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

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

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

Weblogs as a bridging genre

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

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

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

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

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

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

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

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

My CiteULike Page

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

December 21, 2005

Another year of prolurker

I sat down on the evening of the 21st to start working on this post. Something about the solstice makes me reflective no matter what, and two days until the blog's anniversary just adds to the existing atmosphere. It seems to be appropriate to be playing Seasons of Love from Rent while I write this - 525, 600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?.... Of course the other interesting issue is that I am writing this while my blog is offline, having expended its monthly bandwidth allocation and awaiting a new transfusion to get us through moving to the new host.

During the last year the blog and I have grown in ways I may not know completely for some time. The blog is maybe the easiest to describe. Prolurker has been honored this year with nominations for design and has been used as required reading/viewing in classes ranging from online diary studies to new media design. I want to thank all of my colleagues who have found value here and have recommended the work to their students. There is no greater complement than to have my work become part of anothers classroom.

As for me personally, because of the blog I have been interviewed for a variety of theses and dissertations ranging from looks at academic blogging to discussions of gender in the blogosphere. From the perspective of one who didn't write a people-centric masters thesis - my thesis from my first masters is on commuter patterns between Indiana counties - and as one who has yet to begin their dissertation, it has been very interesting to watch these projects develop and to make note of aspects I want to use myself when I approach my dissertation.

In the 525,600 minutes…give or take…since I sat down to write my last annual review of the blog, the following points jump out at me from this year:

Last year's "Year in Review" post was heavy with numbers, and somehow this year I don't see the need for it. It probably doesn't hurt that as I update this post for publication on January 4, 2006 I have lost all of my previous user stats in the move to the new host. I was planning on adding a clip of the cPanel Webalizer panel but all of that is lost. It's a bummer since I all I will have for annual reports is the cummulative increase...oh well.

The future of professional-lurker is? You know, I have no idea. As for right now I think now that Prolurker is up and running on it's new hosts servers it is steady state and that is just fine by me.

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?

Posted by prolurkr at 06:58 PM | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Prolurker will be quiet for awhile

As I have mentioned prolurker is moving to a new host shortly. In preparation for that move the site will be quiet, and possibly even down for a day or so while all of the moves and realignments are going on. So before I go let me wish all of you happy hollydays, enjoy the dark of the year. I expect the site will be active again by the beginning of next week (12/26/05).

Posted by prolurkr at 11:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Bloglines is moving to bigger digs

Moving Data Centers

Bloglines will have a planned outage on Monday, December 19, 2005 in order to relocate to a new data center. Here's our planned schedule for tomorrow:

* 2:00pm Pacific Daylight Time (10:00pm UTC): Your subscriptions will stop updating with new items.

* 4:00pm PDT (12:00am UTC December 20th): The Bloglines site will be completely offline. During this time you will not be able to access your account.

* 8:00pm PDT (4:00am UTC December 20th): The Bloglines site will be back online by this time. New articles posted during the outage will appear in your account.

We look forward to vastly improved hardware capacity and tons of elbow room for growth. Thank you for your patience during this outage.

Hopefully this will help.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:49 PM | TrackBack

Edublog 2005 Award Winners

I hope that next year they split up elementary ed, high school ed, and higher ed (or some such divisions) into separate sections. It was difficult to vote because the audiences were so disparate. If they don't maybe we will have to start our own higher ed awards. I have to admit I find it sad that none of the winners are blogs I read...and none of the blogs I read won, few were even made the final nomination cut.

The International Edublog Awards Winners 2005

* Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme 2005

James Farmer: Edublogs

"Sometimes when people win something and say "it wasn't me, it was the team" etc. you know they're really talking out of their arses and they do in fact entirely think it was them but feel compelled to say otherwise. However, this isn't always the case and I promise you that I am in no way talking out of my arse when I say that Elgg is an amazing and developing product that Dave & Ben have put together in an incredible way, Ed Tech Talk is another two-man stunning production and Stephen's Web must have had more man hours put into it than most decent sized buildings. Whereas all I've done is whack up a blogging service which a bunch of people seem to have found useful… So, seriously, and I promise you with no arse at all, this isn't for me, it's for the people who use"

* Best newcomer 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

* Most influential post, resource or presentation 2005

George Siemens: Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation

* Best designed/most beautiful edublog 2005

D'Arcy Norman: D'Arcy Norman Dot Net

* Best library/librarian blog 2005

Joyce Valenza: Joyce Valenza's NeverEnding Search

* Best teacher blog, joint winners 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

Anne Davis: Edublog Insights

* Best audio and/or visual blog 2005

Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow: Ed Tech Talk

* Best example/ case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning 2005

Thomas Hawke, Thomas Stiff, Susan Stiff, Diane Hammond (YES I Can! Science team): Polar Science

"Thank you very much! The Polar Science Project was developed and coordinated by the YES I Can! Science team - Dr. Thomas Stiff, Susan Stiff and Diane Hammond of McMaster University in Canada. The project blogs were one of many communication tools we used to give students the opportunity to interact with Canadian scientist Dr. Thomas Hawke, as he conducted research on the aerobic capacity of Weddell seals in Antarctica.

We would like to thank Dr. Hawke for his interesting and informative articles, and all of the students and their teachers for their insightful questions and observations."

* Best group blog 2005

Rudolf Amman, Aaron Campbell, Barbara Dieu:

* Best individual blog 2005

Stephen Downes: OLDaily

Posted by prolurkr at 04:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack’s getting there

I've been working on the finishing touches over at I think I finally have the categories in least for now since categories are a work in progress. Now I need to get the broken links working, which means uploading papers to the new site and changing the in-post links to match the new location. Then we just have to get the automated CV template worked out an in place. Things are moving along...and life is good.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:26 PM | TrackBack

Tim Berners-Lee now has a blog

Tim Berners-Lee now has a blog, check out timbl's blog and the 300+ comments to his first post. Must be fun to be an internet god with all those fans.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:58 PM | TrackBack

December 17, 2005

What can I add that isn’t being said much better than I can say it?

I've been thinking today how I could add anything meaningful to the discourse on this week's revelations about the Bush Regime, I'm never big on just adding my two-cents to the crowd. Then I read Jenny S-G's post at Pomegranate Thoughts and I knew the best I could do is pass on the link so others can read what she has to say. Political discourse is Jen's thing so I will leave it to her. But of course that is easy when I agree with her point of view.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:23 PM | TrackBack

December 16, 2005

A Friday Night meme

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularly when it comes to your moods.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Oh dear I HAVE to put this in the syllabus for next semester

Do students cell phones ring while you are giving a lecture? Well it has happened more than a few times in my class and I even begin each PowerPoint presentation with a request that they be shut off for the duration. Well next semester I'm adding this Cell Phone Policy as well as adding a point deduction.

The dedicated readers who have persisted through the horrific recent lack of blogginess on my part, will recall that at the start of the semester, I told my students that if their cell phone rang in class, I would answer it and cause them some slight embarrassment that they may wish to avoid.

Well, Friday, I got the chance to put my money where my mouth was.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Imatra, Finland, June 10-13, 2006
Organizer: International Semiotics Institute (ISI)

Call for papers

During the past 10 years, literary semiotics has entered into a new phase of development. The pragmatic theory of semiotics based on Charles Peirce's writings is increasingly applied to the analysis of literary texts, thus giving shape to new forms of research and to a new theory of how literature should be understood. At the same time, important interdisciplinary approaches such as research on iconicity, queer studies, performance theory, and cognitive studies focus on questions of signification and sign, shedding a new light on semiotic processes in literature. There is, however, also continuity in this renewal since a great part of the analytical concepts and research methods currently in use are derived from (post)structural research.

The time is thus ripe for a reflection on the current state of literary semiotics. Are we witnessing the emergence of a new paradigm? If yes, what kind of research does it produce? Is it time to transcend earlier divisions between competing paradigms and to look for a synthesis in literary semiotics? Which elements in (post)structural research are still valuable? We invite all scholars interested in literary semiotics to reflect on the current state of the art according to the lines of inquiry proposed by these and related questions. The issues can be addressed from a theoretical or a methodological point of view. Readings and interpretations of individual texts that exemplify different paradigms are also welcome.

Invited lecturers: Jørgen Dines Johansen (University of Southern Denmark, Odense), Christina Ljungberg (University of Zürich) and Louis Armand (Charles University, Prague). Director: Harri Veivo (University of Helsinki/Finnish Network University of Semiotics)

The seminar is part of the annual International Summer School for Semiotic and Structural Studies organised by the International Semiotics Institute (ISI), which takes place on June 10-15, 2006.

Categories of Participation and Conditions of Admission:
There are two categories of participation:
1) Active: Participant presenting a paper in the seminar.
2) Passive: Participant following the seminar without presenting a paper.

An active participant must send a short curriculum vitae and a one page abstract of his/her paper together with the registration form to the ISI (address given below). Registration forms can be filled in electronic form at the ISI website ( or ordered from the ISI. Abstract, cv and registration form should reach the organizers no later than March 31, 2006. The abstracts will be published as a booklet and should be sent both as a Word-document (email attachment or on diskette) and in hard copy.

A passive participant must send the registration form by April 30, 2006. Participation Fee: 125 EUR (the fee covers lunch and two coffees a day from 11.-15.6. and an elegant evening reception and buffet on June 10th). Payment of fees must be made before April 30 by bank transfer to the ISI bank account with Sampo Bank. The bank identifier code is: PSPBFIHH. The international bank account number is: FI8780001802071697. In Finland, the bank account number is Sampo 800018-2071697.

You are also encouraged to visit the ISI Internet website ( for the most up to date information as it becomes available.

For further information, please contact:
Harri Veivo, [email protected]

For registration, please contact:
International Semiotics Institute, Virastokatu 1, 55100 Imatra, Finland
tel. +358-5-681 6639, fax +358-5-681 6696
e-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 07:13 PM | TrackBack

Gonzo teaching at it’s best

I just love this can I use it next semester? Welcome to Class. Just a snip follows:

On the class wiki I have provided a set of 250 homework problems of varying complexity and difficulty. These are your assignments for the semester. These problems are what you are graded on.

