fredag, april 14, 2006

Let the academic games begin!

Yes, dear readers, it's time to begin the second run of that all-time favorite, 'kimananda whinges about her current school project'. I'd tell you about it, but then I'd have to kill you. Or rather, I'd tell you about it, but then I'd have to clearly define what exactly it is that I'm doing. Which wouldn't actually be a bad idea.

If I had to define what I'm doing - and of course I do have to do exactly that - I would start with some keywords (or in some cases keyphrases). Blogs. User-based Tagging. Power laws and the long tail. Bias and exclusivity in internet searching. Testing for bias, and what constitutes inclusivity. Pretty scattered, I know.

Then, I'd try to come up with a concise research question to be answered in my project (as the maximum length is about 25 pages/9,500 words, including references, one nicely focused question is more than enough). I have two questions actually, but I believe that they are connected...and if I change my mind, then I can always drop one of them, and focus more on the other. The first is does tagging on largely text-based media like blogs actually give substantive value-added over best-match free text searching (like the 'search' function which Blogger offers)? The second is to what extent does tagging give the possibility for full inclusivity, as some proponents claim?

Finally, I'd stop blogging and continue writing. My goal for the day is to turn my close to a thousand words of notes into the beginnings of a recognizable piece of academic writing, which should lead to some semblance of a very rough draft by the end of the long Easter weekend. Wish me great quantities of luck, as I'll most certainly need it. If I'm able to reach my goal, then I may also be able to better explain what the project is about, which would be a very useful thing to be able to do.

Photos: the coolest of the libraries I go to, as seen from a well-placed seat on the upper floor. Looking into the library offers a view of spacious shelves. Looking out of the window offers a tranquil lake-side view.

22 kommentarer:

al-Ferengi sagde ...

Good luck, you're further ahead than I am. But then I pencilled two pages and finished a comission, and I was hanging with my friends. Those are part of life goals too.

But the 24th of May is nigh, I should focus on the academic goal too...

Devil Mood sagde ...

I have a lot of trouble starting things like that. I like to plan, plan, plan but's hard to begin. It sounds interesting!
I'm also working for my seminar on blogging, but in a more psychological viewpoint. In fact, I have to work right now...see you and tons of good luck!

Daphnewood sagde ...

That does look like a very cool library. Your research on the other hand, well let's just say that it is better that you are doing it. I would make a truly muddled mess of that project. Although there is comfort in exact data. Is trackback used? yes or no, never maybe. My brief paper of my undergraduate career had to do with gender differences in competition (National Spelling Bee)that always seemed a bit unmeasurable to my mind. Good luck with it all! And Happy Easter if I do not talk to you before then :)

Sangroncito sagde ...

Do you have to write this project in Danish?

I've been reading about Danish and how difficult the pronunciation is.....

Maddy sagde ...


love the tranquil lake...


Viamarie sagde ...

Beautiful view of the lake. Do you stay here? I always dreamt of staying in a place with a lake. Nice place to meditate.

Have a nice weekend!

erin sagde ...

I had to do a project on tagging and the long tail last semester, but yours sounds a little more complicated than mine. Good luck. :)

Neil sagde ...

You blog and you write academic papers about blogs? How do we know you're not using us a guinea pigs in your research?

kimananda sagde ...

Ms. Black Scorpio, a.k.a. Ms. Alaswad, I wouldn't be so sure you're not ahead. Keep in mind that I still don't know exactly what my topic is, which is turning out to be a bit of a stumbling block.

Ms. Mood, I know exactly what you mean. The planning is the fun part.

Daphnewood, there's no exact data in what I'm doing. And definitely no comfort, yet. It's more of a conceptual paper at the moment. And happy Easter to you, too!

Sangroncito, nope, I'm in a program offered in English. Luckily, as my academic Danish would not be good enough. As for Danish pronunciation being so difficult, I'm not convinced. Danish has a lot of strange vowel sounds, and a soft 'd', and a bit of a glottal stop fetish (at least in the 'københavnske dialekt')...but what makes it most difficult is not any of this, but that the orthography isn't super regular. But, that can be said about English as well. I could go on (and on...and on...and maybe I will someday) about what really makes Danish difficult, and it's not the pronunciation, in my opinion.

Maddy, uh, I perhaps should have added...'for the next few hours'? ;-)

Viamaria, welcome! I do live near this lake...but I must say, to call it a lake is glorifying it a bit. This area of Denmark has lots of tiny bodies of water that look so peaceful, if you look directly at them, but if you then turn your head slightly, you find yourself staring at a busy motorway or something.

Erin, I'd ask if I could see your paper, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it? Hey, actually, it wouldn' would be serious academic research. Could I see your paper? I'm having a serious hard time trying to define tagging in a clear way. Why I choose these topics that are far too technical for my background, I have no idea.

Neil, I would never do such a thing...or if I did, I'd warn you first so that you'd have a few minutes to check that your tie was on straight, and your hair wasn't sticking out or anything.

Simple American sagde ...

Good luck there. Have a great place to procrastinate. The libray is very homey and the view is dreamy.

I'm certain you will reach your goals. Don't fret.

Happy Easter to you and Thor.

