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Re: [globalvillages] ...Michael: hello again! and collaborations - academics and practitioners.

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  • Pamela McLean
    ref Janets Michael, hello!! We meet in a different context:..... Hi Mike - I have been interested to notice your presence previously at Minciu Sodas, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2008
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      ref Janets "Michael, hello!! We meet in a different context:....."

      Hi Mike - I have been interested to notice your presence previously at Minciu Sodas, and meant to greet you, but intended to wait until I was contributing to an appropriate thread. Now I will simply jump in with a new topic.

      First a brief explanation to others. I know Mike for his work on other lists. These are lists I have not contributed to for a while, but still visit now and again as a lurker (as with some of the lists I read here at Minciu Sodas). We have actually met face to face as well. In my mind he is an academic with a genuine interest in the Internet-and-the-real-world. (My cynical self finds too many academics who, by contrast, seem more interested in simply researching  the-Internet-and-the-real-world just for the sake of publishing papers about it). I love it when I meet academics who seem genuinely interested in real life beyond academia.

      Mike - Every now and again I decide to have another go at trying to narrow the divide between theory and practice i.e.between academic research and practitioners. I am making this into an opportunity to mention that fact  to  you. There is so much going on here at Minciu Sodas, and on the edges of MS in other projects people are involved in, that could be worth introducing to the academic community.

      For instance, there is so much research about web 2.0. Yet most of the web 2.0 research seems to focus on the technology, or on social sites like Facebook. At Facebook it seems to me that quite a few of the people are socialising within comparatively limited groups, often simply connecting in a different way with people they could also meet F2F fairly easily, people in their own country or even on their own campus. (Obviously this in not true for all of Facebook as there are genuinely wide groups as well.)

      Wouldn't it be great if more of the web 2.0 research looked at groups that  are linking over many continents and time zones and cultural groups and languages etc - as happens at Minciu Sodas?  Wouldn't something like Pyramid of Peace make a wonderful case study for example?  Even just studying one single chatroom meeting - the PoP one at the end of January - would provide a rich mine of information about Internet enabled collaboration, across time zones, language groups, cultural groups, and all for an urgent collaborative purpose.  That meeting  even illustrated the challenges of getting online, and phone access to a chat room. It was packed with and so many rich seams of technical and social information.

      MS is a mine of information - all its archives are accessible on yahoo, or on the wiki, and people are around who would probably be willing to help a researcher to get the overview before wading into archives. It is a gift to researchers, for anything from a full PhD to a joint paper. For a joint paper someone here could help to tell the story and the academic could provide the appropriate structure, language, tone, references etc to make the content into an academic paper instead of "mere journalism".

      I suggest such collaboration because when I was first involved with  ICT4Ed&D I used to read calls for papers. In my ignorance when they asked for a case study I sometimes wrote about what I knew was going on, because I thought that was what they were asking for. I soon learned not to do so. I discovered that my attempts to share what I knew were misplaced. My writing simply demonstrated a culture gap between practitioners and academics. I discovered that I unwittingly caused offense through my contributions. Reviewers who had the task of judging my contributions were united in their dismissal of what I wrote because it was not tied into academic theory, it simply described reality. I discovered that unless I was going to become an academic I could not contribute what I knew, so I stopped offering it. I hope this paragraph does not read like a complaint. It is not meant that way. It is simply an explanation of what the gap is and why practitioners cannot bridge it alone.

      Maybe Mike you can help to bridge that gap. I believe the academics and practitioners could help each other enormously if we worked more closely together, in a genuinely supportive and collaborative way.


      2008/7/29 Janet Feldman <kaippg@...>

      Dear Franz, Michael, and All,

      Hello and thanks for this fascinating post!

      Michael, hello!! We meet in a different context: the last time was
      civil-society participation in Internet governance. 




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