Wednesday, March 28, 2007

aeiou @ acrl

starting tomorrow, i'll be in baltimore, maryland for the association of college and research libraries conference. this is the national conference for academic librarians, which includes community college, college, university, museum, and research librarians. on friday, i am giving an invited talk about what i like to call already existing information optimally uploaded, or aeiou. if you're in the area, please swing by.

in the meantime, if you are curious about how to make a scarecrow wedding, here is the answer! (thanks george)


Monday, March 26, 2007

latinos online - a new report from the pew hispanic center and the pew internet & american life project

back in the 1990s, when bill clinton and al gore were running things, the national telecommunications and information administration (ntia) began publishing research reports about what we then called "the digital divide." in 1995, they published falling through the net, followed, in 1998, with falling through the net II. both reports brought much needed attention and public discussion about the internet, access, and inclusion. unfortunately, today, ntia is a shell of what it once was. fortunately, the pew internet & american life project has stepped up to partially fill the void.

latinos online, written by susannah fox and gretchen livingston, is a collaboration between the pew hispanic center and the pew internet & american life project. the report explores latinos/hispanics in the US and their use (and lack of use) of the internet. the findings are disturbing and sobering and remind us, once again, that race (and education and class and language) matter online.

the report is particularly timely. as fox and livingston note, "Over the last decade, the internet has become woven into American life, just at the time that Hispanics have become the fastest growing component of the U.S. population" (p. 1). further, the collaboration between the two centers is smart. although the pew internet & american life project has published previous research on the topic - hispanics and the internet (2001) - the interviews were conducted entirely in english. with help from pew hispanic center, the interviews and surveys that inform the current study were done in english and spanish. excellent.

so what do we learn?

1. the percentage of latinos/as online is well below other groups' adoption rates. as the report notes, "Fifty-six percent of Latinos in the U.S. use the internet. By comparison, 71% of non-Hispanic whites and 60% of non-Hispanic blacks use the internet" (p. 3)

2. much of the difference in use rates is related to education. "Individuals who have not graduated from high school are much less likely to use the internet regardless of their racial or ethnic background. Four in ten Hispanic adults have not completed high school, compared with about one in ten white adults. Therefore the low rate of high school completion among Hispanics contributes to their relatively low internet use" (p. 4).

3. further, among latinos/as, language use relates significantly to internet use. "Fully 78% of Latinos who are English-dominant and 76% of bilingual Latinos use the internet, compared to 32% of Latinos who are Spanish-dominant" (p. 9).

4. significantly, national origins is a factor for latino/a internet use. latinos/as who trace their origins to central america are the least likely to use the internet (50% of them go online). next is latinos of mexican descent (52%), followed by latinos of dominican republic descent (59%). this is followed by latinos of cuban descent (64%), puerto rican descent (66%), and south american descent (70% - pp. 10-11)

5. access remains a huge issue. according to the report, the reasons given for not going online were as follows: 53% do not have access; 18% not interested; 10% too difficult or frustrating; 6% too expensive; and 5% too busy or do not have time (p. 14).

unfortunately, there has never been ample academic interest in the field of race, ethnicity, and the internet. near the beginning of the decade, there were important works, including beth kolko, lisa nakamura, and gil rodman's race in cyberspace, nakamura's cybertypes: race, ethnicity, and identity on the internet, alondra nelson, thuy lin n. tu, and alicia headlam hines' technicolor: race, technology, and everyday life, and emily noelle ignacio's building diaspora: filipino cultural community formation on the internet, to name some of the most influential. these days, however, perhaps as a result of the web 2.0 hype that has seemed to dull the critical edge of the field, too few studies about race and the internet exist. (two important and exciting exceptions: native on the net: virtual diaspora in the digital age, edited by kyra landzelius, and information technology and indigenous people, edited by laurel evelyn dyson, max hendriks, and stephen grant. if you are interested in reviewing one of these books for RCCS, please let me know in the comments. thank you kim christen for bringing these books to my attention.)

