Gypsy Jazz. If you like Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt then this group is for you. Hubby said he could have listened to them all night. I enjoyed the performance but would have loved it had it been in a different venue. We were at the Bluebird Nightclub where people were packed in standing cheek to jowl, not my kinda thing. I do wish we had had the personal steam to stay, remember we had an hour plus to drive home in two cars, and see them again at First Presbyterian Church for the late show (10:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.) I think I would have enjoyed the group much more with a set where I could see.
- Rachel Davis & Jake Armerding: Well what can I say, I'm a confirmed folkee as anyone who has read much of this blog already knows. Any chance I get to see live folk music is a little slice of heaven to me. In this case it was definitely heavenly to hear Rachel Davis' incredible voice ringing through the First United Methodist Church. If you get a chance to hear Rachel I really recommend it. Her album Minor League Deities is available online.
Announcing "Teen Works 2005: Young People and the Internet"
WISE KIDS and IT Wales are co-organising a one day conference entitled, "Teen Works 2005: Young People and the Internet", on the 15th of November 2005. The conference will be held at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, and is one of the events held as part of ict forum wales 2005.
The conference aims to explore young people's awareness and use of the Internet and mobile phones, and look at current and upcoming trends in this area. It also aims to look at current research and guidelines in this area, and provide relevant examples and strategies that young people and adults can use to take advantage of the Internet and mobile phone technologies, whilst ensuring their personal safety. Through the specialist seminars in the afternoon, topics like child protection issues and moderating online communities will also be covered.
The speakers for the event will include Rhian Davies, Assistant Children's Commissioner for Wales, Josh Dhaliwal, Director of Mobile Youth, Angus Cormie, Director of The Digital Business, Bill Westhead from the Cyberspace Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire and Tamara Littleton, CEO of eModeration. Young people will also be invited to attend and participate in the event.
For more details and registration, please visit:
Also, please feel free to circulate this notice to any of your colleagues who may be interested to attend.
September 29, 2005
Prolurker as an "evil" site
I picked up this meme from One Bright Star (1B*), make of it what you will. In truth the site's discussion - see belows - is kind of interesting though the whole thing is pretty scary. Very weird that 1B* is much less evil than I am. Humm does goodness come along with the tenure-track position?
The Gematriculator is a service that uses the infallible methods of Gematria developed by Mr. Ivan Panin to determine how good or evil a web site or a text passage is.
Basically, Gematria is searching for different patterns through the text, such as the amount of words beginning with a vowel. If the amount of these matches is divisible by a certain number, such as 7 (which is said to be God's number), there is an incontestable argument that the Spirit of God is ever present in the text. Another important aspect in gematria are the numerical values of letters: A=1, B=2 ... I=9, J=10, K=20 and so on. The Gematriculator uses Finnish alphabet, in which Y is a vowel.
Experts consider the mathematical patterns in the text of the Holy Bible as God's watermark of authenticity. Thus, the Gematriculator provides only results that are absolutely correct.
Ethnography Division of the National Communciation Association
In writing a rely to Joseph Reagle's post Writing Ethnography with it's trackback to Prolurker, I realized I had not posted a plug for the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association's Pre-Conference next month. I don't actually know if they have openings at this point. NCA is so huge I would bet their pre-conferences fill very quickly. Mostly I just want to bring the Division to your attention so you can watch for future offerings.
I attended the Pre-Conference in Chicago last year where the topic was Taking Fieldnotes. I found it immensely helpful and a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to this years pre-conference and hope to bring home some new techniques that I can apply to my online work. Here is the blurb from the conference website.
*PC 03: Historical Ethnography: Bringing Cultures from the Past into the Present through Archival Resources*
The role of ethnographers is to shed light on cultural phenomenon. Communication scholars who study culture from an interpretive perspective focus on communication related problems (e.g., the silencing of marginalized groups, the communicative ways that a culture passes on its traditions in order to survive) or highlight communication related methodologies (e.g., the exploration of stories, talk, speeches, conversation, or metaphorical constructions of a phenomenon).
Both theoretical and methodological endeavors are important to contemporary ethnography as well as to historical ethnography. Historical ethnography uncovers the cultural phenomenon of past (as opposed to the contemporary) cultures. Theoretically, historical ethnographers see the past to expose the present (e.g., How women were socially constructed in the 1800s through religious stories or popular magazine articles of the time which may have left a lasting impression on the women of today. How did antebellum newspaper editors discuss race within their editorial pages?). Methodologically, historical ethnographers rely on artifacts from the past (e.g., journals, diaries, census data, and/or other archival documents) to bring the past into the present.
This work shop is intended to introduce ethnographers to historical ethnography in four ways. First, an archivist will discuss the value of historical documents. Second, five researchers who conduct historical ethnographies will present their work. Third, the participants will see the past through participation in a walk down The Freedom Trail in Boston. Fourth, the participants will engage in guided exercises to help them understand historical documents and the piecing together of those documents in order to give expression to cultures of the past.
Christopher Pehrson, Written By Hand Manuscript Americana Yale
Nick Trujillo, California State University, Sacramento
Harold Goodall, Arizona State University
Robert Krizek, Saint Louis University
Sarah De la Garza, Arizona State University
Robin Clair, Purdue University
Marking things off the future planning list
Off the list are:
- International Communication Association (pdf of cfp). They require full papers and have a November 1 submission deadline, no way I can make it this year. I will, of course, review for them when that time rolls around. If money is good I might even attend, next year's conference is in Dresden which would be a great though expensive trip.
- WWW Conference...also a November 1 submission deadline. We had talked about submitting something from BROG but I'm betting that is off the table at this point.
- The Pragmatics of Computer-Mediated Communication, edited volume also a November 1 deadline for proposals/papers with a March 6, 2006 deadline for final submission. I so want to have something in this volume but I just can't get anything new together in time.
So what is left on the list?
- Computational Approaches to Analysing Weblogs (CAAW-2006). Position statements are due October 7, 2005. I'm hoping to have time to pull something together for submission but this is the last thing on the to-do list for the next 5 days. It just may not get done.
- SWTexas Popular Culture Assoc./American Culture Association
- Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative Area. Abstracts are due November 15, 2005. Of the two tracks this is the one I would most like to present in, as it would be a first for me to present at SWTexas outside the Computer Culture Area.
- Computer Culture Area. Abstracts are also due November 15, 2005. I attended this conference in 2004 and enjoyed it, so I want to go back if I can.
- International Conference on Television, Video, New Media, Audio and Feminism: Console-ing Passions is another fun conference I attended in 2004. Abstracts are due in the middle of December, the actual CFP isn't out yet but there has been a general announcement.
Everything left on the list is up for grabs as well. It's way to easy for me to get sidetracked since I enjoy research and teaching so much and really don't enjoy writing literature reviews. What I have been doing is trying to reward myself with research, ok so I'm a crazy nerd here, as I progress with my writing my quals. I do so wish I could just publish and count that as quals instead.
Dine for America
October 5th is Dine for America, a fund raising event to benefit the Red Cross. For those of us that are going to AoIR in Chicago I suggest we find a restaurant on the list for dinner that evening and make it a huge internet-geek event. Let's make the restaurant one of the ones that are giving part of their profit to the event, rather than one that is collecting from patrons. Anyone who knows the area well could give a suggestion, here is the Chicago list of participating restaurants.
So I have a job to do, in between my regular job, I and my tech councilors get to try and figure out how to accommodate the growth of the blog in the most efficient way possible. If you have suggestions to minimize bandwidth usage without making major changes to the look or content of the site I am always happy to listen. Readers of this site collectively have far more knowledge on the subject than I do.
Things I have done in the last month:
- Blocked all crawlers from most of the site with the exception of the main page and the archives. Of course this only stops crawlers that actually look where they are allowed to go, the unethical ones will just go and so this will have no effect.
- Optimized photos before posting or use thumbnails in postings.
Things I'm thinking about doing (if I knew how):
- Tyeing my .htaccess file into a blacklisting service or my old MTBlacklist text file, to try to keep spammers out. At minimum I would like to block numerical urls that don't resolve.
- Zipping archives to make them smaller files.
- Further reducing the number of posts on the front page. We went from 15 days to 15 posts in the last upgrade. I've thought of reduing it to 10 but I wonder if that is too short.
Your input is welcome.
September 27, 2005
Ok so I'm lying, but hey as of this evening I'm only a week behind, and last week's lab was not in narrative so it should be easier to score. This is a major improvement.
Now I just need to pull together spreadsheets for the BROG presentation, write an conference paper for NCA, put together my presentation for AoIR, write a position paper for CAAW-2006, and send a blue-bazillion time-sensitive emails, oh and finish grading last week's lab assignments - all before we leave on Tuesday. *sick manical laugh* Don't tell me I'm screwed. *covering her eyes and ears* I live in a computer generated fantasy world where anything is possible. *humming loudly*
I wonder if there is a theme song for the "Little Train that Could." That would be a motivational ring tone because "If I Only Had A Brain," my usual ring-tone, is feeling way too accurate at the moment.
New books - one for work and one for fun
Today's mail brought two new books from Amazon, one for work and one for fun. Ok so I think my work is fun too but in this case I mean "fun" as in almost no redeeming purpose but a good enjoyable read...something I don't seem to do much anymore. First I have Van Maanen, John (1988). Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago. I have seen many references to this little, and inexpensive, book and decided it was time to read it. Sadly it will have to wait a bit but since it is a small book I can see it becoming my "in the handbag" reading.
The second book, the for the love of reading book, is Gabaldon, Diana (2005). A Breath of Snow and Ashes. New York: Delacorte Press. Gabaldon is a wonderful writer, she is living proof that one can complete a dissertation and still be able to writing interesting prose. This is the fifth book in this series, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. I have read the other four books several times each and even keep abridged versions on my iPod for listening while I travel. Nothing like someone reading you a good book to help you fall asleep anywhere, on a plane or a train or an unfamiliar hotel. I'm sure that this book will end up on the iPod as well. In short Gabaldon is an inspired writer, if you haven't sampled her work I suggest you checkout or order a copy of Outlander immediately.
September 26, 2005
CFP - E-Learning Journal
Special Edition of E-Learning Journal
University of Sydney
Theme of the Issue: Digital Inter-Faces
The focus of this special edition of E-Learning is ‘Digital Inter-Faces’. The articles in the edition will examine the issue of identity in and around digital contexts. As our lives become increasingly more technologically inclusive, we face new opportunities to e-xplore, e-xamine, e-xtend, e-xperiment, and e-volve. Technology is changing the ways we think about the world and the ways we position ourselves in the world. Our involvement in and around digital contexts has opened up a place for living within a multiplicity of identities and through this, we can act out our fantasies, become the Other of our desire, and just as importantly, in the words of Eowyn, a 15 year old girl, “It's not becoming your own hero that's the point-- it's allowing what's inside of you to show
And yet online our selves can be conveniently edited, we can be kinder and funnier and more intelligent. In the same series of posts about her online life, Eowyn told me, “The person I show to others online is outgoing, different, and not afraid to be herself”, and Shadow, a 14 year old boy, revealed, “I am sort of a persona, me but minus the things I don’t like about myself”. Other children revealed to me that rather than edited selves, they become fused selves with their online role-playing characters. The faces shown to others online may be masks of other personae or characters, yet underneath are intimately fused with the self.
What are the consequences and implications of these new faces? The faces of our cyborg self, our edited self, our hybrid self, our fused and blended self into another character, and the Other of our desire. What can we actually learn in this masquerading of fragmentedness that has become a hallmark of post-modern identity? In this issue of E-Learning, our contributors discuss aspects of these issues, drawing from a range of theoretical, sociological and political perspectives. Thoughts about gender, race, youth, politics, power, trust, and authenticity are critically discussed with respect to the many faces and inter-faces of the digital world.
Submission Deadline: January 18th, 2006
Submit to: Angela Thomas, email@example.com
Information about the journal and papers: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/elea/?.
CFP - Academic Session: "A Tremendous Shattering of Tradition": Reconsidering Walter Benjamin's 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'
CFP: Academic Session: "A Tremendous Shattering of Tradition": Reconsidering Walter Benjamin's 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'
(AAH Annual Conference, University of Leeds, UK, 4/6/2006 - 4/8/2006)
Session convenors: Patricia Allmer, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish North Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M15 6BG, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Sears, Manchester Metropolitan University (Cheshire),
Interdisciplinary Studies, Crewe Green Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 5DU,
This session will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of Walter Benjamin's seminal essay 'Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit', translated into English by Harry Zohn in 1968 (year of revolutionary discontent) as 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'.
In 1936 the essay offered a challenge not only to Fascist appropriations of art, but also to conventional Marxist aesthetics as well as to phenomenological theorisations of art - witness its problematic reception by Adorno and others, its expressed discontent with what it sees as depoliticised modes of aesthetic engagement, and its analysis of "a world without aura" (Rodolphe GaschE9). These challenges are repeated in different ways in the essay's influence on the turbulent intellectual scene of the late 1960s. It has contributed significantly to the development of both Marxist and postmodernist theorisations of culture, as well as to the ongoing art-historical reassessment of the art work and its roles in contemporary media-dominated societies. In short, Benjamin's essay constitutes a major, if continually contested, contribution to debates about modernism and postmodernism that retain their currency in the age of digital reproduction, "a period when politics as spectacle has become a commonplace in our televisual world", as Susan Buck-Morss argues.
The essay's perennial appeal to discontented Marxist and other modes of reading modern and postmodern art may constitute one line of enquiry. Papers are also sought that will explore the essay's continuing significance for contemporary theories, practices and histories of art. The essay has exerted a profound influence on the work of key theorists (eg October) and practitioners (Warhol, Burgin, Sherman); papers may wish to explore or assess aspects or examples of this influence. Other topics might include Benjamin's notions of the aura of the art work, of originality, of reproduction; changes in the significance for art history of mechanical and other forms of reproduction; the implications and consequences of accommodating photography and film (Benjamin's exemplary modern media) within the configurations of art historical practice, and the essay's contribution to current debates about inter- and trans-disciplinarity (the 'contents' of the discipline of art history); the essay-form itself as exemplifying politicised, interventionist aesthetic practices of modernist and postmodernist malcontents; the essay itself considered as a work of art, enacting its own arguments in fragmentary, inconsistent forms; and considerations of the various publication contexts and initial critical receptions of and
responses to Benjamin's essay.
