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Professional-Lurker blog was the recipient of Best Research Based Blog High Esteem ranking in the 2004 EduBlog Awards.
The blogger is co-author of the 2004 EduBlog Awards winning paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.
Joseph Fire Crow
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Mahatma Gandhi, (attributed)
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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September 26, 2006
International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media
Recent years have seen a flourishing of social media - the promise of the WWW coming to fruition. Across the world, individuals can share opinions, experiences and expertise at the push of a button. There has been a fundamental shift thanks to significant advances in the ease of publishing content. Creating web content was for years the domain of tech-savvy people; now the barrier has been torn down.
Perhaps the most visible among the successes of social media in recent years is the blogosphere. Tens of thousands of new blogs are created every day; blog content is becoming ubiquitous, surfacing in news portals, search results and corporate public relations. Even those who are unaware of the blogosphere are still influenced by its content. Although blogs are highly visible currently, other forms of conversational spaces continue to flourish, especially message boards, mailing lists, review sites and Usenet.
Social media covers all forms of sharing: from photos, to videos, to recommendations. In the past few years, many examples of social media have become hugely successful. Flickr is a premier photo sharing site; del.icio.us has become a touchstone for sharing recommendations of websites; Web 2.0 applications in general abound with newcomers in the social media space.
One of the fascinating aspects of social media has been the drive from within to study the ecology as it evolves. People act at once as creators, observers and influencers of the space in which they participate. At the same time, businesses are quickly grasping the potential benefit to attending to the new space of social media. Monitoring the aggregate trends and opinions revealed by social media provides valuable insight to a number of business applications: marketing intelligence, competitive intelligence.
The fast growing blogosphere and social media space is a fruitful area for investigations across many disciplines. For example:
- Natural language processing and machine learning researchers study the extraction of factual information from text; can blogs be processed in a robust manner and can knowledge bases be populated with facts from blogs?
- Social network researchers and graph theory researchers are concerned with inferring community structure; analyzing the linkage patterns among blog entries can provide explicit community structure; can we infer implicit communities through the content of the blogs?
- Political scientists are looking at ways of identifying influencers in a community; who are the influential bloggers whose voice is echoed by others?
- Multimedia researchers are attempting to categorize audio and video content, aggregate information from diverse sources (textual, audio, video); can visual & audio social media be stored in a way that allows search across different modalities?
- Market analysis researchers are concerned with what people think of the products and services of a company; can we process blogs automatically and find consumer complaints and breaking reports about vulnerabilities of products; also when does a burst of blogging activity become a trend?
- Social psychologists study the response to current events, including emotional and attitudinal dimensions as well as content and patterns of influence.
Despite the growing relevance of blogs and social media, existing research has only begun to address the spectrum of issues that arise in their analysis. Blogs, for example, are a different kind of document than the relatively clean text that NLP research is based on. Such differences in term of structure, content and grammaticality will be a challenge considering that blogs will likely represent the most common way of publicly accessible personal expression.
Areas of interest
The conference aims to bring together researchers from different subject areas (e.g., computer science, linguistics, psychology, statistics, sociology, multimedia and semantic web technologies) and foster discussions about ongoing research in the following areas:
- AI methods for ethnographic analysis through social media.
- Blogosphere vs. mediasphere; measuring the influence of blogs on the media.
- Centrality/influence of bloggers/blogs; ranking/relevance of blogs; web pages ranking based on blogs.
- Crawling/spidering and indexing.
- Human Computer Interaction; social media tools; navigation.
- Multimedia; audio/visual processing; aggregating information from different modalities.
- Semantic analysis; cross-system and cross-media name tracking; named relations and fact extraction; discourse analysis; summarization.
- Semantic Web; unstructured knowledge management.
- Sentiment analysis; polarity/opinion identification and extraction.
- Social Network Analysis; communities identification; expertise discovery; collaborative filtering.
- Text categorization; gender/age identification; spam filtering.
- Time Series Forecasting; measuring predictability of phenomena based on social media.
- Trend identification/tracking.
- Visualization, aggregation and filtering.
- New social media applications, interfaces, interaction techniques.
Submissions: December 8, 2006
Acceptance Notifications: February 2, 2007
Camera Ready Copies: February 16, 2007
Tutorials: March 25, 2007
Conference: March 26-28, 2007
People interested in participating should submit through the conference website a technical paper (up to 8 pages), a short paper (up to 4 pages), a poster or demo description (up to 2 pages) by midnight (PST) of Dec 8, 2006. Each submission should, to the extent possible, indicate a list of relevant areas from the list above (e.g., 03, 04, 10).
September 15, 2006
CFP - Internet Research
(1) The Online Social World as a living Laboratory?
Call for paper or presentation proposals regarding this proposition. Does the online world sufficiently mirror the physical world such that social science, cultural studies, communications, political science, economics and related disciplines could study (or have studied) online behaviors to theorize, predict, or confirm offline, real world behaviors and outcomes. Student papers are especially welcomed.
(2) Suggested Chapters for a Comprehensive Handbook of e-Research for studying online/Internet or using online tools for research? Call for paper or presentation proposals regarding this topic. Methodology and "How to ." presentations welcomed about research methods, software, and scholarly writing. Student papers are especially welcomed.
April 4 - 7, 2007
North Central Sociological Association & Midwest Sociological Society Joint Meeting
Chicago Downtown Marriott
PROPOSAL DEADLINE: October 31, 2006
Organizer: Robin Y. Mabry-Hubbard
University of Missouri-Columbia
101 Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-268-0583 FAX: 573-884-4444
September 11, 2006
A moderately religious woman's prayer
Thanks to Thomas Merton for a prayer that mostly catches how I am feeling these days where I can't see the road or it's end.
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"