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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.

May 14, 2009

A touch of academic humor (Sample Cover Letter for Journal Manuscript Resubmissions)

This piece has been making the rounds online, probably for far longer than I am aware as is the nature of such things. I can't help but pass it on as it just makes me smile. What can I say I'm human, and have--of course--wanted to say similar things to some of the reviews of my own work...then I got a good nights sleep and realized you can't force the clueless to be clued. *w* SO laugh along with me by checking out Sample Cover Letter for Journal Manuscript Resubmissions.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:38 PM | TrackBack

April 27, 2009

Qualifying is scheduled, then on to the fun stuff

Lois Ann Scheidt, SLIS doctoral student, will defend her qualifying paper on:

Thursday, May 7, 2009 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Radio and Television Building, Rm. 180

Title: Diary Weblogs as Genre


The word weblog (blog) has been a term of art, rather than of precision, since it was first used in 1997. More recently, scholars have characterized the weblog as a new genre of communication, based on the instrumentality/affordances of blogging software and the themes found in weblog posts (Miller & Shepherd, 2004). The personal journal or diary weblog, a subgenre of weblogs, can be seen as an adaption of its paper diary predecessors. That is, it is usually written by a single author (Fothergill, 1974) using first person narrative (McNeill, 2003), and it tells a fragmentary (Hogan, 1991) episodic story (Walker, 2005), which continues until the author makes no more entries (Bunkers, 2001). Diary weblogs are, in short, in-process documents (Culley, 1985).

Weblogs are of scholarly interest for several reasons. First, they combine the characteristics of their paper predecessors--diaries, broadsheets, commonplace books, photo albums, essays, etc.--with the hypertextual characteristics of the web (Crowston & Williams, 2000), including hyperlinks and persistent location. These characteristics, along with the public nature of weblogs (Lasica, 2001) and the transmutable nature of online text (Yates & Sumner, 1997), transcend the paper format and expand it into new structures. The purpose of this literature review is to explore how researchers have constructed the genre and subgenres of single-author diary weblogs within their research and to situate these forms in relation to established genres of paper diaries.

Personal narration is a common use of multimedia, as well as textual, weblog formats. By including and discussing multimedia blogs under the rubric of diary weblogs, this paper provides a broad classification and synthesis of the full range of diary blogging technologies currently in use. Following the literature review, the methodologies used most commonly in diary weblog research are discussed and critiqued; ethical issues associated with researching diary blogs are raised; and questions are articulated for future research.

A digital version of the paper (570KB, PDF) is available here: Diary Weblogs as Genre.

~~Advisory committee~~~

Chair: Susan Herring, Professor of Information Science
Member: John Paolillo, Associate Professor of Information Science and Informatics Minor representative: Gary Ingersoll, Emeritus Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology and Pediatrics
Member: Norman Denzin, Research Professor of Communications, Sociology, Cinema Studies, and Criticism and Interpretive Theory (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Member: Eric Peterson, Professor of Communication and Journalism (University of Maine)

Posted by prolurkr at 12:14 AM | TrackBack

February 02, 2009

Significant Collection of African-American Newspapers to Soon be Available Online

This fall 270 African-American newspapers published in thirty-six states between 1827 and 1998 will be released in an online newspaper collection from Readex.

The collection is being created from the newspaper archives in the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Kansas State Historical Society, and the Library of Congress. Selections were guided by James Danky, editor of African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography.

Beginning with Freedom's Journal, the first African-American newspaper published in the United States, the titles include the Colored Citizen (KS), the Arkansas State Press, the Rights of All (NY), the Wisconsin Afro-American, the New York Age, L'Union (LA), the Northern Star, the Freeman's Advocate (NY), the Richmond Planet, the Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN), and hundreds of others from every region of the United States.

From The Biographer's Craft Newsletter

Posted by prolurkr at 09:09 AM | TrackBack

August 18, 2008

Status of my defense

The public defense of Lois's Scheidt's qualifying paper has been postponed. You will be notified when a new date is set.


Arlene Merkel
Assistant to the Dean/Office Manager/PhD Recorder
School of Library and Information Science
1320 E. 10th Street, Wells Library 011F
Bloomington, IN 47405-3907

Posted by prolurkr at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

August 06, 2008

And now...the long awaited...much talked about...Qualifying Paper!

Lois Ann Scheidt, SLIS doctoral student, will defend her qualifying paper on:

Tuesday, August 19, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Herman B. Wells (Main) Library, room LI 030

Title: Diary Weblogs as Genre


The word weblog (blog) has been a term of art, rather than of precision, since it was first used in 1997. More recently, scholars have characterized the weblog as a new genre of communication, based on the instrumentality/affordances of blogging software and the themes found in weblog posts (Miller & Shepherd, 2004). The personal journal or diary weblog, a subgenre of weblogs, can be seen as an adaption of its paper diary predecessors. That is, it is usually written by a single author (Fothergill, 1974) using first person narrative (McNeill, 2003), and it tells a fragmentary (Hogan, 1991) episodic story (Walker, 2005), which continues until the author makes no more entries (Bunkers, 2001). Diary weblogs are, in short, in-process documents (Culley, 1985).

Weblogs are of scholarly interest for several reasons. First, they combine the characteristics of their paper predecessors--diaries, broadsheets, commonplace books, photo albums, essays, etc.--with the hypertextual characteristics of the web (Crowston & Williams, 2000), including hyperlinks and persistent location. These characteristics, along with the public nature of weblogs (Lasica, 2001) and the transmutable nature of online text (Yates & Sumner, 1997), transcend the paper format and expand it into new structures. The purpose of this literature review is to explore how researchers have constructed the genre and subgenres of single-author diary weblogs within their research and to situate these forms in relation to established genres of paper diaries.

Personal narration is a common use of multimedia, as well as textual, weblog formats. By including and discussing multimedia blogs under the rubric of diary weblogs, this paper provides a broad classification and synthesis of the full range of diary blogging technologies currently in use. Following the literature review, the methodologies used most commonly in diary weblog research are discussed and critiqued; ethical issues associated with researching diary blogs are raised; and questions are articulated for future research.

A digital version of the paper is available here (700KB, PDF):

~~Advisory committee~~~

Chair: Susan Herring, Professor of Information Science
Member: John Paolillo, Associate Professor of Information Science and Informatics
Minor representative: Gary Ingersoll, Emeritus Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology and Pediatrics
Member: Norman Denzin, Research Professor of Communications, Sociology, Cinema Studies, and Criticism and Interpretive Theory (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Member: Eric Peterson, Professor of Communication and Journalism (University of Maine)

Please inform Professor Herring ([email protected]) in advance if you plan to attend the defense.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 08, 2008

Thank you...I think...to Congress...well maybe...only time will tell

Ok, it's actually pretty odd for me to be thanking Congress...but if you are a U.S. PhD student with loans you might be joining me on this thanks...well maybe you will. Check out the Federal Stafford Loan Plain Language Disclosure statement, Sallie Mae sent me mine.

19. Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees Program - Effective July 1, 2008, you may consolidate your FFELP loans into the Direct Loan Program to take advantage of the public service loan forgiveness program. This program provides for the cancellation of the remaining balance due on eligible Direct Loan Program loans after you have made 120 payments (after October 1, 2007) on those Direct Loans under certain repayment plans while you are employed in certain public service jobs.

A little more digging brought me to a list of "Public Service Jobs" taken from Federal Student Aid Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees (pdf).

Public Service Jobs: Eligible public service jobs are full-time jobs in the following fields:
  • Emergency management
  • Government
  • Military service
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public health
  • Public education (including early childhood education)
  • Social work in a public child or family service agency
  • Public child care
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities
  • Public interest law services (including prosecution or public defense or legal advocacy in low income communities at a nonprofit organization)
  • Public service for the elderly
  • Public library sciences
  • School-based library sciences and other school-based services
  • Certain tax-exempt organizations
  • Faculty teaching in high-needs areas, as determined by the Secretary
  • Full-time faculty member at a Tribal College or University

Now at the moment there is no list I can find that explicates "high-needs areas" for faculty teaching but one can hope that something tech related will be on the list...so that those of us will skills will stay in academia rather than grab those higher paid jobs in industry.

So, assuming that there is something on the list that I qualify for, it's possible that after consolidating school loans and religiously making minimum payments for 10-years, the remaining portion of the loans could be forgiven....i.e. wiped clean. There are lots of questions still floating on this...so if this might apply to you - now or in the future - check out the following resources and stay tuned for the actual implementation regulations that are due out before the end of the year.

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman, Cancel or Discharge a Loan
Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employment Checklist (pdf) (don't be thrown by the discussion of lawyers the basic list still works)

Additional Guidance and Implementing Regulations: The Department of Education will publish regulations to implement the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees Program after providing an opportunity for public comment in accordance with legal requirements. Those regulations will be issued by November 2008.

Also check out:

Schrag, Philip G (2007). Federal Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Public Interest Lawyers and Other Employees of Governments and Nonprofit Organizations. Hofstra Law Review, 36(27). Available at http://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/releases/documents/Forgiveness_000.pdf

Abstract: The problem of high monthly repayment obligations for educational debt has long plagued students, particularly graduate and professional students who desired lower-paying public interest careers. Congress has recently responded very positively. In the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (“CCRAA”),1 Congress has made it possible for high-debt, lower-income graduates to manage debt repayment through an “income-based repayment” plan.2 In addition, Congress has created a new program through which public servants—including all government workers and all employees of all nonprofit organizations that are tax exempt under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code—are entitled to have a substantial portion of their educational debt forgiven after making modest repayments during ten years of full-time employment .3 Together, these two new programs will enable student borrowers to choose their careers without being unduly influenced by their debt burdens and will enable governments and nonprofit organizations to retain talented professionals who would otherwise be forced to resign after two or three years and seek higher-paying jobs so that they could repay their student loans. This Article describes how the new law will apply to graduates serving in public interest jobs (including those who have already graduated and those who will graduate before the law goes fully into effect). A major purpose of this Article is to help students and high-debt/low-income graduates understand how the new law may help them in their career and financial planning. This Article proposes changing current income tax rules to exempt the forgiveness that the new law provides for public servants.

Apparently, under current tax law, the year the debts are forgiven the amount forgiven would count as taxable income. So at minimum some serious planning is required prior to using this outlet...but hey I'm pretty good at planning.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:58 PM | TrackBack

June 16, 2008

Podcasters wanted for a study

Hello Podcasters!

My name is Kris Markman and I am a researcher in the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis. You are invited to participate in a survey of independent podcasters. The goal of this research is to find out more about what you are doing and what has motivated you to become a podcaster. The survey is online and your responses are anonymous. By participating in this survey, you have a chance to help spread the word about podcasting and increase the visibility of independent podcasters to academics and the general public.

To find out more information about the survey and to participate, please go to https://umdrive.memphis.edu/kmmrkman/www/podcasting.html

You can find out more about me and my research at my home page:
https://umdrive.memphis.edu/kmmrkman/www If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at k.markman at memphis.edu

Thank you!

Kris M. Markman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication
University of Memphis

Posted by prolurkr at 07:46 PM | TrackBack

June 02, 2008

Internet Studies Festival

Ahh to have easy access to Europe...where, I have to admit, a lot of the fun academic stuff happens.
Are you a researcher or postgraduate student studying the Internet? Are you a recent graduate, interested in doing an MA in Internet and Communication studies? Then this event is for you! Liverpool John Moores University invites you to the *Internet Studies Festival*: an exciting one-day event that brings together young and experienced scholars working in the area. Join us on *the 18th of July 2008 from 10am all day* to learn about Facebook and blogging; on-line communities and chatrooms; Internet in many languages and ethics of Internet research. Come and get a chance to meet colleagues from around the UK, John Moores staff and current MA students who are at the
forefront of this new and exciting field

The Festival will include presentations, discussions and an exciting book fair. Tea, coffee and lunch will be provided to all registered participants.

To register (free of charge!) please visit our website: http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/MCA/91522.htm

Posted by prolurkr at 09:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 22, 2008

Spoken Word Course Deadline Extended (fin aid available)

I received a flier, in today's email, from Kimberly Dark. Kimberly is an academic who has chosen a different way to teach and make sociology accessible to her audience...she performs her works through spoken word. I've spend time with her at the last two ICQI's (2007 & 2008) and I always walk away impressed with her knowledge and her skill.

This summer she is co-teaching a two week course called Spoken Word Performance: Writing and Performing Prose and Poetry as part of California State University's (CSU) Summer Arts program.

If I wasn't under the gun...4.5 feet under as it were...with quals this summer i would love to attend this course. Maybe there will be a place for me in the future. But for now...one of you guys should go...then you can tell me all about it.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:06 PM | TrackBack

Suzanne Bunkers, Distinguished Faculty Scholar

Suzanne Bunkers, is Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Minnesota State Mankato.

I have had the pleasure of trading a few emails with Prof. Bunkers over the last several years. I have always been impressed with her willingness to share her knowledge so freely. I credit her and her books (for a complete list of her book length works) Diaries of Girls and Women: A Midwestern American Sample (editor) and Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women's Diaries (edited with Cynthia Huff) as the original matches that light my fire to look at adolescents diary blogs.

I am extremely pleased for Suzanne. Congratulations, I can't wait to see what you do next!

Press Release:

Mankato, Minn. – Suzanne Bunkers was recently honored as a newly appointed Distinguished Faculty Scholar.

She will hold the title of Distinguished Faculty Scholar for the duration of their tenure at Minnesota State Mankato. The new award honors faculty members who have distinguished themselves as outstanding scholars, and whose scholarship has earned national or international recognition.

Award recipients must be tenured professors with at least eight years of service at Minnesota State Mankato. They must have accumulated a substantial body of scholarly work, and they must exemplify the highest standards of scholarship. This year’s recipients were selected by the Faculty Research Committee from among nine nominees, and were lauded at a luncheon hosted by President Richard Davenport.

Bunkers, an English faculty member since 1980, has taught English, humanities, honors and women’s studies courses at Minnesota State Mankato. An active scholar, she has received many university grants as well as others from such organizations as the Minnesota Historical Society, the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities to research women’s studies, cultural diversity, literature and other topics. She has served as a visiting professor and writer-in-residence and has published numerous book-length works, articles, essays and book chapters.

She received a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in English literature from Iowa State University, where she completed her undergraduate work.

“My journey as a scholar began 35 years ago when, as a graduate student, I was privileged to work with professors who taught, published and valued scholarship and creative work, and encouraged me to present at conferences and publish,” Bunkers said. “As the first female Ph.D. hired by the English Department in many years, I endeavored to set a positive example as a teaching scholar.”

Minnesota State Mankato is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which employs nearly 11,000 full- and part-time faculty and comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges. The system serves 242,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:31 PM | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

Auto/Biography Yearbook

From 2008, the Auto/Biography Study Group will be publishing (through Clio Press) an annual Auto/Biography Yearbook. This will be a high quality hardback of 75K words containing some of the best articles in the area of auto/biography produced the previous year. The Auto/Biography Yearbook will be edited by Andrew Sparkes. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Articles for consideration for the Yearbook should be sent to

Professor Andrew Sparkes
School of Sport Sciences, University of Exeter
Heavitree Road
Exeter EX1 2LU, UK.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:24 PM | TrackBack

May 08, 2008

Ok for the second time - and this time for real - I can say I am done with classes

Well the amazing has happened ...not just amazing as much as it often felt like the impossible could never happen. I passed Intermediate Statistics with the required minimum of a B-. I have to give the credit to three people - Dr. Peng, who is a gifted teacher; Li-Ting, our TA for helping me see more than a few things I was missing for the trees; and my friend Tim, for his patience in explaining complex ideas and always finding the laughter in it all.

I have great respect for those who can think in statistics, which is why I hangout with several of them. But that said, it's not my gig, so now I can leave it to all of you for whom the statistical way is the best way.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 23, 2008

Frontline - Growing Up Online

Last night I watched the Frontline special "Growing Up Online." I was pleasantly surprised, in that promotions for the special appeared to be the same old, same old..."kids are doing terrible things online so how are we going to regulate it?" But it was in fact, a quite balanced discussion.

Two academics were interviewed and quoted, click on the name to see their PBS interview page-

- C.J. Pascoe, a postdoctoral scholar with the University of California, Berkeley's Digital Youth Research project.
- danah boyd, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

For those of you who study teens and who missed the program, or who can't access it on the tube, it is available for viewing online, just click "Growing Up Online."

Posted by prolurkr at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 22, 2008

Reading for quals - Orlikowski and Yates, Yates and Orlikowski, etc.

I have now officially entered my Yates and Orlikowski period. LOL I have in front of me on my desk, several of their genre papers I have read for previous classes and papers, or in preparation for writing quals, and several more that bring their work up to the present day. Over the next few days, I will be reading them all and writing the genre section of my quals paper.

While Yates and Orlikowski will feature prominently in that section they are not the only authors/theorists that will be represented. Actually, earlier today, I tried to print out my Reference Manger list for the keyword "genre" and crashed my system...it seems that when you bring up the 200+ non-blog, and non-electronic citations I have in the program and try to print them along with all their notes and abstracts...well it's just more than XP and 4 gig of ram can handle. LOL Me thinks that not all of it will be ending up in the paper...gotta love overkill.

Oh well I'll keep you posted on my progress...genre theory here I come!

Posted by prolurkr at 08:13 PM | TrackBack

A good book on writing

I seem to always be on the look out for good books on writing. It's probably my own insecurity looking for the key to unlock the easy way to write, when I know intellectually there is no easy way. When, as we all know oh too well, -

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith [p. 7, No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing A Manuscript That Sells, by Alice Orr, Writer's Digest, Cincinnati, 2004]

Well I've found a good book on writing that is giving me some of the encouragement I needed as I get back into the daily writing grove. Check out the link to Amazon above. While "The Writer's Book of Hope" says it focuses on fiction writing, I think most of what is said is applicable to any writing career...not just to those who make stuff up. LOL As though academics never cross into "fiction" writing...when we qualitative researchers often do through the use of composite characters or fictionalized narratives.

I recommend the book to anyone who is writing or wants to write in any genre...can't hurt to know how others wee the profession.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2008

Countdown to quals

Well I'm finally in a place where I can admit that if I don't have quals finished and defended by the end of the summer, I will have to quit the program because I will be in far to deep a validation hole to ever get out of it in a timely manner. I put a quals countdown timer under the About section in the left sidebar...it should help keep me honest too.

So here I go...I have my very rough draft, my chair's notes, and my resent library research laid out on the desk so I can work on the paper. I will be carving out some writing time everyday, though the exact schedule won't be set until the end of this week...the holiday throws it all off so I will have to work through until next week to get a true baseline on my time.

Think me good thoughts and check in on me occasionally. I'm sure I will be talking about the work some in my posts. *S* But who ever can talk about everything here.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is the craziness settling down?

The semester started out with more than the usual dose of craziness. In the two weeks leading up to the semester I learned that my Intermediate Statistics course would not count toward my requirements. I took it in 2002, when I was also busy caring for my dying grandmother. The final was about a week after she died. I got a C in the class, which was actually a relief since I had expected worse, but sadly we all missed that to count the minimum grade allowed is a B-. SO after almost 5 years of not sitting in a student desk, I am back in that role for this semester. And I am really studying so I get this nailed and out of the way.

The first two weeks of classes have been tough to get in synch, what with work, class, studying, and commuting...oh and the usual stuff I have to do at home like cook and clean (occasionally) and sleep. I am very glad that I am not a new PhD student at this point in my life...not sure I have that kind of energy back yet. LOL And I'm glad that I had a long period where I didn't have to work and could focus on my studies and my life. I'm spoiled I know...I wish I could have more of it and pass it on to the rest of you.

For this semester I have a lot on my plate that's for sure, what with studying for a subject I have absolutely no talent for, finishing my quals paper, working, and attempting to have a bit of a life around the edges. I know I can do it, and it's probably even good for me to force me back into the groove.

No matter what, life is good!

Posted by prolurkr at 12:21 PM | TrackBack

December 04, 2007

Rejoinging the money making world...at least minimually

Well I am rejoining the working world. I have accepted a GA positions with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program at IUB.   I will be working on a funded project that is looking at student generated learning aids generated in undergrad classes across campus.  More detail later, if they approve.

I start soon...not sure of the date yet.  But the principle investigators have big plans that may lead to a multi-year study, with a variety of written output. 

Life is good!

Posted by prolurkr at 01:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 21, 2007

Check out the new JCMC

A new issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is available.

A Table of Contents is included below.

Volume 13, Issue 1, October 2007

The Rules of Beeping: Exchanging Messages Via Intentional "Missed Calls" on Mobile Phones
- Jonathan Donner

IM=Interruption Management? Instant Messaging and Disruption in the Workplace
- R. Kelly Garrett and James N. Danziger

Email Flaming Behaviors and Organizational Conflict
- Anna K. Turnage

Take Me Back: Validating the Wayback Machine
- Jamie Murphy, Noor Hazarina Hashim, and Peter O'Connor

The Impact of Language Variety and Expertise on Perceptions of Online Political
- Kenny W. P. Tan, Debbie Swee, Corinne Lim, Benjamin H. Detenber, and Lubna Alsagof

Every Blog Has Its Day: Politically Interested Internet Users' Perceptions of Blog
- Thomas J. Johnson, Barbara K. Kaye, Shannon L. Bichard, and W. Joann Wong

Writing for Friends and Family: The Interpersonal Nature of Blogs
- Michael A. Stefanone and Chyng-Yang Jang

Mein Nick bin ich! Nicknames in a German Forum on Eating Disorders
- Wyke Stommel

University Instructors' Acceptance of Electronic Courseware: An Application of the
Technology Acceptance Model
- Namkee Park, Kwan Min Lee, and Pauline Hope Cheong

The Creative Commons and Copyright Protection in the Digital Era: Uses of Creative
Commons Licenses
- Minjeong Kim

Special Theme: Social Network Sites
Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship
- danah m. boyd and Nicole B. Ellison

Signals in Social Supernets
- Judith Donath

Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances
- Hugo Liu

Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites
- Eszter Hargittai

Cying for Me, Cying for Us: Relational Dialectics in a Korean Social Network Site
- Kyung-Hee Kim and Haejin Yun

Public Discourse, Community Concerns, and Civic Engagement: Exploring Black Social
Networking Traditions on BlackPlanet.com
- Dara N. Byrne

Mobile Social Networks and Social Practice: A Case Study of Dodgeball
- Lee Humphreys

Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube
- Patricia Lange

This and all past issues of JCMC are available at http://jcmc.indiana.edu/

Posted by prolurkr at 09:43 PM | TrackBack

October 14, 2007

A head-smacking against the wall day

Have you ever had one of those days where you are traveling along a chain of links, just checking out the new information that will help you with a current or a future project, and there buried among the links is a captivating piece of information YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN.  My morning has been like that.  *sigh*

I added a CFP to my 2008 Academic Activities file in UltraRecall which had me looking at other CFPs I have listed by submission date.  This took me to Lifewriting Annual for which I have their 2006 inaugural issue's CFP archived under January 2008...no doubt they have had so many submissions that further CFP's have been unnecessary. 

Well from Lifewriting Annual I went to International Auto/Biography Association whose CFP for their upcoming conference I posted on prolurker.  From there I took a look at some of the sites that link from IABA to universities with a special interest in this type of research.  Among those listed is LaTrobe University, Bundoora, AU and their Unit for Studies in Biography and Autobiography.  I'm always interested in what universities support the kind of research I do, never know if it might mean a future job or at least future collaboration opportunities.

On the Unit for Studies in Biography and Autobiography site I found a list Corresponding Members from around the world.  I was pleased to see that one of their CM's is from Indiana...John Eakin.  So, of course, I popped his name into a Google search and found his university bio. 

At that point I nearly fell out of my chair, you see "John Eakin" is "Paul John Eakin" an Indiana University English Professor Emeritus who is one of the movers and shakers behind the auto/biography community.  I simply had no idea that the work I've been reading for a couple of years now, was written by an Indiana University professor.  As I said in my email to him, I need to pay much more attention to the biographical information found on journal articles and books I read and reread.

I immediately sent him an email asking him to lunch or for coffee to discuss electronic lifewriting.  Good thing I had his book How Our Lives Become Stories set out to take along for reading on the plane.  I hope he accepts and I can pick his brain for insight that will help my work from quals through dissertation.

Life can be simply amazing sometimes, I had no idea when I started working this morning that I would end up writing an email to a professor whose work I admire.

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October 13, 2007

AoIR 8.0 Tag Cloud

Alex Halavais posted a cool tag cloud that shows the self-selected tags each attendee gave for their Internet Research interests. Click on the pic to go to Alex's HTML version, where you can actually read the fine print.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:42 AM | TrackBack

October 11, 2007

Time tested notetaking method, a la Edison

Ok today must be my day to find cool stuff for the blog...either that or I really am getting back to full steam. *S*

Following is a long quote from lifehacker.org's article How to Take Notes like Thomas Edison. Definitely valuable insight into notetaking for research purposes.

Edison’s system was developed to support his life work and was very successful in doing so. The main elements of his system are as follows:
  1. Any useful or important development was recorded so that no effort was wasted in repeating experiments or efforts unnecessarily. Edison’s method was once described as an “empirical dragnet” by Nikola Tesla, another famous inventor who worked for Edison for some time. Combining Edison’s hard working and hard thinking methods with an effective record creation and retention system was a very important aspect of his work.
  2. Forward-looking. Edison’s notes included the forward-looking things we tend to incorporate in many of our modern personal planners. Things like lists of contacts, appointments, “to do” lists, and actionable items for follow up or later review were all contained within his comprehensive system.
  3. Rearward-looking. The ability to go back and check his written record was useful in several ways. He was able to use his records in various lawsuits filed against him and by him against others as evidence and to substantiate his claims. His competitors were often unable to compete with his records so he often came out victorious in these legal battles. He was always able to review past work and avoid repeatedly going down dead-end roads. He could always review whatever he had said or was told. He never had to remember most things as long as he could remember how to look it up later.
  4. The record system was searchable. Sometimes, from among millions of pages, there would be a key document that would prove invaluable. Unfortunately, with his manual system, he often spent considerable time searching through these records looking for the key item. He did however have a fairly good system of archiving his records by a combination of chronological and subject matter based systems. He created numerous groupings, files, folders, etc. which helped him to get to the right part of his records in a reasonably short time.
  5. Who, what, where, when and how much. These details could be fairly easily retrieved from Edison’s system in relation to any aspect of whatever he was involved with. These included financial records and they formed an important part of his note-taking system. He kept all his incoming as well as copies of all his outgoing correspondence. This was not necessarily easy to do before the invention of the modern office copier.
  6. How and why. Edison’s research laboratory work was a focal point for much of his record system. Patent applications and reviews were based in large part on his notes that needed to include the how and why aspects in sufficient detail so that the patents themselves would be complete and able to withstand any legal challenges. Edison often used his records to defend his position from competitors in his day when patents and technologies were becoming very fashionable and important as they remain today. His system of experimentation and related record keeping has become the basis of the modern industrial research institution – which he is widely credited with having invented.
  7. Extremely powerful memory aid. Edison had an amazing memory. He was well informed on a wide range of topics and always seemed to be able to recall what he told someone or what he was told. Much of this is due to his system of notes. By writing everything down that he thought was worth writing, he was able to free himself of the burden of having to remember it. A strange and almost unexpected thing occurs. The process of writing things down aids in the mental memory retention. The combination of having the confidence in knowing the information is on record and easily retrievable combined with the improved retention from the process of writing it down, creates a winning combination when it comes to memory.

