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Ethan Watrall
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PPJ stickers are due to be delivered to MATRIX today.  Tomorrow, when I'm in my MATRIX office, I'll send transship them to you guys

As promised, we've launched (re-lauched?) the refreshed design for the PPJ site (refreshed design because its not a completely new design).  You'll notice a couple of things.  

(1) layout has been fiddled with so that we 've got a smaller, sleeker nav bar at the top

(2) the "above the fold" section is filled with major posts (with large imagery)

(3) below the "above the fold section" we've got three columns: about the project, recent updates, and tweets

(4) Navigation/Information architecture has been streamlined

(5) a new website submission form has been created

When you post to the site, you can choose if the post goes to the "above the fold" seciton or the "Recent Posts" column.  The "above the fold" posts require a large image.

You'll notice that Dan (the designer) arbitrarily chose a couple of posts (and then located some relevant (ish) images to go with them.  You should feel free to change those if you want (move more to the "above the fold" section, change the images, etc).  

Some things that I need feedback on:

(1) Are there any egregious mistakes I made with the streamlined nav (should anything be changed, etc).  

(2) is the web resource submission form good?  Do fields need to change?  Do we need to call that something other than "submission form."

(3) are there any other glaring issues

We can make small tweaks, but I don't want to do anything hugely major right now (because we need to focus our efforts on the actual project)

At this point, you should feel free to start posing stuff to the main project site.  Remember, however, that people need to do posts, not create pages (which adds to the nav bar).  


Update on the refreshed design.  Dan (our designer) says he can get things done next Monday or Tuesday.  This not only includes the design changes, but also the more robust link/source submission system.  I'm also working with him to clean up the information architecture (which was getting a little top heavy)

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Announcing the Michigan State University Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool

Taking place from May 27th to July 3rd on the campus of Michigan State University and offered by the Department of Anthropology, the 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Fieldschool introduces students to the tools and methods required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is a unique experience in which students from a wide variety of departments, programs, and disciplines come together for 5 weeks to collaboratively work on cultural heritage informatics projects.  In the process they learn what is required to build applications and digital user experiences that serve the domain of cultural heritage – skills such as programming, web design & development, user experience design, media design, project management, digital storytelling, etc.

Build soundly on the principle of “building as a way of knowing” (or “hacking as a way of knowing” as some call it), the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool embraces the idea that students develop a far better understanding of cultural heritage informatics by actually building tools, applications, and digital user experiences. The added benefit is that by building, students have the opportunity to make a tangible and potentially significant contribution to the cultural heritage community.

2013 CHI Fieldschool Theme

Each year, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool has a specific theme.  This year, the theme will be “Visualization: Time, Space, and Data.”  This means that all of the work and projects undertaken by the CHI Fieldschool students will focus (broadly) on visualizing time, space (maps, geospatial, etc), and data.

Eligibility & Application

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and existing cultural heritage professionals. There are no prerequisites (beyond an interest in the topic). Students are required to enrol in ANP 491 (section 301) and ANP490 (section 301) - for a total of 6 credits.

To apply to the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool, please fill out the application form (  Applications will be accepted until April 29th

For more information on the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool, please see the detailed description ( ) or email Ethan Watrall (, the CHI Fieldschool Director. 

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If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I've gone somewhat ballistic over the unexpected (and shady) increate in registration fees for an upcoming digital heritage conference. I'm especially bothered by the fact that they doubled (yes, doubled) the student registration fees (after people had papers accepted). When I sent a questioning email (hoping that the new fees were a mistake), I was casually told "unfortunately we did have to raise the registration rates." Simply unacceptable. So, here is the draft of my response. Too much? Too little? Thoughts?

Much thanks for info. Honestly, I'm somewhat bothered by this. While I understand the challenge of conference and meeting budgetary issues (having organized several conferences myself), this change seems somewhat problematic. Several of the people who I talked to (both at MSU and at other institutions) had budgeted specifically based on the previously advertised registration rates. As you know, travel funds for most academics are very, very limited these days, and we very tactically pick and choose conferences based on a variety of variables - one of which are fees. In the grand scheme of things, however, a 20$ increase for professionals isn't a deal breaker for me (frustrating, to be sure, but it will not prohibit me from attending).

My biggest concern is the change you've made in the student rates. Doubling the cost of registration for students (from $50 to $100) borders on a almost predatory financial bait and switch. Yes, these are strong words, but I feel very strongly about this. In today's academic climate, students (especially grad students) are being expected to, among many things, regularly present papers at national and international conferences. In many chases, this professional activity is often linked to continued financial support from the department or university. The problem is that they are not being given adequate financial resources (in the form of travel funds) to do. Student travel funding is almost non-existent these days. As such, there is an expectation that they cover these expenses out of pocket - money that many of them simply do not have.

The long and short of it is that I implore you to reconsider the increase in student registration fees (at the very least).

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ISAW open access FTW! 
In recognition and support of Open Access Week, this post lists digital resources currently available from ISAW and its collaborators under the terms of open licenses.

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First pass of the "editorial statement" that will appear on the copyright page of the Archaeology 2.0 book I'm co-editing. Still some rough edges to smooth out, but I think that all of the general ideas are in place (and yes, +Bethany Nowviskie's fingerprints are all over this)

"This volume is being released under a Creative Commons BY-SA (By Attribution, Share Alike) license. In short, this means that others are free to remix, tweak, and build upon the contents of this volume as long as two very important conditions are met: the original author receives proper attribution and all subsequent works carry the same license.

The other very important thing to note is that this license allows for commercial use, a detail which is often a point of concern for many scholars when they consider licensing their work under the Creative Commons.

There are several reasons why the editors of this volume chose a CC license that allows commercial use.

First, by prohibiting commercial use, we would be effectively slowing down (or discouraging) the spread of the ideas contained within the volume by requiring that prior permission be sought and granted, a process that is sometimes quite challenging.

In addition, allowing for commercial use minimizes the possibility that this volume (and the works contained within) become orphaned - a problem that is currently causing much consternation for those in the world of digital publishing and scholarly communication.

One could easily (quite astutely) argue that allowing for commercial use opens the door for material in this volume to be republished in textbooks or academic journals whose costs are draconian and, in many cases, prohibitive for scholars, students, and libraries. However, in licensing this volume under the Creative Commons, we “get out ahead” of this type of situation. Given that the license requires proper attribution in any subsequent work, future readers will always be able to identify and locate this volume, and freely access its contents.

Ultimately, we feel that the CC BY-SA license is in line with the “copyleft” philosophy held by the editors. It will ensure that the work contained within is distributed generously and used widely, having far greater reach and impact than it would if a more strict and inflexible copyright framework had been chosen."

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you know you have an awesome book when your index contains words like Neolithic, Nanotechnology, NLP, Open Access, and Hot Tub Time Machine
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