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Coundown to Quals
12 June 2008 23:59:59 UTC-0500

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

Language Networks on LiveJournal (pdf)

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience (pdf)

A Longitudinal Analysis of Weblogs: 2003-2004 (pdf)

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

Weblogs as a bridging genre (pdf)

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
If everything goes well with qualifying I will again be submitting articles for publication. I hope to submit as follows:

1 July 2008 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 2008 23:59:59 UTC-0500

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

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

A weblog to gather quotations from my academic reading.

My CiteULike Page

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

January 04, 2012

Current thinking on blogging and tenure

This morning's reading brought an interesting discussion of the possible ways that blogging could be evaluated as part of a tenure process, viaBud Goodall. The article Bud cites refers to the primary source Thoughts on Blogging for Tenure and is an excellent discussion of the issue that continue to surround blogging as an academic and knowledge dissemination activity.

Here’s what I would hope would happen for reviews of candidates with a blog or other digital work as part of their dossier (and this is how I’d mentor my junior colleagues or evaluate such dossiers as an internal or external reviewer): the candidate needs to make the contexts of their digital work incredibly clear, explaining the relationship between this mode of publication to other forms, in terms of audience, subsequent versions, parameters for review, goals for why they pursue such forms, etc. If there is a peer review aspect, the candidate needs to clarify exactly how that works and how evaluators might understand the review functions – that might be explaining that it’s a traditional blind review journal published online, an open-review site like MediaCommons, or a self-hosted comment thread like on a blog. The more clarity of context that the candidate can bring to their own work, the better, as we should assume that a candidate understands their own publishing platforms better than a review committee or external reviewers – and I think this is a way that junior faculty can educate more senior faculty & administrators as to why digital publishing can be a scholarly asset.

For review committees or external letter writers, it is essential to try to understand the context for every item in a dossier as presented by the candidate. Ideally, we would approach new formats with an open mind, not trying to apply the standards of older forms onto new platforms (unless we’re invited to by the candidate). We should try to evaluate the content of every piece regardless of its publication or review status, and then try to understand the contexts that provide some evidence of its value to the field. When review material like open-review discussions or comment threads are available, we should read them as well, in the context of the platform as framed by the candidate. We cannot rely on outsourcing evaluation to unseen blind reviewers and assuming that if a university press or established print journal has published something, its value is assured—nor should we assume the opposite, that the lack of traditional review & publication is evidence of lacking value. And when a candidate does embrace digital publishing, we should make the case for its value—to quote one review I did for a candidate who maintains a blog: “I believe his blog has helped him establish a solid reputation within media studies as an emerging scholar. While self-published commentary is not “tenurable” work per se, I do believe it is part a broader part of a scholar’s commitment to disseminating knowledge and promoting critical engagement with culture, and as such should be commended and encouraged.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:41 AM | TrackBack

June 25, 2008

Changes to the quotes sidebar

Today after a great lunch at Joe's Crab Shack with Elijah - Thanks E - as I drove around running errands, I finalized my decision to remove John McCain's quotation from prolurker's sidebar during the Presidential Campaign. While I deeply appreciate McCain's words, and had noted after the quotation the full citation for them, but it still feels too much like a political endorsement that is contrary to my beliefs. So I have replaced McCain's words -

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.
with words that are also meaningful to me and actually better relay my concerns for the current state of the world.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the incurably sick, I remained silent; I was not incurably sick.

When they came for the Jehovah's Witnesses, I did not speak out; I was not a Jehovah's Witnesses.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for the people in occupied countries, I remained silent; I wasn't a person in an occupied country.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
version based on Rev. Pastor Martin Niemöller's (1892–1984) 1946 speeches. see Prof. Harold Marcuse's Niemöller Quotation Page for an explanation of this version.

Rev. Pastor Niemöller was a distant relative of my childhood neighbor Clarence Niemoeller, a man for whom I have a deep and abiding love and respect and that goes for his wife Etta too - both have moved on to the next life and are missed here. Clarence bore a resemblance to the Rev. Pastor. Not that you can tell from his 1917 sophomore year group picture the only photo of him I found online.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

How do you find out you haven't been paying much attention to your blog of late?

You find that your comment junk box holds 8999 trash comments. Ouch...it has been a long couple of years hasn't it.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:23 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2007

Comments from all non-spammers welcome

Comments are back on for prolurkr, but only for the last three months of available posts.  If you want to comment on anything older than April 2007 you will need to email me and I will add the comment...once I figure out how to do that.  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 03:53 AM | TrackBack

Reworking toward a goal

Part of the additions to the prolurkrverse are up and running.  Check out CommonplaceBook. CommonplaceBook is an open site, and will eventually be indexed as well.  Comments and trackbacks are welcome.

Resingled.info is also up and running, though I am waiting for feedback on a registration check. I will be sending out invitations to people who might be interested...no obligation just information. If you want an invitation and don't get one in the next 48 hours or so, let me know.  Resingled allows for comments but not trackbacks, and it won't be indexed...it's a locked down site...or at least that is the plan.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:02 AM | TrackBack

September 03, 2007

Upcoming changes to the prolurkrverse

I am beginning the process of spiffing things up around here. Professional-Lurker has taken a beating, a quiet beating to be sure, over the last year. Now that I am working my way back to regular posting, I have a few ideas to add to the site's online presence.

Once I get the software bugs worked out I will be adding four new sites. First, is a personal chronicle at resingled.info.  The site will be password protected...and if I know you, and you want to be included please let me know.

Second, is commonplacebook.info, as the name implies this site will be my online commonplacebook for collecting quoted sections from readings...things I find interesting.

Third and fourth, are two subdomains that will hold the Adolescents and Teens Online Bibliography and Weblog and Blog Bibliography both of which are currently woefully out of date.  I'm trying to figure out if I can set-up various sorts in MediaWiki - if you know how to manipulate this program I would love to talk to you - or if I will have to use blogging software to get the output I want.  I know a Wiki would be easiest to use but I hate the output I see from most of them...if it can't be sorted so it looks like a bibliography I don't want to use it.  Once a decision is made and the software is installed, and working then I will upload, update, and announce the availability of the new bibliographies.

Last but certainly not least, once a stable version of Movable Type's new release (4.01) is available I will be updating my software on this site and on loisscheidt.com.  When that upgrade is completed, and working, I plan to again allow comments and trackbacks on this site.  We shall see how it goes.

Obviously this work will be done in between writing...which has to be my first priority.  Watch for updates on both the site and my writing.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:37 AM | TrackBack

March 24, 2007

Trackback and comments are currently disabled

Due to a huge hit of trackback spam on this site, I have disabled comments and trackbacks until I get time to upgrade the software and make some serious changes to the operating environment. I apologize for the inconvenience and hopefully it won't take too long to get the changes made...until then if you have a comment let me know via email.

Of course having said all that, it does make the whole concept of blog "community" interesting when non-community members hijack community resources for selfish uses.  It's sort of like having your neighbor jack into you cable system and then get mad at you when the cable company shuts both of you off.  LOL 

Oh well, there is nothing that has been invented in this world has not been used for "unintended purposes" with negative consequences.

p.s.  Unlike my previous host LunarPages , my current host DreamHost was polite enough to tell me there was a problem and ask me to fix it before they took punitive action.

Related posts: 

My last interaction with LunarPages (rant warning)

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

Things I learned while moving two websites to a new host

Moving loisscheidt.com and professional-lurker.com

Posted by prolurkr at 09:32 AM | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Movable Type 3.3

Apparently it is upgrade time again.  *sigh*  I know, I know it's a good thing but gezzz the chance of messing something up is to high.  Oh well, I will probably work on this in a week or so...and then I too can be using the latest and greatest, Movable Type 3.3.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:50 PM | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

Little time for blogging

It's that time of the semester where everything starts closing in...Are all the labs written and posted? Is grading up to date? You know those kind of things. Well this semester it is worse than usual since I will be leaving, in May, during finals week and won't be back until the middle June.

All of this is leading to my telling you that time between posts will be increasing from now, well last week actually, until the sometime at the end of June. Hang with me because interesting posts on blogs and grad school are in the making, I have a list of stuff I want to talk about that I will be using after quals is done.

