Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

The Risks of a Digital Blindspot

By js, 31 October, 2008, No Comment

John Palfrey

The Risks of a Digital Blindspot

October 31, 2008 @ 8:33 am · Barack Obama, internet & politics

One of the questions Americans need to ask over the next few days is whether a self-described computer “illiterate” can lead our nation effectively in the 21st century. There are few greater contrasts between John McCain and Barack Obama than on the issue of how comfortable they are with the culture and technologies of the digital era.


Will we learn from history?

By js, 31 October, 2008, No Comment

The Chronicle Review

From the issue dated October 17, 2008

The Real Great Depression

The depression of 1929 is the wrong model for the current economic crisis By SCOTT REYNOLDS NELSON

The post-panic winners, even after the bailout, might be those firms — financial and otherwise — that have substantial cash reserves. A widespread consolidation of industries may be on the horizon, along with a nationalistic response of high tariff barriers, a decline in international trade, and scapegoating of immigrant competitors for scarce jobs. The failure in July of the World Trade Organization talks begun in Doha seven years ago suggests a new wave of protectionism may be on the way.

In Defense of Blogging

By js, 31 October, 2008, No Comment

Blogging = Freedom

October 21st, 2008 by Doc Searls


By js, 30 October, 2008, 1 Comment

Key to the mission of this Placeblogging Project is the idea that such bloggers offer “the lived experience of a place” and a “personality,” and if there is a place that offers you both and needs your readership, it is New Orleans. You will not get the stories of our daily lives in generic “Year After the Storm” TV reports; however, you will from New Orleans bloggers. Take a look at any of the blogs on this list and you will quickly realize we are nowhere close to recovered and that the world should not deny us its sympathy just because it sees the Saints marching back into the Superdome to the tunes of U2 and Greenday.

Lessons in Literacy from the New Orleans Blogosphere and the Composition Classroom

By js, 30 October, 2008, No Comment

Daisy Pignetti: Computers and Writing: Lessons in Literacy from the New Orleans Blogosphere and the Composition Classroom

an essay by Daisy Pignetti, a response to Principles of New Media Literacy, by Dan Gillmor

Reaching an audience

By js, 24 October, 2008, No Comment

This is an example of the different ways in which tech can help communicate a message using a complex use of culture and language.

Article about Hispanic Bloggers

By js, 24 October, 2008, No Comment

It’s Not Just Perez Hilton; Hispanic Bloggers are Growing and Influencing Culture and Politics

Oct. 23, 2008

Joshua Molina–Associate Editor, HispanicBusiness

Marisa Trevino was blogging from her Texas home last fall when the e-mail from Hillary Clinton landed in her mailbox.

Trevino had put out a request to the main presidential candidates, asking that they comment on her fiery blog,

Clinton was the first to respond, but not the last.

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) was next. Then former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney weighed in. Barack Obama followed.

She posted the presidential candidates’ comments as part of a regular feature on her blog site. Her Web hits soared.

“It was validating,” Trevino said. “Up until recently, bloggers didn’t really make a good first impression.”

In the “ginormous” blogosphere, where standing out in the crowd is no easy feat, Trevino is one of a growing number of Hispanic bloggers who are helping to shape and influence political, entertainment and cultural discourse on everything from the 2008 presidential campaign and education to health insurance and celebrity trends.

One of the most famous and successful blogs on the planet was started by Mario Lavandeira, better known as Perez Hilton, the founder of

Hispanic blogging is on the rise.

Whites make up about 60 percent of all bloggers on the Web. English-speaking Hispanics follow at 20 percent, according to a 2007 Pew Internet & American Life Project report. African-Americans trail at 11 percent.


Gathering Blogs–A systematic method

By js, 23 October, 2008, 2 Comments

When I started with my topic I was lead by one question:

Where are the Chicanas in cyberspace?

I assumed there were Chicanas out there even if I had not heard about them.