latinos online is an important, timely, and sobering report about yet another aspect of american culture that needs major fixing. kudos to pew hispanic center and pew internet & american life project for addressing the difficult questions so many of us love to avoid and much respect to those of you working hard and creatively to find solutions.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

wanna be presidents - a new feevy blog aggregator

[crossposted from the feevy blog ...]

wanna be presidents is an aggregator of blogs for US 2008 presidential hopefuls. built with feevy, wanna be presidents aggregates all presidential bloggers (currently 16 by our count) into three categories: republicans, democrats, and independents. wanna be presidents is an easy and effective way to view different campaigns on the same page.

because feevy is built upon RSS, wanna be presidents relies on candidates’ RSS feeds. in building the site, david de ugarte and i were quite surprised to discover that many republican presidential candidates, including john mccain, duncan hunter, and tom tancredo, have not integrated RSS into their web presences. which begs the question - who is advising these guys?

we welcome your feedback on wanna be presidents and look forward to adding more candidates as they join the race.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

congratulations crispin thurlow

whether it's teaching a large lecture course, a small discussion class, or a graduate seminar, my former UW colleague crispin thurlow is one hellava professor. he's a teacher, a mentor, and a role model. maybe that's why he received this year's UW distinguished teaching award. rock on, crispin, and congratulations, my friend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

seven days in spain

a day before sarah and i left for madrid to visit our friend david de ugarte, i emailed him our flight information and told him how excited we were to see him. "we too!!!" he replied within minutes. "we? who's we?" sarah asked. i answered, "i have no idea."

we spent seven days in spain - in a flat in madrid and on a roadtrip through five spanish states. we had lunch in a castle in trujillo, dinner in the medieval city of cáceres, and lunch within the roman walls of avila. we had wines! bottles of red, bottles of white, and a thick sweet sherry that would magically appear after the segunda and with dessert. mostly we talked - in the late morning over coffee, during our post-siesta walkabouts across madrid, and throughout the most delicious lunches and dinners of my life.

it was a remarkable visit and vacation. and it all began with david and maria.

i met david at a conference in prague in summer, 2003. he was, and is, a ciberpunk. he's an economist, a theorist, and a builder. he wrote 11M: redes para ganar una guerra (in english). he helped build el proyecto septiembre. and, with help from las indias, he recently dreamt up feevy. to me, david is one of the most important and most creative theorist/builder of cyberactivism/network culture/cyberculture. because he writes primarily in spanish, many US and UK academics have never heard of him. what a shame.

david and maria live together in a fifth-floor double-flat in downtown madrid. maria runs la biblioteca de las indias - a library that is partly books, partly digital texts, and purely the future. maria is heavily involved in sociedad de las indias electrónicas. maria makes david glow.

upon arrival, we learned that we would be sharing a flat with alex girard, an international freelance web developer straight outta toulouse, france. alex built feevy. some days, after lunch, we'd sit around and talk about new features for feevy. then, most of us would take a siesta. hours later, we would awake and alex would tell us that all the features were built and implemented. alex is cool - the kind of person you look forward to knowing for decades.

david and maria are magnets for interesting people. one night we went to a basque restaurant and met natalie fernandez, the director of las indias, and juan urrutia ("the paul krugman of spain!" david would tell us, literally jumping up and down while describing juan and his juan's work). also, roger colom - and, briefly, carro - joined us for a few days from valencia on his way to buenos aires. roger shared stories and skits from la internacional melancólica, taught me about the art scene in buenos aires, and suggested that the september project encourage events on all 11ths - not just september.

for seven days, sarah and i enjoyed a civilized life. we ate real food - fresh food, seasonal food, regional food. we drank gallons of wine but because we drank while eating and walked between eating we seldom had more than a warm, fuzzy buzz. of course it wasn't all eating and drinking. at some point, we actually worked and built wanna be presidents, a feevy blog aggregator that follows the blogs of US presidential hopefuls. first finding: the web team for john mccain - and many other presidential candidates - neither understands nor uses RSS. can you believe that?

