ebogjonson.com's the collective archive

August 2, 2007

new issue of chimurenga

Chimurenga is a very nifty South African magazine edited by scholar, gentleman, man-about-town and rake Ntone Edjabe. Ntone was in Kenya for the Heron Collective meetings last year.

Here's what's in the new issue:

The new Chimurenga featuring Gael Reagon; Yambo Ouologuem; Quiet Encroachers; Fidel Castro; Hereros; Okpu Ndi Chie; Ethel Sharrif; Mokotux Charlie; Melodius Thunk; Ralph Lemon; Ramallah Underground; Ruben Um Nyobè; Julius Eastman; Johnny Dyani; Stompie Mavi; Seitlhamo Motsapi; Letta Mbulu; Dudu Pukwana; Everybody in Duduza, Cradock and Queenstown; Everyone inside Camp X-Ray, GITMO; Margaret Mcingana; Pat Matshikiza; Tsakane Maubane; Mongezi Feza; Stonethrowers; Necklacers; War photographers; Black Arkologists; Mr. Parks; Maria; Mehdi and Jack Henry Abbott. Cover: sarko, fanon and the jazz baroness.

Posted by ebogjonson at 3:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 1, 2007

@ yale in general, and other updates

Howdy peeps. A hearty welcome to everyone who was directed here as a result Chris Muir-related links at Jon Swift, Bitch Ph.D, and other places on the tubes. Have a seat; stay a while!

Actually, maybe you shouldn't. As some of the ebog regulars have no doubt noticed, blogging has been pretty slow here the last month, this in the main because I've been working a contract gig helping some radio pals think through their online stra-teeg-ery.

Usually I'm able to blog through deadlines and projects, but it turns out that west coast radio people get up at the crack of dawn (EST vs. PST), so starting around April 1 or so I found myself getting up earlier in the morning than I have gotten up ever. I mean, I am getting up earlier than I got up in high school to take a bus to an 8:43 (or was it :23?) first period, and this is coming from someone who is not what you'd call a morning person. It's been a bit of a strain, and among the many things that have had to give are, well, all of you. I'd say I was sorry (sorry!) except that what I really am is sleepy. (Sleepy!)

I will say, though, that it's nice being in an office again for a bit. Offices have funny, little internal lives of their own and there are people here to interact with who aren't baristas. (Also, at the risk of a broad range of improprieties, I will add that enclosed spaces full of smart single/not-single-but-bored people always have their upsides.)

Despite this burden on my system, though, I did find time to fly off to New Haven this weekend to participate in a conference at Yale Law School on open access. Much of the crew from Kenya was reassembled in CT for a panel - Open Access Literature - so I don't need to tell you that great fun and learning was had by all.

It was also fun to be back in New Haven for a safe, empowered spell. I've been back to Yale twice since I graduated in, er, 1990, the first time to watch a GF I was breaking up with graduate, and, the second time to attend a somewhat fraught reunion where not enough of my friends showed, or, worse, showed in the form of people quite unlike those I remembered. This weekend, in contrast, was conference-time, that special, oasis-like zone where everything is upside and everyone at least acts like you're full of useful and interesting things to say. I think could go to conferences every single week, but that may just be because I'm not an academic.

Posted by ebogjonson at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 10, 2007

let a thousand flowers bloom

will you survive? who will remember you?

I think I mentioned earlier that I am going to be building some websites for as-yet-unamed (doh! how long has that been on our to-do list?) collective of literary magazines. As part of that process I've been looking at open source content management systems like Plone, Drupal and Joomla, trying to decide which platform might work for my far-flung collection of peeps. (If anyone has had any experience with any of these tools feel free to let me know.)

Anyway, I bring this up because the pace at which enterprising ladies and gents are setting up their own a niche communitys (using one of the increasingly easy to install/use turn-key CMS's listed above) seems to increase with every passing week, the launches of entire (would-be) online communities now as easy as the launch of blogs or (reaching back in the crate) personal web pages.

(Pointless distinction alert: There are no any strictly-defined "personal webpages" left in the world that aren't in some way or another blogs.)

Take the Black Writers Network, which seems to be powered by Joomla. Heavily promoting the tschotske-making powers of Cafe Press, BWN seems interested in being a home away from home for the black self-publishing set. Still relatively ghost-towny, there doesn't seem to be much on it that didn't come out of the box with Joomla, meaning that once the admin (and there can easily be just one) has worked out the kinks of the install they can basically let the thing percolate in perpetuity, which, between low hosting costs and an admin gainfully employed, can be an actual long time.

It takes kind of a shit to handicap the prospects of completely harmless labors of love like BWN, but: the prospects for a site like BWN are hard to handicap these days. It costs so little to launch and maintain such sites that a dedicated admin willing to eat the hosting costs could maintain BWN indefinitely without quitting their day job. Ideally the point at which BWN requires full time attention is the point at which it (kind of) (maybe) (begins to suggest ways it) can support itself. (Someday.) That, of course, if the site can connect with enough of those self-publishy folks to last. Because sure: a thousand community-site flowers may now be able to bloom on any given, but mostly so that they can die and fertilize the next generation.

I want to write that people will set up Drupal communities the way they set up blogs, but, of course, that is bullshit. Besides the simple fact that the numbers don't work (it would be an online world full of corporations instead of users, each site "member" just another community), the peculiar temperament that makes you desperately want to host a party is not universally distributed among the species. (Forget about the skills.)

Posted by ebogjonson at 4:38 PM | Permalink