Wednesday, October 31, 2007


gone gallery


gone gallery

new reviews in cyberculture studies (november 2007)

each month, the resource center for cyberculture studies (RCCS) publishes a set of book reviews and author responses. books of the month for november 2007 include:

Residual Media
Editor: Charles R. Acland
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, 2007
Review 1: Daniel Gilfillan
Review 2: D. Travers Scott
Author Response: Charles R. Acland

GameScenes: Art in the Age of Videogames
Editors: Matteo Bittanti & Domenico Quaranta
Publisher: Johan & Levi, 2006
Review 1: Claudia Costa Pederson
Author Response: Domenico Quaranta

Mobile Communication and Society: A Global Perspective
Authors: Manuel Castells, Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, Jack Linchuan Qiu, and Araba Sey
Publisher: MIT Press, 2006
Review 1: Hill Taylor
Authors Response: Mireia Fernandez-Ardevol, Jack Linchuan Qiu, and Araba Sey

Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture
Author: Ted Friedman
Publisher: NYU Press, 2005
Review 1: Suzanne Damarin

enjoy. there's more where that came from.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

barry wellman, that ain't right

in response to a recent thread about james watson, race, and racism on aoir-l, barry wellman, famous internet sociologist, wrote:

1. I think this list always needs to make a choice about whether to stay on topic (Internet Research -- both words are germane) or wander way off topic. (Dr. Watson). I value it for the former, and don't think this is the place for a general bull session. If others persist, I know that I will not want to read or participate, as many others have decided not to do before. (Step back and analyze who are the active published scholars in journals such as JCMC, ICS, NM&S, Info Sty, etc -- and who contributes here.)

2. But, as long as you got me going, to give my .02 re Watson, the world is filled with scientists (and politicians) making ex cathedra pronouncements about the things they don't know much about. Just like some professors I know ;-)

wow! fascinating for at least four reasons:

1. professor wellman has a long history of calling into question various topics on aoir-l, one of the largest and most interdisciplinary listservs for academics studying the internet. many of the topics he calls into question revolve around discussions of race. not cool.

2. professor wellman also has a long history of threatening to leave, or hinting that he may threaten to leave, aoir-l and aoir. interestingly, such threats often occur directly before or directly after aoir conferences. it's weird like that.

3. barry wellman equates internet research with being published in JCMC, ICS, NM&S, Info Sty. ok, first, some translation. JCMC = the journal of computer-mediated communication. ICS = information, communication and society. NM&S = new media and society. and Info Sty = um, i'm not sure what that is. second, what a limited perspective of a field that is growing all over the place.

4. barry says, "stop this discussion!" then barry says, "wait, wait - here's my opinion on this discussion!" that's called sending mixed messages. that's also just weird.

famous internet sociologist or not, such behavior just ain't right.

update: saturday afternoon, barry wellman attempted to comment on my blog but was unable to. instead, he emailed me the following message with the request to post his response. i grant his request.


I have written a response to your blog. However, an adblock of Captcha is weirdly stopping my posting it. So I would appreciate it if you would post it. Thanks.

Barry Wellman

It would have been nice if David Silver had copied his blog post to me, rather than leave it for someone else to alert me to it.

He's right. I do wish the AoIR list would stay on topic, and I point it out when it's off topic. I mentioned some journals, but it was obviously a "for example" list. I don't think I should have mentioned 100s more.

David's also right: I have said "stay on topic" before to the Association of Internet Researchers list and will again. And I will probably again point out how few experienced Internet Researchers contribute to this list. Some have told me it is because of the relative absence of discussion of Internet Research. I am sad that David Silver wants this to be an unfocused bull session, or is he just continuing a long series of upsets with me?

David's "many of the topics he calls into question revolve around discussions of race. not cool" is an uncalled for innuendo and factually untrue. (Do I have to point out I have paid my "race" dues since the 1950s.) The Watson discussion had nothing to do with Internet Research, and I said so. Just as when David wanted to make political manifestos early in the days of AoIR, I wondered if that was the right locale for it.

However, David is right that as long as I had the floor re Watson, I did give my very brief .02. As I think David would agree, making political pronouncements is seductive and easy; it's certainly easier than doing systematic research.

I find this a sad post from David. I won't continue. Back to Internet Research.

