August 27th, 2010
Ask ten people to pick a modifier for “connection” and at least one will say “dropped.” In this case, it’s my fault. A blog post I did way back in June, one calling for an open access online journal here at CUNY, most likely focused on the scholarship of teaching with technology, got a good discussion on “starting an online journal” going in the group with the unwieldy but apt name Open Access Publishing Network @ CUNY (OaPN @ CUNY).
And then I dropped the ball. The fact is, after having over a dozen people of just the right sort say they were willing to play a part, I realized we were all well into the Great Summer Diaspora. Trying to get people together on next steps then just wasn’t practicable.
So much of the discussion, too, had been about things we need to talk further about. People had, for instance, raised the issue of differentiating the proposed journal from extant instantiations like JOSOTL and IJOSTL and especially JOTL. There were also similar enterprises underway locally, notably the launching of an open access journal for the Graduate Center’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program — to wit, the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.
There was also the more basic stuff to discuss — what roles willing participants would have exactly, what the journal would be called, where it would be housed, how it would be supported, how matters of design and layout would be handled, how submissions would be solicited and reviewed, and so on. These necessarily need to stand as open questions until key players come to key decisions.
So let’s get the key players together and talk. I think the next step is face-to-face discussion, with all the possibility of interruption, redirection, and productive cacophony that allows.
I realize there’s something ironic about needing a face-to-face meeting to clinch matters raised in an online discussion about an online journal, but we presumably all understand why. Two summers ago, listening to a Gartner executive, I heard a particularly compelling way of explaining why face-to-face communication is so important; the guy from Gartner was comparing F2F to different levels of communication — email, phone calls, teleconferences, virtual worlds, etc. — and noted that the difference was escalating bandwidth, with maximum bandwidth being the one fully immersive environment: being there (not telepresence but full presence).
So we can try that. I just got the news of a cancellation of something that would take up most of a day two weeks from now. So I can offer up a whole day: September 2nd. It’s not too far off, but not right upon us either. I’ve set up a Doodle poll for all the times I can reasonably suppose people might show up for. If you are interested in participating (you needn’t have declared yourself earlier), pleased go there and identify your preferences and/or availability (or leave a comment if you can’t make that date but still want to participate and be kept in the loop). Once I have some sense of the best time, I’ll secure a place to meet, probably at the Grad Center, certainly in Manhattan. I’ll also use the discussion forum in the OaPN @ CUNY group to announce the poll as well, and to give updates.
I hope you agree that a collaborative effort to mount an online journal for CUNY is an exciting prospect, and that a meeting on it is worth making. So I hope to see those who are interested face to face — or F2F, as they say — availing ourselves of maximum bandwidth. (I realize that’s a back formation, like our habit of calling certain guitars “acoustic guitars” when, before the advent of electric guitars, they were just guitars. When I described F2F to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Alexandra Logue ( @alogue ) as “maximum bandwidth,” she, a behaviorist, said, “You mean maximum exposure to stimulation.” Exactly.)