networks: September 2005 Archives

The New Is

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This is more a placeholder for me than anything else, but if there are those of you out there who want a nice, concise statement of the value of social tagging, you could do far worse than this talk that David Weinberger just posted online, "The New Is." Among other things, including a detour through Aristotle, David offers three guiding principles that make a great deal of sense:

Links, not containers: A page is what it points to.

Multiple tags, not single meanings: A thing gains more meaning by having multiple local meanings.

Messiness, not clean order: The best definitions are ambiguous.

That's all for the moment on this.


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CCC Online is featured today on Inside Higher Ed's Around the Web.

Can I get an Amen?

CCC Online goes live

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About a year and a half ago (April 04), Ed White started a thread on WPA-L, about the question (and the difficulty) of "keeping up" with all that's published in the discipline. My contribution to the thread was to suggest that any answer to the dispersal of the field was going to need to be equally dispersed, some way to loosely join the small pieces, to paraphrase David Weinberger, that would be sustainable. And I offered a modest proposal in that regard.

Last fall, I decided to put my money where my mouth was, and to apply for the position of CCC Online Editor vacated by Todd Taylor, and the good folk at CCC and NCTE took me up on my offer. The result, as I've talked about a little bit here over the past month, may not compare in scope with a site like, but it's pretty (dare I say?) revolutionary for my field, which has been pretty slow to develop sustainable tools for managing all of the scholarship that we generate.

CCC Online is a small step in that direction, but I think (and hope) that years from now, it will have been an important one. The site uses Movable Type to archive the metadata from every essay published in CCC--we're currently four years deep into the archives, and hope to make steady, "backwards" progress over the course of the next year. Among other things, the site will:

  • make the content of CCC accessible through search engines
  • make the content of CCC available to bookmarking services like, CiteULike, etc.
  • make the works cited of the CCC archives searchable (how many articles have cited X, e.g.)
  • provide easy access to insular citations (the abstracts of CCC articles in the bibliographies will be a link away)
  • allow similarly easy access to what we're calling "works citing"--links to CCC articles that have cited the article in question
  • create annotated table of contents pages for each issue of the journal (using the monthly archive feature on MT, and retroactively timestamping the entries)
  • classify articles according to their various and respective CCCC "area clusters" (each of which will eventually be available as an RSS feed)
  • provide permalinks to the NCTE pages where the pdf's of the articles reside (sorry, subscribers only), tying that portion of the site to a much more focused search engine
  • supply both author-generated and automatically generated keywords for the articles, offering a rough snapshot of each essay
  • link to a account devoted exclusively to building a bottom-up, folksonomic network for describing the journal's content
  • enable different kinds of synoptic, disciplinary research: trends in particular terminologies, vocabularies, and topics, e.g.

Not a bad list of features to start with, if I do say so. I should also add that the space on the front page currently occupied by the "Welcome" message will eventually turn into a rotating "feature" space, providing links to electronic content, relevant discussions in the blogosphere, resources, etc., pretty much whatever we can think of. Also, although it's not yet in place, we'll be housing the electronic content that's already been published in CCC, as well as providing room for such content in the future. My plan, in locating the site externally (from both NCTE and SU), was that, rather than changing the URL for all this stuff every few years, I could simply pass the account on to the next editor, leaving all of the URLs semi-permanent.

I don't have a lot more to add at this point. This has been an exciting project both to envision and to work on, and I think that it'll represent a real contribution to my field, one that carves out a different kind of space from the resources currently available. And given all the work that I've been doing with blogs, networks, social software, KM, etc., it's functioned for me as a concrete application for the more abstract ideas that I tend to focus my attention upon.

I'll be linking to this announcement and putting the word out over listservs in the next few days, but anyone reading this should feel free to beat me to it, or give us a shout out on your blog. And in the meantime, give the site a visit, take a look around, offer us feedback, pass the URL around, etc.

Update: Beth's comment reminds me that, as I should have made clear from the get-go, I wasn't the only person working on this. The team included me, Derek, and Madeline, and we've received timely advice and feedback from several people whom I'll be adding to the "Team" page on the site shortly...



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This page is a archive of entries in the networks category from September 2005.

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