Papers are invited that address these and other topics in relation to reconsiderations of Benjamin's essay.
Details for Submission of Proposals:
Papers must not exceed 30 minutes. Please email a 200 word abstract to the session convenors before the 11th November 2005. Include the title of your paper, your full name and contact details and institutional affiliation (if applicable).
Please note that the call for papers for all the conference sessions has been published in the June edition of the AAH Bulletin and at the AAH website: www.aah.org.uk
PubSub joins the crowd with its own blog ranking tool
PubSub my current favorite blog research tool, well it and the background scripts that make it useful to me, has announced the release of their own page ranking system. Doubt prolurker made the list, but that won't stop me from checking. *S*
PubSub.com, the essential prospective search tool for tracking what people are saying about the topics they care about, today announced the formal release of PubSub LinkRanks, the Blogosphere's most comprehensive tool for tracking the popularity and influence of blogs and websites. This unique service provides detailed data that bloggers and feed publishers can use to actively monitor the results of their publishing efforts, and gain insight into how to improve their future rank and influence.
PubSub LinkRanks measures the strength, persistence, and vitality of links appearing in the more than 16 million web feeds monitored by PubSub. PubSub has also made available the PubSub LinkRanks 1000, a list of the most consistently influential sites that publish feeds, based on their average LinkRank scores during the past 30 days.
There are some very useful statistics on their results page. Check out prolurker's page for an example, the link is also on the right side-bar under RSS feeds.
Welcome to UBC students
Welcome to students in Mary Bryson's Graduate Seminar Diversity, Difference, and the “Digital Divide”: Media and the Possibilities for Democratic Public Pedagogies at the University of British Columbia.
Prolurker is listed as a site to visit on their class calendar.
Two very useful reference books
Today I have had reason to pull two of my favorite reference volumes for projects I have in process. After working with both, I decided I would introduce, or reintroduce them, to you. First is - Schechner, Richard (ed.) (2002), Performance Studies: An Introduction. London: Routledge.
This is quite honestly a book that constantly surprises me. With each new project, where performativity is an issue, I pull out Schechner and do a quick review. But my reviews never end up being quick and I consistantly find mention of references, theories, and ideas that are new to me and usually akin to the project or my current thinking on an issue. For example today I was beginning a quick review before I start writing my NCA paper - The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor. (Look for a post with a link to the paper after I have it written.) But of course as I am reading the section on performativity I am drawn to comments on Walter Benjamin which ties into a paper I currently have in the To Be Revised and Submitted file which draws heavily on Benjamin. The paper was written roughly a year ago so, of course, it has been perking in the back of my brain. So while reading I was drawn to Schechner's section on Baudrillard, which lead to a list of notes for further reading in Simulacra and Simulation. The wheels just keep turning.
One of my big projects today was to get a good sized bite out of grading. I have this goal to be completely caught up, which includes this weeks lab assignments, by the end of the week. In written work, which is not all of our lab work to be sure, I count off one point for each misspelling and grammatical error I find. When I am reading the students papers I keep my copy of Lunsford, Andrea A. (2001). The Everyday Writer. (2nd ed.) Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's close at hand so I can double check myself and try to use the proper terminology when I explain why points were lost for an error. This handbook is one of the best I have ever seen in that it explains problems in plain english so that non-grammarians like me can understand. If you haven't updated your english references in sometime I strongly recommend you find a copy of this handy little book. Oh there is a new edition out but as far as I can see the only difference is in which versions of the style guides they are referencing.
September 25, 2005
More on click throughs as group conversationChristina's LIS Rant, left the following comment to my post 2005 SLIS Doctoral Student Research Forum, and I think it needs more than just a comment in response.
Hmm... very interesting... looking forward to the journal article. Also interesting that you're looking at click throughs from the links and not comments or trackbacks as evidence of conversations.
Others, including BROG have taken a look at comments and trackbacks as fairly straight forward indications of conversation. We are currently working on a presentation for the upcoming AoIR Internet Research 6.0: Generations Conference in Chicago on the topic. Our presentation is entitled Conversation and Connectivity in the Blogosphere (abstract in word document download) our presentation will be on October 7th at 3:30 p.m., if you are coming to AoIR attend the presentation and say hi after.
In looking at click throughs as conversation there are a couple of assumptions that must be accepted. First you have to buy the idea that the creation of a link between two online entities creates a conversation. Now in truth I keep debating this point with myself. I'm very clear that the creation of the link acts as a conversational opening, in which the link creator invites the linked site (person behind the site?) into conversation with them, but does it by itself create conversation? And who is that opening aimed at - the webpage being linked and the reader of the original site, or just the linked site, or is it just to the reader?
If you buy into the first assumption, then the second is that the creation of the link activates a perpetual conversation so that anyone discovering the link at any point in the future could see that conversation had, is?, taking place. This of course is problematic as well since the life expectancy of online material is fairly short.
But given both of these assumptions then the reader, as a potential third-party to the conversation, has the option of activating a link and becoming part of the conversation. Though, given the two assumptions, their entrance into the perpetual conversation is much more ephemeral since there are no "permanent" traces left, without the use of third-party software, that they activated said link unless they take up the conversation in comments and trackbacks.
Hummm reading this I think that there might be two papers here, an essay on inter-site conversation and the content analysis of link activation from Professional-Lurker. Cool, I love getting more for my research buck.
September 24, 2005
Everything old is new again
Textologies pointed me to the smh.au.com article Digital Dark Age. This is a good companion piece to Stacy Kowalczyk's presentation earlier this afternoon entitled Digital Preservation Cross Discipline Survey. (abstract download).
From the article:
"It all seems very attractive - scanning documents, taking pictures, putting them into the computer for safekeeping, allowing us to throw away hard copies and to save space." Indeed, it is the most dramatic record-keeping revolution since the invention of printing.
"But what happens some time later," asks Connell, "when we discover that we no longer have the machines, the programs - the hardware, the software - the know-how, to access all that computer-based, digital material?"
Well I do think there is a problem that needs a solution but it is clear to me that whoever comes up with technological means to reformat digital documents, etc. into new formats will make a lot of money. Soooo I expect someone, or someones, will figure it out and make a bundle. You can call this the technological fix interpretation.
Are undergrads more studious now?
When I did my first master's at IUPUI, I would often come to Bloomington to study at the main library on Saturday or Sunday. Back then the place I am sitting, as I type this, was called the "Undergrad Tower" of the Main Library. Now it is the Information Commons. Then is actually held books. Now it holds hundreds of computer workstations and many spaces where laptops can be connected while students study singly or in groups.
Back then it was not unusual for me to close down this side of the library at 5 or 6 p.m. or so. I can picture myself sitting at a little square table next to a window and noting that I was the only person, besides the library assistants, on the main floor of this tower.
Now every time I come here I am amazed at how many people are here studying. I'm sitting in an informal gathering area...comfy chairs, small tables for four, and sofas. At present there are two empty overstuffed chairs and the two four-square tables are empty. Other wise ten people are here working in groups of two or alone. Most with computers but some are reading and one is napping. The amazing part of this is the time...it is 5:56 p.m. on a Saturday night.
Now I was never a severely studious undergrad even in the best of times, if they had told me how much fun grad school is I would have skipped undergrad and jumped in to grad school directly. Plus back in my theatre days we would be setting up by now for our 7:00 p.m. show, call was always at least an hour before the curtains opened and I was usually early. But come on, studying at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night? If you did that back in the bad old days someone would have said you were either a total nerd (remember this is before it was cool to be a nerd or a geek) or you would just be labeled as weird.
Are undergrads more studious then we were or is my memory just faulty?
Note: Since I started working on this post two girls who were working together on a project have packed up and left the library. And now there are eight in the area at 6:05 p.m.
Oh no, another one is leaving...and now there are seven at 6:07 p.m. Hummmm
2005 SLIS Doctoral Student Research Forum
Today is the annual SLIS Doctoral Forum, a time for interested faculty to checkout the reseach of the departments doctoral students. I have a poster - Creating Conversation by Pressing a Link: Which Invitations Do Third-parties Accept? (abstract download) - presenting preliminary research, the full study will make its way toward a journal or proceeding sometime next year. You can check out the full schedule online.
September 23, 2005
Time travel exists
The Bloglines plumber is a really helpful guy. Somewhere in his tool kit, which must be just outside the picture, is a time travel devise. You know that thing that lets him take the site down on September 23, 2005 and promise to have it back up by September 9, 2005. Pretty cool trick if you ask me.
But then all the expenditures on time travel devises may explain why the site has been so amazingly unstable of late. Maybe they should focus on core-business and get the site working right before they concentrate on advancing physics.
Update: On dear the poor plumber must not have been able to make his time travel trip...because now the site says it will be back up by "6:00pm Pacific Time, Friday Sept 23, 2005."
Update to the update: Interesting, the plumber must have found himself a new time travel process because the graphic has switched back to the September 9the date. Now I understand why I keep seeing old posts, that have not been updated, shown as new ones on Bloglines...it's their subversive double-time-travel whammy.
What only 100 pages of grading to go?
I have fallen into grading hell, by my current count I am two weeks behind. *sigh* I knew this semester would be taxing what with weekly lab assignments and almost 50 students, but I had no idea. I've now learned that a 3 page double-spaced paper for each of them is hours and hours of grading for me. How do you balance it? How do you give good solid learning experience assignments on a weekly basis and not bury yourself in grading from which it feels like you will never emerge? If you got hints I would love to hear them...*sigh*...because there is a whole lot of semester yet to go.
Blogging Hurricane Rita
James Kendrik's jkOnTheRun, normally one of my favorite tech related blogs, has by virtue of his location in Texas become a Hurricane Rita blogger. Check out the category Hurricane Rita. And keep James and the other folks in Rita's path in your thoughts.
CFP - Computing and Philosophy
COMPUTING AND PHILOSOPHY
IV European Meeting
Norwegian University for Science and Technology
Dragvoll Campus, Trondheim, Norway, June 22-24, 2006
Charles Ess (Drury University / NTNU): <email@example.com>
May Thorseth (NTNU): <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(E-CAP is the European conference on Computing and Philosophy, the European affiliate of the International Association for Computers and Philosophy (IACAP) for further information.)
January 27, 2006 Submission of extended abstracts
March 1, 2006 Notification of acceptance
May 5, 2006 Early registration deadline
June 22-24, 2006 Conference
From Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 June 2006 the Fourth International European Conference on COMPUTING AND PHILOSOPHY will be held on the Dragvoll Campus of the Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Continuing the foci of the E-CAP conferences (beginning in Glasgow, 2002), ECAP'06 will deal with all aspects of the "computational turn" that has emerged over the past several decades, and continues to expand and develop as a result of the multiple interactions between philosophy and computing.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Raymond Turner, Department of Computer Science
University of Essex, UK
Dr. Vincent Hendricks, Department of Philosophy and Science Studies
Roskilde University, Denmark
RELEVANT RESEARCH AREAS
We invite papers that address all topics related to computing and philosophy, including cross- and interdisciplinary work that explores the computational turn in new ways. Hence, the following is intended to be suggestive, but not exclusive:
- Philosophy of Computer Science - co-chairs, Amnon H. Eden, Raymond Turner (Essex) (see <http://pcs.essex.ac.uk/ecap06/cfp.html>)
- Ontology (Distributed Processing, Emergent Properties, Formal Ontology, Network Structures, etc) - chair, Luciano Floridi (Oxford)
- Computational Linguistics- chair, Staffan Larsson (Gothenburg University)
- Global Information Infrastructures - chair, Johnny Søraker (NTNU)
- Philosophy of Information and Information Technology
- Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Problem of Consciousness
- Computer-based Learning and Teaching Strategies and Resources & The Impact of Distance Learning on the Teaching of Philosophy and Computing
- IT and Gender Research, Feminist Technoscience Studies
- Information and Computing Ethics
- Biological Information, Artificial Life, Biocomputation
- New Models of Logic Software
- "Intersections" - e.g., work at the crossroads of logic, epistemology, philosophy of science and ICT/Computing, such as Philosophy of AI
SUBMISSION OF PAPERS
Authors should submit an electronic version of an extended abstract (total word count approximately 1000 words). The file should also contain a 300 word abstract that will be used for the conference web site/booklet. Final papers must not exceed a total word count of 3500 words and an abstract of not more than 500 words. The submissions should be made electronically, either as PDF, rtf ,or Word format.
To submit papers visit <http://www.eu-cap.org/submit>
The extended abstract submission deadline is Friday 27th January 2006.
WORK IN PROGRESS (WiP) SESSION
A special Work in Progress (WiP) session will be organized. This session is mainly intended for presentation of on-going and recent work. Accepted papers will not be included in the conference proceedings; instead they will be published through the www. Submission should be sent in the same format as extended abstracts. Please indicate on your submission: WiP.
For information about paper submission and the program that is not available on the conference web site (<http://www.eu-cap.org/>), please contact the Conference Co-Chairs.
Registration will take place through the conference website,
To book accommodation, please visit the conference web site,
The NTNU campus at Dragvoll offers excellent conference facilities as well a beautiful physical setting as it overlooks Trondheim and the Trondheim fjord. The city of Trondheim (Norway's ancient capital and home to the
Nidaros Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral north of the Rhine) is easily accessible by air and rail, and is itself more than worth the visit. (Beyond city-related information provided on the conference website, start
Tagging Sites for Books and Programs
It has been a fruitful morning in that I have added two new online tagging sites to my "Bibliography" frame on the sidebar, RSS feeds to follow. First there is Reader2 a:
This site allows you to keep a social list of the books you read and/or recommend. After you sign up you can add books to your unique list. You can view anyone else's books and they can view yours.
Extra user-defined data can be added to each book entry to organize and describe the book further such as descriptions, link, and tags. You can use tags to categorize (and thus organize) books so that you and others using this site will have an easier time finding new and interesting books.
So why would you use this site?
- You can easily find new and interesting books through user-defined categories, searches, and popularity among users.
- You can find users with similar book taste and see what they read (if you want this thing to work, you'll need to add 10-20 books first).
- You can keep track of your friend's books through RSS feeds.
- You can export books list to your site / blog.
