Tag Archives: Writing

I Love Engaging With Other Bloggers! (Why did I ever stop?) + Some Goals!

Goals Image on That Sort of Thing BlogAs I was providing feedback to other bloggers in the Community pool last weekend, I realized that I had truly missed interacting with other bloggers. So why on Earth did I stop for almost a year?

When The Geek Anthropologist (TGA) was turned into a community blog in 2014, a lot of my energy was absorbed into this transition. My co-editors and I had to:

  • Change the layout of the blog;
  • Create a logo that was something else than my personal avatar;
  • Think of a list of projects for the following months;
  • Edit the contents of the blog and create new pages;
  • Find new contributors and team members to write on TGA and assist us in management tasks;
  • Etc. Etc.

As I look back now, I am happy with the results. In 2014, our blog had more than double the views it had in 2013. New team members have joined us and several guest bloggers posted on TGA. We published original TGA series and we connected with other anthropologists, geeks and geek anthropologist from around the globe. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been great fun and a major learning opportunity.

Sadly, all this work I did to improve TGA came at a cost. And let’s not forget that I was finishing my master’s degree, working part-time and recovering for illness. I had less time to write pieces for TGA and for That Sort of Thing. I also had to cut back on my engagement within the WordPress community. I stopped reading other blogs almost completely and I lost touch with great people who had been supportive of my work even since I create TGA.

Luckily, I was able to attend Montreal WordCamp last fall, and this wonderful event allowed me to take some time to write drafts of posts I want to publish in 2015. I did try to participate actively in Blogging 101 and 201, but I had trouble keeping up with the assignments. I am currently taking part in Blogging 201 once again, and this time I am staying on track and enjoying interacting with classmates.

As part of Blogging 201, I am setting three goals for myself for 2015.

  1. Create an editorial calendar for TGA for March and April before February 28th (already on the way!)
  2. Get 5 guest bloggers to post on TGA.
  3. Interact with other bloggers and members of the TGA community at least once a week for the next three months.

I look forward to making 2015 an even better blogging year than 2014!

Image created using photo ”Mountain Study 3” by Gordon Tarpley on Flickr.

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Les plus beaux lieux où écrire à Québec

Chaque jour, je passe de nombreuses heures à écrire : écrire un mémoire, écrire pour mes blogues, écrire mon journal. S’ajoute à cette écriture créative diverses activités de rédaction, de courriels et de documents de travail notamment.

Or, écrire à tous les jours et ce pendant des périodes de temps prolongées peut devenir fatiguant, et l’inspiration peut se faire rare.

Plusieurs techniques et outils aident à garder un bon niveau de créativité, d’efficacité et d’enthousiasme par rapport à l’écriture. Des logiciels permettent d’écrire sans distractions. Une planification méticuleuse aide à éviter le bloc de la page blanche.

Pour ma part, changer de lieu de travail m’est d’une grande utilité. Cela me donne un sentiment de nouveauté même si je ne peux changer d’activité, et me redonne de l’énergie. Certains lieux rendent le travail plus agréable et plus confortable, par ailleurs. Travailler dans un café ou un salon de thé me plaît particulièrement, mais ces lieux sont parfois bruyants et les fréquenter régulièrement draîne mon porte-feuille.

Voici donc une liste de 3 endroits où il fait bon écrire à Québec (gratuitement et dans la tranquilité) :

3. Bibliothèque Monique-Corriveau

Cette grande bibliothèque se trouve dans une ancienne église. Les abonnés y ont accès à Internet sans-fil, et ses heures d’ouverture sont pratiques (entre 10h00 et 17h00 ou 21h00, selon les jours de la semaine). On y trouve un coin café et les locaux sont neufs (inaugurés il y a moins d’un an).

Inauguration de la bibliothèque Monique-Corriveau

2. La bibliothèque de l’Assemblée Nationale

Peu d’entre nous penseraient à l’Assemblée nationale comme lieu de travail. Pourtant, le public a accès à la bibliothèque de 8 h 30 à 16 h 30 tous les jours de l’année. Il est possible de réserver pour une visite guidée, de profiter de services d’orientation et de soutien à la recherche et l’Internet sans-fil. Bien entendu, travailler dans ce lieu s’avère particulièrement utile pour consulter des documents gouvernementaux canadiens et québécois, des journaux, des périodiques et des dossiers de presse.

Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée nationale

1. Bibliothèque Saint-Jean Baptiste

Située sur la rue Saint-Jean dans l’ancienne église anglicane St-Matthew, cette bibliothèque offre l’Internet sans fil aux abonnés et est ouverte en après-midi toute la semaine, et le vendredi à partir de 10h00. Il s’agit d’un lieu magnifique et le cimetière, devenu un parc, est un lieu approprié pour la lecture.

Bibliothèque Saint-Jean Baptiste

 

Je suis curieuse, quels sont les lieux où vous aimez écrire?

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«Raven» vs «the raven» : sur l’écriture anthropologique

Un commentaire de Bill Reid, publié en 1984 dans Culture, nous rappelle qu’il faut faire preuve de prudence et de vigilance par rapport à l’écriture.

Dans ce commentaire, Bill Reid exprime son agacement profond vis-à-vis d’une pratique qu’il juge courante chez les ethnologues : ceux-ci omettent selon lui généralement d’utiliser un déterminant lorsqu’ils font références aux créatures mythiques de la Côte-Nord-Ouest du Canada, préférant mettre une majuscule au nom de leur espèce ( ils écrivent « Raven » plutôt que « the raven »).

