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

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

Language Networks on LiveJournal

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

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

Weblogs as a bridging genre

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

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

Time until my next publication submission deadline
8 December 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

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

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

Time until my next conference submission deadline
1 December 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

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

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

My CiteULike Page

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

January 31, 2006

How to implement “getting things done” (GTD) for university students (and faculty)

I love personal productivity schemes, I've been playing with them for years trying to make myself more productive with the least effort. I mean come on who doesn't want more free-time? Right now Getting Things Done is front and center on my radar. 43 Folders is the GTD site I visit the most and I very pleased to see that they now have a thread on their message board for those of us in academia, How to implement GTD for university students. The thread also talks about faculty so don't be fooled by the title. Reading this thread won't give you all the in's and out's of GTD but it does make one think about how to better organize the unique part of what we do.

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

Might have to do a trial run on RoboForm

Oh dear a new software program that look very interesting. Check out RoboForm, I might have to download the trial and check it out.

Roboform is the top-rated Password Manager and Web Form Filler that completely automates password entering and form filling.

RoboForm was named PC Magazine Editor's Choice, and CNET's Software of the Year. RoboForm:

  • Memorizes your passwords and Logs You In automatically.
  • Fills long registration and checkout forms with one click.
  • Encrypts your passwords to achieve complete security.
  • Generates random passwords that hackers cannot guess.
  • Fights Phishing by filling passwords only on matching web sites.
  • Defeats Keyloggers by not using keyboard to type passwords.
  • Backs up your passwords, Copies them between computers.
  • Synchronizes passwords between computers using GoodSync.
  • Searches for keywords in your passwords, notes and Internet.
  • Portable: Pass2Go RF runs from USB key, no install needed.
  • PDA-friendly: sync your passwords to Pocket PC and Palm.
  • Neutral: works with Internet Explorer, AOL/MSN, Firefox.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:40 PM | TrackBack

Oh yes I remember these conversations

Confessions of a Community College Dean has a post that brought back humorous memories, though at the time these conversations are absolutely not a laughing matter. You know the conversation I mean, you want to talk about subject A but your conversational partner is so tied up in their own world view that they can't participate in finding a neutral space for your discussion. There are few things more frustrating. And of course no matter what you say they just become more entrenched in their view of the situation...a view that is never flattering to you. *sigh*

Elephants (A Play in One Scene)

Scene: The Dean's Office. A large elephant defecates calmly on the floor. The Dean attempts to address the elephant in the room with Prof. Ben Long-Tenured.

Dean: Thanks for coming, Ben.

Prof: Glad to, Dean. What's on your mind?

Dean: Well, Ben, it's the elephant. The smell is overpowering, and

Prof: Why wasn't I told of this before?

Dean: Huh?

Prof: Why wasn't I told of this before? I thought everything was fine! I have memos from you thanking me for showing up for (last official function)!

Dean: Yes, and I'm glad you showed up. But about the elephant...

Prof: What elephant?

Dean: The one in the room.

Prof: This is really about my (race/sex/age/sexual orientation/disability/religion), isn't it?

Dean: Well, no, it's really about the elephant.

Prof: You hesitated, didn't you? Now I've got you. I'm going to file a complaint with HR.

Dean: To get to HR, you'll have to step around the elephant.

Prof: You can rationalize it any way you want. This isn't right.

Dean: The elephant isn't right.

Prof: You're too inexperienced for this job. It's true what they say about you, you know.

Dean: This isn't about me. This is about the elephant.

Prof: We've been working this way for twenty years, and nobody ever complained. Now you come in, sitting pretty, passing judgment without the facts.

Dean: Ben, the fact is, I'm knee-deep in elephant shit. There's nothing pretty about it.

Prof: This isn't right. You don't know the history.

Dean: Well, the recent history involves a large elephant...

Prof: Twenty years! Does that mean anything to you?

Dean: Not nearly as much as the flies...

Prof: This is evil. You're committing an evil deed. There's evil in this world, you know. Bad consequences come to evildoers.

Dean: We disagree on that. Now, about the elephant...

Prof: What does (the VP) think about this?

Dean: He keeps asking me about the elephant. Also about my shoes.

Prof: The Administration doesn't care. You people don't know what it's like.

Dean: (sigh)

Prof: When I started here, back in...


Posted by prolurkr at 01:41 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Second International Workshop on Digital Genre

Call for contributions
Second International Workshop on Digital Genre
Halmstad, Sweden
June 15-16,2006

As a author within the digital genre track at HICSS we would like to personally invite you to the Second International Workshop on Digital Genre that will be held in Halmstad, located at the west coast of Sweden, June 15-16 2006.

The second international workshop will explore the world of Digital Genre, from both theoretical and practical aspects. In the 1st Workshop, held in Halifax, Canada, we explored E-News from the perspectives of design issue and challenges for managing the electronic delivery of news. In particular, we explored the impact of current work on genre and news delivery, user profiles, task, and future technologies. This year we would like to extend our discussions to other application areas including web searching, tourism, management information, new media, blogs, and digital libraries.

The goals of the workshop include building a stronger genre community and we hope that one outcome of the workshop would be a joint position paper that can be submitted to the Genre Track at the HICSS conference. We will also initiate the Genre Team Crazy Swedish Golf Challenge at the workshop.

Interested people can submit to the following categories:

Position papers - 2 to 5 pages for web and printed proceedings
Posters - send in a one page description for proceedings

Important dates:
March 1, 2006 - all submissions to [email protected]
April 1, 2006 - notification

Key Note Speakers:
Lars Svensson, University of Trollhättan/Uddevalla, Sweden
"Bridging Design theory and Practice with (Techno-Pedagogical) Genres"
Mike Shepherd, Dalhousie University, Canada
"Automatic Detection of CyberGenre"
For more information please visit

Best regards,
Carina Ihlström and Carolyn Watters
Carina Ihlström, Ph.D.
Director of Studies and Lableader MI-lab (with Maria Åkesson)
Halmstad University
P.O. Box 823
301 18 Halmstad
Phone: +46 35 16 75 31
Mobile: +46 703 18 73 55

Posted by prolurkr at 10:17 AM | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

January 2006 Advisory Committee Update

Another month is drawing to a close, and I doubt anything will be added to the monthly report in the next couple of days. So here is the January 2006 Advisory Committee Update.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Interacting with Computers Journal


Special Issue of Interacting with Computers on "HCI Issues in Computer Games"

Guest Editors
Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris ([email protected]) and CS Ang Centre for HCI Design, City University London

Introduction to special issue topic

Computer Games are at the forefront of technological innovation and their popularity in research is also increasing. Their wide presence and use makes Computer Games a major factor affecting the way people socialize, learn and possibly work. Computer Games are also beginning to attract the attention of educators and education technologists. With this special issue of Interacting with Computers we wish to explore the relationship between Computer Games and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Are current HCI techniques and ethodologies appropriate for designing Computer Games? Do we need new Computer Game focused HCI methods, theories and paradigms? What are the new challenges when it comes to evaluating Computer Games?

This special issue of Interacting with Computers is inviting contributions from both the academic community and industry. It will focus on issues surrounding the analysis, design, development and evaluation of Computer Games and the issues surrounding them.

Potential topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

"Interacting with Computers" is an interdisciplinary journal of Human-Computer Interaction, published by Elsevier. More information about this journal can be found at:

IwC special issues contain only 5 - 6 papers, each of no more than 10,000 words (so acceptance will be fairly selective).


Papers should be submitted through the manuscript management system at by the 10th of April 2006. The style standard is that of the American Psychological Association (APA), more details about which can be obtained from:

Important dates:

Full paper submission: 10th April 2006 (Monday)
Response to authors: 8th May 2006 (Monday)
Final version of papers: 5th June 2006 (Monday)
Planned publication: September 2006

Posted by prolurkr at 05:23 PM | TrackBack

Here it is, the four things meme

Via Anya here is the 4 things meme or at least my take on it, part of the reason I usually don't do these is I either can't think of 4 or can't limit the list to 4. LOL

4 Places I Have Lived (and actually liked more or less)
Florence Alabama (great little city)
Columbus Indiana (home town)
Lafayette Indiana (college well part of it at least)
Indianapolis Indiana (work)

4 Jobs I've Had in My Life
Waitress (at a Pizza Joint)
Bank Teller (way more times than I can remember)
House Cleaner (which is probably why I'm so terrible at it in my own home)
Human Resource Manager (the work would have been great if you just didn't have to deal with so many people. LOL Actually I usually loved the job just did far to many layoffs and firings for my soul.)

4 Favourite Movies
(Well I have so many, so I'm going with ones I own and can watch repeatedly.)
Anything Audrey Hepburn, especially Breakfast at Tiffany's
Ever After (Cinderella for real women)
You've Got Mail (CMC goes to the movies)
French Kiss (Kevin Kline, need I say more?)

4 Favourite TV Shows
Gilmore Girls (though I teach on Tuesday's this semester)
Lost (If purgatory = Hawaii, send me now please)
Grey's Anatomy
West Wing (Martin Sheen is my president! Hey a girl can wish can't she?)
(Yes I tend to trend more with the teens I study than with my age group on my TV viewing habits. Also did you notice that I like one hour formats with ensemble casts?)

4 Favourite CDs
(I have most everything in MP3 now so I don't actually listen to individual CD's but rather to artists or genres of music.
Dan Fogelberg (it's nice to have a soundtrack to your life and Fogelberg has certainly written mine.)
Mary-Chapin Carpenter (a woman who writes for and about women.)
Nanci Griffith (if she weren't a songwriter she would have had to have been a novelist as her songs tell such great stories.)
Anything folk
Anything Broadway (yes that's five but it's my site so deal. LOL)

4 Favourite Artists
Dale Chihuly
Diane Arbus
Wearable art makers
Glass bead makers

4 Places I Have Been on Vacation
(In a dairying family you don't vacation much so I'm pretty new at this concept.)
London UK, particularly Notting Hill
Durango Colorado (love the four-corners area in general)
Asheville North Carolina (went with friends to the Bluegrass Festival, great place and venue.)
Gatlinburg Tennessee (broke out one year and spent three days in a hot tub in the mountains in late May. Ahhh I should do that again soon.)
Big Island Hawaii (paradise)
(I have a thing for mountains, green mountains.)

4 Things I Love to Do know non-academic books, particularly historical fiction and sci-fi.
Play one of my Native American flutes (never get enough time for this, probably not possible to ever get enough time)
Do next to nothing (I have two speeds, full-ahead and complete stop.)
Spend time with friends. (Also something it is probably not possible to overdue.)

4 Favourite Books
Number one all-time favorite book = To Kill a Mockingbird. Having written such an incredible book I can understand why Harper Lee hasn't done another.
Number two all time favorite book = Jane Eyre (ok she's not the strongest female lead in the world but she comes dang close without being a "super hero."
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon, if she write it I will probably read it. p.s. She's an academic who went "straight" in popular fiction.
Anything by Parke Godwin, I recommend Waiting for the Galactic Bus and The Snake Oil Wars along with the King Arthur series.

4 Websites I Visit Daily
Bloglines (I do all my daily reading in RSS)

Posted by prolurkr at 11:12 AM | TrackBack

Contact email addys

Ok as Anya points out in her recent comment, I didn't have an email addy listed for the blog. I could give lots of technical sounding weblog security reasons why this was so but well they just wouldn't be the reason why I didn't list an email addy. In fact I didn't do so because it never actually occurred to me, in the beginning that is, that anyone I didn't already know would want to email me. Ok so I've lived a bit more and learned a ton in the last two years. So per Anya's request I now have a "Contact me" under the About section of the sidebar.

Oh and if you get desperate you can also find one on my webpage. They should both be working Anya, though the university one has been a bit flaky of late.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

“View: Variations in English Words and Phrases” a potentially useful tool

David Brake posted a link to View: Variations in English Words and Phrases at Media @ LSE. I need to spend some time playing with this tool to see how useful it might be in some upcoming research projects. From the "View" website:

This website allows you to quickly and easily search for a wide range of words and phrases of English in the 100 million word British National Corpus. As with some other BNC interfaces, you can search for words and phrases by exact word or phrase, wildcard or part of speech, or combinations of these. You can also search for surrounding words (collocates) within a ten-word window (e.g. all nouns somewhere near paper, all adjectives near woman, or all nouns near spin). Note also that unlike some other interfaces, this one does not limit you to just those phrases that occur two or three times in the corpus -- here all matching strings are retrieved.

One unique aspect of the corpus is the ability to find the frequency of words and phrases in any combination of registers that you define (spoken, academic, poetry, medical, etc). In addition, you can compare between registers -- for example, verbs that are more common in legal or medical texts, or nouns near break that are more common in fiction than in academic writing.

