Penny War is in my ears and in my eyes

Hey SI blogosphere, are you aware that our school has suddenly sprung six new concentrations on the world? How about that? What do you think? Would you still have chosen your degree program, or would you have picked a different concentration? Or would you have just gotten overwhelmed and gone somewhere else?

I don't know what to think about it all. David brought up the most salient concern that I've heard so far: How will this affect the Penny War¹? Soooooo many jars!

¹ What's up with the current crop of students? No love for librarians? Everyone knows that it's the archivists' jar that you're supposed to load up with dimes. BOO-YEAH!

srah - Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 9:31 PM
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Comments (8)

gravatar Andrea - March 28, 2007 - 7:50 AM -

Honestly, 9 concentrations strikes me as a crisis of identity. I mean really, 9 concentrations plus Tailored?!? My first thought is to wonder what was wrong with the prior selection; the second is to look at the "Preservation of Information" specialization and see that it requires a lot of credits in courses that do not yet exist, which makes the formation of a whole new specialization a bit premature. It sounds like a good program of emphasis in concept, but is it ready for prime time?

But maybe I'm just old skool now...

gravatar Noor - March 28, 2007 - 11:14 AM -

I agree with Andrea. When I saw that list, it seemed really rushed. I wish they would have asked some alums about this. What they could have done is just kept the old specializations and created some emphasis . . . so for instance my degree probably would have been HCI, with an emphasis in social software.

I think if I had an MSI in social computing, I probably wouldn't have a job right now.

gravatar J - March 28, 2007 - 11:19 AM -

I'm pretty sure you need an MSI to understand what these specializations even mean.

LIS will now DOMINATE penny war! The other specializations are too fractured.

gravatar Brian - March 28, 2007 - 2:15 PM -

It's just dissembling, easier to "fix" the specializations than to "fix" the curriculum (oh wait, I guess they're sort of doing that too). Why don't they just let people specialize in People, Information, or Technology (PIT)? Three choices, all equally vapid, and none of them having too much to do with librarianship bullshit or ux research in some vasty corp bullshit.

(hmm, 20 days until I get out of SI. probably about the right length of time, given the tone of this paragraph.)

gravatar srah - March 29, 2007 - 6:20 AM -

So is there now an SI group on LinkedIn? Because I can't find anything about it. I can't see it in people's profiles and when I clicked on the link that Brian posted yesterday, it just took me to a list of my contacts. How do I join this thing?

gravatar Brian - March 29, 2007 - 7:19 PM -

Well part of my brain wave comment is that, you know, trust the department to do something simple, and then fuck it up.

It's a private group, so if you weren't invited, it's more or less invisible. Karen Jordan kjordan@umich.edu is listed as the contact for the group, so probably get in touch with her (and share an e-mail address with the department, yuck).

gravatar srah - March 29, 2007 - 7:22 PM -

I emailed LinkedIn to say "Hey, I think this group exists but I can't see it on anybody's profile" so they told me it was a private group and that they would add me pending KJ's approval. I don't really see the point of invisible private groups, unless that's the only way to restrict who joins.

gravatar Brian - March 29, 2007 - 11:39 PM -

Here's a list of public alumni groups on LinkedIn.

The SI group is private for no good reason, probably because Karen Jordan (and/or whatever other SI keystone kops) doesn't understand the implications of how she set up the group.

Even if a group is public, membership can still be tied to approval by some specific person.

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