following my teaching narrative and my service narrative, here is my research narrative. my tenure packet is due today.
(i will add links to this post when i have the time.)
September 15, 2008
In 1986, I moved from San Luis Obispo, California, to Los Angeles to become an undergraduate at UCLA. A book lover, I declared English my major and took many inspiring classes including American Literature with Martha Banta, Ulysses with Cal Bedient, and two semesters of Shakespeare with Stephen Dickey. I minored in American Studies and fed my growing interests in American media and popular culture with classes like American History 1945-present with Bruce Schulman and Jazz and American Culture by the late great Leonard Feather. My academic training was enriched by living in the Co-op, a student-owned, student-run housing collective for over 500 UCLA students. At the Co-op, I learned about communal living and collective action. I graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
Following three years of teaching and tutoring in Los Angeles, I decided to go to graduate school to study a relatively new thing called the Internet. For nearly a decade and a half, I have studied the Internet through three different disciplines at three different universities: first, as a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Maryland; then, as an assistant professor of Communication at the University of Washington; and now, as an assistant professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco. Throughout this time, I have focused my attention on three research areas: 1) The social construction of online communities; 2) the emergence of a new academic field of study; and 3) using online tools to foster offline civic engagement. This research narrative traces my developments in and contributions to these three research areas.
I. American Studies at the University of Maryland
In 1994, I became a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Maryland. I wanted to study what we then called cyberspace and I thought American Studies, with its interdisciplinary approaches and interest in popular culture, was the way to go. At Maryland, I learned about media and cultural theory from Myron Lounsbury (American Studies), about feminist writing technologies and asking the right questions from Katie King (Women’s Studies), and about film form, film history, and film future from Bob Kolker (English). From John Caughey (American Studies), I learned about ethnography and how to listen. John also supervised my dissertation.
Studying the Internet in the mid-1990s was exciting. Email, discussion groups, gopher, chat, ftp, Mosaic – everything was so new and I set out to use and research it. I began sharing my work in 1995 with a book review of George Landow’s Hypertext in Hypertext for the early digital scholarship journal Computers & Text. Soon after, I published two more essays with the journal: “Teaching Cyberculture: Readings and Fieldwork for an Emerging Topic of Study” (July 1996) and “Multimedia, Multilinearity, and Multivocality in the Hypermedia Classroom” (April 1997). In 1997, I published “Interfacing American Culture: The Perils and Potentials of Virtual Exhibitions” in American Quarterly, the top journal in American Studies. In the article, I reviewed three early Web-based exhibitions – the Library of Congress’ “WPA Federal Writers’ Project 1936-1940”; the Exploratorium’s “Remembering Nagasaki”; and the Chicago Historical Society’s “The Great Chicago Fire and The Web of Memory” – to discuss new forms of narrative and interaction made possible by digital media. I also argued that virtual exhibitions were especially interesting when they allowed online visitors to be online contributors.
By the mid to late 1990s, a small group of professors, graduate students, and cultural critics began presenting and publishing studies about the Internet and a new application called the World Wide Web. While fascinated with the emerging research, I was uncomfortable with the way many studies located their topic outside of important markers like geography, race, gender, sexuality, and class. Further, too much of the work was detached from the logics of capitalism and consumerism, which seemed strange since everything in those days, including the platform itself, was for sale.
To counter this, I began researching community networks – online communities established around a particular town or city. Unlike so much of the early Web, community networks were associated with a physical space and physical people. In 1995, I began studying the Blacksburg Electronic Village, or BEV, a unique collaboration between Virginia Tech, the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, and MCI. As such, I had access to recorded public town hall meetings, archived outreach and publicity campaigns, and extensive media coverage in local, national, and international newspapers and magazines. I also had access – both online through email and BEV newsgroups and offline through face to face interviews – to members of the BEV community, an interesting collection of academics, techies, activists, and gadflies. For my master’s thesis, I combined archival research and ethnographic methods to trace the history, development, and publicity strategies of the BEV.
