For my thesis, I took four articles and compared them; two from EB and two from Wikipedia. With the help of my committee, I choose “Communism” and “Dwight D. Eisenhower”. Since I wanted to compare similar things, I used the online version of the EB articles. After downloading the articles, I removed any auxiliary text that was not part of the article and compared the EB article to the WP article. I wanted to see what differences there were between EB and WP at the basic building block levels. Once I had the articles cleaned up, I ran a number of readability tests, word count tests and grammatical comparisons. Readability tests count things like the number of words in sentences and syllables per word to get an idea of the grade level needed to read the text. I also compared numbers of nouns and verbs in each article and noun and verb phrases. I wanted to see if either encyclopedia had a more nominal (definitional) or verbal (function) nature to the language. I was also interested in how EB and WP constructed statements of facts and values. I thought in these areas I may find significant differences.
After comparing EB and WP with these measures, I really found no significant difference. The readability scores were less than a grade level apart. The numbers of nouns and verbs were roughly the same and the articles had similar statements of facts and values. Now, I would like to say this shows the collective system of WP writes in the same way as the expert-driven EB but looking at so few articles my results are a bit tainted. For these particular articles, I can say the collective writes in a similar way as the EB authors an editors.
Well you sure don’t look human, said the man.
But that doesn’t make me a fluid, twittered the ape.
– Russell Edson in “Ape and Coffee”
I’ve been twittering for a while now. At first, I limited my twitter friends to only a couple. Then Twitter wasn’t well integrated into Adium or much else. I didn’t want to spend my time going to one more social site except for notes from actual friends (okay, John Edwards too but then he asked first and he is a pretty good twitterer unlike Obama whose first tweet Fred disses).
Then SXSW happened. Twitter had a major rollout/PR push there. I wasn’t there but a lot of folks there started twittering me and friending me and twitter made more sense.
Since then new twitter friend and musician Robbie Link put me onto the insanely simple to use “post it to twitter” add-on to the Firefox search box. This makes posting a tweet as simple as typing in the search box once that feature is selected. The downside is that it doesn’t collect tweets — you go to your Twitter home page for that — and it doesn’t update your Instant Messenger status. So I’m sticking with Twitterific for most of my tweeting.
Do you work at home? Are you a telecommuter? Run a business from your home office? The Town of Carrboro wants to know how it can help you. On May 8 at 10 am in Room 100 of the Carrboro Town Hall the Economic Development Department of the Town of Carrboro will be conducting a public forum to discuss this
If you know other people that work at home who might be interested in participating in the conversation, please invite them.
If you can’t make it let me know and we’ll work on a second event.
What: At the May brown-bag lunch meeting Jennifer Jenkins will discuss the work of the “Arts Project” at Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. This project analyzes the effects of intellectual property on cultural production and, among other things, produced Bound By Law — a comic book about copyright and creativity. She will also talk about Creative Commons and how its licenses facilitate creativity and the free availability of cultural materials. Jenkins is the director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain and a lecturer at Duke Law School where she teaches seminars on copyright law.
Some years back, I helped a talented undergrad create and teach a course on the “Post Modern Comic.” The course was a success largely because of the friendly and smart tech support provided by Jamie Bishop. I talked a little with Jamie and learned about his various interests — German, science fiction, digital illustration, an active and imaginative life. I was delighted to hear from him that both he and his wife had gotten jobs in Blacksburg, VA.
Then last week Jamie was shot down in the classroom.
Some of his friends alert us of a Support Fund in his name:
Jamie Bishop was our friend and colleague. He died tragically on Monday, April 16th while teaching German at Virginia Tech. He leaves behind a grieving family that faces financial challenges as they mourn. Many of you have offered support and condolences to his widow, Stefanie Hofer. We are grateful for this outpouring and in response we, his colleagues and friends, have created the “Bishop-Hofer Support Fund” to offer you a way to support Steffi and her family at this difficult time.
To make contribution, please make out a check to:
The Bishop-Hofer Support Fund
And send it to:
The Bishop-Hofer Support Fund
c/o Wachovia Bank
Blacksburg Financial Center
200 North Main Street VA7044
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Please feel free to pass this information to anyone you believe is interested in helping with this effort.
Do you blog? If yes, then please consider participating in an online survey from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. The study, Blogger Perceptions on Digital Preservation, is being conducted under the guidance of the Real Paul Jones . The study team is interested in hearing from all bloggers on their perceptions on digital preservation in relation to their own blogging activities, as well as the blogosphere in general. To hear more about this survey and to take it, go here: http://www.ils.unc.edu/~hcarolyn/blogsurvey/.
From there, you can link out to the web-based survey. The survey will be available from April 25 through May 23, 2007. We believe blogs are valuable records of the human experience. Help to contribute to continued access to these important records by participating in our study. The survey should take between twenty to thirty minutes to complete.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Carolyn Hank, the study Principle [sic] Investigator, at hcarolyn AT email.unc.edu. Thanks!
I don’t ever talk completely from the presentation materials but they do indicate the interest areas and give access to much more additional data and texts for later reading for folks who are interested.
Folks who feel more comfortable leaving comments on a blog are welcome to to so here.