it wasn't all perfect. the endless walls of avila were incredible but it was surreal to see burger king so close. it was sad to drive to a small valley town known for cherry trees and learn that the trees have not yet blossomed even though it is mid-march. the people of the town seemed understandably nervous. in the same town, and across spain, we saw nests on the tops of churches. massive nests with huge, beautiful storks in them. in march, david told us, storks are suppposed to be in africa. "storks are global!" he screamed, "they should not be in spain in march." these days, in our times, age old patterns of cherry trees and storks have gone bonkers.

one thing's for certain - it sure is fun travelling with sarah. it's fun to see new places with her and through her eyes, especially when we are with such expert and generous hosts. and even though the cat sometimes freaks out when we travel (the day we returned to san francisco, nene peed on my new jeans) i have a strong feeling that las indias will be meeting up again, in some place somewhere, real soon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

usf event: 2007 human rights film festival

my colleague, susana kaiser, with help from her students and others, has been busy organizing USF's 2007 human rights film festival, which begins today. all films take place at presentation theater; all films are free and open to the general public. the lineup includes:

monday, march 19:
2:00 PM
Dir. Lorena Riposati, Grupo de Cine Insurgente, 74m

4:00 PM
TOTAL DENIAL, Bulgaria/Italy, 2006
Dir. Milena Kaneva, 65m, doc

5:30 PM
Dir. Manel Mayol, 87m, doc

7:30 PM
Dir. Bernadine Mellis, 53m, doc

tuesday, march 20:
4:00 PM
MAQUILAPOLIS [City of Factories], USA, 2006
Dir. Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre, 68m

5:30 PM
Javier Corcuera, 78m, doc

7:30 PM
ROSITA, US/Nicaragua, 2005,
Dir. Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater, 55m, doc

wednesday, march 21:
2:00 PM
"Voices of the Past: The Plight and Stuggle of Filipino WWII Veterans in the United States," USA
Co-Produced by: Marie-Lorraine Feria Mallare and Aethel Cruz, USA

Queer 360: Many Faces of Queer Civil Rights (LGBTQ Caucus Sponsored Films)
4:00 PM

5:00 PM
Dir. Debra Chasnoff, 20m

6:00 PM
I EXIST, USA, 2003
Dir. Peter Barbosa and Garrett Lenoir, 57m

Dir. Sebastian Cordoba, 60m [Director Sebastian Cordoba will lead the discussion following the film].

8:00-10:00 PM
School of Education, Room 102

sponsors include: Office of the Provost, College of Arts & Sciences, Performing Arts and Social Justice, Latin American Studies, Media Studies, Communications, University Ministry, Gender & Sexualities, School of Education, Modern & Classical Languages, Philosophy, History, International Studies, Politics, Sociology, Environmental Studies, Visual and Graphic Arts, Davies Forum, Gleeson Library, Office of Living-Learning Communities, and Yuchengco Philippine Studies.

Friday, March 09, 2007

ira glass on storytelling

ira glass on having good taste, overcoming the gap between your own good taste and your own not so good output, and doing lots and lots of work. five minutes and nineteen seconds of smart advice. [crossposted from usfblogtastic]

Thursday, March 08, 2007

spring break in spain

next week, spring break begins and sarah and i will be in spain. we'll be staying in madrid, with our host david de ugarte, and hopefully meeting some of las indias. sarah's never been to spain; i've spent some time in barcelona but only one day in madrid. we're really excited.

Monday, March 05, 2007


remembering paula gmelch

last thursday, there was a terrible car accident near campus that resulted in the death of paula gmelch. this friday, at 2:00 pm in saint ignatius church, there will be a memorial service for paula. a reception will follow in fromm hall.