Some of these problems can be answered with a quick and simple Google search and some writing. Some would make good Masters Thesis projects. Some have one right answer; some have no right answer; some have many. Some require explanation, some require programming, some require mathematics, some require historical background, some require number crunching, some require experimentation, some require intuition, some require asking the right person, some require advanced domain skills from outside our department. Some are trick questions; some are so obvious you'll imagine they're trick questions; some are inherently time-consuming; some have hard and easy ways to solve them. Many are ill-posed, and need clarification. Some are problems you should already know how to answer. Some are problems you might not be able to answer by yourself when we arrive at the final exam.

All of them are important. None are throwaway, or filler, or make-work. I want you to answer each and every one of them.

No, not smiling now. Buck up. It's not that bad.

You yourself -- the individual you -- you are not responsible for doing any problem at all. Frankly I don't care if you do no work whatsoever, as long as you show up for class. You do need to come to class.

I will not grade your personal contribution to any answer, ever. Indeed, no matter how the questions get answered, I personally will not care one whit whether you, Jane Q Student, did the lion's share of the work, or looked it up and copied it out of the encyclopedia, or took that week off and went to Florida.

But some of the problems must be answered, on the website. On time. Correctly.

I see there are 30 of you in the class today. There are what? Twelve weeks in the semester? 250 questions, worth I believe a total of 7200 points. And then the final exam.

You see, that's a lot of problems.

Every Thursday at noon I will select the problems that are most important for you to complete in the next week. I'll publish this list on the wiki.

In Friday's class we will spend the entire session negotiating the assignment. I will stand up here and tell you I want all of it done, and why. And then you will sit there and (because you've prepared for the class ahead of time) tell me it's impossible for you to do all that in one week. And you'll ask me questions about what I'm looking for, and you will talk to each other, and you will propose which problems you think can be done by the noon the next Thursday. I may have some problems I really want you to answer that week, and I may try to force them onto your list by cajoling you, or by teaching you cool stuff, or by giving you hints, or by making them worth more points. I may even add new questions to the main list, and delete questions from the main list, now and then.

By the end of class each Friday, we will have finalized what problems need to be done, and how many points they're worth. You will have, collectively, promised that you'll try to get them done.

In order for the problems we choose to be answered correctly, you will have to "cheat". You are not only allowed to search the Internet, you'll have to. You are not "encouraged to work in teams", you'll have to. You will have to ask professors in other classes, and students who took the class before, and go to the library, and talk to each other, and share notes, and make reports, and read things in foreign languages, and write simulations. You will need to do background reading, and express your opinion to one another. You'll need to edit each other's writing, and depend on each other's authority.

These are the things that are prohibited in your other classes. Some of them are even explicitly prohibited by the "honor code", that rag we use to mask our educational laziness and our own unquestioning buy-in of the status quo. If you prefer the other approach, then I suggest you withdraw from this class early on and go back to the status quo, before it makes your head hurt.

One hard and fast rule: your answers cannot include any plagiarized material. In case you do not know what plagiarism is by now, I have provided a handy and very explicit definition on the class wiki. If any answer on any of a week's problem set is plagiarized from an outside source, the score for the entire problem set is zero, and that week's questions will appear on your final exam. You may, however, cite the work of others all you want. You may even quote it, so long as fair credit is given where it's due.

You may (by whatever mechanism you want to work out) decide not to answer some of the questions that week. For each answer, there is a "commit" button, and only when a majority of the class members have pushed that button will the answer count for the week's assignment. Whenever a substantive change is made to the answer, the "commitment" is reset, though the people who pressed it before will get an email alert. All your (committed) answers must be posted in the class wiki in order to be graded. At exactly noon on Thursday, an archive of the Answers section for that week will be saved for grading. The committed answers will be graded; the rest of the problems will return to the pool to be attempted again later.

Some of these questions are very hard, and some are off-topic. Given a cogent argument to that effect, provided as a committed answer, I will consider eliminating such questions from the roster before the final exam comes around. Such arguments to dismiss work will have to be robust and skilled, not petulant or confrontational. That said, even such questions will be considered answered, and your argument will be graded like any answer would, on all five scales. It may appear on the midterms, too.

So. How will you coordinate? How will you divide up the problems? How will you check each other's work? How will you find out who knows what? How will you compose your answers?

Posted by prolurkr at 06:55 PM | TrackBack

But can I use the data?

Christina left the following comment to my post CFP - 3rd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem and I think it needs more public response than can be done in a response comment.

As a new student -- would using this data get me in trouble with the IRB (obviously not and answerable question in the specific sense, but in general)? They scraped this stuff off the web w/out permission? Obviously no anonymizing if they include what they say... Thoughts?

First any comment I make needs to be double checked with your universities policies. While there are national, and here I mean U.S. based, guidelines individual schools may exceed these regulations to tailor their requirements to their campus. Obviously anything I say does not apply to non-U.S. based scholars, the U.S. is not the trend setter in these issues.

Now let's parse this out a bit.

The data that has been scraped and loaded on the available DVD is publicly available, or we can assume that to be so from the information the conference committee has presented to date. The issue of publicaly available data and CMC has been much debated - public nature of communication vs. expectation of privacy in public, etc. I respect everyones point of view on this as I don't really think there is a right answer to the conundrum. I can tell you how I look at it - if it's public than it's public. Now one of the unique things about the "public" part of this discussion is that permission is not required, in essence they gave their permission when they hit "submit." My analogy for blog posts is letters to the editor in your local newspaper, granted it's an imperfect analogy but it is not a bad one.

Will you get in trouble with your IRB if you use the data? Well yeah if you present or publish from this dataset without going through your local IRB you should get in trouble. An application to the IRB to use this dataset would be fairly straight forward under the "existing dataset" clause. I separated out presenting and publishing from classroom work because many universities have "student" policies that allow for work to be done in the classroom that is exempt from the overall application process. This is done because "classroom" work is teaching and learning based not really research. Where this falls apart is for grad and particularly doctoral students, if you do the research without IRB approval you can never present or publish the work...yes I said NEVER. You can do, as I have done, the classroom work as preliminary research, than apply to the IRB, use the methodology and research questions on a new dataset and than present and publish your results. I should note that research with special populations is never exempt, well not in my experience at least, so all of my classroom work with teens went through the IRB process irregardless of my intent to present or publish.

Finally the issue of anonymizing is really a subset of participant protection. Most medical studies use anonymization to protect subjects in their studies. But for us social science types one of the first questions we must struggle with when looking at our research is do we believe in privacy above all else or in tempered privacy? This is no small discussion and really forces one to tear into your personal underlying ethical framework. For me I don't think the discussion will ever be over but I have come to a functional truce with myself.

I don't believe in blanket anonymization. I don't usually do research that has a more than everyday level of harm as an outcome. When I can't decide on the level of possible harm, I stray on the side of protection and have anonymized. That's my history. So for my blog research, even that which has been done looking at teen sites, I don't anonymize. The data is public, I'm not shining a brighter light on their work than exists previously. It's out there, it's alreasy searchable so it's open to all.

Two side issues I have with anonymizing are 1) by changing names to anonymize a site I may be protecting my subject but may also be inadvertently highlighting a non-participant who uses the anonymous name I select for my participant. I think this is a big issue that is rarely addressed when people talk about anonymizing public data. Second, as a qualitative researcher, anonymizing lowers the replicability of my study, now sometimes the need for privacy supersedes this preference...but it must be reviewed in the process of making decisions on methodology.

One question I asked myself when I posted the original call, is has any IRB reviewed this process up to this point? University of Washington may have done so since Eytan Adar is a student there. But BlogPulse wouldn't need IRB approval to pull data from their proprietary sources, they can do that at any time. Either way individual researchers will need to apply with their university IRB to use this existing dataset.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

CFP - Fibreculture Journal 2006

:: fibreculture:: has established itself as Australasia's leading forum for discussion of internet theory, criticism, and research. The Fibreculture Journal is a peer reviewed journal that explores the issues and ideas of concern and interest to both the Fibreculture network and wider social formations. Themes of recent issues of the journal have included: Contagion and the Diseases of Information; Multitudes, Creative Organisation and the Precarious Condition of New Media Labour; and Mobility, New Social Intensities and the Coordinates of Digital Networks. Issues currently in process are: Distributed Aesthetics (to be launched December 2005); Games Networks; and New Media, Networks and New Pedagogies.

Papers are other relevant works are invited for a General Issue of the Fibreculture Journal, to be published in the second half of 2006. Proposed contributions should fall within the ambit of the Fibreculture Journal=92s interests, as below.

There are guidelines for the format and submission of contributions at . These guidelines need to be followed in all cases. Contributions should be sent electronically, as attachments, to Andrew Murphie at [email protected]. Articles not conforming to the Fibreculture Journal's style guide may not be considered. It is also the case that, although the Fibreculture Journal editors will often work to edit manuscripts, we are not always able to publish articles that require extensive editing in order to conform to the standards of the journal.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2006.

The Fibreculture Journal encourages critical and speculative interventions in the debate and discussions concerning information and communication technologies and their policy frameworks, network cultures and their informational logic, new media forms and their deployment, and the possibilities of socio-technical invention and sustainability. Other broad topics of interest include the cultural contexts, philosophy and politics of:

:: information and creative industries
:: national strategies for innovation, research and development
:: education
:: media and culture, and
:: new media arts

The Fibreculture Journal encourages submissions that extend research into critical and investigative networked theories, knowledges and practices.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:51 PM | TrackBack

Lots of higher ed reading today and a few giggles

I've been working my way through New Kid in the Hallway's Teaching Carnival IV post. Lots of thought provoking readings, some of it down right everyone really fighting plagiarism all the time because there is that much of it going on? Others think this has been an inordinately rough semester? Wonder why it has been so? Oh and all the great teaching ideas to implement next semester.

One of the links from a post has me laughing - Severus Snape: One teacher's hero. First it's funny because in every other role, ok most every other role, I think Alan Rickman is a hottie, ok an over 50 hottie...but I'd be like Ron and the buggart picturing Snape as the scariest thing I could imagine.

I think this article appeals to me because on some level I know that what makes me a good teacher is the level of humanity and caring I bring to a classroom, though like most educators I wish my heart got broken a lot less. Snape's heart is unbreakable...or at least hermetically sealed. Well I don't really want that but well you know...I know you know...we all know.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:07 PM | TrackBack

CFP - 3rd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem

We are happy to announce the public availability of a substantial collection of blog data for research purposes. The data is being made available by Intelliseek/BlogPulse in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem. A DVD containing full text from nearly 1 million blogs can be requested by filling out the form at the workshop homepage:

The release comprises a complete set of weblog posts for three weeks in July 2005 (on the order of 10M posts from 1M weblogs). This data set has been selected as it spans a period of time during which an event of global significance occurred, namely the London bombings. The data set includes the full content of the posts plus metadata in an easy to parse XML format. The metadata fields include: date of posting, time of posting, author name, title of the post, weblog url, permalink, tags/categories, and outlinks classified by type.

