publication copyright and reprinting consent

- kudos:

Ben has been one of my best students over the past 5.5 years. He was a non-traditional student who flunked out of UK decades ago, went on to be a successful small business owner elsewhere in the country, and then leapt at the chance to come back to UK through an online degree completion program. As part of that program, he took one of the classes I was teaching at the time, which counted toward general education credit.

frustration with institutional research analytics

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Over the summer, I blogged about some concern that I had about a new research portal that my employer had just rolled out. Based on the gentle nudges to update our profiles we’ve been receiving since the platform’s launch, I’m guessing that faculty have not been as keen on the platform as the university is. One of those nudges came this week, and in the spirit of good faith cooperation, I spent some time going through the platform and updating my profile.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Major critic of X sues after being banned from platform | Ars Technica'

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The headline obscures something important—that this is about research, access to data, and Terms of Service. Worrying stuff. link to “Major critic of X sues after being banned from platform | Ars Technica”

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I have thought for years about the way that Twitter research (in the aggregate) serves as a largely unintentional history of Twitter, but I’ve never thought to wonder what that specifically looks like right now.

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Thanks to a combination of personal hubris and inconvenient coincidences, this week involves 4 presentations at 2 conferences, catching up on 3 weeks of grading, and writing P&T letters for 4 colleagues. Hooray for free wifi on my flights.

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My Mormon Studies research will probably never get the citations that my edtech work has, but it’s neat how much more layperson and media interest it generates. That said, I hope late-night weekend presentations stay rare because I’m very tired this morning.

- kudos:

I’m becoming more and more skeptical of “improve teaching and learning” as a motivation for education (and especially edtech) research—it’s a noble goal, but it distracts us from so many other important questions.

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I think academia undervalues teaching and that teaching-focused faculty deserve more status, recognition, and compensation. Yet, I’m still suspicious of the new BYU-Idaho president’s comments on the need for “a faculty free of the obligations of research.”

upcoming research talk on DezNat for Bainbridge Latter-day Saint fireside series

- kudos:

A couple of months ago, Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned the work that Amy Chapman and I have been doing on the far-right-influenced DezNat movement. Shortly after Peggy’s article was published, someone who coordinates an unofficial series of Latter-day Saint-related firesides reached out to us about speaking to their group about our research on the DezNat movement. Before accepting, we made it clear that our work isn’t devotional, neither of us are practicing Latter-day Saints, and our work could be understood as critical of cultural and institutional Mormonism; however, the fireside organizers said that they were used to getting into controversial topics related to Mormonism and that our work was welcome with them.

📝 writeblog: spent 1:14:04 on 'publish Mormon conservatism on Gab study'

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Soooo very close to being done here, but need to take care of something else.

📝 writeblog: spent 1:43:34 on 'publish Mormon conservatism on Gab study'

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It’s a work weekend, and these posts need coding. Nearly finished with these, but now it’s time to wind down for the day.

📝 writeblog: spent 1:38:11 on 'publish data ethics in educational technology chapter'

- kudos:

Family is out of town this weekend, so I’m catching up with work, including going over the proofs for this long-in-the-making chapter.

- kudos:

Another set of proofs, another set of complaints about a copyeditor making changes to my writing in ways that distort my meaning. If I get grumpy about a human doing my writing for me, why would I ever want generative AI to do it?

📝 writeblog: spent 0:56:02 on 'publish UNHCR Instagram study'

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I’ve recently been supporting a grad student with this study of messaging strategies on the UNHCR’s Instagram account. We’re meeting later this week, so I needed to get some coding done!

📝 writeblog: spent 1:16:16 on 'publish Mormon conservatism on Gab study'

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I need to present on this in about a month at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, so it’s time to hussle! I spent some time coding Gab posts according to a codebook I put together last week.

- kudos:

Another paper, another fight with copyeditors about not capitalizing danah boyd’s name.

- kudos:

Journal copyeditors are great when they fix things, but when they break my sentences and don’t ask questions about “[information removed for blinding]”, I wonder what the point is.

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Journal copyeditor changed a bunch of first-person language in our abstract to third-person “the authors,” and I am peeved.

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Every copyright transfer I sign destroys another part of my soul.