Finally, you can easily compare between synonyms and other semantically-related words. One simple search, for example, compares the most frequent nouns that appear with sheer, complete, or utter (sheer nonsense, complete account, utter dismay). The interface also allows you to input information from WordNet (a semantically-organized lexicon of English) directly into the search form. This allows you to find the frequency and distribution of words with similar, more general, or more specific meanings.

David notes that:

Unfortunately, it is a corpus of late 20th century words and does not contain the words that would be most interesting to me - "blog" or "blogger". It also turns out if you go to and type "define:yourword" it will offer you "related phrases" (the related phrase for "blogger" was "Baghdad Blogger".

A great example of why online researchers have to have bulging toolkits to use in our research. And thanks to David for two new ones to add the bag.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:06 AM | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

Home web use increases in some countries during December 2005 while declining in others

ClickZ Network has the following on Active Home Web Use by Country, December 2005. Very interesting numbers, in particular the decline noted for Brazil, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The Internet audience increased at a rate of less than one percent in December, with growth in eight of the 11 countries tracked by Nielsen//NetRatings. The rate of growth appears to be slowing.

After experiencing a significant growth of 6.82 percent in November, Brazil Internet users dropped off -2.57 percent in December. The South American country has an active home user Internet population of 12.5 million users. Spain was the highest-gaining active Internet user population with a 3.46 percent increase.

France (1.06 percent growth) outpaced the U.K. (0.9 percent growth) in new Internet users, though the U.K. Internet user population remains larger. Broadband adoption in France is currently greater than it is in the U.K.

Japan experienced a turnaround in new users. November data detail a -1.29 percent drop in active users. Japan increased its number of users by 2.59 percent to total 40.1 million subscribers.

Nielsen//NetRatings uses a gold standard sampling methodology applied worldwide. The sampling allows for aggregation of data on a regional and global basis.

Active Home Internet Users by Country, December 2005
Country November
Change (%) One-Month
Australia 9,887,757 9,904,266 0.17 16,509
Brazil 12,529,892 12,208,375 -2.57 -321,517
France 16,855,607 17,034,848 1.06 179,240
Germany 31,840,403 32,071,064 0.72 230,661
Italy 16,923,740 16,967,127 0.26 43,387
Japan 39,122,810 40,134,842 2.59 1,012,032
Spain 11,055,277 11,437,670 3.46 382,393
Sweden 4,810,817 4,739,069 -1.49 -71,748
Switzerland 3,602,570 3,577,870 -0.69 -24,701
23,586,055 23,812,843 0.96 226,788
142,704,415 143,784,919 0.76 1,080,503
Total 312,919,343 315,672,890 0.88 2,753,547

Posted by prolurkr at 09:41 AM | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

This is a test...this is only a test of the AdSense system

I've had some pretty long debates with myself about the value and potential distractions if advertising were added to prolurker. On some levels, it seems too gauche to try to make money from an academic site. However, as the last few months have certainly shown, academic sites cost money too.

Today when I saw Robin Hamman's post about his AdSense use on Cybersoc blog, I had to take notice. Robin reports that his AdSense revenues pay for his hosting services, nice idea. Though, how can ads like this one, found on Cybersoc today, for the London School of Journalism do anything but make a site look more academic.

So after much debate and some visual stimuli from Cybersoc, I have decided to give Google AdSense a try. The ads will be loading on the right sidebar below the awards section. If this doesn't work out or I don't like the look they will be leaving...with announcement of course. I like to leave design footprints on the blog so I and others know what I was up to when I made changes.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why we love to hate peer review comments

Yesterday I received a rejection on a paper submitted for publication back in November. Rejection is always a nasty thing, and I do not take criticism any better than the average person. Why? Well I worked hard on this "extended abstract." In truth, no one I know has ever written an abstract like this CFP requested, so I was flying blind. As such, I gave my self plenty of room to soar or fail as either was extremely possible. Clearly, the later was the case, though you have to crawl before you walk and my skinned knees prove that point.

I've written before, though I can't find the post at the moment, about how I tend to handle these things. First, I do a quick review of what the reviewers wrote, and then I set the whole thing aside for a day or so to let me deal with the rejection before I tackle the constructive part of the process. Then, when I am ready - and usually after some cathartic complaining to friends and colleagues - I read the whole packet again and try to glean useful comments from what was presented.

So today, I sat down to read the reviewer's comments in more detail and to take away what I can from the process. One reviewer has many constructive comments that if used may well help strengthen the paper, or at least help target it more closely to the goals of this publication. Their tone is supportive, though firm. I read the comments, yesterday and today, as well meaning and I can definitely learn from what they are saying.

The other is less useful and as such becomes a different kind of learning tool. In these cases, I always look at the comments to find what I can take away and use to make my own reviews stronger. Reviews are places to be constructive not to exercise one's ability to "one up" the writer, nor is it the place to criticize just because the research is not done as the reviewer would have done it. From conversations with other scholars, I know all of us fight these tendencies when we write reviews.

As with reading reviews, I think review writers should lay their work aside for a day or two, then reread, and edit. One of the main questions on our minds, as we reread our comments, should be "What would I think if I received these comments on my work?" I'm not suggesting that comments should be sugar-coated rather that somewhere we keep an eye to the fact that constructive and mean are two very different things.

Oh and believe me I've written some critical comments myself. However, I usually make myself stop and take a deep breath before I revise what I have written. Just as I take time and I stop before I read comments I receive. A clear mind is a wonderful thing.

Related posts:
Upcoming quietness on prolurker
Getting an extended abstract ready for submission

Posted by prolurkr at 03:25 PM | TrackBack

Defining the practice of "close reading" theory

Terri Senft has some very good advice at Tis the season to read theory. I've given you the bullet points below but read Teri elaboration for much more insight.

  1. Consider the context.
  2. Read the text out loud. No, really.
  3. Re-phrase what you just read in your own words.
  4. Provide examples for everything .
  5. Recognize and defend yourself against front-loaded essays.
  6. Think about language, and make a list of KEY WORDS.
  7. Think about argument, and make a list of BULLET POINTS.
  8. Think about tone, think about the voice of the writer in this piece.
  9. Do some cursory research on the author.
  10. Put the piece you are reading in some sort of dialogue with other pieces assigned for the week.
  11. Stop consuming, start thinking.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:40 PM | TrackBack


9th Annual International Workshop on Presence
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Cleveland State University
August 24-26, 2006
Submission deadline: April 3, 2006
Full details on the web at


Academics and practitioners with an interest in the concept of (tele)presence are invited to submit their work for presentation at PRESENCE 2006 at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, August 24-26, 2006.

The ninth in a series of highly successful international workshops, PRESENCE 2006 will provide an open discussion forum to share ideas regarding concepts and theories, measurement techniques, technology, and applications related to presence, the psychological state or subjective perception in which a person fails to accurately and completely acknowledge the role of technology in an experience, including the sense of 'being there' experienced by users of advanced media such as virtual reality. The concept of presence has been the focus of increasing scholarly attention since at least Minsky's "Telepresence" in 1980. Recently there has been a burst of funded research activity in this area with the European FET Presence Research initiative. What do we really know about presence and its determinants? How can presence be successfully delivered with today's technology? This conference invites papers that are based on empirical results from studies of presence and related issues and/or that make substantial advances in theoretical understanding of presence and/or that contribute to the technology for the delivery of presence. High quality papers which make substantial contributions to the field are sought; submissions will be rigorously evaluated by peer reviewers.

Work accepted for presentation will be included in the official conference proceedings and posted on the ISPR web site. Some of the presented papers will be selected for publication in one or more special issues of CyberPsychology & Behavior or Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

PRESENCE 2006 takes place in Cleveland and is hosted by Cleveland State University. The conference is organized by ISPR, the International Society for Presence Research.


Submissions of papers, demonstrations, and panels that represent completed or ongoing work are encouraged in areas including but not limited to:


Like the earlier workshops, PRESENCE 2006 will have an interactive format in which all participants (attendees, presenters, invited speakers) attend each of the sessions as well as several social events, allowing participants to exchange ideas and build knowledge together as the conference progresses.

The conference will feature keynote presentations by prominent presence scholars (details to be announced soon).


The Workshop will be hosted by Cleveland State University, located in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland boasts world-class cultural institutions, major-league sports, state-of-the-art attractions, unique ethnic neighborhoods, great shopping and dining, vibrant nightlife, a national park for outdoor recreation, and much more. It was ranked #1 for "Most Livable City" in the U.S. and 26th in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (October 2005), a Top 10 Summer Vacation Destination by (May 2004, June 2003), one of the 10 ten safest and culturally most fascinating cities to visit in the U.S. by Travel Smart (January 2004), a Top 10 city for walking by The American Podiatric Medical Association (November 2003), a Top 25 Arts Destination, by (October 2003), #3 City That Works Hardest to Accommodate Group Tours by Destinations magazine (April 2001), and Top Five U.S. City for Meetings by Get There Direct Meeting Company (February 2001). Cleveland's also the home of the 4th Best Beer in the Country (Great Lakes Brewing Company, Dortmunder Gold) according to American Heritage (July 2002)

For more information about Cleveland visit the web site of the Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau (; for more information
about Cleveland State University, visit the CSU web site (


We invite researchers and practitioners to submit work in the following categories:

Papers: Comprehensive descriptions of original research or design work within the scope of the workshop. Papers are 5 to 12 pages in the PRESENCE 2006 template format (see submission page of the conference web site) and will be considered for oral presentation.

Panels: Sets of presentations on a single theme or topic within the scope of the workshop. Submitters are encouraged to be creative regarding both the topic or theme and the format for panel proposals, which are limited to 4 pages in the PRESENCE 2006 template format.

Extended abstracts: Brief presentations of tentative or preliminary results of research or design work within the scope of the workshop. Extended abstracts are 2 to 4 pages in the PRESENCE 2006 template format and will be considered for oral presentation after all accepted full papers are scheduled.

Posters: Visual display presentations. Submissions are limited to 4 pages which contain miniature versions of the larger pages that would be displayed at the conference.

Demonstrations/exhibitions: Step-by-step audiovisual demonstrations and/or hands-on experiences of (commercial or academic) work within the scope of the workshop. Proposals for demonstrations/exhibitions are limited to 4 pages in the PRESENCE 2006 template format.

Please submit your work online at the submission page of the conference web site at <> by the conference deadline of April 3, 2006.


Registration costs before or on July 1 are 250 USD for individuals with an academic, governmental, or non-profit affiliation; 350 USD for individuals with a corporate affiliation; and 125 USD for graduate students. (For costs in other currencies, go to All registration fees will include admission to all Workshop sessions, conference materials, refreshments during breaks, lunches and conference dinner/reception.

Registration opens February 13, 2006. Please visit the registration page of the conference web site at < > for the registration and payment forms and procedures.


Conference co-chairs
Cheryl Campanella Bracken (Cleveland State University, USA)
Matthew Lombard (Temple University, USA)
Program Committee (subject to change)
Mariano Alcaniz (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain)
Carlo Alberto Avizzano (Scuola Superiore S. Anna, Italy)
Jeremy N. Bailenson (Stanford University, USA)
Rosa Baños (University of Valencia, Spain)
Woody Barfield (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
Frank Biocca (MIND Labs, Michigan State University, USA)
Edwin Blake (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Cristina Botella Arbona (Universitat Jaume I, Spain)
Doug Bowman (Virginia Tech, USA)
Cheryl Campanella Bracken (Cleveland State University, USA)
Martin Buss (Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany)
Alan Chalmers (University of Bristol, UK)
Jonathan Freeman (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK)
Doron Friedman (University College London, UK)
Luciano Gamberini (University of Padua, Italy)
Maia Garau (University College London, UK)
Marco Gillies (University College London, UK)
Ilona Heldal (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
Wijnand Ijsselsteijn (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Roy Kalawsky (Loughborough University, UK)
Rita Lauria (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, USA)
Jane Lessiter (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK)
Matthew Lombard (Temple University, USA)
Celine Loscos (University College London, UK)
Katerina Mania (University of Sussex, UK)
Giorgio Metta (Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy)
Christa Neuper (University of Graz, Austria)
Miriam Reiner (Technion: Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Albert Skip Rizzo (University of Southern California, USA)
Daniela Romano (University of Sheffield, UK)
Roy Ruddle (University of Leeds, UK)
Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives (Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Spain)
Ralph Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute, UK)
Thomas Schubert (University of Jena, Germany)
Melissa E. Selverian (Temple University, USA)
Mel Slater (University College London, UK)
Anna Spagnolli (University of Padua, Italy)
Anthony Steed (University College London, UK)
Aleksander Väljamäe (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
Walter Van de Velde (European Commission, EU)
Paul F.M.J. Verschure (Institute of Neuroinformatics, Switzerland)
Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy (University College London, UK)
Suzanne J. Weghorst (University of Washington, USA)
Mary Whitton (University of North Carolina, USA)


For more information or assistance, please send e-mail to [email protected] and/or contact the conference co-chairs.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:46 PM | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

PC and Pixel

Thach Bui draws a most excellent comic called PC and Pixel. After seeing today's comic I can truly say I want a wireless jacuzii. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 05:52 AM | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

PEW Report released - The Strength of Internet Ties

The Pew Internet & American Life Project today released a report describing how the internet improves Americans' capacity to maintain their social networks and how they gain a big payoff when they use the internet to activate those networks to solicit help. The report is based on two surveys and finds that the internet and email expand and strengthen the social ties that people maintain in the offline world. The surveys show that people not only socialize online, but they also incorporate the internet into their quest for information and advice as they seek help and make decisions.