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I'm making a commitment to Twitter. So add me to your lists, I'm Lois_S. Let's see if this system has research potential or not.

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Planning for your tenure and promotion process

I am a huge believer in visualization and planning.  If you want something then you need to plan a process to get it...and one of the best ways to do that is to act as though you have achieved your goal already.  The brain is a really dumb piece of meatware...if you smile your brain releases the proper hormones and boom you feel happier.  In other words, fake a smile and dance now, then shortly you will be smiling and dancing for real.  Well the same works here...act like you are where you want to be and you feel like you are there, then because you both act consciously and unconsciously like you have already reached your goal(s), others well see you as being at the end of the path, not the beginning.

I found a great tool to help me, and now you, along our road.  IUPUI Office of Professional Development has some very useful discussions and checklists for new and established faculty in their Resource Center.  While the specifics would be limited to IUPUI positions, the general ideas should be applicable to most any major U.S. university.  Check out your universities and see if they have a similar office and site, for more specifics that you can immediately relate too...and share those addys in comments.

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September 13, 2007

Thoughts on writing

All of my thoughts today have been stolen...of course that makes them no less accurate to my feels at the moment. I want to write, I need to write, and for once there is something else I must do before I can write.

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.
(William Goldman)

Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.
(Paul Rudnick)

We can't be as good as we'd want to, so the question then becomes, how do we cope with our own badness?
(Nick Hornby)

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining--researching--talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
(E L Doctorow)

And my final thoughts of the day:

Don't get it right, just get it written.
(James Thurber)

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
(E L Doctorow)

Well I guess attribution means they aren't stolen thoughts rather it means I'm an academic. LOL A double social schizophrenic is ever there were such a career path.

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August 30, 2007

What is the cultural experience of The Class of 2011?

It's time take a look at the Mindset List for the Class of 2011, an annual gift from Beliot College. If you haven't seen the list before, the 70 items provide a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of today's first-year students, most of them born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead.

Plus reading the list is a quick way to make even a "young academic" feel OLD! LOL Check out the sampling below before you click to the full list.

# They never “rolled down” a car window.
# Michael Moore has always been angry and funny.
# They have grown up with bottled water.Bottled Water
# General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
# Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
# Pete Rose has never played baseball.
# Women’s studies majors have always been offered on campus.
# Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
# Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
# They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
# Most phone calls have never been private.
# MTV has never featured music videos.
# They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.

Wow to have never "rolled down" a car window or experienced Carson "live." I think I will keep my world...old and cranky as it can be. I have a pair of rabbit ears around here somewhere....

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August 20, 2007

SecondLife humor

One of the beautiful things about the proliferation of websites in general, and multimedia websites in specific is the great way humor can be illustrated online. Well for those of us that really like our FirstLife here is a bit of humor at SecondLife's expense. Go on get a FirstLife!

Posted by prolurkr at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

April 18, 2007

Because we care

Posted by prolurkr at 10:49 PM | TrackBack

March 17, 2007

A new journal that might be of interest - Journal of Mixed Methods Research

Journal of Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research is defined as research in which the investigator collects and analyzes data, integrates the findings, and draws inferences using both qualitative and quantitative approaches or methods in a single study or program of inquiry.

The Journal of Mixed Methods Research (JMMR) is an innovative, quarterly, international publication that focuses on empirical, methodological, and theoretical articles about mixed methods research across the social, behavioral, health, and human sciences. Supported by the premier researchers and practitioners in mixed methods research, including such luminaries as John Creswell, Abbas Tashakkori, Alan Bryman, Michael Fetters, Donna Mertens, David Morgan, Michael Patton, and Charles Teddlie (to name a few), each issue explores


Not only does JMMR offer "the best and the brightest" in original mixed methods research and methodological/theoretical discussions, it also includes insightful reflections by the distinguished editors on important issues in mixed methods research and extensive book and software reviews with practical applications.

The Journal of Mixed Methods Research's scope includes

You can signup for a FREE ONLINE INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION to the entire first volume of the JOURNAL OF MIXED METHODS RESEARCH. Sign up by December 31, 2007.

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The Third International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

If you are a qualitative researcher you really need to attend the Third International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from May 2-5, 2007. This is an outstanding conference that is on my "not to be missed" list.

I have attended this conference since it's inception and I find the pre-conference and the conference itself to be invaluable.  While there is not a lot of online work being presented, which makes it a great potential venue for presentation, I normally attend panels that use interesting methods or address topics I'm not overly familiar with...and every year I have come back with a long list of potential research topics that were spurred by the sessions I attended.

This year I am registered for two pre-conference sessions:

State of the Art: The Latest in Qualitative Software Advances - Ray Maietta and Cesar Cisneros

Performative Writing - Ron Pelias

Also this conference is attractive because it is one of the rare ones to which I can drive.

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March 13, 2007

Treatment for Email Addictions

Mary McKinney at Successful Academic has a great series on managing email. Now I don't know about you but my multiple accounts are constantly stealing huge amounts of my time. LOL And sadly I seem to give it more time then I should. Email, like any work, will suck up as much time as you give it.

Check out Mary's series:
Email Addictions
Email Addictions - Part II
Email Addictions - Part III

Here's a sample from Part III: 

3) Create clear, firm email boundaries for students at the beginning of each semester.

Set up a schedule, similar to office hours, for answering student emails. At the beginning of the semester, preferably both verbally and in your syllabus, inform students that you receive so many email requests that it typically takes you a day or two to respond. Then try to stick with a set schedule for responding to student emails. Set up a folder in your browser and only reply to requests at set times that you have scheduled in your day planner. This will allow you to be responsive to students but to avoid being at their beck and call. Having a student email schedule will also put a halt to the irritating experience of having desperate students email you at 11pm the night before a test is planned or a paper due. If you have announced and enforced a set schedule, students will no longer assume that you will reply to all last minute, electronic questions or pleas.

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February 08, 2007

Ok I'm back!

After six-months of nonexistent posting preceeded by five-months of very little posting, I declare myself back to blogging.

First, I want to thank readers who have contacted me offline to lend support and those who have sent good thoughts.  You will never know how much I appreciate each and everyone of you.  Things at home are pretty steadystate and may be so for awhile.

Second, I have been doing some writing with BROG and we will have a couple of papers in press shortly...how's that for positive visualizations.  LOL

And third but far from last, I am working on my quals paper after having had a required break to attend to personal business.  I'm sure more on this work will be forthcoming on prolurker.

So hello again from wintery Southern Indiana where the temperature has not been above freezing for over a week...but golly the snow looks pretty outside my window.

Over the next few weeks I will be making some changes to the site including upgrading MoveableType...let's hope that doesn't mean a redesign right now.

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February 05, 2007

New JCMC issue

New JCMC issueA new issue of the JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION is available at:

A Table of Contents is included below. This is a double issue that features a special theme section on "e-Science."

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 12, Issue 2, January 2007

Communication Privacy Management in Electronic Commerce
- Miriam J. Metzger

The Influences of Deception and Computer-Mediation on Dyadic Negotiations
- Gabriel Giordano, Jason S. Stoner, Robyn L. Brouer, and Joey F. George

Evaluative Feedback: Perspectives on Media Effects
- Stephanie Watts

Using Peer Feedback to Enhance the Quality of Student Online Postings: An Exploratory Study
- Peggy Ertmer, Jennifer C. Richardson, Brian Belland, Denise Camin, Patrick Connolly, Glen Coulthard, Jason Lei, and Christopher Mong

The Role of Status-Seeking in Online Communities: Giving the Gift of Experience
- Joseph Lampel and Ajay Bhalla

Greetings and Closings in Workplace Email
- Joan Waldvogel

Online News Credibility: An Examination of the Perceptions of Newspaper Journalists
- William Cassidy

"People Get Emotional About Their Money:" Performing Masculinity in a Financial Discussion Board
- Andrew Herrmann

RUOK? Blogging Communication Technologies During Crises
- Mike Thelwall and David Stuart

Special Theme: e-Science: Transformations in the Conduct of Scholarship
Guest Editor, Nicholas W. Jankowski

Exploring e-Science: An Introduction
- Nicholas W. Jankowski

Social Science and e-Science: Mapping Disciplinary Approaches
- Ralph Schroeder and Jenny Fry

Critical Accountability: Dilemmas for Interventionist Studies of e-Science
- Paul Wouters and Anne Beaulieu

Intellectual Property in the Context of e-Science
- Dan L. Burk

Connective Ethnography for Exploration of e-Science
- Christine Hine

What are Data? The Many Kinds of Data and Their Implications for Data Re-use
- Samuelle Carlson and Ben Anderson

From Shared Databases to Communities of Practice: A Taxonomy of Collaboratories
- Nathan Bos, Ann Zimmerman, Judith Olson, Jude Yew, Jason Yerkie, Erik Dahl, and Gary Olson

Shake, Rattle, and Roles: Lessons From Experimental Earthquake Engineering for Incorporating Remote Users in Large-Scale e-Science Experiments
- Jeremy P. Birnholtz and Daniel B. Horn

Situated Innovation of e-Social Science: Infrastructure, Collaboration, and Knowledge
- Bridgette Wessels and Max Craglia

Collaboration Structure, Communication Media, and Problems in Scientific Work Teams
- John P. Walsh and Nancy G. Maloney

Does the Internet Promote Collaboration and Productivity? Evidence from the Scientific Community in South Africa
- R. Sooryamoorthy and Wesley Shrum

Audience Counts and Reporting System: Establishing a Cyber-Infrastructure for Museum Educators
- Frank Pappas and Fred Volk

This and all previous issues of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication are freely available at: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/Totally Academic

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November 15, 2006


A new issue of the JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION is available at:


This is a double issue that includes a special theme section on "War Coverage in Cyberspace."

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 12, Issue 1, October 2006

Pauses and Response Latencies: A Chronemic Analysis of Asynchronous CMC
- Yoram M. Kalman, Gilad Ravid, Daphne R. Raban, and Sheizaf Rafaeli

Moderation, Response Rate, and Message Interactivity:  Features of Online Communities and Their Effects on Intent to Participate
- Kevin Wise, Brian Hamman, and Kjerstin Thorson

Email Copies in Workplace Interaction
- Karianne Skovholt and Jan Svennevig

Do You Know What I Know? A Shared Understandings Perspective on Text-based Communication
- Michael H. Dickey, Molly McLure Wasko, Katherine M. Chudoba, and Jason Bennett Thatcher

Cultural Differences in Collaborative Authoring of Wikipedia
- Ulrike Pfeil, Panayiotis Zaphiris, and Chee Siang Ang

Who are "Stinkybug" and "Packerfan4"? Email Pseudonyms and Participants' Perceptions of Demography, Productivity, and Personality
- Jennifer M. Heisler and Scott L. Crabill

Managing Impressions in a Virtual Environment: Is Ethnic Diversity a Self-Presentation Strategy for Colleges and
- Lori Boyer, Brigitta R. Brunner, Tiffany Charles, and Patrice Coleman

Wi-Fi Powered WLAN: When Built, Who Will Use It? Exploring Predictors of Wireless Internet Adoption in the Workplace
- Ran Wei

Special Theme: War Coverage in Cyberspace
Guest Editor, Ralph D. Berenger

Introduction: War in Cyberspace
- Ralph D. Berenger

Speed, International Security, and "New War" Coverage in Cyberspace
- Lucas Walsh and Julien Barbara

Perceptions of News Credibility about the War in Iraq:  Why War Opponents Perceived the Internet as the Most
Credible Medium
- Junho H. Choi, James H. Watt, and Michael Lynch

The Internet and Anti-War Activism: A Case Study of Information, Expression, and Action
- Seungahn Nah, Aaron S. Veenstra, and Dhavan V. Shah

Online Journalism and the War in Cyberspace: A Comparison between U.S. and International Newspapers
- Daniela V. Dimitrova and Matt Neznanski

Remembering Our Shared Past: Visually Framing the Iraq War on U.S. News Websites
- Carol B. Schwalbe

Issue Publics on the Web: Applying Network Theory to the War Blogosphere
- Mark Tremayne, Nan Zheng, Jae Kook Lee, and Jaekwan Jeong

The Online Public Sphere in the Arab World: The War in Iraq on the Al Arabiya Website
- Yeslam Al-Saggaf

This and all previous issues of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication are available at: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/

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November 09, 2006

Edublog Awards 2006 - nominations open

Edublog Awards 2006 - nominations opened yesterday.  I'm a bit disappointed because after last years awards it was implied that levels of education would be split up this year. 

This year there are ten categories:

    * Best audio and/or visual blog

    * Best group blog

    * Best individual blog

    * Most influential post, resource or presentation

    * Best library/librarian blog

    * Best newcomer

    * Best research paper on social software within learning and teaching

    * Best teacher blog

    * Best undergraduate blog

    * Best wiki use


Again, nominations are made confidentially. Please email in your nominations to the awards address: [email protected]

Only current edubloggers are invited to nominate contenders. If you post publicly, and produce some content related to education, you are recognized as an edublogger for the purposes of this competition and are eligible to nominate. Please include your blog url with your nominations.

Each participant is able to make a maximum of two nominations per category. Self-nomination is perfectly acceptable, but you are encouraged to nominate the blogs, projects and papers that you genuinely believe to be outstanding examples of practice. Please list your nominations in order of preference. You may enter the same person or site for more than one award.

Nominations are open from 8 November to 30 November. When you have decided on your nominations for all of the categories you want to propose, you can cut and paste the template provided into the body of an email, complete it and send to the awards email address: [email protected]

The most popular, eligible nominations in each category will be available to vote on from 2 December to 14 December. Winners will be announced live at a special broadcast awards ceremony currently scheduled for 15 December 1500 GMT.

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August 08, 2006

State of the Blogosphere, August 2006

Dave Sifry has posted another quarterly report on the State of the Blogosphere, August 2006.  Check the actual post for lots of very cool graphics, especially the hour-by-hour breakdown by post language.

First off, the total posting volume of the blogosphere continues to rise, showing about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second. This is about double the volume of about a year ago. Along with the aggregate posting volume information, we've put in some annotations of the events that occurred at the time of the spikes, showing that the blogosphere continues to react strongly to various world events. It is important to note that it is the relative increase in posting volume rather than the absolute increase that is most relevant here. In other words, because more people are blogging now, the total number of posts on a particular day don't tell the whole tale of the impact of an event - For example, The National Spelling Bee was not as large an event in the blogosphere as Hurricane Katrina. What is important to note in these charts is the relative size of the spike in relation to the posting volume at that time.


Next, let's look at the language distribution of the blogosphere. One of the most interesting statistics that has changed since the last State of the Blogosphere is that English has retaken the lead as the #1 language of the blogosphere. However, it's not by much - the Japanese blogosphere has grown substantially as well.


It is interesting to note that the most prevalent times for English-language posting is between the hours of 10AM and 2PM Pacific time, with an additional spike at around 5PM Pacific time. Japan, which is 17 hours ahead of San Francisco, shows a different pattern - more posting occurring during the evening hours into the night, as well as the early morning hours before work begins. I'm not entirely sure what to make of these numbers, but it would appear that English-speaking people are more likely to blog during work hours and early evening in the USA, while they are more reluctant to blog during work time in Japan. More research is definitely needed to understand when and where people are blogging. Perhaps a more experienced cultural anthropologist or sociology researcher can provide better insight here, if you're interested, drop me a line at dsifry AT technorati DOT com.

In summary:

  • Technorati is now tracking over 50 Million Blogs.
  • The Blogosphere is over 100 times bigger than it was just 3 years ago.
  • Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size every 200 days, or about once every 6 and a half months.
  • From January 2004 until July 2006, the number of blogs that Technorati tracks has continued to double every 5-7 months.
  • About 175,000 new weblogs were created each day, which means that on average, there are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day.
  • About 8% of new blogs get past Technorati's filters, even if it is only for a few hours or days.
  • About 70% of the pings Technorati receives are from known spam sources, but we drop them before we have to send out a spider to go and index the splog.
  • Total posting volume of the blogosphere continues to rise, showing about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.
  • This is about double the volume of about a year ago.
  • The most prevalent times for English-language posting is between the hours of 10AM and 2PM Pacific time, with an additional spike at around 5PM Pacific time

Posted by prolurkr at 08:32 AM | TrackBack

August 04, 2006

Do you know this weblog publication? HELP

Ok I need to pick the collective cosmic brains of prolurkr readers.  You see I am looking for a citation and having trouble laying my hands on it.  This is one of those awful situations where I know I have the article in Reference Manger, heck I'm pretty sure I have a hardcopy too, but I haven't been able to isolate it with the right set of keywords. Please search your brain and your reference systems and let me know what information you have on this paper.

The paper (I think it's a book chapter but might be a journal article, heck it might be almost anything) is about a group of student's trip to a festival above the arctic circle (I remember they had to plan for the cold...really cold weather).  While on the trip they were all contributing to a group blog about the experience so other could take part in the experience.

Do any of you know an author's name or the title of the article?  Give me enough info so I can find the article and I will pay off with a drink at our next shared conference.  Thanks.


Hendrick, Stephanie and Örnberg, Therese (2004). The weblog as an immersive space: Moblogging Jokkmokk 2004. In Burg, Thomas N., BlogTalks2 (201-236). Vienna: Zentrum für Wissenschaftliche Forschung und Dienstleistung.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:09 PM | TrackBack

August 03, 2006

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication v11, i4

The JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION is pleased to announce its latest issue:


Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 11, Issue 4, July 2006

Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as 'Third Places'
- Constance A. Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams

Gender and Computer Games: Exploring Females' Dislikes
- Tilo Hartmann and Christoph Klimmt

The Internet at Play: Child Users of Public Internet Connections
- Christian Sandvig

Metropolitan Websites as Urban Communication
- Leo W. Jeffres and Carolyn A. Lin

Developing 'Third Space' Interculturality Using Computer-Mediated Communication
- Tracey Bretag

Gender and the Use of Exclamation Points in Computer-Mediated Communication: An Analysis of Exclamations Posted to Two Electronic Discussion Lists
- Carol Waseleski

The Construction of Away Messages: A Speech Act Analysis
- Jacqueline Nastri, Jorge Pena, and Jeffrey T. Hancock

A Sign of the Times: An Analysis of Organizational Members' Email Signatures
- Stephen A. Rains and Anna M. Young

Homophily of Network Ties and Bonding and Bridging Social Capital in Computer-Mediated Distributed Teams
- Y. Connie Yuan and Geri Gay

The Pass-Along Effect: Investigating Word-of-Mouth Effects on Online Survey Procedures
- Andrew T. Norman and Cristel A. Russell

Online Word-of-Mouth (or Mouse): An Exploration of Its Antecedents and Consequences
- Tao Sun, Seounmi Youn, Guohua Wu, and Mana Kuntaraporn

Management, Market, and Financial Factors Separating Winners and Losers in E-Business
- Pradeep Korgaonkar and Bay O'Leary

Posted by prolurkr at 07:43 PM | TrackBack

Writing by the clock

I keep trying to learn more about the writing process, that means I tend to pickup books and articles on different aspects of the process.  Of course I learn more about my own writing process as I practice my craft, working on different types of projects. 

With all of that in mind I want to recommend a little book on planning to write that I am finding very interesting and potentially very useful.  Check out:

Zerubavel, Eviatar (1999). The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

From the book's webpage on the Harvard Press site:

For anyone who has blanched at the uphill prospect of finishing a long piece of writing, this book holds out something more practical than hope: it offers a plan. The Clockwork Muse is designed to help prospective authors develop a workable timetable for completing long and often formidable projects.

The idea of dashing off a manuscript in a fit of manic inspiration may be romantic, but it is not particularly practical. Instead, Eviatar Zerubavel, a prolific and successful author, describes how to set up a writing schedule and regular work habits that will take most of the anxiety and procrastination out of long-term writing, and even make it enjoyable. The dreaded "writer's block" often turns out to be simply a need for a better grasp of the temporal organization of work.

The Clockwork Muse rethinks the writing process in terms of time and organization. It offers writers a simple yet comprehensive framework that considers such variables as when to write, for how long, and how often, while keeping a sense of momentum throughout the entire project. It shows how to set priorities, balance ideals against constraints, and find the ideal time to write. For all those whose writing has languished, waiting for the "right moment," The Clockwork Muse announces that the moment has arrived.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 02, 2006

July Advisory Committee Report

Another month has flown by...is it just me or is this summer going far to fast?  Oh well, here is my monthly report to my Advisory Committee (pdf) so that July's work is recorded for posterity. 

Posted by prolurkr at 03:17 PM | TrackBack

July 26, 2006

Link to Trust and Risk in the Workplace survey

Monica Whitty, Queen's University Belfast, asked me to post a link to her online survey. Take the time to check it out if you meet the criteria listed below.

Trust and Risk in the Workplace

If you are 18 years or over and currently live and work (full time/part time or casually) in Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, the UK, or USA, you are invited to fill out this survey. Only people who use a computer and/or laptop at work are invited to complete this survey.

A number of surveys have been run on internet usage, yet researchers still know little about how individuals use their work computers. The purpose of this study is to ascertain how individuals in different countries use their work computers and/or laptop computers. It also asks how they protect their work computers and/or laptops from security risks.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:10 PM | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

From The Age - Ten signs you're tech obsessed

Are you tech obsessed?  Lord knows I am...a which came first issue, i.e. am I tech obsessed because I'm an IT pro?  Or am I an IT pro because I'm tech obsessed?  LOL

Here are The Age newspaper's ten signs to tell if you too are tech obsessed, check out the full article for a detailed discussion of each point...they are pretty funny:

  1. You forget basic bodily functions
  2. You collect ridiculous accessories
  3. You check your email on Sunday... at 3 am
  4. You know your mates by their online handles rather than their real names
  5. Your favorite song goes "beep"
  6. Instead of laughing, you say "LOL"
  7. You answer your mobile phone when you're on a date
  8. You change their outfits depending on their mood
  9. You own a BlackBerry
  10. You speak in a secret language

Posted by prolurkr at 08:42 PM | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

New publications to check out

First, if you are interested in blogs and blogging you HAVE to check out:

Lenhart, Amanda & Fox, Susannah (2006, July 19). Bloggers: A portrait of the internet's new storytellers. PEW Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/186/report_display.asp.

It has some very usable stats that will undoubtedly turn up in lots of academic work during the upcoming year.  In particular I love the following chart:

And on other news.  I have in my hands an actual hardcover copy of Digital Generations:  Children, Young People, and New Media.  It's great fun to see my byline in print on a solo piece.  Oh and David Buckingham's introductory article "Is there a digital generation?" is a must read for any youth researcher.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Adolescents in MySpace: Identity Formation, Friendship and Sexual Predators - Report

apophenia has an interesting link to a report on some MySpace research.  If you are interested in MySpace or adolescents online or online predidation check out:

Rosen, L. D. (2006, June). Adolescents in MySpace: Identity Formation, Friendship and Sexual Predators. California State University, Dominguez Hills, Psychology Department. Retrieved July 13, 2006 from http://www.csudh.edu/psych/Adolescents%20in%20MySpace%20-%20Executive%20Summary.pdf.

The findings raise many additional questions and don't answer one of my personal burning questions - what percentage of online solicitation of teens is by non-teens?  My experience in chats tells me that most solicitaiton is from other teens, which is not what the watch-dog groups what us to believe.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:16 PM | TrackBack

Back in the quals saddle

After three-weeks at home, three-weeks with lots of running to catchup for being gone for six-weeks, I am finally back to work on the quals paper.  Today I updated page numbers for citations that have been published since I received the pre-press version I cited in the draft.  Tedious work but it has to be done.  I have one more edited volume that I need to associate with the pre-press version , and which I don't have in hardcopy, but it's one my work is in so I hope a hardcopy is forthcoming.

I hope to actually do some original writing tomorrow...well as much as one can ever call original in a lit review.  LOL  Then it's back to reading next week so I can tackle the next section.  In between I need to do syllabi for the fall...there is always something isn't there.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:17 PM | TrackBack

June 30, 2006

June Advisory Committee Report

A short report because of the writing...enjoy http://www.professional-lurker.com/linked/2006/06/2006_06_ACUpdate.pdf .

Posted by prolurkr at 11:30 AM | TrackBack

June 09, 2006

Website Visualization

Ran across a cool website visualization tool.  Just plug a URL into the box and wait for the flowers to bloom on screen.  

What do the colors mean?
: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Posted by prolurkr at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

May Advisory Committee Report

Another month, another report...a very short report this time since I've been writing most of the month. 

Posted by prolurkr at 11:27 AM | TrackBack

May 29, 2006

A Victorian woman wants to give me money?

Ok, like everyone else I get my share of "Nigerian" email, but this one really caught my eye.  Look at the language, it's not the usual broken English rather it is decidedly period structure.  Is this taken in part from a real period letter?  Say from the 1800's-ish period or did the writer learn English from reading Victorian novels?  Clearly it does not approach modern English (U.K.) usage.  It is interesting isn't it.

From: Madam Rita Mosley.
4 Old Church Street,
Chelsea, SW3,

Here writes Madam Rita Mosley, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Sir David Mosley an Englishman who is dead. My husband was into private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament.

I can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship, which never came.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 2.45 Million (2.45 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank here in UK. Presently, this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from.

Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family, and me I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.

I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husband hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want this money to be misused hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husband relatives around me. I do not want them to know about this development.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in UK. I will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to hear from you soon.

You can contact me through my personal email address  [email protected]

Madam Rita Mosley.

Mail sent from WebMail service at PHP-Nuke Powered Site
- http://www.4thbrigade.com

Posted by prolurkr at 05:45 PM | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

New blogging stats

If you haven't looked at Sifry Alerts latest numbers I suggest you check out both posts, State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth  and State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging.  Here is the conclusion from Part 1.

  • Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

Part 1 also has an interesting graphic that shows the growth of spam blogs.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:02 PM | TrackBack

Work update

I started working on the paper last weekend.  I read:  Frow, John (2005). Genre. New York: Routledge.  I am currently working my way through:  Duff, David (2000). Modern Genre Theory. Essex U.K.: Pearson, it's good reading while I soak at the hot springs.

