21 thoughts on “fictional blogs

  1. Angela Thomas

    I don’t known whether to make a fuss about this or not,
    but I am not impressed that Betsy Friedrich is posting my work and claiming it as their own.

    Check out my posts to the blog fiction forum
    (http://www.blogfic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22),
    and the paper I have written for the upcoming BlogTalk conference
    in Australia about on fictional blogging (http://www.personal.edfac.usyd.edu.au/staff/thomasa/AngelaThomasBlogPaper.html)

    Maybe she is a young student and doesn’t know any better.

  2. Jill

    Wow. That’s rather sad – her most recent post explicitly says she made the typology herself, and yet it’s exactly the same as yours, only moved around a little to look different. And after saying “I made this” she starts arguing against it – “Personally, I don’t feel…” Your comment is very diplomatic yet firm.

    On a lighter note I’m so thrilled to find all this work being done on fictional blogs! I’ve been wanting to do more work on them for ages and haven’t got around to it but that’s fine now that other people are! Hooray!

  3. tormodh

    Well; with a naÔve and diplomatic viewpoint– It might be that this was a quick post, and that she just ..er.. forgot to cite the reference since she might be digesting the paper and planning a better/longer post. The “I made this” might have been a badly phrased sentence meaning “I drew this diagram up for myself to use when thinking / reading something”.

    Just a thought from a young(?) and naÔve person not wanting anyones toes stepped on 😉

  4. Jill

    Yes, it’s possible, Tormod. And I expect she’ll fix it now she realises it 🙂

  5. Angela Thomas

    I am surprised at how much seeing that blog upset me.
    Anyway I hope she will have the good sense to edit her post.

    And please write something about fictional blogs
    – there’s definitely not enough research being done on them!

  6. Elin

    oh no. That is horrible:-( I just looked and she added your reference now, Angela.
    But even so, I’d think twice before taking her seriously after this. Outch:-(
    You were extremely gracious to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Angela Thomas

    Thanks Elin, I just checked too and she’s posted a note of apology
    and explained that the blog is more a dumping ground of what she
    finds but none of it is referenced. She has some of the other blog
    fic forum discussion included in her posts that you might otherwise
    imagine would be her own ideas. In the grand scheme of things this
    isn’t terribly concerning but it did initially shock me and cause
    a little anxiety and frustration. Anyway its over now.
    Sorry to take up your space Jill :>

  8. Jill

    You’re not taking up space, Angela, goodness, I like discussion!!! And this kind of stuff’s important!

    I was all inspired finding your article about fictional blogs (which I don’t htink I’ve blogged yet) and I really do want to write something on it sooner or later – meanwhile it’s just so great seeing all the recent activity. The blogfic.com forum’s great!

  9. Angela Thomas

    I’ve talked a little more about them in the paper I wrote called ‘Positioning the Reader: The Affordances of Digital Fiction’. There’s the brief paper here: http://www.personal.edfac.usyd.edu.au/staff/thomasa/PositioningtheReader.htm
    and the powerpoint slides here: http://www.personal.edfac.usyd.edu.au/staff/thomasa/AngelaThomasDigitalFiction.html
    (and I have cited your work at least two or three times at critical points too! *smile*)
    and I am working on converting it to a bigger chapter for some writing I am doing on New Literacies.

    Any critique is more than welcomed! Although many of the ideas are a rehash of several older papers I did and I was given the brief of a 4000 maximum for the conference version, I hope there’s still something interesting and new it in. The conference talk has to go for 90 minutes so I am madly thinking of fun ideas to keep the poor audience awake and entertained!!

  10. William Wend

    This discussion is great! I have never seen blogfic.com before so I am glad I have seen it now! I love your work as well Angela, I am a big fan of both of your blogs.

  11. Claus

    > She has some of the other blog fic forum discussion included
    > in her posts that you might otherwise imagine would be her own ideas.

    IMHO quoting properly is just part of the netiquette. Even if I’m not a student, I mark quotes in my blog with a different CSS layout, and in the case of grahics with an appropriate copyright remark. At least here in Germany, if you don’t obey the copyright of third parties, you can be sued very easlily. And, seeing that in this case this is *not* just another blog but “the preparation for a senior thesis”, at least to me going about like this is not cool!

  12. Angela Thomas

    Thanks for the kind words William!!
    And thanks to Jill and everybody for the discussion :>
    The contributions by the members of the blog fiction forums
    (especially Jack and James) have been really invaluable to my thinking
    – they are the real treasure trove!