Through Reader2 I found their companion site MyProgs, their About page says:
This site allows you to keep a social list of the programs you use. After you sign up you can add programs to your unique list. You can view anyone else's programs and they can view yours.
Extra user-defined data can be added to each program entry to organize and describe the program further such as program descriptions, a link to the program's homepage, and tags. You can use tags to categorize (and thus organize) programs so that you and others using this site will have an easier time finding new and interesting programs.
So why would you use this site?
- If your computer ever crashes or you switch to a new computer you will have this handy little list to remind you of which programs you had.
- You can easily find new and interesting programs through user-defined categories, searches, and popularity among users.
- You can keep track of your friend's or coworker's programs through RSS feeds.
- You can advertise that cool new program you just made.
- All programs are submitted by regular people like yourself which means that most programs have been tested and found to be useful.
A very cool morning indeed. Now I get to learn how to frame both sites RSS feeds into my sidebars. *S* Life is good.
September 22, 2005
Wal-Mart gave Katrina victims a helping hand
Fortune magazine has a very interesting article on After Katrine: Crisis Management 'The Only Lifeline Was the Wal-Mart'. Now Wal-Mart is not my favorite company nor does this information change my overall opinion...I just don't like their predatory business practices. But you know sometimes even bad neighbors can be good neighbors and I'm at least glad to see they put out a hand to help those who were in need. Now if they could just integrate that attitude into their overall business practices I might shop there someday.
Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents
Kaye at so this is mass communication? pointed me to Reporters Without Borders' "Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents" (pdf). The handbook looks very useful beyond the political bloggers to whom it appears to be addressed.
Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. One thing’s for sure: they’re rocking the foundations of the media in countries as different as the United States, China and Iran.
There are definitions too:
A “BLOG” (OR “WEBLOG”) IS A PERSONAL WEBSITE :
• containing mostly news (“posts”).
• regularly updated.
• in the form of a diary (most recent posts at the top of the page), with most of the posts also arranged in categories.
• set up using a specially-designed interactive tool.
• usually created and run by a single person, sometimes anonymously.
A BLOG’S POSTS :
• are usually text (including external links), sometimes with pictures and, more and more often, sound and video.
• can be commented on by visitors.
• are archived on the blog and can been accessed there indefinitely.
SO A BLOG IS MUCH LIKE A “PERSONAL WEBPAGE, EXCEPT THAT IT :
• is easier to set up and maintain and so much more active and more frequently updated.
• encourages a more open and personal style and franker viewpoints.
• greatly encourages discussion with visitors and other bloggers.
• sets a standard worldwide format for blogs, involving similar methods (two or three-column layout, comments on posts and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.
The status of civil liberties in London
Suspicious behaviour on the tube, please sir may I have more suspension of civil liberties with that.
September 21, 2005
Link and Keyword Analysis Tools
SEO Black Hat has a list of link and keyword analysis tools that may help all of us optimize our blogs.
...these webmaster tools help you analyze progress and evaluate your SEO methods:
Linkhounds Several tools including a Yahoo backlinks analyzer
URLtrends Tracks URLs “Ranking” using about 20 different metrics.
Digital Point Keyword Tools Tracks where your keywords appear in the SERPs for Google, MSN, and Yahoo.
Mint is fun
Since late last week I've been running Mint behind the blog to give me more information on who is using the site and how they find it. I have to laugh at the searches that bring people to Professional-Lurker, examples: "WHEN MESSAGES ARE THE" (yes both the caps and the quotes are in the original), mark johns "unique and ordinary problems" (quotes in original), and my personal favorite (I should get this on a t-shirt) professional rat quotes. Was it something I said??? LOL
Dr. Clyde passes on
Christina brought to my attention that L. Anne Clyde (aka Laurel A. Clyde) passed away last weekend. Dr. Clyde was a professor in the Library and Information Science Department at The University of Iceland. I wrote about her 2004 book Weblogs and Libraries after I read it earlier this year. Her work is cited in my quals paper and will be again in my future publications.
I love Think Geek
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, three films captured the imagination and obsession of an entire generation. But the holy trilogy has fallen like the old republic and George Lucas no longer holds power over us. But there is a new hope. A new world and set of characters as real and alive as those we remember from our childhood. We have a new target for our obsession. We have a new master now...
September 20, 2005
Opera goes free
Opera browser is now and forever more - their words not mine - free...as in no cost. I love Opera...and strongly recommend it.
September Journal of Communciation
If you haven't laid hands upon the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Communication from Oxford University Press then do so with all haste. The Special Issue on the State of the Art in Communciation Theory and Research, Part 2, has several articles that will likely wind their way into my work. Of particular interest is:
How Do Communication and Technology Researchers Study the Internet? Joseph B. Walther, Geri Gay and Jeffrey T. Hancock
Joseph B. Walther (PhD, University of Arizona) is a professor of communication, Geri Gay (PhD, Cornell University) is professor, and Jeffrey T. Hancock (PhD, Dalhousie University) is an assistant professor, all at Cornell University
As a partial review of the field of communication and technology, this essay revisits Newhagen and Rafaeli's (1996) Journal of Communication article that asked why communication researchers should study the Internet. Research directions, findings, and theories are discussed under the organization of the 5 important qualities of the Internet that Newhagen and Rafaeli identified: multimedia, hypertextuality, packet switching, synchronicity, and interactivity. The article concludes with an assessment of theory development in communication and technology research, issues facing theoretical growth, and an answer to the question of what this research might teach us.
September 19, 2005
Computer-Mediated Communication Special Issue
The Iowa Communication Association is proud to announce publication of a special issue of the Iowa Communication Journal on Computer Mediated Communication.
The special issue may be purchased for $15 by contacting the journal's business manager Jill Rhea at email@example.com or sending payment to her at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA 50588.
COMPUTER MEDIATED COMMUNICATION SPECIAL ISSUE TABLE OF CONTENTS
Frankfurtschool.com: The Application of the Frankfurt Schools' Critical
Scholarship to the Internet
Rethinking Life Online: The Interactional Self as a Theory for
Unique and Ordinary Problems in Internet Research: Research Ethics, the
Law, and Power
Mark D. Johns
When Messages are the Medium: Researching Best Practices in Online Education
Sharon S. Kleinman
Exploring the Half-life of Internet Footnotes
Michael Bugeja and Daniela V. Dimitrova
September 18, 2005
Cramping my style
I have a gigantic cramp in my blogging style, can’t make any of my desktop clients work. *Sigh* So that means I have to blog the old-fashioned way, by entering the admin pages to create and code a post by hand. Oh well. This to shall be fixed at some point, until then expect posts but may not as many as usual.
September 16, 2005
A visionary soul
One Bright Star pointed me to this meme, and I like it it's a pretty good fit. *S
|You Are a Visionary Soul|
Are trackbacks virtually dead?
Geek News Central has stated a question that I have been wondering about myself for the last couple of week. You see in that time I have had no useable trackbacks posted, which is just the way it goes, but I have deleted or junked literally thousands of spam trackbacks. Which has lead me to seriously consider removing the feature yet again...the reward ain't worth the price.
I have had trackbacks turned off for over 2 months and last night as a social experiment I put the CGI file back up on the server. After 6 hours of being back online here are the preliminary results.
First Spam Trackback Ping: 9 seconds after upload
Maximum Number of pings per 60 Seconds: 328
Sustained Average Spam ping Rate per Hour: 12,660
Total Ping Rate per 24 hours: 303,840
Total Ping Rate per 30 days: 9,115,200
This is after I have had the mt-tb.cgi file removed from the server for over 60 days! Their is no doubt in my mind that Trackbacks are dead and will never be able to used effectively. Not to mention the sustained load and traffic that is hitting my server.
The weblog developer community has failed us miserably in the fight against this.
Information Society Project Fellowship Program
Information Society Project
Yale Law School
ISP Fellowship Announcement
The fellowship is designed for recent law graduates or Ph.Ds who are interested in careers in teaching and public service in any of the following areas: Internet and telecommunications law, first amendment law, media studies, intellectual property law, access to knowledge, cybercrime, cultural evolution, bioethics and biotechnology, and law and technology generally. This year we have a particular interest in hiring fellows interested in computer security and privacy issues as well as development and the information society.
Fellows receive a salary of approximately $37,000 plus Yale benefits. Fellows are expected to work on an independent scholarly project as well as help with administrative and scholarly work for the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. More information on the ISP is available at: http://islandia.law.yale.edu/isp/
The formal application materials including the following:
(1) A brief (one to five page) statement of the applicant's proposed scholarly research;
(2) A copy of the applicant's resume;
(3) A law school (or graduate school) transcript;
(4) At least one sample of recent scholarly writing;
(5) Two letters of recommendation.
Applications can be sent all year round as fellows are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications for the 2006-7 ISP fellowship must postmarked no later than Feb. 1, 2006.
The application materials should be sent (in hard copy) to:
Information Society Project Fellowship Program
c/o Deborah Sestito, Room 333
Yale Law School
127 Wall Street
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven CT 06520-8215
September 14, 2005
Taking care of yourself
Try to remember that you are the tool with which you do your work. If the tool is rusty then it doesn't make a good cut. In other words, make time to sleep...make time to eat well both quality and quantity...make time to exercise.
The sleep and eat part have never been terribly hard for me to do correctly. In both cases if I don't I feel the difference fairly quickly. And I know for a fact that a bad migraine can make me lose the productive part of a week...so I work to minimize their occurrences and have been quite successful with that plan.
No for me the issue is exercise. I hate it...I don't want to do it...ever not just when I'm busy. And besides I can skip a lot of exercise before I feel it but when I do feel it the problems are no fun. So now I have tricks I play on myself to get me to the pool. First I found a form of exercise I enjoy, and once I am doing it I am always glad I got up and made the effort to get there. For me Deep Water Exercise is the ticket. Second I write my workout classes in my datebook...every time every day and I refuse to erase them for just any old thing. Lastly I have a goal of tightening up and fitting into an old pair of jeans...this isn't about weight I don't care about that. I do care about how I feel and what the heck I can be as vain as anyone else. I'm working toward a minimum of one hour every work day...not there yet but I'm getting close. Remember it takes 30-days to change a habit.
Find some form of exercise that you can make yourself do on a regular basis and get up and do it. It's a pain when you are pushing a deadline to set your work aside and go workout but if you do your study and research will profit. Take a look around your campus for the recreational activities that are likely available to you for free or at reduced cost.
Oh and did I mention that I get some of my best thinking done while I'm lapping my way around the pool? It's amazing the stuff that will perk to the surface while I'm not thinking about work.
Research immersion or the next two weeks
- I have a a poster to finish Friday this week so I can print it out at IU when I am on campus on Saturday. Topic = readers use of links from a blog. This is preliminary research from a longitudinal study that will close later this month. The poster will be presented next weekend at the SLIS Graduate Forum at IU.
- I will be conducting the final research and writing my NCA paper, The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor.
- I will be pulling together a presentation for AoIR on Teaching Hurricane Katrina.
- Finally, and definitely not lastly, I will be doing my part toward the completion of our BROG presentation for AoIR.
I need to decide if I am going to take the time, since time is a scarce commodity right now, to write and submit a position paper for the AAAI Spring 2006 Symposium, Computational Approaches to Analyzing Weblogs (CAAW-2006). If I do decide to write the paper it will likely be a position paper on gender/age identification in weblogs.
CFP - International Journal of Information Technology and Management (IJITM)
Organisational Blogs: Opportunities and Challenges
Guest Editors: Professor Sang M. Lee and Assistant Professor Silvana Trimi, University of Nebraska, USA
Weblogs (“blogs” for short) are frequently-updated websites consisting of personal observations, excerpts from other sources, and information, typically run by a single person and usually hyperlinked to other sites. People put on their blogs a set of thoughts and series of links they find useful and interesting. Blogs are usually for two-way communication: offer information to others and also invite the readers for feedback. The focus of this Special Issue will be on the uses of blogs in organisations. The primary aim will be investigating how blog applications can affect organisational communication, employee engagement, collaboration, knowledge management, and the ultimate outcome from the employee’s and organisation’s perspectives. For organisational blogs to be successful and even exist, it is necessary that employees are motivated and willing to use those blogs. Also, the organisation must create an environment which is conductive for effective blogging and thus securing benefits from its use. However, there also exist various challenges for organisational blogs. The most obvious would be how organisational blogs can result in the risk of damaging the reputation of the organisation, its products, or corporate policies. Also, blogs can expose sensitive information of the organisation to outsiders. The issue is to find a good balance between encouraging free speech while restricting harmful behaviour.
Weblogs (“blogs” for short) are frequently-updated websites consisting of personal observations, excerpts from other sources, and information, typically run by a single person and usually hyperlinked to other sites. People put on their blogs a set of thoughts and series of links they find useful and interesting. Blogs are usually for two-way communication: offer information to others and also invite the readers for feedback.
The focus of this Special Issue will be on the uses of blogs in organisations. The primary aim will be investigating how blog applications can affect organisational communication, employee engagement, collaboration, knowledge management, and the ultimate outcome from the employee’s and organisation’s perspectives. For organisational blogs to be successful and even exist, it is necessary that employees are motivated and willing to use those blogs. Also, the organisation must create an environment which is conductive for effective blogging and thus securing benefits from its use. However, there also exist various challenges for organisational blogs. The most obvious would be how organisational blogs can result in the risk of damaging the reputation of the organisation, its products, or corporate policies. Also, blogs can expose sensitive information of the organisation to outsiders. The issue is to find a good balance between encouraging free speech while restricting harmful behaviour.
