Assessment

Now that my first semester in Arizona State University’s Technical Communication program is over, I have a moment to take a breather and assess.

Before the semester started, I traveled to Halifax to present my paper “Working outside: a problems-based approach for studying musicians and other extra-institutional individuals” at SIGDOC 2017. The paper was the first of the articles that I will be publishing from the data I collected for my dissertation. The article focused on a methodology for studying extra-institutional individuals: I suggest grouping extra-institutional individuals by the communication problems they face rather than by the name of their field (such as “musician”). You can read more at this link. Outside of my presentation, the conference was a blast, and Halifax was beautiful.

A short two months later, I took a second international trip to Dun Laoghaire, Ireland to attend the Association for Business Communication’s first transatlantic international conference. I presented on “Artists are Business Communicators, Too!: Teaching a Course on Business Communication for Professional Artists,” which was a pedagogy-focused talk outlining an elective course that I taught while at NC State. I’ve turned that conference presentation into a paper, which is currently under review at a journal.

Turning from travel to teaching, I taught “Fundamentals of Technical Communication” and “Social Media in the Workplace” this semester. I will be teaching two sections of “Social Media in the Workplace” in Spring–one online and one on-ground. I’ll mention next semester’s teaching in a future post.

On that note, I should mention that I plan to post more often on this blog in 2018. Instead of using this just as a “major announcements” blog, I hope to write more often between those big announcements about pedagogy, methodology, and in-process research. I hope to contribute to ongoing conversations (writ large; this will not be a current events blog) and use the space to ponder ideas that aren’t directly making their way into publications.

From this professional blog to you, here’s to a productive 2018!

Dissertation Acknowledgments

My dissertation acknowledgments are reproduced verbatim below.

As Bach appended to his scores: Soli deo gloria.

Thank you to my wife Barbara, who was on board with this whole dissertation thing since day one. You have been an unfailing encouragement and support through this process, even as work hours got longer and longer. I love you.

Thanks also to Samuel Hazelwood Carradini, who came along right at the tail end of the dissertation process and more than once inspired me to keep writing.

Thank you to all of my respondents, without whom this dissertation would have no data. I am deeply indebted to your generosity in giving up time out of your life to answer my questions. In your honor, I have tried to respond and will respond to pretty much every request for research interview I get. Kara Dahl Russell was a participant in this study; she asked to be named.

Thank you also to the many people who recommended potential respondents at the beginning of this study.

Thank you to Jason Swarts, who guided me through the CRDM program and continually pushed me to write more clearly and concisely. I am deeply thankful for all the work you put in to turn “I like music and writing” into a dissertation and research trajectory.

Thank you to Carolyn Miller, who took me on as an RA and joined my committee even as she was retiring. I learned an incredible amount during the year we worked together.

Thank you to Melissa Johnson, who helped me develop the conference proceedings paper that became my first publication. Thank you for your help in the courses I took from you and in the dissertation process.

Thank you to Gary Beckman, who introduced me to Arts Entrepreneurship. Thank you for introducing me to the ideas of Arts Entrepreneurship, but even more, the people of Arts Entrepreneurship. This interdisciplinary dissertation would not exist without your help and the knowledge I gleaned from the SAEE community’s three conferences.

Thank you to Stacey Pigg and Victoria Gallagher, who wrote me letters in the job search process and contributed to this dissertation through good conversation and helpful advice.

Thank you to Gwendolynne Reid and Cristiane Damasceno, who met with me weekly for mutual support, encouragement, problem-solving, accountability, and conversation. Our weekly meetings were hugely helpful in staying on target.

Thanks to the rest of my cohort, with whom I spent many hours poring over theory and practice: Danisha Baker-Whitaker, Jason Buel, Jason Carabelli, Karl Feld, Adele Hite, Will Sink, J.J. Sylvia, and Dwiyatha Widinugraha.

Thank you to Dad, Mom, Joe, John, and Grandma Carradini for encouraging me over and over through this entire process, and especially at the end of the thing. Thanks especially to John for sending gifs, memes, weird academic journal articles, and outrageous news articles as conversation starters. You da real MVP.

Thank you to Chris Krycho, who fielded my many frustrations and fears with admirable grace in our Slack chat. You are the best friend I could ask for.

Thank you to B. Burns, who has gone through the master’s and doctoral process alongside me. I couldn’t ask for a better friend and commiserating partner.

Thank you to Kati Fargo Ahern, who mentored me through the job searching process.

