C&W2010 and the new CCCOnline (I always miss the “interesting” sessions)

Generally, I attend my department’s once a month or so faculty meetings, and generally speaking, they are kind of boring.  But when I miss a meeting, something inevitably contentious and/or otherwise interesting happens.  So it was at this year’s Computers and Writing Conference, or so it would appear.

Since I presented twice and back-to-back on Saturday afternoon (and I’ll have more about that and the rest of the C&W experience later), I decided to have a little “quiet time” before the “hog roast,” which was good but not really involving a “hog” on a spit as I was expecting. But I digress. Anyway, while I was hanging around my room and lazily looking through the twitter feed that was going on during the “featured deliverator” sessions, I noticed that things were heating up in the feed during Bump Halbritter’s “Exploring the Constellations of the New CCC Online.” Here are some of the tweets that peaked my interest (which I found via the “Twapper Keeper” for the conference):

@mday666 I’m excited, but wonder how it will be different from previous efforts at NCTE, and current journals like Kairos & C+C Online.

@rrodrigo @mday666 I’m thinking that’s one of the major ones, please prove me wrong!

@preterite disagree somewhat with Bump’s contention that CCCO 1.0 was just archiving: C. & D.’s indexing functions did much, much more.

@trauman @rrodrigo Not sure the comparison’s necessary. I’m just thinking context and a capacious history.

@mday666 @rrodrigo I’m not disagreeing; just want to see it to believe it. It would be great!

@kristinarola man, there’s a backstory here i do not know clearly…. watching 1/2 the people get it, and 1/2 the people not.

@selfe3 #cw2010 Bump’s Talk: ball, concerns about animosity between CCCC and C&W. How to bridge that? How to understand this will be sustainable.

@mday666 Cheryl asks how we can erase some of the issues we’ve had in the past, with mistrust between NCTE/CCCC and the C & W community.

@dcfitzg Some intense emotions swirling around ccc online intro and cfp

@thatcarlygirl @varhodes @kristinarola Not getting it either… But boy the mood sure shifted in here! Must hear backstory.

@warnick Maybe we can invite Dr. Phil to next year’s conference. He might be able to help us hug it out.

@preterite yet again, Derek asks the right question

@kristinarola this conversation would be way more interesting if i knew what was going on. veiled conversations by those in power. la lala. la.la.

@CNBlank As a newbie to the party, I’m not sure what to make of all of this. Civil but tense seems to be the mood.

If you’re not getting it from the Twitter feed, there was basically a very “frank” conversation about this new version of CCCOnline, especially given the ways in which this project has been less than successful in the past. As I understand it, my experience with the CCCs Online and being “disappeared” was invoked in the discussion,too. Go figure. In any event, for those who are curious and who are interested in at least a (small) part of the back story from my point of view:

Of course, there is a rich irony in the revised and re-published version of this article: it came about in part because version 1.0 of “Where Do I List This on My CV?” disappeared from College Composition and Communication Online, sometime in 2004 or 2005. This disappearance was something that I discovered (I believe as the result of an email inquiry from an interested reader); I was not informed about it by CCC or NCTE. The link for my article was http://www.ncte.org/ccc/www/2/54.1/krause.html. Essentially, one day the article was available at the site (and here, I’ve linked to the web archive version of the article), and then one day it was not.

I later learned that my article and presumably others that were published in this short-lived version of CCC Online fell through the cracks as the result of a change in editors and direction of the online version of CCC. I’m pleased to report that version 1.0 of the article is once again available via CCC Online at http://inventio.us/ccc/digital/krause/index.html. (actually, that link doesn’t work either)  Still, a Google search for the article is likely to turn up the old NCTE link or my own self-published version. This strikes me as problematic; after all, this was an article that was discussed online and has been cited in others’ scholarship. This was something I did indeed list on my CV; fortunately, I did not have to explain the absence of this article to my department’s tenure and promotion committee.

As I mentioned, I wasn’t at this CCConline session; that said, I think that there’s a lot of reasons why there was a “noticeable tension” in the room among folks who share my reservations about the ways that the NCTE and the CCCCs have mishandled this in the past.

But I want to be clear here:  I know this is not Bump’s fault, and we shouldn’t blame him. I know Bump is a good guy who will give this new version of the CCC Online his very best effort.  I talked with him quite a bit about this stuff Friday night, and I know that he is both personally and professionally invested in the success of this new venture.  I for one welcome as many different venues for publishing work viable to the computers and writing community as possible, and I think I’ve got a pretty good idea for a proposal to send to Bump yet this summer.

However, Bump has a tough job in front of him, both with “the community” and with NCTE.  I don’t envy his job, that is for sure.

Oh, and PS:  one of the things that came up via the Twitter feed was the “value” of a journal like Kairos in terms of tenure and promotion:  that is, is it “worth it” to publish in Kairos, or would it be more “worth it” to publish in something like an NCTE sanctioned CCCOnline?  I think all questions about tenure and promotion are local.  However, my experience with Kairos has been quite positive.  My most cited article was published in Kairos, “When Blogging Goes Bad.” It even ended up being included in T.R. Johnson’s anthology Teaching Composition:  Background Readings, which I think probably would count as “real scholarship” in just about any tenure and promotion case.

On the other hand, the one article I had published by the (arguably) more prestigious CCCOnline disappeared.

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