Books of the Year 2021

This year I read a wide variety of books. I found a used bookstore near my house that I loved and bought copious (and often unrelated) books from it. The lists below are in roughly chronological order within each genre/category. The big accomplishments this year were going through the first book of Caro’s biography of […]

Amazon Palm Scanning is Not OK

In addition to teaching and researching, I maintain a music blog called Independent Clauses that I founded in 2003. Lisa Whealy and I cover instrumental music of all types, jam bands, folk pop, and singer/songwriter work. Recently, my work on social media and digital ethics intersected with my work at Independent Clauses. I signed Independent […]

Let’s Break Up Facebook into 16 Parts

As you can read anywhere on the Internet, Facebook is in trouble. Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg has been on the talk show circuit, saying things. I am today specifically interested in one statement Clegg made to NBC: We’re not saying this is a substitution of our own responsibilities, but there are a […]

A Busy October

I had a busy October, winning an award and giving three different talks. So as not to bury the lede: I am deeply honored to announce that the Association for Business Communication named me the 2021 recipient of the Rising Star Award at this month’s 86th Annual International Conference. The award “recognizes meaningful contributions to […]

From the Archives: Genre Theory as Ontology

When I was working on my doctorate, I was thinking a lot about genre theory, activity theory, and other ways of understanding the effects of communicative actions. (I even gave a shout-out to Actor-Network Theory in my dissertation thank-yous, though I did not use it.) My work since then has diverged from this topic, but […]

Podcast Guest!

I had the great honor of being a guest on APQC (American Productivity and Quality Center)‘s podcast to talk about business communication, sustainability, and beat-up tour vans (yes, tour vans). It’s a massive crossover episode between the disparate parts of my professional life: business communication, sustainability, ethics, podcasting, and independent music. I loved it. Thanks […]

Discoverability

“Discoverability: Toward a Definition of Content Discovery Through Platforms” is an excellent article about a technical concept in digital media studies. McKelvey and Hunt build provisional categories for how the environment (“surrounds”) and paths through the digital environment (“vectors”) create experiences that are not just the user’s choice but aren’t entirely the platform’s efforts either. […]

Scarcity and Abundance, Digitally

My friend Chris Krycho, synthesizing some recent articles on scarcity and abundance, came up with a career-long research project idea: And from this wondering emerges a dream of a research program for technologists: What would the implementation of such technologies look like? What would their edges and limitations be? What would they afford, and what […]

General Will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, Google by Hiroki Azuma

General Will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, Google by Hiroki Azuma (orig. 2011, translated from Japanese in 2014). This book promises to reread scholars of social thought (Rousseau, Freud, Rorty, Nozick) in light of the internet to come to new conclusion about societies and the state in the Internet era. Azuma believes that the ideal deliberative democracy […]