• About Kevin

    About the Author

    Kevin Jay Nielsen

    At Lynn Street, With Cat Hair

    My full name is Kevin Nielsen.

    My serial number is longer than the VIN of my car, which always gives me a headache, so I won’t include it here.

    My rank is undetermined, but my files are definitely corrupted. I tried to avoid making painfully bad puns on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but all other days are fair game. Additionally, I am on a sarcasm curfew — any sarcasm before 10 AM, or after 7 PM, is usually punished with a slap to the back of my head.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever come back and update this page… if I do, I’ll probably post a picture of myself. Or possibly several pictures — me as a hippy, me as a corporate hatchet man, me playing polo, and me as I imagine myself (a cut-out of Alan Rickman’s head on the body of one of the country fokes from Deliverance). In retrospect, it is perhaps best if I don’t update this page.

    3 Responses to About Kevin

    1. Allison Martin
      July 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm


      I am a PhD student at the University of Leicester researching language change/usage shifts associated with online social networking sites including blogs, facebook, and twitter. I’m writing to let you know that your blog posts have been selected as part of a representative sample for analysis in a research project.

      With regard to the study, all textual and visual references to you or to individuals within your profile will be anonymised to protect your identity. The observation of your blog content will be used only for the purposes of this research project, will be held in strict confidentiality, and will not be distributed to any third parties. You may withdraw from the project at any time and are welcome to see the final research once it is completed.

      I intend to include project data within my PhD dissertation with the possibility of scholarly publication (for example, within a journal or as part of a monograph) and will present work in progress at academic conferences.

      Inclusion within this project requires no further action from you (I will be a silent observer) and only means that your postings will be analyzed during representative time periods—if you discontinue your blog, research data will not be affected.

      I will be happy to respond to your concerns or questions about the project. If you wish to opt out, please contact me within two weeks from receipt of this notification; if not, I will assume that you are willing for me to view and analyze your blog posts under the terms described above.

      With very best regards,
      Allison Martin

      **How/why your blog was selected:

      I vetted your blog in one of several ways: 1) through a blog network that categorizes groups of bloggers (such as 20-something bloggers) or 2) through your link/icon attached to another blogger’s site. 3) Occasionally, I looked for subject matter that I thought may be indicative of a certain demographic group (for example, fly fisherman or stay-at-home moms). I then reviewed your blog for content (i.e., whether your blog contained text-based narrative, rather than images or links–your blog may contain many images or links, but it includes text-based, narrative content.) Next, I reviewed your profile to establish 1)your online identity as a North American English speaker 2)your area of the country (I attempted to formulate a distribution of bloggers so that I would not focus on language change from only one or two specific areas of the country.), and 3)your online identity (gender/age) strictly for demographics sub-corpora.

      Although I have only recently “friended” your site, I first vetted most sites back in autumn/winter of 2009. (If you have a visitor locator on your blog, you may see that I visited from Louisiana on several occasions and from Central England –Walsall, Birmingham, Leicester–around June.)

      I then narrowed all my candidates to balance word count/bloggers for my four demographic subgroups. I’m now in the process of making contact to gain consent for inclusion within my corpora. Vetting has taken almost a year. :)

      *More info about me: Although I spend some of my time in England, I am an Associate Professor of English and Humanities at Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana. My research interests include computer-mediated communication analysis and punctuated language equilibrium. If you’d like to verify my academic status, please see BPCC’s Liberal Arts Division faculty information (http://bpcc.edu/libartsfaculty.htm)

    2. Zero
      April 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Allison,

      I didn’t actually receive this notification until a few months ago — I received so little commentary from this blog in years past that I eventually stopped expecting any at all, and thus have not checked my moderation queue with any semblance of regularity. Neither do I collect any visitor analytics — quite frankly, I do not much care who views it or doesn’t view it. I’m one of “those” bloggers.

      You are of course welcome to make any use of the site you wish (approval retroactively and uselessly granted!). I (or rather, my significant other) would love to see the completed research if that is easily accomplished. My S.O. is a comp/rhet Ph.D. and some of her more recent interests border upon your turf. I think we would both enjoy seeing what you make of the subject matter.

      Best wishes,

    3. Cathy McDonald
      July 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      I am Kevin’s partner and am quite interested in your research. Some of my colleagues are also doing studies on digital language use and blogging.

      My Ph.D. is in language and rhetoric, and I love teaching about language change in my linguistics classes.

      It has been a year since you posted on Kevin’s blog, so I assume you weren’t able to use him as a participant in your study? I hope you did, tho. As Kevin replied, we would be interested in the data and analysis of your scholarship. Have you finished your dissertation? Love to hear your findings.


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