Yesterday I spent some time writing, I have written about my writing style previously so if you are new to prolurkr you can check the old post to understand why the word counts go up and down.  The diary section started the day at 5142 words and is now 5029, a count that belies the amount of work I did on the section.  Maybe a better count would be that the day started with one page of narrative text and now has close to two pages. 

After working on narrative I found that my completed section had a problem in that my Reference Manager citations had gotten converted from dynamic reference to simple text.  This happened when I was finishing my extended abstract earlier this year.  The change is a problem at this point because the paper exists as subfiles tied to a master document, which means that the reference list is created dynamically each time the paper is brought together.  This will need to be done until the final edition of the document is in place, then I can do a complete convert to text and make it stick.  So I had to go through the chapter and reenter each dynamic citation over the old flat text.  Not hard but defiantly a time consuming pain.  Ain't computers wonderful...?...!...

Today I need to write my Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship evaluation so quals writing will have to wait a bit. 

Posted by prolurkr at 01:10 PM | TrackBack

May 16, 2006

Teaching schedule for academic year 2006-2007

Looks like I will have a full teaching schedule this year, assuming all of the classes make.

For Fall 2006 I will be teaching at IUPUC.  I have two classes:

I101 Introduction to Informatics (4 credits) (required class)

Course description: Problem solving with information technology; introductions to information representation, relational databases, system design, propositional logic, cutting edge technologies: CPU, operating systems, networks; laboratory emphasizing information technology including web page design, word processing, databases, using tools available on campus.


I202 Social Informatics (3 credits) (required class)

Course description: Introduction to key social research perspectives and literatures on the use of information and communication technologies. Discusses current topics such as information ethics, relevant legal frameworks, popular and controversial uses of technology (e.g. peer-to-peer file sharing), digital divides, etc. Outlines research methodologies for social informatics.

For Spring 2007, I expect to be teaching I101 again at IUPUC, and will also be teaching a undergrad/grad topics course on Computer-Mediated Communication (elective course) at IUPUI.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:48 AM | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

Blog post overload

I opened Bloglines today for the first time in weeks.  I was bowled over when I saw that 6700+ posts were waiting for me.  *sigh*  There is no way to get caught up.  I'm clicking through and deleting as fast as my fingers will work, i'm down to 3296 now.  Well looks like my 10th grade teacher was correct after all...I won't ever know everything about a subject because there is to much information to process.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:09 PM | TrackBack

May 07, 2006

Day Three of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Day Three, one day late, was another great day at QI2006, though I don't have lots of notes to share.  My first session in the morning was Qualitative Evaluation and Adolescence.  This panel's papers centered on education and health issues.  The papers were interesting though not particularly useful for my research.

The second panel A Need to Know:  The Clandestine History of a CIA Family - Honoring the Work of Harold Lloyd (Bud) Goodall Jr. included papers from a group of great scholars.  Their insights into the work and themselves was profound.  I ended up with a list of phrases and terms used in their autoethnographic pieces that will be rolling around in my head for quite a while.

I had lunch with a group of internet scholars - Caroline Haythornthwaite, Radhika Gajjala, Yahui Zhang, Qi Tang, and Andre' Brock Jr. Good conversation was had...as it always when internet researchers gather with food.  The group, minus Caroline, decided to attend the next two sessions together.  We headed off to the Internet Research Ethics panel but found no one there to present.  So we sat outside on the Illini Union deck and talked about research and blogs in particular.

The last panel of the day was Online Ethnography.  The presenters gave us glimpses into both ongoing and in-development research.  I think this panel is most valuable for the new people that I met and hopefully will be trading emails with in the future.

My final event before I headed out in the car, on my multi-day trip to Colorado, was attending the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry (IAQI) meeting.  IAQI is a new organization making the first moves to formalizing their structure.  If you are interested in Qualitative Research I suggest you visit their website and sign up for the listserv, which makes you a member of the organization.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 05, 2006

Day Two of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

My first session this morning was called Performing Methodologies [and/or/is/of/in/...] Performing Cultures. Ronald J. Pelias, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, runs a program that fascinates me.  In this panel three of his students presented autoethnographic performance pieces that ranged from a look at archival research and the researcher as artifact to whiteness and straightness using teeth as a metaphor.  Wonderful fascinating performance "art" pieces grounded in academic research...gotta love it.

I went to two more panels Computer Assisted Research, Irks, and Social Policy and Post colonial Blogosphere:  Examining Digital Diasporas.  I could give you a lot of notes from all the papers but I would rather talk about the most interesting paper of the day.

Research in New Media:  Ethical Considerations for Removed Subjects, Jen Almjeld and Sergey Rybas, Bowling Green State University.

Their paper looks at the ethical issues surrounding what they call "dead" documents.  What they refer to as "dead" are sites that have become stable and are no longer active.  They stated that "dead" is a problematic word, and I agree.  Mostly what I think they mean are sites that have become archival and have not been updated.  Their presentation acknowledged the complexities of public vs. private, asked when consent is really needed, and looked at subject autonomy of "removed subjects."  I sincerely hope they work out the kinks and submit this paper for publication.

I had lunch with Caroline Haythornthwaite and spent a couple of hours having great academic conversation...gotta love that too.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2006

First day of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Today the conference was mostly workshops . I attended two -  Heartbeats:  Writing Performance Texts, and Writing Autoethnography and Narrative in Qualitative Research.

First, I need to say how much I enjoy this conference.  Both years, 2006 is the second year of the organization, I have found the sessions to be instructive, challenging, and invigorating.  But both years I have found the first session to be a real challenge...a breaking down walls challenge.  Heartbeats certainly met that challenge straight on.

This workshop was mostly about the writing of pieces for performance.  As such it harks back to my B.S. in theatre and the playwriting I did then.  I wanted to spend time in this workshop because I have ideas for performance pieces based on some of my work...something to finish post-diss.  So I spent the morning working with far better writers than myself, watching them take to prompts and write deep evocative pieces at the drop of a hat.  I was so jealous, not because I can't write like that but because I had to begin to tear down the barriers that keep personal stuff out of my professional life...barriers that really aren't that old.  Oh well, speaking of post-diss *swinging a mental wrecking ball*...

The second workshop was with Carolyn Ellis and Art Bochner, if you don't know there qualitative work look them up, both of them do fascinating research.  I have been trying to get into one of their sessions for a couple of years now.  Last year at QI and the last couple of years at NCA, when I have tried to attend their sessions the rooms have always been packed to beyond standing room only.  I can't deal with over-packed sessions, especially when I can't sit down, so I have had to pass on pressing my way into the room.  Well in this case I registered early enough to get a seat...and it was well worth it.

I walked away from the Writing Autoethnography and Narrative in Qualitative Research session with a detailed bibliography and three pages of notes.  I'm not a terribly coherent notetaker but here is what I have.


Ethnography continuum

Art/Lit --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Science
Impressionist                                                                                                                           Realist
Written                                                                                                                                    Reported

Presumptions of Narrative & Autoethnography

  1. The researcher is always part of the research data.
  2. Social Science text is always composed by somebody somewhere.
  3. Research always involves the emotionality and subjectivity of the researcher and the researched.
  4. What we write involves others and should be accessible to them.
  5. All published research is considered narrative.

Elements of story

Points about qualitative research that bother orthodox [read quantitative] researchers

Forms of autoethnography

When listening to the subject's stories the researcher must analyze "Who am I, as audience, for them?"

The researcher must write to "carry the truth of the interaction" rather then just reporting what was said verbatim.

Autoethnographic interviews (I didn't get all of them types down)

Posted by prolurkr at 08:49 PM

April 29, 2006

April Advisory Committee Report

A busy month is mostly hidden between the lines of this month's Advisory Committee Report.  To bad, cause I've been really busy.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:48 PM | TrackBack

April 16, 2006

New (in press) book chapter

We received notice last week that BROG's latest work has been accepted. So here is the citation for our new (in press) book chapter.

Herring, Susan C., Scheidt, Lois Ann, Kouper, Inna, and Wright, Elijah (in press). A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Weblogs: 2003-2004. In Tremayne, Mark (Ed.), Blogging, Citizenship and the Future of Media. London: Routledge. Available at http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/tremayne.pdf.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:02 PM | TrackBack

April 02, 2006

March 2006 Advisory Committee Update

Another month completed, another update written - March 2006 Advisory Committee Update.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:37 AM | TrackBack

March 31, 2006

A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family

I've been waiting for this book for well over a year. At NCA 2004 I attended a presentation panel where Harold L. (Bud) Goodall Jr. talked about his auto/ethnographic work looking into his fathers life as a CIA official, a life he didn't know about until after his fathers death. The book arrived in Wednesday's post, so far I am through the first two chapters and am having trouble putting it down.

My father died, either in Virginia or Maryland, at the age of 53 on the night of March 12, 1976. My mother told me that he died at home in his bed in Hagerstown, Maryland, but the Social Security Death Index indicates that he was pronounced dead in Virginia. The reason for his death was a mystery.

My mother said that she requested an autopsy because three days before he died he had been told that he was run down due to a bad cold and just needed some bed rest. He was given "a shot of something" and sent home. A doctor he saw at the Veteran's Administration Hospital supposedly gave him this diagnosis and the shot, but my mother couldn't recall the name of the doctor and the hospital records do not show that he had any appointments in March.

Nor did I ever see a report of an autopsy. One year later my mother told me that she had been informed--by "the government"--that he had died of "multiple bleeding abscesses on both lungs." This was about the time of a news report that Legionnaire's Disease was responsible for the deaths of several men, all veterans, in Philadelphia. My mother claimed that "the government" now believed that my father, too, had died of Legionnaire's Disease.

That may or may not be true.

My mother never showed me the letter "from the government" that supposedly provided her with this information. She told me she had "thrown it away." I have no doubt that she had done precisely that, if, in fact, there had ever been a letter in the first place. But by then, by March of 1977, I was so disillusioned with the idea of truth in relation to my father's life, much less his death, that I didn't pursue it.

He had led a secret life. And even in death, she kept his secrets.

For those of us born into families where the stories told to us contain more fiction than fact, Goodall's application of academic concepts such as Barthes' "presence of an absence" ring painfully true. I can say that this week I have spent a fair amount of my drive time thinking about my family's "narrative inheritance," the creative fiction that hides much more than it reveals.

I'm sure I will have more posts on this work when I finish reading it.

Check out:

Other posts that refer to A Need to Know or Harold L. (Bud) Goodall Jr.:

Writing the New Ethnography
Historical Ethnography, NCA Pre-Conference
Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association
NCA First Day of the Conference

Posted by prolurkr at 06:10 PM | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Tim Berners-Lee webcast

Did you know that the Oxford Internet Institute webcasts many of the speakers from their events? Boy I didn't know. Check out the OII webcast list. Tim Berners-Lee's talk "The Future of the Web" is available there.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:18 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2006

As usual Walt is right on the money

Of course Walt, one has to have grown up to actually know this to be true.

If today's teenagers grow up to behave and think exactly the same way they did as teenagers, it will be a unique event.

Not to mention that it would be more than a bit frightening.

p.s. I think you ARE one of the cool kids Walt and I bet I'm not alone in that.

Just a Saturday grump brought on by reading the same stuff a few too many times. Maybe it's just as well that I'm not one of the cool kids.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

One man’s blog genre list

eCuaderno has an interesting list of possible blog genres (probably lots are actually sub-genres):

Check out the comments on eCuaderno's post for possible additions.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

Forthcoming edited volume - critical cyberculture studies

David Silver has announced the upcoming publication of his new edited volume, critical cyberculture studies. The volume should be out in September, I pre-ordered my copy on Amazon just hit the link from the title to go to the order page.

Foreword: Dreams of Fields: Possible Trajectories of Internet Studies, by Steve Jones

Introduction: Where Is Internet Studies? by David Silver

PART I Fielding the Field

1. The Historiography of Cyberculture, by Jonathan Sterne

2. Cultural Difference, Theory, and Cyberculture Studies: A Case of Mutual Repulsion, by Lisa Nakamura

3. How We Became Postdigital: From CyberStudies to Game Studies, by Espen Aarseth

4. Internet Studies in Times of Terror, by David Silver and Alice Marwick

5. Catching the Waves: Considering Cyberculture, Technoculture, and Electronic Consumption, by Wendy Robinson

6. Cyberculture Studies: An Antidisciplinary Approach (version 3.0), by McKenzie Wark

PART II Critical Approaches and Methods

7. Finding the Quality in Qualitative Research, Nancy K. Baym

8. Web Sphere Analysis and Cybercultural Studies, Kirsten Foot

9. Connecting the Selves: Computer-Mediated Identification Processes, by Heidi J. Figueroa Sarriera

10. The Structural Problems of the Internet for Cultural Policy, by Christian Sandvig

11. Cultural Considerations in Internet Policy and Design: A Case Study from Central Asia, by Beth E. Kolko

12. Bridging Cyberlife and Real Life: A Study of Online Communities in Hong Kong, by Anthony Fung

13. Overcoming Institutional Marginalization, by Blanca Gordo

14. The Vertical (Layered) Net: Interrogating the Conditions of Network Connectivity, by Greg Elmer

15. The Construction of Cybersocial Reality, by Stine Gotved

PART III Cultural Difference in/and Cyberculture

16. E-scaping Boundaries: Bridging Cyberspace and Diaspora Studies through Nethnography, by Emily Noelle Ignacio

17. An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Cybercultures, by Madhavi Mallapragada

18. An Action Research (AR) Manifesto for Cyberculture Power to "Marginalized" Cultures of Difference, by Bharat Mehra

19. Cyberstudies and the Politics of Visibility, by David J. Phillips

20. Disaggregation, Technology, and Masculinity: Elements of Internet Research, by Frank Schaap

21. Gender, Technology, and Visual Cyberculture: Virtually Women, by Kate O'Riordan

PART IV Critical Histories of the Recent Past

22. How Digital Technology Found Utopian Ideology: Lessons from the First Hackers' Conference, by Fred Turner

23. Government.com: ICTs and Reforming Governance in Asia, by Shanthi Kalathil

24. Dot-Coms and Cyberculture Studies: Amazon.com as a Case Study, by Adrienne Massanari

25. Associating Independents: Business Relationships and the Culture of Independence in the Dot-Com Era, by Gina Neff

Posted by prolurkr at 11:10 PM | TrackBack

March 17, 2006

Manditory reading for grad students who want Higher Ed careers

Check out The Academic Departments: Home Base for Doctoral Students and the Center of the Graduate Mission of the Institution from Tomorrow's Professor Blog. This is absolutely mandatory reading for grad students who have an eye toward an academic career. I'm not sure how well this discussion fits non-U.S. institutions but even for international folks it will be interesting reading.

In universities, there are two types of departmental administrators. One is called a head, the other a chair. According to Sirchik (2003), the choice of words is probably not accidental. A head is appointed with no fixed term. Its occupant authorizes all departmental educational, budget, hiring, promotion, and salary decisions. It is a very powerful position and much like headships at other universities.

The chair position, in contrast, has fixed term. Its resident is obligated to attend to the advice of the elected "executive committee" of a department. Responsibilities include submitting a budget on behalf of the department, requesting funding for new appointments, salary increments, secretarial support, office and laboratory space, supplies and equipment and funds for graduate fellowships and assistantships.

The article contains the following sections (just to give you a better taste so you see why you should read it):

Posted by prolurkr at 04:43 PM | TrackBack

The Best of Technology Writing 2006

Found via Eszter's blog. Go make some nominations.

The Best of Technology Writing 2006


Taking a cue from the open-source movement, we're asking readers to nominate their favorite tech-oriented articles, essays, and blog posts from the previous year. The competition is open to any and every technology topic--biotech, information technology, gadgetry, tech policy, Silicon Valley, and software engineering are all fair game. But the pieces that have the best chances of inclusion in the anthology will conform to these three simple guidelines:

1. They'll be engagingly written for a mass audience; if the article requires a doctorate to appreciate, it's probably not up our alley. Preference will be given to narrative features and profiles, "Big Think" op-eds that make sense, investigative journalism, sharp art and design criticism, intelligent policy analysis, and heartfelt personal essays.

2. They'll be no longer than 5,000 words.

3. They'll explore how technological progress is reshaping our world.

Other Info

* Nominations must have been published between January and December, 2005.

* The deadline for submissions is 3.31.06.

* The Best of Technology 2006 will be published in Fall 2006 by digitalculturebooks, a new imprint of the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan Library and the University of Michigan Press.

* It will be available in book form and on-line.

* The Best of Technology Writing 2006 will include an introduction by award-winning journalist Brendan I. Koerner. Koerner is a contributing editor for Wired, a columnist for both The New York Times and Slate, and a fellow at the New America Foundation. His first book will be published by Henry Holt & Company in 2008.

Questions may be sent to [email protected] .

Posted by prolurkr at 10:14 AM | TrackBack

March 16, 2006

A question to Movable Type users

Is trackback working properly on your MT blogs? I'm curious, you see on this blog there hasn't been a non-recursive or recursive trackback registered since November 2005. When I check other sources I see that posts are being cited but that citation isn't registering as a trackback. Of course I get a couple of hundred spam trackbacks a day since the change to DreamHost, I can't use htaccess files on their servicers. If trackback isn't working properly on the latest MT upgrades then I may just shut it off. What do you think?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

UK MSN’s Cyberbullying report

David Brake, thank David, sent me a link to a webpage and leaflet on cyberbullying that mentions blogs. MSN Cyberbullying Report: Blogging, Instant Messaging and Email Bullying Amongst Today's Teens is a based on a YouGov study of 518 children (children is never defined).


Cyberbullying is similar to other forms of bullying except it takes place online and on mobiles. This report looks at the growing phenomenon of online bullying including blogging, instant messaging (IM) and email bullying.

Whilst occurring in the 'virtual' world, our research reveals cyberbullying can be every bit as devastating as 'real world' bullying, and sometimes more so. One in eight teens (13%) in our study said it was worse than physical bullying.


As cyberbullying doesn't occur in the physical world, its reach extends well beyond the school gates and into teens' personal time. One in 20 young people said the hardest thing about this type of bullying was its 24/7 nature.

As information on the internet can be easily shared with many people, the network of people accessing the often embarrassing or hateful information can quickly become large, something teens seem painfully aware of.

For 22% the fact more people would potentially know about the bullying than if it happened in the physical world, was the worst thing. And because it's potentially easier to conceal identity in cyberspace, many bullies remain anonymous, an issue that 11% of teens found hard.

Ok, these are the kinds of stats that set me off. Clearly the group has an agenda. "One in eight teens (13%) in our study said it was worse than physical bullying." SO seven out of eight said it wasn't worse? Hummm Maybe we should take on bullying as a concept rather then a subsection of the phenomena. Read the pamphlet yourself to see how the text is riddled with preconceptions. Though, sadly, they do have lots of usable numbers, the statistics will require pretty serious contextualization.

I believe bullying is a serious issue, though by no means a new one. Let's take the initiative to work on the whole problem not just 12.5% of the problem.

The advise to the kids is a first step, though I have to admit there are lots of mis-steps presented. I do think the advise to parents is good. It could easily be broadened out to include any type of bullying.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:32 AM | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Anti-social computing

A friend sent me this link to a hilarious website. Check out the Isolatr. It's for those days when social computing doesn't sound like fun. LOL I want an IMolatr add-in for ICQ so all those bots that message me lite on fire. LOL Yes pacifists can have destructive thoughts too but only about bits-and-bytes.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:30 AM | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Free journal articles

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Behaviour & Information Technology (BIT), Taylor & Francis are offering free online access to the five most highly cited original research papers published in the Journal over the last 10 years.*

A proposed index of usability: A method for comparing the relative usability of different software systems
H. X. Lin, Y. Y. Choong and G. Salvendy
Volume 16, Issue 4-5, 1997

Attitudes, satisfaction and usage: Factors contributing to each in the acceptance of information technology
S. S. Al-Gahtani and M. King
Volume 18, Issue 4, 1999

Software evaluation using the 9241 evaluator
R. Oppermann and H. Reiterer
Volume 16, Issue 4-5, 1997

Aesthetics and preferences of web pages
B. N. Schenkman and F. U. Jonsson
Volume 19, Issue 5, 2000

User involvement in the systems design process - A practical guide for users
L. Damodaran
Volume 15, Issue 6, 1996

For further information about the Journal, please visit the BIT website. To learn more about the full range of Taylor & Francis journals in your subject area, come and visit the Taylor & Francis booth at CHI 2006 in Montreal.

* Citation data obtained from Thomson ISI Web of Science®.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:58 PM | TrackBack

March 12, 2006

Reader2 improvements

If you haven't looked at Reader2 lately, I mean you have not physically gone to the site, I recommend you do so as soon as possible. WOW does it look different, really nice and slick. I've been using this service for some time now and the programming improvements they keep making are really impressive.

Reader2 is an online tool for sharing reading lists. I enter information to the site for new books I find, or buy. I am not very good at actually keeping the site updated with descriptions or reading status, though I usually do put that information on prolurker so it is available online.

Working with Reader2 makes me wonder when Reference Manager and EndNote will have "look-up" capabilities so some of the information can be added automatically. Oh and the cover picture would be a nice addition to citation software as well. That way I can double check my references visually as well as textually. Oh well I can dream can't I.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:52 AM | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Teens as ‘SuperConnectors’

ClickZ has an interesting article from Enid Burns called "Worldwide Teen Generation Dubbed 'SuperConnectors.'"

American teens' stronghold over technology in the 1990s has given way to a worldwide class of "SuperConnectors." This global group is defined in "GenWorld: The new Generation of Global Teens," a research report published by Energy BBDO.

Globally, teens aged 13-18 are very concerned about the world and their own future. These concerns have made them self activists, creative, and highly adaptable to emerging technologies. The report identifies seven shifts in attitudes and behaviors within this group. It also looks at ways for marketers to approach this group and stay relevant.

Fifty-six percent of teens age 13-18 are SuperConnectors according to the GenWorld study. This group has an active lifestyle and uses multiple means of connectivity at any given time. Connectivity tools at this generation's disposal include such lean-forward mechanisms as cell phones, text messaging, the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and search engines. Even when they're taking part of lean-back media, the group finds new levels of engagement.

"What we see is that often, they are doing both at the same time, they may be multitasking or doing an activity with friends," said Chip Walker, EVP and director of account planning at Energy BBDO. "The days of using technology purely to veg out seem to be gone."

Social networks play a large role with this group. Family communication takes place in-person, though friendships within a teen's network spreads out over the Web and other enabled devices. The same activities may be occurring, but technology expands the capabilities teens have to communicate.

< Snip >

The GenWorld Teen Study was commissioned by Energy BBDO to gauge lifestyle, values, attitudes and brand perceptions among teens aged 13 to 18. The survey was fielded to 3,322 teens in the summer of 2005 in 13 countries including the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan and India.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:04 PM | TrackBack

Writing the New Ethnography

I've been thinking on a book I finished some time ago but have not yet presented to you - Goodall, H. L., Jr. (2000). Writing the New Ethnography. Lanham MD: AltaMira. Bud Goodall is the Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. I have always liked his take on communication as a discipline:

I believe that Communication is a transdisciplinary field of study, which means that Communication theories, methods, activities, and practices shape and inform all other disciplines and subjects. Ours is an infinitely complex field of study because communication between and among people is an always evolving symbolic phenomenon. One reason I selected Communication as a field of study is that it is sufficiently complex to embrace a lifetime of inquiry. As the philosopher Georges Gudorf once put it, "Communication calls the world into being."

I am also a narrative ethnographer. I use qualitative methods-deep immersion in cultures, participant-observation, interviews, writing fieldnotes, and mining rhetorical and narrative data from historical archives-to construct personal accounts of the intersections of communication and cultures. The purpose of my research is to teach others through diverse cultural examples how they may choose to live.

I am very taken with this book and am well aware that I will be rereading it again shortly. I know I haven't pulled all the wisdom out of it yet, maybe I never will. This slim volume is packed with perspective on writing "new" ethnography.

By new ethnography, I mean creative narratives shaped out of a writer's personal experiences within a culture and addressed to academic and public audiences.

For the last couple of years I have made a point of attending the National Communication Association (NCA) Ethnographic Division Pre-Conference to soak up what Goodall and other great ethnographers like Nick Trujillo, and Robin P. Clair, to name a few, have to share from their experience writing ethnographic works. I plan on continuing this practice. In short a day with these folks is well worth the cost of the trip to NCA and I plan on making the trip to San Antonio later this year, primarily for the pre-conference.

If you are interested in ethnography either old or new I strongly recommend you read this book. Decide to use it or decide against it, but either way there is very valuable information inside it. Goodall explains the goals of the book as:

Four tasks are involved in learning how to become an ethnographer:

You have to learn how to do fieldwork.

You have to learn how to write.

You have to learn who you are as a fieldworker, as a writer, and as a self.

An you have to learn how - and where - those activities are meaningfully connected.

In sum, these four tasks are what this book is about.

I should note that Goodall's book is part of AltaMira's Ethnographic Alternative Book Series which also includes Markham, Annette M. (1998). Life Online: Researching Real Experience in Virtual Space. Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press

Posted by prolurkr at 10:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Two pieces of information about the blogosphere

Burn This! - The FeedBurner Weblog has links to two very interesting sites. First see Technorati 100 Here Today Gone Tomorrow which details the movement into, out of, and within the Technorati top 100. It's a very interesting read...there is much more movement than I would have expected.

Second, I found a very cool graphic illustrating the growth of the blogosphere from Feedburner's launch up to the recent point where they announced they have 200,000 feeds under management. If you like data viz you will like this one...it moves. LOL

Viewer's Guide

  • Blue drops represent text feeds, orange drops are podcasts.
  • The placement and position of the drops are random.
  • The pace at which the drops drop is representative of the general growth curve of all FeedBurner-managed feeds mapped to our actual dataset.
  • There are roughly 1,200 drops from start to finish, so imagine that number times 200 for a sense of the actual scale.
  • The larger drops are mapped to the emergence of the most highly subscribed feeds.
  • Turn on your audio to get a better sense for the initially sparse and then rapidly growing number of rich media feeds.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:22 AM | TrackBack

The TNL.net Research Grant

Genesis of the idea

The TNL.net research grant was born out of my own experience over the years. When I was in college, I applied for a journalism grant of $500 to cover phone calls and research in paid databases like Lexis-Nexis. This money allowed me to complete several articles I would not have been able to do as a college student because I did not have the funds to do so otherwise.

What is the TNL.net Research Grant?

The TNL.net Research Grant is a $1,000 grant to fund interesting research that may require some money. For example, someone might want to do research using the Alexa platform but not be able to pay for the transaction costs associated with using the Alexa web service. Or someone may need access to certain resources that are behind a pay bridge. The TNL.net research grant is here to ensure that such issue is not the barrier to that research being done.

