Friday, March 04, 2005

Sociology Conversations?

One of the sources of audio files that I've most appreciated as a podcast listener has been Doug Kaye's IT Conversations. There's a variety of material over there-- from interviews with science fiction authors, bloggers, or IT CEOs to recordings of conferences such as BloggerCon, O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference (ETCON), or PopTech. While some of the material over there is too oriented to specific business interests or computer programmers' issues, I've found many of the recordings to be educational or enjoyable (and, of course, in many instances: both!)

I mentioned in my previous post on podcasting that I wish there was something like this in sociology-- Sociology Conversations, if you will. It would be great if there was some sort of repository for recordings of conferences, papers, discussions, etc. from around sociology. This could be a great way for people to give exposure to their work, get access to conferences that they're not able to attend.

Also, by making more sociology available to more people (or at least making it available in different ways), it seems in line with the mission of expanding "Public Sociology," as featured in the most recent ASA meetings. (Speaking of which, the one and only thing from a soc conference that I have listened to on my computer or iPod was Arundati Roy's talk from the ASA. They played it (or large portions of it) on Democracy Now!-- and since I had to leave SF (just) prior to her talk it was great to still be able to hear it.

A couple of people have since asked me: what's stopping *me* from working on this, from getting a Sociology Conversations started? Well . . . aside from the obvious answers (i.e., either laziness or a rational need not to continue to overextend myself), I'm also not quite sure how one would go about this. And that's where I'm looking for ideas.

First, I'm wondering what is out there already. Is there already such a creature? Or, at the very least, are there recordings being made and put up on a piecemeal basis from one conference to another? I'm sure there are-- but where are they?

At the very least, I think I can start a blog that will compile links to such materials-- though getting things set up to with actual syndication/enclosures/podcasting capabilities might be further off..

Second, are there ways to expand the amount of material that is being recorded? Does anyone think there are people (and technical resources) out there available to make this happen?

Now, while I've been saying "Sociology Conversations," I don't necessarily mean to limit this only to sociology. Indeed, my own research interests are rarely limited just to my discipline. I probably spend at least as much time reading/engaging with materials from elsewhere (from interdisciplinary fields like cultural studies, media studies, women's studies to traditional disciplines of anthropology, political science, etc.)

But for now, I'll just post a link to my new and totally naked blog. There's absolutely nothing there now, but if there's interest, maybe we can change that.


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