Disputing concerns that heavy use of the internet might diminish people's social relations, the report finds that the internet fits seamlessly with Americans' in-person and phone encounters. With the help of the internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live close to them.

The report, "The Strength of Internet Ties," highlights how email supplements, rather than replaces, the communication people have with others in their network.

The full report is available at:

Posted by prolurkr at 08:57 PM | TrackBack

CFP - English Studies Forum (Writing/Life)

The electronic peer-reviewed English Studies Forum ( seeks innovative creative and critical writing. The editors of ESF want to feature engaging critical essays, as well as truly creative and experimental work-fiction, poetry, and nonfiction-that takes formal risks.

The editors are currently soliciting manuscripts for several ongoing sites, including forums on the postmodern imagination and beyond, the individual in war, parody / play / performance, mind and matter, and spaces. In spring-summer 2006, a new forum on Writing/Life will debut. The editors invite submissions investigating the complex intersections of writing and living. Critical and creative work may address the writing life, life-writing, bio-texts, biography and autobiography, writing environments, and reading life, among other topics.

Electronic submissions (MS Word) are preferred. Critical papers should conform to M.L.A. style and include a bibliography, if appropriate.

Send inquiries or submissions to:

Trey Strecker, Editor in Chief
English Studies Forum
Department of English
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306-0460
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 09:26 AM | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

Online words are a testament to the writer, of the writer

The Student Tablet PC blog pointed me to an interesting article over at Blogspotting, How our sites are used when we die.

Early Sunday morning in New York's East Village, an allegedly drunk driver ran over and killed a 25-year-old student named Hannah Engle. Sadly, that's not a new story, or a remarkable one. But unlike most hit-and-run victims in the past, Engle had a site on Friedman.

This became a source for news coverage. The New York Post quoted testimonials from her friends. And after the Post came out this morning, I'm told, traffic at her site was virtually paralysed by hordes of digital rubberneckers.

The lesson here is that with every word we post, we're writing our own obituaries. Our blogs and social networking sites, so full of the jokes and banter of our lives, quickly become at our death the closest thing most of us will have to a shrine.

I can certainly think of way worse things that being remembered in my own words...polished, or unplanned, or just plain ill-advised. They are after all colors of who we are.

This ties in nicely with some research on digital memorializing I have on my "to read when I ever have time" list.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

Men’s studies bibliography

I've been thinking a lot about the lack of research looking at teenage boys use of blogs and blogging. As such I've begun to think about research questions that might be useful in building knowledge. While waiting for a bloglines page to load this morning I did a quick search and found a very cool site that I need to share.

The Men's Bibliography is a comprehensive bibliography of writing on men, masculinities, gender, and sexualities (14th edition). Compiled by Michael Flood (Australia) and first published in 1992. The site even has an ISBN number. *makes a note* Though it was last updated in June 2005 so no doubt it is not totally "up to date" it appears to be an excellent starting point for basic and specialized topics, and a great lead in to keywords to more searching.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:39 AM | TrackBack

Blog Research Carnival

On the 19th I asked if there was interest in doing such a thing, beyond the couple of people who had mentioned it to me already. There has a be a resounding quietness since I asked that question so I think quietness is the answer.

Related post:

Blog Research Carnival?

Posted by prolurkr at 07:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CFP - 4S

News from 4S or The Society for Social Studies of Science
2006 Annual Meeting:
November 2-4, 2006, Vancouver, B.C, Canada

The 2006 4S conference will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the society. The meeting will be co-located with the History of Science Society and Philosophy of Science Association, which will be in a hotel a few blocks away. "Information Central" for the meeting this year is at

Call for Papers: Silence, Suffering and Survival

This year's theme is "Silence, Suffering and Survival", and it is designed to explore the overlooked spaces, boundaries, actors, networks, and artifacts of science and technology. We welcome papers and panels that address questions about the silences of silencing, unintended consequences, and persistence in science, technology and STS. The topic is meant to open up and stir discussion about theorizing in areas we may have overlooked such as the process of secrecy under which processes of silence are often conducted.

Possible topics might include the science and technology of slavery, disability, survival, warfare, peace, and quantification. Discussions might address de-moralization and re-moralization within science, technology and STS, the sort of silence/noise created by technology/ science, and how technology/science create and alleviate suffering and/or survival. This could include processes of survival that are often off the record, such as workarounds, "older ways of knowing", older (non-scientific) ways of knowing, and …?

Submission deadline is April 3. Submit now Online submission is now open for both abstracts and sessions.

New session formats

We will be exploring some new session formats this year, including new media presentations, "fire-side chats", and junior-senior sessions. Some sessions at the Vancouver 4S will be designated "working sessions." For these sessions, papers will be made available online in advance of the conference so that panel members and attendees will be able to read them before arriving; the conference session then will be an opportunity for more substantial discussion. If you would like to organize or contribute to a working session, please contact Josh Greenberg, Tarleton Gillespie, or Sergio Sismondo. If you have ideas for these or other session formats, please contact the Program Chair: Wenda Bauchspies.

Organize panels online

4S members are invited to use the Discussion Board in the Members Section of the web site to announce ideas for panels and invite participation. Log in. Authors' help needed for 4S book exhibit As we are planning the 4S meeting exhibits for Vancouver in 2006, it is also helpful for authors to send us notification of their recent publications, and to remind their editors or marketing contacts at their publishers that they will be attending a conference and would appreciate display copies or other promotional materials, or publisher exhibits, at these meetings. More information will be available as we coordinate the exhibit plans with HSS/PSA for the annual meetings. Please contact Jennifer L. Croissant or the Program
Chair Wenda Bauchspies for more information.

W.K. Bauchspies, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, & Society and Women's Studies
Pennsylvania State University
101 Old Botany Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
814 865 3046 and fax 814 865 3047

Posted by prolurkr at 06:49 AM | TrackBack

January 22, 2006

I’m sick of being sick

The flu from the middle of December to the first of January and now a bad cold to keep me down for the weekend. I need to buy stock in Kleenex.

Oh and Cold-Eeze does work...though anything you eat after taking one will taste absolutely terrible. Good for the waistline I guess.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:26 PM | TrackBack

January 21, 2006

CFP - Life Writing, Marginalization, Resistance

CFP: Life Writing, Marginalization, Resistance
(3/15/06; MLA '06, 12/27/06-12/30/06)

Call For Papers for a proposed Special Session
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Annual meeting December 27-30, 2006, in Philadelphia

I am requesting submissions for a proposed panel/special session entitled Life Writing, Marginalization, Resistance for MLA 2006 in Philadelphia, PA. Participants must be members by
April 7th and the complete panel with proposals must be determined and submitted to the MLA program committee for evaluation by April 1. I am interested in papers analyzing strategies of resistance in visual and/or written texts particularly when pertaining to border identities. Please email 1-2 page abstracts and brief cvs by March 15th to Barbara L. Ciccarelli [email protected].

Barbara L. Ciccarelli, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Neumann College
Aston, PA 19014

Posted by prolurkr at 05:27 PM | TrackBack

CFP - First Monday Conference

First Monday Conference
FM10 Openness: Code, science and content
15-17 May 2006, at The University of Illinois at Chicago

Celebrate ten years of First Monday!

Register at

Send an abstract or paper to

Thanks to a grant from The Open Society Institute, as many as 20 participants from developing countries may receive grants to attend the Conference. An application form can be found at Deadline 10 February 2006.

The Conference is generously sponsored by The Open Society Institute, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The University of Illinois at Chicago University Library and The Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), University of Maastricht.

About the Conference

Recent years have seen a strong interest among academics, policy makers, activists, business and other practitioners on open collaboration and access as a driver of creativity. In some areas, such as free software / open source, sustainable business models have emerged that are holding their own against more traditional, proprietary software industries. In the sciences, the notions of open science and open data demonstrate the strong tradition of openness in the academic community that, despite its past successes, is increasingly under threat. And open access journals and other open content provide inspiring examples of collaborative creativity and participatory access, such as Wikipedia, while still in search of models to ensure sustainability.

There are clear links between these areas of openness: open content often looks explicitly towards open source software for business models, and open science provides through its history a glimpse of the potential of openness, how it can work, as well as a warning of the threats it may face. Finally, open collaboration is closely linked to access to knowledge issues, enabling active participation rather than passive consumption especially in developing countries.

Despite these clear links, there has been surprisingly little thoughtful analysis of this convergence, or of the real value of the common aspect of open collaboration. In particular, while open source software - due to its strong impact on business and on bridging the digital divide - has drawn much attention, it may provide false hopes for the sustainability of openness in other areas of content that need careful examination. The conference -- FM10 Openness: Code, science and content - Making collaborative creativity sustainable -- provides a platform for such analysis and discussion, resulting in concrete proposals for sustainable models for open collaboration in creative domains.

The Conference will draw on the experience of First Monday as the foremost online, peer-reviewed academic journal covering these issues since May 1996. Not only has First Monday published numerous papers by leading scholars on the topics of open collaboration, open access, and open content in its various forms, it is itself an example of open collaboration in practice: for a decade, the journal has been published on a purely voluntary basis, with no subscription fees, advertising, sponsorship or other revenues. The success of First Monday is demonstrated by thousands of readers around the world, downloading hundreds of thousands of papers each month.

For more details, contact Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor of First Monday at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Posted by prolurkr at 01:07 PM | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

Ruminating on keeping up

Today I've was thinking, as I ran errands, about the time I spend just trying to keep up with what is happening with blogging, and CMC in general. I don't necessarily do an award winning job of staying a head of the curve, but I definitely do ok. But just that, doing ok, takes a lot of time. Time I could be writing, reading journals/books, preping a class, being with my family or friends, or just doing nothing. I'm not begrudging the time, rather I think I'm just beginning to admit that a significant portion of my day, everyday, goes to this process - reading news feeds, reading blogs, and following up on leads I get for other people who read widely. It's not just something I do like washing the dishes, this is something I spend hours doing everyday and I do it for three reasons, because the new information I find 1) informs my teaching, 2) informs my research, and 3) is just fun to know.

I kept thinking about an instructor, non-Ph.D., I had for several classes during my first master's work in Human Resources. In an advanced class he made a statement about an HR law. I raised my hand and asked if he felt the recent U.S. Supreme Court case, x vs. v. (sorry I don't remember the name of the one I was talking about that day), would significantly change the way private enterprises handled the area to which he he had just referred. He answered, and with a proud look on his face to boot, "I don't know what you are talking about, everything I know about HR I learned from textbooks. By the time it's in a textbook we know how it is going to come out." Well as you can imagine I didn't hear anything else for the rest of the lecture, my brain was just to tied up digesting that statement.

So here was a man who was proud of the fact that he only gained information that had been processed by a single author. He thought it was enough to wait for five years for a textbook to be written and published before he knew anything about some of the topics it might address. Most amazing of all he seemed to think it was good, maybe even laudable, that he was teaching practitioners without knowing what they were likely to face their first day on the job. My mind was boogled.

In truth I still am boogled by that attitude, which is probably why I tend to dismiss the time I spend staying on top of things as a trivial endeavor. It's not trivial...but it is necessary. I don't even want to be someone who my students look at routinely - because it will happen sometime(s) no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise - and think "She has no idea what is going on."