What I have to do between now and May 7, in no particular order (italics denotes future dates):

Posted by prolurkr at 03:30 PM

March 25, 2006

If trackback = 0, don’t print “TrackBack (0)” in the post footer

Every time I post a new entry from RocketPost I double-check it in a browser window. You know weirdness can happen, especially when you post material copied from somewhere else or add pictures. In truth, major weirdness can happen with the CFP's in particular.

Well since I turned off trackbacks, I have to admit that the footer on the posts is bugging me. I have to find out if there is a way, I'm almost sure there is one, to set the "TrackBack (0)" off when trackback is equal to zero. In other words, when there are no trackbacks there is no mention of them in the footer. Of course, if there are trackbacks recorded I want to keep that information with the post. What can I say I'm a blog researcher...more information is a good thing but not at the expense of a smooth flowing design. LOL The scholar and the artist at war again.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:37 PM | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

News - I’m disappearing for a month

Hubby and I have made a pretty big decision, and it looks like I will be going away for most of May and into June to finish writing my qualifying paper. I need to just hole-up and do it without other distractions, so it gets done quickly.

We've decided I am off to Colorado to hangout in a cabin or house on the side of a mountain and write. The current plan is for me to head west to International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry at University of Illinois May 4-6, then on the 7th I begin a couple of days drive to Southwestern Colorado. I will be gone into either early or mid-June, we will work out the date later today. Total driving distance 1430 from home to Durango CO.

While I have said there are a couple of things the space must have - a covered porch or deck so I can work outside when the weather is nice, and a working fireplace/stove with wood - one thing I have not said I need is high-speed internet. In truth I plan to leave the internet behind; I can do email, at the public library, one day a week when I head into town to get groceries. I plan on writing trip posts and taking pictures in-between postings, but unlike my usual practice of at least one post per day, this will be mass upload probably on a single day.

Right now I am looking at a number of cabins/houses in the 4-Corners area - mostly around Pagosa Springs and Durango - and I hope to make a decision later today. I found a great place, see the picture that accompanies this post, but totally whimped out when I was told that at this elevation the house might still have snow in early May and the only access then would be by snowmobile, which the owner was more than willing to lend me. But even if no snow was present the Forest Service road that takes you up the mountain does not sound compatible with my Honda Insight. *sigh* Love the idea of spending time at this place but probably not until hubby is with me and we can drive his diesel pickup. If you have access to an appropriate vehicle, you can rent them of course, then check out the main website for Vallecito Lake Durango Mountain Meadow Home. I think it is a great remote place to spend some time away...just too remote for a solo trip in May 2006.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

Status of Trackback on Professional-Lurker

I like the concept of trackback between blogs. Allowing readers and writers to see how content is being used is important. However I think that the technology currently used, at least in Movable Type, is flawed and the system is abused. First, trackbacks are often not discovered by the software. I can't explain this, maybe someone with more technical competence than I have can comment. I do know that I routinely find sites where prolurkr posts are cited but the trackback wasn't completed. Second, the system is abused. No need to say much about spam...it's pretty much been said already.

I've been thinking about the issue of trackback on prolurkr for some time. As I have said previously, A question to Movable Type users, the blog has not registered a "non-recursive or recursive trackback registered since November 2005." I know this is not an accurate reflection of prolurkr citation because I see the footprints in my referer logs and in my searches. So I think today is a good day to decide to turnoff trackback. I would like to say this is a temporary fix but I don't think that is true. My impression is that trackback may be fixed at some point down the road, but also may not. So I'm adopting a wait and see attitude on the technology.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:45 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2006

The searches prolurker turns up in *shaking my head*

I am amazed by the search strategies some folks seem to use to find things online. I often thing random pages might be as good at provide answers for some of these queries. This sample is from the last three hours.

    1. Oil manager guest book for 2006/2007 include email address
    2. A sample dissertation problem statement on urbanization necessary for Internet diffusion in a country
    3. California teen scholarship pagent tips (misspelling in original)
    4. Professional dive jobs in Hawaii and the pay scale

Plus there are three different vanity searches.

None of these searches have any quotation marks in them so the results are going to have a very high noise ratio. LOL Of which prolurker is part of the noise, since all of these searches take folks to large archive pages which will not provide them with useful information related to their searches. *sigh*

Though I do have to admit it is an interesting mix of topics.

Possible searches that might yield better results:

    1. "Oil manager" "guest book" 2006 2007 include "email address" (kind of hard to propose an alternative when I have no idea what this person is really looking for. LOL)
    2. "dissertation problem statement" urbanization "internet diffusion"
    3. California "teen scholarship pageant" tips
    4. "professional dive jobs" Hawaii "pay scale"

When I am using a long search string I try to put something in quotes just to narrow down the search and keep me out of less than useful blog archives.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:48 PM | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

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

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

January 19, 2006

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 professional-lurker.com 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 07, 2006

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 loisscheidt.com, 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

January 04, 2006

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

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

December 21, 2005

Another year of prolurker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 06:58 PM | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Prolurker will be quiet for awhile

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

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

December 14, 2005

An interesting way to see what others are saying

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

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

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

December 05, 2005

Professional-Lurker on the The Edublog Awards 2005 Shortlist

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

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

I would appreciate your vote for prolurker. Thanks.

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

November 29, 2005

Countdown timers

Ok well my countdown timers have quit at the source and I have no idea how to let the guy know he needs to fix his program. So I'm testing another timer, don't be surprised if things look flakey for a bit. I'll post when I get it working correctly.

Testing 1-2-3

Counting down to New Year 2006: 1 Jan 2006 00:00:00 UTC-0500!

Ok this works now I just have to get it going in the sidebars.

Amended: Alright we are cooking with gas!

Posted by prolurkr at 07:46 AM | TrackBack

November 19, 2005

I so don’t get link rankings

Ok I so don't get how this works...but it's kinda cool. From the bottom to the top in 1-day. LOL I should write a book.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:11 AM | TrackBack

November 14, 2005

My day of Feedsterization

From 10:00 a.m. on Sunday November 13 until 12:00 p.m. Monday November 14, 2005 Professional-Lurker.com was listed as the Feedster XML feed of the day. It has been interesting to watch the visit rates during this period, the site had multiple visitors every hour with the exception of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. EST. Why those two hours EST? Your guess is as good as mine.

I did a quick graph, what can I say I was done writing, that shows the visits and total pages. So as you would expect people visit and a very few dig deeper to view other pages on the site. Probably even fewer of them make return visits but only time will tell on that one.

Related Post:
Thanks Feedster and welcome

Posted by prolurkr at 02:32 PM | TrackBack

Do Not Fear the Blog

This morning's quick reading of feeds brought me a Chronicle of Higher Education story, Do Not Fear the Blog, I so want to comment on it but I don't have time to do so today. So consider this a combination Upcoming Post Announcement and bookmark.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 13, 2005


A couple of days ago a question about last.fm rolled across the Association of Internet Researchers listserv. I had never heard of the site so I quickly checked it out. Well I'm not much of friend of a friend (FOAF) sites, I belong to many of them and try to keep up with what they are doing, on a purely meta level, but have never really grown fond of the technology. Guess I'm a romantic at heart, like that is news, I spend so much time in my research venues that I simply have to love them or I don't want to work there every day.

But last.fm is different. Instead of the quasi human ranking that goes with many of the FOAF sites, this one is about music. I quickly downloaded the plug-ins and have been logging my music to their website. This is fun. Plus I can scan other lists and groups for new music, some with downloads most without. Personally without download is fine with me. Gets us away from all those nasty copyright and ethical issues.

You can check out the prolurker music list and find that I've been listing to celtic music while I write so what you will learn about me is that I listened to The Chieftains most over the last couple of days. This happens because The Chieftains have more albums than anyone else. The Chieftains experiment a lot which I like. LOL Take a look at their web url and you can guess how long their site has been online. The list is also linked from the right sidebar under Music I may be listening to.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:19 AM | TrackBack

November 05, 2005

Found while reviewing referrer lists

Should I find it comforting that Prolurker is the number one search result for professional term for loud on Google?