Suitable topics for the Special Issue include, but are not limited to:
- Strategies for effective organisational blogs
- Technical support for organisational blogs
- Human resource management issues in organisational blogs
- Knowledge management and organisational blogs
- Critical success factors of organisational blogs
- Privacy, security and confidentiality in organisational blogs
- Interorganisational collaboration and blogs
- Case studies of successful organisational blogs
- Innovative use of organisational blogs
- Cross-cultural study of organisational blogs
Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere
All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Papers Submission section under Author Guidelines
To submit a paper, please go to Submission of Papers
This is our preferred route for submitting papers; please use it if at all possible. However, if you experience any problems submitting papers in this way, an alternative route is suggested below
Submission of papers: 3 March, 2006
Initial reviews: 5 May, 2006
Final paper selection: 4 August, 2006
Dr. Sang M. Lee
University Eminent Scholar and Chair
Department of Management
University of Nebraska
Lincoln NE 68588-0491
Tel: (402) 472-3915
Fax: (402) 472-5855
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Silvana Trimi
Assistant Professor of MIS
Department of Management
University of Nebraska
Lincoln NE 68588-0491
Tel: (402) 472-4459
Fax: (402) 472-5855
with an email copy only to:
IEL Editorial Office
PO Box 735
Olney, Bucks MK46 5WB
Fax: +44 1234-240515
Please include in your submission the title of the Special Issue, the title of the Journal and the name of the Guest Editor
No more touchee the blog
I just need to stop trying to block more spam because everytime I do something to the blog I muck it up. *sigh* Tonight I tried to install a new plugin that everyone is raving about...it apparently kills spam dead. Which would be a good thing. But of course me being me I messed up the index somehow and now I've lost my spiffy design on the main page and my sidebars. It's still there on the others but not on the main.
Oh how I want a blog manager. *double sigh*
Well I fixed it...found a old copy of the index and copied it in. Which sounds WAY easier then it was. Stress released.
September 13, 2005
Gretna LA...a place that should be ashamed
The story of the mixed-race group trying to leave New Orleans and their encounter with armed Gretna LA sheriff's deputies has been told in different places on the net. Hint: The Deputies fired at the group to keep them from crossing the bridge on I-10 and entering Gretna. Poor Blacks need not apply.
If you haven't heard the story here is a version written by paramedics that were part of the group trying to cross the bridge. Had I not heard an interview with the town Mayor I would have been skeptical about this story, I mean it is 2005 and the south isn't like it was in 1965. At least not the south I knew. The frightening part of this is the mayor seemed to think it was the appropriate action days after the incident. He even told the interviewer that had he been mayor he would have done exactly the same thing. God I hope that isn't true...
I think the feds aught to be involved in this one. Looks like a pretty clear cut case of endangerment and limitation of access to a public structure because of race.
A Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner
I have previously discussed my decision to ditch a Palm-based PDA so I could return to a paper-based system. Well part of the reason I had moved from paper to an electronic system in the first place was my pack rat tendency to accumulate new forms in my daily planner. The notebook had outgrown it's 3" binder and was a heavy mess to carry.
I have so far avoided that tendency to accumulate hipster pda cards...but we shall see if that remains longterm. Since the launch of the D*I*Y Planner site I have been looking at all their new forms with paper-lust. If you want it on paper they got it. Check out the Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner for complete information.
Community of Science website
This morning I attended a training program to acquaint me with the Community of Science(COS): Resources for Research, Worldwide website, to which IU and IUPUI subscribe.
Community of Science (COS) is the leading global resource for hard-to-find information critical to scientific research and other projects across all disciplines. We aggregate valuable information so you spend less precious time and money searching for the information you need, leaving more time and money for your projects.Find funding with COS Funding Opportunities: search the world's most comprehensive funding resource, with more than 22,000 records representing nearly 400,000 opportunities, worth over $33 billion.
Identify experts and collaborators with COS Expertise: search among 500,000 profiles of researchers from 1,600 institutions throughout the world. Discover who's doing what -- current research activity, funding received, publications, patents, new positions and more. .
Promote your research with a COS Profile: showcase your research and expertise among researchers and scholars from universities, corporations and nonprofits in more than 170 countries. Use convenient tools to keep your CV updated and accessible.
If your university subscribes, you can add your profile (aka CV) to the searchable system, as well search for funding opportunities. There is money out there for grad students, it won't make you rich but it will pay for things related to education and research.
September 11, 2005
This American Life
My friend Pete Welsch got to the blogosphere before me on this one. But I have a note on a bright pink 3x5 card that I pulled off the road to make. It says "Write about today's This American Life broadcast."
Today's edition of This American Life, which interviewed NOLA survivors about their experiences, was simply outstanding. It has already aired here in Bloomington and won't be online until next week, but keep it in mind. I'll post about it again when it's up.
And he will probably get to that link before me too. Pete is like that. LOL So I'll just lift it from him I guess.
Launch of The Junior Watcher
I've written before that I am a total Whedonist, if Joss makes it I will probably see it. I'm currently counting the days to Serenity's opening on September 30, 2005.
Well if you don't follow the Cultural Studies forums you may not know that there is a lively scholarship in all thing Whedon, in particular Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Junior Watcher: The Undergraduate Journal of Buffy Studies has launched their first issue online, check it out.
WJ provides a forum for showcasing excellence in undergraduate Buffy scholarship. As colleges and universities continue to introduce and to support courses in film and media studies in general, and Buffy Studies in particular, there continues to be a growing body of Buffy scholarship at the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. Slayage provides an important forum for publishing graduate and professional scholarship in Buffy Studies; as a fully refereed journal, WJ is committed to doing the same for undergraduate work.
How to crash your own blog, part zwei
I have been getting slammed with trackback and comment spam for a very long time. Blacklist took out most of it but not after the upgrade to MT 3.17, then it only worked in combo with SpamLookup and neither of them worked well enough alone. Then when I upgraded to MT 3.2 neither of them worked...at all...ever...never. I was reduced to basically keeping my admin windows open all day just to do periodic deletes so that I would not be faced with hundreds of spam in the evening, panes full of them that each had to be marked for deletion. Not good...not good at all.
So yesterday I was doing morning-bits and read Dave Simmer's blog (non-academic) entry, Spam, that said he was having similar problems. Light-bulb time, it's not just me. So I decided to check out the boards and see if others had a fix for the problem. What I found were lots of folks who said the system worked great and a few who said it didn't work at all. Aha...so it is in the install after all.
Just to give you background on this. I did the initial install to create prolurker in 2003. But I simply could not get it working. So I asked my ISP 2xtreme media, who at the time were tauting themselves as serving bloggers specifically, if they could fix it so it worked. They did just that and it worked great. But shortly thereafter I realized that I had a problem, you see I had no idea what the answers were to questions like "What type of database are you running?" because I hadn't set it up. So I've been floundering as a pretty inept administrator, p.s. as I've said before it's a job I don't really want.
Well yesterday all of that really came to a head. In my quest to improve my life by removing spam deletion from it, I uninstalled SpamLookup and reinstalled it fresh. Amazing as it may seem it worked perfectly for the first time. I was so pleased with myself not only had I done the upgrade by myself but I had thought through to fix a problem and implemented the successful plan. But that was the calm before the storm.
Since I was working on the blog anyway I decided to do some sidebar stuff, mostly recategorizing the blogroll and playing with settings so that I could block more spam. I rebuilt several times, min. four that I remember. It all looked great and was working fine, well as fine as ever since I had a week or so old problem with my desktop client not forwarding category information to the blog on upload, but that seemed like it was an unrelated issue.
Then out of nowhere I lost the graphical admin pages, they all became flat text. I checked every browser I have because there have been stated problems with MT 3.2 and Opera, my preferred blog browser. No luck, all the browsers rendered the page in exactly the same way. So I sent in a support ticket on the problem. In a timely fashion I got back a response saying I needed to move some files around and the problem would be solved. I did as instructed and then I got only an error message, no admin page text at all. *sigh*
That began a long string of messages between myself and Movable Type Support, who by the way do a very good job. Each message gave new instructions which I implemented and each made the problems seem much much worse. I got to the point that I emailed the only person I could think of who might know what to do, someone I actually don't know personally just through their blog, and asked if they would take a look to see if they could figure out what was wrong. But before I could get them the ftp, username, and password information, I got another message from the support folks saying they thought I was using Berkeley database and that I needed to change one line in the config file to reflect that database. So I made the change, and amazingly enough that seems to have fixed it...for good?....for now?
- I now know what type of database I am running.
- I now have a cleaner installation of MT 3.2 without stray files from older versions that only make the system look like it's working. *raising one eyebrow*
- I now understand why some folks are recommending you install the new version in a separate folder then move it once you have it working (easier in ssh then in ftp).
- As much as I hate the time it takes, it probably is better for me to do the admin work because it is my site, after all, and I need to understand what is happening with it.
As I said in the opening to this post, the real question is apparently why the upgrade had worked at all. It seems that the stray old files from the two previous versions were somehow filling gaps in the new program that were not filled by information from the config file. I only sorta get it...maybe it will become clear in a few days. But for now it seems to be working...though it seemed to be working before. *ouch my head hurts* Oh well...another day another set of to-do list items and none of them are "working on the blog programming" related.
Oh and my problem with my desktop client is fixed...it was related after all.
CFP - Blogging, Web Design, Podcasting, or Video Logging
Computer Culture Area
2006 SWTexas Popular Culture Assoc./American Culture Assoc.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 8-11, 2006
We are seeking individual paper proposals as well as panel proposals (panels of three or four presenters) in various areas of computer media. Panels are open to professionals, graduate students, and performers and designers. Proposals may be for histories and analyses from any number of perspectives. We are also interested in proposals from active bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and Web page designers.
Papers on BLOGGING may focus on the controversy surrounding news coverage, commentary, and analysis. Papers may also study blogs and blogging culture in other realms, from the personal to the political, pedagogical, and commercial.
WEB DESIGNERS may submit sample pages (by link, for instance). In their abstracts, designers should describe the purpose and history of their work, or should outline a critical concern and propose a line of discussion of special interest to Web page designers or Web users. We will also consider papers that analyze or compare Web sites.
If you are an active PODCASTER or VIDEO LOGGER, you may submit the text of a sample podcast or vlog and describe the purpose and history of your endeavor. Include Web site addresses in your abstract. Podcasters who wish to participate in panels must be able to present a five-minute CD recording of their work.
For Panel Proposals:
Feel free to query first. Panel proposals should include all of the information demanded for individual paper proposals, including information about the panel chair, as well as a 100-word statement of the panel's rationale and of any noteworthy organizational features.
For Paper Proposals:
Please submit (preferably in the body of an email) a 200-word abstract by November 15, 2005. Include all contact information: address, phone number(s), fax number, and email address. Also include a biographical
note in which you outline your career and/or define your connection to the topic. However, you do not need to prove expertise in the area of your proposed presentation. Beginners, dabblers, and enthusiasts are all
welcome. This is a new and ever-changing field, and we are open to new people, approaches, and topics.
Send proposals to:
Professor Joseph Chaney
Department of English
Indiana University South Bend
South Bend IN 46634-7111
fax: (574) 520-4538
CFP - Online Publishing
Computer Culture Area
2006 SWTexas Popular Culture Assoc./American Culture Assoc.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 8-11, 2006
We are seeking individual paper proposals as well as panel proposals (panels of three or four presenters) on aspects of online publishing. We would welcome proposals by scholars (including graduate students), publishers, editors, writers, and artists.
Possible topics include:
**The future and challenges of the online magazine
**New trends in online book publishing and/or sales
**Libraries, Google, and copyright law
**The history of online publishing
**The online readership
For Panel Proposals:
Feel free to query first. Panel proposals should include all of the information demanded for individual paper proposals, including information about the panel chair, as well as a 100-word statement of the panel's rationale and of any noteworthy organizational features. We'll also consider round table discussions involving editors and
For Paper Proposals:
Please submit a 200-word abstract by November 15, 2005 (preferably in the body of an email). Include all contact information: address, phone number(s), fax number, and email address. Also include a biographical note in which you outline your career and/or define your connection to the topic. However, you do not need to prove any special expertise in the area of your proposed presentation. Beginners, dabblers, and enthusiasts are welcome. We are open to new people, approaches, and topics.
Send proposals to:
Professor Joseph Chaney
Department of English
Indiana University South Bend
South Bend IN 46634-7111
fax: (574) 520-4538
CFP - Theatrical Milestones: Past Legacies, Present Possibilities, Future Strategies
The Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG) of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) invites proposals for panels, seminars, roundtable discussions, performances, workshops, and other innovative session formats for the annual ATHE meeting, which will be held at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago from August 3-6, 2006.
This conference marks the twentieth anniversary of ATHE, and will be based around the theme "Theatrical Milestones: Past Legacies, Present Possibilities, Future Strategies." We encourage submissions that directly relate to this particular theme, as well as submissions that engage with this specific theme to expand and interrogate a wide range of projects. We encourage submissions that explore performance and creativity in a variety of contexts, including, but not limited to: political performance, performing theatre history, cultural translation, performance ethnography, ritual performance, popular entertainment, pedagogy, and performance theory. Sessions that directly address the borders and relationship between Performance Studies and other aspects of Theatre Studies are welcome.
In light of ATHE's anniversary, we encourage interdisciplinary submissions and submissions with strong historical components. We are interested in innovative scholarship and performances that engage the developments in the field from the last two decades. Presenters are also encouraged to engage with the communities and contexts of Chicago and its surrounding areas. We are particularly interested in proposals for events that are performative and dynamic, and that engage these issues through inventive and interactive formats. The Performance Studies Focus Group welcomes diverse presenters, and hopes to build bridges between theatre and ritual practitioners, performance artists, junior and senior scholars, and graduate students.
ATHE currently uses an electronic submission format. The information and the form are located on the ATHE website, at http://www.athe.org/conf/index.html. To submit a panel proposal, click on the link titled, "Session Proposal Forms are available online." The main page also has links to session format descriptions and further proposal information. The deadline for all submissions is November 1, 2005. Please note that you must request audiovisual equipment by May 1, 2006 to avoid late fees.
While individual papers will receive serious consideration, submissions that pull together a strong panel of presenters (depending on the format) are encouraged. With individual paper proposals, the Focus Group Conference Planner will curate panels, attempting to match up related papers. In order to facilitate this process, these must be received directly by the focus group conference planner, at email@example.com, by October 20. Individual paper proposals should include title, contact information, and an abstract of no more than 500 words. With paper proposals and any other questions, please contact:
Gwendolyn Alker, Ph.D.
PSFG Conference Planner
Associate Teacher of Theatre Studies
Department of Drama/Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York University
New York, NY 10003
September 10, 2005
How to crash your own blog, part 1
Ok, I've had a very tense evening since I basically crashed all of the blog admin stuff. *sigh* So this is a test to see if I actually can post again. If everything is working I'll post more detail on what happened later.
Weblog Manager WANTED!
Why aren't there free-lance weblog managers? And if there are why can't I find one. *sigh* There are very few things in this world I would be willing to pay someone to do on retainer...but blog manager is definitely one of them.
