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Open Practice: Cheers & Challenges for Connected Scholarship


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Is Twitter the world's largest bathroom wall? Is the web basically a public toilet, at this point? And why does it matter that we work - sometimes - in these spaces where our traces can be seen?

Closing keynote for #INKEVictoria19, exploring the individual practice of open scholarship in the polluted and fraught public/private spaces of the open web.

Published in: Education
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Open Practice: Cheers & Challenges for Connected Scholarship

  1. 1.
  2. 2. How are we gonna shape our OWN scholarly practice to be more open?
  3. 3. My open scholarship (YMMV)
  4. 4. Common theme?
  5. 5. Open as about MORE than content…
  6. 6. …open as about CONNECTION. HUMAN-to-HUMAN
  7. 7. In institutional cultures, an individual has a role. In an open, networked culture, an individual has an identity, which it is their job to differentiate.
  8. 8. …anybody ever write on a bathroom wall?
  9. 9. The web gave us the world’s largest imaginable bathroom wall. YAY open scholarship! (welcome to my, uh, office)
  10. 10. Networks participatory networks = structure of the web
  11. 11. …what if you could engage with leaders in your field every day?
  12. 12. (blog posts, status updates, half-baked ideas, papers, data, vulnerabilities, successes…) Open = a practice of sharing
  13. 13. (share the failures too)
  14. 14. Contribution + Connection “Sometimes…I’ll choose someone with 20 followers, because I come across something they’ve managed to say in 140 characters, and I think “oh, look at you, crafting on a grain of rice.” - @KateMfD
  15. 15. So…cheers?
  16. 16. BUT. Open scholarship raises… challenges.
  17. 17. …and more challenges.
  18. 18. and other risks.
  19. 19. The public toilet metaphor = apt?
  20. 20. here’s what happened.
  21. 21. Web 2.0 peak participatory web
  22. 22. But the social contract has no teeth.
  23. 23. then in quick succession… the monetization era
  24. 24. the Attention Economy era
  25. 25. The extraction era
  26. 26. …and the weaponization era.
  27. 27. “You’re doing it wrong”
  28. 28. “The more dangerous social-web-fueled gamification of trolling is the unofficial troll/hate leader-board. The attacks on you are often less about scoring points against you than that they’re trying to out-do one another. They’re trying to out-troll, out-hate, out-awful the other trolls.” - Sierra (2014) “You do not deserve attention”
  29. 29. “You do not deserve to live” - Solon (2014)
  30. 30. So. It’s ALL a toilet. Should we just retreat to our ivory towers?
  31. 31. NOT because we’re wrong to maybe want to… “The Luddites are merely a placeholder for an idea: that opponents of technological “progress” are ridiculous, misguided, and doomed. Never mind that the Luddites were not opposed to new technology, only to the disempowering and inequitable deployment of new technology.” – Sacasas (2017)
  32. 32. But many of us can’t get IN to the tower anymore. Or never could.
  33. 33. And knowledge is no longer confined there by material scarcity..
  34. 34. So. When THEY mine data & undermine democracy… WE build open connections in a weaponized culture?
  35. 35. YIP.
  36. 36. None of the web’s challenges are new. Not the spectacle. Not the sexism. Not the racism. Not the polarization. We the citizens have made this place.
  37. 37. To build a society literate in its own participatory structures & surveillance tools, we need open, public, visible scholars.
  38. 38. Public spaces – open to all – can serve needs that no other structures in society can.
  39. 39. THANK YOU. @bonstewart