Thank you to IVGCF at NCSU, the members of which were a consistent, weekly source of academic, personal, spiritual, and emotional support from the first week I arrived in Raleigh. Special thanks to Jeff Miller, who picked me up from the airport more than a few times from late-night conference flights.

Thank you to Clay Spinuzzi, whose name appears more than 60 times in this dissertation. I like his work a lot.

Thank you to everyone in the CRDM who talked with me when I was taking breaks from dissertation writing. Special thanks in this arena go to Max Renner, Steven Smith, Katreena Alder, Mai Xiong, Krystin Gollihue, Melissa Adams, Sarah Evans, Josh Jackson, Keon Pettiway, Chen Chen, Justin Grandinetti, and Mark Bentley.

Thank you to Larry Rosebure, who has given me solid life advice since I was 17 years old and also stopped me from quitting grad school once.

Thank you to Jared Peterson and Duane Davis, who gave me solid life advice over and over.

Thank you to Jeff Hinton for always answering my phone calls and geeking out with me. May we all be irrationally confident.

Thank you to Kevin Graybeal, who did video game days with me. (Thank you again to Barbara, who let those happen.)

Thank you to the people of Christ the King Presbyterian and Renewal Presbyterian, for being my community.

Thank you to Derek Ross, Stewart Whittemore, Chad Wickman, Susan Youngblood, Jo Mackiewicz, Isabelle Thompson, and Michelle Sidler, who cultivated the original germs of these thoughts in my time at Auburn University. Special thanks to Michelle Sidler, who guided the first project I did on musicians’ professional communication.

Thank you to Bob Klein, who continually regulated the temperature of my writing space.

Thank you to the student who 3-D printed me an owl that I named Steev; Steev was my constant companion during the writing process.

Thank you to the good people at Global Village Coffee, Jubala Coffee, and Bruegger’s Bagels, for providing the coffee that fueled the writing of this dissertation.

Thank you to Peter Gade, who told me as a freshman to not drink coffee until I needed it. Ten years later, I needed it, Dr. Gade. And it worked.

Beyond these, there are so many more people who helped out in ways large and small throughout the process. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this last four years.

I would like to thank the following musicians for the works I listened to repeatedly while I wrote this dissertation:

John Luther Adams (Become Ocean)

Teen Daze (Soundcloud stream)

Jerome Van Voen (Simeon Ten Holt’s “Canto Ostinato”)

Joep Franssen (“Harmony of the Spheres”)

Russian Circles (discography)

Ulrich Schnauss (discography)

Delta-Notch (8 Hour Study Mix: “Trance to Study By: All-Nighter”)

DJ Ekki (various mixes)

Thank you also to WCPE (The Classical Station), which I also listened to quite a bit.

I’d like to thank the fictional characters whose exploits helped me relax during the process: Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Shepherd Shepherd, Steven Universe, Greg Universe, Sutton, the Monado, Duane (the FFVII version of him), the Crystal Gems, Darth Revan, Tim, and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager. I’d also like to thank the Great British Baking Show and Fixer Upper, which were the least stressful things I could find to watch at the very tail end of the dissertation.

I’d like to thank the following inanimate objects and their oft-nameless creators: Microsoft Notepad, Inkpad Notepad, Microsoft Excel, MAXQDA (and the product’s eminently reasonable support staff), ANTCONC (shoutout to Laurence Anthony), the Internet, coffee, magnetic poetry, the CRDM office building, the CIRCUIT Lab, Pilot pens, and actor-network theory, who would give these inanimate objects thankable agency and whose theories almost featured in this dissertation.

Finally, thanks to Relient K, whose The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek started this quest for me 16 years ago.

Hired!

I’m very excited to announce that I will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication in Arizona State University’s Technical Communication program in Fall 2017! As an assistant professor, I suppose that I should stop using so many exclamation marks and become more concise in my writing style.

Association for Business Communication Conference!

I greatly enjoy going to the Association for Business Communication conference, and this year was no exception. One major element of my appreciation for the conference is in their generosity: in addition to eating excellently the whole time (an expense greatly appreciated), I received a Graduate Student Travel Scholarship for the second year in a row. Thank you, ABC!

