Why The Publication Cycle Worries ME

There has been a lot of talk it seems lately surrounding academic research and the need to get out of the silo and share/collaborate with others about research. I agree with much of the sentiment but I wonder if this culture will ever change. To be honest, as one embarking on an academic career, the publication cycle worries me!!! My research interests center on technology and the notion that technology today changes faster than my 2 year old changes her mind, means that by the time my research makes it to the masses it could already be outdated.

For example, I conducted a small project over a year ago and submitted it for publication. I have yet to hear back on whether it is being considered or if it has even been sent out for peer review. The typical turn around time for journals is 6 months or more. I had a book review that took nearly a year to get published. I mainly agree with the sentiment surrounding the need to share research because I see a lot of benefit in it. However, the culture of publish or perish needs to change in order for academics to initiate the collaboration. Moving ahead in my career, I already plan to share my research via my blog and other social media platforms. I will also continue to write (and hopefully publish) in order to fulfill the academic requirement. There will just have to be some small differences in content to get around the issue of copyright….WHICH is a whole other issue that really upsets me when it comes to publishing. I will save that rant for another time 😀

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A Really Great Idea

It’s nearly midnight and I can’t sleep. It’s one of those nights where I suddenly woke up after only being asleep for probably 15 minutes and I just can’t go back to sleep. The more I stay in bed the more my mind starts racing about a multitude of ideas. I get up to begin to journal and even blog some of these ideas but as I begin to write them down I realize that either the idea has already been done before or it just wasn’t that great of an idea to begin with. Is it just doubt creeping in? Perhaps fear? By this time I have usually deleted my idea and now the main point of the idea is gone, as well as the excitement of the idea or the motivation behind the idea.

So I come here to ask; How do you get a really great idea off the ground? How do you tell if it is a really good idea? I ask this mostly for my own introspection but also because I think input on ideas is critical. My wife would say that I’m an IDEA GUY, meaning I always come up with these grand ideas. She is so good to sit back and offer a listening ear knowing that I usually never follow through. I can’t help the idea part, I think it’s a family trait, but then again maybe the no follow through is too 😀

Perhaps what I really need is a pen and paper beside my bed to document these ideas and simply go back to sleep. Then in the morning or a day later I can go back to see what I wrote. At least it might be kind of funny or maybe, just maybe, I will come up with a really great idea!

I’m Back…

It has been a long time but I have finally returned from vacation. Soon I will get into a regular routine of blogging again about education, online learning, social work, nonprofit stuff, and social media. I’m sorry if you have missed me and hopefully you will continue to read my blog and find it useful. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things now that I have had a chance for some good R&R.

The Many Hats I Wear…

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about all the jobs I have been performing, multitasking, and why I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything. I am a dad/husband, Ph.D. Candidate, adjunct professor, faculty field liaison, administrative support person, consultant, and I perform various duties at my church. Do I have too much on my plate? Actually, I think I do, but I feel like I can’t take anything off. So basically they all suffer just a little bit. I hate this and wish that I had more time, or maybe better time management skills 🙂

There is a professor at Stanford University who has been looking at students who profess to be excellent multi-taskers. What he has found is that while they multitask, they don’t perform any of their tasks very well at all. I can totally see how he would come to this conclusion after struggling the past year to balance my scholarly activities with other life events. So what do I plan to do. I think I am going to go on a DIET. This summer I plan on reducing the number of jobs I perform by quitting some of those jobs. I will miss the money, but to ensure my future income, I have to focus on finishing some things now. Hopefully it will produce some positive outcomes.

So my question for you is; What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and how to finish those things that seem to keep piling up? Leave a comment if you wish. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Technorati

I have decided to list my blog on Technorati in hopes of gaining more exposure. I think it’s fairly easy to get listed once you have signed up for an account, which is free and then simply start a new blog claim. They will give you a claim token that looks something like WKE9R6F7TGFS along with a notice that it can take a bit of time for it to actually be listed. So I will update this post once I have fully been listed. Finger’s crossed.

Sick…Colds….Sick…No Sleep…

What kind of a picture does this past for you? This has been my nightmare of reality this past week as both my daughter & I caught the same cold. Things are getting better, but after two straight nights on the couch I was almost ready to throw in the towel. Thankfully, she started sleeping well again on her own.

Basically, what I am trying to say here is that I am a bit behind on all my work. I started two other blog posts that I have yet to publish. One being on the Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter & Allison Fine, and the other on sustainable nonprofit organizations. Yes, I finally completed reading the book and thus I have started my review but need to finish. I hope to have it up later this week or by Monday. The second post is on sustainability, although it’s probably not the sustainability you are thinking of. It is important to think green, and I love renewable energy solutions, but I am thinking more about an organization’s survivability. You will have to look for that post to come as well in the next few days. So until then, hoping you are feeling well this week and enjoying life.