Posted by prolurkr at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Storytelling, Self, Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Storytelling Studies

Storytelling, Self, Society is a bi-annual, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarship on a wide variety of topics related to storytelling as interpersonal, performance, or public discourse. Papers may represent disciplines including but not limited to storytelling, folklore, cultural studies, communication, English, education, library science, health care, business, peace studies, psychology, sociology, anthropology, pop culture, theater and performance studies. In addition, a variety of items will be considered for review, including print publications, recordings and performances. Please indicate in your response if you are interested in reviewing a recently experienced storytelling performance. Contact Janice M. Del Negro, review editor, at [email protected] to indicate interest and for additional information. For more information on the journal, we invite submitters to visit our web site:

For consideration in the Fall 2006, issue, please e-mail a completed manuscript by March 1, 2006, to:

Caren S. Neile, MFA, Ph.D.
Managing Editor, Storytelling, Self, Society
[email protected]

Manuscripts (headings and in-text citations), abstracts, references/works cited, figures, and tables must conform either to: (a) the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001, Fifth Edition) guidelines, or (b) to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2003, Sixth Edition, Modern Language Association of America). Contributors are encouraged to follow the guidelines of these manuals for avoiding bias in language. Each submission should include a single-paragraph abstract of no more than 120 words on a separate page, preceding the manuscript. Submittors should indicate whether their submissions conform for MLA or APA style, and include in the letter to the Managing Editor the history of the manuscript (conference paper, Master's Thesis, Dissertation, part of a larger study, to name a few). By submitting to SSS, authors warrant that (a) they will not submit their manuscript to any other publication while the manuscript is under review with SSS, (b) the work is original and not previously published in any form, and (c) appropriate credit has been given to other contributors, including students, to the project. Manuscripts should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages (excluding references, tables, figures, or appendixes; 12-pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch page margins all around). Manuscripts that do not conform to the mission of the journal, or do not comply with the submission guidelines, will not be reviewed. In submitting, authors agree to assign copyright of their manuscripts, if accepted, to SSS.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:15 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Society for the History of Technology

The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 12-16, 2006. The Program Committee is seeking proposals for both individual papers and complete panels. Proposals from those new to SHOT are welcome, regardless of discipline.

As usual, the Program Committee invites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the history of technology, broadly defined. Of special interest for 2006 are proposals that engage with the following themes:

  1. Technology, Games, and Entertainment
  2. Technology, Race, and Ethnicity
  3. Conversations between History of Technology and other Disciplines

For the 2006 meeting the Program Committee is also encouraging unconventional sessions, that is, session formats that vary in useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment. These might include (but are not limited to) sessions with no formal commentator, workshop-style sessions with papers that are pre-circulated electronically, or "author meets critics" sessions.

The Program Committee's highest priority in evaluating paper and panel proposals is scholarly excellence. In evaluating panel proposals the Program Committee is especially interested in sessions that team established and younger scholars, and/or draw participants from multiple institutions and multiple countries. The deadline for proposals is March 15, 2006. Please submit your proposals to [email protected]. See below for proposal guidelines and submission instructions.

Guidelines for Proposals:
Proposals for individual papers must include:

Proposals for complete sessions must include:

Submission Instructions:

General information:

Posted by prolurkr at 04:06 PM | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Be afraid and be vigilant

From BetaNews, Government Wants Google Search Data:

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a United States federal judge in San Jose, Calif. to order Google to turn over search records from its database. The request stems from a failure by the search giant to comply with a subpoena issued in October.

The federal government is attempting to gather data to support a child protection law that was struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. Under that law, the government could punish pornography sites that made content easily accessible to minors.

However, the Supreme Court found the law too broad, and said that it could restrict the ability of adults to access these sites. It gave the government an opportunity to either rewrite the law or prove that it doesn't violate the First Amendment rights of the Web site owners and visitors.

Google contends that supplying the information would violate the privacy of its users, as well as divulge trade secrets that could help its competitors. Company officials said they plan to fight the request, calling it "overreaching."

Privacy advocates warn that this is the case they have long feared, where with a little bit of legal action, entire databases with personal information could be open for companies -- and the government -- to see.

According to federal officials, other unnamed search engines have complied with the request, but Google has not. "The production of those materials would be of significant assistance to the government's preparation of its defense of the constitutionality of this important statute," the government said in its filing.

Details of the U.S. government's effort to force Google to comply first appeared in the San Jose Mercury-News on Thursday.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:18 PM | TrackBack

Blog Research Carnival?

I have had a couple of requests for prolurker to host a blog research carnival. Is there interest? What form would this take? Your views please...

Posted by prolurkr at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

When the fringe goes mainstream

Blog tracking goes mainstream: Nielsen purchases Intelliseek

Posted by prolurkr at 07:43 PM | TrackBack

Ancarett’s Abode has the latest Teaching Carnival...

Ancarett's Abode has the latest Teaching Carnival. Number "V" that is.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:39 PM | TrackBack

Sitting down to do a bit of quals writing

Carrying on from my last session today I finished with a section word count of 5961 and a total master word count 26,052. Movement is good.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:36 PM | TrackBack

Prolurker is back from LunarPages hell (long ranting post warning)

This has been a fairly long and annoying week. It all started last Friday night when I finally, after getting prolurker settled in at it's new host LunarPages, updated Mint. That was simple and straightforward I just like to have some extra time in case something goes astray when I work on the websites. Well, come Saturday morning I found that Mint was not working correctly. Saturday I was busy, so I didn't mess with it. I have lots of stats for the blog so missing this one program was not a problem. But come Sunday morning and I decided to figure out what was causing the problem.

I worked with Mint for quite a while and as part of that process did a rebuild on the indexes of the blog. Interestingly enough, my admin page locked up during the rebuild, and I assumed it was a satellite issue. Little did I know. About half an hour later, I decided to try the rebuild again after rebooting the modem and my computer, but went ahead and did a full rebuild this time and again my page locked up. So I went to work on other things. Then about an hour later, I get an e-mail from LunarPages that my mt.cgi script had been disabled. See the following:

The following ticket has been created by a member of our staff for you
Your question's details:
============= Title: ==============
Script Disabled on your account

============== Message: ==============

Your script moveabletype was causing extremely high processing on sadar server:

profe9 11.45 6.23 0.0
Top Process %CPU 92.8 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi
Top Process %CPU 86.2 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi
Top Process %CPU 86.0 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi

This also crashed the server earlier. As such, the script has been chowned to root with 000 file permissions. You may not use this script again as %92 top processing is an unacceptable level on a shared server, affecting load and all other accounts on the server. I'd suggest you to move to Wordpress. Please let us know, and we can remove this script for you.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Kind Regards,
Tomas Olivares
Junior System Administrator - System Administrator Team

Ok well that's a fine how do you do, especially since my site was totally ftp'd in from my old host and nothing, beyond the Mint, program had changed. Neither they or my previous host had given me any warning that there had been a problem. LunarPages just shut me off.

So that began a very interesting exchange. I called customer service, LunarPages is noted as having excellent customer service, but you won't be able to tell by my experience. I was told I would have to respond to the email I couldn't "talk" to anyone about what was happening. You have the full email text above, do you see anywhere it says I HAVE to respond to the email. I mentioned to the person on the other end of the phone that it sounded like they didn't want my business and he responded that they definitely did want to resolve the issue and continue our relationship. Yeah right. As a parting comment the customer service person said I would be REQUIRED to move to Wordpress...interesting that they think they can tell me what system to use with no explanation or consideration...just do it. *snapping my fingers* Do it NOW!

I responded to their email that as the problem was running a full rebuild and I would simply not be doing that again. It's rarely required I just ran one to make sure I had full saturation across the website. Then 48 hours later I get this email answer:

This is an automated message to advise you that a technician has responded to your question. You can view this response and track the progress of your inquiry online at:

You can also reply to this e-mail.

Ticket Ref : 4814-YUJX-5858
Ticket Subject : Script Disabled on your account


I am sorry, but due to the server crashing from this script being run, we cannot enable it again for you.

To ensure the safety of the accounts on the server, the only way we could host this for you would be on a dedicated server.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, I'm sure this wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but we have to do what is in the best interest of everyone on the server. I hope you understand.

Although it didn't crash the server, on previous days, the script had also been over the limit of resources allowed, by 2 or 3 times.

If you would like to upgrade, please let us know and we can upgrade you to a dedicated server.

If you would like to leave, that is also an option. We can issue you a pro-rated refund.

Best Regards,
Stephan Hughson

A DEDICATED SERVER, gezzz there is no way my little blog needs a dedicated server. This is just insane. Note that they are saying that there were multiple problems before they decided to shut me off...would have been nice if they had bothered to tell me about that.

So after much discussion with my technical advisory crew I decided to move the site to another host, DreamHost. But I was curious, for my own understanding, to know what the limit was that the site had exceeded. Curious so I would know what to expect at my new site. You are gonna love this response:


There is actually no set limit. It all depends on the duration and generally anything above 9.0 would be high on the shared servers.
Best Regards,
Peter Cathaseema
JSA I ­ System Admin Team

So let me get this straight, on several occasions I had exceed the limit where there is no set limit. Wonderful circular thinking but someone needs to explain to me how you exceed a non-limit and do it repeatedly...I mean come on how do they even know you have exceeded the limit if they don't even know what the limit is? And how do you hang your hat on the decision if you can't even explain it with any reasonable clarity.

Well this morning a friend worked to unpack my full backup from the LunarPages site and he jiggled with the site to get it both up and running and doing so efficiently. Would you believe that a simple change from the default Berkeley database to MySQL seems to have fixed the processing time problem. Probably explains why other much larger blogs can run on MT and be hosted by LunarPages. Oh well apparently their "top notch" customer service and technical staff couldn't figure that one out for themselves.

In truth I have not been impressed with their tech support from the beginning. See Things I learned while moving two websites to a new host for my previous comments on this service. So my advise is avoid LunarPages...customer service to me is not just having people who answer the phone but who can help you resolve a problem to a mutually satisfactory conclusion, if possible. And if it's not possible they can first try, and second at least not be condescending about it. Gezzz.

Now if I can just get Mint working properly.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 13, 2006

CFP - Journal of Information, Communication, Society

Journal of Information, Communication, Society
10th Anniversary International Symposium
University of York,UK. 20th – 22nd September 2006

Supported by:
Social Informatics Research Unit (SIRU),
Department of Sociology, University of York

In association with
Oxford Internet Institute (OII)
Taylor & Francis Publishers

Conference Chairs:
Brian Loader, Co-Director of SIRU
Professor William Dutton, Director of the OII

Powerful new convergences of digital technologies together with rising adoption of information and communications technologies (ICTs) into everyday commercial, political and social life has led to pronouncements of a second generation of information society development. But what evidence exists to support this idea of a significant step change in the development and social, economic and political diffusion of ICTs?

This symposium seeks to take forward this debate by critically analysing key issues emerging from new inter-relationships between information, communication and society. It aims to: • explore the robustness of claims about the transformative effects and potential of information and communication technologies; • identify and discuss the methodologies that could be used to test such claims; • assess the current state of empirical research and highlight important gaps for future research; and • provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas, data and analysis.

Symposium Themes
The symposium is multidisciplinary and original papers are sought from researchers in all relevant subject areas. Papers submitted should address at least one of the seven broad areas around which the proceedings will be organised: e-health; spatial informatics; e-commerce & economics; young and older generations; privacy, trust and surveillance; e-governance; and, policy issues cutting across all these themes.

Submission of papers
Proposals for papers should be submitted as abstracts of no more than 500 words, and should include details of the proposer’s name, position, affiliation and contact details. Proposals should be submitted electronically to [email protected] . Submissions are welcome from established scholars and post-graduates alike.

Deadline for proposals: 1st April 2006
Authors of accepted papers notified by: 2nd May 2006

Posted by prolurkr at 01:53 PM | TrackBack

What They Don’t Teach You in Graduate School, Part IV (Long post warning)

Inside Higher Ed has the 4th and final installment of their What They Don't Teach You in Graduate School series online today. The guts of it follows.

Life as an Academic

1. Bad Deans can make your life miserable. Don't assume that because the half-life of a dean is five years, you can outlast them. Get out your résumé.

2. Never, ever choose sides in department politics. The side you are on expects your support because they know they are right. They will give you no reward for it. The side(s) you are not on remembers forever.

3. Never take a joint appointment, particularly as your initial appointment. The chair of each department will assume that the other chair will take care of you. Furthermore, at raise, promotion, and tenure times, each department will judge you only on the papers or books in its own discipline.

4. Secretaries are a scarce resource. Treat them as such. Most universities pay secretaries below market wages and expect them to gain psychic income from the academic environment. They often work in physical space you would not accept even as a graduate student. (We estimate the chance that a secretary works in an office with a window is approximately one in three.) By any standard, they are an exploited class. If you develop a good relationship with them, they will work miracles for you. They know every arcane administrative procedure needed to get things done. They can say nice things about you to people who matter in the department. If they don't like you, they can kill your reputation.

5. After years of being one, you know that research assistants and graders are perceived as the sherpas of academe. Their role is to be as inconspicuous as possible and carry the burdens as their professors climb the mountain of knowledge. It is unfortunately true that many young professors rapidly adopt the same attitude. Doing so is actually a mistake. Your students learn from the feedback they receive, and graded papers are an important feedback tool. Thus, you need to pay attention to which answers are considered correct and what criteria are used for grading. In the case of examinations, you should grade papers personally rather than delegating the job. The examination is a form of communication, of feedback, between the student and you. You find out what the students really know and what principles and concepts did not get through to them. Similarly, your research assistants require supervision. Having them take data for your key experiment or survey instrument is appropriate but the final responsibility for their output is yours. You have to know what they are doing and how well they are doing it. Treat them with respect and show them that they are valued. One way to do this is to be generous in sharing authorship with them when they make contributions to your research. In short, you have to teach them the research art. Remember that a disgruntled grader or research assistant need not get mad at you; they can easily get even.