Barry Wellman

Thursday, October 25, 2007

a new blog on campus

earlier this week, USF students, staff, and faculty received an interesting email. it said that the president of the university, father stephen privett, decided to start a blog.

here's what we know. the blog is called USF 2028. it is hosted by blogger. it is moderated (which means reader comments are approved prior to being posted to the blog). the blog was set up "to facilitate the exchange of ideas about USF's future" and will be available for approximately one month. prior to commenting, readers are encouraged to a) read "USF 2028" (pdf, 4 pages) and b) watch "shift happens" (video, 6:06 minutes - feels like twenty). the blog was launched on monday and by today, thursday, there are seven comments.

there are many unknowns. will the blog have multiple entries or is this a one-post blog? will the blog's topics change over time? so far, the comments are constructive and the conversation is civil - will it remain this way? currently, the majority of comments come from USF professors (more detailed profile: white male profs, with and without tenure, who also blog) - when will that change? when will more students like sara contribute their ideas and questions to the conversation?

in theory, USF 2028 establishes an open, public, and archived conversation between campus leadership and the campus community. that is cool. also, multiple stakeholders - students, staff, faculty - are invited to participate in the conversation. that is very cool. as long as the blog remains transparent and the comments remain constructive, USF 2028 could be an interesting experiment for healthy campus conversation. but first: more peeps gotta get involved.

Monday, October 22, 2007

just less

for the first time since i began grad school in 1994, i have at this moment zero emails in my inbox. no doubt it will fill. but in the moment, things feel light. and light is less and less is more.

returning from the aoir conference, i realize i am very lo-tech. i don't second life. i don't play computer games. i don't twitter. i don't even IM. i still don't have a cell phone. i don't text message. i barely facebook.

but to the rest of the world, maybe i'm hi-tech. i blahg! i RSS. i RCCS. i subscribe to a few academic listservs. and i still email.

just less.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

aoir in vancouver, day two

today's sessions and conversations at aoir8 were particularly engaging.

i served as a respondent to a five-paper panel called "critical perspectives on web 2.0: surveillance, discipline, labor." the room was crowded and the five presenters - anders albrechtslund, michael zimmer (also the panel's organizer), soren mork petersen, kylie jarrett, and bilge yesil - were excellent. too often, panels are haphazard collections of random papers; this panel's papers spoke to and built upon each other.

i kept my comments brief ("four points in two minutes!"):

* i noted that it was a real pleasure to be part of a panel on web 2.0 that addresses things like capitalism and consumerism and labor - topics usually ignored by american internet researchers;

* i mentioned that the papers puncture the hype of web 2.0 and do so with careful attention to history, to labor and capitalism, and with critical approaches;

* i noted that some of the papers do not puncture the hope of web 2.0. there's plenty that we like about web 2.0 and we need to remind ourselves about that. as soren said in his paper, "we need to focus on capitalism, but we also need to focus on joy and creativity."

* and i assigned the panelists homework! i said that they should write an article or hijack a special issue of a journal to talk about how we teach critical approaches to web 2.0. the ideas discussed in each of the papers were fascinating and extremely applicable to the everyday online activities of all of us - especially our students. how about a special issue on teaching web 2.0 or an anthology titled web 2.0 and its discontents?

a lot more happened on day two - and here's some pics to prove it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

aoir in vancouver

i'm in vancouver for aoir8, the annual conference of the association of internet researchers. here's a few pics of day one.

to keep up with what goes down, explore the aoir and aoir8 tags.

Monday, October 15, 2007

grant proposal mashup

lately i've been working on a grant proposal for a knowledge networking award. this morning, i turned it in. it's a solid proposal for a solid project.

in ten sentences:

the project: since 1995, i've been running the resource center for cyberculture studies, or RCCS. the heart of RCCS is a collection of nearly 500 book reviews and over 100 author responses. these days, RCCS is growing faster then ever - more books, more book reviews, more reviewers, more readers.

the problem: the problem is the platform. RCCS needs to be on an open source platform. all the bibliographic data needs to be browseable. RCCS readers need to be able to comment on the reviews. and RCCS readers need to be able to tag the reviews.

the solution: RCCS needs a new platform. it's gotta be open, it's gotta allow comments and tags, and it's gotta remain free.

together with tenure decisions and job hirings, going for grants is one of the most untransparent things in academia. the idea is to keep very secret about it - don't tell anyone about the grant, don't tell anyone you are applying for the grant, and certainly don't share your proposal with anyone. then, if you get the grant, things become hyper-transparent: you blahg all about it, all the time.

one day i'd like to blog the whole process of going for grants - from finding grants that fit your work and stretch your comfort zones to writing in prose that is understandable to submitting a final proposal with all the right signatures of approval. it would be a long blog post.

in the meantime, here's a few cut-and-pasted paragraphs from my project narrative fused with archeological evidence (via wayback machine) of RCCS's questionable past. a grant proposal mashup.

Opening Up RCCS

In 1995, as a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Maryland, I became convinced that the Internet was a legitimate object of academic study. I wanted to foster a community of likeminded scholars and teachers. To do that, I established the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, or RCCS, an online center for the study of what we then called the information superhighway or the World Wide Web. Back then, RCCS collected and archived two of the most important ingredients for a budding academic field: syllabi and conference announcements.

