covarla: (Default)
So, I've had a busy couple of months. May saw the launch of my research survey, the end of another school year, and Anime North. The entire month of June was lost to moving out of the duplex that my sister and I have lived in with various roommates for the past four or five years, which included clearing a lot of accumulated crap out of the basement and repainting most of the walls. July's main project was finding a venue and working out the details for Chris and my wedding (in September of next year). It ended on a somewhat negative note in that unexpected car repairs kept me from making it to Otakon.

This month's goal is to bust my butt getting ready for the next school year and working on my dissertation. Thankfully my only 'class' this coming semester is an independent reading session with my advisor focusing on theory for my dissertation and preparing grant applications. In that vein, I've posted an early 3-month update on my survey with a small sample of the data that I grabbed from the first 300 or so respondents and posted it on [community profile] fromtheether.
covarla: (Default)
Posted an update on the survey so far over at [community profile] fromtheether, with a limited analysis of the statistics for the first hundred respondents.
covarla: (Default)
Hello! I’m currently doing research on fandom and fan conventions for my doctoral dissertation in Cultural Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Specifically, I’m looking at the relationship between fandom participation and convention attendance and the ways that fan culture manifests online versus in-person.

Phase 1 of my research involves a survey of all kinds of adult fans (whether or not you currently attend fan conventions). I would like as many people to complete as possible so that I can gain a statistical overview of Fandom and preference for fan conventions. The survey is located at and should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes to complete. I am posting this to several places, so I apologize if you see this more than once. If you know of a community that I should post it in please contact me here or feel free to repost.

Thank you for your time!
covarla: (Default)
So, my search for permanent employment continues. Have now had three job interviews... The last one was this morning at People Inc with people I worked with before, so I'm hoping I have somewhat of a better chance at getting that job. Will see. Forgot to ask when I should expect to hear back about the job... Oh well. It's been nice having some time off, as the last time I think I had more than a weekend off was maybe last summer, but I'm ready to do something again and would very much like a paycheck...

Still plugging along on the website I've been renovating. Should have it done in another few weeks, I hope.

I've also been slowly poking at my dissertation research. In an effort to digitize and collect my notes, thoughts, etc, I've revamped and renamed the old covarlaabroad community I had into From the Ether: On Fandom and Anthropology. The community is set up on both Livejournal From the Ether and Dreamwidth [community profile] fromtheether. My intention is to post field notes, papers, book reviews, links of interest, and general thoughts/discussion as I work my way through my dissertation. Hopefully blogging about it will help me to get into a routine of doing something with my research every few days... One can hope.

Started dating again. Actually been on a couple dates with a guy named Bill (not the one most of you know) for the last two weeks. Went to the Allentown Art Festival for the first time with him on Sunday. There were a lot of nice displays there, though I could have done without the crowd.
covarla: (Default)
So, I randomly got an IM today from the Yahoo screen name "mediansalmon" which started off with "I don't believe your lies." So, not understanding the context for this my response was "?" After a second the other person responded not with an explanation, as one would expect if it was someone I know (and really most of my friends are weird enough that "I don't believe you lies" could be a response to anything from a livejournal entry to a facebook or twitter status), but instead the person also responded with a "?".

At this point I have to wonder if I've been hit with a spam bot or something so I check the user info, which doesn't have anything. I google the screen name. What I find is that I've just become the newest client/victim/target of Project Upstream. Apparently a computer program gathers screen names from Livejournal updates, Twitter, Facebook, etc and connects two people randomly. The screenname of the computer is randomly generated lately with fish (salmon in my case) in the name. Each person thinks that the other IMed them first, which tends to lead to some irate conversations.

Now, I can see where this could really annoy some people, but I kinda find the concept itself rather intriguing. There's nothing malicious in it, just a project to randomly connect two people who may or may not have anything in common. Yeah, most of the time it's just going to be meaningless conversations and people yelling at each other to argue about who IMed who first, but the potential is there for spontaneous friendships to be created. And that, I find as kinda neat.

There's a livejournal community dedicated to the phenomenon - themissing hat and there's also a webpage for Project Upstream where you can request a "robotic fish connection".

August 2010

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