I am personally committing 350 dollars to kick off the fund (10 dollars for each year I've spent on earth) and hope that others will join me by following and forwarding the link to the TNL.net Research Grant pay page on Amazon. I've set the goal to a high of 10,000 dollars, which would allow for 10 grants to be made.

Applying to the TNL.net Research Grant

I'm still working on figuring this out but, for starters, I've got some ground rules:

* All data acquired through a TNL.net Research Grant will be made available to the general public through a Creative Commons "By Attribution Share-Alike" license

* An exact accounting of where every dollar was spent will be shared in the same fashion

* All research and all results will be distributed under the same license

* No piece of data or result from the research will be hidden from the general public

* The research results will have to be published in a format that is readable by all. No DRM should be used to protect it and all data should be distributed as widely as possible. As such, publishing it fully as a blog entry or set of entry is highly encouraged and even recommended if you are not publishing it in another form.

* All tools created as a result of this grant should also be put in the public domain.

* The research cannot last more than a month and all results should be reported within 30 days of receiving a grant.

These are the basics. Your proposal, which you can post in the comments section of this entry, will include: A description of what you are looking to investigate; a description of the resources you plan to use the money on; a description of other existing research in this arena (or prior art);

When I've raised $1,000, I will start posting the different proposal to this site and will ask my readers to comment further or ask for more evaluation of the idea. Hopefully, others around the blogosphere will get involved in discussing the idea of the research.

This idea will evolve over time but I think that it might be a good way to get some solid research funded in the online world. I hope TNL.net readers will join me in raising funds and defining the way to move forward on this effort.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:31 AM | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

An interesting, introspective, and validating week

This week, so far, has been a very good one - very busy but very good. There have been moments of fairly deep introspection and equally high moments of validation.

Monday I had a conversation with a colleague that amounted to a fairly swift kick on my backside asking when I was going to get this degree completed. In truth I've been thinking about the same thing for a couple of weeks, but this was the last straw...or I guess the lub to get me moving. More on what "moving" means in this context in a near-future post.

Tuesday I put together an updated version of my computer and information ethics lecture for my intro class. It's a good lecture with group activities. Plus I like ethics so it's fun to teach. After the class was laid out and ready to roll I took a break. Coming back up to the office in the elevator I ran into the departments director of community relations. Ended up spending some time talking to him about PhD programs in general, and my work in specific. He's looking into possible media contacts for interviews to discuss my work. Very cool it is all works out.

Tuesday's class went well, as I would have expected. After class I had dinner with an old friend, John, from undergrad, see Ok...so I didn't talk about EVERYONE from my undergrad days for background. It was great to sit and talk with someone who really did know me when. I have been blessed to have a few friends who seem to keep me in their viewfinders even when I am to self-absorbed to do the same for them. I thank all of them because they really are my heart.

Wednesday I taught the computer and information ethics class to my smaller section in Columbus. Sometime ago I had asked a local master teacher to sit in on my class and give me feedback. I wanted his opinion on what I can do now to improve me teaching and I wanted to have him available to write recommendations for me in the future. So Wednesday was the night he sat in and watched me run a class. After the students left we sat and talked about the class. He had some very good recommendations on things I can do to increase participation. It was good to get someone else's opinion on spots where I was missing some opportunities to move my skills to a higher level. I was so pleased that in the wrap up he said that I was an engaging teacher who had almost made him "go native." Seems he was getting into the lecture and the discussion to the point that he had to remind himself that he was observing. I'm not sure there is a higher complement than that I engaged a master teacher to the point that he almost forgot his purpose in the room. That reward will stay with me for a while.

Thursday, today, I went to main campus to attend a colloquia given by Lawrence Grossberg. Grossberg's topic was Cultural Studies: In Search of Modernities. It was a very interesting talk that hit many points I've been thinking about as I yell back at narrow minded mass media announcers. Issues like why must modernity be defined using western terms, isn't that colonialism? I've got notes that I will be posting but for now I want to think on all of it before I sit down to do any writing. Here's the abstract for the talk:

ABSTRACT: Asking the right question--that is often the hardest part of cultural studies. Unfortunately, too many critical scholars allow theory to define their questions, as if theory were sufficient to describe and intervene in the world. This talk begins from the argument that the contemporary conjuncture poses a new political question: that of a multiplicity of modernities. It then goes on to rethink the current U.S. political climate through a double process: on the one hand, by engaging with current writings on modernity from around the world; and on the other, by considering concrete historical formations of alternative modernities. The focus here will be on changes in American modernity during its history and on the Levantine culture centered around Islamic Spain.
I've ordered a copy of Grossberg's book Caught in the Crossfire: Kids, Politics, and America's Future. It looks like the perfect book for me to be reading as I watch all of the "terror" over MySpace and the concerns about kids online in general. I'll keep you posted on what I think about the book after I've actually read it.
What's going on in America? Caught in the Crossfire offers an original and compelling vision of the forces changing the ways people live their lives, through the unique lens of America's children. Grossberg reveals how the United States has been gradually shifting from a society that celebrates childhood into one that is hostile to and afraid of its own children. Today kids are often seen as a threat to our social and moral values. Grossberg gathers evidence from the media, schools, courts, medicine, economics, and family life.

Caught in the Crossfire locates this alteration in an original understanding of the struggles transforming contemporary America, and of the choices Americans face about their future. He documents the relations between economic ideologies and economic realities, and explores both the "culture wars" and the political culture of the nation. Grossberg argues that all of these developments, including those involving the state of kids, only make sense as integral parts of a larger struggle to redefine America's uniqueness and to develop a new sense of itself as a modern society. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:08 PM | TrackBack

Academic toolkit addition

David Brake took up the challenge, still waiting for you Anya, and posted his list of do or die software at An academic's toolkit.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:26 AM | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

But it’s the context of the class?

I read these stories and I am taken aback, I teach real-world stuff. Messy stuff. And I have always been concerned about how students accept the language used online, the pictures, the themes...it's real but it's certainly not all politically correct. Especially my teen stuff...political correctness and teens, please. So then I read today's Inside Higher Ed and find George Carlin Need Not Apply.

When the semester started, Stephen E. Williams was teaching history at the Lancaster branch of Harrisburg Area Community College. But early in the semester, he stopped showing up, and his students received calls confirming the reason why: He had used the word "fuck" in class.

Officially, administrators at the college will not say why Williams was suspended or why the institution recently reached an agreement under which the tenure-track (but non-tenured) professor ceased to be an employee. But students in his classes started getting calls from officials soon after he left, asking if they had heard him swear in class.


Speaking generally, Early said, "we feel that academic freedom is essential to a high quality environment, but the use of profanity when it is not directly connected to the subject matter is something that is not covered by academic freedom." Early said that the use of profanity would be O.K. in cases such as where the words are part of the lyrics of a song being studied.

Ok now I'm would NOT classify my teaching style as "including profanity" as Williams students did in the article, not even close. When I use chat or blog examples I use the best example of the phenomena...which may include profanity, innuendo, etc. And in my advanced classes, designed but not taught at this point, students will be expected to spend time in online communities where the use of profanity and god-knows-what-else is outside my individual control, exposure is a given. *sigh* It does give a teacher pause...where is the line between teaching and protecting adults? Sorry I don't live in a politically correct world. Do you? Does anyone?

Posted by prolurkr at 09:43 AM | TrackBack

March 06, 2006

Productivity and/or creativity enhancement tools challenge

A Learner's Space took my challenge to list her favorite productivity and/or creativity enhancement tools. Check out the list, there are some very useful tools there.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:43 PM | TrackBack

Jill Walker wins Meltzer Foundation’s prize for excellence in research dissemination - aka academic blogging

If I were ever asked to name the Grand Dame of academic blogging the name would trip lightly off my tongue...Jill Walker. Reading Jill/txt is, without a doubt, the fire that helped many academic bloggers decide to not only blog but also to blog under our own names. I have to admit I was just this side of a giddy fan when I met her in person.

In a time where people are still debating the career impact of blogging for academics - will we be passed over for hiring because we blog; and will our blogs count for something in the amazing melee that is teaching, research, and service - Jill has taught, published, moved into administration, and continued to have a personal life all of which are discussed on her blog. Now Jill's accomplishment as a blogger has been rewarded with a Meltzer Foundation prize for excellence in research dissemination through blogging. The prize includes an award of 100,000 kroner, which if the Universal Currency Converter is correct is about $16,104 (USD). Blogging has arrived as a communication tool for researchers.

Congratulations Jill, I'm sure you didn't set out on this path to pave the way for the rest of us but you have done so never the less. We thank you and keep up the good work.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:15 AM | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

February 2006 Advisory Committee Report

Another month finished, another Advisory Committee Report is written. It's good to keep an accounting of what has been accomplished.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:32 PM | TrackBack

What is it with the caps for USB Drives?

Ok will someone please explain to me why USB Drives don't come with locking caps? They advertise them as being something to add to your keychain and then you lose the cap instantly. *sigh* Where is the utility of that? Sandisk 1GB Cruzer Titanium's come close with their retractable USB port...hummmmm.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:30 PM | TrackBack

March 04, 2006

Informatics Goes Global: Methods at a Crossing Conference

I'm spending the day at Informatics Goes Global: Methods at a Crossing Conference at Indiana University. A good way to broaden my view of Informatics and ICTs in the developing world.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:01 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2006

Viral Marketing Experiment

Last week I joined many other blogs in announcing a great software deal under Confessions of a software junkie. Today Hamid Shojaee, CEO of Axosoft, posted a very interesting discussion of viral marketing, How Axosoft Sold $1.3 Million Worth of Software in 3 Days.

A portion of the blogosphere had Axosoft centered in its crosshairs, and we were feeling it. By noon, orders reached 300 - doubling over the previous 2 hours. By 5 o'clock over 700 units of OnTime STE had zoomed out the door. The entire office was buzzing with talk about units sold and site traffic. Emails were flying back and forth, linking to newly discovered blog stories.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:23 PM | TrackBack

Mary Gray Colloquia Slides

On February 17th I attended Mary L. Gray's Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics Colloquium, Mary is a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. Her talk was entitled You Can't Do That! The Pragmatics and Ethics of Ethnographic Approaches To New Media Research (ppt files). The "You Can't Do That!" is that wonderful phrase all of us that work with minors have heard from an IRB at one time or another. The talk was videotaped, so I will have to find the link and share it here.


From the beginning of my research on new media use among queer and questioning rural youth, my Institutional Review Board's (IRB) investments in the appearance of distance, objectivity, and propriety were palpable. Each review of my IRB proposal came back with recommended tweaks to my research design that revealed little knowledge or experience dealing with material realities that define many rural communities. Requested revisions also spoke to the then (arguably current) uncertainty of how to conceptualize and regulate the Internet as a "field site." This discussion offers a detailed review of how my project's methodological approach uses information communication technologies (ICTs) as both tools and sites of ethnographic research. I show how the approach I took connects to and departs from the broader literature on studies of rurality, identity, and research of queer youth sexualities and genders. I move from the particularities of my investigation as it developed in the field to a brief overview of some of the dilemmas ethnographic studies of new media and sexuality face in defining a clear object of study. Earlier studies are examined to show how the implications of framing the unit of analysis as "new" and "sexual" played out in the research design of my investigations. The third and final part of this presentation explores what I call the "plasticity of vulnerability": the construction of youth (among a growing list of subjects) as vulnerable. This construction of youth-as-vulnerable is mapped through an analysis of the IRB approval process for this project. I unravel any presumptions of moral clarity and ethically driven structure to the research protocols built into this study. Instead, I scrutinize the politics and assumptions that led to the ad-hoc tailoring of ethical stipulations, by me and through campus IRB mandate. The IRB's imagining of rural places and queer youth as calling for "special accommodations" played a significant role in the decisions of who to include in this study and how to go about gathering their stories. The IRB process for this research casts an argument for deeper reflection on the critical role negotiations of methods, ethics, and politics play in constructing scientific knowledge about queer and questioning youth.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:21 PM | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

Tomorrow’s Professor Blog

I've been a fan of the Tomorrow's Professor listserv since I found it last fall. Now I am going to be an even bigger fan because they are now a blog. Check out Tomorrow's Professor Blog and add the site to your feedreader.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:13 PM | TrackBack

February 25, 2006

A Learner’s Space...into the semiosphere

I'm so pleased, my friend and colleague at A Learner's Space...into the semiosphere (aka itbubble) has worked out the RSS feed thing. SO now I can read her blog on Bloglines as soon as it is available. I have to admit my reading has been kinda spotty without RSS. This is just so cool. Check out her blog she talks about the most interesting things.

Now if we can just get her to set the feed for the entire post. LOL I know I'm demanding.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Grades and student evaluations

Profgrrrrl! has a post Good grades = Good evals? that comments on the Chronicle article Professor Goodgrade. Check out both. I'm keeping my take on it all offline but would be happy to talk about it one-on-one.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:10 AM | TrackBack

February 23, 2006

Teaching is the germiest profession

The Clorox Company has a news release entitled, Is Your Job Making You Sick? Study highlights follow:

For the testing, samples were collected in fall 2005 from private offices and cubicles in office buildings located in Tucson, AZ and Washington DC. A total of 616 surfaces were tested and analyzed at the University of Arizona laboratories.

* Germiest Jobs - ranked from most germy to least germy

  1. Teacher
  2. Accountant
  3. Banker
  4. Radio DJ
  5. Doctor
  6. Television Producer
  7. Consultant
  8. Publicist
  9. Lawyer

Job description: surface stats


  • Most germy: Teachers
  • Least germy: Publicists


  • Most germy: Accountants
  • Least germy: Lawyers

Computer keyboard

  • Most germy: Teachers
  • Least germy: Bankers

Computer mouse

  • Most germy: Teachers
  • Least germy: TV producers


  • Most germy: Accountants
  • Least germy: Lawyers

Pardon me while I go wash my entire computer and phone. Know anywhere I can find a good deal on scrub masks?

Posted by prolurkr at 08:01 PM | TrackBack

IU Webmail Migration

This morning I have been thinking unkind words about the universities webmail system. Ok, I know IU people are laughing now wondering when anyone has ever thought good words about it since the change to webmail. In truth webmail isn't all that bad...the interface is much better than PINE's and you have access from anywhere which is a real plus for us off-campus folks and when we travel. But lately I have to exit and reenter the page at least two times to read my morning email, and today I've restarted it close to 10 times without gaining full access.

So I got interested in what was going on and started at the UITS page Notices & Alerts box, it says everything is fine but then it always says everything is fine. I found out last semester that the box only acknowledges complete outages so it's not really very useful. I kept digging and found this jem IU Webmail Migration:

Beginning Monday, February 6, IU Webmail users will be migrated to an upgraded environment. This migration will take place each day from 8:00am to 5:00pm over the following 3 weeks. No interruption of service is anticipated.

No doubt in my mind that this is the problem...because in my experience when UITS says "no interruption of service is anticipated" expect massive interruptions. Nothing ever runs that smoothly for anyone, not just UITS, especially over an almost month long transition.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:03 AM | TrackBack

February 22, 2006

Some thoughts on fear of the other and isolationism

Reading articles in today's Inside Higher Ed has me thinking about a of nexus of though and discussion I experienced this month. First, the release of the book by he-who-will-not-be-named-because-he-deserves-no-more-free-publicity-from-me has many in academia talking and laughing. While I see the humor of the whole things, the idea that a peace scholar is on anyone's "most dangerous" list should both amaze and frighten liberals and conservatives, there are deeper ideas present in the acceptance of his ideas by his fellow citizens.

Second, while attending Cyberworld unlimited? Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People I asked a question following an esteemed British colleague's discussion of digital culture and school policy. My question was in reference to the use of new communication mediums within schools and the construction of policies to support or outlaw such uses, such as MySpace being banned in some American schools. The response I got was totally appropriate, my colleague had no idea what I was talking about. You see it's just not an issue in the United Kingdom or in Europe like it is here. Why would you ban a technology you can use for learning?

Third, would be my previous post this morning from Confessions of a Community College Dean and his discussion of the fear of uncertainty as it relates to university assignments.

Underlying all of these issues, on one level or another, are several basic ideas. One, people - especially young people - are not rational actors with freewill, rather they are blank slates to be written upon by anyone with whom they come into contact, permanently transfigured in fact. Second, bad overwrites good every time regardless of previous experiences with good - good can't hold a candle to bad. Third, bad is anything unusual, disagreeable, or outside my experience set or belief system.

While in Bielefeld I was party to several fascinating conversations that revolved around the uniquely American fear of the other and the unknown. Now I am not saying that we have a lock on these ideas, rather that our society has institutionalized the concepts to a far greater extent than most other western countries. I have my conjectures on why this is true, having read nothing academic on the subject I have only my own thoughts to play with. Whatever the reasons the American cultural landscape is framed by isolationism - internationally, intranationally, city-to-city, and person-to-person. Rugged individualism undergirds the idea so that we have the undieing belief that we have the right to do most anything we want as long as no one else calls us on it, and, of course, no one has the right to make us do anything we don't want to do. Oh and one of the things we don't want to do is look at something from the others perspective, if they were right thinking they would understand that we are right and get with the program.

It's always been interesting to me that after George W. Bush's original election to the presidency, I commented to several people about my concern that our new president had not held a passport prior to his election. Amazingly none of the people, admittedly these were not folks who travel extensively themselves, got what I was saying. While I have no doubt that Bush had set foot in Mexico and maybe Canada, both are countries US citizens could travel without a passport prior to 9/11 and it's aftermath, I found it odd that a wealthy person had never decided to holiday in London or Paris or Italy at least. Why had the idea never come to him or never been acted up? I'm no mind reader but looking at his speeches since taking office I have to harken back to my underlying issues, why bother with the unknown when the known is good pretty darn good. Besides if they had anything better to offer we would have imported it by now.

I have to admit that as I grow older I become more disturbed by the isolationism I see in my culture. We may rule the world, not that I even totally buy that concept, but that is largely because we have had such a strong economy. Nothing lasts forever and what will happen to my culture when the torch passes to someone else? The Chinese, making gross generalizations, do not see the world as American, also a gross generalization, do...and there are many more of them than there are Americans. Though I have rays of light that give me hope, in the kids I see online. So many of them are meeting others and finding out that inside we are all pretty much the same, while learning that someone else can hold ideas and beliefs that they don't subscribe to and that both parties can still be friends. I have a lot of hope when I look at the internet generation, if they bring a percentage of what they are learning to the table I think it will be a better world overall.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:25 AM | TrackBack

Students who want to opt out of assignments for various reasons and beliefs may be in your future

Confessions of a Community College Dean has an excellent post on the issue of "opting out" of assigned work in classes. Now this is not an issue I have faced personally but I can see it coming for many of us. I strongly suggest you give his post a read. I captured the heart of it below. The issue of changing minds is one that resonates with me personally. I have seen more than a few people I know opt for home schooling to protect their kids from experiencing an "other" as though exposure to difference means instantaneous cooption. The same has been done in my extended family when making college selection decisions, don't want to let the kids get to far away where they might be influenced by things we don't know about or do or approve of.

Of course, for the devil's advocate to be effective, he has to be persuasive, and that carries the risk of changing minds. At base, I really think much of the sudden eagerness to second-guess curricular choices comes from an unwillingness to accept uncertainty, to accept the possibility that you might change your mind. It takes a certain courage to venture into uncharted territory, especially in emotionally-charged areas. But that's part of maturity. It's part of real adulthood.

Anybody who has ever weathered a bad breakup knows the fear of uncertainty. Hell, asking my then-girlfriend to become The Wife took a gigantic leap of faith. Deciding to have kids took even bigger leaps. If you never grapple with uncertainty, you never really learn to make leaps in its face. (Or, worse, you make the leaps too quickly, with no reflection on their cost.) I'm brave enough to read people I disagree with, and to admit when I'm not sure. Too many people confuse intensity of conviction with truth. I prefer to think that truth is what's left standing after the dust settles.

Moving too quickly from "this makes me uncomfortable" to "therefore, I shouldn't be exposed to it" is dangerous. As a college, we've made the choice to bar underage students from certain classes, rather than water down the content, and I'm proud of that choice. As the political winds shift, I hope we stay true to our mission. If that means offending a few true believers, so be it. There are worse offenses than offending.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:00 AM | TrackBack

February 21, 2006

Go edit a wiki!

Ok this will make any librarian, or the people who love them, laugh. http://www.laughinglibrarian.com/bd_blogga.htm Note...several of the blogs and bloggers mentioned appear on prolurker, some even by their own wishes. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 11:56 PM | TrackBack

Web 2.0

Yesterday I had a fun conversation about Web 2.0 and the imaginary dividing line that sets off this somewhat random set of features from Web 1.0 or Web 1.9 whichever came before. So when I found the following on Blogography I had to laugh. Dave may be less then politically correct but I do think he has nailed the essense of it. LOL

Any time I see the words "Web 2.0" in an email, I delete the stupid shit immediately. Do not pass spam filter. Do not collect conference fees. If ever there was a marketing hype term that was as useless as a bow on a turd, this is it. The web is evolving, and always has been. Assigning "Web 2.0" to some arbitrary technology so you can sucker people into thinking that Javascript and DOM is something new is just stupid. Are you the same moron who was declaring Flash as "Web 2.0" five years ago? Yeah, that's what I thought. Anybody pushing "Web 2.0" is trying to sell you something.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:42 PM | TrackBack

February 20, 2006

I’m not a librarian I just hang around them

Walt sites Elyssa Kroski's "The hive mind: Folksonomies and user-based tagging" at Infotangle in his overview article in this volume of Cites & Insights. Following are her takes on the strengths and weaknesses of the process. I totally concur as I have said previous I play around with folksonomies for prolurker but have never really adopted the practice because of a lack of precision and synonym control. Heck I forget what my tags are how can I expect you to remember? Besides categories are tags too you know.

Strengths: Folksonomies are inclusive. Folksonomies are current. Folksonomies offer discovery. Folksonomies are non-binary. Folksonomies are democratic and self-governing. Folksonomies follow "desire lines." Folksonomies offer insight into user behavior. Folksonomies engender community. Folksonomies offer a low cost alternative. Folksonomies offer usability. Resistance is futile.

Weaknesses: Folksonomies have no synonym control. Folksonomies have a lack of precision. Folksonomies lack hierarchy. Folksonomies have a "basic level" problem. Folksonomies have a lack of recall. Folksonomies are susceptible to "gaming."

Note: Edited on 2.20.2006 to reflect Walt's corrections per his comment.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media

Twenty Years from Now blog posted an announcement for a kid-related postdoc position at Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California

Mimi Ito has just posted about a really interesting ethnographic post-doc position for her digital kids project.

Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media
An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures
Job Opening: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California

The Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California invites applications for a postdoctoral research position, sponsored by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The position is for one year with the possibility of renewal for one more year. The postdoctoral researcher will work as fieldworker/ethnographer on a project on "digital kids" and informal learning, which involves foundational research on how children and youth are using information and communication technologies and participating on the Internet. At USC, the project is led by Mizuko Ito, and is part of a broader project involving Peter Lyman and Diane Harley at UC Berkeley, and Michael Carter at the Monterey Institute of Technology and Education. More information on the project can be found at: http://digitalyouth.sims.berkeley.edu.

Responsibilities would involve monitoring and participating in online activity and conducting interviews with kids and parents The researcher would also be responsible for analyzing, writing, and presenting results, and considering policy and design implications of the ethnographic research. We seek candidates with backgrounds in fields such as science and technology studies, information sciences, communications, education, anthropology, and sociology with interest in areas related to new media, education, and childhood studies. The ideal candidate would have experience in ethnographic fieldwork, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, and experience working with kids and families. The position will be full time, with a yearly salary of $45,000 plus benefits, and researcher will be expected to be in residence in the Los Angeles area.

Applications should include a CV, a cover letter including a personal statement, and a brief statement of research goals and experience in relation to ethnographic research on kids and technology. Three letters of recommendation are to be sent directly by the writers (letters may also be faxed to 213-747-4981). Address all application materials to Rachel Cody, Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California, 734 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Email contact: rcody at annenberg dot edu. The deadline for receipt in our office is April 30, 2006.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:04 AM | TrackBack

Unstable Text: An Ethnographic Look at How Bloggers and Their Audience Negotiate Self-Presentation, Authenticity and Norm Formation

The ever amazing Amanda Lenhart, the primary author of the PEW adolescent studies, has posted her masters thesis online. Check it out, it is excellent work.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 19, 2006

Ok decision made...no AoIR this year

I have to start off this post by saying that I consider the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) to be my disciplinary organization. Yes I know they have had a long and interesting discussion on "internet research as discipline" and have rejected the notion but when research work spans as many boundaries as mine does, it makes sense that a non-discipline would be my discipline. With the allegiance to the organization that comes with the "my disciplinary organization" moniker is the understanding that I plan to submit to and attend all, or most all, of the conferences. Well this year I am not submitting to or attending the Brisbane AU conference. Decision made!

I've waffled on this for a while. I really want to go to Australia, have for many years. But the expense is huge, especially for a grad student who must finance stuff on her own. Just doing a quick check on a flight from Louisville to Brisbane, the charge is $1816.40 (not including taxes and fees). Now that is without the side-trips I would want to make to Sydney to meet my family there and to Melbourne to meet my internet friends. So the airfare alone would easily top $2000. Of course that is also without lodging or food or fun money, so the cost would be much more than the airfare I'm sure.

And you can't forget that there is almost 30 hours in transit just for the Louisville to Brisbane leg. Add that 30 hours to a four day conference plus two side-excursions and this trip would undoubtedly mean I would miss two weeks of classes, assuming I am offered teaching for the fall...which I'm pretty sure I will be. Now in a tenure or tenure-track position I might not feel bad about asking a fellow faculty member to cover my classes for two weeks, I would absolutely make it up to them in spades. But as an adjunct I hate to ask anyone to cover let alone for two weeks, it's the old don't make waves issue.

Well I have no doubt I will be kicking myself over this decision but it really seems to be the right one. I have a couple of short conferences I want to attend in Europe and the UK this summer. Luckily they are only four days a part so, assuming I am accepted to both, I can hang out for four days and save on airfare. One of the conferences has a related publication opportunities so that is a much bigger bang for the travel buck. The work I had intended to submit to AoIR as "work in progress" will be going to HICSS 2007 as a completed project. I think I had better save the money and plan on HICSS 2007, another expensive trip - though not this expensive - but with a publication if you are accepted.

I will get to AU someday, someday when I can afford it or when it is someone else's dime. Anya keep the speaking slot open I fully intend to use it before we both retire.

