Poll: Up for Conversation?

I take the idea of “conversation” seriously.

In fact, I just tweeted about it this week. For a whole week I was stuck trying to figure out how to frame a very small passage of my dissertation. It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend about his dissertation —> that led me to read something —> that got me thinking about a whole new framework for another section —> that I bounced off my chair in an email —> that resulted in an exchange with another regarding another project. So incredibly productive.

I actually started this blog once my first book was published—not as a publicity stunt, but because the words—and more importantly, all the ideas and conversations and teaching and learning moments those words embodied—were sitting still on those pages. I wanted to breathe them back into life. And although I can see the great number of readers and clicks and shares (thank you!), I’d love to get more of you commenting…and in turn, us conversing!

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6 thoughts on “Poll: Up for Conversation?”

  1. Your post has me reflecting on the way academia culture is encourages in different institutions. I think the best work is produced when people enter into a dialgoue with others during the formative process of writing. Presentation at conferences, seminars, discussions groups and so forth all help this. The better universities foster a research community that encourages these activities, but it’s largely missing in the less good ones (I’ve worked in two universities in the same city – each manifested a different aspect of that dichotomy). However, we also have to be able to trust our colleagues if we engage in this process.

    1. Yes. Very good point. I was just working on a post about a chapter that is “in press”… and I didn’t think about posting that material until now. And I just realized that none of my posts are about my dissertation—mostly because I have been specifically warned not to do so. I have, and will in the next months, present at conferences on the topic, but when our commodity in academia is thought, posting on a blog mid-thought could be dangerous. I hadn’t really considered that.

      It seems like several of those in the digital humanities have been thinking about this as well. Have you seen Dougherty’s publicly produced book http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/ or have you been to an “unconference”? I think those are two interesting ventures to encourage more dialogue.

  2. I think I started my blog for the exact same reasons! Because I still needed to think–and get feedback–about the ideas that informed my book. And interestingly enough, I’ve been thinking about putting up an interactive post next week but have been a little worried about what to do if there’s no interaction. So I’ll be really interested in seeing your polling results.

  3. I just came across a post with some links about why and how people comment. I thought I’d share:
    Why Is No One Commenting: http://nextness.com.au/insights/why-is-no-one-commenting-on-our-blog/
    Are Comments Over: http://exitcreative.net/blog/2012/02/are-comments-over/
    Comments are Dead, Long Live Feedback: http://www.thefoxisblack.com/2012/04/02/after-5-years-the-fox-is-black-gets-an-upgrade/
    Why No Comments: http://www.marco.org/2010/06/16/comments

    I can’t say I agree. I am not ready to give up on the opportunity to converse with others about ideas that take more than 140 characters or are easier to do in person (which imposes a sad, physical limit based on routine and geography). I can just hope there are others interested in the same.

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