Much of the interest in research relating to weblogs involves the analysis of large quantities of data. As part of this workshop, we are very excited to provide a data set to the research community. The aim is to encourage the use of this data to focus the various views and analyses of the blogosphere over a common space. This will provide a unique opportunity to compare different views of the blogosphere and to stimulate interesting discussion and collaboration.

Researchers are welcome to concentrate on whatever aspects of the data they are interested in. Possible topics include:
- Topic detection and tracking
- Relation of blog data to other media
- Social network analysis
- Qualitative analysis of small scale interactions
- Sentiment detection
- Search tools
- Detection of spam blogs
- Correlation of weblog events to "real-world" data (e.g. the stock market)
- Clustering and ontology creation
- Measures of influence
- Visualization and mapping of the blogosphere

Please note that we welcome any submissions to the workshop, not just those making use of the data. Feel free to contact the committee with any questions you may have.
Eytan Adar, University of Washington
Natalie Glance, Intelliseek & BlogPulse
Matthew Hurst, Intelliseek & BlogPulse

Posted by prolurkr at 03:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Orleans as an open architectural salvage site. Some people are just too low.

Some folks just have no kick folks when they are already down. From WSJ Online, Architectural Theft Adds Insult, by Christopher Cooper.

Professional photographer Keith Calhoun is resigned to the hurricane that destroyed his studio. And he has even reconciled himself to the pilfering of negatives he had stored there. But what has him spitting nails is the recent looting of the fat cypress beams that had kept his Victorian-era building standing -- and that would be key to putting it back together.

The beams -- or joists -- long pieces of dense, 19th-century timber that support roofs and floors and are virtually impossible to purchase new, fetch about $10 a running foot at a salvage yard, Mr. Calhoun says. He reckons he lost a truckload of antique wood.

Mr. Calhoun suspects that common thieves working his neighborhood wouldn't be going after antique building materials such as joists, mantels and Victorian shutters unless they were being directed to by someone in the know. The value, he says, is only clear to renovators and aficionados of historic design.

"Not even the cops know this stuff's valuable -- they all live out in the suburbs," Mr. Calhoun says.

Three months after Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans is still without electricity, and miles of its historic neighborhoods are virtually deserted. Tens of thousands of unoccupied homes, their doors kicked in by rescue teams, are standing unsecured in thinly patrolled neighborhoods.

In this environment, police say they have begun to see evidence of architectural pilfering, and they suspect out-of-state work crews are the source of much of the looting. At a recent community meeting, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said police have begun keeping careful watch on contractor trucks driving through the empty parts of town.

In an area known as Uptown New Orleans, one resident says he returned to find that over a two-day period, a crew had stripped his home of its asbestos shingle roof -- an easily damaged building material unavailable new and hard to obtain at wrecking yards. "They salvaged what they could and what they broke they threw in the front yard," says Michael Sewell, an employee of a shipping firm here.

Collins Phillips, a retired fireman who lives in a tattered Victorian house a few blocks from Mr. Calhoun, says he returned from exile in Atlanta recently to discover that someone had tried unsuccessfully to wrench a stained-glass transom out of its casement over his front door.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:00 PM | TrackBack



McGill University, Montreal Canada 9-10 June 2006

The symposium will take a broad and cross-disciplinary approach to technology in society. Participants will include researchers, teachers and practitioners whose interests are either technical or humanistic, or whose work crosses over between the applied technological and social sciences.

A special theme of this symposium will be the complex relations between Technology and Citizenship. Technology is deeply implicated in the organisation and distribution of social, political and economic power. Technological artefacts, systems and practices arise from particular historical situations, and they condition subsequent social, political and economic identities, practices and relationships. In short, industrial technology, transportation technology, information and communication technology, learning technology, bio and genetic technology, nanotechnology, etc.-is a matter in which citizenship is at stake. This symposium is dedicated to exploring the various ways in which technology and citizenship bear upon each other historically, and in the present context.

We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the symposium call for papers. The symposium will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations. Papers submitted by participants will be peer-refereed and published, if accepted by the referees, in print and electronic formats in the International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society. If you are unable to attend the symposium in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic journal, as well as access to the electronic version of the journal (including all historical material). The deadline for the first round of the call for papers is 15 JANUARY 2006. Proposals are reviewed within four weeks of submission.

Full details of the symposium, including an online call for papers form, are to be found at the symposium website -

Posted by prolurkr at 12:49 PM | TrackBack

A itty bitty shaker on the New Madrid fault

Magnitude 1.6 - SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI 2005 December 16 07:51:55 UTC. A note to make for next semesters class on Informatics and Disaster.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:46 PM | TrackBack

What to provide when asking for letters of recommendation

Bardiac has a great post on Letters of Recommendation: Help your writers! that should be a must read for any student, but in particular those of us that will need recommendations for funding and tenure-track positions. Following is a snip, but do read the entire piece it's excellent that again underlines the necessity of good record keeping.

Your job in requesting letters is to give each writer the tools to write you a good letter. It goes without saying that it helps if you've gotten A's and such. (If you're reading this and aren't actually at the stage of requesting letters, and aren't already an active contributor in classes, now's the time to start!) But even if you don't, you can help your letter writers write the best letter they can for you.

Take time to meet with your letter writer when you ask him or her to write for you. And be sure to ask what materials (in addition to the things on my list) you should provide. Meeting with the writer will help him or her remember you if it's been a couple years since you've taken a class with the person. It will also give you a chance to make sure that the letter writer can write you a good letter in good conscience. If the person hesitates, ask if s/he has reservations, or sees potential problems with writing you a letter. Take potential problems seriously.

As one who used to read letters of recommendation for a living and who has written more than a few of them, I totally agree with Bardiac that the best letters actually show you, not tell you, that the writer knows the person they are recommending. As a reader the flat canned letters are easily identifiable. As a writer it is torturous to pen a letter for someone you don't know well or for whom you have little to praise. At least in my old job, HR manager, it was hard to say "No I don't think you really want me to write that for you" so I wrote a lot of subpar letters for marginal employees. I was always amazed when they got the jobs they wanted with such think recommendations.

And here is where I differ from Bardiac:

*The waiver: I generally advise students to sign the waiver. You've asked people you think have a positive impression of you to write your letters. Unless you think they're incompetent (in which case, you shouldn't ask them), signing the waiver says basically that you trust that they're not incompetent. I'm willing to guess that a few people in this world have been abused in some way by bad letters, but I seriously doubt that not signing the waiver would have made a difference.

I don't sign waivers...if I apply for something I want to know why I didn't get what I was after. I want to know in specific so I can improve my performance for the next time. If there are chunks of information I can't access than now do I know what to fix, and yes the fix may be a simple as not asking that person to write a recommendation again. Unlike Bardiac I have seen many people's chances damaged by bad recommendations, I don't mean thin ones I mean out and out nasty negative recommendations that should have never been written. Is it a trust issue...well on some level. I consider it more of a self-improvement issue. I want to learn from my mistakes and it's tough to do that if the information is locked away from my sight.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:39 PM | TrackBack

Viva la Mess! - a Friday morning rant

I think I am about to become a vocal member of the anti-structured blogging movement. Why on earth would we want to create a "structured" blogging format to make it more machine readable? Personally I only minimally care if a machine can read prolurker. As long as the softwares communicate among themselves I don't need no machine reading. Living is messy folks and blogging should mirror living. LOL Personally I don't want my blog to look like a formal technical communication.

Structured blogging addresses more of a use of CMS issue for knowledge management much like the debate about "are bloggers journalists" - well some are and some aren't...and some can be structured bloggers if that suits their needs. We don't need a "movement" though.


About Structured Blogging

Structured Blogging and the Pull-and-Pay Dilemma

Posted by prolurkr at 11:54 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Teaching Carnival IV

New Kid in the Hallway has hosted the most recent Teaching Carnival. The post is totally worth reading. I have a feeling I will be spending a fair amount of time today clicking on all the links and reading posts.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:26 AM | TrackBack

December 15, 2005

Moving and

My homepage predates this blog by several years. It was hosted on a "low cost' service that worked well when all I wanted was a flat html page, but began to be less attractive when I wanted the convenience of CMS. That host couldn't support CGI and the other tools needed to run an CMS site, so I have changed hosts to LunarPages. Check out the new site which is designed to coordinate with this site, the set-up is not completed at this point. We still have to work out a couple of bugs and get a custom template in place to automate CV's...doesn't that sound so cool. But I'm really pleased with it so far. Let me know what you think?

Later this month professional-lurker will also be moving to LunarPages. This site continues to grow - thank you - and consume more bandwidth. My current host, Simi Valley Website Hosting formerly 2xtreme Media, has been a great partner in the sites growth these last two years. But now we are at one of those awful breaking points, also known as I can't afford the increased cost of the bandwidth under their pricing structure. So we are parting amicably. If you are looking for a great place to host a small site I strongly recommend Simi Valley as you host.

I will let readers know before the move takes place.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Comments about online diaries

Jason Kottke of has an interesting post called Under the digital mattress which talks about online verses paper diaries.

One of the most interesting things to come out of the secret sites discussion is that people are keeping their private journals on the web instead of in a paper journal under their mattress or in a Word document on their computer. This sounds surprising, but there's a couple of good reasons for it:

  • The tools for writing, organizing, and searching an online journal written with Typepad or LiveJournal are superior to those for writing a paper journal or an electronic diary (in Word or text format) stored locally. Hyperlinks, entries organized by date, mood, category, if you're used to using these things writing a public site, you might have trouble going back to just text in a Word document for your important innermost thoughts.
  • Your diary may actually be more private and secure on the web. A password protected online journal is more difficult for a parent, significant other, or parole officer to stumble upon and read than a document sitting on a hard drive of a shared computer or hidden on the top shelf of a closet, especially if you're careful with your cookies, browser history, choose a good password, and are more computer savvy than said parent/S.O./P.O.