Think of it, someone to do you upgrades for you. Someone to sort out if your site is using the best configuration for your style. Someone to work though bugs and problems and implement the fixes. Yes I would pay for that.
So if you know anyone who is a whiz at MT 3.2 and who wants to make a bit of money on the side, have them contact me. I really want to stop doing the nuts-and-bolts work of blog maintenance. I'm not particularly good at it and well it makes me crazy so I'm better off with out it on my to-do list.
Why is this a new issue today? Well because from my standpoint MT 3.2 hasn't fixed the spam problem. Now others say it has, so I have spent a couple of hours this morning trying to figure out if it's my installation rather then a problem with the software. Final verdict = hell if I know. *sigh* There is just to much I don't understand about the program and my installation.
WEBLOG MANAGER NEEDED IMMEDATELY!
September 09, 2005
Two software programs I am taking for a free ride
Following is information about the two new software I am demo-ing, both were free to try. I love new software it's like an addiction...I want to try them out and play with them, then if I like them I buy, and when I find something better I throw them away. *maniacal laugh*
I am looking at AJS as a possible research diary program. I have tried a couple of others but have not found one that lets me do what I have visualized in my head. Maybe this one will work.
Keep a protected and secure journal offline with the ability to send it online or e-mail it as a blog. XJS's input engine delivers scan-to-journal, voice, video, word processing, and handwritten (Tablet/Pocket PCs Only) input portals. XJS delivers the solution you need to fulfill your personal diary/journal needs. It provides importing/exporting features needed now and the accessibility required for the future. Easily add news to your journal with the included XML feed reader with a click of a button to have it forever. XJS stands as one of the few providers of a multi-operating system offline journal solution. Developers can extend XJS, giving new methods of input, new journal processing features or new entry fields.
Recall Plus is a study program that has some cool features including mindmapping and animation. Not sure if it will be useful to me at this point, but it looks cool. I bought GoBinder last summer and used it, minimally, to help me design classes for the fall. Recall Plus may not be enough of the right thing to make me change, though it too looks very cool.
To get a real feel for where it is coming from - Read why RecallPlus HAD to be produced!
RecallPlus is a program written specifically to get students learning faster by automatically getting them to use optimal learning and study methods in their actual day to day study time.
The specific problem it fixes is that if you are someone who wants to apply the latest in learning theories to your day to day learning there was literally no way you could do it efficiently or easily before the advent of RecallPlus.
RecallPlus was initially written by a doctor studying for a specialty exam. He decided to 'learn how to learn' and checkout some 'study skills' websites, and found that if he wished to learn optimally, he really needed something more...
There was simply no way he was going to be able to apply all the better learning techniques so that he could learn faster, without ongoing help!! There was no software to help - concept map programs were not able to help with revision and not designed for whole sets of notes. Revision optimizing programs (e.g. flashcard programs), did allow sets of notes BUT were visually boring and limited.
He did need a system of some sort otherwise he was not going to be able to apply the study skill improvements that were going to get him through that exam fast - so RecallPlus was written!
Doing a unit-based dash to get quals moving
43Folders, one of my favorite tips blogs even though I don't do Apples, had a great idea in their Kick procrastination's ass: Run a dash post. I utilized a "unit-based dash" to get a bit of work done on quals today even with meetings and errands. I printed out and labeled the two files that need to be analyzed so I can continue writing. I set my count-up timer just to see how much time I invested...Answer = 8:53 minutes.
Three kinds of dashes
Try using a kitchen timer to run your time-based dash.
Plan your dash based on whatever works best for both your project and the particular block that's hanging you up. The key is to pick a goal that's laughably modest. Seriously, this is not the place for extravagant predictions and overly ambitious goals (that's probably what helped land you here, right?).
- Time-based dash - Most jobs lend themselves to a time-based dash, so pick up a kitchen timer at your local drugstore. Choose an amount of time that gives you enough room to do something but that's brief enough to seem completely unintimidating. For some reason, eight minutes seems to work well for most of my own dashes.
- Unit-based dash - Alternatively, depending on the tasks you've been avoiding, you could go with a unit-based dash, during which you agree to plow through an arbitrary number of pieces associated with your project (such as pages to read, words to write, glasses to wash, etc.).
- Combination dash - In many cases, the best solution is a combination dash, in which you get to stop the hated work whenever you reach either the time or unit goal first.
Above all, remember that this is all about doing something, so pick a goal at which you can't possibly fail.
Some Sample Dashes
Here are a few ideas to get you started, although dashes can work for virtually any project you've procrastinated--no matter how monolithic.
- Messy garage - Goal: 10 minutes or 1 full garbage bag. Spend 10 minutes working in one area of the garage. Take out old papers, break down some boxes, or move the Christmas ornaments to the top shelf. When the timer buzzes at you, stop.
- College application - Goal: 5 minutes or 1 page. Start by filling in the easy boxes. If you reach the bottom of the page before time is up, stop.
- Overdue report - Goal: 10 minutes or 100 words. Just start writing, even if it's complete crap. Just keep scribbling for 10 minutes or until you have a paragraph or two. When time's up, stop.
- Holiday cards and family correspondence - Goal: 5 minutes or 2 notes. Grab a pen and start making with the nice. Tell them about Tyler's big day at Computer Camp. Brag about Ashley-Marie's jazz and tap recital. When you've hit two finished cards, stop.
So far no additional words today. But movement is still movement...and I'll take anything that is crawling forward on this project.
Flickr photos "Astrodome and beyond"
The pictures appearing on Flickr related to Hurricane Katrina and the people impacted are sad, depressing, uplifting, and over all amazing. The Astrodome and beyond is very good set of shots, take a look for yourself at these visual ethnography's.
This picture is so touching, the child sleeps safe in her fathers arms, while his eyes say so many things in particular weariness, and watchfulness.
Without the look in his eyes you could simply read the shot as a man and child who have arrived early to an arena event, rather than a family that has been forced to seek shelter inside the dome.
CFP - THE PRAGMATICS OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION
THE PRAGMATICS OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION
Susan Herring (Indiana University, USA)
Dieter Stein (Heinrich Heine University, Germany)
Tuija Virtanen (Abo Akademi University, Finland)
Although many aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC) have already been addressed by scholars from a number of disciplines, the pragmatic dimensions of CMC have yet to be fully accounted for. By "pragmatic" we intend a range of phenomena from the narrower sense of presupposition and speech act conditions, to sociopragmatic aspects such as politeness and genre, all of which are concerned in some way
with language use and (social) meaning. Pragmatic effects are found in CMC modes that include instant messaging, SMS, weblogs, email, web forums, and experimental and graphical virtual worlds. They are produced by adults and adolescents (and sometimes children) at an increasing rate in a rapidly growing number of languages around the world.
We invite submissions for an edited book on the Pragmatics of Computer-Mediated Communication, to be published by John Benjamins Publishing Company. Suggested topics include:
- Gricean maxims and implicatures
- Presuppositions and indirectness
- The use of greetings, openings and closings
- Speech acts and performativity
- Naming and referring conventions
- Cohesion and coherence
- Applications of politeness theory to CMC
- Analysis of new genres or genre-related features
- Culture-specific effects
Scholars working within diverse theoretical paradigms are encouraged to submit current research that addresses computer-mediated communication from pragmatic perspectives. The overarching goal of the book is to forge ties with existing pragmatic theory as regards language use phenomena in CMC, as well as to advance theoretical understanding of pragmatics through integrating technological mediation as an explanatory variable for language use.
Potential contributors should email a 500-700 word proposal OR a complete manuscript draft if one is available (no partial drafts, please), including a title, and describing the topic, CMC data, analytical methods, and (preliminary) findings or observations, to all three editors by November 1, 2005. Complete, polished versions of accepted proposals or drafts (approximately 7000-10000 words) will be due March 30, 2006. Publication of the book is anticipated by late 2007.
Submitters are kindly asked to follow the style in the Pragmatics & Beyond New Series (John Benjamins). In addition to referencing the pragmatics literature, potential contributors should make efforts to cite existing literature on CMC and language.
Please direct inquiries and preliminary proposal ideas to the editors:
Susan Herring (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dieter Stein
(email@example.com), or Tuija Virtanen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
September 08, 2005
CFP - New Orleans and Other Urban Calamities
Call for Short Papers: New Orleans and Other Urban Calamities
Space and Culture Special Issue
Deadline October 1 2005
Submissions to: email@example.com
While the flooding of New Orleans is supposedly a natural disaster and perhaps a foretaste of the implications of climate change, it is also a disaster made by people, and institutions. Social and infrastructual failures, the almost apparent breakdown of an economic market and social solidarity in favour of survivalism intersect with questions of race, class, the vulnerable, historic cultural identity, risk, technology, media spectacle, governance the state and the attitude to possible, future cities on the site of New Orleans. "Events overturn theory", was
one aphorism of Henri Lefebvre. What have we learned? How does New Orleans reveal shortcomings in theoretical positions and in accepted social attitudes and practices? What new questions should be asked?
Space and Culture is seeking immediate, short (1000 word) reactions that advance a specific argument rather than general comment. We also welcome images and photo-essays. Papers will be refereed by the editors of and editorial board of the journal. We aim to publish with the shortest possible delay.
Greg Elmer, PhD
Bell Globemedia Research Chair
Rogers Communications Centre/School of Radio-TV Arts
350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5B 2K3
Today's word count...a starting point
I haven't done much on the quals file since I began preparing for classes a couple of months ago - I did lots of preparation reading for the class that didn't make. Turns out I need to figure out exactly where I am in the section on which I was last working. I think this is a "print out lots of pages and lay it all out" kind of problem, which makes it a daylight problem so it is best left for tomorrow.
As I have written previously my writing style, when working with literature reviews, is gather all the material I want to quote, give each snip-it a keyword, then to rearrange the keywords until the flow makes sense. Then once that "outline" is done I write and paraphrase to knit everything together. Maybe not the best way to work but it is the best I have found for me. So that means that word counts can be a bit deceiving as counts may shift up and down radically during my process. No matter I always look at the counts as a way to keep myself on track.
Teaching Hurricane Katrina - What can an Informaticist do?
Last night I lead a discussion in my Introduction to Informatics class loosely based on the recent happening along the Gulf Coast. You can check out my PowerPoint slides at http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~lscheidt/teaching/I101_2005_Fall/Third_Class_Informatics_and_disaster.ppt .
My goals for the hour and fifteen minute class was for the 45 undergrads to begin to think about how such disasters are possible for all of us. In other words it is not just something that can happen to "them" but something that could happen to any of us. Secondly my goal was for these budding Informaticists to begin to see how their current and future skills can be used to assist those in need and can be used to help prevent, or at least limit the magnitude of, similar disasters.
First I contextualized the discussion by introducing the New Madrid Fault to the class. The New Madrid is a major fault line that runs through parts of five states - Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Secondary fault systems also pull in parts of Indiana and Mississippi. See http://hsv.com/genlintr/newmadrd/ for a bit of history and a map.
Then I showed the students a map of Indiana with known and inferred fault lines marked. This map shows that very few if any of the student's life more than 20 miles from a fault line that is in communication with the New Madrid Fault.
Once we had the context in place I talked a bit about the history of the New Madrid. In particular that the last major earthquake along the fault in 1811 was so strong that the Mississippi River flowed backwards and aftershocks were felt across the United States. Many geologists estimate that the 1811 earthquake was at least an 8 on the Richter scale.
Lose of life was low because the immediate area was sparsely populated almost 200 years ago. However if a similar earthquake were to happen today it is estimated that 60% of Memphis would be destroyed. Likewise St. Louis would experience significant damage. The loss of life would be, will be, staggering.
Then I announced that geologists have developed a method that will accurately predict an earthquake no more than 24 hours before the incident. (We wish that prediction were a true possibility!) And they have predicted an earthquake of minimum 6 on the Richter scale which will impact all of us in only 24 hours. I then gave them five minutes to individually list a minimum of five things they would do before the earthquake hit.
At the end of the time I asked the class who had either listed or developed their list with the idea that they were leaving for a safer area. The majority of the class raised their hands. Then I asked who had either listed or framed their list with the idea that they were staying in their homes. About 10% of the class raised their hands.
I then talked to the group that had said they were leaving for a safer place and asked them where they were going and how they were getting there. Most said they would head for the homes of family members who lived away from the projected damage area. Some said they would head for preferred vacation-type locals using commercial airlines.
We then pulled together their lists of what they needed to do before they left into a master list on the board. Examples from those answers include arranging rendezvous points with family members and friends, securing their places of residence, buying supplies including food and water, contacting their insurance agents, and arranging for pets. As we completed the list one student pointed out that none of them could do everything they listed and still drive out of the danger zone in 24 hours.
Next we moved to the students who said they would stay. When asked their reasons for staying even after a warning that this would be a very dangerous earthquake they gave reasons such as:
- Since the roads would be clogged with others trying to get away they figured they were better off preparing as well as they could and staying at home so they would not be caught by the earthquake while still on the highway.
- One student said that unless the prediction specifically said that their home would be in the direct path of the earthquake they would stay because there was no proof that they might not be in more danger by moving then by staying.
- Another student said they knew what resources were available to them where they were and would not have the same knowledge in a new location.
Then as we did with the students who said they would leave we gathered their to-do lists on the board. There were, of course, many areas of overlap with the lists of those that were leaving including purchasing food and water, batteries and battery operated appliances like radios, and gasoline. In addition to those items the students who were staying listed things like generators, wood to secure their homes, and emergency supplies like sleeping bags and tents to their lists. Once the list was completed they commented that they would have a difficult time making most of the purchases on the list within the 24-hours after the announcement of the impending earthquake as those items would sell out quickly.
Then we talked about how the exercise is a thinly veiled effort to have them look at their situations in light of what has happened to those along the Gulf Coast. I asked them what they thought our responsibilities as Informaticists were in light of what they have seen happen in the last week and with the insights we have garnered through the individual exercise. I had a list of Informatics areas of specialization on a slide including, Bio Informatics, Chemical Informatics, Health Informatics, Human Computer Interaction, New Media, and Social Informatics. We then discussed ways that people with these specialties could help those that have been impacted by Hurricane Katrina and ways that they could help to prevent the level of disaster we have seen in Katrina's aftermath.