Oh and someone who is going from the states? Pick me up a really cool embroidered flying fox cap. My friends in Melbourne won't send me one because they think they are tacky and only worn by tourists. No I mean embroidered...not one of those ones with a stuffed flying fox on the top that flaps it's wings. *shivers*

Posted by prolurkr at 10:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 18, 2006

Blogging by the numbers

CultureCat has some interesting numbers she will be using in her diss. Check out her post, WATW by the Numbers, for the discussion behind the counts.

As most of you know, I'm writing a dissertation about rhetoric, gender, and blogging using where are the women? as a case study. I should say that I'm not looking at every post on the list I compiled, only the spikes of activity: August 2002, September 2002, March through August of 2004, December 2004, and February 2005. So here are the numbers:

Total number of posts: 102
Total number of comments: 2243 (not counting spam or those accidental duplicate comments)
Total number of trackbacks: 171

Total number of posts by men: 33
Total number of posts by women: 69

Total number of comments by men: 885
Total number of comments by women: 1059
Total number of comments by gender-free: 349

Total number of trackbacks by men: 60
Total number of trackbacks by women: 105
Total number of trackbacks by gender-free: 6

Total number of posts by men that allowed comments: 30
Total number of posts by women that allowed comments: 53

Total number of comments under posts by men: 1374
Total number of comments under posts by women: 869

Average number of comments per post by a man: 46
Average number of comments per post by a woman: 16

Posted by prolurkr at 03:10 PM | TrackBack

Panels for the 2006 MLA Convention, Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing

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

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

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

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

FYI--the current members of the division executive committee are Sarah Bird Wright, Carolyn Williams, Craig Howes, Alison Booth, and Gillian Whitlock.

Craig Howes
Director, Center for Biographical Research
Editor, _Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly_
Professor of English
1733 Donaghho Road
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822
E-mail: [email protected] , or [email protected]
Home Page: www.hawaii.edu/biograph

Posted by prolurkr at 12:54 PM | TrackBack

The Dumpster

This may be old news to some of you, but today I got a pointer to The Dumpster a visualization of romantic breakups in 2005 culled from blog posts. Very cool concept and visualization. We need to many more of these capture and vis scripts looking at blogs and the net. Check it out.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

American English is developing more variety not less

I hear an NPR interview with William Labov, the audio will be available after 7:30 p.m. EST, this evening as I was driving home from campus. They were talking about the Atlas of North American English [ANAE] which either as just been published. Labov was discussing two concepts - the merger of some sounds and the split in others - that create our unique local accents. Both concepts lead to more distinction in American English rather than less.

The merger of /o/ and /oh/

  • Map 1. The merger of /o/ and /oh/: invariant responses in production and perception.
  • Map 2. The merger of /o/ and /oh/: advancement of the merger before nasals.

The merger of /i/ and /e/ before nasals

  • Map 3.The merger of /i/ and /e/ before nasals: invariant responses in production and perception.

The merger of high vowels before /l/

  • Map 4. The merger of /il/ and /iyl/.
  • Map 5. The merger of /ul/ and /uwl/.
  • Map 6. A comparison of the /i/~/iy/ &/u/~/uw/ mergers before /l/.
  • Map 7. The merger of /e/ and /ey/ before /l/.

The contrast of /hw/ and /w/.

  • Map 8. The maintenance of the /hw/~/w/ contrast.

I don't find information about the splits on the website, I'm guessing that is the juicy stuff they saved so we will all run out and buy the book.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:29 PM | TrackBack

This quarters installment of the State of the Blogosphere

Dave Sifry has posted several stats based posts over the last week. Gotta love new numbers...

From State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth:

In summary:

  • Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Spings (Spam Pings) can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total daily pings Technorati receives
  • Sophisticated spam management tools eliminate the spings and find that about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
  • Over 81 Million posts with tags since January 2005, increasing by 400,000 per day
  • Blog Finder has over 850,000 blogs, and over 2,500 popular categories have attracted a critical mass of topical bloggers

From State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 2: Beyond Search:

In Summary
  • Blogging and Mainstream Media continue to share attention in blogger's and reader's minds, but bloggers are climbing higher on the "big head" of the attention curve, with some bloggers getting more attention than sites including Forbes, PBS, MTV, and the CBC.
  • Continuing down the attention curve, blogs take a more and more significant position as the economics of the mainstream publishing models make it cost prohibitive to build many nice sites and media
  • Bloggers are changing the economics of the trade magazine space, with strong entries covering WiFi, Gadgets, Internet, Photography, Music, and other nice topic areas, making it easier to thrive, even on less aggregate traffic.
  • There is a network effect in the Technorati Top 100 blogs, with a tendency to remain highly linked if the blogger continues to post regularly and with quality content.
  • Looking at the historical data shows that the inertia in the Top 100 is very low - in other words, the number of new blogs jumping to the top of the Top 100 as well as he blogs that have fallen out of the top 100 show that the network effect is relatively weak.
  • The Magic Middle is the 155,000 or so weblogs that have garnered between 20 and 1,000 inbound links. It is a realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.
  • Technorati Explore is a new feature that uses the authoritative topical bloggers as a distributed editorial team, highlighting the most interesting blog posts and links in over 2,500 categories.
  • The new Filter By Authority slider makes it easy to refine a search and look for either a wider array of thoughts and opinions, or to narrow the search to only bloggers that have lots of other people linking to them. This gives you the power to decide how much filtering you want.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:58 PM | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

Research Training

The link for Clinical Research Training ran across one of my listservs today. Don't let the name turn you off, this site offers free training on:

While the focus of many of these sites is "medical research" that does not mean they ca'nt be very helpful for social science researchers. Remember the system we are forced to play in was designed for medical and psychological experimentation. The more we understand how that system works the better we will be able to utilize the system to do our work.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:26 PM | TrackBack

Nielsen//NetRatings report detailing the growth of online communities

Taken from Neowin.net where Shane Pitman posted Online Member Communities Shaping the Internet & Society:

Internet media and market research firm Nielsen//NetRatings [pdf] has released a report detailing the growth of online communities such as Friends Reunited, Blogger, MySpace, and many others. Over 57 million member community web pages are viewed per day totaling almost 1.8 billion viewed monthly by their members. In the UK alone over half of the online population participates in a member based online community site.

Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings says "Whilst most of the talk about the future of the web revolves around which of the giant media companies will win the battle to enable people to watch TV through the Internet, a revolution of more immediate substance is already underway. The popularity of social networking and community sites in the UK are growing day by day - particularly amongst the young who, after all, will be responsible for the future of the Internet. Sites such as MySpace, bebo and MSN Spaces dominate those most likely to be visited by the teenage market. The future of online to the young is about what the Internet is best at - communicating and interacting - not watching TV. The sheer volume in the way that people use these sites, whether it's finding friends, family or sharing their experiences and lives with others, is connecting and bringing people together in a way that was unimaginable before the Internet. It has fundamentally shifted, perhaps even created, the way in which new micro-societies are being formed and relate to each other. It will be interesting to see how these affect the general construction of society in the years to come as the web increasingly underpins more of our daily lives."

Boasting membership of over five million online and one million plus visitors per day, Faceparty is the number one community site in the UK totaling more pages viewed per person than Google, eBay, and the BBC combined.

Burmaster continues "Member communities are the most popular brands in the UK when you look at it in terms of the average number of web pages viewed per visitor. For example, if you consider that just the average Faceparty visitor views 23 pages within that site every day you can begin to comprehend how deeply ingrained the member community experience is in the lives of today's online population."

Posted by prolurkr at 05:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Video exploring one students use of tablet software

Tracy Hooten at the The Student Tablet PC blog has a Camtasia video of the programs she uses to run her student life. Check out MY Camtasia Video: Student Apps Demo (#1). She uses the following software:

I have to check out some of these I don't currently use. Oh and Camtasia is cool too and the educational pricing isn't too bad.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:11 PM | TrackBack

Another oldie but goodie - ENIAC +60 years

From Writing and the Digital Life:

"In February 1946, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly were about to unveil, for the first time, an electronic computer to the world. Their ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, could churn 5,000 addition problems in one second, far faster than any device yet invented.

"The scientists knew that they had created something that would change history, but they weren't sure how to convey their breakthrough to the public. So they painted numbers on some light bulbs and screwed the resulting "translucent spheres" into ENIAC's panels. Dynamic, flashy lights would thereafter be associated with the computer in the public mind."

It's hard to believe that now we have such tiny devices when only 60 years ago, ENIAC occupied massive amounts of space. Go back in time with the video on these pages.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:44 PM | TrackBack

This is just too cool to let it go

Gizmodo has a post with a picture of a working model based on Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, built entirely out of Lego's. Don't you just love human ingenuity?

Nineteenth-century computer pioneer Charles Babbage is taken back--via Lego. Andy Carroll, an apparently highly-skilled Lego builder and mathematician, created this functional mechanical computer, modeled after Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, which was a precursor to modern-day computers.

Amazingly enough, this machine is able to solve mathematical problems known as second- and third-order polynomials, and is able to calculate those to three or four digits.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:40 PM | TrackBack

Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

43 Folders has a link to Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing. While not all are appropriate to academic writing, in truth few of them are appropriate for even "new ethnography" they do show how one writer has analyzed his craft. For those of us that live self-reflexive lives this analysis is important...and on going. Give the list a once over and see what they make you conscience of in your own writing.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It's my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character--the one whose view best brings the scene to life--I'm able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what's going on, and I'm nowhere in sight.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:28 PM | TrackBack

Ellipsis in computer-mediated discourse

From Josh Iorio, at Sociolinguistics and CMC. I need to get a copy of this paper!

my paper was on the use of the ellipsis in computer-mediated discourse. a good part of the paper was descriptive in nature, talking about traditional uses that have been adapted by speakers in CMD (e.g. representing silence or hesitation) and some innovative uses that have popped up (e.g. typing dot dot dots in place of periods, commas, semi-colons, lexical conjunctions, etc., and the different grammatical and social [both situational and metaphorical] contexts in which this feature is most likely to appear). a large portion of the paper also addressed the notion of whether CMC should be approached as more closely approximating standards of written text, spoken discourse, or as a mixed modality. rather than picking sides, i argued that this was not so much a constant designation for CMC, but more likely an ideology that speakers approached differently and which shaped their discourse appropriately, and that linguistic style in CMC could be dependent on this ideology. that's how i framed a majority of the variation of ellipsis use among the speakers from my corpus, anyway.

I've been thinking about my own use of ellipsis in blog posts...I tend to use them instead of ending punctuation to connect related ideas. Not proper English I know. But what the heck it's not an academic publication, prolurker is a blog after all. *S*

Posted by prolurkr at 04:24 PM | TrackBack

Business blogging is a puny part of the blogosphere?

An interesting article on business blogging from BusinessWeek Online, The Inside Story on Company Blogs:

The numbers are downright puny. According to The Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki (a list of blogs provided by employees about their companies and products), only 22 of the 500 largest U.S. companies operate public blogs from their executive suites. That amounts to a measly 4.4%. Has the blogging sensation passed corporations by?


Why are blogs supplanting traditional corporate Intranets? They're a snap to set up, and cheap to run. That's why the blog universe -- as counted by Technorati, the leading blog search engine -- has tripled to 27 million in the last year. They dwarf the number of personal Web pages, which require more technical expertise.

What's more, blogs are designed to change daily and -- importantly -- to receive comments from the public. This means that while traditional corporate Intranets are static, blogs generate conversation.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:06 PM | TrackBack

Blog links show something, but what?

Ok you know how you read something and it doesn't really register until you run across it later. Then pow it sinks in with a vengeance. That is what happened with the post from Bamblog's, Survey "Wie ich blogge?!" I had read the post last month but it didn't make it through the haze until today's marathon RSS reading, after I read Jan's comments to the Socnet listserv. These are very interesting stats

The online survey "Wie ich blogge?!" was conducted in October 2005, in cooperation with blog providers blog.de, blogg.de, blogigo.de, twoday.net and Six Apart Germany. Questions covered various aspects of blogging practices, from motivations and content over issues of anonymity and identity to reading habits, as well as basic sociodemographic information. A special part of the questionnaire aimed at ex-bloggers (e.g. asking for reasons for stopping to blog).

Sampling was in part based on an E-Mail invitation to registered users of twoday.net (n=980) and blogg.de (n=96), in part on self-selection through a link banner that circulated through the german-speaking blogosphere (n=4.171). 83,9 percent of respondents are active bloggers, 11,8 percent are "readers only", and 4,3 percent are ex-bloggers (who still read blogs, though). The majority comes from Germany (81,5%), Austria (9,6%) and Switzerland (5,5%). Due to the sampling process, the results will not be statistically representative for the german-speaking blogosphere, but will give a good explorative indication about the state of blogging within those countries.

Here is the heart of Jan's email (reprinted by permission of the author):

I agree that Blogroll links are not as well an indicator of actual blogging practices than links in postings and comments. Just to give an indication of blogrolling practices, here are a couple of findings from a large-scale (N=5.247) survey of the german-speaking blogosphere we've conducted in October 2005 (alas, not published in english yet; some more info: http://www.bamberg-gewinnt.de/wordpress/archives/348).

55.2 percent of all blog authors have a blogroll. On average (median), they include 16 (10) blogs. Older weblogs (> 6 months) have larger blogrolls (avg 20, median 15) than younger ones (avg. 9, median 6).

34% state they modify their blogroll once a month or more often, 45.5 % a couple of times per year, 20.4 % even less regularly. Frequency of blogroll update correlates with age of weblog, with younger weblogs updating the blogroll more often. Both findings indicate that a blogroll gets build primarily in the beginning of one's blogging activitates, while authors build their networks within the blogosphere, but is a less reliable indicator for ties among "older" bloggers.

Where do the blogroll links point to (multiple answers possible)?

  • Weblogs I read regularly: 85,0 percent
  • Weblogs run by friends of mine 60,3 percent
  • Weblogs dealing with similar topics as my own 38,7 percent
  • Weblogs which link to my own weblog 25,6 percent

Posted by prolurkr at 11:26 AM | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

We live in frightening times

I think that the Inside Higher Ed article David Horowitz Has a List is mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in higher ed. We live in truly frightening times when a professor of peace studies at a Quaker college can be labeled as one of The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.

An exact disciplinary breakdown is difficult because many of the professors do interdisciplinary work. But by far, Middle Eastern studies seems to be the most dangerous field to Horowitz, with at least 15 scholars on his list who do work on the subject. Many other professors on the list work in relatively new fields such as ethnic studies, gay studies, or women's studies. But there are also plenty of people from traditional fields such as history, English and law.

From the publishers website:

Horowitz exposes 101 academics--representative of thousands of radicals who teach our young people--who also happen to be alleged ex-terrorists, racists, murderers, sexual deviants, anti-Semites, and al-Qaeda supporters. Horowitz blows the cover on academics who:

  • Say they want to kill white people.
  • Promote the views of the Iranian mullahs.
  • Support Osama bin Laden.
  • Lament the demise of the Soviet Union.
  • Defend pedophilia.
  • Advocate the killing of ordinary Americans.

David Horowitz's riveting exposé is essential reading for parents, students, college alums, taxpayers, and patriotic Americans who don't think college students should be indoctrinated by sympathizers of Joseph Stalin and Osama bin Laden.

The Professors is truly frightening--and an intellectual call to arms from a courageous author who knows the radicals all too well.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:04 PM | TrackBack

Meme tracking

From ProBlogger. I had no idea there were so many meme tracking options.

Richard MacManus has a good round up post that takes a look at what he calls the increasing array of Meme Trackers that are pretty popular these days.

He ranks Memorandum as the best (he's a long time fan) but others that he looks.

Check out MacManus's original post for detailed information on each of his choices, including screen shots of some his favorites.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:38 PM | TrackBack

Research Fellowship at De Monfort University

Thomas Burg's blog .:| randgaenge |:. has a link to the announcement of a Research Fellowship at De Monfort University.

Our successful AHRC application has created an opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher for a project entitled 'Interdisciplinary applications of experimental social software to the study of narrative in digital contexts', led by Professor Sue Thomas. The post is jointly based in the Institute of Creative Technologies and the Faculty of Humanities.

You will have a major role in the survey and evaluation of collaborative social software tools and their application to people-to-people models of transdisciplinary knowledge-sharing in relation to narratives in a digital context.

You will have a PhD (or have recently submitted your doctorate) and you will probably, but not necessarily, have a first degree in a Humanities subject. You will have a proven knowledge of narrative in digital environments and experience of managing web-based collaborative tools. A substantial understanding of the technical aspects of the project, including knowledge of HTML, databases, data collection and analysis skills, are a requirement of the post.

Interviews for the post will take place on Monday 10th April with a preferred start date of 22nd May 2006

Informal enquiries can by made to Sue Thomas on [email protected] or +44(0)116 2078266

The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities. For further information please see www.ahrc.ac.uk

Closing date 17/03/2006

Posted by prolurkr at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

Grenzenlose Cyberwelt? Internationale Fachtagung in Bielefeld

Hello from Bielefeld Germany. After a long (26 hours from door-to-door) trip I arrive yesterday and quickly fell asleep hence no post. Last evening the invited speakers were taken for dinner at a local beerhouse. Dinner was good and the beer was great, heavy dark beer...my german genetic structure resonates with good dark beer.

I will be blogging the conference as I can, we have wifi but battery power is required so connection is a problem.

Just a note this is my first translated conference so this should be interesting.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:27 AM | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

A few days in Germany for Cyberworld Unlimited

I am off early in the morning for a few days in Germany where I will be an invited presenter at Cyberworld unlimited? Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People. Susan Herring and I will be talking about gender and the blogosphere, our PowerPoint slideshow is available at http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/bielefeld.ppt. Though since we don't present for a few days minor changes are possible.

Assuming I have good connectivity during the conference I will try to post live notes for those of you who can't attend. Otherwise they will have to wait until I get home.

Related post:

Adding a new category to the CV

Posted by prolurkr at 05:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The first issue of PodcastUser Magazine hits a download near you

Wow Podcasting is big enough to warrant a "magazine." Check it out...

Direct Download PDF (4MB)

It's been a frantic few days at the virtual offices of PodcastUser Magazine, but I'm pleased to announce the release of issue one.

Please let us know what you think by either clicking on the contact button or using the individual email addresses printed within the magazine.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:48 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2006

Western Union Telegrams STOP

From the Baltimore Sun, though I first heard it on CNN.

Western Union was making little money sending telegrams - $500,000 in revenue last year on 20,000 telegrams delivered - and will focus on the more lucrative money transfer business, with revenue of $4 billion annually.

The company delivered its last telegram Jan. 27, but it won't say to whom.

In an age of cell phones, fax machines, e-mail and text messaging, there's little room for the telegram. By the cold calculus of business, it's hard to make an argument for keeping it alive. But something romantic is being lost, say those who love telegrams, even if they acknowledge not sending them anymore.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:07 PM | TrackBack

February 02, 2006

Retaining your rights with an Author’s Addendum

Jill/txt has a link to the SPARC Author's Addendum - Use it to retain the rights you need for the journal articles you create.

The SPARC Author's Addendum is a form you may use to amend the document that your publisher asks you to sign. It was developed for SPARC by Michael Carroll of the Villanova University School of Law.

By using the SPARC Author's Addendum you will, for example, retain the right to make your article available in a non-commercial open digital archive on the Web (such as the National Institutes of Health's PubMed Central or your institution's open digital archive) or to make copies of your article for use in the classes you teach.

I have previously penned Phil Agre's recommended addendum, "The author retains the right to publish an earlier version of the work on a website" on the contract before I signed. I like this one much better it's clearer and more professional looking.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:02 PM | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

When counseling should have a trained professional

Back when I was in Human Resources my hubby used to be concerned. I had death threats of course none were to serious, but all were taken seriously by myself and my employers. Of course he knew about the folks that come to a work place with a gun to right some wrong that has been "done to them." We've all seem this one the news, even one this week. Usually those folks shoot their boss and are on their way to HR when the snipers take them out or the reverse. Now that never happened to me or to anyone I know, but I did deal with folks with every variety of mental and emotional issue so the potential for violence was always there, and he knew it.

Because of that I don't think I will be pointing him to the article in The Chronicle by Harry Lancaster - Not a Counselor. Lancaster has written a case study of his interaction with a pathological liar, if you haven't met someone with this illness this is a fairly accurate story from my experience, that should give all of us pause as we interact with the broad spectrum of people we see on a daily basis.

For the record, mental and emotional issues are not limited to the student body. One of my first interactions with someone with pathological lying tendencies, if they were not a pathological liar they were very close to being one, was as an undergrad student dealing with a full professor. Talk about messed up power dynamics.

While I may not share it with hubby I do think this article is important reading for all of us in academia. This clip is from the conclusion but the case study is required reading to make all of the pieces fall into place, and maybe most of the cautionary tale.

At my small college, the administration gives us somewhat paradoxical advice: We should be open and receptive to students, willing to give them our time and attention. Yet we should refer students with problems to the counseling center, remembering that we can't diagnose problems or make the students go (or even make them call for an appointment). Those varying directives are difficult to balance.

In my case, when the student first came to me, I wrestled with what to do: She was legally an adult with the right to make her own decisions about her private life, yet she appeared to need help. She had said she didn't want to see a counselor on the campus -- in her words, "the counseling center doesn't know what it's doing" -- and I felt obliged to honor her request and her privacy.

Wanting to help, I kept listening. She seemed to need someone to talk to, and she trusted me. And I have to admit it: Being trusted is a good feeling.

But it was exactly that "good guy" nature that got me in trouble -- that's what she exploited. Many of my colleagues with whom I've shared this story have sympathized, for they, too, would want to be the good guy, the trusted ear, the one who helps save a hurt student. Some said they would have easily believed her protest about the counseling center, for there is that lingering "us-them" relationship between academics and student- life professionals.

I have decided I cannot play the role of informal counselor again: I will direct students immediately to the counseling center, not in judgment but because you need the best person for the job. You call a plumber to fix a broken pipe, right? Let me help you write an essay, not resolve your personal issues.

If only it were that easy with every case. Not every student can be waved off to the counseling center. My fellow faculty members have talked of stalkers and identity thieves who go after professors as easily as they go after students. One colleague even had a voodoo "death curse" put on her some years ago by an angry student -- obviously ineffective (at least so far) but still disturbing.

The matter becomes even darker when I consider that at some future point on our quiet campus, things could turn deadly. I already know tangentially of several episodes in which students became confrontational with professors nearly to the point of violence. Students also have threatened each other. There may be a time when a violent, unstable student will have a gun.

Mandy merely deceived me. What should I do if a student becomes violent? If a student hits me, will I be fired if I hit back in self-defense? If a student brings a gun into my class, am I expected to sacrifice myself for my other students, or can I run and hide and thereby save my children from the loss of a parent? Am I liable if I give the bad (yet deserved) grade that sets off a sniper? Yes, those questions are ultimately all about me -- but you know, I have a vested interest in me.

From my perspective, there are far more questions than answers. I sure would like some answers as I move further and further into this unknown territory.

I also wonder/worry about how I can effectively interact with students who are using drugs and alcohol detrimentally. I've had several students who clearly were using something that altered their personalities markedly from one interaction to another. One student would swing from docile to vengeful, thankfully all via email, between each interaction. In this case they eventually did poorly in my class and probably others as well, but is "flunking out" the best we can offer these people? I'm sorry but I'm not comfortable with that at all. It seems to me that some sort of intervention process should be available...no we can't force them into treatment but somehow we (being the college/university) should be able to present them with information and options to resolve the problem. No I'm not a pie-eyed optimist I know many substance abusers would say "no thanks" to the offer but if you helped one wouldn't it be worth it? Something to think about.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:50 AM | TrackBack

JCMC’s new issue

The JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION is pleased to announce its latest issue: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue2/

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 11, Issue 2, January 2006

Organizational Blogs and the Human Voice: Relational Strategies and Relational Outcomes
- Tom Kelleher and Barbara M. Miller

Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment
- Nicole Ellison, Rebecca D. Heino, and Jennifer L. Gibbs

Ouch!: An Examination of the Self-Representation of Disabled People on the Internet
- Estelle Thoreau

Community Participation and Internet Use after September 11: Complementarity in Channel Consumption
- Mohan Dutta-Bergman

Student Perceptions of Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication in Face-to-Face Courses
- Yun-Jo An and Theodore Frick

The Politeness of Requests Made Via Email and Voicemail: Support for the Hyperpersonal Model
- Kirk W. Duthler

Primacy and Recency Effects on Clicking Behavior
- Jamie Murphy, Charles Hofacker, and Richard Mizerski

The Internet and Tobacco Cessation: The Roles of Internet Self-Efficacy and Search Task on the Information-Seeking Process
- Traci Hong

The Effects of Communication Modality on Performance and Self-Ratings of Teamwork Components
- Thomas D. Fletcher and Debra A. Major

IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Networks
- J. Alison Bryant, Ashley Sanders-Jackson, and Amber M. K. Smallwood

On and Off the 'Net: Scales for Social Capital in an Online Era
- Dmitri Williams

Preliminary Development of a Model and Measure of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Competence
- Brian H. Spitzberg

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Susan C. Herring, Editor-in-Chief

Posted by prolurkr at 09:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 31, 2006

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

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

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

Oh yes I remember these conversations

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

Elephants (A Play in One Scene)

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

Dean: Thanks for coming, Ben.

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

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

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

Dean: Huh?

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

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

Prof: What elephant?

Dean: The one in the room.

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

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

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

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

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

Dean: The elephant isn't right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dean: (sigh)

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


Posted by prolurkr at 01:41 PM | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

January 2006 Advisory Committee Update

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

Posted by prolurkr at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

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

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

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

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

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

David notes that:

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:06 AM | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 09:41 AM | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

Why we love to hate peer review comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 03:25 PM | TrackBack

Defining the practice of "close reading" theory

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 01:40 PM | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

PEW Report released - The Strength of Internet Ties

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

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

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

The full report is available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/172/report_display.asp

Posted by prolurkr at 08:57 PM | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

Men’s studies bibliography

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:39 AM | TrackBack

Blog Research Carnival

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

Related post:

Blog Research Carnival?

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

January 20, 2006

Ruminating on keeping up

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Be afraid and be vigilant

From BetaNews, Government Wants Google Search Data:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:18 PM | TrackBack

Blog Research Carnival?

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

When the fringe goes mainstream

Blog tracking goes mainstream: Nielsen purchases Intelliseek

Posted by prolurkr at 07:43 PM | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

National De-Lurking Week

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

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

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

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

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

January 10, 2006

The words mount toward a quals paper

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

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

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

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

Final word count for section = 3840

Quals sections completed = 1 of 10.

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

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

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

Quals section starting word count = 5612.

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

Posted by prolurkr at 11:15 AM | TrackBack

Tools for Searching, Monitoring and Analyzing Blogs

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:04 AM | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

MySpace has 47.3 million members

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:12 AM | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

The wonders of a dynamic CV

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

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

Google Analytics

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

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

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

January 07, 2006

New books added to the collection

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 04:32 PM | TrackBack

January 05, 2006

The academic blogosphere has been a buzz...