6. Learn the idiosyncrasies of your institution's computer center. You have a high probability of having to deal with the computer center, even if you are in the humanities. Although a computer center is a service organization, it is usually staffed by people who are not service oriented. This attitude is particularly true of computer center directors. Treasure the director who is service oriented. If not, your frustration level will be high every time you approach the center. Some directors are super security conscious. Like the librarian who believes that the best place for a book is on the shelf, such a director wants to keep you from actually using the center because you might not follow their arbitrary rules.

7. Like the computer center, you have to deal with physical plant. They are the people who create the services that you take for granted, be they moving furniture or heating or changing light bulbs. Your first contact will typically come when you move into your office. In our experience in a number of universities, we have found three typical characteristics:

  • Many people in physical plant are highly skilled craftspeople who can do wondrous mechanical and electrical things. They know about things you never learned.
  • Physical plant is working on many jobs simultaneously. Although your job is the one that you think is most important, it is only one of many, some of which are emergencies.
  • Physical plant charges departments for their services. Often they need to charge quite a lot because the job is much more complex than you realize. Be sure you have a big departmental budget available before you call them in.

8. Join the faculty club, if you have one. You will usually be taken there at some time during the interview process. If it is at all typical, it will seem like a cross between your undergraduate dining hall and the stuffy clubs you see on BBC mysteries. If you look around, it may seem that it is the haven for the superannuated. Don't be deceived. The faculty club can be one of your most important assets. It is a place where you can meet with colleagues without interruptions of telephone or students. People always feel better when they eat and will often tell you things they would not otherwise reveal. In other words, it is a good place to keep up with what is going on. Being seen there by the older faculty in your department can be a plus since it shows you want to fit in. You will be surprised to find that you can actually have occasional intellectual discussions with people from other disciplines. It is also a good place to impress visitors and students. The food, of course, will rapidly become tedious.

9. At some institutions, office hours are sacred. You MUST be there at the times you promise. At others, they are merely advisory. Know what the situation is at your institution and follow local custom. In general, you have to provide times certain for students when they can contact you. Making appointments is one way. If you do make an appointment, be sure to keep it. A reputation of not keeping appointments is as bad as one of not returning e-mails.

10. The best fringe benefit that a professor receives is the sabbatical. It is not, repeat not, a vacation. Here are some hints on what you should do on your sabbatical:

  • Do productive work.
  • Use the time for reflection and for getting into new things.
  • If at all feasible, leave town and never show your face at the institution during the sabbatical. If you appear, you will be put to work.
  • Stay in touch with your dissertation students (you can do this by e-mail or by meeting the students off campus).
  • When your sabbatical is over, write a good report on what you did so the administration will give you another one the next time you are eligible.

And, of course, always apply for a sabbatical as soon as you are eligible. Most institutions do not allow you to accumulate the time for future use. If you wait an extra semester or two, you will never get the accumulated time back.

11. Maintain collegiality. Collegiality is a difficult term to define. It involves maintaining good social relations with the people in your department and in related departments. If everyone in your department has coffee in the lounge at 10 each morning, be there even if you only drink mineral water. If someone asks you to cover a class for them or review a draft of their latest paper or serve on a doctoral committee they chair, do it. The web of obligations is two-sided and you will receive reciprocal favors over time. Collegiality is one case where the commitments, even though they take away from your research time, have positive results. Don't be perceived as a loner or a misanthrope, particularly by the senior faculty.

12. Be aware that as an academic you are a public person. Your students spend 40 hours or more a semester doing nothing but looking at you while you talk. This makes an indelible impression on them. You will find that several years later when they approach you by name at a gathering or in a public place they will expect you to remember them. You, of course, usually will not. They will have changed in appearance and dress. Some of them were lost in the crowd while in your classroom. The important point is that your behavior is noticed when you least expect it.

13. We firmly believe that people should be free to express their views on public issues, whether the views are mainstream or not. But, understand that there are associated career risks. The conventional wisdom that academics are free to say what they please may well have been a reason why you chose your career. However, our observations of what really goes on leads to a different "take" for untenured faculty. No matter what your position on an issue, be it popular or unpopular, for or against the environment, for or against gun control, once it becomes known there are inevitably people who are on the other side of that issue. They will consider your position a form of bad judgment and they will hold it against you. Remember that people in academia have long memories. Even if everyone in the department publicly espouses the same cause you cannot be certain what position they take privately. Consider something as seemingly safe as excoriating the oil company whose tanker caused the latest oil spill. There will be people who consult with the company or who are writing a corporate history or whose nephew works for the company or who own 3000 shares of the company's stock. Of course, once you achieve tenured full professor, the situation changes.

14. Get to know the people in development and support them. Most institutions have one or more people on their staff whose job it is to obtain endowments and other gifts, maintain relations with alumni, etc. Skilled, interactive development offices can help in obtaining outside funding for you, for your department, and for students, all of which improves your quality of life. Be careful, however: Many development offices are horribly inept. Their people are usually underpaid and in this world you get what you pay for. They are fund raisers who know nothing about the academic enterprise or what you do. You will have to educate them over and over. You may have to work with colleagues to get them replaced if they are extremely bad.

15. A corollary to working with development is to be responsive to your alumni office. For most alumni, their college experience is the highlight of their life and the old school tie is one of the few things they can flaunt. They like to hear good things about their college because it makes their degree more valuable. So, if you are asked to write something for the alumni bulletin or give a speech, do it. Alumni can support their old department in a variety of ways. If they know you, they can support you from the outside at moments of crunch.

16. When you do something noteworthy let your college's public relations department know and have them publicize it. When you publish a book, win a prize, get elected to a professional society office, or do something in the community, get them into the act. It has value to you because it is one way for a lot of your colleagues across campus to find out what a wonderful person you are. (They may even remember it at promotion time!). It lets you brag to your chair and to the people in your department without being obnoxious about it.

17. You may, at some point in your academic career become involved in a student grievance. We are a litigious society, fueled in part by a supply of lawyers and in part by demand for equal treatment under the law. Fortunately, most universities and colleges set up grievance procedures to handle disputes. We estimate that there is a 50 percent chance of your being involved in a student grievance sometime during your academic career. Typically these disputes are over grades, results of examinations, acts of cheating, and the like. Sometimes they are the results of behavior on your part that a student perceives as insulting or demeaning.

18. The last several years have seen the growth of sexual harassment as a basis for complaint. You may wind up as the originator or the recipient of such a complaint. The source may be a student, a staff member, or another faculty member. Remember that harassment complaints can lead to litigation in court. Your institution may or may not be supportive. If it isn't, you can wind up spending large amounts on lawyers and court fees. The best strategy is preventive. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Know and obey your institutions rules on harassment.
  • Know what the procedures are for the offended party.
  • Never meet with a student or faculty member of the opposite gender behind a closed door.
  • Never use language or examples that are sexually offensive.

19. You may become the grievant against your institution. Disputes can arise over such issues as tenure, sabbatical entitlements, teaching loads, outrageous treatment by department chairs or deans, salaries, discrimination because of age, gender, or race, and more. The good news is that most institutions have a grievance procedure. The bad news is that people will remember the incident even when you are in the right

Some Final Thoughts

1. "The rich get richer" holds in academia as well as in society in general. Once you establish a reputation, people will pursue you to do things such as write papers, make presentations at prestigious places, consult, etc. To reach this position you have to earn your reputation. If you do reach it, remember that fame is transitory. You have to keep running, doing new things, to keep the demand going. Those who read these Hints will want your place!

2. A colleague of ours once told us: "Treat students as though they are guests in your home." It is simple, sound advice. If you carry nothing else away from these hints, remember this one.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme

The OII is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 4th OII Summer Doctoral Programme, which will be held in Oxford from the 15th to the 29th July 2006. Applications are welcomed from students in any discipline who are currently undertaking doctoral research on social, political, legal and economic issues relating to the Internet. Further information about the Programme and details of how to apply can be found at . The deadline for applications is 20th February 2006. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested.

Kind regards,
Dr Victoria Nash
Policy and Research Officer
01865 287231
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford
1, St Giles

Posted by prolurkr at 01:26 PM | TrackBack

CFP - 12th Annual Conference on Language, Interaction and Culture

12th Annual Conference on Language, Interaction and Culture
Thursday, May 25 - Saturday, May 27, 2006
University of California, Los Angeles

Presented by

The Center for Language, Interaction and Culture Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Los Angeles
The Language, Interaction and Social Organization Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Plenary Speakers

Mary Bucholtz
University of California, Santa Barbara

John Lucy
University of Chicago

Geoff Raymond
University of California, Santa Barbara

Bambi Schieffelin
New York University

Submissions should address topics at the intersection of language, interaction, and culture and would preferably be based on recorded, naturally-occurring interaction. We welcome abstracts from graduate students and faculty. Speakers will have 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. A subset of papers presented at the conference will be published in the conference proceedings, Crossroads in Language, Interaction, and Culture.

Abstracts are due no later than Friday, March 3, 2006 by electronic submission only. Please see submission guidelines below and the CLIC GSA webpage at for more information.

Center for Language, Interaction and Culture, Graduate Student Association
University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Applied Linguistics
P.O. BOX 951531 3300 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1531
[email protected]


This year we are only accepting submissions electronically through our website. Please go to to submit your abstract.

When accessing the submissions webpage, be prepared to provide the following information:

§ Name(s) of author(s)
§ Affiliation(s) of author(s)
§ The preferred address, phone number, and email address for notification
§ The title of the paper
§ A note indicating your equipment requirements
§ An abstract of no more than 500 words
§ Any additional comments

In your abstract, clearly state the main point or argument of the paper. Briefly discuss the problem or research question in reference to previous research and the work's relevance to developments in your field. You may include a short example to support your main point or argument. Be sure to state your conclusions, however tentative.

Please write your abstract in language accessible to a wide audience. Abstracts will be anonymously reviewed by scholars from a variety of fields including (but not limited to) anthropology, applied linguistics and sociology. Papers will be accepted based on reviewers' evaluations of these anonymous abstracts.

Deadline for the receipt of abstracts is Friday, March 3, 2006. Late submissions will not be accepted. Notification of selection decisions will be sent via email in March 2006.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:09 PM | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

The million dollar homepage

Don't you wish you had thought of the million dollar homepage to finance your studies? Lord knows I wish I had. *sigh*

Posted by prolurkr at 06:31 PM | TrackBack

Writing Letters of Recommendation

Bardiac has a post on Writing Letters of Recommendation that breaks down the process very nicely. If you have to write letters for students this is good advice, likewise it is good reading for those of us that will one day be asking for such letters. This post, which I have sampled below, is very good reading for anyone for whom letters of recommendation factor into their working lives.

First, I try to figure out what my audience needs: I think, mostly, employers and graduate admissions folks want to know that the student is smart enough to do whatever it is, communicates well (verbally and in writing), listens, has ideas, and has at least the potential to contribute to whatever community is at stake. In order to "trust" my evaluation, the reader has to know how or why I've come to have my opinion, and then needs some good examples to see that my opinion is well-founded.

So, I start out with an introductory paragraph that tells a little about how I know the student, and for how long. The first sentence usually says something about how pleased I am to write on my student's behalf. That "pleasedness" is somewhat coded, of course. But I don't push that coding with any real skill, I'm afraid. I'm generally "pleased" or "very pleased" to recommend student X to program Y. If I'm not pleased (and for some reason haven't convinced the student that I'm a BAD choice), then I am just writing this letter for student X, rather than recommending student X. (I've written perhaps one of those letters?)

In the introductory paragraph, I introduce the student by first and last name, give information about classes (with semester/dates, if appropriate), advising, and so forth, being as specific as possible.

In the next section (which may be one or two paragraphs), I talk about the student's written work, again, as specifically as possible. This is where my previous advice about getting papers for letter writers helps me tons. I can quickly glance over the paper, get the title, thesis, and my response. I can also remind myself how well the student constructed the argument or whatever. If I've had the student several times, I emphasize the most recent work, and may also talk about the student's growth over the time I've known him/her. I use Ms/Mr X to talk about the student in this section.

In the third section, I talk about the student as a member of the community, in class, in the department or university, and so on. At this point, I generally switch to using the student's first name because I think this reflects the more personal nature of this sort of evaluation. If I don't switch, the letter seems cooler, somehow. Again, if I've known the student for a while, I can talk about his/her growth, his/her interests, and so on. I try to be as specific as I can; it helps a LOT if the student gives me his/her letter of application or statement of purpose, or reminds me about activities s/he's been involved with.

This section is where I deal with apparent problems in the application. For example, a couple years ago I had a rather wonderfully smart student who just didn't apply him/herself much. C had good ideas, was an intelligent, helpful participant in class when s/he was there, and was very capable. I LEARNED from C's work. C was also busy with things in life that had nothing to do with school, and so managed mediocre grades.

