By js, 6 November, 2008, 1 Comment

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.

more http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2008/10/31/the-risks-of-a-digital-blindspot/

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 http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/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, www.latinalista.net.

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 www.perezhilton.com.

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.

more http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/2008/10/23/its_not_just_perez_hilton_hispanic.htm

Why “Chicana” Bloggers?

By js, 23 October, 2008, 5 Comments

Like with any research project, I had a personal interest in finding these bloggers.

When I first started searching, I used the term Chicana or Chicano. This of course led me to many different places or to sites which were dead as I mentioned in a previous post. It also led me to commercial sites.

My interest in answering:

Where are the Chicanas in cyberspace? What are they doing?

was to find others like me. I am a Chicana in cyberspace  and I didn’t know anyone who could provide a connection to others like me.

Now, you may ask, why is that important? what does that have to do with Technical Communication?

As I finished by course work in the Spring and as I decided that I wanted to focus on issues dealing with people of color and cyberspace, I knew that I needed to find a community in and with which to work. I needed to find others who had similar interests and preoccupations. Everyone at Tech has been very supportive, but no one with whom I have been working has been specifically involved with this community. I knew that it fell on my shoulders to look for that community. I knew the community was not in Lubbock (at least not one that I had access to) and it is not in South Texas (not one with the same preoccupations and to which I had access). So I turned to cyberspace to find it. I knew that someone was other there. I just had to figure out a way to find them.

I knew I wanted to use the term “Chicana” because of what that term implies about self-definition and political awareness. I know that there is not guarantee that someone using it will be conscious of what the term implies if considered historically but I knew that there were more chances of finding someone who was conscious of its meaning more so than searching for Hispanic or even Latina. These are terms which are problematic because they do not come from within the community but are labels which come from the outside. Furthermore, they are labels which place everyone with a Spanish-speaking heritage under one category without making distinction for the many cultural and linguistic differences.

I became committed to using the term early on in my research. The idea of self-definition and individual agency was something that I was more interested in exploring.

Using the term “chicana” or “latina” on its own became very problematic. There was too much information, and not anything which seemed promising. Some used the term as a marketing tool to attract consumers. Commercial sites seemed to be taking these terms and exploiting their potential to attract an audience. The sites that I did find that were relevant were all “dead” sites which had not been updated in years.

I used the term “race” which was even more problematic since Google cannot distinguish what definition of race you want to use. I soon realized that it would be difficult to find what I was looking for by using only one word.

Using Becky Rickly’s suggestion I turned to blogs. I searched for “chicana blog” and focused on links which took me into the Chicana Blogosphere.

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.