In 1997, I began to publish full-length book reviews on RCCS. The reviews run between 1500-2500 words and represent nearly every discipline –– from anthropology to African-American studies, from English to engineering, from law to linguistics.

Published monthly for the last ten years, there are now over 475 book reviews.

Over the years, RCCS has built up a large and diverse community of academics, artists, and activists. The majority of RCCS readers are faculty and students, including professors who use the book reviews to generate new syllabi and graduate students who use the book reviews for lit reviews and comp reading lists. The reviews also benefit authors, including one who recently wrote to me: "I am truly honored that our book has been featured on your website. As a long time fan of the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, I must confess that this positive review comes as a much appreciated gratification and a stimulus to keep investigating this fascinating area."

The problem with RCCS is its platform.

Currently, there is no option to browse the reviews by topic, keyword, author, date of book's publication, or publisher. RCCS does not support comments on the book reviews which could spark interesting conversations between readers, reviewers, and authors, thus extending the dialogue. RCCS does not support a user-generated system of tagging that could foster a rich folksonomy, deepening and widening opportunities for findability.

RCCS needs a new platform. It needs to be transferred to an open source content management system like Drupal or an open blogging platform like WordPress. All bibliographic material needs to be linked and therefore browseable. It needs to allow comments. And it needs to allow readers the ability to tag the reviews. In short, I am applying for a Knowledge Networking Award to open up RCCS.

it is difficult to predict grant outcomes. all you can do is put your best work forward and celebrate heartily after you click "submit."

USFtv - year three

two years ago, three USF students approached melinda stone about setting up a television station by and for USF students. it happened.

last year, USFtv kicked into full gear, producing cablecasts (viewable in USF dorms) every two weeks or so.

this year, USFtv is back in business and back with some funk. USF students have organized into teams to create programs like USF News, USF Sports, USF Talks, Student Films, and Visionz.

here's a taste:

for those of you who do not live in USF dorms, there's USFtv on YouTube (nice work chris begley).

wanna get involved? contact USFtv programming director alexandra platt and the USFtv crew at usftv [at] usfca [dot] edu

Friday, October 12, 2007


thursday night is homemade pizza night. i make the crust, sarah makes the sauce and carmelizes the onions. a quick walk to lucca's makes the meats happen.

like tapas, our pizzas come in smaller servings. instead of making one gigantic pizza we make two or three minis - each with different toppings. this one is prosciutto and arugula.

we snag our wine or beer or whatever and head to the television (cableless; three and a half channels that work aiight) and watch the office.

USF dissertation fellowship program

details regarding USF's minority scholars dissertation fellowship program have just been released. if you are an underrepresented ethnic minority scholar who plans to spend 2008-2009 finishing your dissertation, you should totally apply.


The University of San Francisco invites applications from underrepresented ethnic minority scholars for the USF Dissertation Fellowship Program for academic year 2008-2009.

Program: Scholars complete the dissertation and initiate an ongoing program of scholarly or creative work, and become familiar with the usual service responsibilities of a university faculty member. Scholars teach one course in the discipline each semester and serve the University in various capacities. The Program provides a stipend of $32,000 and limited support for relocation and research-related expenses. Additional support includes office space,
computer and library privileges.

Qualifications: Scholars are members of one of the following groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, or American Indians, and are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents. Candidates must have completed all course work leading to the doctorate by Summer 2008, and must be considering a career in college teaching in one of the following fields: Education (International and Multicultural Education; Leadership Studies; Teacher Education; Counseling Psychology [School Counseling]); Arts and Sciences (Communication Studies; Music - Ethnic Musicology; Media Studies; Politics; Sociology; Theology and Religious Studies, Biology, Philosophy, Clinical Psychology [Experimental Psychopathology and/or Forensic Psychology]); Business and Management (Accounting; Finance; Marketing; International Business; High Technology Business Strategy; Management and Leadership; Entrepreneurship); or Nursing.

Applicants should submit a letter of application (indicating area of expertise), curriculum vitae, transcripts, dissertation prospectus, brief description of research plans, evidence of teaching ability (including student evaluations), and three letters of recommendation to:

Gerardo Marín, Ph.D., Vice Provost
Dissertation Scholars Search
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street, LMR 423
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

Complete applications must be received by January 15, 2008, to ensure full consideration.

The University of San Francisco is a Jesuit Catholic university founded in 1855 to educate leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to work in a culturally diverse environment and to contribute to the mission of the University.