A few years after graduating, C decided s/he wanted to go to graduate school, and came to talk to me about a letter of recommendation. I responded honestly that while I thought C had great potential and could certainly do the work of graduate school, his/her grades didn't reflect that very well, and so forth. We talked a good bit about why C wanted to go on, what C wanted to do, and so forth, and I agreed to write the letter. In this section, then, I talked about our conversation, C's grades, C's strengths which I believed could lead to great success, why I thought C was ready to take real advantage of opportunities, and why C would be a wonderful member of a graduate school community. Whether because of or in spite of my letter, C was accepted to the graduate program s/he most wanted, and appears (from recent communications) to be thriving there.

In the final paragraph, I quickly reiterate my recommendation and offer to provide further information if the reader wants it. Here, again, I should probably do more with the code words, but I just don't seem to have them down in a meaningful way.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:57 PM | TrackBack

I don’t think I will ever find either a datebook or a handbag I like *sigh*

I'm beginning to think there are two things in life I just may never get right. "Just two?" you say. Well no but two that constantly nibble at me. They are in no particular order...calendars/planners and handbags (or personal totement devices).

As for planners/diaries, I tried Moleskine planners. I love the form factor and hate the paper, pencil smears badly on their paper. I've been using a Quo Vadis academic year diary since August, love the paper but not so nutz about the size. I wish Clairefontaine made datebooks in some format...their paper is the best, love the french-ruled notebooks.

What planner do you use?

The handbag thing is a similar issue. Seems I can never find a comfortable to carry bag that holds what I want it to hold. I hate huge bags, I've carried one for years. I need to find a comfortable and spiffy backpack bag that isn't huge but holds what I need...that would be cool. I have this great Ameribag Backpack that will hold a computer but basically only that. Why they don't make a backpack as usable as their handbags is beyond me. *sigh* Gritch gritch gritch.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

National De-Lurking Week

I have been amuzed by all of the academic blog posts I have seen announcing National De-Lurking Month Week. One after another they implore, cajole, and order lurkers on their blogs to uncloak themselves by commenting. However this set of tactics completely misses what lurking is all about.

Lurkers are the vast majority of any sites traffic. They come they read they think about or comment on with other folks or giggle or whatever appropriate response is required, to the posts they read. And then they move on. Lurkers are the meat of running a website, the glue that holds a community together.

I've always found it interesting in discussions of online community that lurkers are looked down up on as somehow being takers but never givers. I would, and have, suggested that those that feel that way should visit a town meeting in some small community. If you do take on this terrestrial task you will find that the vast majority of those in attendance are talking among themselves, or not at all, very few stand to talk to those running the meeting.

De-lurking is like standing up at that meeting. Most people don't add their comments and that is fine by me. I like lurkers...but then again I am a professional lurker. So if you lurk come on over, sit down read a few posts, think about them, come back for more in the future, all of that is welcome here. And no one will force you to comment unless you want to, of course comments are welcome if you have something to say...we like that too.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:20 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006


After reading, what began to feel like were several thousand, blow-by-blow accounts of Steve Jobs Keynote at MacWorld today I found David Simmer's account of the goings on. LMBO Ok well Dave's account may not actually be blow-by-blow but it is a heck of a lot more entertaining then the rest of the pack. Check out SteveNote, it's worthy of a tech blogging hall of fame entry at the least. iToast anyone?

Posted by prolurkr at 04:28 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing, 2006 MLA

Here are the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing topics for the 2006 MLA Convention. Please send your proposal to the person chairing the session; you can submit to more than one session, although if you're selected for both, I assume you'd be asked to choose one. If your paper is accepted, you will have to become a member of the MLA by April 1.
Craig Howes

1. Theorist Autobiographers. Autobiographical works by writers known as theorists, and/or life-writing that develops theoretical argument (e.g. Augustine, Confessions; Montaigne, essays; Wordsworth, Prelude; Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman; Derrida, Circumfession; Sedgwick, Dialogue on Love). 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Carolyn Williams ([email protected]).

2. Life Writing and Humor. Parody, irony, and satire as modes for understanding and interrogating life writing genres. Self-deprecation or mockery as strategies for identity construction. Lives of comic writers, artists, performers. 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Craig Howes ([email protected])

3. Auto/Graphics after Maus. Interaction between word and image; construction of personae through documents, portraits, anecdotes; narration and layout of time, space, history; "graphic" content as well as form. 250-word abstracts by March 10 to Gillian Whitlock ([email protected])

Craig Howes
Director, Center for Biographical Research
Editor, _Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly_
Professor of English
1733 Donaghho Road
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822
Phone: 808-956-3774 Fax: 808-956-3774
E-mail: [email protected], or [email protected]
Home Page:

Posted by prolurkr at 04:24 PM | TrackBack

CFP - Children's Digital Literature and Culture at 2006 MLA

"Children's Digital Literature and Culture"
Children's Literature Association Sponsored Session
2006 MLA Convention
Philadelphia, December 27-30, 2006

This panel will explore intersections of children's literature and culture in digital media, including video games, websites, online diaries and blogs, software (like learning games, Flash games, Living Books), online libraries, and similar digital texts. In doing so, the panel will investigate how these media impact children's literature and culture, including digital media that complements traditional children's literature such as websites by authors and video game tie-ins. Examples include Jane Yolen's single author blog and Neil Gaiman's blog which he updates daily and where readers of all ages can post comments, as well as same-story versions of children's texts that are adapted for multiple media such as The Polar Express and Lemony Snicket, which have texts, movies, websites, and video games.

The panel will also examine how different media (blogs, webpages, video games, digital libraries, iPods, GPS, etc) impact and alter children's literature and culture. By investigating these media we will see how children's culture has become a multi-media and multi-disciplinary field of inquiry into childhood and literature. Possible media topics could include:
1. Video games for children
2. Digital libraries
3. Blogs
4. Plug N Play gaming systems
5. ESRP Game Rating System
6. Educational gaming systems (Leapfrog)
7. Misc digital media (iPod, GPS)

Or, submissions can focus on a particular aspect within a specific media that relates to children or youth. These could include:
1. digital media and gender
2. digital media and race
3. digital media and children as consumers
4. digital media and the environment
5. digital media and policy/politics
6. digital media and history

DEADLINE: By March 1, 2006, submit 1-2 page abstracts or 8-page papers via email to [email protected].

Or through mail:

Cathlena Martin
University of Florida
Department of English
4008 Turlington Hall
PO Box 117310
Gainesville, FL 32611
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 04:15 PM | TrackBack

CFP - VisionFest

100 of the top student animators and artists will be selected to compete in this student animation festival. VisionFest is a juried student competition and conference created to share work in animation, sequential art, simulation, and visualization, and to receive feedback from peers and professionals. The festival includes panel discussions, opportunities to network with industry and fellow visionaries, and multiple screenings of student work in an atmosphere celebrating the art of animations. Visit for competition guidelines and information.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

The words mount toward a quals paper

Originally written December 19, 2005 and posted on January 10, 2006.

Well I'm a week into my writing plan and I finally got to actually sit down and actually write. I spent much of Saturday editing my completed quals section and today I am updating with two papers from the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Conference in October. One of those papers is my friend Eric Meyer's co-authored work with two SLIS faculty members - Howard Rosenbaum and Noriko Hara. Their paper titled How Photobloggers are Framing a New Computerization Movement is proving to be one of those paper from which I draw more information each time I read it...we are going on three reads at the moment.

I have often waffled over the discussion of distinctions between photoblogging and flickr...they are different but are they REALLY different? Of course I can be as purest and academic hairsplitting as anyone else so I tend to roll these things around looking for a practicable distinction. Well I think Eric pretty much hits it on the head when he says that flickr falls into a gray area and including it or excluding it from a study is a methodological decision...decision because it's just not clear cut enough to have a hard line between the two.

Words written today...lord alone knows I didn't take a "pre-session" word count on the section.

Final word count for section = 3840

Quals sections completed = 1 of 10.

Total document word count after todays writing = 22,270 (discussion of my writing practices that explains this count).

I also spent time today working with the outline for a second section of the paper. This is a tough part for me. I keep hearing Susan saying "What story do you want to tell?" but sometimes the story is clearer than others, particularly with literature reviews it think they hold their secretes very close to the vest. So I tend to slug each paragraph of what I want to present with a keyword and then move them around like puzzle pieces until the flow is right. Maybe not the best way to do this but not an uncommon one either. So I sat in my office today with papers spread out on my desk looking at the best layout for my keyworded design.

Then it hit me...put the keywords into MindMap to see if it made more sense that way. Now why didn't I think of this before! It's so much easier to see where things should go...what should be combined...and what topics just don't fit, when you can see everything at once. Yes there is still some shifting back and forth to read the paragraphs that received the keywords I'm sorting...but it's so minor compared to flipping through stacks of paper for every facet of the organizing process.

Quals section starting word count = 5612.

Total document word count after the addition of the new material and rearranged section = 26,358.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:15 AM | TrackBack

Tools for Searching, Monitoring and Analyzing Blogs

Cymfony's Marketing Insights has a post that breaksdown the Tools for Searching, Monitoring and Analyzing Blogs. While the section on blog creation may be old news for some of us, the rest of the article provides a nice list of tools and capabilities.

Cymfony's Julie Woods recently spoke at a Boston-based conference called "The Pulse of Technology" for local small to mid-size businesses. She was asked to talk about how companies of this size were using blogs. Realizing that more than half of the attendees were not going to be familiar with blogging, Julie and I decided to start with the basics and pulled together a hand out for the attendees entitled "Tools for Searching, Monitoring and Analyzing Blogs." Based on a number of conversations we've had this year, there still seems to be confusion around the different tools and services used for searching blogs vs. creating blogs vs. monitoring/analyzing blogs (and other types of user created content for that matter) so I thought I share a high level portion of the hand out that includes some of the hundreds of tools now available.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:04 AM | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

MySpace has 47.3 million members

USA Today article Teens hang out at MySpace says that MySpace has 47.3 million members.

Google just named it the top gainer for 2005, and, in only two years, MySpace has shot from zero to 47.3 million members, say founders Chris DeWolfe, 39, and Tom Anderson, 29. They launched MySpace in January 2004. In July Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million, but DeWolfe and Anderson still are CEO and president.

"This site caught us by surprise," says Pete Blackshaw of market researcher Intelliseek. "I honestly was flabbergasted by the numbers."

Posted by prolurkr at 08:12 AM | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

The wonders of a dynamic CV

Ok it's not perfect yet but I'm so proud of myself I could just burst. LOL You all get to read me saying over and over that I'm really not a programmer...or a good computer language coder, well today I out did myself. I figured out how to do a dynamic CV in Movable Type. Maybe now I will be up-to-date on those things. Entries still need some clean-up so that styles are consistent, but the tough part is done. Check out

Posted by prolurkr at 06:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Google Analytics

I have read over and over how great Google Analytics is at giving detailed reports for free. I installed the scripts months ago but have never been able to see the reports. I have repeatedly double checked that the script was in the correct place on the main page but not change. Well I decided today I was going to figure out why I never see reports and between double checking the script and doing some reading on their site I got it...Google Analytics doesn't like Opera. Now nothing on their site actually says that the screens can't be viewed in Opera, only that they can't be viewed in Safari but history has told me that often, not always but often, what you can't see in Safari you can't see in Opera either. Which is too bad since both are way cool browsers.

Well now that I know I have to check the site in Firefox I can better see who is visiting both of the sites. The mapping feature is very cool. *waves to the visitor from Hong Kong* This is going to be fun.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 07, 2006

New books added to the collection

At Christmas I tend to tell the family I want Amazon Gift Certificates. It makes buying easy for them, I get something I can easily use, and I can get something I like...we don't need more knick-knacks around this place. So as usually prior to Christmas, I had been storing up lists of books to buy once I got the gift certificates in hand. In essence it means that I ordered a lot of books all at once this year and they have been coming in in every mail since the 27th. I have quite a stack of new-to-me books sitting next to my desk.

I will be adding books to My Book2 as well as to my Reference Manager. I don't plan on putting a list on this site as it would just be to long to be useable. I expect some of the titles will hit entries as I read my way through them, and some will make it onto the bibliographies as well. If you are interested check out the My Book2 page to see what I have added.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:32 PM | TrackBack

Changes on sidebar links and other MT stuff

I have completely reworked the links to my papers and presentations so that links to my solo works are available on, with one exception. This includes relocating bibliographies to the name site. These will now all be persistent links. I apologize for any confusion these changes may have made.

I am currently working on, or playing with depending on your perspective, a way to create a dynamic CV in Movable Type. If anyone is interesting in helping please let me know.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:28 PM | TrackBack

Things I learned while moving two websites to a new host

Over the last month I have moved both of my websites to a single host from two different hosts. In that move we also, Julie mostly, converted from a flat HTML site to a Movable Type weblog. It has been an interesting experience for me, as a moderately web techy person and following is what I learned from the experience.