In specific we talked about the problems of lost medical records of those that have been displaced and what solutions were possible to reclaim information now and prevent the loss in the future. Likewise we talked about large scale databases to provide information on chemicals that could become hazards after a disaster. Due to the limited time for this lecture, one hour and fifteen minutes, we did not focus on other issues surrounding large scale databases such as the ethics of gathering such information, information security, or infrastructure issues. Though I did include comments that there were many associated issues with these solutions that would have to be considered before one would implement them, in specific I did list the three areas mentioned here.
Lastly I introduced this week's lab assignment, the text of which follows. The lab assignment is designed to promote volunteerism by asking students to use their Informatics skills, if possible, to assist others or to have them think through ways their current or future Informatics skills could be used to prevent some facet of the disaster or to improve the quality of life for those impacted.
You have two choices for this lab from which you must select one for credit. Please feel free to do both if you have the time to do so or to exceed the volunteer times listed here.
- Volunteer a minimum of one hour and fifteen minutes to assist those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Examples would be volunteering at the Red Cross Call Center (see http://wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3779177&nav=0Ra7dsPd ), or through the Red Cross efforts at the State Fair Grounds. There are many many opportunities out there to donate this minimum amount of time. Use some creativity and find an organization that has need of your skills.
- Document your time with a note or letter on official organizational stationary.
- Or though a copy of the internet screen that annotates the completed project, for online work.
- Or a snap shot of you working will do as well. Just make sure I can identify what organization you are helping.
- Scan newspapers and news magazines in paper form or online. Find a minimum of three articles related to the Hurricane Katrina disaster where someone with either 1) the informatics skills you currently possess, or 2) the informatics skills you expect to have upon completion of your degree could assist or could have assisted those impacted. The assistance must have a positive impact upon their life situation either through preventing injury, prolonging life, improving current conditions, or positioning them for future survival and success.
- Once you have your articles write a short paper (3 pages maximum) that describes how your skills could be used to improve conditions for those described in the news stories.
- Turn in your paper through the Oncourse Assignment page. Include full APA or MLA citations for your three articles, and URLs if available. Check the IUPUI Libraries Quick Reference Resources: Style Guides (see http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/genref/writing.html ) for information on both formats.
- Please do not use examples given in class. Thank you.
The class is racially, economically, and age diverse and there is a roughly even split between men and women. I was pleased that many of the students participated in the class by giving ideas and insights during the hands-on exercise. As we moved into the section asking how we as Informaticists could help discussion declined though the students were attentive with strong backchannel communication from head nodding, direct eye contact, and note taking.
As for the lab, I have already had several emails and comments from students about volunteering including at least one who completed her lab requirement earlier this morning.
Residential Fellowship for Scholar Impacted by Katrina
Immediate Residential Fellowship for a Scholar Impacted by Katrina
PLEASE HELP US GET THE WORD OUT BY LINKING AND TRACKBACKING
The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park is pleased to be able to offer an immediate residential fellowship available to any one faculty member or ABD doctoral candidate at an institution closed by Hurricane Katrina.
Housed in the campus's primary research library, MITH is a community of scholars devoted to the application of new media and digital technologies to humanities scholarship and teaching. Projects have typically taken the form of electronic editions, scholarly databases, or high-end teaching materials. See examples here:
While colleges and universities seem to be moving very fast to accommodate displaced undergraduates, the careers of graduate students and faculty also have to be protected and tended to. We are therefore able to offer a scholar his or her personal workspace, the use of our extensive hardware and software resources, easy access to the university's library collections (and a base from which to access the unparalleled academic and cultural institutions of the DC area besides), and expert-level consulting about digital scholarship.
While we regret we are unable to offer a stipend, funding is available for temporary relocation and some initial start-up expenses.
To apply, please send a letter of inquiry describing the project to be undertaken (either new or continuing research), a CV, and contact information for three references. Application materials may be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 301-314-7111 or by post to Neil Fraistat, Acting Director, MITH, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Consideration of applications to begin immediately. Applications from women and minorities and graduate students and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities is encouraged.
Neil Fraistat, Acting Director (301-405-3817)
Matthew Kirschenbaum, Acting Associate Director
Carl Stahmer, Acting Associate Director
Hurricane Katrina Timeline
There has been much discussion from the White House trying to place blame for their failure to assist U.S. citizens dealing with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on others. I have been keeping an eye out for a good solid time frame that shows plainly what I remember but could not accurately documents. Today I found one that grabs the guts of what I wanted for my own use, check out Hurricane Katrina Timeline.
New Category - Daily Writing
So I'm adopting the steps set out in the essay Publish and Flourish: Becoming a Prolific Scholar. To that end I have added a new category to the blog entitled Daily Writing...the time, oh the time. This category will be used to capture and track my daily writing - projects, time, and word counts. Guess I'm using all of you to keep me honest. It's rather difficult to hide from a public display of your success or failure.
A MUST read - Tomorrow's Professor listserv and the Prolific Scholar
I noted in a previous post I had been given a pointer to Tomorrow's Professor listserv. Well after three weeks of reading their essays I have to pass on a strong recommendation about the listserv. If you are planning on, or even strongly considering, becoming a professor you should join this group ASAP. Here is today's message entitled "PUBLISH AND FLOURISH; BECOME A PROLIFIC SCHOLAR" just to give you a flavor for the listserv.
The myth persists that prolific scholars are born, not made, but research suggests otherwise. Much is known about how to become more prolific-and any scholar can.
These steps will show you how.
Step 1. Write daily for 15 to 30 minutes. Many scholars believe that writing requires big blocks of time. They're wrong. Research shows that scholars who write daily publish far more than those who write in big blocks of time. The problem with big blocks of time is that they're hard to find. In contrast, when you write daily, you start writing immediately because you remember what you were writing about the day before. This leads to impressive production. In one study participants who wrote daily wrote only twice as many hours as those who wrote occasionally in big blocks of time but wrote or revised ten times as many pages (Boice 2000:144).
Step 2. Record time spent writing daily, share records weekly. Writing daily increases your productivity as a writer. But to write daily you will need to keep a daily record of your writing, and share those records with someone weekly. What difference does keeping records make? Robert Boice led a series of workshops for scholars who sought to improve their writing productivity. Boice stressed the importance of writing daily, keeping a record of the minutes spent on writing, and being accountable to someone weekly. Participants were divided into three groups: (a) The first group ("controls") did not change their writing habits, and continued to write occasionally in big blocks of time; in 1 year they wrote an average of 17 pages; (b) the second group wrote daily and kept a daily record; they averaged 64 pages; (c) the third group wrote daily, kept a daily record, and held themselves accountable to someone weekly; this group's average was 157 pages (Boice 1989:609). Without records and someone to share them with it is too easy to convince yourself that you will write "tomorrow." But "tomorrow" never comes-or at least it doesn't come very often.
Step 3. Write from the first day of your research project. Write from the first day of your project-as soon as you have a research idea-and keep writing throughout the project. Don't finish the research first; research as you write, and write as you research. Not all writing must be formal and polished. Some writing is done simply to generate thought and to keep a record of ideas, however crude, so they can be reviewed and revised later. The roughest draft can be valuable precisely because it can be saved, reviewed, and revised. Physicist Dallin Durfee (Brigham Young University) explains how writing this way improved his research and saved time:
I've begun to write about my physics experiments while they are still in progress, allowing me to see weaknesses in our experiments and realize what data will be most useful in making cohesive arguments early on, before research time has been wasted on unfruitful ideas
Step 4. Post your thesis on the wall, then write to it. When you sit down to write, take a stab at describing what you are going to write about. Don't make this difficult by trying to write the perfect sentence. Just jot down a word or a phrase; you can develop it later. Treat this as a working thesis: You can and should change it later. Better theses will almost invariably arise from this writing process. Eventually, you will want a short, memorable sentence that tells your reader what is at stake, what problem you are trying to solve, what claim you are making, or what your result or conclusion is. Just assert your point; don't burden the thesis with trying to prove it-you have the rest of the paper to do that. Post your thesis on the wall. Then define, refine, and write to your purpose. Keep coming back to your thesis. Work back and forth between your thesis and the rest of your paper, revising first one and then the other.
Step 5. Organize around key sentences. Readers expect nonfiction to have one point per paragraph. The point of the paragraph should be contained in a key or topic sentence, located early in the paragraph and supported by the rest of the paragraph. A key sentence is to a paragraph like a street sign is to a street: it helps the reader to navigate by showing what is to come. A key sentence announces the topic of the paragraph (Williams 1990:97-105). It must be broad enough to "cover" everything in the paragraph but not so broad that it raises issues that are not addressed in the paragraph. To test this idea, ask yourself the (key) question: "Is the rest of the paragraph about the idea in the key sentence?" The key sentence should announce the topic without trying to prove the point-the rest of the paragraph serves that function. It should include the key words; that is, if the paragraph is about Napoleon, then "Napoleon" (rather than "he") should be the subject of the key sentence.
A key sentence differs from what many people were taught about topic sentences because a key sentence need not be the first sentence in a paragraph (Williams 1990:90, 101). The later the key sentence appears in a paragraph, the longer the paragraph tends to be. When writers take longer to warm up to the key sentence, they also take longer to explain, support, and qualify it (Williams 1990:92-93). How long writers take to warm up is mostly a matter of tradition, and various disciplines have various traditions. In most scientific disciplines, key sentences tend to be the first sentence in the paragraph; in other disciplines, key sentences appear as the second or third sentence in the paragraph.
Step 6. Use key sentences as an after-the-fact outline. To examine the organization of your writing, list the key sentences-and headings-to see an after-the-fact outline (Booth, Colomb and Williams 2003:213, 188). Now, read the list and question yourself about the purpose and organization of the writing:
* How could the key sentences better communicate the purpose (thesis) of the paper to the intended audience?
* How could the key sentences be better organized? More logical? More coherent?
Once you have viewed your key sentences as an after-the-fact outline a few times you will discover how valuable it is to see your prose through this new lens. You will also discover there is no point in waiting to view your paper this way until you have a full draft of a writing project. Instead, you will find it useful to begin each writing session by viewing only the headings and key sentences of the section you worked on the previous day.
Step 7. Share early drafts with non-experts. The biggest communication problem is overestimating what your readers know. After all, you have thought about your research problem for months or years, but your readers probably haven't. To find out what your readers know and don't know, flick the imaginary reader off your shoulder and find some real readers-actual humans you can talk to. Caution: The more expert your readers are on the topic, the less likely they will be to tell you what they don't know and need to know. So find readers who don't know very much about the topic: colleagues in different disciplines, family members, undergraduate students. These are the people who will point out problems of organization and clarity without fearing that they will appear to be uninformed. Prod these non-experts to think about clarity and organization: "What passages were hardest to understand?" "Where did you feel unsure about where you were going?" Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no," such as "Is the paper clear?" Such questions do not invite dialog. Instead, ask questions that start a dialog with your non-expert readers.
Step 8. Share later drafts with little-e experts and Capital-E Experts. Little-e experts include anyone trained in your discipline; Capital-E Experts include the biggest experts in your discipline or your sub-discipline. Share middle drafts with experts who can help you in some of the ways that non-experts can help you-as well as some of the ways that Capital-E Experts can help you. Little-e experts can help you with clarity and organization as non-experts can, but only if you make it very safe for them to ask questions about those topics. Because you have written this paper, you will know far more about the topic than they do. So you must make it safe for them to ask you questions. Some experts can also help you by giving you ideas for what you should read and where to send your article and they can help you get better known in your field by referring your work to others and so on. That is to say, some little-e experts can help you in many of the same ways that Capital-E Experts can help you. For that reason, you should approach them in much the same way you approach Capital-E Experts, as discussed next, except that you can share earlier drafts with them because you know them better and know more of them. Strive to get about half your feedback from experts.
Share near-finished drafts with at least two Capital-E Experts. Why do you want to send near-finished drafts to Experts, when you could wait for them to read the final copy in print? Because they are far more likely to read-and engage with and cite-something that lands on their desk with a letter addressed specifically to them than with something that they find "in the literature." So approach the Experts by tailoring an e-mail or letter that explains how their work has informed yours and by asking specific questions aimed at the intersection of your work and theirs. Explain that you are asking only for a "quick read" and would be delighted if they would spend even 20 minutes with your work. Then ask, "What articles should I read and cite that I haven't?" and "To what journal would you send this manuscript?" Don't be bashful; ask for a turnaround of 2 to 3 weeks.
Step 9. Learn how to listen. Remember, when it comes to clarity, the reader is always right. "Clarity is a social matter, not something to be decided unilaterally by the writer. The reader like the consumer, is sovereign. If the reader thinks something you write is unclear, then it is, by definition. Quit arguing" (McCloskey 2000:12).
Step 10. Respond to each criticism. The paper is usually read by several reviewers. Don't expect reviewers-or other readers-to make identical comments. It's tempting to conclude that, when reviewers don't make the same suggestions, they disagree. When researchers examined scholarly reviews, they found that reviewers gave good [specific] advice and did not contradict each other (Fiske and Fogg 1990:591-597). Generally, one reader will criticize the literature review, another will find fault with the methods, and yet another will take umbrage with the findings. If you make changes in response to each of these reviewers, you will improve the paper and reduce the chance that other readers will find fault with the manuscript. Think of each specific concern as a hole in your rhetorical "dam:" the more holes you plug, the better your argument will "hold water."
Step 11. Read your prose out loud. To polish your prose, read it out loud to someone, or have someone read it out loud to you. You can hear when the prose is awkward and least conversational. And, you can listen for excessive precision. If you just can't bring yourself to ask someone for help with your whole paper, ask someone for help with the abstract, introduction, and conclusion. If you can't find someone to help you, read it out loud to yourself.