I also presented a talk called “Business communication genre use by extra-institutional musicians,” which highlighted the genres that the extra-institutional musicians I’ve been studying use in comparison to genres that I teach in my business and technical writing classes. That the genres differ from my teaching and from each other is important; indie rock musicians skew heavily toward digital media genres, while classical musicians rely heavily on oral communication. These differences are related to the different audiences and expectations of their fields, which is an area I will explore more in my dissertation. I conclude with a call to look at more extra-institutional individual types to understand their communication practices more.

In addition to the good food, the award, and the talk, the conversation with the many attendees was engaging and exciting. I look forward to going in 2017, hopefully, as they will be headed to Ireland!

Thanks to SAEE!

I was thrilled to present at the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Educators’ conference this past weekend in Decatur, Illinois. Held at Millikin University, the third annual conference added a research track to its offerings this year, and I am happy to report that my presentation “The Revealing Business Writing Practices of Classical and Indie Rock Musicians” was on that track!

I discussed data that I had gathered during my dissertation about the writing practices of indie rock and classical musician business communication practices. Specifically, my paper interrogated the concept of “communication skills” for arts entrepreneurs, suggesting that we need to think about specific skills instead of an overarching idea of skills. I also partially confirmed William Gartner’s (2015) suggestion that “various forms of artistic practice are organized in different ways,” as indie rock and classical musicians had different some different communication skills that they had to employ to get their work done. I conclude with a call to investigate the specific communication practices of other arts fields, as they may be different than the two fields I studied.

Thanks to SAEE for letting me present my work! It was a great conference.

Covered!

Over the past week, several online music publications have covered the findings of “An Organizational Structure of Indie Rock Musicians as Displayed by Facebook Usage.” Great thanks to Marc Hogan of Pitchfork, who asked me some very thoughtful questions for a daily news article. (The title of the article is an editor’s doing.)

Thanks also to AltPress, Ultimate Guitar, Metal Hammer (Denmark), Team Rock (Scotland), M Magazine (Britain), IndieHoy.com (Spain), RockOverdose.gr (Greece), Newsr.In (India), Undisclosd.com, This Page Will Self Destruct, MediaRefined.com (re-directs to the Pitchfork article), Phys.org, and NC State News for coverage as well! It is an honor to have my work discussed in the media.

Published!

I’m excited and honored to announce that “An Organizational Structure of Indie Rock Musicians as Displayed by Facebook Usage” has been published at the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication! The abstract is below. This article contains some preliminary findings from my dissertation, which will be done in May 2017. Big thanks are due to JTWC for taking on my work and making it look so good in print.

Abstract:
Indie rock musicians are a group of extra-institutional individuals who play an often-vibrant role in urban economic development. The organizational structure that guides their professional activities has yet to be investigated. Interviews with 18 indie rock musicians provided a way to investigate organizational structure. They reported a build structure featuring the principles of audience development, slow growth, and unevenness. The constraints of the musician’s professional situation require long-term promotion of aesthetic products to a slowly growing audience in a saturated market that produces unevenness through power imbalances. This slow-growing structure contrasts with organizational structures that provide immediate benefits.

Genre collaboration with Carolyn Miller online now

I am happy to announce that a collaborative article that I worked on has been published at Genre Across Borders. Genre Across Borders is an international project dedicated to the theoretical advancement and teaching of genre. The article that Brent Henze, Carolyn Miller, and I contributed to is called “Technical Communication.” It serves as an introduction to research in the topic of genre that has been conducted in the field of technical communication.

ABC-SWUS Presentation

I’m proud to have presented the first research from my dissertation at the Southwestern Regional Conference of the Association for Business Communication. The presentation was called “Earn a Living: The Business Communication Practices of Indie Rock Arts Entrepreneurs,” and I discussed findings from the first 18 interviews of my larger study on the business communication practices of indie-rock and classical arts entrepreneurs. I had a great time presenting and answering questions from the crowd!

It was also nice to be back in my old stomping grounds of the Oklahoma City metro, where I did my journalism degree and subsequent journalism work. I don’t get to see my alma mater repped too much out in North Carolina, so it was a pleasant treat to see OU paraphernalia all over the place.

Interviewed!

Cameren Dolecheck of WKNC88.1 asked me to give an interview for Eye on the Triangle’s “Explain It to Me Like I’m 88” segment, where doctoral students from around the university discuss their work. I was honored to be featured in the February 17th edition of the radio show. My segments starts at 9:50 in the clip, or you can get a direct link to my eight-minute interview here.

I gave a brief overview of my personal history with the topic of independent music business, then explained some of the preliminary findings of my research for a general audience. It was a great time, and I was excited to be on the show!