I bet few would have predicted keeping personal diaries secret as a use of the public internet several years ago.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

December 14, 2005

The Simpsons on grad student life

David Brake sent this to me months ago and I ran across it again as I am doing my end of semester house cleaning on the campus email account. Made me laugh so I thought I would share it with all of you.

Bart: [after they watch a foreign film] I was so bored I cut the pony tail off the guy in front of us.

[holds pony tail to his head]

Bart: Look at me, I'm a grad student. I'm 30 years old and I made $600 last year.

Marge: Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They've just made a terrible life choice.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Call for Participants - Media Ethics Colloquium

Media Ethics Colloquium at the University of St. Thomas

Call for Participants

As part of a decade-long series aimed at enhancing scholarship in applied media ethics, the University of St. Thomas will host the 2006 colloquium October 14-17 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. The colloquium - the seventh of the series - will feature 12 fellows working in teams of two to explore the moral dimensions of the question: Who is a journalist? Selected fellows will receive an honorarium and travel expenses. During the colloquium, fellows will present their work to each other and solicit feedback. A group of fellows will also speak at a public symposium at the colloquium's end. Papers that result from the colloquium will be published in the Journal of Mass Media Ethics in 2007.

Applicants may apply as individuals (in which case colloquium organizers will pair them with another applicant) or as part of already formed teams. In the selection process, reference will be given to teams that combine disciplines or that include a junior scholar working with a senior scholar.

The guidelines are general and should not be seen as exhaustive or exclusive. Individuals who have previously participated as fellows are invited to apply, although preference may be given to first-time participants.

Applications for fellowships should include the following:
* A brief (500 word) abstract of a paper proposal.
* A curriculum vitae
* If appropriate, a notation of the desired team member

The deadline for proposals is April 1, 2006. Send paper or electronic submissions to:
Wendy N. Wyatt
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication University of St. Thomas
Mail #4372
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Phone inquiries: 651-962-5253
E-Mail: [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 03:40 PM | TrackBack

WWW at 15

15 years of the World Wide Web from CNN

Spark's top 10 Web moments

These are Spark's picks as the top 10 moments in the World Wide Web's short but impressive life. Vote for the one you think is the most significant, or read what others say:

10. WiFi hotspots -- wireless Internet connectivity appears in airports, hotels and even McDonald's.

9. Webcams and photo sharing -- communication becomes visual, and inboxes fill with baby photos.

8. Skype -- telephony turns upside down with free long-distance calls, Ebay snaps it up in September 2005 for $2.6 billion.

7. Live 8 on AOL -- five million people watch poverty awareness concerts online in July 2005, setting a new Net record.

6. Napster goes offline -- Regulators close the pioneering music swap site in July 2001 and file-sharing goes offshore.

5. Lewinsky scandal -- Matt Drudge breaks the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal in 1998. The blog is born.

4. Tsunami and 9/11 -- two tragic events set the Web alight with opinion and amateur video.

3. Boom and bust -- trillions of dollars were made and lost as the dotcom bubble ballooned and burst between 1995 and 2001.

2. Hotmail -- went from having zero users in 1995 to 30 million subscribers 30 months later. It now has 215 million users.

1. Google -- redefined search. Invented a new advertising model and commands a vast business empire.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Handling criticism - some do it well...and some...

Confessions of a Community College Dean has a post that really struck me. After years as a manager I understand how some people can attack improvement after receiving criticism and how some can attack the critic. It makes me wonder if these categories map one-to-one on the teacher/student relationship. As usual the extremes are more obvious and I can certainly picture a student, from a previous teaching assignment, who carried the last category to the extreme - they often said and wrote in reflective work that all their shortcomings were really my shortcomings and if I would just leave them alone (no feedback and no review) than they would have been the best student in the class. If there ever was a collaborative activity in this world it's teaching/learning but do collaborate both parties have to be willing, if one is not than the collaboration is doomed to fail.

I do wonder if the Dean is correct though, is the last category really the most common? I sure hope not because that is massively basically means there is no room for improvement. While on a quick read one could argue that the previous statement should be "no room for improvement without trust," I think that the trust issues are actually present in the second statement...they receive the criticism, evaluate it, and decide to ignore it because they trust the critic but simply don't agree with them. Of course this isn't always what we want to happen but it is at least healthy for the receiver and it shows a healthy, or healthyish, relationship. Even in the third category there is trust that no one is following them as "they move on."

No that last category are the people I would be forced to explain to General Mangers, back when I was a Human Resources Manager, as the folks who aren't happy until they hit the plant door, no those folks are never happy. They are also never reflexive because they themselves are perfect and always right. *sigh* Wouldn't it be nice to always be right? Written by a woman who usually falls into the first two categories, though who also has no doubt that instances of the third and even the fourth have been exhibited as well over time.

As a manager, this is physically painful to read. When people have shortcomings of which they're aware, it's possible to train them. When they have shortcomings of which they're unaware, several possibilities exist:

  • they never thought of it, they're glad to have it pointed out, they'll get right on it
  • they never thought of it, they don't consider it important, please go away now
  • they deny it and move on
  • they indignantly deny it, dig in their heels, and question your motives

You'll notice that three of these four possibilities are negative.

The last response, which is the most common, is also the most frustrating. It casts the manager as the villain and the underperforming employee as the victim in a bizarre psychodrama.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:56 AM | TrackBack

An interesting way to see what others are saying

Talk Digger 2.0 Beta has been released and is a good move in the right direction to really let blog authors see what impact there site is having. I've been playing with it for 40 minutes or so and have found several links that other "searches" have not yielded.

I've said for sometime that we needed a program that did one of two things - though having both would be really nice, first would be one which took the base url with wildcards and searched all available resource to turn up all links. Second we need a tool that scoures the archives and lists links one by one for each archived post. Talk Digger gets us part way there. Of course there is lots more room in the market for other tools that tell me what others are saying about and using from my posts...wish trackback did it all by itself but of course it doesn't.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 13, 2005

Quals writing

Monday, yesterday, was my first day of my plan to get quals done by the end of the fiscal year. Of course I am still tieing up ends from my classes this semester and I haven't started working on the project yet. Because part of the work is under submission I will have to be vague about it on the blog. Maybe that's good because it can build suspense. LOL Quals and there is a concept.

Written today...not a word.

Sections completed 0/10.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sleeper Cell on Showtime

If you haven't found the Showtime Dramatic Event Sleeper Cell I strongly recommend it. This is the best miniseries I have seen in many a year.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:19 AM | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

Thinking Beyond the Dissertation (long post warning)

The following is from The Chronicle of Higher Education article Thinking Beyond the Dissertation by David D. Perlmutter and Lance Porter. I think it is a well written article that ties in nicely with some of the entries I have posted previously in this series.

Start the Dissertation

Your initial priority as a doctoral student is to choose a direction for your dissertation. It is not something just to "finish." It ought to be your single most important source of research publications for your years as an assistant professor. A senior scholar once remarked that an ideal dissertation in the humanities and social sciences should contain the basis for six journal articles or one book or both.

To produce that volume of work, you should select a dissertation topic that is important, neither too vast or too thin, and can be completed in a few years. Specifically, does it contain discrete units of research that can be fleshed out as future articles or book chapters? Do not pick a "just something to get this over with" topic; you will be married to this enterprise for almost a decade (doing it as student, then publishing it as an assistant professor). Will your subject matter reward the sustained engagement?

Once you focus on a dissertation topic, try to orient all your classroom research papers toward it. Ideally, each new course in your program should yield the first draft of a dissertation chapter. Building an accretive set of knowledge toward a master document: That is called scholarship.

Think Publications Now

To become a scholar, you must become both a specialist and a generalist. Focus on one research topic so that you can legitimately say you are an "expert" on it. But also be able to claim credibly that your topic falls into a wider area of teaching and research that accords with the job categories in your discipline. An example from our field, mass communication: "My area is political communication; my special focus is on political advertising." It follows that you should not graduate with a CV or a bio-narrative that appears too narrow (six conference papers on "agenda setting in Bulgarian elections") or overly diffuse ("I study all forms of floral and faunal communication").

Think about avenues for your development as a scholar. While attending conferences is important, the single greatest imprimatur of credibility as a future scholar for hiring committees is publication in a top journal. Co-authorship is acceptable, although the suspicion will always be that the elder (in age and rank) author was also the senior "brain" behind it.

Build Relationships

Attend national conferences that attract scholars in your area of specialization and generalization. Meet with those people, even if only briefly; ask for their counsel on matters of research as well as your projected career. Those men and women may very well be on the hiring committees for your future job applications or be the "blind" referees of your future submissions to journals. Lay the seeds of your name recognition as well as your intellectual capital.

Take a similar track within your program. Work with scholars who have a national reputation and who seem to have many contacts throughout your field. The single best recommendation for a job applicant is not a laudatory letter from someone who barely knows you -- those are so common and so tendentious as to be largely ignored -- but a personal phone call from one of your intimate professors to a friend on the faculty of the department to which you are applying.

Make Yourself Marketable

Familiarize yourself with the employment marketplace. Even if graduation is years away, scan the job listings. (Do not, however, apply for jobs until you have at least finished your general exams.) Look for positions that attract you. What do they want? How will you grow to hold such qualifications?

Since one of the key qualifications will be teaching, you will need to develop classroom experience in your area of expertise. Show that you are able to teach a class in what you want to teach as an assistant professor. Prospective employers may be impressed by your publications, your erudition, your collegiality, but a basic question they have is: "What course of ours can you teach?"

Be honest with yourself and others about the parameters of your interests and abilities. Do not attempt to pass yourself off as a viable candidate for a position that involves research and teaching in areas of your ignorance or antipathy, simply for the sake for employment. Hiring committees can usually detect illusionists. Alternately, if your ruse (or self-deception) succeeds, the result will be a forced marriage of misery for years to come.

Plan Several Jobs in Advance

It is unlikely that your first job will be at the exact institution in the region of your dreams. Better to go after a college that could be your steppingstone (and who knows, you may grow to like it there). Institutions do not hire their own Ph.D.'s, but they do hire ones produced by their peers.

You need to decide which track you want to be on. A "teaching" college will not be a good gateway to a top research university; you will be too loaded down with class work, and the university will assume you are not on the "scholar" track. Better to get a first job at a university located somewhere you dislike, and then use that position to build up your CV.

Become an Expert Interviewee

An old piece of wisdom from politics is true in academic hiring as well: The most important message in any political campaign is the candidate. Faculty members will respect your CV, but they will hire you.