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 01:52 PM | TrackBack

CMC articles from asian sources

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 01:42 PM | TrackBack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 01:15 PM | TrackBack

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

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

From Inside Higher Ed, Dec 22, 2005:

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:27 AM | TrackBack

What computer fields value

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:18 AM | TrackBack

Paragraph analysis and the popular blog

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 07:52 AM | TrackBack

January 04, 2006

2006 Bloggies are open for nominations

It's Bloggie time again. Check out the ever increasing list of categories this year http://2006.bloggies.com/.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:40 PM | TrackBack

December 2005 Advisory Committee Update

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

Posted by prolurkr at 08:59 PM | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Bloglines is moving to bigger digs

Moving Data Centers

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

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

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

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

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

Hopefully this will help.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:49 PM | TrackBack

Edublog 2005 Award Winners

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

The International Edublog Awards Winners 2005

* Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme 2005

James Farmer: Edublogs

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

* Best newcomer 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

* Most influential post, resource or presentation 2005

George Siemens: Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation

* Best designed/most beautiful edublog 2005

D'Arcy Norman: D'Arcy Norman Dot Net

* Best library/librarian blog 2005

Joyce Valenza: Joyce Valenza's NeverEnding Search

* Best teacher blog, joint winners 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

Anne Davis: Edublog Insights

* Best audio and/or visual blog 2005

Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow: Ed Tech Talk

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

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

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

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

* Best group blog 2005

Rudolf Amman, Aaron Campbell, Barbara Dieu: Dekita.org

* Best individual blog 2005

Stephen Downes: OLDaily

Posted by prolurkr at 04:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tim Berners-Lee now has a blog

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

Posted by prolurkr at 03:58 PM | TrackBack

December 16, 2005

But can I use the data?

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

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

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

Now let's parse this out a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viva la Mess! - a Friday morning rant

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

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


About Structured Blogging

Structured Blogging and the Pull-and-Pay Dilemma

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

December 15, 2005

Moving loisscheidt.com and professional-lurker.com

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

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

I will let readers know before the move takes place.

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

Comments about online diaries

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

December 14, 2005

WWW at 15

15 years of the World Wide Web from CNN

Spark's top 10 Web moments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 12, 2005

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 09:39 PM | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

Adding a new category to the CV

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 05:55 PM | TrackBack

Another tech purchase by Yahoo

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

Posted by prolurkr at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

Scholarly publishing in the age of distributed content

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

Then I want to focus on some particular cases.

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

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

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

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

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

December 08, 2005

A list of free blog hosts

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

Posted by prolurkr at 02:42 PM | TrackBack

James W. Carey Media Research Award


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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 12:20 PM | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

“Podcast” is the word of the year

Lifted from vnunet.com

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

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

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

Posted by prolurkr at 04:35 PM | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

November Advisory Committee Update

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

Posted by prolurkr at 10:19 PM | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

PEW releases data sets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 29, 2005

The Edublog Awards 2005 Nominations are open

Nomiantions are open for this year's Edublog Awards. The full post is reproduced below. Get your list together and nominate your favorites.

The Edublog Awards 2005

Welcome to the second international Edublog Awards - an annual event that recognises and promotes excellence in the field of edublogging.

This year I'm extremely pleased to be taking over the event co-ordination from your host last year, James Farmer. I'm very much looking forward to lively community debate and contributions this years awards, which have changed somewhat from last years format, in response to feedback. I hope to do as good a job as James and hope that the community will be positive about my management style!

First of all, the categories. This year there are ten:

* Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme

* Best newcomer

* Most influential post, resource or presentation

* Best designed/most beautiful edublog

* Best library/librarian blog

* Best teacher blog

* Best audio and/or visual blog

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

* Best group blog

* Best individual blog

There will also be a Best of the Best award, which will be open to all winners of the 2005 Edublog Award Categories.

Nominations and Rules:

This year the nomination process is also different:

Nominations will not be made publicly this year, and all submissions will be treated as confidential. Instead, you are asked to email in your nominations.

While everyone is eligable to vote, only current edubloggers are invited to nominate contenders. If you keep a blog, and produce content which is related to education (even if you post about your haircut a lot too), you are an edublogger and are eligable to nominate. Please include your blog url with your nominations.

Each participant is able to make a maximum of two nominations per category. Self-nomination is perfectly acceptable, but you are encouraged to nominate the edublogs that you genuinely believe to be outstanding examples of practice - the blogs you refer others too. Please list your nominations in order of preference. You may enter the same person or blog for more than one award.

Nominations are open from 21 November to 4 December. When you have decided on your nominations for all of the categories, you can cut and paste the template provided into the body of an email, complete it and send to the awards email address.

The four most popular, eligible nominations in each category will be available to vote on from 5 December to 17 December. Winners will be announced live at a special broadcast awards ceremony held on 18 December 1500 GMT.

Good luck - and see you all at the awards ceremony!

Josie Fraser, EdTechUK

Posted by prolurkr at 09:30 AM | TrackBack

20 blog post formats

Darren at ProBlogger posted an interesting set of what he calls 20 Types of Blog Posts but I don’t think they are actual “types” as much as they are formates for posts. Wonder how many more we could name? Content Analysts make note...he days our method involves “often doing mind numbing counting jobs.”

• Instructional - Instructional posts tell people how to do something. I find that my Tips posts are generally the ones that are among my most popular both in the short term (ie loyal readers love them and will link up to them) but also in the longer term (ie one of the reasons people search the web is to find out how to do things and if you can rank highly with your tips post you can have traffic over a length of time).

• Informational - This is one of the more common blog post types where you simply give information on a topic. It could be a definition post or a longer explanation of some aspect of the niche that you’re writing on. This is the crux of successful sites like wikipedia

• Reviews - Another highly searched for term on the web is ‘review’ - I know every time I’m considering buying a new product that I head to Google and search for a review on it first. Reviews come in all shapes and sizes and on virtually every product or service you can think of. Give your fair and insightful opinion and ask readers for their opinion - reviews can be highly powerful posts that have a great longevity.

• Lists - One of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Posts with content like ‘The Top Ten ways to….’, ‘7 Reasons why….’ ‘ 5 Favourite ….’, ‘53 mistakes that bloggers make when….’ are not only easy to write but are usually very popular with readers and with getting links from other bloggers. Read my post - 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog for more on lists. One last tip on lists - if you start with a brief list (each point as a phrase or sentence) and then develop each one into a paragraph or two you might just end up with a series of posts that lasts you a few days. That’s how I started the Bloggers Block series.

• Interviews - Sometimes when you’ve run out of insightful things to say it might be a good idea to let someone else do the talking in an interview (or a guest post). This is a great way to not only give your readers a relevant expert’s opinion but to perhaps even learn something about the topic you’re writing yourself. One tip if you’re approaching people for an interview on your blog - don’t overwhelm them with questions. One of two good questions are more likely to get you a response than a long list of poorly thought through ones.

• Case Studies - Another popular type of post here at ProBlogger have been those where I’ve taken another blog and profiled them and how they use their site to earn money from their blogging (eg - one I did on Buzzmachine - the blog of Jeff Jarvis). Sometimes these are more like a review post but on occasion I’ve also added some instructional content to them and made some suggestions on how I’d improve them. Case studies don’t have to be on other websites of course - there are many opportunities to do case studies in different niches.

• Profiles - Profile posts are similar to case studies but focus in on a particular person. Pick an interesting personality in your niche and do a little research on them to present to your readers. Point out how they’ve reached the position they are in and write about the characteristics that they have that others in your niche might like to develop to be successful.

• Link Posts - The good old ‘link post’ is a favourite of many bloggers and is simply a matter of finding a quality post on another site or blog and linking up to it either with an explanation of why you’re linking up, a comment on your take on the topic and/or a quote from the post. Of course adding your own comments makes these posts more original and useful to your readers. The more original content the better but don’t be afraid to bounce off others in this way.

• ‘Problem’ Posts - I can’t remember where I picked this statistic up but another term that is often searched for in Google in conjunction with product names is the word ‘problems’. This is similar to a review post (above) but focusses more upon the negatives of a product or service. Don’t write these pieces just for the sake of them - but if you find a genuine problem with something problem posts can work for you.

• Contrasting two options - Life is full of decisions between two or more options. Write a post contrasting two products, services or approaches that outlines the positives and negatives of each choice. In a sense these are review posts but are a little wider in focus. I find that these posts do very well on some of my product blogs where people actually search for ‘X Product comparison to Y Product’ quite a bit.

• Rant - get passionate, stir yourself up, say what’s on your mind and tell it like it is. Rants are great for starting discussion and causing a little controversy - they can also be quite fun if you do it in the right spirit. Just be aware that they can also be the beginnings of a flaming comment thread and often it’s in the heat of the moment when we say things that we later regret and that can impact our reputation the most.

• Inspirational - On the flip side to the angry rant (and not all rants have to be angry) are inspirational and motivational pieces. Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word.

• Research - In the early days I wrote quite a few research oriented posts - looking at different aspects of blogging - often doing mind numbing counting jobs. I remember once surfing through 500 blogs over a few days to look at a number of different features. Research posts can take a lot of time but they can also be well worth it if you come up with interesting conclusions that inspire people to link up to you.

• Collation Posts - These are a strange combination of research and link posts. In them you pick a topic that you think your readers will find helpful and then research what others have said about it. Once you’ve found their opinion you bring together everyone’s ideas (often with short quotes) and tie them together with a few of your own comments to draw out the common themes that you see.

• Prediction and Review Posts - We see a lot of these at the end and start of the year where people do their ‘year in review’ posts and look at the year ahead and predict what developments might happen in their niche in the coming months.

• Critique Posts - ‘Attack posts’ have always been a part of blogging (I’ve done a few in my time) but these days I tend to prefer to critique rather than attack. Perhaps it’s a fine line but unless I get really worked up I generally like to find positives in what others do and to suggest some constructive alternatives to the things that I don’t like about what they do. I don’t really see the point in attacking others for the sake of it, but as I’ve said before this more a reflection of my own personality than much else I suspect and some people make a name for themselves very well by attacking others.

• Debate - I used to love a good debate in high school - there was something about preparing a case either for or against something that I quite enjoyed. Debates do well on blogs and can either in an organised fashion between two people, between a blogger and ‘all comers’ or even between a blogger and… themselves (try it - argue both for and against a topic in one post - you can end up with a pretty balanced post).

• Hypothetical Posts - I haven’t done one of these for a while but a ‘what if’ or hypothetical post can be quite fun. Pick a something that ‘could’ happen down the track in your industry and begin to unpack what the implications of it would be. ‘What if….Google and Yahoo merged?’ ‘What if …’

• Satirical - One of the reasons I got into blogging was that I stumbled across a couple of bloggers who were writing in a satirical form and taking pot shots at politicians (I can’t seem to find the blog to link to). Well written satire or parody can be incredibly powerful and is brilliant for generating links for your blog.

• Memes and Projects - write a post that somehow involves your readers and gets them to replicate it in someway. Start a poll, an award, ask your readers to submit a post/link or run a survey or quiz. Read more on memes.

As I wrote above - this is not an exhaustive list but rather just some of the types of posts that you might like to throw into your blog’s mix. Not every one will be suitable for all blogs or bloggers but using more than one format can definitely add a little spice an color to a blog. Lastly another technique is to mix two or more of the above formats together - there are no rules so have a bit of fun with it and share what you do in comments below.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:48 AM | TrackBack

November 27, 2005

Not a good use of CMC...

Teen in Crash May Have Been Text Messaging

Nov 26, 1:24 PM (ET)

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP) - A 17-year-old likely will face misdemeanor charges after allegedly losing control of his car while text messaging and hitting a bicyclist.

The bicyclist, Jim R. Price of Highlands Ranch, died Friday, two days after the accident.

"We do not believe it was an intentional act, but it was inattentiveness to the roadway," said Lt. Alan Stanton, spokesman for Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"The investigation showed that he was text-messaging on his cell phone" at the time of the accident, said Stanton.

The driver could face a charge of careless driving resulting in death, Stanton said. Under Colorado law, the teen could face up to a year in prison.

It was the second time Price, an avid cyclist, had been hit by car. He suffered a broken ankle two years ago when he was hit while riding on a bike path. His wife, Shirley, said he had been especially mindful of cars since then.

Shirley Price wasn't angry with the teen. "I feel sorry for the teenager," she said. "It was a stupid mistake," she told the Rocky Mountain News.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:40 AM | TrackBack

November 26, 2005

Google 2006 Anita Borg Scholarship

Google 2006 Anita Borg Scholarship

As part of Google's ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, we are pleased to announce the 2006 Google Anita Borg Scholarship. Dr. Anita Borg (1949 - 2003) devoted her life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of candidates' academic background and demonstrated leadership. They will each receive a $10,000 scholarship for the 2006-2007 academic year. Please visit http://www.google.com/anitaborg/ for additional details.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must:

How to Apply

All applications must be postmarked by Friday, January 20, 2006. If you would like an application reminder at the end of November, please let us know at https://services.google.com/inquiry/anitaborg_remind.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:56 AM | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

In your travels around the web would you keep an eye out for something for me?

I am looking for a couple, of course I would love to have a larger sample as well, of blogs written by males who have been blogging for say five to seven years and started when they were teens. Preferably young teens. I have a small but growing collection of blogs written by females who started when they were 13 or so and have been blogging ever since. Males blogs have proven to be harder to find, since most of the females have been found through "girls links" and no such obvious structure exists for boys. If you happen on to blogs that look like they meet this minimal criteria please email the addys to me. Thanks in advance.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:22 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

It’s little things that can just make a grey day bright

After almost a month of struggling with the university's new online learning tool's testing facility, today I got a message saying they had solved the problem and I can access my classes midterms for final review. And you know what I can...though not without some problems which they now know about and are addressing. Who ever thought I would be so excited about grading...well me or anyone else for that matter. Oh I should add that once all the bugs are out of the new system I do think it will be seriously kick-ass.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:35 PM | TrackBack

A new version of the Weblog and Blog Bibliography

I finally pieced together enough time to do an update on the Weblog and Blog Bibliography (pdf). Check it out for a fairly up to date listing of blog articles, chapters, and books.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:16 PM | TrackBack

November 14, 2005

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

Thanks Feedster and welcome

Have you ever just looked at a webpage not really seeing it and then suddenly it hits you between the eyes? Well visits and pages for prolurker have been going through the roof today. Which, in truth is eye catching since it's a Sunday and usually Sunday's are the sites slowest days.

So I decided to do some investigation to see what was up. I checked the logs and referrers, nothing jumped out at me as being a cause. I even ran a couple of Google searches to see if anything I had mentioned today might have put me on the top of some search list, but nothing was there.

Then while checking the Feedster page for the second time, zoning out cause it's late, and it suddenly jumped out at me, Professional-Lurker is their XML feed of the day. I've been Feedstered! LOL Way cool.

So welcome to those of you who are checking out the site for the first time. Hope to see you back again in the future.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:53 PM | TrackBack


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 11, 2005

Why bloggers tag

Mary Hodder at Napsterization has a post on Tagging by Bloggers, a Small Study. Of course this caught my eye since I have pretty conflicted feelings on this avenue of organization. See what you think.

Those interviewed talked about the following that would help them tag or cause them to want to tag when they were not doing so now:

1. A desire to create tags in their blogging software in similar ways to how they create 'categories' -- meaning they wanted to use a pulldown menu or something with similar ease, to quickly tag a post. This included the desire to have tags be invisible on their blog pages, as some of them have invisible categories in their posts. Some of those with invisible categories at the post level still have category searches visible at the sidebar level of their blogs. They would be interested in showing tags at the sidebar location, if they choose. But all felt these choices of visibility and invisibility at various points in their blog posts and overall blogs should be left to them as it is now with categories, and those choices should not bar them from participating in Technorati's tag program.

2. These bloggers rarely added new categories to their blogs, and saw the value of having large buckets to categorize their posts, and didn't want to add new categories all the time. Partly this was due to how difficult the software make it to add categories, and partly this was due to seeing in practice that there was value to 'large bucket' categories, and 'little context' tags. These small tags were desirable because they could be applied to a post on just one time, but categories would come up at least every few days.

3. These bloggers all understood the meaning of a link in their posts. They knew the value of those links, and thought carefully about where they pointed in posts before doing so. They did not like being forced to put a link to something in their tags, if they were not so inclined. They would prefer to have the choice to make a link or not make a link, depending on the circumstances of the post.

4. If a link was placed in a tag, at their choosing, they wanted more flexibility to choose where the link went, beyond Technorati's tags pages, Flickr or del.icio.us. Many did not like that in order to make the tag, they had to place a link, and then because they wanted to make links that 'made sense' to their readers (the links would 'go somewhere'), they felt forced to repeatedly link to these same couple of sites. Some wanted to be able to easily make their 'own tag pages.' Some wanted to be able to link to other places besides tagging sites, that had some meaning to them. And some asked to be able to link somewhere, and tag the link, and have that be understood to their readers and the systems that would pick up those tags.

5. A little less than half of these bloggers asked to be able to tag a specific object in their blog posts. They regularly posted photos, either their own, or brought in some code from another site to repost the photo, with or without text around that photo. They wanted to be able to tag just the photo in their post, but tag the post at the bottom of the post, following Technorati's directions for tagging.

6. A couple of the respondents said they would like to be able to tag comments from readers of their blogs, and they might consider, if they have registered commenters, allowing those commenters to tag posts, objects or other comments as well.

7. All of them liked the idea that tagging would allow them to participate in a community, but they wanted to control that participation themselves, at the publishing level of a post.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New JCMC edition online

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC) is available at: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue1/

The regular quarterly issue is accompanied by special theme issue: Culture and Computer-Mediated Communication from Guest Editors, Charles Ess and Fay Sudweeks

Two for the price of...free! Gotta love online journals.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:49 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

Barry Smith, Biomedical Ontologies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Colloquia

Yesterday I attended a colloquia by Barry Smith, Ph.D. Biomedical Ontologies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Smith is Julian Park Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in the University at Buffalo (New York, USA) and Director of the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science in Saarbrücken, Germany. His talk focused on his work with the new National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR).

Ontologies fascinate me, the balancing between developing detailed structures that define their field clearly while remaining flexible enough to allow for new unseen definitions is a huge intellectual undertaking. I can see why a philosophers would be draw to the work.

I was particularly taken with Smith's discussion of terminology used to define relationships in biomedical ontologies. I scribbled down a quick sample of the terms his group is using and will be playing with them in my own thinking about CMC, wish I could have grabbed all of them. Here's my very partial list:





I am totally in learner space here, and will have to explore my surroundings more thoroughly at some point.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:25 PM | TrackBack

Responses I owe

Today it's preying on my mind that I owe responses to a couple of people and that they will have to wait a touch longer while I finish this paper. First I owe a long response email to my friend John, I'm a putz but than you know that. I plan to sit down on the plane next week and write out a nice long email for you while I wing my way to cold Boston. Should keep we warm for the flight "being in the company" of a friend.

Second I owe a response post in my dialogue with Wil at Weblogg-ed, no I'm not avoiding it I just haven't had enough time to sit down and pull together my thoughts for a good response. It may be the middle of next week before this gets done, which in blog years is forever, but it is how it is.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:03 PM | TrackBack

Welcome to DAI527.1 Web Design students

Apparently prolurker is a blog design example for Paul Catanese's Web Design class at San Francisco State University. I hope it's a good design example and not a bad one. *crosses her fingers*

I'll be sure to let Julie, the actual designer behind this layout, and the Bona Fide Style group know that you have selected her work as an example for your class. Welcome to all of you.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:23 PM | TrackBack

Indiana Creates First Gender Studies Ph.D.

Sometime there are drawbacks to not reading your campus newspaper regularly. It seems that Indiana Univerisity's Board of Directors approved the creation of the first Gender Studies Ph.D. in the United States. OUTSTANDING! The focus is gender...as in all of them...which is very cool. Inside Higher Ed has the story, Indiana Creates First Gender Studies PH.D.

[Suzanna Danuta Walters, chair of the program] expects to have about seven students admitted in the fall, with five to seven students following each year. Asked if she expects to have more men -- as students and faculty members -- than a women's studies Ph.D. program would, she said, "there's no question about it," adding that the department's undergraduate program attracts both male and female students with courses on topics such as masculinity and "gender in all of its permutations."

Posted by prolurkr at 11:50 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

PubSub Community Lists

PubSub, my favorite blog search tool, has a new feature with its set of "Community Lists." This first iteration has four communities - The Law List, The PR List, The Fashion List, and The Librarian List. The Librarian List is an interesting ranking. Congratulations to Walt Crawford , a prolurker reader, whose blog Walt at Random is number one on the list. Oh no in the hour or so since I first read the webpages associated with this post, Walt has dropped from one to two on the list having been surpassed by Library Stuff blog which inexplicably rose seven places today. *collective sigh* Personally I don't put a lot of stock in link rankings, mostly because I can't make heads or tails out of how they work.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 06, 2005

The genderedness of writing...and education...and.....

For those of you that are interested in gender and blogging or in feminism in general, I suggest you take a look at Weblogg-ed and weigh in on the discussion. I've thown in my two-cents on several of the posts including Connective Writing, "Can Someone Point Me to a Great Teen Blogger?", and Blogging vs. Journaling Update #384. Join in if you have something to say.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

Thougths on teens and things...proto-thoughts

The last few days I have been thinking about a list of things and noting several with a mental asterisk that I need to blog about it when I have time..later this month maybe. Here's the beginnings of the list:

Well this morning I found that danah must be having some of the same angst as she has posted a lengthy discussion on the culture of fear of teens that is permeating mass media and particularly in relation to teen online interactions. See her post growing up in a culture of fear: from Columbine to banning of MySpace. I agree with what she is saying broadbrush and will address the particulars in a future post.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:05 AM | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

Teen Content Creators and Consumers: More than half of online teens have created content for the internet; and most teen downloaders think that getting free music files is easy to do

I've been waiting and holding my breath to get my hands on this report. Mucho citation awaits! Teen Content Creators and Consumers: More than half of online teens have created content for the internet; and most teen downloaders think that getting free music files is easy to do.

American teenagers today are utilizing the interactive capabilities of the internet as they create and share their own media creations. Fully half of all teens and 57% of teens who use the internet could be considered Content Creators. They have created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations.

About 21 million or 87% of those ages 12-17 use the internet, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The results highlight that this is a generation comfortable with content-creating technology. Teens are eager to share their thoughts, experiences, and creations with the wider internet population. Some key findings:

* 33% of online teens share their own creative content online, such as artwork, photos, stories or videos.
* 32% say that they have created or worked on webpages or blogs for others, including groups they belong to, friends or school assignments.
* 22% report keeping their own personal webpage.
* 19% of online teens keep a blog, and 38% of online teens read blogs.
* 19% of internet-using teens say they remix content they find online into their own artistic creations.

Teens are often much more enthusiastic authors and readers of blogs than their adult counterparts. Teen bloggers, led by older girls, are a major part of this tech-savvy cohort. Teen bloggers are more fervent internet users than non-bloggers and have more experience with almost every online activity in the survey. "For American teens, blogs are about self-expression, building relationships, and carving out a presence online," said Amanda Lenhart, co-author of the report entitled, "Teen Content Creators and Consumers" and
Senior Research Specialist at the Project. "Most young people aren't spending their time at the highly-trafficked A-list blogs. They're reading and creating the 'long-tail' of blogs-personal sites read by networks of friends and family."

These findings are based on a November 2004 survey of 1,100 youth ages 12 to 17 and their parents. The margin of error for responses based on the sample of teens or parents is ± 3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Teens continue to actively download music and video from the internet and have used multiple sources to get their files. Half of online teens (51%) report downloading music, compared to just 18% of adults who report similar behavior. Nearly one third (31%) of teens report downloading video files so that they can watch them any time they want.

Teens who get music files online believe it is unrealistic to expect people to self-regulate and avoid free downloading and file-sharing altogether. Out of the 622 teens in our survey who say they have tried music downloading, 75% agree with the statement that, "Music downloading and file-sharing is so easy to do, it's unrealistic to expect people not to do it." Just 23% disagreed with this statement.

"Today's online teens have grown up amidst the chaos of the digital copyright debate, and it shows," said Mary Madden, a Research Specialist at the Project and co-author of the report. "At a time when social norms around digital content don't always appear to conform with the letter of the law, many teens are aware of the restrictions on copyrighted material, but believe it's still permissible to share some content for free."

About half of them think free downloading and file-sharing copyrighted content without permission is generally wrong, yet roughly the same number say they don't care about the copyright on the music files that they download.

To view the entire report, please visit: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/166/report_display.asp

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ICA Pre-Conf - Web/Mobile hybrids and the “Ex-Girlfriend Problem”

If I get to go to Dresden for ICA I will definitely be looking at Terri Senft's Pre-Conference on Mobile Communications. This is very cool stuff. Abstract follows:

Each day, new social software applications are being developed that allow users to affiliate with one another over the Web, contact one another via text messages on cell phones, and meet up in physical spaces on a moment's notice. Each day, users of these services are discover something sociologists already know: friendship doesn't travel as well as we think it does. In this project, I use ethnography to explore the context-dependent nature of social ties forged over DodgeBall.com, a service that rings your phone to let you know where your designated friends are meeting in local bars. I am particularly interested in what DodgeBall users call "ex-girlfriend problem": the desire to list someone as a friend in the context of a social networking service, yet whose live appearance in a bar seems too close for comfort.

It is common to hear the tracking capacities of social software/mobile communication hybrids discussed as what Clay Calvert calls "mediated voyeurism," a term that depends on cinematic gaze theory as its reference point. Yet I suggest that rather than the cinematic gaze or even the televisual glance, the term "grab" (with all of its connections to temporality, embodiment, power and politics) more accurately describes the dynamics of these new technologies. Continuing in a psychoanalytic vein, "grabbing" represents not voyeurism, but rather commodity fetishism and its attendant belief that what matters is what can be owned, if even for a moment. Yet I believe these technologies are interesting not because they seamlessly enable commodity fetishism, but because of their inevitable failure to please all consumers/viewers, all the time. The persistence of the ex-girlfriend problem demonstrates that contrary to hype, all economies of social capital reach points of diminishing returns.

At this juncture, both users and developers of Dodgeball's software seem to view the live presence of an unwanted witness summoned via cell phone to a public gathering as a social disaster of the first order. Yet there are many populations who could use the presence of a live witness connected to the situation only through affinities articulated online. One example might be members of online communities devoted to helping women deal with domestic violence who volunteer to list themselves on Dodgeball as "on call" should someone require a witness to document aggression in a public place. In the second part of this project, I build on the work of political theorist Jodi Dean to discuss what I call "networked reflective solidarity": a commitment to use networks in order to seek out others who may not yet acknowledge themselves as connected to us. I end by considering how Web/phone hybrids might be used for networked reflective solidarity, suggesting that in the near future, "friends" who are technically strangers (but with whom we feel certain types of affinities, and on whom we might count on at a moment's notice) might be just as significant than in-the-flesh drinking buddies we now buzz with our phones each day.

