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A CCCO status report

As promised. My clothes are still drying, and I'm at a stopping point in various other tasks, and so...

Over at CCC Online, we've been making steady progress on archiving back issues. We've reached the point--Volume 50 in 98-99--in the archives where CCC began adding abstracts to every article. From now on, we'll be generating abstracts ourselves, and that promises to slow us down a little. In fact, if there's anyone out there who's interested in writing abstracts for us, drop me a note.

But that means that we're 8 years deep into the archives now, and we've got a pretty solid work process established. Some of the work is unavoidably time-intensive, but it's gotten a lot easier than it was, say, last summer, when we were still figuring out exactly how to manage it all. One of the things that Derek and I talked about tonight was starting up a development weblog for the site, a place where we could solicit feedback, talk about some of the work that goes on behind the scenes, try out ideas for new features, experiment with some alternative visualizations, etc. It might also be a space where we could invite (and/or carry out) some collaboration. Not a week goes by where one of us doesn't say that it would be cool to do X, Y, or Z, but we don't always have a clear sense of how valuable (or not) X, Y, or Z might be, or whether or not someone might make use of it.

So look for that.

With the release of the latest issue of CCC, we feel like another piece of the CCC Online puzzle is starting to take shape. On the front page, the upper right hand section was originally billed as a "feature space" and to this point, it's been occupied by a truncated version of the "about the site" statement that I wrote. Today, it went "live" in the sense that we've got a few different things added to the site meant to enhance the reading experience of the journal:

  • "Performing Writing, Performing Literacy" (by Fishman et al.) argues for the connection between student perceptions of writing and performance, and makes reference to videos of two of the article's authors, which we've placed on the site.
  • "Who Owns Writing?" was Doug Hesse's Chair's Address at the 2005 CCCC, and included not only video elements in the form of a PP deck (whose slides appear in the print version), but also certain audio features unavailable in print form, so we've included a video of the Address with the slides spliced in at various points.
  • We've also made Kathi Yancey's 2004 CCCC Chair's Address available on the site, as it is referenced in the Interchange between her and David Laurence.

It's overly optimistic to imagine that there's going to be digital content with each subsequent issue, although I do hope. And maybe these kinds of hybrid publications will start to encourage all of us not to think of paper and electronic publications as an either/or situation. One of our early Spring projects will be to develop a fixed location for such content, including some essays/sites developed for the first iteration of CCCO.

That's about it for right now. One of the things that we're hoping to accomplish in the next year or so is to update the "feature space" on the front page with a little more frequency, and we've got a few ideas in that regard. Any suggestions you might have are welcome.

Comments

First off, what's there looks great-- a very useful research tool, no question about it.

Second-- not to be too bitchy about this-- even though you have archived the print issues, I still don't think you have captured the previous version of the CCCO. I'm thinking specifically of my article, “Where Do I List This on My CV? Considering the Values of Self-Published Web Sites.? College Composition and Communication Online. 54.1 September 2002.

Again, this is obviously self-interested. But I want to point out that a) this article was part of a "A Special Multi-journal Issue of Enculturation, Academic.Writing, CCC Online, Kairos, and The Writing Instructor on Electronic Publication" (meaning I don't think it wasn't just some weird thing that happened once or twice), and b) the article was literally "disappeared" by NCTE, which strikes me as a remarkably bad practice.

Other than that, it looks cool. ;-)

This is a beautiful thing--

I'd be glad to help out writing abstracts. For the past few years, I've had a part-time gig writing 100-word abstracts of business Web sites for a library database, and it's actually become kinda fun to compress all that meaning without editorializing.

Writing abstracts for old CCCs articles? If that isn't a project for a grad seminar, then I don't know what is!

will you still need abstract-writers (etc) after my exams? b/c i'd love to help, but, um, my exam committee might be reasonable to object to my volunteering at the moment, since i'm still a good 45 books shy of claiming familiarity with my reading list!

Yeah, this isn't a one-time thing--we'll be doing this for a while, and so it'll be available after exams (and after dissertation, Mike!)...

And yes, it might not be a bad idea to float the idea of a grad class activity across a broader audience...

Good point, Collin. :-)

And I'm with Steve: definitely a good project for people still taking courses. I've been talking with some of my colleagues both at my institution and who are out on the job market this year, and I find myself a little dismayed when folks who intend to enter the discipline show an unfamiliarity with the current literature of the discipline.