Posted by prolurkr at 04:36 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

Countdown timers

I've added two countdown timers to the left side bar of the blog.  One tracks the days until my next scheduled conference submission and the second tracks the days until my next publication submission.  I added the new block to the bottom of the sidebar mostly as a test to see if I like these features.  The block probably should be higher in the series but if I do that I would have to reset each of the blocks so that the color alternation is consistent.  I'm not up to that much editing right now.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:24 AM | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

Walking from London to Cape Town

I have never been a huge fan of travel films, not sure why but they just don't do it for me. I think part of it is the perspective...the journey is done and the speaker knows the outcome. Or maybe it's the retrospective editing that takes place before and during the presentation. Oh well for whatever reason I don't love travel films, I do love travel blogs. The story is unfolding for me in installments and the writer doesn't know much more than I do about what tidbit will become significant over time...sorta like daily life. *w*

Well this afternoon The World Is Not Flat (TwinF), which will be a cool travel blog once the trip is underway, pointed me to constantly. Constanttrek is a blog by a couple who are waling from London to Cape Town South Africa, hence their subtitle "Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." Think about that for a bit...walking from London to Cape Town. I may be a country girl but I sure don't have that kind of trip in me, never did.

So I have added the blog to my Bloglines list, as you can see in the sidebar. I shall be keeping up with their progress and may even go back and read some of the archive...in my copious free time. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

A Tag Cloud of Prolurker

Kind of interesting to see what tags are pulled from the main page of the site.  Yes I know, I'm still ambiguous on the whole tagging concept.  And I don't buy that tagging gets us away from categorization...looks to me like it creates more categorization of just less usable categories at this point.  Oh well, so here is the Tag Cloud for prolurker for your viewing enjoyment, click on the picture to access a larger - more easy to read - version with the same tag count limit, or click here to see the real time version of Professional-Lurker's TagCloud with a 100 tag limit.

I find two of the entries really interesting.  They are "ing" and "LOL".  I am not at all sure where "ing" comes from since it's not a term I use independently.  Kind of odd to see that as one of my most used terms.  And I am glad to see that "LOL" is among the top terms used...what can I say I love to laugh.  *Breaking into the chorus of "I Love to Laugh"*

We love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh
So ev'rybody can hear
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we're a merrier we!

I'll keep an eye on the TagCloud for the site and I am actually tagging while I play with RocketPost.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Blog valuation figures

My blog is worth $21,452.52.
How much is your blog worth?

I think these valuation formats that are based on links are rather interesting...and of somewhat questionable utility.  But what the heck it's amuzing.  BlogShares lists the valuation for prolurker at $18,008.95.  I have no explanation for the difference...I have no real explanation for the original valuations either.  LOL  Oh well the blog is not for sale so a valuation is mostly a vanity thing.

If they had a version of the above block that was continuously updated I would stick the whole thing in my "badges" section on the right side bar...but since they don't it seems silly to put it there with a static number as I would undoubtedly rarely update it.  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 05:03 PM | TrackBack

My 1000th post

Well it seems approprate that for my 1000th published post I am elaborating on my 999th post.  LOL  This post is being written using RocketPost as the designer sent me a fix that got the program working on my system.  Life is cool.

So far so good and at the moment I have to say I really think I like this program...let me use it for a few days and I will let you know my final decision on it.  At the moment it looks like it will satisfy the following requirements:

Oh well I will play with it more and keep you posted.  It is a pricey software product but since I do qualify as a serious blogger it might make sense if I do really like it after a longer test drive and if I can save the pennies to pay for it.  LOL

Now on the 1000th post issue.  Kinda cool for a blog I never thought would last through the first month.  I remember thinking how amazing it was when I rolled over my first 100 posts, never even considered that I would make it to 1000 let alone keep going beyond that number.  LOL 

Well I should note there is a mismatch, of course, between the permalink post numbers and the available post count.  In truth I have deleted a considerable number of mostly duplicate posts...like 36.  This comes from errors I received in my blogging client, whichever one I was using at the time, that made it look like the post had not been uploaded properly when in fact everything was fine.  So of course I resubmitted the post, sometimes repeatedly, and then had to remove the duplicates.  LOL  So while this will be permalink 1036 it is actually the 1000th available post. 


Posted by prolurkr at 04:53 PM | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Missing hours

You may have noticed that Prolurker was down on Wednesday September 28, 2005.  Prolurker uses a scary amount of bandwidth, the growth is nice but all of it comes at a cost.  Well yesterday the tires met the road and we ran over our bandwidth allocation before my ISP could make the change to up those numbers.  But today we are back, and with enough bandwidth to get us through the next two days...or at least I hope that is true.

So I have a job to do, in between my regular job, I and my tech councilors get to try and figure out how to accommodate the growth of the blog in the most efficient way possible.  If you have suggestions to minimize bandwidth usage without making major changes to the look or content of the site I am always happy to listen.  Readers of this site collectively have far more knowledge on the subject than I do.

Things I have done in the last month:

Things I'm thinking about doing (if I knew how):

Your input is welcome.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:44 AM | TrackBack

September 23, 2005

Tagging Sites for Books and Programs

It has been a fruitful morning in that I have added two new online tagging sites to my "Bibliography" frame on the sidebar, RSS feeds to follow.  First there is Reader2 a:

This site allows you to keep a social list of the books you read and/or recommend. After you sign up you can add books to your unique list. You can view anyone else's books and they can view yours.

Extra user-defined data can be added to each book entry to organize and describe the book further such as descriptions, link, and tags. You can use tags to categorize (and thus organize) books so that you and others using this site will have an easier time finding new and interesting books.

So why would you use this site?

  • You can easily find new and interesting books through user-defined categories, searches, and popularity among users.
  • You can find users with similar book taste and see what they read (if you want this thing to work, you'll need to add 10-20 books first).
  • You can keep track of your friend's books through RSS feeds.
  • You can export books list to your site / blog.

Through Reader2 I found their companion site MyProgs, their About page says:

This site allows you to keep a social list of the programs you use. After you sign up you can add programs to your unique list. You can view anyone else's programs and they can view yours.

Extra user-defined data can be added to each program entry to organize and describe the program further such as program descriptions, a link to the program's homepage, and tags. You can use tags to categorize (and thus organize) programs so that you and others using this site will have an easier time finding new and interesting programs.

So why would you use this site?

  • If your computer ever crashes or you switch to a new computer you will have this handy little list to remind you of which programs you had.
  • You can easily find new and interesting programs through user-defined categories, searches, and popularity among users.
  • You can keep track of your friend's or coworker's programs through RSS feeds.
  • You can advertise that cool new program you just made.
  • All programs are submitted by regular people like yourself which means that most programs have been tested and found to be useful.

A very cool morning indeed.  Now I get to learn how to frame both sites RSS feeds into my sidebars.  *S*  Life is good.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

Mint is fun

Since late last week I've been running Mint behind the blog to give me more information on who is using the site and how they find it.  I have to laugh at the searches that bring people to Professional-Lurker, examples:  "WHEN MESSAGES ARE THE" (yes both the caps and the quotes are in the original), mark johns "unique and ordinary problems" (quotes in original), and my personal favorite (I should get this on a t-shirt) professional rat quotes.  Was it something I said???  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 03:46 PM | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

How to crash your own blog, part zwei

The question is not "What went wrong?" but rather, "Why was it ever working to being with?"  LOL

I have been getting slammed with trackback and comment spam for a very long time.  Blacklist took out most of it but not after the upgrade to MT 3.17, then it only worked in combo with SpamLookup and neither of them worked well enough alone.  Then when I upgraded to MT 3.2 neither of them worked...at all...ever...never.  I was reduced to basically keeping my admin windows open all day just to do periodic deletes so that I would not be faced with hundreds of spam in the evening, panes full of them that each had to be marked for deletion.  Not good...not good at all.

So yesterday I was doing morning-bits and read Dave Simmer's blog (non-academic) entry, Spam, that said he was having similar problems.  Light-bulb time, it's not just me.  So I decided to check out the boards and see if others had a fix for the problem.  What I found were lots of folks who said the system worked great and a few who said it didn't work at all.  Aha...so it is in the install after all.

Just to give you background on this.  I did the initial install to create prolurker in 2003.  But I simply could not get it working.  So I asked my ISP 2xtreme media, who at the time were tauting themselves as serving bloggers specifically, if they could fix it so it worked.  They did just that and it worked great.  But shortly thereafter I realized that I had a problem, you see I had no idea what the answers were to questions like "What type of database are you running?" because I hadn't set it up.  So I've been floundering as a pretty inept administrator, p.s. as I've said before it's a job I don't really want.

