Thursday, January 3, 2008

PLSJ reader survey

One of the methodological arguments I've made in my dissertation* is that over the past five years this blog has provided me unparalleled means by which to engage people in other places, including outside academia.

I found it relatively easy to describe what I think the blog has offered me, and assess what that might mean for social and cultural research, but I'm not comfortable describing or assessing what the blog has been--or done--for others.

I can't speak for anyone else and standard metrics provided by sites like Technorati or act more like citation indices (not always the best way to measure impact) than the kind of anecdotal conversation that is so often central to blogging practice itself.

Analysing the hundreds of comments that have been posted here is one possibility, but I think there's a simpler and more practical option that I hope that you'll be able to help me out with, please.



Thanks so much for your continued reading, and your participation in this short survey is very much appreciated.

- Anne

* My dissertation will be made available online after it is defended in 2008.



Blogger Darius Kazemi said...

Hmm. I've been reading your blog for about two years now. I'm not sure what led me here originally--maybe something about psychogeography that caught my eye? Anyway, while I never comment, I've found that I keep reading because I like what you have to say, as banal as it seems. It helps me stay connected to my more academic interests, many of which I don't get to exercise in my day-to-day as a video game developer.

Also, I have an emotional attachment to your blog as back in August of '06 I showed your Knitting and Politics entry to my girlfriend Dharia, whose reaction in her blog you then quoted in turn in your blog. It felt really cool to have catalyzed a discussion like that!

Blogger heyotwell said...

I also can't recall what brought me to PLSJ first, well, it must have been no later than mid-2002? Possibly earlier. I think it was clear even then that you were offering a particular critical and academic voice to a conversation that needed both. Although you weren't able to come to Design Engaged in 2004, you suggested including a derivť as part of it, which in the end turned out to be the key ingredient. That particular peer group holds you and your work in very high regard, and it was fantastic you could then join us in 2005.

Blogger Ms. Jen said...

I have been reading PLSJ for 4 or so years, after I saw Anne either speak at SXSW or Danah Boyd refer to Anne and recommend that folks read her blog.

What I like about this blog: Anne's deep thinking but quirky take on life, academia, and her research. This is good.

When I was teaching web design and art theory (2000-2005), PLSJ and Danah's Apophenia were a lifeline to me.

I also love that PLSJ is striking visually with rich imagery along with the text.

Blogger Matt said...

It was odd to stumble, in 2002, upon PLSJ during my first year at Carleton University only to realize that you were not a cyber-person in some far away place, but a student at the very uni I was attending. Since then PLSJ has provided numerous opportunities for me to discover something new, read something provocative, and engage in a live discussion about mobility, tech, theory, etc. Thanks!

Blogger Erwin said...


I have been reading your blog for some 2.5 years. Probably the main reason why I keep reading it is because it in fact provides a perspective rather perpendicular to my normal one. I find it rather enriching, and thank you for it.

Blogger mp said...

While your research is quite removed from mine, I've been reading your feed for a long time. I'm interested in space and place, and I have a non-academic interest in technology. As one who teaches and advises graduate students I've also been interested in your comments on grad school and writing process.
--Michael Peterson

Blogger Chris said...

Unlike other readers, I *know* how I found your blog: you mentioned Caillois' work in a post, and so few people mention him that it was an instant selling point for me. :)

As a game designer, I appreciate input on design issues from outside the industry, where grown ups can occasionally be found...

Oh, but I've just noticed you needed these by my birthday, and I'm too late. Oh well, never mind.

Best wishes!

Blogger Darius Kazemi said...

Hmm. Maybe I found your blog through Chris, then!

Blogger testperson said...

I don't know what pointed me to you, but I know when I pointed TO you:

(Christ! It's been over 5 years!)

After reading this blog and corresponding with you, I had the pleasure of meeting you (and your husband-like person) and enjoying all manner of intellectual discourse.

As your studies have evolved, they've moved away from matters I find personally relevant (you used to call yourself an information architect!). Still, I enjoy keeping tabs and seeing how your thoughts are developing, and what French critical theorists' names I can drop to sound smart to Stacy's academic colleagues.

OpenID egoodman said...

I have a more ambivalent relationship to this blog than other people, I think. When I started blogging about four years ago, I was in between jobs and travelling around the US. At first it was fun, but then I started feeling really isolated. I missed my friends and colleagues in New York, and didn't really have a life established on the West Coast. I had already started blogging, so reading your blog -- and responding to it -- made me feel more connected to a larger community of people thinking and feeling much as I did. On the other hand -- very ironically -- my blogging has fallen by the wayside now that I'm back in school and supposedly doing all this thinking and writing. I'm trying to minimize my time online and have more of a life off-screen. So I don't visit PLSJ as much, because when I read it I end up regretting all the personal (or even school-related) writing I don't seem to find the time to do anymore.

Blogger Jamie said...

