Talking, Writing, Publishing

Some August miscellany

I’ve been busy dealing with administrative preparations for the start of the fall term, and finishing up a couple of summer projects. I have a bunch of blogmatter in the hopper, but in the meantime, here’s a few recent bits and pieces of mine that you can find elsewhere: I was on last week’s Playable Character podcast, talking about Cow… read more

Digital Printing Won’t Save Scholarly Publishing

...but a few successful books might

Via my colleague Mark Guzdial, I’ve just learned that Rice University Press is being shut down entirely. It’s unfortunate to see a university press shuttered, but it comes as no surprise that some will fall given the perfect storm of a terrible current economic climate in both universities and in the book industry. But Rice UP is unique because it… read more

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Persuasive Games

The game studio I co-founded. We make games about social and political issues.

Persuasive Games designs, builds, and distributes videogames for persuasion, instruction, and activism I do professional game development and game design consulting at Persuasive Games. I co-founded the studio in 2003 with Gerard LaFond. Persuasive Games created the first official US Presidential Election game for Howard Dean in 2003. Since then, we’ve created games for political campaigns, advertisers, educators, and corporations,… read more

Principles for University Presses

My Twitter microrant sideline during the AAUP 2013 plenary

The annual American Association of University Publishers meeting is going on this week. This morning, a plenary was held on “Three Big Ideas in Publishing.” I wasn’t in attendance, but the conference has a thriving Twitter backchannel on #aaup13. I have very strong feelings about university presses, partly because I’ve been so fortunate at their hands, and partly because there’s… read more

Object Lessons is coming…

A teaser for a new project

I’ve been working for months on a new writing and publishing project that continues and extends my interest in thinking and writing about things. Here’s a teaser: objectsobjectsobjects.com. Want more info? Wait for the official announcement and full website, or just ask!

Work With Me on Tinkering Platforms

I need undergrads interested in electronics looking for summer work

Under the aegis of the Georgia Tech branch of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing, my PhD student Tom Jenkins and I have spent the year thinking about and making what we call “tinkering platforms”—those simple hardware prototyping systems like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and so forth. Our gripe about these systems is that they are too expensive,… read more

Open, New, Experimental, Aspirational

The rhetoric of "The Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age"

The Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age is a new document authored and signed by twelve scholars, technologists, and entrepreneurs including Duke professor and author Cathy Davidson, organizational technologist John Seely Brown, and Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun. It’s been making the rounds among those of us interested in such topics, also receiving coverage at The… read more

Opener Than Thou

On MOOCs and Openness

In his keynote at the recent Educase conference, Internet zealot Clay Shirky made the case that MOOCs are not provocative because they are massive, but because they are open—except they are not really that open. So, I’m no big fan of Shirky’s fanatical obsession with Internet openness, but he’s right in this case. Still, it’s worth pointing out that there’s… read more

Openwashing

On MLA Job Leaks

Today the Chronicle of Higher Education reports on MLA Job Leaks, an unauthorized, “rogue” website that is republishing the Modern Language Association (MLA) Job Information List (JIL). Currently university departments have to pay to list jobs, and job seekers have to be members of the MLA or the related Association of Departments of English (ADE) or the Association of Departments… read more

Making Books

It's not the same as writing books

Back when his book The Textual Life of Airports was published in December, Christopher Schaberg reported what most authors do: seeing his book for the first time. “What a weird feeling,” Chris wrote. “It resembles an object from outer space. Vaguely recognizable, yet totally alien at the same time.” This is the experience of most authors. We say we “write… read more