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Communificationalized

Or something like that.

One of two things happened today: either I was better prepared somehow than I thought I was, or I've somehow learned to be a little more comfortable with my intrinsic lack of organization. If I had to lay money, I'd probably bet on the latter. I ended up doing what I could to sort of shrink the scale of my talk a bit, from the Discipline to the textual networks that make up both the discipline(s) as well as our experiences of it. And this segued nicely into a quick show and tell about CCC Online. Most of the work that we've done on the site has been this summer, and so most others in my department haven't seen what we've accomplished, much less heard me make the case for why it's important.

I'm still working the kinks out in terms of my ability to articulate the needs that the site fills and the way that it goes about filling them, but I figure that'll come with practice. So last week-ish, I talked about doing the keyword parsing of each article and each issue. Today, one of the things I showed off was our attempt to provide what we're calling reversible bibliographies, or "works citing" as opposed to "works cited."

Since we're managing the site through Movable Type, one of the things we're doing is to place links in the works cited to other CCC articles. Makes sense, right? Well, MT allows us not only to place links to those cited works, but to make them trackbacks as well. So articles that have been cited will themselves contain links to the essays that cite them. We're only four years deep so far, so we don't have lots of examples of this, but you can see what I mean by looking at the entry for Diana George's From Analysis to Design, which is, in the pages of CCC itself, the most frequently cited CCC article from the past four years. And it's only been twice.

(And that's something that I didn't talk about today, but could have. It's interesting to look at what I'd called insular citation patterns (CCC articles cited in CCC articles). The two most citation-heavy articles from the last three years have both been CCCC Chair's Addresses, for example. There are roughly 61 CCC articles cited in the most recent Volume (4 issues), but half of those are accounted for by Kathi Yancey's Chair's Address (21) and Richard Fulkerson's article (10), with 12 of 20 essays citing either zero or one. That's up from the year before--in Vol. 55, there are only 37 CCC articles cited in 20 essays. These are rough estimates, though, because there are some instances of Cross-Talk citations that I haven't traced out to their origins.)

As we get deeper into the archives, though, the idea of including a Works Citing list as well as Works Cited will become more relevant, I think. It would also be improved if/when the scope of this project expanded beyond CCC. But that's a concern for another year...

Comments

The Works Citing thing is very cool! And from just a quick look at the whole site, I'm really impressed and excited--you've created something that's going to be really useful for research and for classes like the one you're teaching this semester.

Hey Collin, You got cited over at Weblogg-ed News. And Louise told me your talk at Community Day was a hit!

--Joe

This all sounds good of course, but one concern I have-- and I guess I have it because it has been a problem for me-- are the CCC Online archives. I had an article in CCC Online in 2002 called "Where Do I List This on My CV? Considering the Values of Self-Published Web Sites.? It was also published as a joint project with several other online publications. A couple months ago, someone emailed me asking about the article because they couldn't find it. And indeed, it was (and still is, as far as I can tell) off of the NCTE web site. I emailed the NCTE folks and they said that the archives follow the editor of the CCC Online, which strikes me as a very bad way of doing business.

Anyway, not that my article was all that and such, but I for one would want a little re-assurance aobut the long-term archives for a publication like the CCC Online. My 2 cents.

This was a concern for me as well, Steve, and I spoke with the NCTE folk about doing a couple of different things. I'll be figuring out a way to include your article, and a few others, in the infrastructure at the new site, but I was also concerned about archiving the old CCCO in total, for historical/archival purposes. NCTE seems amenable to both, and I'm doing what I can to be as conscious as possible of the fact that I won't be the online editor forever, and to make the materials that I contribute as portable as possible for just this kind of situation...