Following my thesis, John Caughey and I decided that a comparative study of two community networks could become an interesting dissertation topic. I began to supplement my work with the BEV with research into another community network, the Seattle Community Network, or SCN, in Seattle, Washington. The SCN was quite different from the BEV: It was entirely non-commercial, decidedly decentralized, and a little all over the place. With support from a Nonprofit Sector Research Fund Dissertation Fellowship from The Aspen Institute, I moved from College Park to Washington, DC to be closer to the Library of Congress, where I wrote, with research help from LC librarians Dave Kelly and Abby Yochelson, my dissertation. In 2000, I received my PhD and was co-winner (with David Zurawik) of the Carl Bode Award for Top Dissertation in American Studies.
I managed to publish significant portions of my thesis and dissertation. In 1999, I published “Localizing the Global Village: Lessons from the Blacksburg Electronic Village” in Ray Browne and Marshall Fishwick’s The Global Village: Dead or Alive? (Popular Press). Here I argued that with respect to the BEV’s two major goals – to foster an electronic town square and to develop an online shopping mall – most attention and resources were allocated to develop the community network’s consumer space. In 2000, I published “Margins in the Wires: Looking for Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Blacksburg Electronic Village” in Beth Kolko, Lisa Nakamura, and Gilbert Rodman’s influential anthology Race in Cyberspace (Routledge). In this chapter, I explored the existence and lost possibilities of race, gender, and sexuality within the BEV’s forums and discussion groups. Instead of encouraging online conversations about and community-building around cultural difference, the network’s design and outreach strategies largely routed around it.
In 2003, I published “Communication, Community, Consumption: An Ethnographic Exploration of an Online City” in Beth Kolko’s Virtual Publics: Policy and Community in an Electronic Age (Columbia University Press). Through ethnographic methods, I presented a flame war, or a heated and extended online argument, to better understand how members of the BEV used and participated in the online community. In 2004, I published “The Soil of Cyberspace: Historical Archaeologies of the Blacksburg Electronic Village and the Seattle Community Network” in Doug Schuler and Peter Day’s Shaping the Network Society: The New Role of Civil Society in Cyberspace (MIT Press). Tracing the histories of the BEV and the SCN, I argued that although the two community networks shared a goal of linking their communities, the ways they went about it differed drastically and could be seen in the network’s design. In 2005, I published “Selling Cyberspace: Constructing and Deconstructing the Rhetoric of Community” in Southern Communication Journal. In this article, I analyzed the ways in which the BEV’s vision statement and publicity materials rhetorically constructed a town hall model while the community network’s design fostered more of a shopping mall model. “Selling Cyberspace” was a finalist for the Southern Communication Journal’s Rose B. Johnson Article of the Year Award.
II. Communication at the University of Washington
In September 2001, I became an assistant professor in the School of Communications (later the Department of Communication) at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. At UW, my research focus grew from the construction of online communities to the construction of a new academic field of study. By 2000, enough scholars from enough disciplines presented enough papers at enough conferences to merit some kind of field of study. Whether we called it Internet studies, information studies, cyberculture studies, or digital media studies, there was a critical mass of scholars and students interested in digital media, culture, and society. At UW, I researched, contributed to, and sought to expand the development of that new field of study.
The Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
In 1995, I enrolled in an independent study with Professor Lounsbury to build a web site devoted to what I believed to be an emerging field of study. I began by collecting and compiling the two most valuable ingredients for any emerging field of study: college syllabi and conference calls. By bringing together disciplinarily-diverse syllabi, we could begin, I believed, to see and build a curriculum. By bringing together disciplinarily-diverse calls for conferences, we could begin to meet and build community. I called the web site the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, or RCCS. I liked the term cyberculture studies because I knew the digital revolution we were experiencing was both technological and cultural. I also liked the term because it was ambiguous enough to include just about anything.
In 1997, I transformed RCCS from an archive for syllabi and conference calls to a journal that specialized in monthly book reviews. The goals were simple: Find books about the Internet from every field and discipline; find appropriate scholars to review them; and publish the reviews monthly on the Web for free. Since July 1997, I have commissioned, edited, and published over 550 book reviews through RCCS.
