Over the course of 2 or 3 decades I did a lot of technical support. That was my way of staying close to the game while avoiding the worst of the careerist entanglements.
It's 2012, and everytime I try to use a system I get the same sort of SNAFU I was dealing with in 1995, or 1988, or earlier.
Moments ago I got totally frustrated by the way Google Plus manages "pages", a system that's supposed to sophisticate identity management. (The system works well enough for people to play with. So it succeeds, in one sense: it works as a toy, but not as a tool.)
Just now I tried to post a comment to Ernesto Priego's "On Academic Uses of Social Media and Blogging as Public Engagement". I tried repeatedly. Each time I tried, I got "Validation error, please try again." And when I clicked the Feedback widget (lower right) I got "Server not found. Firefox can't find the server at feedback.hastac.org."
I got paid well enough for my work in technical communications. But I can't say people cared. I don't see the evidence of caring. I see the evidence of 80/20. (Oh, I need to complete the word verification? Alright. But I have to wonder at the fact that the form only appears after I have clicked Save.) So? So I am ever more willing to dedicate myself to the project of public discourse on policy matters. Because things most definitely are not getting better! Addendum: the Feedback widget is now working. Intermittent faults are a serious challenge!
What I tried to post:
Journalism and academia; an impedance mismatch?
At one point in "Journalism and Digital Media" (C-Span) Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland; Global Editor at Large; Reuters) talks about "the lack of a common space" and somewhat later on (just after the 41 minute mark) makes a lovely point about how social media like Twitter sometimes surfaces very fine academic papers via outlets such as Thompson, Reuters, and Bloomberg. What I've been working on (for years and years) is a way of bridging that disconnect by tapping into individual's urge to discuss, or debate, or converse. I chose an approach that focuses on discourse. What if there was a "space" (i.e. a web system, in the sense that Wikipedia is a "space) where the nuts and bolts of issues could be explored at a very fine grain?
"Everyone can have their own opinion, but not everyone can have their own facts" is something I approached using cog-psych and historiography. (I'm resisting the urge to bring in post-modernism!) What I realized is that, by exploring the "facts", we end up exploring the subjective narrative that gives material its meaning.
This by way of greets. :-)