  13. […] cert. If a student has to publish under her full name during her learning experience, and makes mistakes, they’ll show up for every future employer or lover who googles her name. That doesn’t seem […]

  14. Greg Thompson

    Fictional blogs are quite interesting, and they are just starting to get into academia. I took a look at Betsy Friedrich’s blog. It appears to me, from reading her apology, that it was a sincere mistake. What does disturb me is the reaction found here. As a college professor, I can say that mistakes are the most important part of a student’s career. At our university, we provide a warm environment that allows for students to make mistakes, because they will; as we all do.

    Fortunately, not everything is about future employment. The best learning is done so for its own sake. To talk negatively about a young student’s work and assume that it isn’t worth looking at is, quite frankly, rubbish. Especially when the negative talk is done behind the student’s back on a different forum.

    All the same, I read your pieces, Angela. They were quite interesting. I hope to read more of your material. Perhaps we will create a course on fictional blogs at our university soon!

    My regards,
    Greg Thompson

    If there is one thing that the writing community seems to be losing anymore, it’s support. What happened when young writers were supported and guided by older writers. I noticed that all, save Angela, posted on Betsy’s website about her mistake. It seems to me that this conversation would’ve been better served on that blog’s comment area.

    Mistakes are there. They happen. The only time they are dangerous is when they aren’t pointed out and made into a learning situation.

  15. Greg Thompson

    Hmm. It seems, after looking back through to make sure I didn’t make any proofreading blunders, I signed in the middle of my comment. How ironic: A MISTAKE!

    Ha.
    Greg

  16. Jill

    Greg, Angela did leave a message at Betsy’s blog, but Betsy removed it after editing her post so that it no longer says “this is a chart I made” but now says “this is a chart I found” and has a citation. It really looked a good deal worse before she fixed this, and were I Angela, I would have reacted the same. So Betsy fixed her mistake and now I doubt anyone coming across her site would bat an eyelid. I thought about removing this discussion to protect her, but decided it was distant enough from Betsy’s weblog that it wouldn’t be strongly connected to her — and I think the discussion is an important one that was conducted pretty kindly here.

    I’d say the mistake was fairly pointed out and that it was indeed made into a learning situation. I’d also point out that it’s a mistake — plagiarism — that universities are extremely clear about explaining to students, and that they’re aware that it’s intellectual dishonesty and carries strong penalties within class. In this case, the student was writing her senior thesis, the final part of her bachelor’s degree, and had chosen to make it public rather than confine it to her classroom. After nearly four years at university I’m sure she understands about plagiarism. Given her speedy and sensible reaction to Angela’s comment, I’d say she learnt fast from the situation, realising that plagiarism has real world consequences and causes real world harm to others.

    Do you think I should have removed the discussion, Greg?

  17. Windur

    I know this post is water under the bridge, but wouldn’t the ìPersonally, I donít feelÖî paragraph indicate that the model wasn’t her own? Why would someone create a model they don’t agree with?

    And if you take credit for making something, yet you don’t agree with yourself, doesn’t that make you kind of schizofrenic(sp?)

    I think I agree with Tormodh on this one, that it just was a simple mistake.
    Maybe it just was bad wording. “I made this” meaning I drew/recreated this figure, but believe the model is too broad.

  18. Angela Thomas

    Oh I must make it clear that I went immediately to Betsy’s blog and left her a comment letting her know that I would appreciate a citation. I gave her the citation to use as well as a link to the article. I thought I was gentle but firm in my approach – the same as I am with students in my own classes who make similar mistakes. I mentioned it here as well and allowed some of my frustration to show because it wasn’t just my work that was being used but others as well, others who are not university students and who I felt were taken advantage of. I noticed now that when Betsy refashioned her site, she has included “paraphrased from x” a couple of times, and “as seen at blogfiction.com” or links like that. I have no wish for anything other than the error be fixed, which it was.
    One of the reasons I keep a blog and post up drafts of my work and do research with young writers is precisely to foster a positive environment for all sorts of writing, whether it be the young kids writing fan fiction or my own PhD students learning about the processes, pitfalls, joys and frustrations of academic writing. I have a number of students, both undergraduates and post-graduates, experimenting themselves with blogging right now, and I am scaffolding their writing through both on and offline interactions with them. If one of my own students did what Betsy did I would act in exactly the same way – polite but firm about correcting the error.
    I should also note that in my discussions with Jack about the Blogfiction community, I learnt that the ideas and sources he was posting to the forum were the basis of his own term paper, and as part of that community, I shared my paper and thoughts about his ideas and was quite happy to support, encourage and invite further dialogue between us.