Well yesterday all of that really came to a head.  In my quest to improve my life by removing spam deletion from it, I uninstalled SpamLookup and reinstalled it fresh.  Amazing as it may seem it worked perfectly for the first time.  I was so pleased with myself not only had I done the upgrade by myself but I had thought through to fix a problem and implemented the successful plan.  But that was the calm before the storm.

Since I was working on the blog anyway I decided to do some sidebar stuff, mostly recategorizing the blogroll and playing with settings so that I could block more spam.  I rebuilt several times, min. four that I remember.  It all looked great and was working fine, well as fine as ever since I had a week or so old problem with my desktop client not forwarding category information to the blog on upload, but that seemed like it was an unrelated issue.

Then out of nowhere I lost the graphical admin pages, they all became flat text.  I checked every browser I have because there have been stated problems with MT 3.2 and Opera, my preferred blog browser.  No luck, all the browsers rendered the page in exactly the same way.  So I sent in a support ticket on the problem.  In a timely fashion I got back a response saying I needed to move some files around and the problem would be solved.  I did as instructed and then I got only an error message, no admin page text at all.  *sigh*

That began a long string of messages between myself and Movable Type Support, who by the way do a very good job.  Each message gave new instructions which I implemented and each made the problems seem much much worse.  I got to the point that I emailed the only person I could think of who might know what to do, someone I actually don't know personally just through their blog, and asked if they would take a look to see if they could figure out what was wrong.  But before I could get them the ftp, username, and password information, I got another message from the support folks saying they thought I was using Berkeley database and that I needed to change one line in the config file to reflect that database.  So I made the change, and amazingly enough that seems to have fixed it...for good?....for now? 

Lessons learned:

  1. I now know what type of database I am running.
  2. I now have a cleaner installation of MT 3.2 without stray files from older versions that only make the system look like it's working.  *raising one eyebrow* 
  3. I now understand why some folks are recommending you install the new version in a separate folder then move it once you have it working (easier in ssh then in ftp).
  4. As much as I hate the time it takes, it probably is better for me to do the admin work because it is my site, after all, and I need to understand what is happening with it. 

As I said in the opening to this post, the real question is apparently why the upgrade had worked at all.  It seems that the stray old files from the two previous versions were somehow filling gaps in the new program that were not filled by information from the config file.  I only sorta get it...maybe it will become clear in a few days.  But for now it seems to be working...though it seemed to be working before.  *ouch my head hurts*  Oh well...another day another set of to-do list items and none of them are "working on the blog programming" related.

Oh and my problem with my desktop client is fixed...it was related after all.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:44 AM | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

How to crash your own blog, part 1

Ok, I've had a very tense evening since I basically crashed all of the blog admin stuff.  *sigh*  So this is a test to see if I actually can post again.  If everything is working I'll post more detail on what happened later.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:12 PM | TrackBack

Weblog Manager WANTED!

Why aren't there free-lance weblog managers?  And if there are why can't I find one.  *sigh*  There are very few things in this world I would be willing to pay someone to do on retainer...but blog manager is definitely one of them. 

Think of it, someone to do you upgrades for you.  Someone to sort out if your site is using the best configuration for your style.  Someone to work though bugs and problems and implement the fixes.  Yes I would pay for that.

So if you know anyone who is a whiz at MT 3.2 and who wants to make a bit of money on the side, have them contact me.  I really want to stop doing the nuts-and-bolts work of blog maintenance.  I'm not particularly good at it and well it makes me crazy so I'm better off with out it on my to-do list.

Why is this a new issue today?  Well because from my standpoint MT 3.2 hasn't fixed the spam problem.  Now others say it has, so I have spent a couple of hours this morning trying to figure out if it's my installation rather then a problem with the software.  Final verdict = hell if I know.  *sigh*  There is just to much I don't understand about the program and my installation.


Posted by prolurkr at 09:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

New Category - Daily Writing

New Category - Daily Writing

I had been thinking about working to change my writing requirements before I read today's essay from Tomorrow's Professor, as reprinted here.  I've been saying that I needed to reset my internal clock so that I was writing in smaller time blocks rather than waiting for 4 hours to do a long session.  Those blocks are becoming increasingly more difficult to set aside. 

So I'm adopting the steps set out in the essay Publish and Flourish:  Becoming a Prolific Scholar.  To that end I have added a new category to the blog entitled Daily Writing...the time, oh the time.  This category will be used to capture and track my daily writing - projects, time, and word counts.  Guess I'm using all of you to keep me honest.  It's rather difficult to hide from a public display of your success or failure.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:29 PM | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Katrina People Finder

Katrina People Finder

I have removed the Katrina People Finder link as the site is currently redundant, and no longer processing data, now that the search engines have stepped in with meta search functions for the multiple lists.

Yahoo: Search Katrina lists from across the Web

Posted by prolurkr at 03:02 PM | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Changes to the blog sidebars and RSS feed

This morning I added two new Hurricane Katrina-related graphics to the site.  First there is now a Red Cross donation graphic and link in the upper-right hand corner of the blog. 

There is also a Katrina Peoplefinder Project graphic on the left sidebar.

Those two join the Red Cross donation graphic that was added to RSS feeds yesterday through Feedburner.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:21 PM | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

A single Feedburner account

Some months ago I wrote about my frustration in having two Feedburner accounts coming out of this blog.  Well after trying redirect and auto-find changes recommended by Feedburner I have realized that the only way to fix the problem is to delete one of the feeds and set it for redirect to the index page.  From whence, at least we hope from whence, your feedreader will discover the single remaining feed and everyone will be on the same account. 

That of course is the "if everything works right scenario."  If everything doesn't work right and you are reading this because your feed was lost I apologize...and I'm glad you are here looking for whatever RSS I provide. 

Posted by prolurkr at 06:25 AM | TrackBack

August 28, 2005

Upgrade to Movable Type 3.2 complete...well mostly

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

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

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

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

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

August 27, 2005

Upgrading to Movable Type 3.2

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:40 AM | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

gVisit is a dog

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Oh my god not another prolurker post?

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

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

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

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

August 20, 2005

Where do blog readers come from? Check gVisit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 12:30 PM | TrackBack

Feedreader readers comments wanted

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

Thank you in advance for your input.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:15 AM | TrackBack


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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:37 AM | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Learning about my own blog through others research

Learning about my own blog through others research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meta discussion of the blog itself

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

August 11, 2005

To list or not to be able to list

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


Posted by prolurkr at 07:01 AM | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Technorati "knowledge management" listing

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 09:14 AM | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

Shortening individual blogroll categories

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:21 AM | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

New professional-lurker categories

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 04:31 PM | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

New posting categories

I've created three new categories for posts now that I have more capacity for such things.  They are called:  Memes...rolling along, Native American Flutes (NAF)...and the people who love them, and Software & Hardware...Oh my.  I'll be adding more categories shortly to better describe the content of the site.  Of course I'm still debating on the use of tags...we shall see on that one.  Links are also available on the left sidebar under "Categories".


Posted by prolurkr at 08:27 PM | TrackBack

Hacking Movable Type

Just got my copy of:

Allen, Jay, Choate, Brad, Hammersley, Ben, Haughey, Matthew, & Raynes, David (2005). Hacking Movable Type. Indianapolis IN: Wiley.

Now I'm armed and dangerous. LOL  Hopefully it will help me continue some of the improvements that have been made around here.  *S*

Posted by prolurkr at 11:10 AM | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

Comments ON by Default

One nice thing about the upgrade of Movable Type, that has been taking place on the blog, is that I can again set comments on by default.  I'm hoping that I can leave them on but we shall see how much of a problem spam will be in both comments and trackbacks. I'm running a couple of anti-spam plugins to try to keep this to a minimum.  In the perfect world I should not have to delete a single inappropriate thing...but this is a less then perfect world isn't it.

p.s. If you post a comment and it doesn't show up after a day or two, please let me know I may need to tweak the filters...I want the good stuff to get through just want to keep the spam out.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

Professional-Lurker's new look

Today we bid a fond farewell to the old Professional-Lurker design (first illustration), aka Movable Type Default settings, and welcome a new look (second illustration) that was designed specifically for my blogs.

I know for me it is going to take some getting used to since for the last 18 months I have signed in to a basically black and white two-column screen...with incidental colors. Now there is a lot more color which I like, and the three column design which I love. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Oh and we are working on the RSS feed issue so that feed includes html, which it now does not for whatever reason.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:45 AM | TrackBack

July 09, 2005

Adding a new category for my teaching portfolio

Adrian Miles at hypertext.rmit got me thinking with his comments about adding a category for "teaching portfolio" to his blog. I'm stealing the idea with my own "Teaching Portfolio...thoughts on the art and practice" though I have credited the source.