Step 12. Kick it out the door and make 'em say "No." You are almost ready to send your paper out, but two obstacles remain: perfectionism and fear of rejection. Expect rejection and plan for it. Select three journals for every manuscript. Address three envelopes-and stamp them. By choosing three journals, you have a long-term plan for your paper. If your paper is rejected at the first journal, you are prepared to send it to the second journal without the usual delay. And, keep your perfectionism in check. You may say that your paper is not really done. It could be better. That's true today, and it will be true 10 years from now. It's tough to know when "enough is enough." As a writer, you must find the balance between "making it better and getting it done" (Becker 1986: 122). You've written it. Trusted colleagues have read it. You've responded to their criticisms-it's time to kick it out the door (Becker 1986: 121). Artists are encouraged not to over-paint a picture, and bury a good idea in a muddy mess. And so it is for writers: don't overwrite your paper and bury a good idea in a muddy mess (Becker 1986: 131). Don't worry-if your writing needs more work, you'll get another chance. Anonymous reviewers are not known for being over kind. Your job is to write it and mail it. Their job is to tell you if it will embarrass you publicly. You've done your job so make 'em do theirs: Kick it out the door and make 'em say "YES!"
Becker, Howard S. (1986). Writing for social scientists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Boice, Robert. (1989). Procrastination, busyness and bingeing. Behavior Research Therapy, 27, 605-611.
Boice, Robert. (2000). Advice for new faculty members: Nihil nimus. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, & Joseph M. Williams. (2003). The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fiske, Donald W., and Louis Fogg. (1990). But the reviewers are making different criticisms of my paper! Diversity and uniqueness in reviewer comments. American Psychologist, 45, 591-598.
McCloskey, Deirdre. (2000). Economical writing (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Williams, Joseph, with Gregory Colomb. (1990). Style: Toward clarity and grace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
September 07, 2005
Hurricane Katrina...a teaching moment
I have been struck by a point in comparing 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. You see after 9/11 people on the street were very very quiet and the academic listservs were very loud with discussions of politics, religion, and how to work with students to discuss the issues.
In sharp contrast we have the last week as the unfolding aftermath of Hurricane Katrina filled the airwaves and column inches of the mass media. In the last week the people on the street are normal to loud and the listservs are quiet.
On Monday I put out a call to one listserv asking what those that are teaching this semester will be doing on the issues surround the disaster in their classes. To date I have received one response, that one being from a fellow member of my program who is teaching out-of-state.
What does this mean? I'm almost afraid to think that one through...are faculty not using this as a teaching moment or are they just not responding to an email? I really don't know for sure, all I do know is that this evening as my class discussion of the issues was winding down I asked the students if they had discussed the disaster in their other classes. Only two people in my class of 38 had had another class where the issues were even broached. My guess is, knowing their majors, that they were both in the same class with a faculty member in my department who told me that she had discussed the issue of lost health records in her class. I know it's only Wednesday, just two short class days after the feds entered the city of New Orleans, but you would think there would be more than one other class discussion represented in a group this large.
PEW Report - Professors and the internet
The PEW Internet and American Life Project website pointed me to First Monday and an interesting article Professors Online: The Internet's Impact on College Faculty. The following is from the PEW site.
In the new report, Steve [Jones] and Camille [Johnson-Yale] report on the findings of their survey of 2,316 U.S. faculty in 48 institutions. The sample is quite diverse and stacks up pretty well with the demographic breakdown of the overall U.S. professor population when it is compared to U.S. Department of Education data. However, it is not a random sample, nor should it be considered the same as a representative sample of the entire faculty population of the country.
The report starts at an obvious point by noting that professors are heavy users of the internet, compared to the general population. The remainder of the report has positive and negative findings. On the up side, most faculty interviewed for this research say their use of the internet and email have increased their communication with students and improved their interactions. On the down side, many professors worry about the internet's impact on plagiarism. Further, the professors in this sample reported mixed results about the internet's impact on students' overall performance.
Abstract from First Monday.
This paper reports on findings from a nationwide survey of Internet use by U.S. college faculty. The survey asked about general Internet use, use of specific Internet technologies (e-mail, IM, Web, etc.), the Internet's impact on teaching and research, its impact on faculty-student interactions, and about faculty perceptions of students' Internet use. There is general optimism, though little evidence, about the Internet's impacts on their professional lives. The findings show that institutions of higher education still need to address three broad areas (infrastructure, professional development, and teaching and research) to assist faculty to continue to make good use of the Internet in their professional work.
Katrina People Finder
I have removed the Katrina People Finder link as the site is currently redundant, and no longer processing data, now that the search engines have stepped in with meta search functions for the multiple lists.
|Yahoo: Search Katrina lists from across the Web|
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Somehow I have slept (or over-worked) my way through the pre-release stuff for the most recent book in my favorite series. Thanks to Jalehla for giving me the heads up so I could get my order in the que.
Oh goody a fun book to read...wonder if I remember how to do that. Let's see first you pick up the book, read page, turn page, repeat the last two steps only put down book when there are no more pages to read...that sounds familiar.
If you haven't ventured into the Outlander series I strongly recommend them. They are often shelved in Romance but it's a misnomer so don't let that throw you. Foremost these books are Adventures. Though of course there is some romance in there. Heck there is romance in most SciFi too.
September 06, 2005
August Advisory Committee Report
Is it really September already, and the 6th at that. *sigh* Time does fly. Well here is my August Advisory Committee Report (pdf).
Another month of baking the academic bread to keep the soul fed. Or I guess that is as good an explanation of the graphic as any other. LOL
Getting if finished...dissertations or quals
From today's Inside Higher Ed careers section. Very good words I too need to take to heart. Emaphasis in the article is found in the original.
Words on Paper
By Brian Bialkowski
So you're still in graduate school, you've finished everything but your dissertation, and you're facing a pretty bleak academic future. You've been warned of graduate student attrition, shrinking job markets, tenuous adjunct work, a long and painful journey on the tenure track, and recurring bouts of insecurity and depression. Such dire predictions don't matter because you've invested too much time, effort, and money in graduate school to walk away without a guilty conscience. With so much discouraging news, how are you supposed to complete your dissertation?
As a former Ph.D. candidate at a major research university, I, like so many of you, have read, seen, and lived all the gloomy descriptions of academic life. I have questioned my past decisions and future plans, and at several points even contemplated calling the whole thing off.
Then, a funny thing happened at the end of one summer: I decided that I just needed to finish. Eight months later the dissertation was complete and gathering dust while I awaited an early-fall defense. From the whole process I learned certain lessons that, despite their helpfulness, didn't strike me as information that many professors are willing or ready to share. So to other graduate students and, perhaps, faculty looking for a novel way to nudge their wards toward completion, I offer my secrets to finishing the dissertation.
The first great secret about finishing is that there is no great secret. In my case, I had no sudden burst of intellectual insight, nor did I happen upon the forgotten piece of scholarship that suddenly brought all my arguments together and cleared the road for completion. There were a few stretches of frenzied writing and excessive caffeine consumption during which I lost sleep and became, shall we say, not fun to be around.But it would be an unfair exaggeration to characterize the eight months that it took to complete the lion's share of the writing as isolated and monkish toil. In fact, I held a part-time job throughout the whole process and even taught an upper-level course of about 35 students. In the plainest terms, I just plugged along.
It's hard, though, to sit down and simply begin to write. After all, the dissertation isn't just any piece of writing; it's the capstone piece of scholarship that will summarize your entire educational history, rightfully earn you the highest of academic degrees, and define you as you take your first steps into the scholarly life. A dissertation is different from the 15- to 25- page seminar papers that you can now crank out in a weekend. Not only are the individual chapters two or three times longer than anything you've written for your classes, but they have to fit together into a larger project than anything you've ever conceived. It has to be great.
Which brings me to the second great secret of finishing your dissertation: Stop telling yourself that the dissertation has to be great, that it has to redefine your field, that it has to be such a wonderful piece of scholarship that you will be able to trigger a bidding war between publishers the day after your defense. A dissertation doesn't have to be great. It doesn't even have to be good; it just has to be good enough.
If you need to be convinced of this, don't go to your department mailroom and peruse the dissertation propped on a stand - that's the one that garnered a dissertation-year fellowship from the university, won the "Dissertation of the Year" award from a national scholarly organization, and landed its author a plum tenure-track position at Big Time U. Instead, take a brief trip to the forgotten corner of the library that houses those somber rows of black volumes stamped with years and last names. Flip through a few of the thicker ones that seem remotely related to your discipline. Read their tables of contents. Skim their opening chapters. While there are sure to be some diamonds in the rough, for the most part you'll find that few dissertations qualify as great writing. Even if you miss some of the stinkers, you'll come across a number that leave you muttering, "Wow, I can do better than this."
You see, while second-guessing their own arguments and puzzling over whether vaguely-worded suggestions from a faculty member represent incisive comments or off-the-cuff and undeveloped thoughts, many Ph.D. students, including at one point myself, forget that they are already expert enough in a subject to produce a manuscript that will satisfy their committee. That's not to say that they can dump any argument on paper provided it stretches to 250 pages; instead, I merely suggest that they already know enough information and are familiar enough with at least the most significant works in a particular area of scholarship to put together a sizable and relatively original piece of work within that area. Of course, that work will be subjected to committee members' comments and criticism, but such criticism tends to grow more particular in focus as the larger project begins to coalesce.
You need, then, to complete something and get it in your committee members' hands. How do you do that in the quickest and most efficient manner possible? The answer is my third and, I confess, my favorite secret: words on paper.
Try repeating it. "Words on paper...Words on paper." It sounds simple enough. Say it a few more times. It feels good, doesn't it? It starts to sound like a chant, a motto, or mantra. It's almost like reverse meditation €” instead of repeating "om" or "one" to empty your mind of all thought and action, you repeat "words on paper" to reign in your wandering thoughts and commit to writing.
What do you write? Well, almost anything. The point is simply to sit down and write. Even the most accomplished and prolific novelists, short story writers, and essayists often begin their day with a writing exercise. Except for a handful of manic geniuses out there €” and even the quality of their work will probably be disputed €” heavy revision is the norm of composition, not the exception. You may set down some positively horrendous prose, but you will also express some of your arguments and provide you and your committee something tangible to work with and develop.
If all that is not enough to help you trudge through your final task as a Ph.D. student, I have this one final bit of advice that is either hopelessly pessimistic or brutally honest, depending on your point of view: nobody is really going to care about what you write.
Recall again those past dissertations that you glanced at in the library. How many of their authors' names are still on the tip of the tongue in scholarly circles? How many fewer are remembered for the particular piece of work that you flipped through? In writing a dissertation, you only have to satisfy your adviser and readers to the point that they sign off on it, after which it will be bound and stashed away in the library. Even if you view your dissertation as the first step towards a future career and hope to publish it as a book, you should realize that most dissertations are revised substantially before they're suitable for publication. Despite its length, it is simply not the equivalent of a book. What's left is nothing more or less than a graduation requirement.
This all sounds incredibly cynical.Readers out there will respond to my comments with a vigorous defense of the virtues of research and scholarly curiosity. They may even rightfully point out that my suggestions only fuel the deeper problems of a system that is leading students to produce timid, ponderous, and even unreadable dissertations. However, that is not students' problem to fix. Until institutions and the profession as a whole address that problem and adjust their graduate curricula accordingly, graduate students will remain stuck in that system, and will have to play by its rules.
Just remember that pages here and elsewhere have been filled with anecdotes of graduate student burnout and dropout, and statistics that confirm the frequency of such disheartening experiences. For every student who finishes a graduate degree, there is another one that burns out or fades away, and if you've been around long enough, you've learned that a good many stumble when the time comes to write their dissertation.
Cease your soul searching, turn away from the ubiquitous warnings about the profession, and give up your lofty dreams of producing a work that will earn you a place in the annals of scholarly history. Stop second-guessing yourself, stop imagining that you are writing a book for future generations, and write.
It won't be easy and it won't be pretty, but eventually you will finish. Sure, some of your work may be unreadable, but other parts will surprise you at their quality, and will be more concise and polished than anything you ever expected. It won't be perfect, it might not even be good, but it won't matter. In the end, you'll have words on paper and your degree in hand.
Mcnae's Essential Law for Journalists
This morning cybersoc.com pointed Mcnae's Essential Law for Journalists out to me as a good guide to issues that might be of use to a community manager or a simple blogger. Robin says the book "...has nearly 90 pages covering defamation law. There are also chapters on contempt of court, the publication of children's details, race relations, privacy, and the Data Protection Act." The publisher is Oxford University Press which makes me wonder if it is specifically for U.K. law or general enough for all of us. I've been thinking I needed to find a primer on legal issues related to CMC for my class next semester. I'll have to check out the libraries copy of Mcnae's and see if it will fit
CFP - The 2nd Annual IBM TJ Watson HCI Symposium
The 2nd Annual IBM TJ Watson HCI Symposium November 18, 2005
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.
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.
Dates (Please note revised dates)
Submission deadline: September 26, 2005 October 10, 2005
Acceptance notification: October 10, 2005 October 24, 2005
Symposium date: November 7, 2005 November 18, 2005
Email abstracts and supporting documentation to:
Catalina Danis (email@example.com) or Douglas Gordin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Douglas Gordin, PhD
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532
September 05, 2005
Changes to the blog sidebars and RSS feed
This morning I added two new Hurricane Katrina-related graphics to the site. First there is now a Red Cross donation graphic and link in the upper-right hand corner of the blog.
There is also a Katrina Peoplefinder Project graphic on the left sidebar.
Those two join the Red Cross donation graphic that was added to RSS feeds yesterday through Feedburner.
Donate a hour to the Kartina Peoplefinder Project
Donate a hour of your time to the Katrina People Finder Project. Anyone who reads this blog has the skills and all of us can find an hour of time to donate to this cause. If, like me, you have already given as much money as you can afford then please take the time to help out with the peoplefinder wiki.
What is up with Bloglines?
Darren at ProBlogger has been complaining about Bloglines for a couple of weeks now and while I too have had problems today has taken that cake, as it were. Today many of my subscribed weblogs are showing with new posts but they are not new or even updated...just the same old stuff I read days or weeks ago. What gives? It's pretty bad when my Google Toolbar is updating me long before Bloglines is doing so.
Kaye Trammell in the Washington Post
When people prepare for hurricanes, they do many things: top off gas tanks in cars, fill bathtubs with water, buy water, charge up mobile phones and check evacuation routes. I did all these things. And I started a blog.
Hearing that Hurricane Katrina was making her way to Louisiana, I started the blog to keep my loved ones updated about my safety. Even though I have been through many hurricanes, this would be the first I would go through alone. Why not just leave? I thought I had to work on Tuesday.