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November 01, 2005

A weblog is a weblog is a weblog...and that includes diaries and journals

Weblog-ed today has a commentary on a USA Today article that I simply can't let slide by. I am completely taken aback by the limited definition of weblogs that he is applying here. I've very clear that under this definition nothing posted can be presonal, then it would be *collective gasp* a diary not a weblog. Interestingly he seems to be using diary and journal as interchangable terms, but in such as way that neither of them is a weblog. I am totally unclear on what he is defining as a weblog and on why he draws such a hard distinction, when very few others have found such a distinction to be practical.

USA Today says "Teens wear their hearts on their blog." Isn't that special. Just 'cause I don't think it can hurt anything to make the point again, what follows are not descriptions of blogging:

"...mostly they simply relay the details of their daily lives." Not blogging.

"Girls, who dominate blogging, use it especially to talk about personal feelings." Not blogging.

"Rypkema uses her blog to communicate with friends and as 'a way to pour out my emotions.'" Not blogging.

And some ironies in the descriptions:

"'I feel like family and close friends shouldn't be reading my diary in secret,' she says." Ah-HA! Not blogging. Diary-ing.

"While famous political bloggers have thousands of readers..." So, are they simply relaying the details of their daily lives?

"Experts are divided about whether and how parents should treat the journals -- especially when it comes to teens over 13." Double Ah-HA! JOURNALS! A different genre.

I know, I know. Let it go. Lost cause. Never win the battle. Etc...

But this portrayal is exactly why schools start banning them (even though they know they're journals) and more importantly, why they don't think of them as potential learning tools.

Of course I totally disagree with the point made above. All of the statements are examples of blogging. Rather than diaries and journals being a different genre than a weblogs, in fact all a weblog is is a posting venue, a venue that then has genres of which diaries/journals are one. Somehow we miss that books are a technology and fiction, romance, etc....are genre's of books.

< 11/1/05 06:32 p.m. > The debate is continuing on Weblog-ed, come join us and express your opinions after you read the comments to this post. I should add that you will need to register on his site to post comments there.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October Advisory Committee Report

Another month has bit the dust so here is my October Advisory Committee Report (pdf). Just to prove I did something last month. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 06:45 AM | TrackBack

October 28, 2005

Job searching is basically job searching no matter what the industry

The Chronical of Higher Education has, in today's feeds, an article - Common Job-Hunting Blunders - I Can't let slide by without comment. You see after 16 years in Human Resources I can hire anyone from a groundskeeper to a Ph.D. level Optical Scientist, or a CEO and I have done all of them, many many times. And I have always been amused by the commentary I hear on how "academia is different" than going through the hiring process for a public or private employer, because from my perspective it isn't enough different to even talk about.

Below are paragraphs from the article interspersed with my commentary.

Do not send a CV when an employer requests a résumé. Do not refer to your résumé as a CV. Turning a CV into a résumé is a painful but inescapable process for anyone who wants to work in a nonacademic job. Seek advice from your university career center and from people already working outside academe to make sure that your résumé is not a thinly disguised CV. Keep your résumé to two pages at most. Do not attach letters of reference, writing samples, or other supporting material unless the ad requests such documents.

Writing a resume is always painful. In truth lots of resumes received in response to announcements of job openings don't conform to the "rules for resumes." That said it is imperative that resumes come close to the mark. I've applied with companies that were ridiculously strict on this, to the point that one headhunter made me redo the document from the bottom up dictating font styles and paragraph lengths along the way. In truth by the time I was done with the rewrite I knew I didn't want to work for that company...Anyone that restrictive would definitely not like my style. My personal pre-grad school resume is three-pages long partially because some of the organization I have worked for have rediculously long names and addresses, and partly because I have lengthy experience.

Do create different versions of your résumé for different kinds of jobs. Your résumé should read as an argument for why you are right for this particular job. If a job requires strong writing skills, for example, you'll want to highlight your writing experience and leave out less relevant information. Try creating a master résumé listing every possible way of describing your experience and then mercilessly delete items one by one to create a teaching-focused version, a research-focused version, a management-focused, and so on.

I used to have a master resume that had skills statements for everything I could think anyone might want to know about me, that way I could simply cut-and-paste them into the new documents. This worked very well. Every once in a while I would have to write a new one targeted at a requirement that I hadn't thought of, and it was dutifully inserted into the master document as well.

Do not call or e-mail to ask if the employer has received your application. Even if an employer had time to respond to such queries, talking to a candidate that the employer has no intention of interviewing would be awkward and possibly misleading.

DO NOT CALL OR E-MAIL the employer, I know every book on the market say to do so but they are wrong. There are three reasons why they are wrong -

  1. Most hiring processes are people neutral. Nowhere I ever worked did we track resumes by name, we tracked them by number...that way we were in compliance with federal discrimination laws. Guess what I simply don't want to know YOU applied for the job, I want to know if your skill set matches my requirements that is all I want to know at the early stages of recruitment.
  2. These folks are busy...Far busier then you might imagine. I worked far more hours a week in HR than I do as a academic. I can usually, when I don't have to many deadlines, keep academics to between 50 and 60 hours per week. As an HR manager I routinely worked 70 hours per week and was on-call 24/7, it happened more than once that after working a very long day meeting my neverending set of deadlines I would be called out of my bed because there had been an accident at the plant. Then I would be off to spend the rest of the night at the hospital making sure the employee was ok.
  3. Plus do the math, there is one opening, they get hundreds of applications - sometimes - and each one of those people calls weekly to find out the status of the job. Oh my god and people wonder why HR folks get nasty.

Do feel free to send a hard copy of your résumé. Send it by overnight mail as well as by e-mail. Delivery confirmation through an express-mail service is the best way to ensure that your application materials were received. In addition, an employer is unlikely to throw away an express-mail envelope unopened, thus giving your résumé a second chance to be seen.

Absolutely, you'd be crazy not to do this.

Do not send a generic cover letter. One-size-fits-all cover letters that speak broadly about skills that everyone claims to have (multitasking, analytical ability, teamwork) and could be applied to any job are a waste of an opportunity. Don't just say you have those skills, use your background experience to prove it. Conversely, do not be excessively personal in your letter: Employers do not need to hear about your frustration with the academic job market.

Do address the particulars of the ad in your cover letter. Instead of saying that you have "many of the skills requested in the ad," repeat the qualities mentioned and supply specific examples from your experience. For instance, you might say, "Your ad requested project-management experience: I have three years of experience in developing quarterly special reports from conception to final publication on the topic of children's health."

I often used a two column section on my resume that matched up the job announcements requirements with my own experience. Column one would repeat their request, and column two gave my experience that met or exceeded their requirement. My part was always in full sentences, though theirs often was not. This section was the customized part of my resume. Most of the rest of it was boiler plated, though I made editorial changes as necessary. One biggy on this is make sure you change the address block and salutation, you would not believe how often I got cover letters addressed to someone else inside...Even sent one out once when I had the flu. I won't say I never interviewed any of the people who did this but they definitely were at a disadvantage.

The most important advice I can offer about job hunting outside of academe is that you focus on how your experience is relevant to the employer's needs. Be as specific and concise as possible. That approach is a dramatic change from the perspective of the academic job seeker, who must produce a lifelong teaching philosophy and a research plan that will define at least his or her next seven years. But since the academic job search is (ideally) focused on filling a tenure-track position, it makes sense that a hiring committee would consider those long-term questions.

Ultimately, it's a question of emphasis: Companies still care about whether you have long-term potential. And academic-hiring committees are still interested in finding someone who fills their immediate needs. The balance is simply different, and therefore the job-hunting process is different. Taking time to show that you understand the small differences between academe and the outside world can go far in showing that you understand the big differences as well.

The essence of most of these comments in the article boil down to "know the rules of the industry in which you are seeking employment." Oh and "fit" is an important part of every job search. Yes there are laws to say no one should discriminate, and those are very important. But if one of the candidates shows up wearing a suit with the dry cleaning tags attached so that everyone knows he "is clean." (Yes this really happened.) Then it's a good bet he's probably not going to "fit" into the organization.

I ran into the "fit" issue often as a management job-seeker. I have pretty high ethical standards, you probably know that already, and headhunters would tell me that there were companies where they knew they couldn't send me even if I was the best qualified candidate in their pool. The company wouldn't like me and I sure wouldn't have liked them. So remember that fit cuts both ways. You really don't want to be somewhere where you can't fit in...It's no fun at all - been there, done that, got a t-shirt.

So no matter where you are looking for a job put your best foot forward. Job hunting is a process so understand how it works and what you part is in it. Breaking a few rules is ok, but don't break the important ones because that can be the end of your employment chances with that company.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:03 AM | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

A new blog from the Speaker of the House

A somewhat amazing thing has happened Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, has a new blog - no RSS feed thought - and it looks like he actually might have written it himself.  Absolutely amazing.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

One of those books you just keep going back to again and again

Today while working on my NCA paper I had one of those DAAAAA moments that everyone dreads.  As I have previously written I have been working through a personal tipping point as I have been writing this paper.  Well it hit me today that I have not gone back to my touchstone performance studies book to see what it might have to tell me, and as usual the answer is it has a lot to tell me that I can use in this paper.

My favorite performance studies book is:

Dailey, Sheron J. (ed.)  (1998). The Future of Performance Studies: Visions and Revisions. Annandale VA: National Communication Association.

This amazing volume never ceases to provide me thought provoking material.  I spent much of 2003-2004 academic year thinking about and presenting work that utilized just one of the chapters:

Langellier, Kristin M. (1998). Voiceless bodies, bodiless voices: The future of personal narrative performance. In Sheron J. Dailey (Ed.), The Future of Performance Studies: Visions and Revisions (pp. 207-213). Annandale VA: National Communication Association.

I need to reread the chapters I have tackled previously and finish the ones I have not yet abstracted.  If you are interested in performance studies I strongly recommend this edited volume as an entry point to the field.  I am no expert but with Dailey, Langellier, Bail, and Schechner I will improve my disciplinary vocabulary so that I can effectively use these theories to continue disciplinary boundary spanning as I look at adolescent populations online.


Posted by prolurkr at 07:21 PM | TrackBack

Write daily

D*I*Y Planner has a timely post on breaking through writers block that asks us to Do It Everyday.

The more you write, the better you get. It's a common koan, found in just about every book on writing out on the bookshelves these days. Not sure if it's true because I still think I write a lot more junk than I do "the good stuff." But I try and meet the page or screen at least once a day and hope that whatever comes out comes close to matching the image or thought inside my mind. Last week, after I got off my butt and resolved to take charge of my writing and artistic life, I decided it was also time it take up a new habit or two.

So I wandered over to my artistic bookshelf and revisited an old friend. The book's paper smelled musty, worn with age from having sat on the shelves for awhile now. The front cover said it all, The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. My best friend gave me this copy a few years ago, during a particularly stressful bout of writer's block. While I don't feel blocked now, I figured it was time to revisit the discipline and practices therein. More specifically, I've decided to start up the morning pages habit.

In this book, Cameron describes a wonderful practice where writing becomes meditation. She refers to this practice as "morning pages". The practice is deceptively simple: write 3 pages of long-hand every day, in the morning. Whatever is in your head, or not, goes onto these three pages. It sounds easy to do, but many people (myself included), make up many excuses not to write. No more excuses for me. Every morning, before my workouts, before the housework, before the reading and the naps, I crawl downstairs, grab my journal and pen and snuggle into my comfy chair. And I stay there until my handwriting covers three pages in the book. Everything and anything inside my head goes onto the page. No matter how good or bad it is. I write. And when I am done, I do not look back or reread it.

Writing like this, without looking back, is my meditation. I write like this every day to free my creativity and center myself. It gives me permission to write lots and lots of awkward phrases, horrible thoughts and criticism in private. It teaches my inner artist to dance and play while my inner critic isn't telling it to stop being so silly. It gets me ready for whatever the universe and life can throw at me. It's good practice for NaNoWriMo, which starts one week from now. And finally, it gets me writing daily. Because this is what writers do: they write.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 26, 2005

Is there a formal format for email responses?

Today must be my day to run across interesting CMC related blog posts.  Posts that will probably wind their way into my CMC class next semester.  The Paperless Student has an interesting post on the social consequences of technology.  Since I spent some time this evening after class explaining what Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is to one of my undergrads, this post jumped out at me.  Here's a snip for you to ponder:

Here's something they haven't taught me in school, but should: How to properly reply to an email message.

After switching to from Outlook to Thunderbird for email, I noticed a difference in how the programs handle replies to email messages. Outlook puts the original message at the bottom and lets you type at the top. Thunderbird puts the cursor below the original message and lets you type after it. Which one is right?

Of course, in regular Internet style, I got massively distracted while searching for the answer to this. I found an entire page dedicated to Mail Format. Check out Dan's Mail Format Site.

Reply at the top? Reply at the bottom? What's the difference? For that, we can turn to a Wikipedia article on Top-posting. It suggests that quoted text always belongs at the top.

So which is it?  Does it matter?  Why of course it does since human animals tend to distrust things that appear out of the ordinary.  To much frame-shift and we are uncomfortable.  But don't you love it, I mean who set these rules?  LOL  And where is this kind of history catalogued?

Posted by prolurkr at 10:44 PM | TrackBack

Are you attending to what I say?

Josh at Sociolinguistics and CMC posted today about attending to IM conversation. His question revolves around how much expectation is there that when you are talking to someone on an IM they are paying close attention to what you are saying and are not involved with multiple other conversations. My experience tells me that there is one primary factor with two subfactors that will control the expectation of exclusivity in an IM conversation. The primary factor is experience, the subfactors are developmental level and experience with synchronous online communication. First I see young teens who expect that their IM conversational partner is talking only to them. This is mostly a developmental issue just like younger children want to sit close to the TV so that the picture fills their visual field, young teens don't have the ability to multi-task yet so replicate that expectation on to their communication partner. Second once users develop experience with synchronous communication environments they actually begin to expect that their communication partners are talking to multiple people at the same time, however early in their experience they may not have grasped this reality.

Here is a snip from the post (misspelling in original):

Does it bother you if you're having a conversation with someone else and they're not attentive to the conversation becasue you think they're having a conversation with someone else. This can often be signaled explicitly by mis-aimed interlocutions (i.e. you're having a conversation with someone about your bad day and they respond by mistake in your window to a conversation they're having with someone else in another window). Do we see this as acceptable, or do we think that our interlocutor isn't engagaed and focused on our conversation? Do we ignore these things?

To what extent do we expect to be the sole focus of attention during IM interactions (in diadic conversations)? In FTF settings, this lack of focus would normally be construed as "rude", where one person would in essence be having a conversation with 2 people at one time. Does this "rudeness" transfer to IM? Do people feel guilty about talking to 2 people at once, when one of the conversations is "important" (dealing with personal problems, exposing some weakness, etc.) Do we demand the attention of our interlocutors, or do we realize that IM is in fact different than FTF in this regard?

So does it bug you when you realize your IM partner is talking to five other people, listening to music, and writing War and Peace while they are "talking" to you?

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October 25, 2005

Thoughts on performance and internet research...an intersection of personal crisis

The paper I've been working on has been near torturous to write, and that has been bothering me.  It's not a long paper, in fact it's rather short.  It's not for submission, rather it is for presentation and has already been accepted via abstract as part of a panel.  And it is on a topic I find very interesting that alone should make it easy to pull together.  So why has it been so hard to write?

It hit me this morning as I was weeding my way through chapters in Bial's The Performance Studies Reader, exactly what is tripping me up.  You see a few weeks ago Terri Senft posted on performance studies and internet research, in it she made the following observations:

It's interesting to me that performance studies is now entering its third decade as a discipline and most performance-based questions posed by Internet researchers turn on performance of identity. Sometimes someone brings up presence, but only as something to be managed. Also: Erving Goffman is great, but the field really has moved on from Performance of Self in Everyday Life. Performance theorists need to step up and start educating people outside our field about how to think about issues of presence, absence, liveness, words that do, images that speak, ethics of engagement beyond informed consent. I think I'm going to talk to some friends about proposing a new sort of performance panel at AoIR next year.

I read her comments and they immediately resonated with me.  You know it was one of those moments that your mental cheerleaders are doing their thing "That's / the work / you want / to be doing" they are chanting complete with pompoms and a lunge at the end.  So I copied the syllabus of reading she recommended and thought about when I would get time to read all of it...not this year for sure.  And then I went on with what I was doing.

But then, of course, it didn't take long for what I was doing to collide with what I was percolating in the back of my brain.  How do I take my Goffmanian based view of personal performance and transcend it into something deeper something more meaningful that sheds new light on the people and the spaces within my research.  That's my crisis of faith at the moment...crisis because I don't know as much about the topic(s), as though none of this is contested, of performance studies...crisis because I have a paper to finish and I'm realizing that no matter what, I am simply not going to like it...crisis because I need to find a way to immerse myself in reading before I do my diss proposal...crisis because life goes on while everything else is happening and kinda mucks up the best laid academic plans.

I decided to exorcise the demons by writing a blog post and admitting, as my grandmother would say "to god and everybody" that I am struggling with this one.  Though you know I do think struggle is good...very good in fact.  Struggle to me is the sign that I am working outside my comfort-zone, that I am trying something new and slightly dangerous, and that I can fail or I can win but in either case the result will be complete and it will be a definite growth experience.

So if you are coming to NCA drop by my panel on Sunday morning...you can watch me struggle with this in 3D and maybe give me a idea that will help solidify where this path is beginning to take me.

Reference List

Bial, Henry (ed.) (2004). The Performance Studies Reader. London: Routledge.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:26 PM | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

Living by the clock...time me please

Today I have been working to the clock...well the timer actually.  One hour on writing and one hour on grading and one hour on writing and one hour on grading...with some short breaks in there to rest or answer important email.  The process is a bit stilted but you know I've gotten so much more done this way. 

Silly though it may be I have timers next to my computers both at home and at the office but I have never used them so strictly before.  Me thinks this is a good way to work as long as you know in your heart that the plan can be disrupted by other things that take importance, like email from the students who are currently working on a test. 

Looks like I will be a timer girl for the foreseeable future, at least until I get everything mostly caught up and am past the due dates on the submission list.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:52 PM | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

In the Classroom Easy Doesn't Do It

Today's email brought me a thought provoking contribution from the Tomorrow's Professor mailing list.  I thought I would share it with you.  If you aren't already on this mailing list I strongly recommend it, check out the sign-up info at the bottom of the post
Teaching is serious business. We have wonderfully bright and talented students here at Richmond. They have almost unlimited potential. For most, this is their one shot at college; they deserve nothing less than an excellent education, an academic experience that challenges them to excel from their first day to their last.  Faculty members have a responsibility to the world to coax the very best from their students because they will certainly become the next generation of leaders. Where they go from here, what they accomplish, how they impact the world, depends in large part on how much we are able to push and nurture their development. I want every student to leave my class at the end of the semester saying, "I didn't know that I could work so hard, and I didn't realize that I could learn so much." Anything less is unacceptable.

If a teacher challenges students to think and do their best, word gets around campus quickly, but having a tough reputation is both good and bad.  When students walk into my class on the first day, they tend to be very quiet and pay attention right away. On the other hand, I am always so disappointed when a student says to me "I hear you are a good teacher, but I didn't take your class because I know you are very demanding."  Isn't that just incredibly sad? I think Richmond will be a better school when students sign up only for classes where teachers push them each day to do their best.

Many times during each semester, I point out to my students that the grade of A, according to the University catalogue, reflects "outstanding" work. A student does not earn the grade of A for a good effort, only for consistently outstanding work. Grade inflation has hurt college education across this country and could be fixed simply by faculty members saying, "You earn an A when the work that I see is truly outstanding." Don't fool yourself; students are well aware of the difference between "good" and "outstanding."

I use the Socratic method. I call on every student every day in class. I don't ask them to regurgitate material; I ask them questions that I believe will cause them to think and reason-on the spot. That is what adult life is like, especially in the business world. I then follow my initial question with others based on their answers. If I don't get good replies from a student, I don't just nod and smile; I demand better of them. A student once compared my class to a contact sport. Richmond students should be ready, willing and able to discuss and debate issues. This is college, not high school.

I want a reasonable effort from my students because students get back based on what they put in. I expect them to study four to six hours each week outside of class so they'll be ready to participate in class discussions. I use carrots and sticks. I say, "Good job!" when a student gives me a thoughtful, well-conceived answer, and I say, "Listen, you can do better than that!" when a student gives me a bad answer. I don't view that as being disagreeable, although I do realize that it injects a bit of tension into the class. But this is not Sesame Street; a bad answer is a bad answer. There is only one primary goal in my class: to improve each student's ability to think, reason and understand. Our students realize how capable they are, but human nature loves to take the easy path.

A good basketball coach adapts to the talents of his or her players. A good teacher does the same. You cannot take an identical approach with every student. Some love to be pushed and pushed hard. They enjoy "in-your-face" challenges. Others are more fragile. You have to coax and nurture them. So toughness comes into my class where toughness is necessary. You teach each student, not each group. However, every student needs to be willing to prepare and to think. That is not negotiable.

One of the keys to becoming a good teacher is learning to walk into a room of students and "see" what is happening to the individual members: Billy needs a few extra seconds to formulate an answer, Susan loves to be called on, Andy doesn't know what is happening right now, Ellen is not prepared. You have to be able to adapt to your students on the spot every day.

Our students can do amazing things, but if we don't challenge them fully, they will never realize what marvelous talents they truly possess. Signing up for demanding classes might hurt a student's GPA, but which is more important: developing a good mind or a good GPA?

Joe Ben Hoyle is an associate professor of accounting in the Robins School of Business. He has been teaching at the University since 1979. He is a five-time recipient of the University's Distinguished Educator Award, and he was named "Most Feared Professor" in April 2005 by seniors at the business school.

© 2005, Richmond Alumni Magazine
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Posted by prolurkr at 07:53 AM | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

New books that have been added to my personal library

Several books have arrived in the last week or so and I took a writing break this morning to do all of the data entry. If you are particularly interested in what I am reading you can subscribe to My Book2 page RSS feed. I update that page regularly with new books that I add to the library but I do not update the "reading" status information, there really is no time for that at all.

New, usually used actually, books are:

Posted by prolurkr at 10:53 AM | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Upcoming quietness on prolurker

I wanted to warn you that I will be posting less frequently for the next several weeks. During that time I will also be reading RSS feeds on an irregular basis. This is all part of my master plan to focus on a finite set of things that must be accomplished by the middle of November. These include - in no particular order - catching up with my grading, writing the remaining labs for my class, finishing my NCA paper (I got an extension on the due date), and writing an extended abstract for submission.

To accomplish all of these things without killing myself in the process, I am paring away anything that seems to be excess at the moment...sadly that means I need to minimize the time I spend on the blog.  But just for the next few weeks, then hopefully I will have a new leveling point to see me through the winter.

I will keep you posted on how it all is going.  And I expect there will be a few "what Lois is thinking about" posts along the way.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:03 PM | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

October 2005 Technorati stats

David Sifry at Technorati has a undate to his periodic look at blogosphere stats, State of the Blogosphere.

To summarize:
  • As of October 2005, Technorati is now tracking 19.6 Million weblogs
  • The total number of weblogs tracked continues to double about every 5 months
  • The blogosphere is now over 30 times as big as it was 3 years ago, with no signs of letup in growth
  • About 70,000 new weblogs are created every day
  • About a new weblog is created each second
  • 2% - 8% of new weblogs per day are fake or spam weblogs
  • Between 700,000 and 1.3 Million posts are made each day
  • About 33,000 posts are created per hour, or 9.2 posts per second
  • An additional 5.8% of posts (or about 50,000 posts/day) seen each day are from spam or fake blogs, on average

Posted by prolurkr at 04:11 PM | TrackBack

October 16, 2005

Cleaning out more potential submission dates from the to-do list

Taking more things off the to-do list for submissions.  Now marked off are SWTexas Popular Culture Assoc./American Culture Assoc 2006 for both the Computer Culture and the Biography tracks; The Second International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (though I do plan on attending anyway); and Console-ing Passions, the international conference on television, video, audio, and new media.  I am now down to two upcoming submissions, well one have to because I submitted an abstract and now the paper is due, and one want to.  That takes me through the end of the year.  I'm trying to focus...trying to...

Posted by prolurkr at 09:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 15, 2005

Thoughts on metaphor - thinking while I type

After spending much of the day with dictonarys and thesauri - both paper and electronic, Google, and a variety of wiki's I'm beginning to think I can't talk about metaphor without, at least, touching on intertextuality.  Are metaphors by definition often intertextual?  It would seem that they would almost have to be, otherwise their hidden meaning would be opaque to the reader.  Actually as I think about it there would have to be multiple layers of available intertextuality as the metaphor becomes a text related to itself across sites of usage.  Hummm more thinking is required.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Working references for The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Ok this is probably a killing time post but as I sit here up to my pits in books working on my National Communication Association Conference paper The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor, I decided to share the very cool set of books I am wondering through for this work.  So if I am just killing time while I think about ontological metaphors than at least someone might find it helpful for something.  LOL

Reference List:

Aronson, A. (1991). Studies in Twentieth-Century Diaries: The Concealed Self. New York: E. Mellen Press.

Bial, Henry (2004). The Performance Studies Reader. London: Routledge.

Hausman, Carl R. (1989). Metaphor & Art: Interactionism and Reference in the Verbal and Nonverbal Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hutchby, Ian (2001). Conversation and Technology: From the Telephone to the Internet. Cambridge UK: Polity.

Innis, Robert E. (1985). Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press.

Kövecses, Zoltán (2002). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lakoff, George & Johnson, Mark (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, George & Turner, Mark (Feb. 15, 1989). More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ricoeur, Paul (1975). The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language. Toronto: University of Toronto.

Schechner, Richard (2002). Performance Studies: An Introduction. London & New York: Routledge.

Searle, John R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Searle, John R. (1979). Expression and meaning: Studies in the theory of speech acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

I reserve the right to add to or delete from this list at anytime up to the point the dang thing is submitted. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 01:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A hierarchy of authorship

Gentleman C's post, Sometimes Tenure is Nice dovetailed a bit with a conversation I had last week at AoIR about the assumptions one makes when seeing coauthored papers. 

The conversation revolved around the assumption that authorship is most always listed in order of contribution and that when this is not so, as with BROG papers where the order after the first-author is usually in alphabetical order, then there should be a note to alert reader the reasons behind placement in the authorship list. 

