I’m inserting here some notes from our pre-blog days:

The web site design is in play and making progress, however haltingly. Getting a bunch of opinionated grad students to vocalize, let alone agree upon, color schemes, design motifs, and (the biggie right now) a logo is surprisingly more challenging than getting us all on the same page about our mission. It’s a heck of an interesting exercise in rhetoric.

A long editorial meeting—5 hours on the 4th of July—brought home the challenges of collaborative writing and group dynamics. Put 5 strong-willed and smart academics in a room and ask them to write a paragraph… would make for a fascinating case study, whether in composition or psychology!

Not to mention the tough theoretical and practical tasks we have set ourselves, plus our own high standards… Translating academicese, which we are all too fluent in, into real language for real people: now that’s a rhetorical challenge. And in all the fuss, I’m not sure the call has yet answered the question: why a journal about rhetoric for popular audiences? Somehow, though, we managed to keep pretty focused and worked through the biggest changes, I think.

A fun aside: Today we realized that, ironically, “Academicese” is pronounced almost identically to “Academic Ease.”

A meeting with Jim and some space to breathe, and we rediscovered our sense of humor (sense of Harlot?), manifested in tag line suggestions ranging from “For what you can’t get at home” to “Open Minds, Open Legs.” (Okay, that last was mine, and not quite serious.) For some fun with brainstorming, check out the Whiteboard’s ongoing list…

Last night Catie and I, over cosmos, decide on our preferred subtitle: A Promiscuous Guide to Public Intercourse. Tim, over beer, agrees. But today, in the sunlight and back in the big group, we negotiate objections and suggestions and finally (tentatively?) decide on A Revealing Look at Public Discourse. The urgency over such details is caused by our (twice extended) deadline for sending out the pilot call for submissions. The main body seems ready; we’re soooooooo close.

And so, with the help of tech genius Jason and his delightfully appropriate domain name, we launch our blog.

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1 thought on “flashback

  1. Hey. Having completed an overdue final grant report, I’m free to blog! I caught up with some of the postings and find that the subtitle from 7/7 (discourse, not intercourse) is probably the way to go. Real people in the real world. (I find myself, with great anxiety, moving toward what feels suspiciously like Puritanism, and given that, “discourse” is a much more comfortable–but also, I think, a more descriptive–title.)

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