The interview -- at a conference or on campus -- is the crucial determinant of whether you get an offer or a rejection letter. Accordingly, it is best to learn as much about interviewing as possible. Volunteer to be the student representative on your department's hiring committee; observe incoming candidates; ask others about their experiences; accumulate lists of obvious questions; rehearse in front of your faculty advisers.

Remember, interviews are not broadcast communication where one size fits all. Study the department and its faculty closely. Show them you know who they are and explain how you will fit in.

If you take away only one lesson let it be this: Being a doctoral student, and then a job candidate, is not a hiatus before the proper academic employment begins. The career track starts immediately.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Relationship of email contact to student grades...a fun graph

Stolen from A Gentleman's C: The world needs ditch-diggers, too. The graph is sad but so so true, though in some of the classes I have taught the number of emails would have been per day.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:39 PM | TrackBack



Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

24-30 April 2006

The International Sunbelt Social Network Conference XXVI, sponsored by the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with Symposia on April 24-25, Workshops April 25-26, Papers April 26-30, 2006.

Workshops are scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 25 in the afternoon and continue Wednesday, April 26 in the morning. General paper sessions will begin on Wednesday the 26th in the afternoon and finish on Sunday, the 30th.

The Keynote Speaker will be Edward Laumann, and a plenary lecture will be given by the winner of the first Visual Path competition.


We invite you to propose or chair a session by letting us know at your earliest convenience via [email protected]

To chair a session, please select from the list below or propose a topic of your interest that isn't on the list.

REGISTRATION (US$) Dec 15 Mar 1 April In-absentia
Regular INSNA member $70 $80 $90 $25
Regular non-member $120 $135 $150 $40
Student $40 $50 $60 na


The conference will be held at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites at Stanley Park, 1763 Comox St. The hotel is located in Vancouver's trendy West End which offers the convenience and flavor of its true neighborhood. Over looking English Bay and Stanley Park the hotel is close to a variety of specialty restaurants, shops and services.

Make a room reservation on the Sunbelt conference page by clicking on Hotel Registration. To get the conference rate, enter "network" where the form says "Booking code". The room prices quoted below are in $CDN.

Comfort Room - $165 Single/ Double

One Bedroom Suite - $185 Single/ Double

*** Conference rates for the hotel are in effect (3) days pre and post event (reservation in advance will be required) ***


A banquet that you will enjoy, remember, and probably write home about will be held at 6:00 PM on Thursday, April 27th. US$55

WORKSHOPS (not a final list)

Wouter de Nooy, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj

-- Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek

Stephen Borgatti and Martin Everett

-- Introduction to the Analysis of Network Data via UCINET, Pajek and NetDraw

Barry Wellman

-- Networks for Newbies

Andrew Seary and Bill Richards

-- Multinet

Allen Tien, Chris McCarty, Emmanuel Koku, and Paul Broome

-- SocioMetrica Suite -- EgoNet, LinkAlyzer, VisuaLyzer

Christian Steglich

-- The Analysis of Longitudinal Social Network Data or Dynamics of Networks and Behaviour

Garry Robins, Pip Pattison, Dave Hunter (Penn State), maybe others from the

University of Washington

-- p* and statnet (which among other things can estimate the models)


Abstracts are to be submitted electronically via the Sunbelt XXVI website (go to, click Sunbelt XXVI, click Abstract Subission), and need to be received no later than January 16th, 2006.

Sunbelt XXVI Local Committee (first incarnation)
Bill Richards [email protected]
Sheila McCarthy [email protected]
Timothy R. Huerta [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 09:00 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Blogtalk Reloaded

Following the international success of BlogTalk 1.0 and 2.0, Blogtalk Reloaded is expanding its focus to Social Software, while remaining committed to the diverse cultures, practices and tools of our emerging networked society. The conference is designed to maintain a sustainable dialog between developers, innovative scholars who study social software, users in corporate and educational settings, and the general community of users.

We invite you to submit a proposal for presentation at the conference. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, audiences will come from different fields of practice and will have different professional backgrounds. We strongly encourage proposals to bridge these cultural differences and be understandable for all groups alike.

Along those lines we will offer 3 different tracks.

  1. academic
  2. developer
  3. cases/practitioner reports

For developers, the conference is a great opportunity to fly ideas and prototypes in front of a distinguished audience of peers, to discuss, to link-up and to learn.

Please send your submission along with some personal info - as a plain email text (no html our automatic processing will not accept html-mails or attachments) - to [email protected]. You will receive a confirmation of our receiving your submission within 3 working days.

We will work hard to endow a fund for supporting travel costs. As soon as we review all of the papers we will be able to announce more details.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

Adding a new category to the CV

The last couple of days have held a major ego booster, something very needed after all the technological problems this semester. I have been asked to co-present a paper with Susan Herring at the Cyberworld unlimited? Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People Conference to be held in Bielefeld, Germany in February 2006. Susan will be doing her part of the presentation remotely while I will be at the conference presenting in person and attending the other sessions. I am very excited to have been asked to be part of the project, and also to have this chance to attend the conference - something I would not have been able to do otherwise.

Our topic is gender and weblogs so it should be fun to pull together a 45-minute presentation from the BROG work as well as our individual research. We talked a bit about all of it last night, specifically about my Digital Generation's chapter and my more recent research findings. As well as how little of the teen weblog research available discussed boys, it's a issue that I find more and more troubling.

So I get to add a new category to my CV, "Invited Presentations."

Posted by prolurkr at 05:55 PM | TrackBack

Masculine or feminine or both

From Sarah. As though any of this makes a huge amount of sense. I mean come on we are what we are after all.

You scored 76 masculinity and 63 femininity!
You scored high on both masculinity and femininity. You have a strong personality exhibiting characteristics of both traditional sex roles.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 84% on masculinity
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 57% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Posted by prolurkr at 03:16 PM | TrackBack


International Conference on
28 June - 1 July 2006
University of Tartu, Estonia

Conference theme:
Neither Global Village nor Homogenizing Commodification:
Diverse Cultural, Ethnic, Gender and Economic Environments

The biennial CATaC conference series continues to provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of current research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s) through which they approach the conference theme.

The 1990s' hopes for an "electronic global village" have largely been shunted aside by the Internet's explosive diffusion. This diffusion was well described by Marx - all that is solid melts into air - and was predicted by postmodernists. The diffusion of CMC technologies quickly led to many and diverse internets. A single "Internet", whose identity and characteristics might be examined as a single unity, has not materialised. An initially culturally and gender homogenous Internet came more and more to resemble an urban metropolis. Along the way, in the commercialization of the Internet and the Web, "cultural diversity" gets watered down and exchanges strong diversity for a homogenous interchangeability. Such diversity thereby becomes commodified and serves a global capitalism that tends to foster cultural homogenization.

CATaC'06 continues our focus on the intersections of culture, technology, and communication, beginning with an emphasis on continued critique of the assumptions, categories, methodologies, and theories frequently used to analyse these. At the same time, CATaC'06 takes up our characteristic focus on ethics and justice in the design and deployment of CMC technologies. We particularly focus on developing countries facilitated by "on the ground" approaches in the work of NGOs, governmental agencies, etc., in ways that preserve and foster cultural identity and diversity. By simultaneously critiquing and perhaps complexifying our theories and assumptions, on the one hand, and featuring "best practices" approaches to CMC in development work, on the other hand, CATaC'06 aims towards a middle ground between a putative "global village" and homogenizing commodification. Such middle ground fosters cultural diversity, economic and social development, and more successful cross-cultural communication online.

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.: 10-20 pages) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results: 3-5 pages) are invited.

Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to:

All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of scholars and researchers and accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings. Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Full papers (10-20 formatted pages) - 13 February 2006
Short papers (3-5 formatted pages) - 20 February 2006
Workshop submissions - 20 February 2006
Notification of acceptance - mid March 2006
Final formatted papers - 29 March 2006

There will be the opportunity for selected papers from this 2006 conference to appear in special issues of journals. Papers in previous conferences have appeared in journals (Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication, AI and Society, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and Society) and a book (Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an Intercultural Global Village, 2001, edited by Charles Ess with Fay Sudweeks, SUNY Press, New York). You may purchase the conference proceedings from the 2002 and 2004 conference from

Charles Ess, Drury University, USA, [email protected]
Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia, [email protected]
Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria
Pille Runnel, Tartu University, Estonia

Posted by prolurkr at 01:48 PM | TrackBack

Another tech purchase by Yahoo

Apparently Yahoo has bought Gotta love the redistribution of resources that comes from success.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

Scholarly publishing in the age of distributed content

Clancy has a very interesting post on CultureCat titled A Scattershot Stump Speech. She is talking about her upcoming MLA presentation for the "Digital Scholarly Publishing: Beyond the Crisis" panel. Her ruminations run along side some of the things I too have been thinking about. Including the issue of the place of distributed publication in the tenure and promotion process, obviously not today's process but the process that will be beginning to show itself when I am on the market.

Then I want to focus on some particular cases.

  1. Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs. This is an edited collection of essays that we published using weblog software.
  2. Computers and Writing Online 2005. For this online conference, we made the review process public (a "public feedback process") and have kept the content up at Kairosnews, with a Creative Commons license, so that others can copy and distribute the presentations -- e.g., for a course pack.
  3. Rhetoric and Composition: A Guide for the College Writer. Matt Barton of St. Cloud State University, along with students in his rhetoric courses, has done a lot of work building a free rhetoric and composition textbook using a wiki.
  4. Carnivals. Collections of posts on a given topic, like informal journals representing the scholarship that's being published on academic weblogs.
  5. Massive Multi-Thinker Online Reviews. Holbo's play on MMORPG, these are seminar-style events in which a group of bloggers reads the same book or article at the same time and blogs about it.
  6. CC-licensed online readers for courses. This is something I've been trying to plug for a long time, but it hasn't caught on just yet. There's all this Creative Commons licensed content online, and it would be so easy to reproduce essays on a given topic, group them into themes, write an introduction à la an edited collection, and assign it in a class. I'm working on one, which I'll unveil as soon as it's finished, but I'm too busy with my dissertation right now, so it has gone unattended lately.

The underlying question is will the for-profit model the model continue into the future? Of course none of these venues is actually free, someone has to pickup the tab for infrastructure and bandwidth, so undoubtedly some form of pay-as-you-go is going to take shape. Should, or when, that model comes into being than the side issue of access becomes more salient.

