Reports of this blog’s death are exaggerated!

A friend told me today that this blog just came up on his list of dead blogs.

It’s not dead.

I swear!

It’s hibernating while I finish my book. Personal Connections in the Digital Age is now less than THREE WEEKS from going to press and it is sucking up all the writing energy I have (though mostly it’s tedious microediting at this point).


p.s. if you want to see what was sucking up my time all summer, here are pictures from my adventures in Australia.

Sneak preview:

Update: Ok, the book is done and I’m still a very inactive blogger. Sorry about that.

CD Baby Podcast Interview

CD Baby have posted a half hour DIY Musician Podcast interview with me. It was a good interview and is available for streaming or download. Here’s their blurb:

Artists and musicians spend a lot of time communicating with their fan community, whether it be social networks, email, or just the music itself. With some much thought and energy going into fan communication, it funny how little time is actually spend considering the fan’s perspective. In this episodes, we hear from Nancy Baym, an Associate Professor in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. She is an award-winning teacher on topics including the use of new communication technologies in creating identities, relationships and communities, interpersonal communication, and qualitative research methods. She has spent years studying online fandom to understand what communities like music fans a re really looking for. It might not be exactly what you think.

Sorry I’ve been back to being a slow blogger. Don’t expect any upticks soon as I’m desperately trying to finish a book draft before leaving for summer travels and I’ll be spending the summer bouncing from Europe where I’ll be doing some talks and a PhD course in Denmark to Australia where I’ll be mentoring at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Program in Brisbane followed by driving up the eastern coast in a campervan with my two excellent sons. Blogging’s not likely to be on my mind much.

An Online Fandom Contest!

Come on Folks! I know you’re out there! I know you have stories! Last chance to share them! Don’t be shy!

WornFree is  a t-shirt company with at least one employee who loves this blog. She’s gonna put her t-shirts where her mouth is, or something like that, and give the shirt of your choice to two of you.

WornFree finds late 1960s and 1970s pictures of cool people in rock and roll wearing cool t-shirts, searches down and licenses the rights to those images, and reproduces the shirts.

Normally I wouldn’t do something like this. I like to keep this blog an advertisement/Press Release free zone. But they sent me one even after I told them I wouldn’t write about them just because they sent me a free shirt and I like it enough that I decided it wasn’t for me to turn down a couple of freebies on your behalf. Call me a sellout. Murketing in action.

Also, they must be cool because they included Lester Bangs and in the pricey indie hipster shop in downtown Lawrence, they’ve got three whole shelves of them on display.

So here’s the deal. During the next two weeks, in the comments (or via email if you’re shy), tell us your favorite story involving fans and the internet. I don’t care what kind of fans, I don’t care what kind of internet. tell stories that make us laugh, say “wow,” feel inspired, learn something, demonstrate how NEVER to do things, or otherwise move us.

I’ll pick my two favorites (if there’s only two entries, that’ll be easy!) and get them and WornFree together.

Spring Classes!

I’ve finished up the syllabi for the two classes I’m teaching this semester.

I’m teaching an undergraduate course called Communication On The Internet. The sections of the course outline correspond to the chapters of my book Personal Connections In A Digital Age, which I hope will see the light of day around this time next year.

I also teach a graduate course on Qualitative Research Methods in Communication Studies, which includes some material on qualitative research and the internet, including, of course, the book Annette Markham and I just co-edited on the topic.

I hope they’re useful for some of you.

The Risks and Advantages of Social Network Sites

I was recently a guest on Kansas City current affairs show Up to Date on Kansas City NPR affiliate, KCUR. My co-guest was Michael Zimmer of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who is an expert on issues of ethics, privacy and the web. Our guest-host Stephen Seligman led us through a lively and high quality discussion of social networking sites and what people ought to understand about their advantages and risks. It’s an hour long show with a call-in segment.

And, best of all, it’s available in mp3 form.