My notes state that I first bookmarked PLSJ on Dec. 10, 2002. Probably, I checked it out because the research of a close friend of mine had been mentioned therein, or perhaps via a recommendation/link on that person's website. Since then, the site has provided me with a voyeuristic glimpse into certain aspects of life in academia, from the perspective of an observer & participant whose intellectual preoccupations, cultural preferences and temperament seem consonant with a lot of people I know and like. Moreover, every few months, whenever I Google the search terms of some topic about which I or others whom I read are wondering about, I often discover that PLSJ thought and wrote about it first, better are more informatively and thought-provokingly than almost anyone else. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog from around 2003 I think.. Never thought of why. Maybe because I like how you make sense in Brenda Dervin kinda sense. Your blog helps me out to understand who I am and what is the world around me and how to find my ways about it. To be more precise, first and foremost is you personality, your attitude, your temperament, judgement.. these seem critical for me for information permutations..

Anonymous Nicolas said...

I think I started reading PLSJ in 2003 when I started a blog (and my PhD). My daily musing on the Internets led me there because of shared interests (mostly locative media/ubicomp at that time) addressed with a different perspective than the one I've been taught (cognitive psychology). I easily remember the moment when I stumbled across this blog (and the reading list that spanned from Deleuze to William Gibson or Paul Dourish), which made me realize that I was not lonely in seeing certain connections.

PLSJ and Anne's work contributed in making me realize that there other approach to deal with implications of technologies. Mostly, through Anne's perspectives and the references she brought forward.

Blogger Sister said...

I think I've been reading your blog for about 3 years.

What brought me here? It was probably either someone else's blogroll or a search for sites about technology and culture.

What kept me here? I find most of your posts offer challenging ideas and/or interesting thoughts that I don't see elsewhere. The others give a peak into graduate student life.

Why didn't I comment until now? I'm a librarian now but once studied sociology, and I'm a soft-touch for anyone trying to get a good sample of survey respondents.

Blogger A.S. Galvan said...

I don't remember how exactly I found PSLJ. One constant in my academic interests was an unwavering devotion to the the study of paradigm shifts and if Kuhn's idea could genuinely be applied to social science. I probably found you through some search terms no less than 3? 4? years ago.

One thing I've loved about your blog is that it's hard. I always find myself chasing down links and learning new concepts when I come to visit.

While you don't write about it very often, I've read an entry or two dealing with a sense of frusturation with the process of actually getting a ph.d, but you've continued to push through rather than give up. I've been cheering for you for years, for all of us in spaces like that.

I find something like home here, also, in that I had a hard time finding my niche as an academic. I agree with what's already been written in that your work seems to voice something long silent.

This space has given me great encouragement and hope: I too can study things that might be "fuzzy" to others and help give them focus.

Blogger Lynn V. Marentette said...


I just found your blog today through a "google alert" e-mail about ubiquitous or pervasive computing. I posted a link to your blog from my Technology Supported Human-World Interaction blog.

I'm a school psychologist who returned to school at mid-life to study computers and technology. Last year, I took a graduate Ubicomp class, which inspired me to consider doing research in this area.

I don't know why your website never popped up during all of my internet searches over the years, given our similar interests. I'll take some time to read through your posts!

My other blogs:

Interactive Multimedia Technology

Tech Psych

(I started blogging because it was a requirement for a class, and I never stopped.)

Anonymous linda said...

I hesitated slightly before I wrote this. Blogging might be public but reading one is more private.

I first came across this blog in 2003, when I was doing research on ubicomp for a course essay. Since then itís been a constant source of inspiration in my own work. Iím an anthropologist myself and we seem to share a lot of research interests and play with some of the same thinkers (such as Deleuze and various STS people). In your posts youíve often nailed a thought or argument, which Iíve been wondering about myself.

I think I also immediately felt ďat homeĒ because I recognised a certain anthropological tone in your blog posts. I donít know what it is, but there is something about how anthropologists approach the world, which is instantly recognizable no matter what their research topics or analytical preferences are. I study at an institute, where few people do research on new technologies. At times, where Iíve felt alone and isolated in my everyday academic life reading this blog has reaffirmed my belief that this is a valuable area of research to pursue.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

disgracefully - an occasional scavenger who always finds something wonderful to slip into a mind pocket - this time the many layers of paint on the single paint chip - reminds me of those Parisian artists who first decsribed the democratic art of posters sites, with layer after layer torn and exposed and accidentally juxtaposed

Crab Man

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fascinating to follow this project through, occasionally checking in for the past few years, ever since meeting you at the UChicago DGI Conference.

Actually, I think of this as a "model" academic blog. With every visit, I find something thought-provoking, touching on common interests, but from a very different perspective.

Good job and thanks,


Anonymous Zach Chandler said...

I used to read PLSJ sporadically, was inspired by your wonderful mix of thought-provoking academia and personal bits. Now I visit extremely rarely, am somewhat post-blog, paralyzed by RSS-aggregator overwhelm, watching the number of unreads reach their max in every category. I may have been happier (more curious?) when I knew less.

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