As I am now diving into syllabus development with both feet I think it will be very helpful to have prolurker as both an outlet and a record for my thoughts as I work up two classes. No doubt there will be much written about it here as I work my way through the stack of books on the floor to my left...maybe 4 feet of them. I always have done a lot of literature search before I settle on what I want to use so why should this be differen. LOL

I had planned on keeping notes in an offline format to later be gathered into a teaching portfolio. But that does seem rather duplicative so I will give this a whirl and we shall see how it goes.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:58 PM | TrackBack

July 08, 2005

Adolescents and Teens Online Bibliography - Updated

I've updated the Adolescents and Teens Online Bibliography. I will be updating Weblog and Blog Bibliography very soon...as soon as I get time to do it.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:40 AM | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

Professional-Lurker Redesign, What do You Think?

I am working with a designer to redo the look here.  I have her latest sample design and would like your opinion on it.  Here is a link to the mockup.  Please post your comments, oh and if you don't like something please suggest what would make it better.  Thanks.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005

Wayback Machine

Hubby called this morning - he's at the office - to ask if I knew about "archive.org", he's always on the lookout for internet things I should know about. Of course the site rang a bell but the content didn't immediately come to mind. I stammered into the phone something like "Is that the site that archives newsgroups?" It was early, I didn't sleep well last night, and well sometimes I'm just dense. But then the logo popped up on my screen, "Ahhhh the Wayback Machine, I love the Wayback Machine."

I love the site but haven't been there in quite a while. So I explained what the site does to hubby, who also likes the idea of seeing website development over time. While we talked I entered prolurker's url just to see if they are now archiving blogs as well. Interestingly this site is in the archive, but only for 2004. I found the following in their FAQ that may explain the lag.

Right now there is a 6-12 month lag between the date a site is crawled and the date it appears in the Wayback Machine.

So we are up on ancient internet history, it's the near history that has problems.

Great so now I know I can check the Wayback for earlier versions of blogs I am researching. May be some interesting developmental info buried there.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Information Overload

I have entirely to many newsfeeds on my RSS reader. When I am greeted on a daily basis with over 400 unread posts it is clear that I need to do some spring cleaning. Last week I brought the sidebar up to date and in the next couple of weeks I will be going through my reader and deleting feeds that aren't as useful that they once were or as I thought they would be.  Then I will be weeding the sidebar to match my readers list.

If your blog is removed believe me it is nothing personal, I'm just trying to hold the load to reading roughly 200 posts per day. That's enough. Especially since I will have two classes worth of blogs to read this fall semester.

Meta discussion of the blog itselfTotally Academic

Posted by prolurkr at 04:54 PM | TrackBack

May 15, 2005

Sidebar changes

I did some work on the sidebar this morning. New blogs, music, and academic paper links were added.  I also deleted a few old blogs that are dead or that I have lost interest in.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:43 AM | TrackBack

April 04, 2005

Where to find royalty free photos and grapics to use with your posts

Geek News Central in their post Where to find great Images! pointed me to Robin Good: What Communication Experts Need To Know and their list of Where To Find Great Free Photographs And Visuals For Your Own Online Articles.

I am always looking for good visuals to combine with my posts on this blog. Historically I favor black & white images, in particular Dover Electronic Clip Art. Though often when I'm talking about technology specifically I am at a disadvantage since clip art tends to be older work that has fallen out of copyright and drawing of technological items have not yet been around long enough to have their copyrights expire. Hopefully these resources will allow me, and you, to find work that will add to our text without costing us an arm and a leg for royalty fees.

In particular I am taken with morgueFILE's technology category. This listing gives me pictures that are tagged as computers, clocks, CD players, PDA, etc. Lots of stuff to work with.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:19 PM | TrackBack

March 31, 2005

Blog Redesign

I have contracted with Blog Moxie to upgrade and redesign the blog for me, as well as transfer my webpage, Lois Ann Scheidt.com to a new host and move it to blogging software. The first phase should start in about six weeks, I'm sitting as patiently as I can in que for the designers services. I'll let you know before we go live. Personally I can't wait I'm pretty bored with the plain-vanilla-blog look...low maintenance but also low style - training wheels.

You can check out the girls, yes it's an all female design company, portfolio. Julie, my designer, is an FIT and Farmingdale grad. I was impressed before finding out her credentials, now I'm in awe...FIT is cool.

p.s. My previous attempt to hire someone to do the upgrade failed when he bailed on me...he plead to much class work.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:13 AM | TrackBack

March 28, 2005

New cateogry - Ethics

I've been doing a lot of thinking about ethics lately: research ethics, adminsitrative ethics, religious ethics, the ethics of humanness...research ethics is one of my stated research interests. As such I have decided to add a new category to the blog to allow me to gather some of my thoughts on the subject into one pocket. So look for the new category Ethics...thoughts on the ethics of research and life in the the bar. Entries will be coming shortly.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:58 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2005

Off-site clicks - what I have learned

I now have MyBlogLog data from March 3-24, 2005 (with most of 25th added), though five days of it show zero in all categories - March 3 & 4, and March 8-10. I hate missing data, not sure why it didn't record for all those days.

Oh well missing data aside, I have learned some very interesting things watching this log. For the period there were 170 clicks to off-site URLs. 48.2% of the clicks were to pages listed on the sidebar (n=82). Of those, 20 were to my webpage http://www.loisscheidt.com for 24.4% of the sidebar clicks. An additional 16 clicks, the second highest number, were placed to Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs, which is linked multiple places in the sidebar.

47.1% of the clicks are to URLs that appeared in post entries (n=80). The top two most clicked URLs are Preople Rank with nine and Levenger with six. Finally, 4.7% of the clicks were to URLs that appeared in both entries and the sidebar so the actual origin is impossible to define (n=8).

Additionally 28.8% of the clicks were to URLs associated with the blogger - my webpage, papers I have written, my CiteULike list, and other websites to which I contribute.

It appears that a significant number of the clicks lead the reader to pages that give them more data about the author rather then to pages that give them more information about the topics. Now to be fair this could be a unique finding since it is getting late in the semester and students are looking for sources to use in their class papers. Or it may simply be a function of writing an academic weblog, in that readers want to verify the credentials and authenticity of the writer. *w* More research is needed.

For the clicks not associated with me or my work, I have been surprised to see how few of the readers actually click through for more information on the day the link is posted. For example looking at March 23 statistics for the individual date, on that day there were nine click throughs but only one of them was to a link posted that day, Guardian Unlimited. Interestingly the single click through used that day was to the general site not to the specific article I cited and discussed in the post. The remaining eight clicks were mostly to links listed in the sidebar (n=6). The remaining two click throughs were to links that appear in earlier posts on the page, prior to March 23, and on the sidebar as well.

So much for a little Friday night content analysis with a touch of ethnography thrown in for spice. I will have to see what stories the numbers tell when I have a quarters worth of data. Assuming I can wait that long for the analysis. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 09:46 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

Fixing sidebar link problems

One of the advantages I've found since I've been using MyBlogLog has been that minor problems with URLs are very noticeable so I can fix them. I've never found the error log to be that helpful since it is filled with bot requests for pages on my site that were never there to begin with. But with MyBlogLog I can see that, until I repaired the preceding link, when one clicked on Blog Research on Genre (BROG) Blog you were transported to Blogroots Blogpopuli rather then to the BROG site, all because of a single quote being used rather then a double quote.

So I apologize for any errors and promise to fix them as quickly as I can. Cross my heart.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:28 AM | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

After a week of watching MyBlogLog stats

One of the things I have bemoaned, about running any kind of website, is how inaccessible the users stats are to a non-sysadmin type. I mean what is the difference between a hit, files, pages, and visits? If you find the site on a search engine hit and visit, aren't you looking at pages that come from files? Oh and how do I get hits on terms like "�»�µ‘€�µ�½" that I have never ever used in a sentence in my entire life? So clearly more transparent stats would be a good thing for me.  Would that they were delivered personally by a software angel in a clearly understandable format that was instantly usable.  *sigh*

My ISP provides me with access to a program called CPanel. It gives me some stats I can use easily, particularly bandwidth usage. So to give me a better handle on how many people were actually visiting the site I installed a counter on the main page, it's fun to watch the numbers roll.