Gentleman C's post makes me wonder if there should always be a detailed paragraph attached to multi-authored papers outlining each persons contribution, as I have seen in some papers.  Well worth thinking about for post-dissertation papers, where authorship will matter for tenure.  At this point I think most any authorship is good, thought it's not a bad idea for papers in the works as well.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:28 AM | TrackBack

AoIR Trip Report

I pulled together a trip report to send around to my colleagues in the School of Informatics.  I thought I would link it here if anyone is interested.  The document is an overview at best, not a detailed discussion of any of the papers I saw.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:49 AM | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Two-thirds of American adults go online and one-third do not

New PEW Report, Digital Divisions.

Washington, October 5, 2005 – Sixty-eight percent of American adults, or about 137 million people, use the internet, up from 63% one year ago. Thirty-two percent of American adults, or about 65 million people, do not go online, and it is not always by choice. Certain groups continue to lag in their internet adoption. For example:

  • 26% of Americans age 65 and older go online, compared with 67% of those age 50-64, 80% of those age 30-49, and 84% of those age 18-29.
  • 57% of African-Americans go online, compared with 70% of whites.
  • 29% of those who have not graduated from high school have access, compared with 61% of high school graduates and 89% of college graduates.
  • 60% of American adults who do not have a child living at home go online, compared with 83% of parents of minor children.

    Those who are currently offline have had varying levels of exposure to the online world. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s May-June 2005 survey, one in five American adults (22%) say they have never used the internet or email and do not live in an internet-connected household. These truly disconnected adults occupy essentially the same percentage of the population as in 2002, when 23% of American adults said they have never used the internet and do not live with anyone who has access.

    “Americans who are over the age of 65 or who have less education are the most likely to be completely disconnected from the internet,” said Susannah Fox, associate director of the Pew Internet Project. “If they needed to get information from a Web site or other online source, they probably could not easily do so.”

    Fifty-three percent of internet users now have a high-speed connection at home, up from 21% of internet users in 2002. Not surprisingly, the groups who were initially most likely to lag in adopting the internet now lag in access speeds. Those with less education, those with lower household incomes, and Americans age 65 and older are less likely to have embraced broadband than those who are younger and have higher socio-economic status.

    Previously, Pew Internet & American Life Project surveys showed that internet experience – the number of years a person had been online – was a major predictor of both the frequency of internet use and the activities pursued online. Now that a majority of the internet’s heaviest users have upgraded from dial-up to high-speed access at home, broadband access is becoming a stronger predictor of online behavior than a user’s level of experience.

    “There are three degrees of internet access – cold, tepid, and hot,” said Fox. “There is a group of Americans for whom the internet remains a mystery. They live lives far removed from the online world. Then there is the larger group of dial-up and intermittent users who are connected, but are not necessarily daily users. Finally, there is the broadband elite who are likely to go online every day and be devoted to their online pursuits.”

  • Posted by prolurkr at 01:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    As usual Duncan has the best blog stats

    Like the title says, Duncan has the best running stats at The Blog Herald,  The Blog Herald Blog Count October 2005: over 100 million blogs created. Check out the full text post below:

    Its been three months since the last Blog Herald Blog Count due to the richness of the figures I’ve been collecting and the time its takes, but the Blog Count returns for October, and will now be published quarterly.

    Now for the good stuff: the number of blogs in existence: over 100 million blogs

    There are two sets of figures: based on major blog using countries the figure would be around 75 million, which is a patchy figure because its difficult to count blogs based on the country of origin due to the worldwide phenomenon of people using US companies. Based on blogs created at major hosts (a more accurate measure) the figure is actually 134-144 million. So I’m taking a round 100 million + blogs figure.

    As always I’ll qualify that the Blog Count is about counting blogs, not active blogs, legitimate blogs (vs spam blogs) or bloggers. Are there a lot of inactive blogs? yes. Are there a lot of spam blogs? yes as well, indeed I’d suggest maybe 40-50% of every blog on Googles Blogspot domain is a spam blog, but the vast majority of blogs out there aren’t.

    The history of this count: it started because I was tired of reading press reports that there were 4 or 5 million blogs out there when some countries had more than this alone. The figures still aren’t good in the press. In this last week I’ve read that there were 14 million blogs out there. Technorati is now nearly upto 20 million, but its still no where near the true number of blogs out there based on reported numbers. If SixApart alone counts 11 million users, then surely there are a lot more than the nearly 20 million Technorati and others track!

    So here we go: October 2005.

    By country:

    Australia: approx 450,000
    Still not a lot of hard figures here, but based on report in the Australian Newspaper 19 May 05 and allowing for growth since. Like other members of the Anglosphere though its hard to quantify blog numbers due to the dominance of US blogging firms and .com domains

    Austria: approx 20,000
    Ref: Loic Le Meur

    Belgium: approx 100,000
    Skynet: 68,000. There are problems with a definite Belgium count because of the split between French and Dutch speakers. It’s likely that some Belgium bloggers use services in the Netherlands and France, + naturally the Anglosphere offerings.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina: less than 3,000
    LJ: 1300. Rest unknown

    Brunei: less than 3,000
    LJ, Blogshares and others.

    Canada: approx 700,000
    approximation, difficult to ascertain due to the Anglosphere problem, LJ shows 285,000

    China: 6 million and growing
    ref: South IHT, South China Morning Post. Note the IHT article incorrectly reports 14.2 million which is a Technorati overall figure, however the earlier SCMP piece reported 5 million so we’d think 6 million, possibly more at this stage.

    Croatia: approx 50,000
    blog.hr which now has just short of 40,000 blogs + a little more for other sites.

    Czech Republic: approx 10,000
    Ref: Loic

    Denmark: approx 15,000
    Overskrift.dk has nearly 6,000, Smartlog 2,200, Loic has some earlier figures here.

    Finland: approx 100,000
    Same as last quater, unable to ascertain any new figures.

    France: approx 3.5 million
    Businessweek called it 3 million back in July, and yet Skyblog alone now has 3 million. Ublog 65,000, Canalblog 64,200, Loic for other older figures.

    Germany: 300,000
    Hugo Martin from June + a little growth on this figure. Unlike France which is dominated by Skyblogs, German bloggers appear to be all over the place.

    Greece: less than 5,000
    ref: Loic

    India: approx 100,000
    Financial Express, same figure as last quarter as I couldn’t find anything more up to date but I suspect the number may be a lot more. Certainly India has its own blog awards now as well, and are mentioned in the press.

    Iran: 700,000
    Yes, this is a remarkable number, but I have it on research from Koorosh Eslamzade, but would note like all the figures here these are total blog numbers and not active blog numbers (which are between 40,000 and 110,000).
    Persian Blog: 520,000 , Blogfa : 55,000, Blogsky: 20,000, Mihanblog: 25,000, Parsiblog: 7,000 , Perianlog: 9,500

    Ireland: approx 75,000
    Loic says 9,000, I don’t believe the figure could be low considering the “Irish economic miracle” of the 1990’s and Irelands continued status of growth and IT friendliness, although the population of just over 4 million people is always going to produce a fairly low figure. Problem again that most Irish bloggers would use Anglosphere blogging sites.

    Israel: approx 100,000
    thanks Jariv

    Italy: approx 250,000
    Splinder: 144,000, Excite: 17,500, Bloggers.it: 13,500, Timblog: 12,000, ilcannocchiale.it: 12,000, Aruba: 6,000, LJ: 7,500 + others per Loic.

    Japan: at least 5.5 million
    Ask Jeeves Japan is currently tracking 5.2 million blogs, suspect the number is much higher again.

    Malaysia: approx 20,000
    The Star + LJ. Difficult to ascertain as many would blog on anglosphere services such as Blogger.

    The Netherlands: approx 600,000
    ref: Loic

    Philippines: approx 75,000
    LJ + Pinoy. Could be significantly larger as writers are using Anglosphere services.

    Poland: approx 1.5 million
    onet.pl 825,000, Tenbit 228,000 , mylog.pl: 134,500, eblog.pl: 90,00, Blog.pl: 70,000, Blogi.pl: 37,500, Blogx.pl: 44,000 and Ownlog.pl: 13,500 = 1,442,500 + minor services= 1.5 million

    Russia: approx 400,000
    LJ: 218,000 users. Loic claims 800,000 but I’m putting the figure at 400,000 without any hard evidence, although likely more

    South Korea: approx 20 million
    See posts here and here + notes from previous blog counts.

    Spain: approx 1.5 million
    Terra.es reports 1 million MSN Spaces + others.

    Ukraine: 50,000
    Loic, not updates from last quarter

    United Kingdom: 2.5 million
    1.5 million UK residents using Spaces as of the end of June (Terra.es ). 227,000+ UK users on Live Journal. Anglosphere problem in estimating figure as many UK bloggers using US services, see notes from July blog count.

    United States: approx 30-50 million
    Impossible to calculate although there are 4 million on LiveJournal and 3 million on Spaces. Reports that Myspaces hosts 20 million and I’d be guessing that most of these are US based. The US figure would also represent the highest number of abandoned blogs as well.

    By host (over 500,000)
    Note: these are based on known and rough figures based on media reports and other sources. If you are a blog hosting company and are not included here please send me your user data and I’m happy to add it.

    Xanga: 40 million
    re: WPXI

    MySpace: 20-30 million
    most recent number here. Not sure how many are blogging though, have read the figure was 20 million hence 20-30 million, these are also “private blogs” and are not indexed on sites such as Technorati.

    MSN Spaces: 18 million
    Terra.es + growth over the quarter

    Blogger: 15 million +

    Cyworld: 13 million

    SixApart (Live Journal/ TypePad, MT): 11 million
    SixApart figure in recent media releases

    Planet Weblog Service: 6 million
    Leading South Korean blogging provider (same as last qaurter as no new figure available)

    Yahoo Blogs Korea: 3 million

    Skyblog: 3 million

    Bokee: 2 million

    Greatest Journal: 1.16 million

    Other US Live Journal clones: 1 million
    ref: Perseus

    onet.pl 825,000,

    Persian Blog: 520,000

    Posted by prolurkr at 01:47 PM | TrackBack

    Young blog their way to a publishing revolution

    The Guardian brings us Young blog their way to a publishing revolution.  Following is an excerpt, read the entire article for information including figures on advertising that is designed for younger users.

    The extent of the personal publishing revolution has been revealed by a Guardian/ICM poll showing that a third of all young people online have launched their own blog or website.

    Millions of young people who have grown up with the internet and mobile phones are no longer content with the one-way traffic of traditional media and are publishing and aggregating their own content, according to the exclusive survey of those aged between 14 and 21.

    A generation has grown up using the internet as its primary means of communication, thanks to an early grasp of online communities and messaging services as well as simple technology allowing web users to launch a personal weblog, or blog, without any specialist technical knowledge. On average, people between 14 and 21 spend almost eight hours a week online, but it is far from a solitary activity. There are signs of a significant generation gap, and rather than using the internet as their parents do - as an information source, to shop or to read newspapers online - most young people are using it to communicate with one another.

    About half of that time is spent chatting to friends in online communities or using messaging services, while another hour is spent emailing. The internet may be a window into their personal realm, but it is not a window on the world for young people: only one in 10 say they use it to keep up with news and current affairs.

    This trend towards online communication has already manifested itself among music fans, with enthusiastic new communities forming around the latest bands often before they have even released a single or been heard on the radio. According to the survey, those aged between 14 and 21 download an average of 34 tracks a month from the internet and buy an average of two CDs. Of those with internet access at home, almost eight in 10 have a broadband connection. The explosion in cheaper high-speed internet access, which allows quicker access to music and video files and is typically charged at a flat monthly rate, has led to an upsurge in the time web users spend online.

    Posted by prolurkr at 01:33 PM | TrackBack

    Conversation and Connectivity in the Blogosphere PowerPoint Presentation

    If you are interested in checking out the PowerPoint presentation from the BROG presentation, Conversation and Connectivity in the Blogosphere, at AoIR.

    Posted by prolurkr at 12:47 PM | TrackBack

    Catching up after time at AoIR

    Well today I am back in the office wondering how many days it will take to recover from the crazy intellectual fun of AoIR.  I'm basically worn out, I had a totally full dance card this year and I while I feel like I talked to many people I wish I had more time for in depth discussions with some of them and more than a passing hello with many more.  Oh well I learn by doing and next time I will be doing it differently.

    Over the next few days I will be posting notes from the conference and a large group of CFP's that arrived while I was out of touch.  It may take bit to get it all done because I have a completely packed calendar this week, along with the NCA paper to finish and a test to write.

    I think next week I will need some of the elixir that must behind the graphic...lord knows I always vote for health, strength, and vitality.

    Posted by prolurkr at 10:49 AM | TrackBack

    October 05, 2005

    The Blogosphere as a Carnival of Ideas

    A pro-blogging article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed?  Somebody get me a chair.  LOL

    But to dismiss blogging as a bad idea altogether is to make an enormous mistake. Academic bloggers differ in their goals. Some are blogging to get personal or professional grievances off their chests or ... to pursue nonacademic interests. Others, perhaps the majority, see blogging as an extension of their academic personas. Their blogs allow them not only to express personal views but also to debate ideas, swap views about their disciplines, and connect to a wider public. For these academics, blogging isn't a hobby; it's an integral part of their scholarly identity. They may very well be the wave of the future.
    < snip >
    Why are so many academics beginning to blog? Academic blogs offer the kind of intellectual excitement and engagement that attracted many scholars to the academic life in the first place, but which often get lost in the hustle to secure positions, grants, and disciplinary recognition. Properly considered, the blogosphere represents the closest equivalent to the Republic of Letters that we have today. Academic blogs, like their 18th-century equivalent, are rife with feuds, displays of spleen, crotchets, fads, and nonsenses. As in the blogosphere more generally, there is a lot of dross. However, academic blogs also provide a carnival of ideas, a lively and exciting interchange of argument and debate that makes many scholarly conversations seem drab and desiccated in comparison. Over the next 10 years, blogs and bloglike forms of exchange are likely to transform how we think of ourselves as scholars. While blogging won't replace academic publishing, it builds a space for serious conversation around and between the more considered articles and monographs that we write.

    Check out The Blogosphere as a Carnival of Ideas by Henry Farell for putting an appropriate spin on the future of academic blogging.

    Posted by prolurkr at 09:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Visualization of the Katrina Diaspora

    A very cool information visualization of the where Katrina survivors are around the U.S. Data is taken from "more than 40,000 postings on Internet 'safe lists' by Katrina survivors. ePodunk analyzed messages containing both the person's hometown and the location after fleeing the storm."  The original graphic has mouseover capabilities, click on the image to check out the page.

    Posted by prolurkr at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

    October 04, 2005

    Introduce yourself at AoIR

    This is probably my last post before I leave for Chicago later today to attend the Association of Internet Researchers Conference.  If you are at AoIR look me up, I expect I will be the only 6'1'' redhead around the joint.  You will definitely know me because of my height but look in the back of the room, I'm usually the lurker sitting behind my laptop, blogging the session. My topics of special interest will be adolescents, blogging, and pedagogy so we should cross trails somewhere. 

    Posted by prolurkr at 07:40 AM | TrackBack

    October 03, 2005

    Restrained self promotion, is there such a beast

    It's one of those weird signs of self promotion.  LOL  Now when I go to conferences I sorta wish I had a spiffy embroidered shirt with ProLurker stitched on it.  Would defeat so many purposes...like lurkers shouldn't advertise to much...and academic self promotion runs a really thin line between good and over the top.  But what can I say, how about a nice teal or dark pink with the new logo and title on it.  To bad Lands End doesn't seem to do custom embroidery anymore...another post Sears abandonment I assume.  Just like they stopped making great sweats or having amazing outlet stores.  *sigh*  Oh well it would cost an arm and a leg to have a couple made I'm sure but who really wanted that pair of Jimmy Choo's after all?

    p.s.  I'm not even close to a Jimmy Choo girl...hence the Birkenstock picture.  *w* 

    Posted by prolurkr at 11:24 PM | TrackBack

    Scary and amazing trackback spam texts

    I sure hope someone out there is doing a study on the text of trackback spam.  I've read them compared to poetry of sorts, which I can buy...especially those random words things which are pretty cool, if you completely overlook the fact that they are still spam.

    Well I get my share, as though any of us want a share, of "You may find it interesting to check out..." and "You are invited to visit some helpful info about..." trackback spam but today my junk folder contained the following two somewhat frightening texts.

    Unless you become as little Children, you can't see online casinos. All you need is faith and trust... and a little bit of < hyperlink removed >online casinos.

    Christian gambling spam? I knew it, I knew it all along. Replacing "god" with "online casinos" hummm usually it works in the reverse doesn't it?

    We encourage you to have your son come to spend a day at blackjack game. These visitation days are set up during the < hyperlink removed >blackjack game to give your son a view of a regular school day.

    Ok so you shouldn't actually send your sons to school, rather send them to an online blackjack game that somehow resembles school enough that it will give him a "view of a regular school day." Man school must have changed a lot since I was a teen if it now can be simulated during a blackjack game.

    I gather that the point of both of these messages is to bypass some filtering.  It clearly looks as though proper texts have been augmented with the spam hyperlink.  The first is a corruption of the a verse from the New Testament of the Christian Bible.  The second looks like part of a letter or email inviting perspective students to visit a school.  Those wily spammers....

    Posted by prolurkr at 09:18 AM | TrackBack

    October 02, 2005

    September Advisory Committee Update

    Another month under our belts.  Here is my completed September 2005 Advisory Committee Update for your personal enjoyment.

    Posted by prolurkr at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

    Dilbert on blogging about your employer

    If you enjoy a good CMC related comic I strongly recommend today's (10.02.05) Dilbert.  It is a good overview on blogging and employment.

    Posted by prolurkr at 08:56 AM | TrackBack

    October 01, 2005

    Removing one more from the to-do list

    Well I said CAAW was "the last thing on the to-do list for the next 5 days [posted on Sept.29, 2005]. It just may not get done."  As of today I am officially removing CAAW from my to-do list.  No time to do good work, no need to keep worrying about it, there will be other such things in the future. 

    I still have the NCA paper to finish, though it is well on it's way conceptually.  I also have work to do for our BROG presentation at AoIR.  I still have to finalize my pedagogy presentation for AoIR.  And finally I have one last old lab to grade before I get me labs to grade.  I think I have enough to do so that I won't be sitting around twiddling my fingers.  LOL

    Posted by prolurkr at 05:29 PM | TrackBack

    September 30, 2005

    Shelob is available for your research pleasure

    My friend and collaborator Pete Welsch, a big advocate of open-source software, has released Shelob into the research wilds.

    Shelob is a F/OSS system for collecting, analyzing, and sharing blog data that is driven by a number of Perl scripts and a PostgreSQL database. It will go beta at my AoIR presentation on October 7, 2005.

    I've seen a couple of test runs on he program and the output is impressive. If you are interested in blog link analysis I suggest you give the site a look see.

    Posted by prolurkr at 03:22 PM | TrackBack

    September 29, 2005

    Ethnography Division of the National Communciation Association

    In writing a rely to Joseph Reagle's post Writing Ethnography with it's trackback to Prolurker, I realized I had not posted a plug for the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association's Pre-Conference next month.  I don't actually know if they have openings at this point.  NCA is so huge I would bet their pre-conferences fill very quickly.  Mostly I just want to bring the Division to your attention so you can watch for future offerings.

    I attended the Pre-Conference in Chicago last year where the topic was Taking Fieldnotes.  I found it immensely helpful and a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to this years pre-conference and hope to bring home some new techniques that I can apply to my online work.  Here is the blurb from the conference website.

    *PC 03: Historical Ethnography: Bringing Cultures from the Past into the Present through Archival Resources*

    The role of ethnographers is to shed light on cultural phenomenon. Communication scholars who study culture from an interpretive perspective focus on communication related problems (e.g., the silencing of marginalized groups, the communicative ways that a culture passes on its traditions in order to survive) or highlight communication related methodologies (e.g., the exploration of stories, talk, speeches, conversation, or metaphorical constructions of a phenomenon).

    Both theoretical and methodological endeavors are important to contemporary ethnography as well as to historical ethnography. Historical ethnography uncovers the cultural phenomenon of past (as opposed to the contemporary) cultures. Theoretically, historical ethnographers see the past to expose the present (e.g., How women were socially constructed in the 1800s through religious stories or popular magazine articles of the time which may have left a lasting impression on the women of today. How did antebellum newspaper editors discuss race within their editorial pages?). Methodologically, historical ethnographers rely on artifacts from the past (e.g., journals, diaries, census data, and/or other archival documents) to bring the past into the present.

    This work shop is intended to introduce ethnographers to historical ethnography in four ways. First, an archivist will discuss the value of historical documents. Second, five researchers who conduct historical ethnographies will present their work. Third, the participants will see the past through participation in a walk down The Freedom Trail in Boston. Fourth, the participants will engage in guided exercises to help them understand historical documents and the piecing together of those documents in order to give expression to cultures of the past.


    Christopher Pehrson, Written By Hand Manuscript Americana Yale
    Nick Trujillo, California State University, Sacramento
    Harold Goodall, Arizona State University
    Robert Krizek, Saint Louis University
    Sarah De la Garza, Arizona State University
    Robin Clair, Purdue University

    Posted by prolurkr at 06:32 PM | TrackBack

    Marking things off the future planning list

    Well I'm buried with work right now so it seemed like a really good time to take a minute and look at the future submission list through the end of the year.  Sadly I'm deleting several because I need to focus on quals.

    Off the list are:

    So what is left on the list?

    Everything left on the list is up for grabs as well.  It's way to easy for me to get sidetracked since I enjoy research and teaching so much and really don't enjoy writing literature reviews.  What I have been doing is trying to reward myself with research, ok so I'm a crazy nerd here, as I progress with my writing my quals.  I do so wish I could just publish and count that as quals instead.

    Posted by prolurkr at 05:12 PM | TrackBack

    September 27, 2005

    Grading ROCKS

    Ok so I'm lying, but hey as of this evening I'm only a week behind, and last week's lab was not in narrative so it should be easier to score.  This is a major improvement.

    Now I just need to pull together spreadsheets for the BROG presentation, write an conference paper for NCA, put together my presentation for AoIR, write a position paper for CAAW-2006, and send a blue-bazillion time-sensitive emails, oh and finish grading last week's lab assignments - all before we leave on Tuesday.  *sick manical laugh*  Don't tell me I'm screwed. *covering her eyes and ears* I live in a computer generated fantasy world where anything is possible.  *humming loudly* 

    I wonder if there is a theme song for the "Little Train that Could."  That would be a motivational ring tone because "If I Only Had A Brain," my usual ring-tone, is feeling way too accurate at the moment.

    Posted by prolurkr at 11:26 PM | TrackBack

    New books - one for work and one for fun

    Today's mail brought two new books from Amazon, one for work and one for fun. Ok so I think my work is fun too but in this case I mean "fun" as in almost no redeeming purpose but a good enjoyable read...something I don't seem to do much anymore. First I have Van Maanen, John (1988). Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago. I have seen many references to this little, and inexpensive, book and decided it was time to read it. Sadly it will have to wait a bit but since it is a small book I can see it becoming my "in the handbag" reading.

    The second book, the for the love of reading book, is Gabaldon, Diana (2005). A Breath of Snow and Ashes. New York: Delacorte Press. Gabaldon is a wonderful writer, she is living proof that one can complete a dissertation and still be able to writing interesting prose. This is the fifth book in this series, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.  I have read the other four books several times each and even keep abridged versions on my iPod for listening while I travel.  Nothing like someone reading you a good book to help you fall asleep anywhere, on a plane or a train or an unfamiliar hotel.  I'm sure that this book will end up on the iPod as well.  In short Gabaldon is an inspired writer, if you haven't sampled her work I suggest you checkout or order a copy of Outlander immediately.

    Posted by prolurkr at 02:50 PM | TrackBack

    September 26, 2005

    PubSub joins the crowd with its own blog ranking tool

    PubSub my current favorite blog research tool, well it and the background scripts that make it useful to me, has announced the release of their own page ranking system.  Doubt prolurker made the list, but that won't stop me from checking.  *S*

    PubSub.com, the essential prospective search tool for tracking what people are saying about the topics they care about, today announced the formal release of PubSub LinkRanks, the Blogosphere's most comprehensive tool for tracking the popularity and influence of blogs and websites. This unique service provides detailed data that bloggers and feed publishers can use to actively monitor the results of their publishing efforts, and gain insight into how to improve their future rank and influence.

    PubSub LinkRanks measures the strength, persistence, and vitality of links appearing in the more than 16 million web feeds monitored by PubSub. PubSub has also made available the PubSub LinkRanks 1000, a list of the most consistently influential sites that publish feeds, based on their average LinkRank scores during the past 30 days.

    There are some very useful statistics on their results page. Check out prolurker's page for an example, the link is also on the right side-bar under RSS feeds.

    Posted by prolurkr at 08:11 PM | TrackBack

    Two very useful reference books

    Today I have had reason to pull two of my favorite reference volumes for projects I have in process. After working with both, I decided I would introduce, or reintroduce them, to you. First is - Schechner, Richard (ed.) (2002), Performance Studies: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

    This is quite honestly a book that constantly surprises me. With each new project, where performativity is an issue, I pull out Schechner and do a quick review. But my reviews never end up being quick and I consistantly find mention of references, theories, and ideas that are new to me and usually akin to the project or my current thinking on an issue.  For example today I was beginning a quick review before I start writing my NCA paper - The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor.  (Look for a post with a link to the paper after I have it written.)  But of course as I am reading the section on performativity I am drawn to comments on Walter Benjamin which ties into a paper I currently have in the To Be Revised and Submitted file which draws heavily on Benjamin.  The paper was written roughly a year ago so, of course, it has been perking in the back of my brain.  So while reading I was drawn to Schechner's section on Baudrillard, which lead to a list of notes for further reading in Simulacra and Simulation.  The wheels just keep turning.

    One of my big projects today was to get a good sized bite out of grading. I have this goal to be completely caught up, which includes this weeks lab assignments, by the end of the week. In written work, which is not all of our lab work to be sure, I count off one point for each misspelling and grammatical error I find. When I am reading the students papers I keep my copy of Lunsford, Andrea A. (2001). The Everyday Writer. (2nd ed.) Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's close at hand so I can double check myself and try to use the proper terminology when I explain why points were lost for an error. This handbook is one of the best I have ever seen in that it explains problems in plain english so that non-grammarians like me can understand. If you haven't updated your english references in sometime I strongly recommend you find a copy of this handy little book. Oh there is a new edition out but as far as I can see the only difference is in which versions of the style guides they are referencing.

    Posted by prolurkr at 05:52 PM | TrackBack

    September 25, 2005

    More on click throughs as group conversation

    Christina Pikas, from <