Currently library-types are discussing the potential for loss of access to electronic forms of publication. I may not do all of the nuances of the argument justice so dive in with comments that help clarify. Paper-based sources belong to the institution into perpetuity, i.e. once you got it you got it. However electronic versions only exist as long as the publisher choices to include them in your specific subscription package and as long as you pay for them. So in essence you may have paid for something in the past but will no longer have access to that issue into the future if you don't continue to pay the subscription. After listening to a friend of mine lay out this discussion I started archiving all of the literature I have read and entered Reference Manager. That way at least I have a copy of what I need when I need it.

So it is the merging of these models that gives me pause. How do we move to a distributed publication system, which seems inevitable, but yet have open access to a resource that costs money?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

Sort of a Holiday Party

This evening Hubby and I are off to our first holiday party of the season, a fun time with my research group the infamous BROG. The party is to celebrate the end of the semester, and will be bitter sweet as we are also saying good by to two of our friends. Pete Welsch and Sarah Mecure are finishing their studies, for now, and moving back east. Some smart PhD program chair will grab these two up in a year or so, they have already been subsumed and know how to publish. *manical laugh* Of course I will keep pimpin 'em until we find them a grad school home, send your offers send them now.

Well I can tell that the holidays are looming large because this afternoon I started humming my favorite holiday song. The Holly and the Ivy is one of those old old songs, that has pre-christian roots. I love the tune and the imagery. Plus I think it's cool that people have continued to adapt the song to the times in which they find themselves. In other word the reference to "Jesus Christ" were undoubtedly added, long after the song was first sung, to make it more palatable to the church. Adaptation is a wonderful thing.

1. The holly and the ivy,
Now both are full well grown.
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

Oh, the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer.
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the quire.

2. The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Savior. Chorus

3. The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good. Chorus

4. The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas day in the morn. Chorus

5. The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all. Chorus

6. The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown. Chorus

Posted by prolurkr at 05:51 PM | TrackBack

A snow laden Friday

Yesterday in Southern Indiana we received our first significant snowfall of the winter. The world outside the windows in my study is a sea of white with only the tan of orchard grass stalks in the hay field breaking the smooth surface.

The parakeets are chirping away in the front room because the snow makes their world so bright. They have no idea how inhospitable the weather outside is to their Aussie frames. It is nice hearing them call, it makes being inside with the windows closed tight somewhat more bearable.

The photo is from and is of a covered bridge in Kokomo, IN (not in Southern Indiana).

Posted by prolurkr at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

December 08, 2005

A list of free blog hosts

Blackhat SEO has a list of free blog hosts. Many more than I knew were out there.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:42 PM | TrackBack

Dates BlogHer Conference '06

BlogHer Conference '06
Friday July 28 and Saturday July 29, 2006
San Francisco Bay Area

Posted by prolurkr at 02:34 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Grace Hopper Celebration 2005

The call for participation for the Grace Hopper Celebration has been announced. Co-founded by Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney in 1994 and inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) Of Women In Computing Conference is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the largest technical conference for women in computing and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government. Top researchers present their work while special sessions focus on the role of women in today's technology fields.

Electronic submissions will be accepted beginning February 1, 2006.

Categories and deadlines for submission are:

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2006, October 3-7, 2006 San Diego, CA, is the sixth in a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industrial, academic and government communities. Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today's technology fields.

Past Grace Hopper Celebrations have resulted in collaborative proposals, networking, mentoring, and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing. This year's theme is Making Waves.

For more information contact [email protected]

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is presented by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:27 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Console-ing Passions, the international conference on television, video, audio, and new media

Console-ing Passions, the international conference on television, video, audio, and new media, invites submissions for the 2006 conference to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Dates: May 25-27th, 2006
Conference Location: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Founded in 1989 by a group of feminist media scholars and artists, Console-ing Passions, works to create collegial spaces for new work and scholarship on culture and identity in television and related media, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. Since 1992, Console-ing Passions conferences have featured new research on feminist perspectives, including race and ethnicity, post-colonialism, queer studies, globalization, national identity, fusion genres, the social and cultural insertion of new media, the historical development of media, and an ongoing feminist concern with gender dynamics in the production and consumption of electronic media.

Console-ing Passions emphasis on electronic media reflects its mission to provide an alternative scholarly space to those centered on film; papers or projects that include film as part of a larger perspective are welcome but non-film media are the primary focus.

Proposal Submissions:

Individual Papers: Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words.

Panels: Please submit a rationale for the panel (3-4 papers) of no more than 150 words, as well as abstracts of 500 words for each paper.

Workshops: Please submit a rationale for the workshop (a series of short, informal presentations on a related topic, meant to encourage discussion), along with individual abstracts of no more than 200 words.

Screenings of video, audio, or new media work: Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words.

All submissions must include an email message with the following information: name, affiliation, email address, and telephone number for the author, panel or workshop organizer, or producer/director for screenings. Email message should also specify the audio/visual materials needed for the presentation. Please be as specific about a/v needs as possible.

Preferred format for all proposals is PDF (attached to email message). Attachments saved as MS Word files will also be accepted. All identifying information should be omitted from the attachment for the purpose of blind review.

Please submit all proposals to [email protected]

Deadline for receipt of proposals is December 15, 2005.

Please direct all questions about the conference and the submission process to [email protected] See the Console-ing Passions website: for more information about Console-ing Passions and the 2006 conference.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:01 PM | TrackBack

James W. Carey Media Research Award


James W. Carey Media Research Award
Sponsored by the
Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

The Carl Couch Center invites self-nominations for works to be considered for its annual James W. Carey Media Research Award. The Couch Center welcomes works on topics that have been central to Carey's scholarship. Among others, submissions might focus on technology, time, space and communications, the nature of public life, the relation between journalism and popular culture. Applications will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of Carey's approaches and concepts, (2) originality, (3) organization, (4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge. Evaluation will be administered by a Review Committee of six:
Prof. Stuart Adam, Carleton University
Prof. Theodore L. Glasser, Stanford University
Prof. John Pauly, St. Louis University
Prof. Jeff Pooley, Muhlenberg College
Prof. Linda Steiner, Rutgers University
Prof. Lance Strate, Fordham University

Both single and multiple authored works will be accepted. All submissions must be works that have been published/presented or have been accepted for publication or presentation--that is, works that have been accepted for publication in a book or journal, or have been accepted for presentation at a competitive academic conference. To be considered for the 2006 award, works should be published or presented in 2004 or 2005.

Those interested please submit a copy of their works electronically to Mark D. Johns, executive director of CCCSIR, at [email protected] in plain text, Microsoft Word, or Corel WordPerfect format. If the work submitted is a paper, a 100-word abstract needs to be included. Paper length is limited to 30 pages plus references. If a book is submitted,
a copy of the table of contents and one chapter are sufficient. The application deadline is April 1, 2006. Notification of award application will be sent out by June 15.

The Award winner will receive the Carey Award plaque to be presented at the winner's choice of the 2006 annual convention of the International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), or National Communication Association (NCA).

Questions and comments about the Carey Award, please contact:
Mark D. Johns
Dept. of Communication Studies
Luther College
Decorah, IA 52101
Tel: (563) 387-1347
E-mail: [email protected]
Shing-Ling S. Chen
Dept. of Communication Studies
Univ. of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
Tel: (319) 273-6021
E-mail: [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 12:20 PM | TrackBack

Submission Deadline Extended: The Second International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Submission Deadline Extended: The Second International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

As we have received increasing requests for extending the deadline for submitting papers, we have decided that the Second International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will continue to accept paper proposals until JANUARY 15, 2006. Please visit our conference website for more information.

The Second International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, May 4-6, 2006.

The theme of the Second International Congress, "Ethics, Politics and Human Subject Research" builds on and extends the theme of the First International Congress which focused on Qualitative Inquiry in a Time of Global Uncertainty. The 2006 Congress will explore experiences with and criticisms of Institutional Review Boards. It will question the over-reliance of audit cultures on evidence-based, neo-experimental models of inquiry. The 2006 Congress will investigate new ways of decolonizing traditional methodologies. It will take up performative, feminist, indigenous, democratic and participatory forms of critical inquiry. The 2006 Congress will examine how these new forms of inquiry can advance the goals of social justice and progressive politics in this new century.

Thank you for your attention
QI 2006

Posted by prolurkr at 12:16 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Internationalizing Internet Studies

Internationalizing Internet Studies (edited collection) by Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney) & Mark McLelland (University of Wollongong)

From the mid-1990s onwards, the Internet has shifted fundamentally from its co-ordinates in English-speaking countries, especially North America, to become an essential medium in a wide range of countries, cultures, and languages. . However, communications and media scholarship, especially in the Anglophone world, has not registered the deep ramifications of this shift - and the challenges it poses to the concepts, methods, assumptions, and frameworks used to study the Internet.

The vast body of Anglophone scholarship into 'the Internet' is predicated on research on and about English-language websites by academics and other researchers working and publishing in English. Despite the fact that there is also a large body of work being produced by scholars in non-English-speaking cultures and locales, hardly any of this work is being translated and it has had little impact on theorization of the developing fields of Internet and web studies.

The purpose of this anthology, 'Internationalizing Internet Studies', is to acknowledge that Internet use and Internet studies take place 'elsewhere' in various national and international contexts. We seek to uncover how non-Anglophone uses of the Internet might challenge certain preconceived notions about the technology and its social impacts as well as the manner in which Internet studies is taken up, valued and taught. Through bringing together researchers whose daily experience of the Internet is mediated through non-Anglophone
languages and cultures as well as researchers situated within the Anglophone academy whose work focuses on cultures outside North America and Europe, we hope to promote the visibility of work already being done outside the Anglophone world. Accordingly, we wish to gather together a distinctive collection of contributors who can illuminate the key features of the Internet's internationalization, surveying exemplary Internet language groups and cultures.

We are also interested in contributions that reflect upon this cosmopolitan turn in the Internet, and what it signifies for Internet studies.

Contributions would be welcomed, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to both editors outlining your proposed contribution to the edited collection by 31 January 2006. We will advise acceptance by 1 April 2006. We will be holding a workshop on 'Internationalizing Internet Studies' in Brisbane on 27 September 2006 immediately before the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Conference 7.0, and hope that we will be able to invite some contributors to participate.

