Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for July, 2005

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog: Best Car for Chicago

Posted by shannonclark on July 31, 2005

I added a long comment to Philip Greenspun’s Weblog: Best Car for a 25 year old woman in Chicago.

My comments were about driving in Chicago, great discussion though I’m not the only person to suggest the option of “do not have a car at all”.

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Unix style recent history – for dummies

Posted by shannonclark on July 28, 2005

One of the funniest things I have read in a long while – Sun Ray Blog.

A history of recent events in unix command line format, but with comments and explanations for the non-unix geeks out there. As one of the commentors mentioned, may be funnier than the version without the comments, even to a long standing unix geek like myself.

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Hidden Villa

Posted by shannonclark on July 12, 2005

When my mom and aunt were growing up, they attend a unique, multicultural summer camp – Hidden Villa.

My sister and I then attended when we too were growing up.

Hidden Villa is a unique, amazing and special place. Founded over 65 years ago, it is an organic farm, 1600 acres of partial wilderness, a hostel, and a chance for people of all races and creeds to come together.

While not without flaws, it is one of the more special places in this country and a place very dear to me.

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Blogging and job prospects: from the academy to the SCOTUS

Posted by shannonclark on July 11, 2005

on Ars Technica, the following (Blogging and job prospects: from the academy to the SCOTUS) gets it, I think, nearly completely wrong.

Were I giving advice to a grad student at the moment, I would advice them TO blog. A good, well done, and engaging blog will likely connect that grad student to their peers, both other emerging scholars and more established academics in their field(s) of interest.

By providing a service online, and by mastering new forms of technology and communication the grad student only enhances, not diminishes their own job prospects and possibilities.

Why do I say this when, as this article points out, there are counterexamples?

A few examples:

– Ester Hargatai and others at Crooked Timber ( a fantastic online community and resource, and clearly a source of engagement and support for all who are contributing, and one which helps all of them raise the profile of their work and research.

– Mary Anne Mohanraj. A very good friend of mine, she has been keeping an online journal since 1994 (yes well before “blogging” ), her active readership there has helped her build up an audience for her writing, which in turn led to successful editing jobs for a number of books, some smaller releases of her works, and eventually to a 2 book deal with Harper Collins for two books, one of which her dissertation just was released in hardcover this month. Her journal and readership helped her as she wrote her disertation and books, and in her job search (successful) – she has been teaching at Vermont college and is about to teach here in Chicago at Roosevelt University (see – but also a google search for Mary Anne turns her up first.

I am a conference organizer. When I went lookig for speakers and presentors, I looked online. Those academics with minimal to no web presense were significently less likely to get an invitation from me to present than those who have an active online engagement.

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Podcasting – Blog Maverick – _

Posted by shannonclark on July 8, 2005

Podcasting – Blog Maverick – _

I left a long comment about Podcasting and MeshForum on Mark Cuban’s blog this afternoon.

It is important also to realize that some Podcasts – like IT Conversations (which is a mix of conferences, radio shows, and new content – are at a level of attention well past what most streaming online radio shows ever reached – IT Conversations gets as many as 20,000+ people to download each show they release (and that was pre-iTunes, I suspect they may reach 50,000+ on popular shows pretty soon) with over 100,000+ monthly unique listeners.

Those numbers are compelling.

They also are changing the conference business in some radical new ways.

My conference – MeshForum ( reached 50+ people in person in our first year. A respectable turnout for a first year conference on a complex topics (Networks – social, technical and physical).

Via IT Conversations, where our first session has just gone live this afternoon (see we will reach probably 20,000+ different people with at least one session from MeshForum 2005.

That is a 400x increase in our reach.

A year from now when we hold MeshForum 2006 that increased reach can only help us – by helping get great speakers and participants but also by yet again increasing our reach to I would guess 50,000+ people for MeshForum 2006.

As a conference organizer this changes how I structure the conference – I have a new and very important audience to consider.

As a podcast listener the content I get from podcasts is content that for the most part does not exist anywhere else. It resembles the best of independent radio (or in some cases the best of public radio) but it is much more focused, liberated of the constraints of the FCC, and in nearly all cases (and all of the cases that I listen to) driven by personal passion.


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