Pourtant, les aînés autochtones utilisent un article ou un nom propre vernaculaire pour parler des protagonistes des mythes autochtones, ce que l’écriture des  ethnologues devraient, selon Reid, refléter de manière à respecter ces aînés (1984 : 64). Il considère que cette pratique est peut-être attribuable à une association, en Occident, des mythes à des histoires pour enfants. Il donne en exemple la personnification de Winnie the Pooh, mais souligne en contraste que les monstres classiques, comme le Minotaure, sont décrits avec un déterminant (Ibid : 64).

Selon Reid, la suppression du déterminant, et surtout l’utilisation du nom de leur espèce plutôt que leur nom vernaculaire propre, diminue les grandes figures mythiques à des personnages de simples histoires folkloriques (64-65). Il conclut finalement :

« (…) [it] is an exercise in condenscension. For it is a device used only when recording the literature of tribal people, completely unsanctionned by any accepted standards of ordinary English usage, and is therefore discriminatory, and no matter how unconsicous its use, ultimately racist ». (65)

Cet exemple indique, selon moi, clairement comment des biais subtiles peuvent influencer le choix de vocabulaire des chercheurs.

Référence :

Reid, B. (1984). The Anthropologist and the Article. Culture, 4(2), 63–65.

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I Did Not Blog En Français, But I Am Going To

Photo by Diodoro

Graffiti of Beckett by Alex Martinez

As I discovered the work of Samuel Beckett several years ago,  I read that despite being a native English speaker, he prefered to write in French, a language he felt allowed him to write ”without style”.

I could not help but wonder if that was sarcasm, especially coming from someone who’s first language was English. No offense, native English speakers, but I find your language much easier to learn and speak than French. The later is more complex, has a richer, more colorful vocabulary, and relies on grammar rules which are far more difficult that those found in English, in my opinion at least. Feel free to disagree and even contradict me. In any case, it is neither a good or bad thing. Each language has its own merits and I enjoy speaking them both. It allows me to communicate with more people, and I actually use them differently.

In the last few years, I believe I have gained a clearer understanding of what Beckett meant.

Continue Reading!

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The Blogosphere: building communities

School of FIsh by Alexandru Stoian

So many fish in the (blogging) sea

A post by greyfluff made me think of this last week. Go check out her brand new blog!

When I started blogging over at The Geek Anthropologist in September 2012, I surveyed the Internet for other anthropology blogs and blogs about geek culture. I wanted to:

  • Make sure the name I wanted for my blog was not taken;
  • Know what was already in the blogosphere about the anthropology of geekdom;
  • Find out how much anthropologists were active online;
  • Connect with other geek anthropologists.

As it turns out, there are several great anthropology blogs, such as Savage Minds, Pop Anth and the AAA blog. I found a few relevant blogs related to geek culture and anthropology, but some of these were no man’s lands that had been abandoned for years.

I also realised that there are a lot of fish in the sea, maybe even too many. That is blogs about other topics. And so many blogs were actual dead carcasses, having been abandoned by their owner for years, sometimes after just one post was published. Others blogs simply shared news and information that can be found anywhere else.

Continue Reading!

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How scientific training ruined non-scientific publications (for me)

Books by az

I find it hard nowadays to enjoy non-fiction publications that are written by authors who are not scientists.

More precisely, I get a little furious every time an author talks about a study, a survey or any type of data without providing a reference.

In scientific publications, authors generally, if not always, provide a reference to the source of the data they mention in the very sentence in which they make a mention of it. Should the reader wish to learn more about the data, how it was obtained and what conclusions it led to, it is easy to do so. The reference, which often follows the (author year : page #) format, guides the reader in the bibliography. In this golden mine of information, one can also discover more relevant literature on the topic, and select further reading material to feed his or hers insatiable thirst for knowledge.

After years of training in anthropology, I may not consider myself half the academic I want to become, but good old scientific standards have gained a special place in my heart. They are rather attractive to anyone with slight OCD tendencies.

Sadly, however, non-fiction writers too often neglect not only to provide clear references to the research they mention, but also to include a bibliography in their book itself. So when they write, for instance, that ”according to a survey, 20% of people sleep well at night”, I cannot help but ask myself these questions:

  • Who conducted the survey in question?
  • How many people took part in the survey?
  • Where and when did the survey take place?
  • Was the research methodology sound?
  • To what extent can the results be considered valid?
  • Does that research even exist, if the author can’t bother to give me the title of a paper?

What am I supposed to do? Have blind faith in people’s honesty?

I don’t think so.

Still, the non-fiction book I am reading right now is pretty great.

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Because Some People Read That Sort of Thing

Miss Anny Ahlers Blogging, after de László, by Mike Licht

Miss Anny Ahlers Blogging, after de László, by Mike Licht

After about two years of blogging over at The Geek Anthropologist (TGA), I have decided to create a blog where I can write in a more personal voice and about everything else than geek culture and anthropology.

I had thought about creating such a blog a while back but felt that it would be too much to manage, considering how much time and effort I had to put in my studies, TGA and other projects. But then I realized that when writing about my personnal life, inspiration is never hard to find and, most importantly, I don’t have to do hours of research as I do when I write about anthropology or geek culture.

So I will use this blog to write about my personal life, what goes on in the world, things I am interested in, and any other random topic.

Because I feel like it.

And because some people read that sort of thing.

I hope you will enjoy reading this blog and I encourage you to share your thoughts!

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