I didn't naively assume that the audience for Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog was limited to my loved ones; I knew others might be interested in my "coverage." Even so, I blogged my account in a very personal way.
I've added some of the blogs, from the article sidebar, to my "Hurricane" blogroll on the right.
The sound of Tribble
Ivan Tribble has reared his head again in the Chronicle. The piece is part "further explanation" and part redress of his commenters and is required reading for any grad student aiming at jobs in academia.
One thing I would like to point out is the following quote.
...the issue is not the medium itself, but how it is used.
This is an interesting assertion since Tribble's first Chronicle article defiantly advised potential academic job-seekers against using weblogs as an online forum NOT against the use of weblogs by some academic writers. When you say that some search committee members are afraid that bloggers might comment inappropriately on colleagues or the university, even though their previous writings show none of those propensities, you are advising against the medium not against the uses of the medium as Tribble implies.
Is it time for the government to ask for help from the people to get folks out Katrina's devastation
jill on feral texts
And now for some scholarly links and comment. jill/txt has an interesting post drawn from her upcoming presentation at Digital Textuality meeting in Lyon, later this month.
At our last meeting, I presented the concept of feral hypertexts, hypertexts that have gone wild on the net and that defy the kind of pre-planned structures that we have traditionally seen as necessary to steward our collective knowledge. Examples of feral hypertexts include weblogs, wikis and other bottom up or self-organising systems of texts. There are in fact several ways in which such texts organise, but rather than being hierarchical and centralised, where themes are predefined by a central editor or group of editors, they are bottom-up, providing flexible structures which can be filled by a vast and changing group of contributors. Themes emerge, and are visualised by the infrastructure of the system, through devices such as collaborative editing (Wikipedia), tagging or a folksonomy (Flickr, Del.icio.us, CiteULike) and trackbacks (weblogs).
At this meeting I would like to explore in more detail what this might mean for our praxis of developing and editing critical editions of texts, inspired by the discussions we had in Bergen a few months ago, and the examples of critical editions I saw in the research group.
I like the concept of feral texts but I'm not sure I can see that weblogs are such by definition. Even pulling the following from her paper, link under "feral hypertext" above, doesn't help me see how a weblog in its totality is feral by definition.
What feral hypertexts have in common is that they have reverted to the wild, in one respect or another. They are no longer tame. They won't do what we expect and they refuse to stay put within boundaries we've defined. They don't follow standards—indeed, they appear to revel in the non-standard, while perhaps building new kinds of standard that we don't yet understand.
I can see how the use of weblog materials can so constructed. I have thought about the predatation environment that surrounds blogging through quotation and trackback. But I think the feral aspect is a secondary one. Texts are produced through the good wishes of the writer but then can become feral when they "escape" from the boundaries of their original pages. Clearly I need to take time to read jill's paper and absorb the nuances of her description.
Lord knows that I accept the following quote and have certainly seen those characteristics played out in my own research both directly and indirectly.
Perhaps it is more useful to think about new kinds of textuality as more akin to performances than to the texts produced in the 19th century. Walter Ong suggested that our electronic media might be viewed as a secondary orality, and the living web has much in common with oral traditions.
jill's work on this vein is important to my own, in particular to a piece I need to finalize for submission. That piece deals with issues of feedback and calibration in weblog performance and addresses some of the same issues as lose of control over the performance once is has left the safe boundaries of its home url. Another thing to work on post quals.
Bush nominates unconfirmed Supreme Court Justice to the Nations highest judical position
From Bloomberg.com, Bush Chooses John Roberts as Next U.S. Chief Justice.
U.S. President George W. Bush, acting only two days after the death of William H. Rehnquist, said he will nominate federal appeals court Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be the nation's 17th chief justice.
Roberts, 50, was in line to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, with Senate confirmation hearings scheduled to begin tomorrow. Bush instead will pick a new nominee for that seat.
I think the title says it all.
September 04, 2005
CFP - Immediate call by NSF for SGER Proposals
Immediate call by NSF for SGER Proposals for research in fields of science, engineering and education.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is requesting immediate submission of proposals for Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The SGER program is designed to
allow investigators to write brief proposals for funding up to $200,000 for 1 to 2 years; promising a very short turn-around time to address research topics that are relevant to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
This call is being sponsored by the Human and Social Dynamics Initiative, which is a cross-cutting initiative. Its primary description follows:
The Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) priority area fosters breakthroughs in understanding the dynamics of human action and development, as well as knowledge about organizational, cultural, and societal adaptation and change. HSD aims to increase our collective ability to (1) anticipate the complex consequences of change; (2) understand the dynamics of human and social behavior at all levels, including that of the human mind; (3)
understand the cognitive and social structures that create, define, and result from change; and (4) manage profound or rapid change, and make decisions in the face of changing risks and uncertainty. Accomplishing
these goals requires multidisciplinary research teams and comprehensive, interdisciplinary approaches across the sciences, engineering, education, and humanities, as appropriate.
If you have questions regarding this call for proposals please contact your NSF program officer immediately.
September 03, 2005
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Dies
William Hubbs Rehnquist, the 16th Chief Justice of the United States, died last night [Saturday September 3, 2005] at his home in Arlington. He was 80.
Rehnquist, who had been suffering from thyroid cancer since last October, had managed to lead the court through its last term, which ended in June. But he went through "a precipitous decline in his health in the last couple of days," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
IU open to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina
In the past 48 hours, the IU Bloomington campus has heard from dozens of families inquiring about admission to the university. The majority of these calls have been from families of students who were admitted to IU but chose to go to Tulane University. IU is doing everything possible to help them and students from other universities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to enroll. Close to 20 students have been admitted thus far and more are arriving this week.
The part education plays in the human disaster on the Gulf Coast
nihilistic_kid, found via jill/txt, points to what appears to be an email message he received from New Orleans resident and Left Turn editor Jordan Flaherty. Jordan Flaherty reports is an interesting read and one part of it caught my eye.
The city [of New Orleans] has a 40% illiteracy rate, and over 50% of black ninth graders will not graduate in four years. Louisiana spends on average $4,724 per child's education and ranks 48th in the country for lowest teacher salaries. The equivalent of more than two classrooms of young people drop out of Louisiana schools every day and about 50,000 students are absent from school on any given day.
Ignorance no doubt added to this catastrophe. If you don't know how to find help and have reason not to trust those who say they are providing it, is there any wonder that you don't evacuate when it is advised?
Homeland Security, or more accurately Non-Security
Taken from the WWLV-TV "blog"
11:22 P.M. - (AP): Outspoken rapper Kanye West made waves at NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief." He claimed "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and said America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."
West began a rant by saying, "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."
In a statement, NBC said, "Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks.
"It would be most unfortunate," the statement continued, "if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion."
There is no doubt in my mind that West is correct in part of his statement as there is equally no doubt that most Americans don't agree with the governments actions. I do believe that part of the delay was due to the race and economic class of those involved...planning was never done to get them out before the storm nor had anyone in power thought through who would be left behind by an evacuation order. The power of invisibility in any country...and the poor are always at the bottom of that evaluation.
But I think he needs to rethink who he considerers to be "America." America is not the government, oh yes they are our elected face to the world...but they are not us. And at times like this it shows. The rich white guys club in Washington has no concept. To them you "need" a round of golf or a vacation, few if any of them have ever really struggled to make ends meet. They just have no idea what it is like to really "need" the basics of life.
We the American people...the real America...we know. We are seeing the pictures coming out of the Gulf Coast region and we are appalled at what we see. And many of us know that but for a very few issues we are the people in the picture. As my husband has been want to say for years, "None of us for more than two days from living like cave men."
I can't begin to relay my own disgust at the unequal treatment I am seeing and reading about. I watched armed military folk entering the Convention Center for the first time, not to help the people stranded there...oh no not that...but to remove a white Spanish Parliament Member who was stranded while on vacation. Oh and let's not over look "special" buses to get hotel employees out before others being allowed through when the school buses to transport regular citizens are siting and awaiting clearance to enter. This are problems on so many levels.
Yesterday I heard President Bush say that looting was looting...no matter that people are hungry and thirsty and dieing for lack of basic necessities. MY GOD...I consider myself a law abiding person but if the law has abandoned you, you have few choices. The folks in the Convention Center have only been getting what little food and water they have had because a group of folk have been breaking into hotel kitchens to scrounge for what was left. Do I blame them? Heck no, I applaud their resourcefulness and their compassion for their fellowman. And I am very glad that they have not met with armed resistance to their actions. Clearly local authorites understand that taking food is not looting, it's survival.
How much of the looting we have been shown is of the same character? Not sure I will ever know the answer to that question but it gives me pause. Could the two black men shown pushing shopping carts of Nike shoes have just been trying to help those around them who had lost everything? Could the folks who were taking luggage have been making due with something that rolled and would help them help someone else? I don't know for sure but I do know that it's far to easy to assume the worst.
No doubt there are people who have cracked and are doing things that even in a generous state of mind I can not explain. I have no explanation for taking flat screen tvs other then reasons that would make the "taking" a theft. Nor can I explain why anyone would shot at evaluation helicopters taking critically ill patients out of a hospital. Nothing I hear or think for myself explains it to enough degree for me to be able to wrap my brain around it.
Finally I think it's so sad that the network has to issue a disclaimer to such a statement made by an American citizen exercising his right to free speech in it's truest form...exercising his right to oversee the activities of his government. I applaud West for speaking up. And I hope that in the months and years ahead we as a nation will begin to address the deep seeded issues of race and poverty in this country. Let's at least admit it is a problem and begin a public discourse on the topics. We badly need to do so.
I'm so proud of the American people
Yesterday I said, in a post, that this week I was not proud to be an American. That is true but only when I look at the actions of my government, which I will have a few comments on in the next post. In truth I couldn't be prouder of the American people and their actions this week.
While the federal government sat on their hands and ignored the worsening situation along the Gulf Coast private individuals took matters into their own hands and did what they could to help. While federal officials were denying that there were problems in the Conventions Center, locals whose homes were still mostly dry and intact emptied their pantries to bring food and water to their neighbors in need. In so doing they drove through areas that the Feds were saying were impassable, but they made it through.
Communities leaders in neighboring states gathered what they could from local food pantries and private citizens. Then they too drove to affected areas and offered their assistance.
As of last night the Red Cross had taken in 200 million dollars in donations to help those stricken. I'm sure that similar increases in giving have been shown by all the aid agencies.
People across the United States are opening their homes to those that have been displaced - offering food, shelter, and in some cases even employment and job training.
We are not our government...we are, by and large, good kind hearted people who reach out to those affected without consideration of race, creed, or economic status. I hope that the rest of the world can see the true nature of the American people through our actions in this emergency.
September 02, 2005
Louisiana refugees on their way to Indiana
Earlier today Marsh Supermarkets, an Indiana based company, sent a plane to Louisiana loaded with 9000 lbs of water and food. They offered free transportation back to Indiana for anyone wishing to leave the state. I am hearing that the plane is to land in Indianapolis by 7:30 p.m. with 70 + refugees. These folks will immediately receive medical care and then will be moved to the Red Cross Shelter in downtown Indianapolis.
Hats off to Marsh for taking the initiative and doing what they can to help folks in need.
What they are saying overseas
It's just unacceptable
The President is on TV talking about how aid is surging toward the affected areas from across the US. The White House announced that the Bush's have given a donation to the Red Cross. How lovely...it's Friday and the Hurricane hit on Monday. Most of that aid is from the donations of regular citizens like you and me. How sad is that.
Oh and they said that long range planning is beginning. HELLO what is wrong with this picture. This is a big country where hurricanes and earthquakes and tornadoes and tsunamis could and will happen. Think about what will happen should the San Andreas let go or when the New Madrid hits those of us in the midwest as is long overdue. The potential is there, has always been there, this is just not new information. Then add to that the potential for large terrorist attacks. This is just unacceptable.
The first job of a national government is protection of its citizenry. I don't feel very well protected sitting here in Indiana on a beautiful bright sunny late summer day...I can only guess that the people of the southern Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana don't feel very well protected either.
There is only outrage
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is a national disgrace, this is not one of those weeks I am proud to be an American. Within two days after September 11 the government had mobilized troops and aid...but for southern cities and towns is takes days to even mobilize the troops. Indiana National Guard has 300 troops leaving today and another 1000 leaving tomorrow. Far too few, far too late.
Why is that? Bad planning...no doubt. Over stretched resources...also no doubt and as such is a part of the first answer. Personally I think there are far more social issues playing out here than most of us ever want to face in our mirrors. The survivors are mostly very poor and black and they made the bad retrospective decision to stay during a hurricane that was advertised as being on the worst to ever head toward our coastlines. Well all I can say is too bad...they are still human and they still deserve help. If people can't muster caring for the adults then think of the children and the infirm and the elderly...the decision for them to stay was made by others and they are dieing down there.
Isn't it nice that Bush cut his vacation short and flew back from Texas with a low loop over the city so he could look at the physical damage from the air. I can only wish that they would get a clue here, the real issues are not all that visible from the air. Infrastructure damage is definitely an issue in providing aid but the real issue is the human cost, the people who need the aid.
It's clear that we can't count on our government to help these people so there is no doubt in my mind it is up the rest of us to take care of the problem and then to hold our government accountable this is just totally unacceptable. If you haven't given to an aid agency please do so now...and give as much as you can.
If you are within 300 - 500 miles of the affected areas please consider taking in refugees from this disaster. If you choice to take people in there are sites online to help match you up, check out Hurricane Katrina Survivors there are other sites as well if you do some searching.
September 01, 2005
Topographical changes Katrina brought
The Map Room has links to, among other things, a very interesting animated satellite photo (opens a new smaller window) with before and after Katrina transitions. I can't get over how much the waterfront has changed. Look closely at the changes around Lake Ponchartrain and then at Biloxi.
A single Feedburner account
Some months ago I wrote about my frustration in having two Feedburner accounts coming out of this blog. Well after trying redirect and auto-find changes recommended by Feedburner I have realized that the only way to fix the problem is to delete one of the feeds and set it for redirect to the index page. From whence, at least we hope from whence, your feedreader will discover the single remaining feed and everyone will be on the same account.
That of course is the "if everything works right scenario." If everything doesn't work right and you are reading this because your feed was lost I apologize...and I'm glad you are here looking for whatever RSS I provide.