I began by doing a general search of “Chicanas” using Google to see what I would find. I found what initially looked as promising sites but they were dead sites, not updated for three or more years. Of course I wonderd why this would be the case. A couple seemed like they were projects which were started by graduate studetns and then abandoned (the information compiled was still there but the site was not updated). The sites seemed to have the purpose of centralizing information. The sites provide some information which is still valuable but which is not updated. The sites seem to be sites which one person was managing and it probably became too much for them to do. I mentioned this to Rich. Why would the site still be there? Some are sites sponsored by universities so they can stay indefinitely as long as the univ. provides space for them. Others, though, are hosted somewhere which means that someone has to pay hosting fees. WHy do they pay them if they do not update the site? Why are the sites still there? Why were they abandoned. When I talked to Rich, he said “it’s been done.” That is, what has been done is research about why websites are abandoned. Most importantly, though, is where to do these people turn. Have they turned to FAcebook, Myspace, Blogger? If they do, do they move there because of the ease of use especially to connect to others.

So my question was answered in a way: they are not hosting websites, at least not the older type sites driven by pure html code.

That is when I turned to blogs, but when I did I began searching but in no formalized, systematic way. I was just someone in cyberspace looking for others like me.

I have been following several women’s blogs and one more so than others. When I first found the blogs, I remember that I did a google search for “chicana blogs” and found several. Those blogs have blogrolls which lead me to more blogs. As I searched and read through the blogs, I noticed that there were some blogs that were in blogrolls alot more than others. I also noticed that many of the blogs had been inactive for some time but they were not removed from the blogrolls. I also noticed that many of the women who are blogging have some connection to the academy, either in graduate school, out of graduate school, or finishing undergrad. So I figured that I would focus on Chicana graduate students who were blogging.

That particular method was half hazard. Since then realized that I needed to work on a system for choosing the blogs which I will be using for my study. I wondered though if trying to find a more systematic way of searching for blogs would lead me to other blogs which I had not found either via Google or the blogrolls or if I would end up with the same name which I had found before using more informal searching and following blogrolls.

This is the new system which I used:

1. I searched online to determine which search engines were most popular. I found that several sites mention both Google and Yahoo as the most widely used search engines.

2. I also searched for different tools which would help me search for blogs. I found that Technorati and Digg would be two that I could use since they both track blogs.

3. After finding these four search tools, I decided that I would search to see what those tools gave me as results for “Chicana blog”

4. I used the top 100 results for both Google and Yahoo. I labeled the Google results with g and then the #–g4 for a blog which came in as the fourth result in a google search. I did the same for the yahoo search

5. I entered the data into a database and compared the 100 results.

  • I compared them to see
    • which ones were repeated on at least two searches
    • how long they had been blogging
    • if they were currently active

I wanted to begin with blogs which appear in at least two of the search tools.

6. I found a total of 12 which appeared on more than one search.

7. One blogger had stopped blogging (stopped in 2007).

8. Two bloggers have been bloggin for less than a year (that is including me :-] ).

9. ONe has been blogging for over 4 years but her blog did not appear in two searches

10. Six have been blogging for over two years and appeared on at least two searches. In fact, they all appeared in three searches.

Ultimately, this method has lead me back to the same bloggers.

To blog or not to… Oh, you know the drill!

By js, 23 October, 2008, 2 Comments

It’s been a pretty strange semester so far and I have an inkling to why so many phd students go ABD for so long.

I have had alot of different things vying for my attention and I don’t feel like I’m spending enough quality time thinking about my research project. I am able to think about it in-between working on alot of other projects.

I have talked to a couple of my friends, also department chairs, about resigning from the chair position so that I can dedicate more time to my work. They understand all the different projects in which we are required to participate and all the extra tasks we are required to do many on an emergency “deal with this now” basis.

I also spoke to another department chair who recently earned his EdD and asked him how he managed to do it. He said he neglected his family, spend most of his evenings and weekends in his office working. He managed to finish quickly and his stay-at-home wife took care of the kids.

One of the decisions that I made at the end of last semester was that I was not going to neglect my family and I was going to take of my own physical well-being. Pushing too hard, like I did for two years, may have created some habits that I am having a hard time reframing.

