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What is this thing? November 1, 2012

Posted by Sarah in progress.
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Another year, another post coming shortly after the AoIR conference.

Which was amazing, as always. I presented what will become Chapter 3 of the dissertation (how social media users define & engage with the concepts of public and private) and got really stimulating questions and comments. Not to mention the rest of the conference, which filled up my head to the very brim.

And now I’m home again AND it’s Academic Writing Month (Twitter #acwrimo) this month so I have something to do with all those thoughts rolling around in my head. I have 5 goals for this month:

  1. Get & keep my 5-day moving average score on my metric above 100.
  2. Tuesdays & Thursdays are for research, not teaching.
  3. Complete draft of Chapter 3.
  4. Flesh out my forthcoming Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media paper into Chapter 4 (it’s about 2/3 complete in its current state).
  5. Start writing Chapter 5.

I’ll post about it on Twitter (over there in the sidebar) more than I will here. But I will bry to keep things updated here as well.


This interviewee said “you know” a lot. April 19, 2012

Posted by Sarah in progress, Public and Private in the Blogosphere.
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Wordle: You Know

The Metric January 23, 2012

Posted by Sarah in personal, progress.

Even before AcBoWriMo, I was trying to use data to keep myself motivated. It’s too easy for me to putter around on little things and call it “work”, or to lose whole days to just worrying about getting things done but not actually DOING anything. So I created the Dissertation Score. The Score favors time spent writing and analyzing data over less-progress-oriented tasks like reading and “other”. The math is as follows (time measured in minutes):

Score = (writing) + (analysis) + (reading/2) + (other/2) – (freakouts/2)

I use a little app called Klok (the free lite version – it’s nagware on launch) to track my time and then at the end of the day I just drop that in to my spreadsheet and it makes pretty graphs like this:

Note how I spent about 10 days NOT doing anything productive. At least not dissertation-productive. My current target for the Studious Network’s Academic Writing Accountability group is a score of 120/day. Given how little I am able to work on weekends, though, I might revise that to trying to keep my moving average above 120. Still thinking about that one.

Reflecting on Academic Book Writing Month December 9, 2011

Posted by Sarah in progress, Public and Private in the Blogosphere.
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Well, I didn’t get even close to hitting my 30,000 word goal for the month of November.

Graph of AcBoWriMo progress 2011

AcBoWriMo Progress, November 2011

On the other hand, I made substantially more progress in terms of pure writing in November than I had in a really long time. For me, the first pass at writing is the hardest. It’s not that I’m a perfectionist, even. It’s just that I have trouble starting.

So far I’m having some pretty good success in keeping up the momentum that I built during November – I’ve been getting a decent amount of work done daily, whether it’s crunching numbers for the chapter that I’m focusing on right now, just spending time reading over my ethnographic data, or actually writing. I’ve got a deadline for a long abstract coming up on Monday (what sort of evil people make there be a research deadline in the middle of December? I could name names, but I won’t. Don’t you know I have a final to write, people‽) that is sharing time with the aforementioned final exam. And then onwards to the full paper to go with that long abstract, due the 6th of January.

no really, still alive November 11, 2011

Posted by Sarah in AoIR, progress.
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I went to IR12 and didn’t present, which was liberating. Had lots of fun, hurt my brain in new and creative ways as always.

I’m really pushing to finish. And I’m doing Ac(ademic) Bo(ok) Wri(ting) Month, which is a spin on NaNoWriMo. It’s good for me because getting started writing is always the hardest thing. I always get frustrated because my first drafts are utter crap (my husband is right at this very minute handing me a pretend phone and saying that the kettle is calling because whenever he laments having to start writing something I tell him to just get the first draft down and fix it in editing…) but once I get the first round of thoughts out I can turn it into things that are actually coherent, not to mention realizing where the holes and things are. The goal I’ve set myself is 30000 words this month, which is four chapters of 7500 words each (I picked 7500 because that’s the word limit on a journal submission that is top priority right now). So far… I’m not doing all that well, actually, because I keep getting distracted by data analysis.

AcBoWriMo Progress 11/11/11But it’s way more words than I’d written in the previous month, so I’ll take what I can get!

April 13, 2011

Posted by Sarah in progress, publications.
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It’s been publishing-palooza around these parts. Well, as much as two things can be considered a palooza.

So, um, that’s that. I of course submitted for IR12, the chapter of the dissertation that I call the “Mother In Law Chapter”. Sometime I’ll have to come up with a better title for it, but for the moment that gets people’s attention pretty well.

What’s going on… March 23, 2010

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I was apparently at least PARTIALLY successful at teasing out the three different versions of things that I was working on, because I learned late last week that my paper entitled “The Little Dutch Boy Has Run Out of Fingers: Reconceptualizing the Public/Private Distinction in the Age of Information Technology” has been accepted for the 2010 American Sociological Association Annual Meetings.

Still outstanding: an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant application and my submission for Internet Research 11.0 about which I expect a decision sometime in May (since I know reviews aren’t due until the 21st of April).

I’m also now blogging about general introductory sociological topics at The Social Lens, which is quite fun.

This is making my brain hurt… December 15, 2009

Posted by Sarah in progress.
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I am currently writing two things: an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant proposal, and a paper for the 2010 ASA meetings.

Unfortunately, these documents have a reasonable amount in common.  So much so that I’m having a hard time keeping them separated in my head.

I have been making a LOT of lists.  And I still can’t keep them straight.

Data Coding Stimulus Package March 5, 2009

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ZERO CODING DEBT!Ahem. See how there’s NO NUMBER next to the folder named “Un-Coded Blog Entries”? That’s right… after MONTHS of being behind on coding these data, I am CAUGHT UP as of this morning.  There were a couple of particularly pesky ones that languished there while I pondered and thought about how to code them.

The next folder down, the “Partially-Coded Blog Entries” are ones that I have coded but I don’t think I’m completely happy with the codes that I’ve chosen.  I’m paying down that debt as well, and trying really hard to pay it down faster than I create it.

PhD by Correspondence February 19, 2009

Posted by Sarah in personal, progress.
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One of the major challenges for me as I write this dissertation is that I’m for all intents and purposes doing my dissertation “by correspondence”.  (And yes, I have actually taken correspondence courses… before the Internet.)  this means that I don’t have regular meetings with my committee, or a working group to share writing with, or any kind of regular interaction around my research.  When we first moved here, I tried to start up what I called the “Itinerant Sociologists Club” but that idea fizzled basically immediately.  I occasionally chat with folks in whatever department I happen to be teaching in during any given semester, but I haven’t formed any long-lasting intellectual friendships.  Some of this is my fault, and some of it is just… adjunct hell + PhD by correspondence.

Since the first of the year, though, I have a new system.  I am writing regular “status updates” that are getting circulated to my advisor as well as some interested friends.  This serves two purposes – it gets me feedback on the things I’m thinking about AND it’s writing that will eventually make it into the dissertation itself.

My first update laid out some of the early correlations from the survey.  There are some interesting patterns emerging, but I haven’t worked out exactly what it means yet.  I did make a whole lot of extra-shiny graphs in Numbers, though!

For the next one, I’m comparing the demographics of my survey “sample” to other studies of bloggers.  The two best comparison cases so far are the Pew report on bloggers from 2006 and the October 2008 State of the Blogosphere report.  Tomorrow I’ll be looking at a couple of earlier SotB reports as well.