[Air-L] Post article

Ted M Coopman coopman at u.washington.edu
Mon Dec 17 09:57:52 PST 2007


There are (IMO) are two aspects that I find the most disappointing:

1. That something like SNS (BTW- not my area) that are fundamentally changing media models and multi-billion dollar industries and attracts tens of millions of users is too silly to research and a "fad." This is, however, typical of the MSM approach to new technology. Actually, those who study computer gaming should be "feeling it" on this one.

2. And most importantly, is the position danah has been put in as a graduate student. Her success and impact in this area at this stage of her career is really amazing and deserves POSITIVE acknowledgment both in and outside academe.

However, the reality is that academe is very hierarchical and grad students are at the bottom no matter what they have accomplished. Granted, AoIR is very egalitarian in this regard (which s why I love it). This type of attention places danah in a weird position within her own program and her discipline in general (although interesting Hesse did not mention danah was in the Information School). The comment by the unnamed academic source appears to be evidence of this. As someone who is working to finish a diss, the graduate experience is at its best a stress-fest and (it seems to me) that this treatment is certainly not helping danah in this regard.

danah, while I can't say anything to make it suck less, at least you know you have the support of your peers here.


Ted M. Coopman
Department of Communication
University of Washington

On Sun, 16 Dec 2007, danah boyd wrote:

> ::hands over face in horror::
> I'm sooooo sorry for whatever role that I played in the creation of
> the article.  I have to admit that I spent the bulk of the day
> wavering between being pissed off and being downright depressed. I'm
> sure it won't surprise any of you that much of this was taken out of
> context (and another chunk is outright wrong).  I was particularly
> horrified by how she framed my deceased advisor as a fool. But I'm
> also sorry to everyone here who implicitly got framed poorly. Yuck
> yuck yuck.
> As for receiving threats, yes, I received multiple after my essay this
> summer, although none from academics (that I know of).  This (along
> with the folks who photoshopped me as a cutter) was documented in my
> response to my essay this summer: http://www.danah.org/papers/essays/ResponseToClassDivisions.html
> I'm also annoyed with the implicit comment about my blog being my
> scholarship. Just in case it wasn't clear, I don't by any means
> consider my blog scholarship.  At most, it's fieldnotes and musings.
> After the mess this summer, I considered taking it down, but the fact
> is that writing musings and getting feedback really helps me think
> through things.  I just never thought that they would ever be assumed
> to be final publications, but conversation starters.
> Also, as Nancy has said, I do *not* take credit for creating this
> field (or internet anthropology or many other things that press folks
> claim). The odd thing is that she tried to force me into claiming that
> I invented this field and was the reason for the creation of social
> computing at RIT and UMich and I was like oh god no.  It seems as
> though she put things in my mouth even when I explicitly rejected them.
> There are so many other issues with that article... I'm not even sure
> where to begin. But I'm super sorry and ashamed. I'm trying to do my
> research and make it public because I think that's important (and it's
> in my activist nature), not because I want to pick fights with fellow
> academics or make anyone look bad. One of the reasons that I wanted to
> put together that JCMC issue with Nicole was to highlight others' work
> in a collected way, not to send negativity their way.  (And,
> incidentally, not all articles on SNSs cite my work.)
> If there are indeed folks out there who feel "seething resentment,"
> please let me know how I can help. Cuz omg is this not something that
> I want to make people feel and I'm so sorry if I do. I feel terrible.
> I'm so sorry.
> danah
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