USF is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to affirmative action and to excellence through diversity. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities upon request.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


gone gallery

students teaching students

my friend, colleague, and fellow blogger, michael robertson, works hard and creatively towards our department's minor in journalism. way back in 2005, michael set up the USF journalism blog, a site where past and present USF journalism students converge to converse about the field: the ups and downs, the perils and possibilities. this tuesday, the online conversation goes offline - and you are invited.

what: Do USF Graduates Have a Future in 21st Century Journalism? A Panel Discussion
who: speakers include former USF journalism students now working for the San Francisco Chronicle, KRON-TV, NBC-11, the San Francisco Examiner, and CNET
where: Maier Room, Fromm Hall, USF
when: Tuesday, October 16, 7:30 pm
why: because one of the best ways for students to learn about the current field of journalism is to listen, learn, and interact with practicing journalists.

pedagogically-speaking, i love this event and support any activity that encourages students (past or present) teaching students. professionally-speaking, i'm excited about this event and support any activity that provides students with realistic assessments of our current media landscape, not to mention networking opportunities to help navigate through such landscapes.

plus, michael promised there would be cookies.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

teaching with youtube

one of my most vivid memories of grad school is professor lounsbury walking into class with an armful of video tapes. he'd shuffle in and immediately wrestle with the VCR, juggling weird warhol films, cronenberg's videodrome, vintage jimi at monterey pop, and, always, hitchcock's rear window. he'd dim the lights, push play, and instead of watching the clips, he'd watch us! i enjoyed those classes.

today in intro to media studies we discussed the history of television. we talked about the 1950s, when american tv was conceived, produced, and supported by a single sponsor. i mentioned the buick circus hour and the colgate comedy hour. then, with help from my laptop computer, a smart classroom, and youtube, i was able to show my students the very odd camel news caravan.

and we talked about how sponsorship - single or otherwise - looks today.

we talked about september 1960, when a sweaty nixon debated a suave JFK on national television. in the middle of lecture, i typed "jfk and nixon 1960" and found this clip. in a world of mashups, media artifacts sure get strange.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

job @ usf: video reporting instructor

Video Reporting Instructor's Position at USF

The Journalism program, which is a minor in the Department of Media Studies at The University of San Francisco, is currently seeking an adjunct faculty member to teach Video Reporting spring semester 2008. This is an undergraduate course limited to 12 students combining lab and lecture. Our semester is 16 weeks long.

Professional experience is required. Teaching experience is preferred, as is an M.A. Instructor will be expected to introduce students to the various elements of reporting news for video broadcast, including: news judgment; professionalism and ethics; on-camera interviewing techniques; writing and editing broadcast copy; editing digital video; developing news sources and story ideas. Students are expected to have mastered the basics of field reporting, including the production of short news packages for Internet and for campus television.

Additional: Knowledge of Protools would be advantageous and knowledge of Final Cut would be highly advantageous.

Please send letter of interest, resume and example of video reporting syllabus by November 1, 2007 to:

Lydia Fedulow
University of San Francisco
Department of Media Studies
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

If you have any questions please email Journalism Director, J. Michael Robertson: robertson [ @ ]


gone gallery

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

blogging as research activity

each year, USF faculty are required to submit an academic career prospectus, or ACP. the first part of the prospectus asks faculty to evaluate their teaching, research, and service goals from the previous year. under research, i included the following paragraph:

I am particularly satisfied as I look back on my last research goal – to continue using my blog to contribute to academic communities and conversations. During the last year, I have tried my best to blog my academic and professional talks, leaving behind a hyperlinked, words-and-images post that serves as a bibliography for future reading and, more importantly, affords others the opportunity to comment and converse publicly. I have worked hard to blog academic conferences (talks I hear, talks I give, topics covered, topics not covered) I attend including, this year, the Illinois School Library Media Association’s (ISLMA) annual conference, the LaborTech 2006 conference, the Beyond Broadcast conference, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference, and, most recently, the Media in Transition 5 conference. Believing that pedagogy is best when collective, I blogged my syllabi, some of my lectures, and some of my lesson plans. Finally, I blogged about USF events that engaged me academically, intellectually, and emotionally – Paul Farmer's talk, Election Night 2006 (organized by Professor Corey Cook), and the School of the Americas Watch Halloween Dinner (organized by USF students).

Monday, October 01, 2007

new reviews in cyberculture studies (october 2007)

each month, the resource center for cyberculture studies publishes a collection of book reviews. books of the month for october 2007 are:

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006)
Review 1: M. Carmen Gomez-Galisteo
Review 2: Pamela Kincheloe
Review 3: Laurie N. Taylor
Review 4: Lisa Weckerle
Review 5: Sarah Whitehead
Author Response: Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Lori Kendall, Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub: Masculinities and Relationships Online (University of California Press, 2002)
Review 1: Ben Krueger
Review 2: Molly Swiger
Author Response: Lori Kendall

Alexander R. Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2006)
Review 1: Kelly Boudreau
Review 2: Steven Conway
Review 3: Ted Kafala
Review 4: Randy Nichols
Review 5: Timothy Welsh
Author Response: Alexander R. Galloway

there's lots more where that came from. enjoy.