in the meantime, a public memorial has been set up at the scene of the accident. witnessing the contributions (flowers, balloons, words, photographs, hats) people have left so far reveals how much paula gmelch meant to the usf community.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

usf event: 6th annual global women's rights forum, march 5-8

this week, the week before spring break, includes a full schedule of campus events revolving around global women's rights. here's the agenda:
Monday, March 5, 6-8 pm, Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall
"Women's Livelihood Post 9-11"
  • Elizabeth Esparza-Cervantes, Trial Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Banafsheh Akhlaghi, J.D., National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA)
  • Dorothy Kleffner, Ph.D., Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+)
Tuesday, March 6, 6-8 pm, Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall
"The Church, the Body, and the State: Negotiating Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Latin America"
  • Dinora Aguiñada (El Salvador), Asociación de Mujeres por la Dignidad y la Vida
  • Alejandra Sardá (Argentina), Mulabi - Grupo de Trabajo Latinoamericano en Derechos Sexuales
  • Marcela Ríos Tobar (Chile), Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)
Wednesday, March 7, 6-8 pm, Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall
"Daughters of Darfur" (Organized by Model UN, Politics Society, Black Student Union, STAND, UMTOMBO, and FACES. Student will be putting on a display in Harney Plaza that highlight the daily struggles faced by women in Darfur.)
  • Martha Saavedra, Center for African Studies, University of California Berkeley
  • Jocelyne Takatsuno, New Field Foundation
Thursday, March 8, 1:30-4:15 pm, Lone Mountain 365 (International Women's Day!)
"Art and Activism"
  • Rohini, Novelist, "To Do Something Beautiful."
  • Deborah Barndt, Editor of "Wild Fire: Art as Activism" and Professor of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Anjali Monteiro, Filmmaker
  • (Screening of "Becoming Salma, A Tamil Poet")
the 6th annual global women's rights forum is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences; Gender and Sexualities Studies; African Studies; McCarthy Center; Departments of Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Media Studies, History, Politics, Modern and Classical Languages, Sociology, Visual and Performing Arts, and International Studies; University Ministry; President's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women; Davies Forum; Lane Center; and North American Congress on Latin America

also, be sure to check out these related events:
Student art display organized by Paula Birnbaum and Sharon Siskin, Visual Arts Department. UC 1st floor hallway in front of Crossroads.

Wednesday, March 7, 3:30-5:30. Peace and Justice Studies presents: "Women Veterans Tell Their Stories." A roundtable discussion on the experience of being a woman of color in the U.S. military. University Center 400.

Thursday, March 8, 7-9 pm. North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Benefit: "Women's and Queer Rights Activism in the Americas." La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.

Thursday, March 8. Politics Society and USF Amnesty International present: "Protecting Communities." Lecture/Discussion regarding stopping violence towards and the LGTBQ community. McLaren 251.

Friday, March 02, 2007


a terrible car accident at the university of san francisco

there was a terrible car accident yesterday afternoon at the intersection of turk and chabot terrace. a pedestrian, paula gmelch, was killed. paula's husband is walt gmelch, dean of USF's school of education. another pedestrian sustained life threatening injuries. neither driver was injured.

i have followed the terrible event through USF connect and local media, but mainly through USF student bloggers, including .

Thursday, March 01, 2007

new reviews in cyberculture studies (march 2007)

[via RCCS] a new set of book reviews for march 2007:

1. Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age
Author: Mary Chayko
Publisher: State University of New York Press, 2002
Review 1: Chrys Egan
Author Response: Mary Chayko

2. New Technologies at Work: People, Screens and Social Virtuality
Editors: Christina Garsten & Helena Wulff
Publisher: Berg Publishers, 2003
Review 1: Petra Sonderegger

3. Saved from Oblivion: Documenting the Daily from Diaries to Web Cams
Author: Andreas Kitzmann
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2004
Review 1: Timothy D. Ray
Author Response: Andreas Kitzmann

4. The Wired Homestead: A Sourcebook on the Internet and the Family
Editors: Joseph Turow & Andrea Kavanaugh
Publisher: MIT Press, 2003
Review 1: Carolyn Jabs

5. Towards a Sustainable Information Society: Deconstructing WSIS
Editors: Jan Servaes & Nico Carpentier
Publisher: Intellect Books, 2006
Review 1: Arthur L. Morin
Author Response: Nico Carpentier

6. Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics and New Media
Editor: Mark J. P. Wolf
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, 2003
Review 1: Steven A. Benko
Author Response: Mark J. P. Wolf