Morose sagde ...

i can't do academic papaers anymore. after doing papers on the precession of simulacra in The Crying of Lot 49 and countless papers on how The Canterbury Tales were just a big critique of the upper classes, i had to step away from that kind of thing (oh, and the one on hannibal lecter as mythic hero, which was sadly lost due to a hard-drive failure shortly after it was turned in) and now Chibithulhu is about as academic as I get

HB sagde ...

Lykke til! Man må bare TVINGE seg i gang. Et nydelig bibliotek, forresten! Vi var i Køben i fjor, og da var vi to ganger på Den sorte diamant. Samboeren min forlanger at vi ser minst et bibliotek når vi besøker et nytt sted. Det er en morsom form for sightseeing:-)

Etchen sagde ...

How cool to have a lake right next door to it--it seems very serene. Great looking library. Happy Easter!

LeighAnn sagde ...

Throwing luck your way!

It is wonderous how beautiful it is over there.

I wouldn't be able to get any work done. I would be staring out the window all day!

marybishop sagde ...

Write your article because I have no idea about half the things you mentioned...I need to learn.

Your topic sounds like a challenge, but I'm sure you are up to it.


Jack's Shack sagde ...

That is a nice view.

Sangroncito sagde ...

Irregular orthography is a problem in Portuguese too (the "s" sound can be written as s, ss, c, ç, etc.) A post on Danish would be interesting....

gugon sagde ...

Sounds like it might be an interesting topic. I'll have to check back on this - assuming you plan to post what you write.

I don't have much idea what you are talking about, to be honest, but that makes it all the more interesting.

True Blue Guy sagde ...

Lovely lake - this seems to be a place that one would go to achieve tranquility.

Please don't stop blogging :( and wish you a very happy easter


kimananda sagde ...

Mr. American, thanks for the kind words. And, happy second Easter day (also a holiday here).

Morose, I'm beginning to think I can't do academic papers either. Especially not in literature...all my post-undergrad stuff has been in the social sciences. I suspect that if I tried to write about literature, I'd be very distressed about not having references for every sentence I utter.

HB, tak! Problemet er, at det er så svært at tvinge mig selv. Jeg er simpelthen så forkælet. Og med den sorte diamante...du har en dejlig samboer...biblioteker er meget fede! Hvordan er diamanten indenfor?

Etchen, it is quite peaceful. I must say it isn't my main library because the one in central Copenhagen has a better selection, but in terms of study atmosphere, it's the best.

Leighann, I know what you mean...I had great fun trying unsuccessfully to take photos of the birds instead of working. But I got some work done, too.

Mary, yep, I don't know much about what I've mentioned either. I'll be writing the paper to find out about it!

Jack, it is. Denmark is filled with this kind of 'micro-beauty'.

Sangroncito, you are absolutely right, but I'm thinking more in terms of reading rather than writing. In PT, there are different options for some sounds, but when you see a word written down that you didn't know before, you already know exactly how it's pronounced, in my experience anyway. It's much more difficult with DK. There are no steady rules about which syllable is stressed (as opposed to PT, or I should say European PT as Brazilian PT is more stress-timed, but I believe it works in a similar way, where it's the penultimate or accented syllable), most vowel letters take on a variety of different vowel sounds in different words, and there are a number of vowel/consonant combinations that have 2 or more distinct possible pronunciations. And don't get me started on the silent letters! It's getting easier and easier for me as I begin to learn patterns, etc...but I still get bewildered stares when I give what I think is the 'logical' pronunciation of words that I've learned by reading them.

Gugon, I don't know what I'm talking about either, but hope to learn by writing. This is my usual way, and might explain at least some of the stress that I have when actually doing a project. And, thanks for visiting!

Blue, thank you for your concern...but I like blogging too much to stop it. And Happy Easter (well second Easter now) to you, too. I'm not a normal Easter celebrator (wrong religion), but seeing as I'm going to my third Easter weekend event today (making this a weekend of eating), I should probably just embrace it as my own, at least for this year.

Jack P Toerson sagde ...

I was working on something a little similar, well not really working - more a kind of late night attempt to avoid going mad. I'm no programmer but I like to tinker, if only using technology innapropriately. I'm a luddite working on what I've picked up by hearsay.

I was using hash tables to reference other hash tables by creating my own delimited namespace as the key. I wrote it in Perl and it was a simple:

$hash{KEY} = (key, key2, ...)

What I did was to concatenate the key with a rank and colour (turned it into a name space with periods :-) :


I decided that I would have colour coded meta domains.

The reason I used hashes rather than a bespoke data structure is that a) keys can be manipulated (they already have to be to split the meta data from the key name), b) they're pretty fast if kept below a certain size, c) they're cross platform.

The way this works in operation (pseudocode follows) is:

tag = input;

taglist = keys of hash;

results = search taglist for tag;

for each result
current_tag = split_tag (current_result);
metadata = split_metadata (current_result);

Do stuff with current_tag and metadata here (for instance create a new set/hash of results for further processing, by colour and/or weight, or key list referenced by the hash's key)


kimananda sagde ...

'I'm a luddite working on what I've picked up by hearsay.'

That's a great quote. As for the rest, well, I'm not a Luddite, but I am also not overly proficient in that type of thing, aside from tweaking my blog template when the mood strikes. It looks interesting, but I'll have to come back and read this again when I have the brains left to make sense of it.