Well the counter gave me part of the answer, but then I got hooked on reading blogs via RSS feed and realized that neither my counter or my CPanel gave me any stats on how many people were reading the site via RSS feed. So to resolve that issue when I set-up Feedburner to count accesses to the site via RSS. Later I added the Feedburner Counter you see at the bottom of the sidebar. Of course I only did that after I edited the template as Feedburner recommends. Unfortunately that means that somehow I have two Feedburner accounts, one that shows on the counter and a second that I can only see on their site. Well I guess I could install a second counter for that account but that seems silly. When I get time I will either figure out how to combine them or I will turn that over to the designers when I get into that process.

Of course closely on the heels of the Feedburner addition, blog authors were plunged into the depths of the comment and TrackBack spam flood. So of course I was asking how many of my visitors - the term is used to include all the possible variants from hit to visit listed above - were spam bots. That was a burning question for quite a while, especially as I watched my bandwidth usage rise. I resized my main page, cut down comments, and turned off comments on most old entries and the bandwidth usage continued to climb, as it still does. I don't mind paying for real readers to access the site but I sure don't want to be pouring money down the drain so that spam bots can check out the site. Enter MyBlogLog.

MyBLogLog tells me, in almost easy to understand statistics, how many times the page has been viewed and how many readers there have been per day. Plus it tells me which links are being clicked through to off-site pages. The first two stats added to my Feedburner numbers are giving me a much better understanding of how many people are reading the site.

The information on what pages have been clicked through to off-site pages has also been interesting. Between the time I made the Feedburner changes and adding MyBlogLog, I had signed up as an Amazon Associate. I had linked to their site consistently for information about books I was discussing so it seemed like a natural extension to add their revenue stream to the links. Well one of the features of the Amazon Associates site is a click through count for links that lead to their site. Those numbers were very instructive, i.e. lots of my readers click through for the added information.

I've learned from the MyBlogLog stats that readers click on the links in the sidebar at roughly the same rate as the links in the entires. I was surprised and a bit embarrassed to find that so many people were clicking through to my webpage, a site that is not exactly abandoned but is not as well kept then it should be. It's a good thing I was planning to make a transition with that site first by moving it to the same host as this blog and by converting it to Movable Type (MT) for easy updates. I plan to make these changes later this year, after I get this site redesigned and moved to the newest version of MT.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:59 AM | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

Posting and quals and life as I know it

You may have noticed that my posts have changed somewhat over the last month, or maybe I am just keenly aware of the change. I have been knee-deep in BROG research for Sunbelt and reading for my quals. As such I have been thinking about blogging and research quite a lot but have been unable to write about it here - not well formed thoughts at this point, or in-process research which should be kept close until presentation or publication is immanent. On that note, hopefully I will be able to link to the Sunbelt presentation in the next couple of days.

So, for the time being, much of my posting is likely to be filter work or fragmented quals thoughts - not giving to much away on here though you will have to wait until it's done and can read it in its entirety. Bear with me, while I stitch it all together, I'll try to keep the site interesting - through possibly not quotable - for the short-term.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:05 PM | TrackBack

February 07, 2005

Entering reading notes

Today I am spending time entering reading notes into Reference Manager. The notes go back to readings I did in early December through the present, with the most recent readings being the Serfaty and Blood.

Humm kinda tacky that the prices are with the pics. Have to figure out a better way to post these links. Now that is better. Small pictures with no prices or "Buy it from Amazon" tags, with links that get you to all that information if you want it.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:56 PM | TrackBack

January 28, 2005

Adolescents and Teens Online Bibliography

I've added a new bibliography to the sidebar. The Adolescents and Teens Online Bibliography is available for your use. As with the weblog and blog bib there is no promise of all inclusiveness and this is the format there is. *S* Enjoy.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:26 PM | TrackBack

January 25, 2005

Pictures from the trip to Hawai'i

I am posting my travel pictures from the trip to Hawai'i. I post them under the actual date the pictures were taken, so the first entry A trip to the top of Mauna Kae and is posted under January 7, 2005. You can get to the post by clicking the link above, or by going to either the archive for January 2005 or the category "Travel...on the road again".

Posted by prolurkr at 03:17 PM | TrackBack

Moving in the right direction

I've start down the path of making improvements to this site that should make it easier for all of us to use. I have undertaken a search for a project based webmaster to work with me to optimize the site and I hope to be working on that project as soon as possible. I will be documenting changes in posts so the rational will be available. In the mean time, I received an email from Andrew Stevens suggesting some changes that I can do with my somewhat limited technological capabilities.

First, I am changing the number of posts that appear on the main page from 30 days to 15. When I set up the blog I set a goal of two posts per week. At that rate the 30 days on the page option made sense. As I am posting far more often then projected I have been thinking that the page is to long, Andrew's email underlined that for me. The decision to set the limit at 15 days is fairly unscientificly, though thoughtfully, arrive upon. When I am traveling, and out of Internet reach, there have been up to 10 day gaps in posting. I don't want to have a blank page so the 15 day limit should prevent that from happening.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:35 AM | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

Updated Weblog and Blog Bibliography

I have posted an updated version of the Weblog and Blog Bibliography, the sidebar has been updated to reflect this change. If your work is listed without an abstract please send me one and I will add it to my database. If you have weblog, blog, or we blog articles and presentations that are not listed, please send the the citation - with an abstract, if possible - and I will add that information as well. Contact me at lscheidt at indiana.edu.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:08 PM | TrackBack

January 22, 2005

A week of blog thought - in retrospect

It's been an interesting week of thinking about blogs and blogging. On Tuesday, January 18 Google announced the creation of "nofollow," one tool in the fight against spam - SearchEngineWatch news story is here. I installed the MT plugin as soon as it was available, though I have not - as of yet - set comments back on by default.

On Wednesday January 19, 2005 Lilia Efimova of Mathemagenic spent some time with the BROG group. Pete Welsch blogged her presentation and some of the subsequent discussion.

Thursday, January 20, I spend most of the day crawling through the IU online resources looking for blog related articles and grabbing copies of those I don't have for my personal archive. I will be updating the Blog Bibliography shortly to reflect new entries.

Then on Friday I got my blog back and spent the day reinserting posts. Not tough work but it definitely meant some serious mutli-tasking was going on for most of the afternoon.

So here it is, Saturday. I get to pen an abstract for NCA today. Plus I'm sure I will be thinking more on the "close a door, open a window" concept as it relates to spammer. See this morning I found I have four new trackbacks to my post about the death of J. I. Miller: Two are to a prom dress site and two are to porn sites. So we closed, we attempted to partially close, the door on comment spam but left the window open for trackback spam. *sigh* This is very sad since much of the blog conversation that does happen, actually takes place through formal and informal trackback processes.

Cool I just found out that the MT plugin also blocks trackback spam. Excellent. It's amazing what you learn when you read the documentation. LOL I should do it more often.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:17 AM | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Permanent link for Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience now has a permanent home on the SLIS Working Papers site. Sidebar links have been changed to reflect this and the temporary site of the paper will be removed from that server.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:36 PM | TrackBack

Professional-Lurker is BACK!

After an absence of almost two weeks Professional-Lurker is back. Thanks to the folks at 2xtreme Media for their assistance in repairing my damage. And I promise never to do that again.

I'm working to reenter all the posts that were not in the backup, so give me a day or so before you expect to see new posts.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:04 PM | TrackBack

January 11, 2005

Blog on hold

My ISP is restoring the full blog from a December 23, 2004 backup.  This should give me most of my comments back.  *sigh*  So the blog will be dead until the restore is complete.  Cross your fingers.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:05 PM | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Home but not happy at the moment

I got home a few hours ago and just sat down to check email, etc. One of my routines is to pull the latests MT-Blacklist data from Jay Allen's site and add it to my own list. Sadly I did this and "co" was added to the kill list. Which means that when I ran the delete function all of the comments, save 2, on the blog were deleted. I am not happy, not happy at all. I don't know if I can recreate them from the .tar backup. I will have to find someone with much more experience with servers then I personally possess. For those of you that have commented I apologize.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:48 PM | TrackBack

December 24, 2004

Recursive Trackback

Since I have change to WB Editor for my desktop blogging client, I now have much better capacity to use trackback. As such I have been thinking about the use of trackback within a blog, as well as between blogs.