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College conversation about investment in GPT-type tech to support research is continuing. I think it’s… fitting that the survey being circulated is clearly using Qualtrics’s auto-suggested Likert responses—and that the responses aren’t quite right for the questions being asked.

- kudos:

I firmly believe that research is a process of argument—and that statistics are, therefore, a rhetorical device.

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I’ve been struggling with putting together a particular document for over a week. It’s like I’ve entirely forgotten how to do academic writing—something I usually feel pretty confident about.

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My college is floating the idea of investing in GPT-type technology to help researchers code text data. This reminds me of my longtime belief that the distinction between “qual” and “quant” is often less important than the distinction between different research paradigms.

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It’s four hours into my workday, so I guess it’s time to start doing that writing I blocked the whole day off for. 🙃

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Use of AI Is Seeping Into Academic Journals—and It’s Proving Difficult to Detect | WIRED'

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Good article on a worrying trend. It’s things like this that make me skeptical of arguments that generative AI could have real benefit when used properly. It’s not that I disagree—it’s that in the aggregate, I’m not sure the proper uses will outweigh the problems. link to ‘Use of AI Is Seeping Into Academic Journals—and It’s Proving Difficult to Detect | WIRED’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Academic Book About Emojis Can’t Include The Emojis It Talks About Because Of Copyright | Techdirt'

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This is dumb. Copyright is important, but this example shows how much we’ve made it overreach. link to ‘Academic Book About Emojis Can’t Include The Emojis It Talks About Because Of Copyright | Techdirt’

📝 writeblog: spent 1:09:29 on 'publish scraping library online presence study'

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This project is in its early stages, so I spent some time brushing up on relevant literature.

new publication: Anti-LGBTQ+ discourses in LGBTQ+-affirming spaces on Gab Social

- kudos:

Late last year, I announced the publication of a study I participated in with Dr. Evan Brody and UK PhD student Mehroz Sajjad where we examined LGBTQ+-friendly spaces on the Gab social media platform. Although that was the main focus of our research project, we also found as we were completing it that there were a number of LGBTQ+-friendly spaces that had been overrun by queerphobic activity and discourses. I’m happy to announce that our second paper, focusing on those specific spaces, has just been published in the Journal of Homosexuality.

quoted in Salt Lake Tribune article on DezNat movement

- kudos:

This past weekend, Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about the #DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, which takes cues from far-right and anti-feminist online communities. In her article, Peggy was kind enough to reference (and quote from) my new publication with Amy Chapman in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association, which presents the (partial) results of a qualitative analysis of over 1,400 DezNat tweets from 2019.

📝 writeblog: spent 0:55:02 on 'publish ClassDojo and conflation of ed tech platforms study'

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Trying to get back into writeblogging—and, well, just writing, since it was a very family-focused summer. We recently got reviewer feedback on this manuscript, and so I met with co-authors today to discuss our approach to revisions.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Twitter Threatens to Sue Center for Countering Digital Hate Over Research - The New York Times'

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This is ridiculous. link to ‘Twitter Threatens to Sue Center for Countering Digital Hate Over Research - The New York Times’

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It annoys me when a journal asks a reviewer to address specific prompts; it annoys me more when I only realize this after writing my review.

appearance on Dialogue Out Loud podcast

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One of my most recent articles—a piece on technology, naming, and legitimacy in the Latter-day Saint tradition—was published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Publishing in Dialogue has been a wonderful opportunity. It’s a niche journal, so it may never reach the breadth of audience that I usually aim for in publishing. However, that niche focus has also come with a number of benefits. I want to write more about this soon, but the purpose of this post is just to draw attention to one of these benefits: the in-house podcast(s) produced by the Dialogue team.

new publication: far-right and anti-feminist influences on a Mormon Twitter hashtag

- kudos:

I am very happy to announce that a paper I wrote with Amy Chapman is finally published and available open access in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association (I have also archived a PDF of the article on my website, available at this link). Amy and I began this project in the spring/summer of 2019, so it’s a relief to finally see our first paper in print. In short, the paper is a descriptive look at tweets using the #DezNat hashtag; DezNat, short for either Deseret Nation or Deseret Nationalism (depending on who you ask) is a movement of arch-conservative Mormons on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.