I brought RCCS with me from the University of Maryland to UW, where I significantly and creatively scaled up RCCS’s publication of book reviews. First, instead of publishing one book review a month, I began to publish two or three reviews of different books. Next, I began publishing multiple reviews of a single book. By publishing multiple perspectives, often written by scholars from multiple disciplines, RCCS began to offer readers richer, more nuanced treatments of books compared to single book reviews found in traditional journals. And finally, I began publishing author responses to book reviews, allowing for interesting conversations between reviewers and authors. These days, it is common for RCCS to publish three, four, or five reviews of a book alongside an author’s response to the reviews in a single month. To date, I have published over 150 author responses through RCCS.
I am particularly proud that all RCCS content is and has always been free and open to the public. I am grateful to have worked with over 500 scholars from around the world interested in exploring and expanding the field of cyberculture studies. I am proud to have built, directed, and sustained RCCS for over a decade with a staff of one – me.
But what I am most excited about is the interdisciplinary spectrum that is RCCS book reviews. Ignoring the divide between humanities and social sciences that often plagues Internet studies conferences and journals, I include them both, as well as research from art, business, computer science, engineering, and law. Indeed, when one scrolls through the hundreds of book reviews published by RCCS it is difficult to find a field or discipline not represented. Put another way, RCCS is and has always been fiercely interdisciplinary.
Grants and Publications about an Emerging Field of Study
While at UW, my work with RCCS and digital media studies resulted in numerous research grants and awards. In 2002, I was awarded a School of Communications’ Trust Fund Award to redesign the RCCS website. Also in 2002, I was awarded a large Media Policy and Technology Grant from the Ford Foundation to organize and host an interdisciplinary symposium on “Critical Cyberculture Studies.” In 2003, I was awarded a Community Technologies Grant from Microsoft Research to support my work with RCCS. In 2003 and 2004, Kirsten Foot, Beth Kolko, and I were awarded Crossdisciplinary Research Cluster Grants from UW’s Simpson Center for the Humanities to foster and sustain the Digital Media Working Group, a collection of graduate students and professors interested in digital media; in 2005, Kirsten Foot, Travers Scott, Chunhua Weng, and I were awarded a third Crossdisciplinary Research Cluster Grant to sustain the Digital Media Working Group. And in 2005, I was awarded a Society of Scholars Research Fellowship from UW’s Simpson Center for the Humanities to support my research into the militarization of the Internet and Internet studies.
My work with RCCS affords me a privileged and multi-disciplinary perspective on the emerging field of study and while at UW I have this perspective in book chapters, encyclopedic entries, and journal articles. In 2000, I published “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward: Cyberculture Studies 1990-2000” in David Gauntlett’s influential anthology Web.Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age (Oxford University Press). In this chapter, I offered a much-cited three-staged historiography of cyberculture studies: popular cyberculture, characterized by its journalistic origins, use of the Internet-as-frontier metaphor, and limited dualism between technophilia and neo-luddism; cyberculture studies, focused largely on academic studies of virtual communities and online identities; and critical cyberculture studies, characterized by studies of online interactions, discourses of digital culture, access and denial to the Internet, and interface design. In 2003, I contributed an entry on “Howard Rheingold” to Steve Jones’ Encyclopedia of New Media (Sage). In 2004, Donald Snyder and I contributed “Cyberculture and Related Studies” to Ann Kovalchick and Kara Dawson’s Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO). Also in 2004, I published “Internet/cyberculture/digital culture/new media/fill-in-the-blank studies” in New Media & Society, the top journal in Internet studies. In this article, I reviewed three influential anthologies to highlight some of their strengths but also to suggest that our work, bibliographies, and syllabi have become too predictable. I conclude with a call for resistance to the militarization of the Internet and Internet Studies: “In a gross and overly-generalized manner, we might decide to use domain names to represent a general history of the internet: .mil (via DARPA), .edu (although initially primarily for engineering and military-related research), .org, .gov, .com, and now, it appears, .mil. If the cycle has indeed been made, than perhaps it is time, once again, for those working in .edu, in conjunction with those in .org, .gov, .net, .art, .green, and .seen, to jumpstart the wires” (p. 63).
III. Media Studies at the University of San Francisco
In September 2006, I became an assistant professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco. At USF, I have continued my work in cyberculture studies, have presented my research at local, national, and international conferences and symposia, and have accelerated my work in using online tools to foster offline civic engagement.