I used to work consistenly until 2 am. I used to not help the kids with homework very much. I used to spend my entire weekends in my office working. Dedicating all that time I was able to both fulfill my administrative and teaching obligations as well as my graduate school obligations. Working this way, though, took its toll.

For all these reasons I have been considering “giving up” the administrative obligations. Though the change sounds tempting, I’m not sure that I would be able to abandon many of the projects to which I’ve dedicated so much time. I may be suffering from delusional self-importance but I don’t think there is anyone in the department who has the skills to continue doing what I have begun. Of course, not that they couldn’t learn, but I would be the one who would have to teach them and that would probably end up being time-consuming in itself. I don’t think that I could resign and be completely free from responsibility until maybe 3-6 months depending on how soon the new person would learn. I am almost sure that many of the projects which I have begun would just be abandoned.

This morning I was reading the new Cs journal which I received yesterday which made me think of all the different interests that I have. A little voice was telling me that I should be reading something else directly related to my diss. So I wondered to what extend all these disperate interest and all the projects I have begun are hurting my progress.

To some extent, I think it necessary to have a focus so that everything that we do is able to propel us forward to completion of our goals. I wonder if the goals that I have for myself as a leader of my department and as a teacher are in the way of my focus on the dissertation topic. Perhaps if the topic were more related to my administrative and teaching duties my current work would seem as working toward the same goal instead of against it.

At this point, I’m not sure that I’m willing to change my topic. Any type of direction which I choose would be good; we certainly need more people of color in composition or in assessment but I am not sure that the work which I will find in those fields, which is very similar to what I am already doing, would be fulfilling for very long. I find composition, assessment, and management very taxing. This feeling, though, may be a function of the context in which I currently find myself.

Still I find that I become much more excited when I am thinking about literacy practices in general and digital literacy practices in particular. I am convinced that my gut instinct for this project was a good one. I am disheartened, though, that I have not received word from the IRB for my study. I feel like I can’t make much progress with their permission. I am currently thinking about methodology and methods for analyzing the data that I collect but I don’t want to begin the collection process until I know that the work that I am doing is “safe.”

So I continue my struggle to find a balance with all that I do. I fear, though, that I may have to abandon the struggle and decide to commit only to projects which will help move me toward finishing the dissertation.

By js, 21 October, 2008, 1 Comment

from LeRoy Chatfield.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, I was a close friend and associate of César Chávez, the founder of the National Farm Workers Association (1962), the precursor of the United Farm Workers of America (1966).

In 1969, Mr. Chávez asked me to gather up all documents, photos, correspondence, and graphics accumulated by the movement to that point – crammed into various closets and nooks and crannies in a half-dozen Delano locations – sort through and organize them, and ship them to the newly-formed UFW Archives at Wayne State University.

Chávez explained it to me this way: “Some day, people will want to know what happened in our movement, what mistakes we made, and what we accomplished.” Now, 40 years later – and 15 years after his passing – I have created a (non-commercial) Website – – to publish those very same documents, and many thousands more. These primary source materials cover the period 1962 to 1993 and more than 95% of them have never before been released to the public.

I write you with a simple request: will you help me bring this historical farmworker movement Website to the attention of students, especially postgraduates, who may wish to apply their critical analysis and writing skills to fulfill the purpose of César Chávez in preserving these documents – “what happened in our movement, what mistakes were made, and what was accomplished.” Thank you.


LeRoy Chatfield

P.S. Using the Documentation Project, I have created a promotional, farmworker movement gift, “Songs of the Farmworker Movement” and six “César Chávez” iconic photographs, which I would be pleased to send you and all the professors, graduate students, librarians, archivists, filmmakers, teachers and others who might receive this notice through the listservs with which you communicate.  To you and all of them I extend the invitation to email me – nfwaleroy @ – your name and complete preferred mailing address where I may send this gift.  Please help us spread the word and usage of the Farmworker Documentation Project Website among your friends, students, and colleagues.