Author Archives: boedym

More responses to business major article

The reverberations from the “business major is slack” article continue at

Here is one interesting response….

here is the short version: Employers have repeatedly emphasized that they want to hire college graduates whose talents include writing. Ah, writing. Not something that biz majors are expected to do very often.

Here is the very sucko response from a business dean

The same tired line again and again:

Business students could very well be the most broadly educated students at a university. They take the same core writing, speech and general education classes as liberal arts students do. They are as apt to study abroad as students in other majors. But on top of that, they spend considerable time on practical skills.


Article about the easiness of business major

Hopefully we don’t contribute to this….

p.s. remember reading this may add to your monthly available free articles from NYT.

the rheetoric of the resume….1984 style

The Rhetoric of the Resume by Steve W. Anderson

Abstract: A conceptual model can be devised based on J. Kinneavy’s formulation of the rhetorical triangle, which states that basic to all uses of language are a person who encodes a message, the signal or language that carries the message, the reality to which the message refers, and the decoder or receiver of the message. In the case of the job search, the encoder or job applicant is an outsider and the decoder or personnel officer an insider. Each has a different perception of the reality being dealt with in the search. This situation can be used by the applicant to help evaluate material for inclusion in the resume. Insiders have control over the description of the type of person they are seeking, but they have little control over how outsiders style themselves to fit that description. The applicants are, largely, what they say they are; that is, the readers of resumes know only what they are told. Outsiders should use this opportunity to make themselves appear to be insiders.

Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (Clearwater Beach, FL, April 12-14, 1984)….. if anyone wants to find it….

syallbi links

thought it might be helpful at this point in semester to list some interesting syllabi: (a Summer 2002 George Mason class)

tech tool

Greg let me on this online Powerpoint-ish presentation tool – – it is user-friendly, but very limited compared to the actual PP. But it does what it claims to do – give you a quick presentation.

Interesting article

I haven’t had a chance to read it, but the abstract sounds interesting enough….It is kind of old, but has anyone read this?

Ronald M. Lee, (1984) “AUTOMATING RED TAPE: THE PERFORMATIVE VS. INFORMATIVE ROLES OF BUREAUCRATIC DOCUMENTS”, Information Technology & People, Vol. 2 Iss: 3, pp.187 – 204

Abstract: Bureaucratic red tape involves communications that are not only informative, but also performative, representing the exercise of bureaucratic authority. Automation efforts, to be effective in reducing red tape, will need to include these authority aspects as design variables. A concept of bureau-cratic software is suggested.


Nardi, Spinuzzi, and the university

The terms keystone species and locality stand out for me in regard to pairing  Spinuzzi and the Nardi info Ecology site. Keystones are defined as people by Nardi but I was thinking that genres are such keystones, especially in some settings. In business the genre of the memo – while it changes and is adapted – seems to be one. If the “memo” as social action were removed, sure, business communication would still go on, but not in the same way. it would be a different thing. it may be a center absence thing, a wheel with spokes that don’t meet in the center-  that is, the “memo”  may operate as “real” but because of its ietrability, it is not. But to the people in the locale, I would think the “genre” to them is keystone.

in regard to the second concept, genres operate as a locality in that “stuff gets done” in their “space.” Nardi writes: The identity of the technology is different in each of these local settings because the perceived role, availability, utility, and other properties of the machines are different. So w are so much concerned with identifying the piece of technology, or in my case, a genre, but what it does. The college app essay is an example. its perceived role, utility, and properties are different.

in regard to teaching, I would suggest getting students to see that “information ecologies” exists, or should exist, should be a take away for my class. But to get to that end, I would use the university or the business school as a business, as a information ecology, as a research subject. It is something they are familiar with – which makes it hard to “see” it in a different way. But if they can learn to see this as a place that is complex and has these features, and all the genres that go into such a place, then that wisdom could carry over to their careers. My only problem at this point is that the “co-evolution” aspect may be difficult to bring out as the university is often seen as a stodgy, inert institution. Though Nardi nears that concern with: For example, as schools across the country are wired by enthusiastic volunteers on NetDays, school teachers and administrators should expect to make decisions about how to use the new classroom Internet access not just once, but again and again. The Internet is rapidly changing, and the information ecologies in which the Internet plays a role must participate in those changes.