    And on a final note, I feel this lengthy post was required because of the comments of a college professor who chose to make assumptions about me, my way of working with students and my academic reputation without first coming to make a private comment to me. Something he himself accused me of doing. I find that ironic.

  19. Greg Thompson

    Angela, you bring up a very valid point there with my comments. I didn’t feel like I made any negative assumptions about your work with students or your academic reputation. In fact, I believe I complimented your work. That being said, if you felt my comments were a personal attack or of that nature, I am quite sorry. I hope you won’t think worse of me, and thank you for keeping me on my toes. I felt that your comments toward Betsy were very appropriate and well-said. I don’t doubt your abilities one bit, and I am quite certain your students are lucky to have a teacher who is supportive of them and engaged in her field.

    Jill, I don’t think the removal of this discussion was necessary. Maybe I still think too much like a student, but I just felt bad that the discussion seemed one-sided against Betsy. I suppose part of me was caught up in the romanticism of protecting the young. Yes, even an old professor like me can remain quite foolish.

    The definition of plagiarism isn’t as cut and dry as some colleges would like it to be. Also, as we continue toward our goal of more students attending post-secondary schooling, the quality of students (in the way of preparation given by over-worked, underpaid high school teachers) is going down. In the remedial first-year courses, professors are often lucky if their students are capable of forming a basic sentence. Frustrated students who struggle to remember what a noun is, often push the idea of plagiarism to the back of their mind. Anyway, I am getting off topic, though it is one dear to me. I doubt Betsy is, by any means, a remedial student. Though, even the best of us make mistakes.

    Angela, again, your statement on Betsy’s blog was quite appropriate. I just worry that sometimes we get too caught up in the hunt for plagiarism that we forget what it is. But, I suppose that is an old topic.

    I have appreciated this discussion and the various points brought up by each of you. A pleasure to share some cyberspace with you all!

    My best regards,
    Greg T.

  20. Betsy Friedrich

    I know this is a little long, but thereís a lot to respond to and Iím apparently a bit late entering the conversation.

    First Iíd like to say that I think plagiarism depends on intent. I certainly didnít intend to take anyoneís ideas or words without giving credit where credit is due. However, I am to blame since I fully understand plagiarism and I have a pretty good idea about how to site properly. This was a mistake, and a stupid one for which I have apologized and attempted to rectify the wrong. Saying ìI made this wasî was indeed poor phrasing on my part. I meant I had made that chart in question, and had plans to revise the thing anyway. Again, Angela, I do apologize. Iíd be upset if I were in your situation and you had every right to be firm with me. I wasnít offended; I was glad it was pointed out to me. At that point I hadnít realized anyone was actually looking at the site, so it came as a bit of a shock, and a necessary one.

    A few more points of clarification: I am not a senior. When I wrote and posted the information in my blog I was a sophomore. The blog is not my thesis. It might someday be part of the research for my thesis. As I got more excited about the research I was doing, I began to think it might be a good future thesis. Itís certainly not the whole thing. I will begin my junior year in the fall, and at that point I might begin seriously thinking about what I want to do for a thesis. Until then, this is just one of several ideas Iím tossing around.

    I wrote most of the site as it now stands during late nights when I was doing nothing but researching blogs. The post in question was added about 1 am. I continued to fiddle with it for several more hours trying to get it to look better (which I still havenít) and eventually I was so tired I just gave up. At that point there was no citation on the blog, and in fact the whole thing looked pretty terrible. I had to sleep, so I thought I would come back and fix it the next day.

    My problem was that I thought of it as a work in progress. Usually the way I write is to just write the paper and add the sources in the final editing process, with an MLA book in hand. I had started this project as a paper, a conventional ink on paper kind of paper. I was having trouble transitioning from one paragraph to another, and I thought to myself that it seemed odd to bother with a hard copy anyway. It was about online lit, so why not keep the lit criticism and theory online too. The blog solved my transitioning problem neatly. I hadnít actually thought anyone would find the site unless I gave them the address directly. This was probably a pretty naÔve mistake, but itís hard to adjust from writing papers in progress with plenty of opportunity to revise to a public forum like a blog. Iíve never written anything online, so the whole thing is still pretty new to me.

    Jill, donít take the discussion offline on my account. Greg is right. It was a mistake and one from which I quickly learned. I am all for discussion about reading and writing. Though a bit embarrassing, the discussion that spawned from it is pleasing and fascinating. Also, thanks for your wonderful site. I wish I had more time to read it! And thanks to Greg, Windur, and Tormodh for coming to my defense.

  21. Londonarchaeologist

    Fascinating string of comments, even years down the line!

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.