In this context Trackback refers to the formal blog feature that allows for a symbolic connection between the original post and a post that references it. In figure 1 you see a notation at the bottom of the post that shows 5 trackbacks, illustration drawn from Movable Type. This means that there have been five references to this posts from other blog posts.

Figure 1

Most often trackback is used between blogs to create connections, and conversations, that would be invisible, or at least difficult to connect, without this symbolic link. However trackback can also be used recursively within a blog to tie posts together into a thread. This allows for a finer grained connection then is available through categorization or keywording.

While I can see useful points in using recursive trackback I am wondering how the audience would perceive this usage. It is unclear to me how often the average reader clicks through the trackback indicator to view the posts that have referenced the original posting. Would they see, assuming they do click through, that the internal trackbacks create a thread or internal conversation? Or would it appear as self congratulatory naval-gazing? Are trackbacks mostly used by the writers of the posts to connect two or more websites, and therefore of little utility to those that read the blog without commenting externally?

Some bloggers use "See other related posts:" list to create the thread. By doing so they are making the listing transparent to the audience then is usually done with trackback, though this listing does use more real estate within the post then a simple trackback indicator.

Further information on Trackback is available at:

Posted by prolurkr at 11:48 AM | TrackBack

December 22, 2004

A Year of Professional-Lurker

On December 23, 2003 I began keeping this blog, so today is the last day of my first free-standing blog's year, I had a short lived and badly kept LiveJournal blog prior to starting prolurker. As such it seemed like a good time to do a bit of reflection in preparation for the new year that begins tomorrow. I should note that I actually registered the URL and signed up with my ISP, 2Xtreme Media, in October 2003 but didn't get around to installing the software until December.

In looking at the history of the blog I have some general observations. First I had not planned for this to be a very personal blog. My idea was that the space would be used, that I didn't codify until March 12, 2004, was as follows:.

In essence that is still my view of what I want my blog to be a mixed genre space where I can try out ideas and write.

Several points have played out that are somewhat different then I had not expected:

One of the primary reasons I began the blog was to give myself a space to write and a goal to work toward, 2 posts per week. I did this because at that point writing was torture for me. I would slide into a complete procrastination mode, leaving any and all writing to the very last second possible before a deadline. Now after a year of writing here, that has changed somewhat because of blogging. I do think it also has changed after spending a year presenting at conferences and seeing that my work was very well received across the disciplines.

December 2003 monthly totals
Hits 3436
Visits 124 (mostly mine I'm sure)
Pushing 9.82 Megabytes of bandwidth

December 2004 (month to date)
Hits 51596
Visits 8347
Pushing 882.26 Megabytes of bandwidth

The Future of Professional-Lurker

I expect a big change to be coming to prolurker shortly. Actually it's a two part change. First I will be upgrading software to expand functionality and make access by those nasty spammers more difficult. I will also be having the look of the site redesigned after the first of the year. The site currently runs on design defaults which worked in the early days, now that I get some serious traffic I want a better looking site. Wish I had time to do it myself but I simply do not. So if you do site design or know someone that does please let me know.

Finally I expect the topic range to center on the research and writing of my qualifying paper. That should be true until spring. Though if I have learned only one thing this year of blogging it would be that anything can happen.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 20, 2004

Comments - None, well mostly none

I have set the future comments for posts to default on "None". I have also gone back and reset previous posts - December 2003 through August 2004 so far - if they have no comments I reset them to "None". If they have comments I closed almost all of the posts to additional comments.

Current plans are to leave posts open for comments for roughly 120 days. Now that is posts that have comments enabled, which will be many fewer posts into the future.

Hopefully this will slow down the spammers. *sigh* And make blog maintenance a simpler task.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:33 PM | TrackBack

December 17, 2004

Changes to the blog comments...for now

In light of all of the comment spam that is hitting MT users these days and they volume of hits my own comment modules are taking, I have made the following changes to the setup of this blog and to how I will handle posts to the blog for the foreseeable future.

I will be allowing comments, on a individual post basis, for my original posts. I will probably not be allowing comments on the purely travel posts, those that are heavily picture based, since it seems these are the more heavily linked to posts. The comment spammers use external links to trace back to the originating blog and leave their comments there on the linked to post.

I regret being forced to make these changes and I hope that once the next generation of plugins and patches arrive I can re-enable the features.

In the mean time if you have comments on a post that will not allow them to be left publicly, email me.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:18 AM | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

MovableType Comment and Trackback Spam causing major issues

Taken from Geek News Central:

Posted by prolurkr at 08:34 AM | TrackBack

December 12, 2004

Blog citation when found in an intervening blog

As some of my posts have percolated through the blogosphere I've thought a bit about the evolution of citation styles as we utilize new technologies. I primarily work in APA style and have edited my Reference Manager program so I have a blog entry format that prints out similar to a magazine articles citation with the addition of retrieval information. Example:

If I than were citing as a secondary source, the jill/txt post final version of weblog definition mentioned by alan, I would use the following styles.

The intext citation would read "Jill Walker's definitions of weblogs (as cited by alan, 2003)". Of course this assumes that the writer hasn't reviewed the primary source. This is not a style I personally like to use but am forced to when links are dead or when the original is in a language other than English.

Finally the reference list would include the alan (2003) as in the above example.

Extrapolating from this then if I am citing a blog entry using the less formal style of naming and linking found in many blogs, I should first list the material I'm citing then mention the source through which it was found. Example, for reposts of the original post:

For material that has content from both sources I would use the following:

Makes sense to me to use a citation style similar to this for consistency. Besides if I am constantly reminding my undergraduate students that they must use proper citation style then I definitely need to model this behavior in my own work, formal and less-than-formal.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:22 PM | TrackBack

December 10, 2004

"Blogs I read" changes to sidebar

I've made changes to the sidebar to reflect structural issues that have long had me thinking about the problems with blog link analysis. I read blogs two ways: 1) through HTML links, and 2) through a desktop client that gathers RSS feed.

Both are excellent ways to get to information that interests me and both have pluses and minuses. HTML links take me to the page and let me see not only the words but the over all design of the page. That includes typefaces, graphics, pictures, you name it. So when I go to the actual blog page I get a much better overall sense of the blogger and their aesthetics.

RSS feed readers do not give me that aesthetic. Very rarely they will pull in pictures attached to the post. Even when that does happen it only gives me the picture and the text, not the entire context. What RSS readers do best is give me the text fast.

Speed is of course a huge issue here. I must go to an HTML blog to see if it has been updated, a total push technology. But with an RSS reader I am told when the page has been updated, a nice move to a pull technology.

My "Blogs I read sometimes" list on the sidebar has contained blogs from each category of reading, HTML and RSS. To better display my actual "linking" I have separated the single list into two lists: Blogs I read sometimes via HTML, and Blogs I read regularly by RSS Reader. This may be an esoteric distinction from anyone not involved in link analysis. But hey it works for me. LOL

I should note that the RSS reader category will undoubtedly be inaccurate as I seem to add and remove feeds from my reader almost daily. I will endeavor update the list as regularly as possible.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:11 AM | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

New desktop blogging client

I have been testing a new desktop blogging client, WB Editor 2. I really like the look of the interface. No doubt it is going to take some time to get used to what it can do and how it does it. LOL

One of the main selling points for this interface is its ability to handle multiple blogs. While professional-lurker is my main blog, I also make entries to the BROG Blog and will be converting my webpage loisscheidt.com to blogging software during 2005. So finding a client that can handle multiple blogs is a huge plus and now I can get used to the interface at my own pace rather then when I make the webpage transition and am under the gun.