In 2006, my book, Critical Cyberculture Studies, edited with Adrienne Massanari, was published by NYU Press. This book represents a culmination of over a decade of work tracing, expanding, and contributing to the field of Internet, cyberculture, and digital media studies. Comprised of twenty-five chapters, an Introduction, and a Foreword by Steve Jones, Critical Cyberculture Studies is organized around four sections: Fielding the Field; Critical Approaches and Methods; Cultural Difference in/and Cyberculture; and Critical Histories of the Recent Past.
My written contributions to the book include the Introduction (“Where is Internet Studies?”) and a co-written chapter with Alice Marwick entitled “Internet Studies in Times of Terror.” In “Where is Internet Studies?” I argue that although the field of cyberculture studies has gone through the traditional stages of disciplinary emergence – academic “mavericks” sharing their work through informal networks; the establishment of terminologies, an academic organization, journals, and college courses; the existence of undergraduate majors, textbooks, and a somewhat agreed upon set of methodologies; and finally academic departments, dissertations, endowed chairs, and a canon – we would be wise to encourage further development. “What we have,” I write in the Introduction, “is a field of study under construction – with boundaries not yet set, with borders not yet fully erected, and with a canon not yet established. As such, we have a field of study ripe for growth and twigging, becoming and re-becoming, imagined and reimagined. Now, before the mold is set, is the time for experimentation” (pp. 5-6).
I also offered an extended definition of critical cyberculture studies:
"Critical cyberculture studies is, in its most basic form, a critical approach to new media and the contexts that shape and inform them. Its focus is not merely the Internet and the Web but, rather, all forms of networked media and culture that surround us today, not to mention those that will surround us tomorrow. Like cultural studies, critical cyberculture studies strives to locate its object of study around various overlapping contexts, including capitalism, consumerism and commodification, cultural difference, and the militarization of everyday life. Although the origins of critical cyberculture studies rests firmly in academia, it is most fully realized when it moves beyond campus and is built, challenged, and rebuilt with as many publics as possible. Above all, critical cyberculture studies scholars have high goals: we seek to use our collective understanding of new media and their environments to alleviate suffering and oppression and to accelerate freedom and justice. We take our field - and our world - quite seriously." (p. 6)
In “Internet Studies in Times of Terror,” Alice Marwick and I built upon my earlier article “Internet/cyberculture/digital culture/new media/fill-in-the-blank studies” to consider the rapid pace of the post-9-11 militarization of the Internet, digital, and commercial media. We also note the militarization of Internet Studies, especially in terms of large defense contracts awarded to large research universities. We end with a call to academics to step beyond their .edu domains: “We must foster and sustain alliances across a spectrum of domains and collaborate with individuals and collectives working in .org, .gov, .net, .art, .green, and .labor” (p. 52).
Critical Cyberculture Studies has been adopted by a number of graduate and undergraduate courses, both within and outside the US, and has received positive reviews. In a review in the Journal of Communication, the top journal for Communication, Laura Robinson notes that the book’s “wide-ranging contributions valorize critical cyberculture studies’ openness and flexibility, whether construed as a field, discipline, or interdiscipline. It welcomes into its fold an unusually broad and heterogeneous array of empirical objects, theoretical orientations, and analytical strategies. In its sheer scope, this 25-chapter compilation is unparalleled.” In a review in New Media & Society, the top journal for Internet Studies, Stephanie Boluk notes that “whether one uses the term cyberculture, internet, digital or new media studies, David Silver and Adrienne Massanari’s anthology Critical Cyberculture Studies provides a framework for discussion of these fields and an eclectic series of exemplars showing what sort of work is being done in this nebulously classified territory of research.” And in a review in the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, Pramod K. Nayar notes that “Critical Cyberculture Studies opens up the field (despite Silver’s cautionary note that it is only an ‘invitation to consider a few new directions’). Ranging across race theory to political economy, rhetorical and discourse analysis to cultural policy studies, the volume embodies a range of topics, approaches and agendas … [O]thers have underscored the communications component of internet studies and explored the subjectivity-identity angle in various demographic groups and locations. Critical Cyberculture Studies expands this work, moving from communication to community, postcolonial subjectivity, racial identities and technology to political economy and the nation-state. The volume is an extremely useful critical guide to future researchers in cyberculture and new media studies.”