    1. Plan for the worst and be surprised with the best. I figured on a couple of down days for prolurker and got many more than a couple because of bandwidth issues, holidays, and problems in getting the site to work on the new host. Most of the problems were mine because I didn't know all the places I needed to change configuration information. The conversion was much easier, than moving the established site, because it was a clean slate. I hand entered information once everything was running so in essence it is a new site using an old url.
    2. DNS registries are not user friendly. I had been warned to have all of my information in hand before I approached the site where I registered my DNS. When heading for the first registry, where was registered in April 2001, I had a secondary password that had to be issued to the original email address on file with the company. Thank the gods I use an email forwarding address at IU Alumni for most all of my mail, so I actually knew what email addy was on file and it was still active. Turn around time on this reassignment 24 hours. For the second DNS for prolurker it wasn't so straightforward. The name of the site was registered through my than ISP's preferred service, which means they had a contact with a large DNS service who actually did the work. Well after days of phone calls where I told them that their system wouldn't take my account info and they told me that everything was fine on their end, "any more questions?" *rolling my eyes* The fourth or fifth customer servers rep I spoke to figured out that I was on the wrong site, seems that my service "2Xdomains" isn't available on the site "2xdomains" but rather has a subsite buried in their much larger webpresence. Now to really complicate this "2Xdomains" is one of their sites...just not the site I needed. Confused yet? Turnaround time 6 days, that includes the confusion on domain names with my new host but more on that in a minute.
    3. Big new hosts are big and complicated and not easy to navigate through, nor do their tech support folks always know the answers. I choice my new host on the recommendation of a few blog owners whose sites I read. I knew this was going to be different than the service I was used to...hopefully better than's old host and no doubt worse than professional-lurker's old host. So far ratings are mixed, and mixed is about what I expected. Moving to LunarPages was no sweat on either end. Moving prolurker has been a bit more trying. There were a lot of questions, many of which made no sense to me, as they ftp'd the site over. Then the DNS change wasn't resolving and it turned out that I had "changed" my site's name to "" somewhere in the process. Now you and I both know that I didn't key in that name rather somewhere in the process it was generated and I didn't catch it to change it. So than there were more questions and passwords and stuff before I could get it changed back. Once that was resolved we had the issue of the site not functioning properly. I posted to the blog and while it went to archive it didn't promote to the front page. The hosts "tech support" folks were no help, they never seemed to get that the site was not flat HTML. Some of the most exasperating communication I have ever had via email were had with tech support last week. "Well you may have to change your calendar because it still shows December of last year." Yes I know that and if the post were promoting to the front page than the calendar would change automatically. After two days of them mucking around in the site I changed the passwords, locked them out, and went back to the manuals to fix it myself. Yes that is totally something I should have done in the beginning.
    4. Don't be overly hung-up on stats after a move. Well at least a move where the site was down for over 10 days. I believe the stats will catchup again, of course they are always down over the hollydays each year anyway.
    5. Get back to normal as quickly as possible, it's good for the soul.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

January 06, 2006

Why do people buy hybrid vehicles?

Treehugger has a link to a great interview project, The Meaning of Hybrids, at As a Honda Insight owner for almost three years now, a blue one at that, I can tell you that they got to some of the main points of ownership in their work. Here is a excerpt from the interview piece, the whole thing is well worth the read.

BB: Journalists commonly criticize hybrid cars for not providing a return on investment for their owners. Based on your research, what's your opinion of that criticism?

RH: I think the question journalists are asking is, 'Do hybrids save money?" It's the wrong question. A more basic question to ask is, "Do people who are buying hybrid cars really care about saving money?" The truth is that everybody likes to save money in the abstract. But we found in our research that saving money is not the primary motivator for buying a hybrid vehicle. Some people might think about hybrids as ways to save money. Those are not the types of people who are buying these types of vehicles.

KK: In the interviews, we heard that people who bought a hybrid compared it to nothing else. Once they heard about a Prius, for example, and heard about its capabilities, that became the car they needed next to advance a certain story line. At that point, keeping their old car was no longer desirable.

Here's where we get into a difference between our approach and a rational analytical approach. The rational analyst might compare their old car to a Prius in terms of cost and performance and those sorts of things, and look to the answers as to why they bought a Prius in the attributes of those vehicles. We're looking at it, and saying no, we think it's driven by the person trying to extend their identity into a new direction or further along in a direction they were already heading. That's the important comparison. What does this care say about who these people are? This explains why they didn't look at any other car, because no other car does what the hybrid does. And it explains why keeping their old car isn't an option.

The most common question anyone driving my car has been asked is, "Do you save a lot of money with that car?" Hubby and I both have the same answer, no...we don't own it to save money we own it to make smaller footprints on the planet by being less wasteful with resources. While we do save money on gas, the car has a lifetime average of 63.3 mpg, we don't save money over all since the vehicle must have all service at the dealership and there is no secondary market for replacement parts like tires. In short the cars oil changes cost $40.00 (and are likely to go higher since the cost of oil has been going up) and the change can't be easily done at home. This is a very complex car not designed for shade tree mechanics.

I'm pretty sure I will stay with hybrids or electric vehicles from here on out. I like the concept, I like the look, and I like the looks I get when I drive the coolest car around. Now if I could just work through the logic on buying a Tango, oh and well there is that pesky cash issue that goes into buying a car.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 05, 2006

Teaching your students to be good students

Learning and being a student are trained skills. None of us pop out of the womb with a fully formed skills set in this regard. In fact we have been learning to learn and to be students all our lives. Well the process of learning to learn and learning to be a good student have been of real interest to me over the break as I have thought about my class last semester and looked forward to my classes this semester. One of the things that shocked me last semester was how little students understand the requirements of being a college student. There is lots of blame around for why this is true, but blame isn't the way to fix it. I thought of this again when I read Gentleman's C's post On Kinkos, etc.

I should just take this as a sign that I will never be able to make everyone happy. But I'm very stubborn, so I keep on trying.

This quarter I am teaching two classes, one that has no textbook, and one that has a textbook plus a shitload of supplemental readings from outside sources. The plus-a-shitload class I taught last quarter. In an attempt to be nice, and to circumvent copyright concerns under the "fair use" clause, I scanned in all the readings for my classes (well, okay, my secretary scanned them in) and put them on WebCT.

At the very end of the quarter, one of my students complained that I didn't order a course packet from Kinkos, because it was too hard to "find" all those readings. Apparently this person had never ever logged in to WebCT. Now, first day of the new quarter, another person is complaining that I didn't work with Kinkos, because s/he wants all the readings bound together (and apparently doesn't know how to print a pdf file).

I can't believe that someone would really rather pay those bandits upwards of $100 instead of shelling out $15 for a three-ring binder and a three-hole punch. What the fuck?

Underlying all of this discussion is the issue of what students understand their role to be as well as how they have been trained to perform that role. This semester I am taking the time in my classes to work with my students so they know not only what is expected of them but how they can do the things that are often left unsaid. For example the first night of class we are going to be talking about how you study in this class. Likewise we will be having a fairly basic Word lab so that I am sure students understand that when something is underlined in your document by the system you need to take a long hard look at it to make sure it is correct. I had too many students last semester who clearly did not understand that issue.

I agree with Gentleman's C that you can never make everyone happy, and lord know I don't actually try to do that. However I do try to make sure my students are learning and learning positive things, not just the ones that seem negative like deadlines and computer system issues. I remind myself that I have read there is one big difference between good teachers and bad teachers. Good teachers, and those who strive to be good teachers, tend to focus exclusively on the bad comments even if there are far more good ones. While bad teachers tend to focus on the good comments even if there are far more bad ones. This has certainly held true in my experience. So I remind myself to not fixate on the negative but to have a balanced point of view on comments.

I also remember my days working for a training organization. I used to remind people back then that if the only things they had to complain about were the temperature of the room and the quantity of choices available on the buffet then we had done our jobs. Not all my co-workers got that and several drove themselves nutz trying to make everyone happy all the time...sorry that is a no win scenario.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mandatory grad student reading

Inside Higher Ed published an article on December 28, 2005 that is manditory grad student reading, assumign you are heading for a career in academia. Check out What They Don't Teach You in Grad School -- Part III. Here is one section if this very listful article.

p.s. Do not read this before bed as it may cause sleeplessness. *sigh*

I. Tenure

1. The most dreaded experience for an academic is the tenure process. Without tenure, you cannot stay permanently at an institution as a professor and must go job hunting in an uncertain market. Some colleges may consider it as a stain on your record if you tried and failed. On the other hand, colleges that rank lower than the one you are at may want to hire you because that gives them bragging rights. We know of at least two universities, for example, that hired ex-Harvard and MIT professors. With tenure, of course, you remove uncertainty.

2. Things are changing, but it is still true that tenure is the prize in academia. There are many exciting non-tenure track jobs in higher education and in research organizations (Both of us worked full-time for think tanks after our Ph.D.'s prior to our university positions). But most new Ph.D.'s seeking academic careers will want to become tenured professors.

3. Understand why tenure is such a hurdle. Consider the cost of a positive tenure decision to your institution. Assume for simplicity that you are making $66,666 per year and will serve the university 30 years after tenure. Assume your academic raises only cover cost of living (the worst case from your point of view, the best from the university's); that is, your salary is nearly the same in real terms for the rest of your career. From your point of view, you certainly think of yourself as worth the $2 million dollar the university must make. But think of it from administrators' view. If they give tenure when they shouldn't, they made a bad $2 million dollar bet. If they deny tenure to someone and that person many years later wins a Nobel Prize, everyone will conclude "Old Siwash was stupid." However, they will say it only for a few days and it will blow over. Although it will cost something to hire your replacement, with any luck that person will work for even less than you do. Any statistician will tell you that, given these upside and downside risks, universities are absolutely rational to err on the no side, not on the yes side.

4. The tenure clock is really four and a half years, not seven. Remember that the rule is that the seventh contract is forever. Thus, the latest the decision can be made is in year six. Your dossier will have to be completed for the powers-that-be by the beginning of year. Although you can count publications that have been accepted, journal (or book publisher) review time averages over a year in most fields. Thus, you have to submit your work for publication by the beginning of year five. It will take you six months to write up your results. Ergo, four and a half years!

5. Tenure committees look almost exclusively at publications that appear in peer-reviewed journals or in scholarly books. It is, in a sense, a tragedy that you get much more credit for what appears in a "write only" journal (i.e., a journal with minute circulation) than what appears in a high circulation, widely read popular magazine. But that is the way the game is played.

6. If, by chance, you have tenure, never take another appointment without it. The people who promise it "real soon" may not be there when the crunch comes.

7. Like research support, tenure can be negotiated on the way in. Nobody tells you (and nobody admits it) but tenure is, in effect, transferable. Be firm in your position that since you have tenure, you wouldn't think of moving without it.

8. New cross-discipline fields are tougher to get tenure in because you are judged by the standards of people who made their mark in a single, well-established discipline. For example, the field of Information Systems, which is taught in business schools, combines a hard science (computer science) and two soft sciences (organizational behavior and management). People in this field publish at the intersection of disciplines. However, they are judged by people in the pure disciplines and are expected to contribute to these pure disciplines. Research that combines existing ideas from several disciplines is discounted by the purists even though it is the essence of the field.

9. Tenure as we know it today may not be here forever. The problem stems from changes in the retirement law and in public attitudes. Beginning in 1992, you could not be forced to retire because you had reached a mandatory retirement age. Thus, colleges that grant tenure are stuck with you as long as you want to work -- whether you perform or not. The teaching life is fulfilling and the paycheck is better than your retirement income (Your income even gets better if you reach 70 because you can then take out of your tax-deferred retirement nest egg and can still collect your paycheck as well as your social security.) Beside which, what would you do with yourself in retirement? When our late colleague, Peter Drucker (who was still teaching at 92) was asked why he didn't retire, replied, "Why retire at 65? I can't see myself driving a Winnebago for 25 years."

10. Universities have a different objective than you do. They want to avoid deadwood and take age as prima facie evidence of your being past it. They certainly want you out of there before Alzheimer's strikes. If the number of positions is constricted, they prefer to take your slot and give it to a bright young person who is more current, may work for less, and who revitalizes your department. Tenure forces them to hold on to you because firing you for age would be discrimination. They are joined in this view by the younger faculty who want new opportunities. As a result, some universities already introduced a "rolling" tenure arrangement where people are reviewed every five years, and may be encouraged to leave after poor performance.