Reflections

Well another semester has come and gone and I feel like it has been really different for me this year. Perhaps it’s because I am no longer the student and instead of taking exams, I am administering them 🙂 It has been a lot of fun and I have so much I want to change for next semester that will hopefully add to my classroom experience. Changes to how I handle the class and encourage more participation as well as syllabus changes. I guess I have a bit of work to do over the break.

The one thing I found rather interesting is how my students seemed disinterested in the subject matter, or something, and seemingly unwilling to participate in any dialogue. Of course if you have any suggestions for getting undergrad students excited about learning how to communicate, email me or leave a comment, I would appreciate it. But I think I have a few things I want to try. First, I believe I need to set the tone at the beginning of the semester. I am planning on showing the following video.

I hope that this lights the fire, so to speak, and encourages some open dialogue amongst my students. The other thing I would like to try, but I’m not sure how well it will go over, is to conduct a huge role-play amongst the class that uses the communication principles we highlight. I am thinking of letting the class determine how this will look or take shape. I don’t know what or if it will happen, but it should be interesting.

ARNOVA 2010

I had the opportunity to present some of my research at the ARNOVA conference this year. You can find my powerpoint under the presentations tab. I wanted to update a bit about my perspective of the conference and what I saw as this was my first time attending this conference.

First, I was fortunate enough to meet some very nice people from universities around the country. Most of these individuals are from different academic disciplines than mine, but we all have similar interests in studying the nonprofit sector.  Several of the individuals are interested in social media and its use in this sector as well. It was extremely refreshing to talk with them about research opportunities in this area, as I have not had as much success with people being interested in social media in general. I hope to be able to continue a dialogue with them in the future.

The conference overall, was extremely interesting. I gained new insight into the nonprofit sector and it’s relationship with government. I also learned how volunteering can often lead to new donors, which is something I had suspected but had confirmed at the conference from research done in Korea. Tweeting this information out also yielded information that corroborated these findings from previous years. I think that was something else that was interesting from this conference. That is the coverage of the conference via twitter.

I and many others would use #ARNOVA10 to tweet and share information. There was also a tool created to see a running update of the tweets using that hash tag. You can see the site here. I thought it was great to see this use of social media at the conference. I also thoroughly enjoyed the conversation in the sessions I attended around using social media in the nonprofit sector. I think it is fascinating that much of the research in my session seemed to yield similar themes. The fact that nonprofits continue and want to continue using social media because they feel it has a lot to offer their organization.

A critical theme that also seemed to emerge is around what I call managing/maintaining organizational identity in the digital environment. There was also a session on the dangers of social media that I was unable to attend, but wish I could have as I am sure there was a great dialogue. At any rate, organizational identity in this new environment is something I hope to do some further research on. The fact that nonprofit organizations have existed for decades and they have a certain identity in the community, means that they need to be cognizant of that identity in the online environment. This is one reason I think it is important for organizations to create a profile on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube; even if they don’t do anything with those profiles, at least they have them and can occupy them instead of someone else occupying them in their place. Someone was said, if you don’t manage your social media profiles, someone else will.

There were some other interesting notes to the conference as well, and I only wish I could have been there for the entire weekend. I look forward to next year in Toronto. Be sure to check out some of these blogs for more on the ARNOVA 2010 conference.

http://www.nonprofitleadership601.blogspot.com/

http://alisonrapping.wordpress.com/

May be time to Upgrade

I am a Mac user and have been using the 22″ iMac for several years, but I think it might be time to upgrade the operating system. The problem for me is that I want to run the new iLife suite and it requires Mac OSX version 10.6.3 Snow Leopard. I have it on my MacBook and I love it so I guess I will have to take the leap and upgrade my iMac. Should be fun.

Commenting, links, and promoting

I recently participated in the #blogchat on twitter Sunday night and realized I do not do enough with my blog(s). But  I think part of my problem is that I start too manny blogs!!!! I have about 5 or 6 blogs that I try to maintain and it is way too much. I need to focus on one or two and just do them well. One of the things mentioned in the #blogchat was the need to promote oneself and others. I think it is important because blogs need readers. One way to get an audience is to frequent other blogs and engage by commenting on the posts.  This is another thing I do not do enough of. I spend way too much time cruising twitter and other things, not to mention just living life, to participate in the blogging community. Here is where I need to set some time for myself to engage. I think it is important and I value the engagement, so I need to do it! Finally, links are important to promote, share, and engage as well. Sharing links with your audience is engaging and helps them to discover new content. I also think that linking to your own blog is important, just don’t over do it. So this is just a short posting to share some insights I obtained from the #blogchat. If you haven’t participated in the chat, they take place on Sunday nights. Be sure to check them out and you will get some great ideas. I hope to be using this blog much more in the future as I have struggled to keep pace with my posting schedule. Leave a comment for me with ideas, advice, or feedback.

Thanks.

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