With support from USF Faculty Development Fund Awards, I have attended and presented my work at academic conferences. I presented “Dot.mil and Web 2.0” at the Media in Transition Conference at MIT and was a panelist of “Social Justice, Change, and Media: A Discussion about Projects-In-Progress” at the Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing Conference at UC Berkeley. I also attended the Beyond Broadcast Conference sponsored by MIT’s Comparative Media Studies, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Yale’s Information Society Project. In 2007, I was a panel commenter for a panel titled “Web 2.0” at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference in Vancouver, Canada. This panel was the origins of a special issue of First Monday and I contributed an Afterword titled “History, Hype, and Hope: An Afterward.” I argued that the hype behind Web 2.0 sure seems similar to the hype we heard with Web 1.0. But I also argued for hope, especially with this generation, “the writeable generation, a generation of young people who think of media as something they read and something they write – often simultaneously. This is a generation of content creators, a generation of young people who with the help of Web 2.0 tools know how to create content, how to share content, and how to converse about content. This is the generation for whom broadcast media – and its silent, obedient audiences – is rapidly fading and for whom conversations make more sense than lectures. This is a new generation with new writeable behaviors and it’s hard not to be hopeful about that.” In October, I will present “Practice Theory and Pedagogy: Teaching Internet Studies” at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
With help from Alex Fedosov, RCCS rests on USF servers and publishes more and more diverse book reviews than ever. The problem is its platform. Decidedly Web 1.0, RCCS does not allow reader comments, tags, or other Web 2.0 modes of participation. In 2006, I was awarded a USF Faculty Development Fund Award to hire Media Studies undergraduate Chris Contolini as a research assistant. Chris built a prototype of RCCS using Drupal, an open source content management system, and tested for functionality and scalability. With these findings, I applied unsuccessfully for a grant from the HASTAC / MacArthur Foundation’s 2007-08 Digital Media and Learning Competition to “re-platform” RCCS. This year, I hope to revise my proposal for future grant opportunities.
While continuing my work in cyberculture studies, my main research project at USF involves using online tools to foster offline civic engagement.
The September Project and Distributed Civic Engagement
The September Project is a grassroots effort to encourage civic events in all libraries in all countries throughout the month of September. Along with a vast network of volunteers, I conceptualized the September Project as a response to the eerie and pervasive silence that fell over the United States following 9-11. It was as if time were fast-forwarded and grave decisions about war, another war, civil liberties, and human rights were being made too quickly and too quietly. The September Project was and continues to be a response to that silence.
Back then, when voices did speak out, it was often during events for the elites and the privileged. In Seattle, that meant a famous left-leaning author or politician lecturing to a few hundred audience members fortunate to be able to afford the $20 entrance fee. Participation was reserved for the last ten or fifteen minutes, when audience members could ask questions and the famous author or politician would supply answers. Or, it was on the Internet, where voices were loud and sometimes collective but too often remained within our computer screens.
In 2003, I began thinking about a different kind of civic engagement. What if Americans spent a day talking about citizenship and democracy? What if these conversations took place in their local libraries? And what if it all happened on September 11, 2004?
The distributed events would counter, I hoped, the pervasive silence around issues that mattered. Because the events were held in libraries, they would be free and open to everyone, disenfranchising no one. Further, libraries are everywhere – in rural and urban areas, in schools, colleges, and universities, and in all 50 states. And most importantly, libraries are staffed by librarians, national experts in providing information to diverse publics and serving their communities.
Through a Proposal Writing Incentive Award from UW’s Simpson Center for the Humanities I was able to hire Sarah Washburn, an expert in public libraries, who had spent the previous three years working on the US Library Project at the Gates Foundation. The project gained steam with a Public Humanities: Engaging the Community Grant from the Simpson Center for the Humanities. The grant gave us financial support and office space but more importantly it brought us intellectual support and daily conversations with Professor Kathy Woodward, a true pioneer in public scholarship. Further support came from a College of Arts and Sciences Award, two grants from the Community Technologies Group at Microsoft Research, and a Quick Grant from Humanities Washington. From the beginning, John Klockner, then Director of Technology at the Department of Communication, supplied technical solutions and vision.
