Academy 2.0: June 2007 Archives

Interruption #3.

Just got back from doing a guest shot at one of the RSA Summer Institute Workshops, and while I suppose that I could have been better organized, the conversation was a little disappointing.

To wit. The conversation with Laura, Mark, and Tim the other day began in part with Tim's remarks about the academixploitativeness of the publishing oligarchy. The idea that we give our scholarship to big corporations, which then charge outrageous prices to sell it back to us through our libraries, is something that could only make sense in the cottage economy of academia.

Anyhow, one of the things that we're proudest of when it comes to CCC Online is the way that we're able to duplicate almost all of the functionality of the big vendors, for a fraction of the cost and in a way that's genuinely scalable to smaller journals and online journals. So imagine my joy at having the opportunity to defend what we're doing against the alternative of just rounding up all our journals, giving them to one of the oligops, and letting them "do it for us."

I was less than convincing, I suspect. There are good answers, having to do with browsability, folksonomy, access, the kinds of exploratory and heuristic visualizations that Derek is working on, and the fact that our tools are much more modular and manipulable. Unfortunately, I'm much more coherent after a two-hour drive than I was this afternoon. And honestly, a little bit of my will was sapped today. I've put two-plus years of work in on this site, learned a great deal, and (with a great deal of help, of course) produced a site that should be a model for how we distribute and circulate our work to each other.

What I fear people see/hear when I talk about this site, however, is A Big Scary Technology That If I Can't Understand Must Be Time/Labor/Cost/Energy Prohibitive For Anyone But The Geekiest Of Our Colleagues. Believe me when I say that this is indeed a category. I've seen it over and over and over for more than 10 years now.

There are days where I honestly believe that I can put in the work and effort to transform for the better the way we do what we do as academics. And days where I believe that we already have with our work on CCCOA.

And then there are days. Days where I'm not gonna write my discipline a love song.

That is all.

Hear me roar

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Okay, interruption #2. Laura at Geekymom invited me to participate in a Skype call the other day with Mark Colvson and Timothy Burke on the subject of Web 2.0 and Academic Publishing, and the results were turned into a podcast for the ETC@BMC blog, part of Bryn Mawr's online technology newsletter.

Clicking on "podcast" above will take you to the entry with the link for the podcast. Our conversation was close to an hour, and probably could have run on for a couple more, so it's a big file, about 40 MB.

I was a little nervous to start, having little experience with Skype, and not having done much radio since my college days. I think that comes across in the fact that I use the word "circulation" in nearly every answer I give. I haven't actually listened to it yet, but I trust Laura to have made sure that I didn't sound like a complete nit, so if you'd like to hear us riff on Academy 2.0 stuff, give it a listen.

It was a pretty easy way to put together a conversation worth having and continuing, and something I'd like to try again. That's all.



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This page is a archive of entries in the Academy 2.0 category from June 2007.

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