11. The number of tenured slots in some universities may decrease. Jack Schuster and Martin Finkelstein, in a forthcoming book on the American professoriate, report data that show that the number of part-time and full-time hires who are off the tenure track increased significantly in the last several years, from a few percent in the late 1970's to over 50 percent today. It is not clear whether this change is the result of universities hedging their bets because they fear enrollments will go down in some areas, or whether it is a deliberate move to reduce the size (and with it, the power) of the tenured faculty, or whether they simply want to reduce their payroll. Our advice is not to accept a position off the tenure track because your chances of ever getting back on could be between zero and nil.

Also check out - What They Don't Teach You in Grad School -- Part II

Posted by prolurkr at 02:02 PM | TrackBack

The academic blogosphere has been a buzz...

The academic blogosphere has been a buzz with discussions of the goings on around the special tenure panels at MLA. The discussion is very timely and probably right on the money. The real issue to watch will be how non-humanities departments comment on their output. Inside Higher Ed has a good series on the subject with today's entry being, A Tenure Reform Plan With Legs check out the Related Stories box on the article for more links.

A special panel of the MLA is finishing a report that will call for numerous, far-reaching changes in the way assistant professors are reviewed for tenure. Among the ideas that will be part of the plan are:

  • The creation of "multiple pathways" to demonstrating research excellence. The monograph is one way, but so would be journal articles, electronic projects, textbooks, jointly written books, and other approaches.
  • The drafting of "memorandums of understanding" between new hires and departments so that those new hires would have a clear sense of expectations in terms of how they would be evaluated for tenure.
  • A commitment to treating electronic work with the same respect accorded to work published in print.
  • The setting of limits on the number of outside reviews sought in tenure cases and on what those reviewers could be asked.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:52 PM | TrackBack

CMC articles from asian sources

Digital Genres: Semiotic Technologies This Side of the Millennium (yes that is really the blogs title) has a post that links to a couple of articles that may be interesting. I plan to get my read them when I get a chance. Check out Two from Anthropologists.

The literature on virtual worlds is remarkably deep, and can sometimes crop up in places that I (at least) don't always expect. Consider Murray and Sixsmith's Corporeal Body in Virtual Reality in Ethos and, in an Asian studies journal, Face-to-face: Online subjectivity in contemporary Japan. This last not only has a kick-ass appendix full of elaborate emoticons, it is also part of a wider issue that focuses on CMC in Asia (Asian Studies Review 26(2) 2002).

Posted by prolurkr at 01:42 PM | TrackBack

Women are catching up to men in most measures of online life - PEW Report

The press release from the PEW Internet and American Life Project and their report How Men and Women Use the Internet.

Washington - A wide-ranging look at the way American women and men use the internet shows that men continue to pursue many internet activities more intensively than women, and that men are still first out of the blocks in trying the latest technologies. At the same time, there are trends showing that women are catching up in overall use and are framing their online experience with a greater emphasis on deepening connections with people.

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows how men's and women's use of the internet has changed over time. Some highlights:

The percentage of women using the internet still lags slightly behind the percentage of men. Women under 30 and black women outpace their male peers. However, older women trail dramatically behind older men.

*68% of men are internet users, compared with 66% of women. Because they make up more of the population, the total number of women online is now slightly larger than the number of men.

*86% of women ages 18-29 are online, compared with 80% of men that age.

*34% of men age 65 and older are online, compared with 21% of women that age.

*60% of black women are online, compared with 50% of black men.

"If there is an overall pattern of differences here, it is that men value the internet for the breadth of experiences it offers, and women value it for the human connections," said Deborah Fallows, Senior Research Fellow at the Pew Internet Project, who authored the new report, "How Women and Men Use the Internet."

That said, men and women are more similar than different in their online lives, starting with their common appreciation of the internet's strongest suit: efficiency. Both men and women approach with gusto online transactions that simplify their lives by saving time on such mundane tasks as buying tickets or paying bills. Men and women also value the internet for a second strength, as a gateway to limitless vaults of information. Men reach farther and wider for topics, from getting financial information to political news. Along the way, they work search engines more aggressively, using engines more often and with more confidence than women. Women are more likely to see the vast array of online information as a "glut" and to penetrate deeper into areas where they have the greatest interest, including health and religion. Women tend to treat information gathering online as a more textured and interactive process - one that includes gathering and exchanging information through support groups and personal email exchanges.

"This moment in internet history will be gone in a blink," said Fallows. "We may soon look back on it as a charming, even quaint moment, when men reached for the farthest corners of the internet, trying and experimenting with whatever came along, and when women held the internet closer and tried to keep it a bit more under control."

Posted by prolurkr at 01:15 PM | TrackBack

Well you only work 3 hours a week anyway...

A recent study by U.S. Education Department should have some colleges and universities looking at their tenure and promotion policies because they found administrative duties have pushed "service" out of the top three activities of the faculty. Some serious rethinking is required for those colleges and universities that do not now reward for administrative duties. I am told that at IUPUI you get no credit at all of admin work in the tenure process...moral of that story, don't take on admin duties before you are tenured.

From Inside Higher Ed, Dec 22, 2005:

People in academe constantly talk about the division of professors' time between teaching, research and service. But according to new data and a report released by the U.S. Education Department on Wednesday, the real triptych of higher education work activity is teaching, research, and administrative duties.

The figures were released in a study of faculty members' characteristics and work activities. The data were collected in 2003.

The Education Department's new analysis indicated that while doctoral faculty members spend much more time on research than do other professors, they report spending less than one-third of their total time at work focused on research.

When analyzed by disciplines, the data indicate that professors in the humanities and fine arts spend the most time teaching, while professors in the natural sciences and engineering spend the most time on research.

The title comes from something a student said to me last semester. I'm sure many of you have had the same experience, maybe even the same student. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 08:27 AM | TrackBack

What computer fields value

See Jane Compute has a post that should be required reading for all CS, Informatics, and Information Science faculty and students - there are probably other disciplines that need to hear this too. Her post is titled Women in CS: the dance remix version, make sure you read the comments as well.

As a women in a technical field I can stand squarely behind many of her statements about what is expected for students and what is not as highly valued. You see I am a consummate nerd and a sort of a geek but I don't code on any respectable level, even after many hours of classes I am only a rough beginner. I am, and have been for many years both vocationally and avocationally, a go-between. And believe me that is a required position but like most negotiators the skill set is not as highly valued as the ubber-geeks who do that actual "work."

pjm at the blog Flashes of Panic has a really interesting post up today about the shortage of women in CS. The post is partially a response to a recent Boston Globe article on the subject and partially a response to an earlier post of his. It's definitely worth reading.

One of the most interesting aspects of pjm's post is that he is speaking from the perspective of an non-stereotypical CS male: someone that's not a hard-core geek in the traditional sense. And as a result, his points and concerns echo some of the concerns I hear from my female students. And this is something I've noticed as well: some non-stereotypical males have an equally hard time fitting into the CS culture, and fight to come to terms with that. The culture hurts everyone, not just women and minorities.

I want to highlight a few things from pjm's post:

[pjm]There's no room for [turning off interested students] because it's not just about computers. It's about what computers can do for everything else. It's about sequencing the genome; it's about streamlining business processes. It's about changing the way we share information.

A friend of mine, who teaches at a liberal arts school, makes the same point: Computer Science is *the* quintessential modern Liberal Art, because it touches on so many other fields. Want to be a scientist? You increasingly need to know how to program a computer. How about a policymaker? You need to understand technology (in an ideal world) before you can start legislating it. And so on. This, I believe, is how the CS field needs to position itself for the future: not as a means in and of itself, not as a neat collection of technical trivia, but as the key to innovation in many other fields. CS needs to position itself so that everyone understands its relevance to almost all aspects of life today: work, leisure, culture, etc. And frankly, so far it's doing a pretty poor job of that--witness the declining number of majors in most programs, even though it's becoming more important than ever to be technically literate.

The other aspect of this is that even though those of us in the CS-related fields need to embrace this message and move forward with it, we still don't value it. I think of the students that are held up as "models" around here, or the ones we discuss the most, and nine times out of ten they are the ones who, well, look and act like stereotypical computer scientists. They know a lot of arcane technical stuff. They are not well-rounded. They live and breathe CS. We ignore the ones who are utilizing CS in many interesting ways: the double CS/Music majors, the political science concentrators, the English majors that show up in our upper-level electives. Until we start practicing what we should be preaching, the culture will not change substantially.

Are the limitations of the CS culture why we have new disciplines like Informatics? In Indianapolis I spend my days around these amazing visual artists, and musicians who have embraced the things that computers can bring to their work but have not lost their sense of identity as an artist, and trust me some of these folks are ubber-computer-geeky. They know a lot about the underlying technologies of their computer environments and manipulate them with abandon.

Way back when I took Gender and Computerization, my first class with Susan Herring, we had a guest speaker who talked to us about women and computer science. Someone asked him what it would take for things to change in the field. His answer, very straight faced answer I should add, was, "A bunch of people are going to have to die." Sad but true. Though it's good for us in the more progressive disciplines...until we get to well entrenched.

p.s. You know when I write posts like this it really irritates me that in none of my clip art do I have a good set of drawings of women using computers in their various forms, go figure.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:18 AM | TrackBack

Paragraph analysis and the popular blog

Bardiac had a post over prolurker's hiatus on paragraph analysis. Now I am not a literary analyst but his discussion of internal construction within the narrative has gotten me thinking about medium expectations and constraints, and audience for blog posts.

Certainly there has been a lot of discussion over the years about the informal style of online communication. Of course that parallels the discussion of the verbal characteristics of the words written in online locales. So there are some new conventions that appear with a new communication medium that may or may not be consistent with the conventions of former mediums. However all of this still glosses over the goal of the interaction…the goal is to communicate so some shared construction and shared expectations are basically a given.

Basically all of that leads up to my somewhat constant questions - are popular blogs (a-list and maybe b-list) more adhered to classic written and visual communication conventions than to the media's representation of blogging conventions? If so in general is it the same across genders and age groups? What would be find if we did an analysis? Might be plenty interesting.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:52 AM | TrackBack

January 04, 2006

2006 Bloggies are open for nominations

It's Bloggie time again. Check out the ever increasing list of categories this year

Posted by prolurkr at 09:40 PM | TrackBack

A changing perspective on what to add to the blog

It's interesting to have been offline this long. One of the things I did, while the blog was down, was stockpile links that I would have posted had we been live, or rather that I thought at the time I would have posted had we been live. I discard a lot of what I see before I settle on what to post on any given day. Of course doing all that discarding at once it kind of odd...makes it seem as though I picked lots of "no longer relevant or interesting" stuff. Which of course makes no sense.

Oh well back to working through this list, at this rate it won't take as long as I thought to get caught up.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:30 PM | TrackBack

December 2005 Advisory Committee Update

December always seems to just fly by more quickly than any other month. Here is my December 2005 Advisory Committee Update for your review, assuming you are interested.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:59 PM | TrackBack

CFP - AMCIS Virtual Communities mini-track

Virtual Community is a well differentiated and well established business model. Examples for Virtual Communities range from Communities of Interest, Communities of Relationship, Gaming Communities, and Communities of Transaction to Peer-to-Peer Communities or Mobile Communities. Within the field of information systems sciences we are looking at interaction patterns, transaction processes, management aspects, business models, and design aspects of information systems and services for Virtual Communities. Community members interact via digital media and contribute value in the form of content, reviews, and recommendations. Related issues are trust, network effects, transaction costs and the design of services. Well-organized communities even expand their power across various channels and into the off-line world.

We call for papers on social as well as business communities. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

This mini-track builds on the success of the preceding AMCIS mini-tracks on Virtual Communities. During the last five years we have been gathering a community of researchers who are interested in the field of Virtual Communities and related issues. Information on last years? mini-tracks is available at:

Please visit the mini-track websites at

1. Submit abstracts via email to the appropriate mini-track chair(s) by February 1, 2006.
2. Submit final papers via the AIS Review System by March 1, 2006
3. Authors can submit multiple papers but in general may present only once during the conference.
4. Copyright Information: Submission of a paper to AMCIS2006 represents the author's agreement to allow AIS to publish the paper in any written or electronic format for distribution to all interested parties in perpetuity with or without compensation to AIS and without compensation to the author. The parties understand that the author is granting a nonexclusive
license and all copyrights remain the property of the author.

Mini-track Chair Information:
Please use the following email-address for all inquiries:
[email protected]

Ulrike Lechner (contact)
Universität der Bundeswehr München
Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
D-85577 Neubiberg, Germany
[email protected]

Jan Marco Leimeister
Technische Universität München
Boltzmannstr. 3
D-85748 Garching b. München, Germany
[email protected]

Achim Dannecker
Universität der Bundeswehr München
Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
D-85577 Neubiberg, Germany
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 07:35 PM | TrackBack

January 02, 2006

Prolurker is BACK!

Wow it has been a long 13 days, but now professional-lurker is back online. I have a long list of links I have been saving for posting and I will be working on that over the next week or so. Hope all of you have a great hollyday and that we will all have a happy new year.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:48 PM | TrackBack