On September 11, 2004, over 500 libraries in 8 countries and in all 50 states hosted September Project events around issues that mattered. The events included community conversations, shared readings, roundtables and open forums, children’s programs, art workshops, book displays, and voter registration.
As a professor, I approached and approach the September Project as public scholarship. In a recent white paper titled “Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University,” members of the Imagining America consortium define public scholarship as “scholarly or creative activity integral to a faculty member's academic area. It encompasses different forms of making knowledge about, for, and with diverse publics and communities. Through a coherent, purposeful sequence of activities, it contributes to the public good and yields artifacts of public and intellectual value” (p. 6). I felt and feel that we are living in a time when publics need professors and professors need publics. We must teach and learn, converse and correct. This must take place in our classrooms and on our campuses, but it also must take place in and with our communities. With the September Project, I found a vehicle for town-gown collaborations distributed across the land.
Over the last five years, the September Project has grown in many significant ways. First, although many events take place on September 11, most events take place throughout the month of September – with a few happening in October and November. Second, the September Project has grown from being largely national to international, with libraries from new countries joining each year. Third, we complemented our low-tech online tools (listserv and email) with more Web 2.0 tools, including our blog which effectively runs the entire project. Fourth and most importantly, librarians have taken the project and run with it. Each year, librarians create new kinds of events that engage their communities in exciting and profound ways. Each year, September Project events get more inventive and inspiring, more provocative and powerful. This year, our 5th year, the September Project for me is less of a research project and more a grassroots movement to which I belong.
To appreciate the creativity and diversity of September Project events, I encourage you to read the seven September Project blog posts in this research binder. They include:
o September Project events in Portland, Oregon
o “La Paz es Posible” - The September Project at La Biblioteca Centro Lincoln in Buenos Aires, Argentina
o Students get active at Cape Central High School (MO)
o Latest participant: Povilas Višinskis Šiauliai County Public Library
o Discussions, film, displays, and patron-generated videos at Goffstown Public Library (NH)
o September Project events in Genova, Italy
o Demonstrating sustainability at William Madison Randall Library at UNC Wilmington
I look forward to watching and contributing to the September Project’s growth.
Collaborating with Librarians
Recently, my work with libraries and librarians has generated a number of exciting and prestigious speaking engagements. In June 2005, I gave a keynote speech titled “Time for a Reality Check: Academic Librarians in a TiVo-lutionary Age” for the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) President’s Program at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Chicago, Illinois. In November 2006, I gave a keynote speech titled “Consumed Young Minds, Creative Young Minds” for the Illinois School Library Media Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois. In March 2007, I gave one of four invited papers, titled “Digital Media, Learning, and Libraries: Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, and Libraries 2.0,” at the ACRL Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. In May 2007, I gave a keynote speech titled “Learning 1.0 in a Web 2.0 World: Engaging Students, Classrooms, and Libraries” for the California Clearinghouse on Library Instruction Workshop in Sacramento, California. In September 2007, I gave an invited speech titled “why i blog and why you should blog” for the University of Utah’s September Project in Salt Lake City, Utah. In November 2007, I gave a keynote speech titled “When Books Meet Facebook and other Web 2.0 Stories” for the ACRL – Oklahoma Chapter Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In December 2007, I gave one of five invited talks, titled “To Give and To Get: Libraries, Web 2.0, and Collective Intelligence,” for the Creating New Perspectives for Academic Libraries Symposium at the University of Maastricht in Maastricht, Netherlands. And in May 2008, I gave a plenary talk titled “Literacy, e-literacy, me-literacy, and we-literacy” for the Art Libraries Society of North America Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Bringing It All Together: silver in sf
Holding together my various research activities is my blog, silver in sf. Here I blog about current developments in digital media and culture, about new RCCS book reviews, and about relevant conferences and grant opportunities. I also use silver in sf as a presentation platform for academic conferences, often blogging the talks I give and the talks I attend. I also use silver in sf as a public platform for my gone series, a collection of politicians, mostly linked to George W. Bush, who have recently resigned, been fired, or been thrown in jail. Recently I’ve been using my blog to explore the intersections between sustainable living and do-it-ourselves media, or what some of us call green media.