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Re: [jox] Chaos or transparency?

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Hi Mathieu, Stefan and everyone

Reading this exchange I am wondering whether we can have a new beginning
here, a sort of blank sheet and restart by taking on board only what has
been achieved so far, without any other useless baggage.

A review process has been more or less sketched out, and it is clear and
feasible at this point what this is, it has been debated for over 30
emails. We have reviewed some papers and have sent some papers for review so
this is ongoing and soon we can have an inaugural issue perhaps.We have an
editorial board, a scientific committee and a functioning site we can use to
point people to what the journal is about and discover more things to
utilise the site for; perhaps Stefan can oblige us by introducing us to what
they are, so we can all use them.

For an effort which started back in March in Hull and is mostly done through
email, with a lot of transparent dialogue in a very public way, I d say
these are considerable accomplishments.

I would also like to say that we have all contributed a tiny bit to this
effort, and Stefan and Mathieu most of all, and thank you loads for that. It
would now be a shame to start throwing the toys out of the pram because we
are getting tired of the seemingly long and tiresome admin usually involved
in this type of projects.

I think it is about offering a new platform, a collaborative project we can
all build together, so it is not about who is chaotic and who is trasparent,
or who is to blame for this and that, this is not a capitalist bureaucracy
and no one should be worried about getting it wrong really, as no one is
getting fired. Lets try and get along and see how we can make this work as
well as possible, given that it is our own time we are spending doing
something we like.

Lastly, perhaps it would help if we can get on some kind of videoconference
like skype, "rebond" and rekindle our vision on what this journal could and
should be about for everyone involved.

It's 1 am here so excuse the sentimentality.....



On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:04 PM, Mathieu ONeil <mathieu.oneil>wrote:

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Hi Stefan

I think some of this is attributable to our very different personalities
and styles - you are very thorough and I am very impatient - and
consequently to how we approach projects: you probably think everything
should be documented in great detail, I am happy with what works and
certainly don't have the same experience than you with software projects;
when you do a magazine or journal (I've done several) you don't need to
document everything in great detail; you just want to publish interesting

So upon reflection I agree that solely relying on the list to document our
process is not optimal. I will try to use the site more. Though to be
honest, I sometimes find it hard to navigate. What may seem perfectly
obvious and easy for you is not perceived in the same way by everyone.

----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011 6:59 pm
Subject: [jox] Chaos or transparency?
To: journal

Hi project!

From all I saw so far from Mathieu he really prefers chaos. Or
do you
have an up-to-date overview over all the submissions and their state?

Yes, that would be my last two emails on the topic...

What we actually have is a mail by Mathieu once in a while where he
says what he currently thinks the state of things is. And it
feels to
me that he changes his mind every week.

This is interesting to say the least. Is there any evidence to back it up?

Well, I learned that transparency is not only necessary for democracy
but even more so for peer production projects (like I thought
this one
should be an instance of). Therefore at least to me it is absolutely
crucial to change the situation.

I tried to built the web site so it allows for maximum
transparency on
the one hand and fine-grained management of publicity of texts
on the
other hand. It is designed to have a comprehensible structure
and to
be easy to maintain - if you want it. From a technical point of view
it is easy to have all this - if you want it.

Sure. Like I said above, it may seem really easy to you, but to me some
aspects are quite obscure. Frankly I find it quite clunky compared to other
website software I have worked with such as wikis (Wikipedia, P2P
Foundation) or blogs (Wordpress); though it may offer site management
functionalities that these others don't.

Well, things reached a point where I need to make a personal decision.
If the rest of the project agrees with this rule of chaos then
it is
fine with me. However, I'll stop putting energy in this project.

Guess what, I've wondered the very same thing over the last few months: can
I keep working with someone whose reply to a direct question in an email I
sent may come in a week, or a month, or more. Everyone has their own rhythm
and all, but this is the first time I've had that experience. To be honest,
I have found this incredibly frustrating at times but have always bit my
tongue (until now) for the good of the project. I would never presume to
call this method of working "chaotic", maybe you can come up with something?

If you would prefer transparency, however, I'll try to continue to
persuade Mathieu of solutions which build transparency as easy
as a
finger snip.

OK, I'm all for transparency as well, though I can't help noticing that you
want submissions to be non-transparent. At the same time, I'm the editor of
the journal, so I get to select some reviewers and to tell people what I
think about their papers. This seems to me pretty normal.
I will obviously also be put in a position where some people contact me
directly and I may acquire more information than everyone else over specific
issues. Then again I have always reported on everything that was going on.
If you look around the Internet at webzines, online newspapers, academic
magazines, I'd be interested for you to point me to an example of a
similarly open approach to editing a journal? I'm not saying there aren't
any, I'm just saying I really don't think I'm being that secretive.

One thing I did wrong (and I'm not saying that was my only mistake) was in
relation to George Dafermos' early suggestions for the review process: I
agree that I should have stated more clearly why I thought they were not so
appropriate (old, some already published elsewhere). These were originally
meant to test the peer review process: but since then we found original
stuff to work with which we can actually publish. If George or anyone else
has original material which they want to submit please do so.
@ George (if you are reading): sorry for not dealing with this more

So to sum up I agree to try to use the site more. For my part, I would
appreciate a little gesture once in a while along the lines of "really busy
right now, will respond to this email later".



Comments are wholeheartedly appreciated.



Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
email: mathieu.oneil[at]

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Dr Athina Karatzogianni
Lecturer in Media, Culture and Society
The Dean's Representative (Chinese Partnerships)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of Hull
United Kingdom
T: ++44 (0) 1482 46 5790
F: ++44 (0) 1482 466107,_culture_and_society/staff/karatzogianni,_dr_athina.aspx

Check out Athina's work

Russian hackers

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