About the Editors:

From January 2006, Dr Gerard Goggin ([email protected]) will be an ARC Australian Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communication, the University of Sydney. Recent books include Digital Disability (2003), Virtual Nation: The Internet in Australia (2004) and Cell Phone Culture (2006).

Dr Mark McLelland ([email protected]) is a Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong. Recent Internet-related publications include Japanese Cybercultures (2003) and Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Age (2005).

Posted by prolurkr at 12:11 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Crossroads in Cultural Studies

Crossroads in Cultural Studies
Istanbul 2006
Open session: Gender and the Media

In 'More! New Sexualities in Girls' and Women's Magazines' (1999), McRobbie alludes to three phases in feminist critique of magazines. First, content reducing women to a passive category was rejected. Second, Althusserian theory emphasised the role of ideology in the exercise of power. Thirdly, post-structuralism pointed to subjectivity as a site of knowledge and power. Because subjectivity is constituted as an on-going process, discursive formations compete with each other for regulation of socially desirable forms of individuality. Contemporary representations of gender in the media repeat similar narratives so as to establish the limits for the mapping of subjectivity: by defining alterity, these representations confirm identity as natural.

This session invites papers on gender and the media, dealing with:

Paper proposals of 150 words to be submitted by Jan 31, 2006, to Claudia Alvares (Lusofona University) [email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 12:04 PM | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

RSStoom reader

Ok I like to think that prolurker is important to some of the people who read it...but please if you decide to read it on RSStoom "sheets" don't tell me ok I'm just not ready for that kind of "importance." Check it out Get Newsfeeds on Your Toilet Paper!

Posted by prolurkr at 05:03 PM | TrackBack

NOLA might not ever come back

If you loved the NOLA that was, then you have to read Michael Barnett's post at Weblog. Nothing I can say here will give you the feel of what he has seen first hand. I keep thinking that it would be nice to attend ALA in the Spring primarily because it is in NOLA, but maybe not...maybe it would be to sad.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:38 PM | TrackBack

“Podcast” is the word of the year

Lifted from

'Podcast' has been rated Word of the Year for 2005 by the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary.

Defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar programme made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player", the word will be added to the next online update of the dictionary next year.

Here in the UK 'podcast' is already in the latest revised edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), published in August 2005, as a result of being spotted in frequent use earlier this year. It is not yet in the online edition.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:35 PM | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

My temperament...a meme

You Have a Melancholic Temperament
Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything. You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life. You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you. You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others. You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.
What Temperment Are You?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:47 PM | TrackBack

CFP - WWW 2006

WWW 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland
May 22, 2006
Collaborative Web Tagging Workshop
Call for Papers and Participation
Contact: [frank AT rawsugar DOT com]

Frank Smadja, RawSugar.
Andrew Tomkins, Yahoo Research.
Scott Golder, HP Labs.

Program Committee:
Eytan Adar, University of Washington.
Michael Cafarella, University of Washington
Ed Cutrell, Microsoft Research
Susan Dumais, Microsoft Research
Jonathan Feinberg, IBM Research, Cambridge
Evgeniy Gabrilovich, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
R. Guha, Google
Yoelle Maarek, IBM Research, Haifa Israel.
Vova Soroka, IBM Research, Haifa Israel

There has recently there been a great surge of interest in collaborative tagging as a means of facilitating knowledge sharing in social computing. Collaborative tagging refers to the process in which a community of users adds meta-information in the form of keywords or tags to Web content such as web pages, links, photographs and audio files on a centralized web server. While collaborative tagging is only starting to be researched in the research community, it seems to address a real need on the Web as demonstrated by the growing popularity of tagging and annotation sites (see, flickr, technorati, RawSugar, Shadows, etc.); the most popular sites already have a combined user base of several millions. The philosophy of what is called Web 2.0, the social Web or also the two-way Web is that users can and should be content creators as well as consumers and it suggests that there is a great deal of untapped potential for tagging to improve how web content is organized, navigated and experienced. Yet it is not yet clear how it will evolve and how it will scale, when, if at all, its usage base will go beyond early adopters. There are many open questions about what tagging can and cannot do, especially for a larger, mainstream web community and we
would like to explore that in our workshop.

Goal and Topics of Interests
The goal of this workshop is to bring researchers and practitioners together in order to explore both the social and technical issues and challenges involved in Web tagging. We plan to address not only the current state of collaborative tagging, and understand its attractiveness to early adopters but also discuss its future.

Topics of interest for the workshop include:
* Semantics and Vocabulary: How can collaborative tagging be used in the creation of ontologies and the semantic web? What are tagging's benefits and limitations in this domain? How can meaning be faithfully preserved when disparate tag sets are integrated? Is there a place in tagging for controlled vocabulary? Is it necessary to match synonymous tags, and if so, how can this be accomplished technically? Are there other mechanisms that can extend tagging to provide some of the capabilities of hierarchies without the drawbacks?
* Measurement: What is the structure of tagspace? What behavioral patterns do users display when tagging, and how can the entire space of objects and tags be understood and visualized?
* Standardization efforts: Although very little of this has been done currently, current services are somehow interoperable through the use of RSS or Atom feeds. What could be the benefits of tagging standards and what would they be?
* Scalable architecture for tagging: What will happen when millions of users will tag, how about hundreds of millions? What kind of architecture can deal with billions of objects? Can current tagging concepts be applied to such scales?
* Multimedia: Are there special considerations for tagging multimedia such as photos, videos and audio? Yahoo photos now already has over two billion photographs.
* Search and Navigation: How can tagging improve internet search? How are tags used as a mechanism for navigation and discovery of content?
* Discovery paradigms: How to search, browse a tagged universe? What is the use of faceted search, people search, etc.?
* Blogging: What is the relationship between tagging and blogging? How do these two methods of adding personalized organization to web content affect how that content is found, navigated, used and interpreted by others?
* Interfaces: Using Boolean operators like AND, OR and NOT on sets of tags rapidly grows complex and confusing, especially for non-technical users. How can good interface design simplify and clarify these complex operations?

Workshop Presenter Selection Process:
We will solicit submissions to present work to the workshop, and submissions will be evaluated by the organizing committee. Because collaborative tagging on the web is relatively young and has received relatively little scholarly attention, we encourage contributions from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, including computer science and engineering, sociology, anthropology and linguistics, and communications and library science. Despite the novelty of collaborative tagging, we seek contributions with demonstrable results, as well as purely theoretical pieces. These results may consist of designs and prototypes for future tagging systems, quantitative or qualitative analyses of existing systems, or solutions for technical challenges facing tagging. Though speculative or theoretical contributions will be considered, we will require that they be well-grounded in previous research or practice.

How to submit a paper/proposal for the workshop:
For research in progress work, each candidate will email to [frank AT
rawsugar DOT com] in PDF format:
* A short bio (less than one half page)
* A position paper or extended abstract (less than 5 pages) including references and figures. For system presentations/demos, each candidate will email to [frank AT rawsugar DOT com] in PDF format:
* A short bio (less than one half page)
* A description of the system to be demoed (less than 3 pages)
* If available, a demo of the system in some format.

Submissions will be reviewed by the organizing committee and invitations to present will be sent accordingly. Authors of accepted submissions will be requested to submit a longer version for inclusion in the Working Notes to be distributed during the workshop.

Papers should be emailed to [frank AT rawsugar DOT com] preferably in PDF format and alternatively in HTML or MS Word. Papers should be formatted according to the standard ACM templates available at, for example the MS Word template is in; and then converted to pdf. Open Office ( can be used to export standard formats to PDF.

Important Dates:
Individual workshop submissions deadline: 10 January 2006
Acceptance notifications to authors of workshop papers: 1 February 2006
Final workshop program available: 15 February 2006
Workshop date: May 22 (Mon), 2006

Posted by prolurkr at 01:33 PM | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

November Advisory Committee Update

Another month has gone flying by, in fact we are almost a week into December. So it is definitely time for me to post my November Advisory Committee Update. Enjoy.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:19 PM | TrackBack

Professional-Lurker on the The Edublog Awards 2005 Shortlist

Professional-Lurker has been honored by making the shortlist for The Edublog Awards 2005 in the Best designed/most beautiful edublog category. Thank you for your nominations.

Voting will start tomorrow (12/6/2005) and run through December 17, 2005. Anyone can vote for the nominated blogs.

I would appreciate your vote for prolurker. Thanks.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 04, 2005

A long and wearing semester

This has been a long and wearing semester, so much so that I took yesterday off just to rest hence the graphic with this post. The primary reason it has been so hard is that the university is in the process of changing to a new online teaching tool and that has been a serious problem for me and my students. In short the software is very green to be in beta, at least it was at the beginning of the semester. We have come some distance getting it all up to speed during the semester but I have to say that I feel like a fair amount of my blood has been used to coat the tracks, ritual human sacrifice as it were. I've spent considerable time trying to resolve problems and waiting for responses because processes would not work at all or when they did work did not work correctly. Sadly you often don't know they didn't work right until much later when students complain.

Well last week was the topper of all with the system. I can't go into it on the blog, maybe there is a paper in all of it that I can share someday, but suffices to say that the wind has left my sails, I am floating in the doldrums. Luckily I am only trapped for a couple more weeks watching the sails lay still, I have one more lecture this week and lots of grading to complete. Beyond that I am looking to Christmas housecleaning, which should tell you how low I feel since cleaning is not something I usually gravitate toward. In this case cleaning will be a nice repetitive project against which I can measure daily, viewable progress. I need that right now.

I'm guessing that I will be somewhat quiet for the next week or two, with mostly filter posts being added to the blog. Be advised that as usual I will be sending out good thoughts to all of you who are teaching so that the end of your semester goes smoothly and this year I can use the positive vibs as well.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:25 AM | TrackBack

December 03, 2005

Island creation is messy business

On Monday November 28, 2005 forty acres of lava bench crashed into the sea on the Big Island Hawaii.

Geologists suspected what had happened because of seismic rumblings, but were not able to go to the coastal site until Tuesday.

The largest previous collapse was in 1996, when 34 acres fell into the sea. On Aug. 27, 11 acres fell into the sea.

Steam generated by water hitting hot rocks blasted rocks inland at the site, the observatory said.

Monday's collapse was followed about 35 hours later by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake about five miles from the collapse site. Geologists said the two events were not related.

The lava flow int he picture is called a "fire hose." Very cool.

