örchenpark (including the Holzmarkt project) continues to develop. Already there’s a Facebook page, which seems to date from before the actual open-house event last week, based on the posts and the photos. Thanks to the wonders of tagging, you can actually find a lot of images of the event by looking through “Photos of Mörchenpark” on the Photos page. But also, this morning the Kater Holzig mailing list got this Sondermitteilung (Special Announcement):
ack in the fall of 2010, Bar25—that infamous den of excess, escape, hipsterdom, confetti, and exclusiveness—finally closed its doors. The space lay fallow through 2011 as the city (through the public sanitation company, Berliner Stadtreinigung or BSR) prepared sell off the property. Now, the premises are going on the auction block, and the former management team of Bar25 is raising money to buy it back.
But they won’t be rebuilding Bar25 anytime soon. (more…)
K, so I originally thought this blog post would be a short little summary of my very first May Day in Berlin, but when I sat down and wrote out my notes the next day, I produced pages and pages of text. So, this is my attempt to reduce everything down to a brief narrative with some pretty pictures. But I won’t keep you in suspense: I wasn’t teargassed or pepper-sprayed or tasered. Most of my day was actually spent wandering around the MyFest street-fair, dancing at a few open-air events, and hanging out with friends. Even the infamous “18Uhr Demo” was mostly peaceful—at least until the end. (Slideshow of 51 images at the end of this article.) (more…)
t just so happens that my stay in Paris coincides with the final week running up to the first round of the French presidential elections. As you might imagine, the news in Paris is flooded with coverage and speculation. There are very tight laws in France about giving equal media coverage to all election candidates, so mentioning any aspect of the election necessitates also mentioning all the other aspects in equal measure. This makes for daily newspapers that look like textbooks. For example, one small commuter newspaper that I picked up while waiting for a friend offered a “comparative table” of the campaign platforms of all ten candidates. This involved a ten-row table, with so many columns, that it ran over three pages (some sample columns: Immigration, EU Debt Crisis, Environment, Work and Labor, Housing, Crime and the Legal System)—all of it in tiny, tiny print.
As I was passing by the métro station of Lamarck-Caulaincourt (more…)
eudi à jeudi, de retour à Paris. I haven’t been back to Paris in more than 1.5 years, which is pretty much the longest stretch of time I’ve been away from this city since the first time I came to do dissertation fieldwork in 2006. My last visit was really just a brief week-long visit (much like this one), so it’s really been 2.5 years or so since I’ve actually lived in this city.
This time, I was struck by how affectively small and un-intense my experience of return was. (more…)
xciting news, folks! My series, “Doing Nightlife Fieldwork,” has been cross-posted by the IASPM-US blog with the title “Doing Nightlife Research.” That’s the US chapter of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. I’m very excited to be seeing this circulating to a wider audience of popular music scholars, especially because I hope that this will prompt more of us to talk about how we do our research. Maybe there will be enough interest to generate a special issue on the topic…
In any case, here are the links to the series on IASPM-US Blog:
uring the preparation of the final, revised, post-defense version of my dissertation, I finally had to flesh out all of the “front matter” of my dissertation. The front matter usually includes things like an epigraph, a dedication, acknowledgements, a table of contents, lists of tables/figures/maps/etc., and an abstract of the dissertation. Writing the acknowledgements was surprisingly hard, and there were a lot of people, organizations, and things that I couldn’t acknowledge in a scholarly dissertation. But this is a blog, and I have considerably more freedom to shift between levels of formality and punch through layers of politics and politeness. So here are all the other things for which I am grateful, dissertation-wise. (more…)
uick interruption in my dissertation-by-blog series to say: I’m a doctor! No, not the kind of doctor that can write a prescription and stick things into your orifices (although I suppose that depends on the context), but a PhD. I defended my dissertation on Tuesday morning, July 19th, 2011. It went well, tons of people showed up, and I wore this lovely new suit that I got tailored during my trip to Peru earlier this month; charcoal with violet pinstripes!
Afterwards, I went (more…)
EO spam is a cancer on the internet, and those who engage in it shouldn’t be trusted. People who use RSS aggregators to scrape topical content and repost it verbatim for their SEO spamming purposes are just the worst sort of people. And don’t get me started on dissertation writing services. If you’re reading this on a website other than LMGMBlog, report the site to Google as SEO spam, close the window, and notify me at my Gmail address (theluisgarcia).
See what I did there? According to Internet Wisdom, websites such as the one that copied an entire blog article of mine yesterday use underhanded SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods to game the search-engine system and give them high page rankings. If they manage to appear on the first page of Google results for a topic like “dissertation writing services,” for example, they’ll get tons of traffic to their page, which will drive up the numbers of “eyeballs” and “clickthroughs” on their ads, while perhaps also allowing them to sell some snake oil to the more gullible visitors.
To build content and generate incoming links to the site, the administrators of these sites often use programs that aggregate RSS feeds (from blogs, newspapers, etc) and scan them for particular keywords and/or other characteristics. When the desired conditions are met, this program “scrapes” the entire post from the RSS feed and reproduces on their own site. They’ll often include a link (hidden at the bottom of the page) which points to the original article. This will usually create a “pingback” or “trackback” on the original blog, which creates a link from the original source to the copied article on the new spam site. Now, they’ve got many pages, a lot of content, and a growing set of both outgoing and incoming links. All of these are things that Google’s search engine measures when it creates its page rankings, and thus this mostly useless and ad-smeared website crawls up to the top of Google’s search results.
So, all of my first paragraph is going to appear in the RSS summary of this article, with several keywords that will hopefully trigger RSS aggregators for “SEO”, “RSS Aggregators,” and “Dissertation Writing Services.” My hope is that, since many of them seem to have automated content-scraping, this’ll result in a post that undermines some of their own purposes.
In any case, I’ve adjusted my RSS feed to only post summaries instead of full articles, and I’ll be back to writing about my dissertation soon!
UPDATE: See comments for details. Short version: the offending page is down, it seems.
Hey folks, just to let you know that this “dissertation writing service” (Google Cache of the page)website has reposted the entirety of my last post in the series that I have been writing on my dissertation. This looks to be a form of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spam, and it’s a problem for a number of reasons: 1) I was never contacted to ask permission (and I certainly wouldn’t have given any to this site); 2) it quotes the entirety of the original work, which is in violation of “fair use” (US IP law) and most other legal guidelines for acceptable use of intellectual property without permission; and 3) since it’s a “dissertation writing service“ website, the framing of this post (me writing about the preparation of my dissertation) in this context gives the impression that either I paid for their services to prepare my dissertation or I’m trying to sell my dissertation to them—either interpretation could harm my future career as an academic and could thus be a form of libel.
In any case, this means I’m going to be putting a halt to the dissertation-in-blog-post series, until I can figure out what to do about this. In the meanwhile, I’ll add occasional updates in the comments below; sometime later, I might write a whole blog post on this experience. If you have any expertise or advice to share about this sort of situation, you’re welcome to contact me through the comments below or by e-mail. Sorry for the interruption, folks!