Now if I could just figure out how "Now Playing" works.  *sigh*

Posted by prolurkr at 06:39 PM | TrackBack

December 01, 2004

New Badge

Support World AIDS DayI've added a new badge to support World AIDS Day. Our support is necessary to fight AIDS worldwide. This is a human problem that effects all of us regardless of race, nationality, sexual orientation, age, or religion. Reach out and lend a hand.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:06 PM | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

Posting of pictures from UK trip September 18-27, 2004

Well it has taken far longer then I had expected but I have finally posted the last of the pictures and posts from my September trip to the U.K. You can view them by hitting either "September 2004" or "Travel...on the road again" on the sidebar or you can click through either of the links in this post. Be forewarned that the Travel...on the road again category pulls up all of my travel posts and most have many pictures, this category has been known to swamp even those viewers with high-speed internet access.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:02 AM | TrackBack

November 14, 2004

NCA Chicago

After almost two weeks of filter posts to this blog, as I worked through my post-election blues, I decided we needed some color. So each of my National Communication Association (NCA) Conference posts will be accompanied by a color picture of the Chicago Skyline found via Google Image search. Enjoy. Check November 10 - 12, 2004 for daily posts covering the conference.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:09 AM | TrackBack

October 28, 2004

New category

I've added a new category for Call's for Paper's (CFPs) so I can post them and let you know what is catching my attention. Since I cross several disciplinary boundaries I may just be letting you know about a CFP that may be of interest.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:02 PM | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

A cool new online photo toy

I am experimenting with a new photo annotation program called Fotonotes. I learned about this program from danah boyd's blog apophenia: making connections where none previously existed (link takes you to the post on her blog).

The tool lets you annotate photos so that you can embed the story within the image. I really like the concept and will be playing with it more. I have a pretty lame example posted on my photolog space http://fotonotes.net/prolurkr/professional-lurker/. I think this may be something I use when there is information embedded in the photos I post rather then to post pictures that are general images. We shall see how it goes. So, in the future, keep a eye out for images with links to the Fotonotes site.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:49 AM | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

Grouping pictures by trip

I have heard from several people that pulling up the "Travel...on the road again" category maxes out their browsers because of all the picture files. I'm not sure there is a total solution to this beyond moving my pics to something like Flickr which I prefer not to do. So I will be working on a links list that gives all related entries for a single trip. That way the reader can decide what part they want to view without having all the pictures I have ever taken flood their systems. Keep checking the sidebar for a new entry under the Category header, Travel by Trip.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:11 AM | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

Full citations page added for published articles

I have added a html page with the full citations for my published articles. I will be updating this page as necessary. Click here for access or from the sidebar under Full Citation List of Publications. Strikeout added October 20, 2004.

Leave it to me to completely forget about the pages that have been sitting without recent updates on my webpage loisscheidt.com. So I corrected that oversight, updated the Publications page and have linked it to the blog sidebar. That should fix the problem. *S* Life is good.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:04 PM | TrackBack

September 30, 2004

Category change - removal of "Genre - All Mixed Up"

When I originally designed the layout of this blog I added three categories: Totally Academic, Personal...if You are Interested, and Genre - All Mixed Up. The "Travel...on the road again" and "Meta discussion of the blog itself" categories was subsequently added, click on the titles to see the post where the addition was announced. The first two categories have worked well but the last one has never made much sense. Now that I know more about using Movable Type I have decided to reassign the entries under "Genre - All Mixed Up" to other categories and to remove that selection from the blog. Since Movable Type allows me to assign posts to more then one category why do I need an all mixed up grouping?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:05 PM | TrackBack

August 30, 2004

Blog Badges

I've been playing with badges for this blog.  It's been an interesting process both in finding badges online and in learning to install them on the blog.  Or should I say installing them so that there is still some over all design sense to everything.  Not sure I've reached that goal yet.

I hope when I get the new design I can corral these babies somewhere.  They need to be accessible and useful but not to detract from the overall design.  I hate when things pop-up over things.  *shivers*

The quest for the perfect blog design continues.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:35 PM | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Growth of the blog

Yesterday was a banner day. You see last month, about the 26th or so, I started getting emails from my blog ISP telling me the blog was pulling down 80% of allocated bandwidth. But it was close to the end of the month so I waited it out and never topped the 500 meg I paid for as part of my utilization package.

Well this month the emails started coming 18th. I had wondered if there were staged emails for say 80% and 90% but I found out yesterday when I called my ISP it is only "In excess of 80%." So I upped my bandwith allocation to 1000 meg. Which was a very good choice as end of day yesterday the utilization had jumped to 528.26 meg.

Growth is good. Thanks

Posted by prolurkr at 10:43 AM | TrackBack

August 20, 2004

Design changes to the sidebar

I spent some time this morning rearranging the sidebar for the professional-lurker site. I deleted the default sidebar category "Recent Posts". I did this for a couple of reasons: 1) I have the main page set to display the last 30 days of posts, so having the most recent five posts listed in the sidebar seems repetitive, and 2) I tend to give long titles to posts so the presentation of many times wrapped post titles in the sidebar was messy and unclear.

I also reorganized the links lists so they followed a somewhat more logical path. The original design, as thought it was planned *LOL*, was more chronological with more recent category additions at the bottom of the list. With the new design the list is now roughly divided between professional and personal with a horizontal rule between the two sections.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:02 PM | TrackBack

August 08, 2004

New Category: Travel...on the road again

I've added a new category for travel entries. That way if you really want to just see pictures and avoid the more specialized academic stuff you can do so. *S* So enjoy all the pictures from my travels, I certainly enjoy taking them. You can find all entries under this category from the sidebar at Entries by Category > Travel...on the road again, or click here for the fast-track to the category page.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:38 PM | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery

I bought a new book that asks you questions and you make lists in answer. It's supposed to give you new insights into yourself. Personally I just think it looks like fun. So I will be posting List Your Self questions here periodically for your enjoyment.

List Your Self Question: List all the qualities you love about being human.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:28 PM | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

New meta blog category

Hand, probably male, holding a maginfying glas so the viewer can see down through it.I've added a new category for professional-lurker blog entries: Meta discussion of the blog itself. You can find all entries under this category from the sidebar at ABOUT > This blog or Entries by Category > Meta discussion of the blog itself.

As a blog researcher I realized that while I have been thinking about my own blog and blogging style, and I have been writing about my thoughts on the blog, I have not made accessing those posts particularly easy. The new category should resolve this problem.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:54 AM | TrackBack

July 08, 2004

Graphics for blog entries

Colorized drawing of a women in Victorian dress holding a rose, probably taken from an early greating or post cardWhen I decided to begin this blog I conceptualized the overall visual design to include black and white drawings with each post, unless there were original color photos used. To accomplish that goal I bought several Dover Publications to use with my writings. I most often pull pictures from Books, Reading and Writing Illustrations CD-ROM and Book. Obviously I use the female illustrations more frequently.

Now having maintained this blog for more than six months I find my visual design includes more color illustrations from other sites on the web then I had expected. While I still plan on keeping the overall illustration theme to black and white, when I can find one that highlight the text, I am admitting that in some cases only color will do. So I have added a new Dover book to my files, one that shows full color illustrations like the one I've added to this entry. I have also purchased several new black and white books that should broaden my choices. Though I have no doubt that Books, Reading and Writing Illustrations will still be my mainstay.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:55 PM | TrackBack

March 12, 2004

About the Professional-Lurker Blog

I started keeping this blog as a way to work through ideas and as a place to write. My primary focus in my entries is on my research and finishing my work toward a Ph.D. in Information Science. This is not purely a k-log since the blogger is also a living person. Rather it is a mixed genre with features of a k-log, a filter, and a diary. I expect to post an average of twice a week, daily would become mundane for both of us as my life is basically pretty average.

I often revise entries several times before a version is solid in the blog. In revision I may add or remove graphics, correct spelling or grammar, and add or delete material. Writing, for me, is a work in progress so welcome to my world. I have thought about adding version numbers to posts but have not made a final decision on the subject. If you have an opinion, please comment.

I have developed a few rules that apply to how I write entries. First I believe strongly that my work should not encroach on another, rather my interference with others should be limited as much as possible. As such I do not refer to other people by name in this site, unless they have specifically requested that I do use their names or they are public figures whose names can be found on the net performing similar activities to those discussed in my entries. Do not read this as self-absorption; rather it is the writer making a concerted effort to protect others who were not directly involved in her decision to place part of her life online. Secondly, the same rule extends to photos and graphics. Those that are used here represent only me and my words, unless others have given their permission for their likeness to be posted.

This post will not only be part of the blog entry archive additionally an html copy is linked from the sidebar. I expect revision to take place in the html copy more so than this copy.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 25, 2004

Amazing how this thing grows

Amazing how this thing grows. This clip was pulled at roughly 9 a.m. EST.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:10 AM | TrackBack

January 20, 2004

Sidebar Additions

I've added links to the side bar for blogs, webpages, and software recommendations. My first substantive move into customizing my blog. Let me know if you find any of these interesting or useful.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:27 PM | TrackBack