[Air-l] (no subject)

Dr. W. Reid Cornwell wrc at tcfir.org
Thu Sep 7 17:27:15 PDT 2006


I come to the conclusion that I do not fit with this organization. I have
promised myself that I will not respond to anything I read from this Air-1.
This is my last. I am sure that many people will shout "at last" from this

I have tried to be self-critical and reflective of my role in what has
transpired. I have pulled every email that I wrote and shared them with my
colleagues to assess my part. Clearly I have had a chilling, if not hostile
effect. To that end I deeply apologize to all.

To my credit I tried to address ideas not personalities and have not always
been successful. I am human.

I suspect that I had my doctorate before some of the members were born. I
have been involved with the internet when it was still owned by the defense
department. I have read hundreds of dissertations and taught research
methods in both industry and academia. I have never encountered a more
sophomoric group than the crowd that regularly participates in Air-1.

I make a distinction here. If as alleged there are 1000 subscribers to this
listserv then the vast majority are lurking and silent. I wonder why! I
suspect that most of them only have a peripheral interest and most get
nothing of consequence from the dialogues. A hostile and defensive minority

I have every publication of the listserv. It is my intention to do both a
quantitative and qualitative examination of this publication. I suspect that
less than 50 people are active. I suspect that they do not represent the
vast majority of the members of AOIR.

I want to help build a science of Internet studies. I sincerely believe that
the vocal minority of AOIR is not the group that can do it.

You are an expert in communication and if you cannot see the inherent biases
in your utterances it is not for me to correct you. I have observed that you
do not take responsibility for the nuance of what you say and this response
is no exception.

I am weary of playing with children.

If there are some adults out there you are welcome at http://dialecticxy.org
and The Center For Internet Research http://tcfir.org.

Be well

Back to my goats,


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Baym [mailto:nbaym at ku.edu] 
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 5:34 PM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org; wrc at tcfir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-l] (no subject)

> I understand that they are young and that they are computer scientists.
> Does anyone realize how astoundingly irrelevent and pseudo-scientific
> remarks seem? Are you proud that you made them?

I don't see why it is either irrelevant or psuedoscientific to say that
young people whose training and expertise is in designing computer systems
are not as likely to be as savvy about communication or social scientific
research methods or as well attuned to how those affect their own sites as
people who specialize in those topics and skills. 
As Ive said on last.fm, I don't think it makes sense for the developers to
also be in charge of user-assessment and communication with users. Those are
different skill sets. In my discussions with the last.fm staff their status
as developers rather than social scientists or PR people is a point they
themselves make in defense of their communicative shortcomings. 

I think one of the critical problems in the future of Web2 sites is how well
those who are designing them will be able to successfully understand what
makes their users want to participate, how their users use the sites, and
how they can best interact with their users. I would expect people who have
more life experience and who specialize in understanding people and
communication to be better at that. 

Given my own age and background, I would not expect others to think I'd be
great at writing code that will capture the spirit of youth, nor would I
take it as an insult if people noticed that about me. 


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