The sound a collapse makes is amazing, I was in Volcanos Park in 1996, when a chunk of bench broke off and fell into the ocean. The sound of the rock breaking, and the lava hitting the water was the loudest thing I have ever heard and I was easily half a mile away at the time.

Island creation in all it's glory.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:46 PM | TrackBack

Library Worker Suspended for Putting Squirrel before Job

An American Libraries Online story that is interesting primarily because I spent 18 of the longest months of my life living in LaPorte Indiana. Can you tell I hated it there? Well it's fair they weren't overly fond of me either.

A staffer at the LaPorte County (Ind.) Public Library's Coolspring branch received a one-week suspension for spending too much time attempting to rescue a squirrel trapped in the library's ceiling.

Cindee Goetz said in the December 1 Michigan City (Ind.) News-Dispatch that when a company hired by the library switched from using a non-kill trap to a kill trap, she asked a friend who owns a humane animal-removal business to capture the squirrel. Goetz said she was then suspended without pay for "not giving the library its just due." She told the newspaper, "They said I went around the chain of command" and that "I was paying more attention to the animal than I was my job."

Library Executive Director Judy Hamilton told American Libraries she couldn't comment on the suspension, stating only that there have been other similar problems with Goetz. "This is not an isolated incident," she said. "If it had been an isolated incident, the reaction would have been different."

Last year Goetz, a clerical assistant II, kept an abandoned bird in a garage at the branch and took care of it on her work breaks. The News-Dispatch reported she was reprimanded but not suspended for that incident.

Goetz, who owns an animal shelter, said she feels library officials are indifferent to animals, adding that although the squirrel isn't someone's pet, it deserved to get out of the library alive. "I don't want that squirrel to die, either, but I can't allow a live animal to be headquartered in that building," Hamilton told the newspaper. "It's a severe situation I can't ignore. I'm not running a squirrel condominium here."

Posted by prolurkr at 05:49 PM | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

PEW releases data sets

Today PEW released five data sets from their 2004 and 2005 surveys. It is my understanding that this is all survey data and that focus group data is never released. *sigh* I sure understand the reasons but I don't have to like it...what fun we could have with the textual data.

Data Set: May-June 2005 Spyware
This data set includes questions about spyware, adware, and related computer problems.

Data Set: February-March 2005 Major Moments
This data set includes questions about the influence of the internet on major life decisions.

Data Set: January 2005 tracking
This data set includes basic tracking questions.

Data Set: Teens and Parents 2004
This data set includes questions about how teenagers and their parents use and view the internet in their lives.

Data Set: July 2004 Selective Exposure
This data set contains questions about 2004 election issues including the war in Iraq, gay marriage, and free trade.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

CFP - Exploring Gender, Feminism and Technology from a Communication Perspective

Women's Studies in Communication invites submissions for a special issue on "Exploring Gender, Feminism and Technology from a Communication Perspective" to appear in September 2006. Across disciplines, studies of technology have been a rich source for understanding women's experience and for advancing feminist theory. The goal of this special issue is to emphasize the contribution of communication practice and/or theory in exploring this relationship. More specific themes within this general emphasis may include examination of women's uses of particular technologies, the gendered nature of technology, the effect of technologies (or technological culture and globalization) upon women's lives, and developing/critiquing feminist theories of technology. Any type of technology may be considered; although they are welcome, manuscripts need not be limited to communication and information technologies. Manuscripts may by theoretical, empirical, or descriptive. For empirical studies, we welcome the full range of methodologies. All manuscripts must be clearly labelled as submissions intended for this special issue and submitted following standard guidelines described at All submissions will be blind and peer reviewed. Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to WSIC Associate Editor Michele Jackson, [email protected] . Submission deadline: February 1, 2006

Posted by prolurkr at 04:57 PM | TrackBack

How to Grade a Dissertation (or How to Write a Dissertation for Grading)

One of our faculty member's forwarded a link to How to Grade a Dissertation By Barbara E. Lovitts. The paper is very interesting and has a ton of information drawn from her focus group research, two section of which are reproduced below - The Characteristics of Dissertations (aka quality) and Some Dimensions of the Different Components of the Generic Dissertation. The second section is a nice benchmark for constructing or evaluation basically any written research work.

The Characteristics of Dissertations

Below are the criteria the focus group members specified for each level of dissertation quality


  • Is original and significant, ambitious, brilliant, clear, clever, coherent, compelling, concise, creative, elegant, engaging, exciting, interesting, insightful, persuasive, sophisticated, surprising, and thoughtful
  • Is very well written and organized
  • Is synthetic and interdisciplinary
  • Connects components in a seamless way
  • Exhibits mature, independent thinking
  • Has a point of view and a strong, confident, independent, and authoritative voice
  • Asks new questions or addresses an important question or problem
  • Clearly states the problem and why it is important
  • Displays a deep understanding of a massive amount of complicated literature
  • Exhibits command and authority over the material
  • Argument is focused, logical, rigorous, and sustained
  • Is theoretically sophisticated and shows a deep understanding of theory
  • Has a brilliant research design
  • Uses or develops new tools, methods, approaches, or types of analyses
  • Is thoroughly researched
  • Has rich data from multiple sources
  • Analysis is comprehensive, complete, sophisticated, and convincing
  • Results are significant
  • Conclusion ties the whole thing together
  • Is publishable in top-tier journals
  • Is of interest to a larger community and changes the way people think
  • Pushes the discipline's boundaries and opens new areas for research

Very Good

  • Is solid
  • Is well written and organized
  • Has some original ideas, insights, and observations, but is less original, significant, ambitious, interesting, and exciting than the outstanding category
  • Has a good question or problem that tends to be small and traditional
  • Is the next step in a research program (good normal science)
  • Shows understanding and mastery of the subject matter
  • Has a strong, comprehensive, and coherent argument
  • Includes well-executed research
  • Demonstrates technical competence
  • Uses appropriate (standard) theory, methods, and techniques
  • Obtains solid, expected results or answers
  • Misses opportunities to completely explore interesting issues and connections
  • Makes a modest contribution to the field but does not open it up


  • Is workmanlike
  • Demonstrates technical competence
  • Shows the ability to do research
  • Is not very original or significant
  • Is not interesting, exciting, or surprising
  • Displays little creativity, imagination, or insight
  • Writing is pedestrian and plodding
  • Has a weak structure and organization
  • Is narrow in scope
  • Has a question or problem that is not exciting--is often highly derivative or an extension of the adviser's work
  • Displays a narrow understanding of the field
  • Reviews the literature adequately--knows the literature but is not critical of it or does not discuss what is important
  • Can sustain an argument, but the argument is not imaginative, complex, or convincing
  • Demonstrates understanding of theory at a simple level, and theory is minimally to competently applied to the problem
  • Uses standard methods
  • Has an unsophisticated analysis--does not explore all possibilities and misses connections
  • Has predictable results that are not exciting
  • Makes a small contribution


  • Is poorly written
  • Has spelling and grammatical errors
  • Has a sloppy presentation
  • Contains errors or mistakes
  • Plagiarizes or deliberately misreads or misuses sources
  • Does not understand basic concepts, processes, or conventions of the discipline
  • Lacks careful thought
  • Looks at a question or problem that is trivial, weak, unoriginal, or already solved
  • Does not understand or misses relevant literature
  • Has a weak, inconsistent, self-contradictory, unconvincing, or invalid argument
  • Does not handle theory well, or theory is missing or wrong
  • Relies on inappropriate or incorrect methods
  • Has data that are flawed, wrong, false, fudged, or misinterpreted
  • Has wrong, inappropriate, incoherent, or confused analysis
  • Includes results that are obvious, already known, unexplained, or misinterpreted
  • Has unsupported or exaggerated interpretation
  • Does not make a contribution

Some Dimensions of the Different Components of the Generic Dissertation

The following dimensions emerged from the analysis of the results of the study described in this article.

Component 1: Introduction

The introduction

  • Includes a problem statement
  • Makes clear the research question to be addressed
  • Describes the motivation for the study
  • Describes the context in which the question arises
  • Summarizes the dissertation's findings
  • Discusses the importance of the findings
  • Provides a roadmap for readers

Component 2: Literature Review

The review

  • Is comprehensive and up to date
  • Shows a command of the literature
  • Contextualizes the problem
  • Includes a discussion of the literature that is selective, synthetic, analytical, and thematic

Component 3: Theory

The theory that is applied or developed

  • Is appropriate
  • Is logically interpreted
  • Is well understood
  • Aligns with the question at hand
  • In addition, the author shows comprehension of the theory's
  • Strengths
  • Limitations

Component 4: Methods

The methods applied or developed are

  • Appropriate
  • Described in detail
  • In alignment with the question addressed and the theory used In addition, the author demonstrates
  • An understanding of the methods' advantages and disadvantages
  • How to use the methods

Component 5: Results or Analysis

The analysis

  • Is appropriate
  • Aligns with the question and hypotheses raised
  • Shows sophistication
  • Is iterative
  • In addition, the amount and quality of data or information is
  • Sufficient
  • Well presented
  • Intelligently interpreted
  • The author also cogently expresses
  • The insights gained from the study
  • The study's limitations

Component 6: Discussion or Conclusion

The conclusion

  • Summarizes the findings
  • Provides perspective on them
  • Refers back to the introduction
  • Ties everything together
  • Discusses the study's strengths and weaknesses
  • Discusses implications and applications for the discipline
  • Discusses future directions for research

Posted by prolurkr at 04:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CFP - ASIS&T 2006

ASIS&T 2006 - "Information Realities: Shaping the Digital Future for All"
November 3-9, 2006
Hilton Austin, Austin, Texas

ASIS&T 2006 challenges us to explore this moment in the history of information science as people seamlessly move between their physical and digital worlds to create information realities for themselves and others. Submissions by researchers and practitioners are solicited on a wide range of topics.

Contributed papers
Contributed posters/short papers
Practitioner/Industry track
Symposia and panels
Pre-conference sessions

February 13, 2006 Proposals due for contributed papers, technical sessions and panels, and pre-conference sessions
February 25, 2006 Proposals due for contributed posters/short papers
April 28, 2006 Acceptance notices issued
May 27, 2006 Final versions due for conference proceedings

Full Call for Papers is at
All submissions are made electronically via a link from the ASIS&T Web site (

Richard B. Hill
Executive Director
American Society for Information Science and Technology
1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 510
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fax: (301) 495-0810
Voice: (301) 495-0900

Posted by prolurkr at 04:32 PM | TrackBack