Moving on from Impactstory

Today, Jason & Heather announced that they’ve had to downsize my role at Impactstory as they work to improve Impactstory’s product-market fit. To say that I’m sad about their decision doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling–in some ways, I feel like I’m going through a breakup–but I’m optimistic about the future. And I have nothing but love and admiration for Heather and Jason, who are working very hard to make Impactstory a success.

So, what’s next for me, professionally-speaking?

To be honest, I’m of two minds. One part of me wants to continue working in the scholarly communication/publishing startup world, where change happens quickly, bureaucracy is limited, and success is hard-won but possible. The other part of me wants to return to academic librarianship, where I could have a stable, long-term career, I’d be able to build lasting local connections with faculty and students, and opportunities to do research abound.

In either case, my time at Impactstory has confirmed for me that I’m great at connecting with researchers at all stages of their careers, across many disciplines. Also, I really enjoy (and am pretty darn good at) building communities and doing outreach online.

Until further notice, I’m seeking job opportunities. You can learn more about my work at or at If you’ve got a lead, email me at

Posted in Work & Research | 1 Comment

Wickr is an app for those serious about privacy

Wickr is a messaging app for the privacy-minded. They use military grade encryption when sending your messages, photos, and videos, and don’t store your data on their server, making it damn near impossible for them to give up any information to third parties, including gov’t requests. Messages self-destruct after a time you set (anywhere from 1 second to 6 days in the future). Their privacy policy also beats Ansa‘s by far.

I contacted the Wickr team yesterday to share my appreciation for their product and make a feature suggestion: the ability to send messages that don’t self-destruct. I’d like to be able to send and receive text messages that I can save (say, addresses or a reminder of a friend’s birthdate). According to the Wickr team, this feature is on their list for development, and (much like Impactstory) they’ll prioritize it based on user demand.

The app is a freemium–they’ll launch premium features soon, and likely a donation feature alongside it, so geeks like me who love their product but don’t have much use for their premium features can still show their support. They asked me to leave a review on the Google Play store until then, to help spread the word.

I can’t leave this review on the Google Play store without signing up for a G+ account, though, I’m posting my review here:


Easy to install and use. Their policies beat other privacy-centric messaging apps by far; no chance they’ll sell your information or let third parties track you on their app. I’d pay for this app if I could. Looking forward to making it a full-time replacement for SMS and photo sharing.


Check out Wickr‘s specs and download links on their website, and consider making it your replacement for SMS, too. Oh, and if I know you, connect with me on Wickr!

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Lib school students: follow these job search tips

I like to think I’m pretty good at getting library jobs and also at giving advice. I’ve also been on the receiving end of a lot of badly-executed job applications.

Want a better chance at getting a job? Here’s my 2c for you to consider as you go on the hunt.

Get to know the places you’re applying to

A half-hour of research into a library’s strengths can go a long way towards showing the hiring committee that you take this position seriously, and that you want to work for them.

Of course, if you’re applying to 75 jobs at once (or however many recent MLS grads have to apply to in order to get some callbacks in this awful economy), that’s a major time suck. At least try to put in that amount of time for the positions you’re the most excited about.

Write a good cover letter

This is one of the most-repeated bits of job search advice, I know. But I’m including it here because it doesn’t seem like many people heed that advice.

What does it mean to write a good cover letter? Well, there are heaps of guides out there, so I won’t go into detail, but a quick list includes:

  • Check your spelling
  • Check your grammar
  • Address it to a human (not to “Search Committee” or “To Whom it May Concern,” if possible)
  • Indicate the _soft skills_ you’ll bring to the position (you’re good with people! You are a quick learner!) rather than the skills you’ve already summarized on your CV
  • Talk about why you’re a good fit for that particular position, not why you’re just awesome in general (tailor the heck out of your cover letter, and do the same for your CV)

Want an example of a decent cover letter? I’ve put my cover letter from my most recent library-land position online, for you to reference. I’m by no means the best at writing these things, but hey, it worked out OK for me.

Be yourself

I’m gay. (Surprise!) I also have dabbled in pornography studies and volunteered at a rather risqué art gallery when I lived in SF.

I put all of that (well, except the gay part) into my CV (also available online) because a) community involvement is community involvement and b) sometimes the things we study don’t always relate to the positions to which we are applying, yet show that we have scholarly interests (even if kind of blue). (And any university who doesn’t believe that porn studies is a (fun, younger, but) totally legit sister of communication/mass media studies isn’t one I want to work at.)

Similarly–even more so, in fact–I’m always very open about my gayness in job interviews. (I mention my wife, etc.) Because if someone I’m interviewing with is weird about that, they’re not someone I want as a colleague.*

From another angle, being open in job interviews can also make you more relatable  to the hiring committee. A guy who interviewed with our department at IU was very up front about how he wanted to find library work in Bloomington, where his wife was in grad school, because family was very important to him. I was touched by that, and appreciated his honesty about the importance of a work-life balance wrt priorities. He later got the job.

That said, had he mentioned his wife in his cover letter, I likely wouldn’t have picked him for an in-person interview. It’s a weird trade-off, one that gets easier to negotiate as you have more jobs and learn more about professionalism. (Probably doesn’t help you freshly-minted, wet-behind-the-ears MLSers, but oh well.)

Use your good judgement when deciding what to share with prospective employers. If you are a volunteer coordinator for the local Binge Drinker Championship, you might want to leave that out. You also shouldn’t be too blunt about the fact that you’re keen on a job because you’re having trouble getting hired elsewhere.

Hack the application process

This Silicon Valley job search description includes a lot of actionable hacks for any job candidate, not just those in IT:

  • Keep good track of all the applications you have out
  • Do your own write-ups of how the interview went, including whether you want to work for the organization after meeting your prospective co-workers
  • How to negotiate (which you should ALWAYS do)

Follow the link for more juicy bits.

Got more tips to share? Add them in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter at @skonkiel.

UPDATE: A great Vitae article on negotiating salaries went online recently. Go read it now!

* I recognize that I’m able to be as open as I am because I have a good amount of privilege–I’m white, able-bodied, and was applying to my most recent library position while still employed (a safety net makes it a heck of a lot easier to say things like “if they don’t find porn studies to be legit, screw ’em”). So, take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, and disclose only what feels comfortable to you in your cover letter, CV, and interview.

Posted in Work & Research | 4 Comments

Inaugural post to the E-Science Community Blog: “Before the executable paper, a verifiable paper: moving publishing forward with the Resource Identification Initiative”

Most current call-to-arms in scientific publishing invoke the idea of an “executable paper”—an article format that can truly take advantage of web-native publishing, leveraging embedded code and research data to allow readers to confirm research findings on the spot. Though a few promising prototypes have been shared in recent years, we are still fairly far from this ideal.

In fact, we are still grappling with how we can ensure the offline verification of results. In the literature, vague descriptions of antibodies, software packages, and other resources used in the course of a study mean that without intervention from a paper’s authors, it’s often impossible to accurately replicate research or build upon reported findings.

Enter the Resource Identification Initiative (#RII). The Force11-backed group is working with publishers and journals such as Nature to ensure that all resources (currently defined as “Antibodies, Model Organisms, and Tools (software and databases)”) mentioned in a paper get identifiers, which are linked back to detailed descriptions about the resources themselves.

Read the full post here >>> 

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About this blog

This blog is where I’m attempting to provide persistent access to out-of-print queercore and riot grrrl recordings via SOUL PONIES, and where I write occasionally on issues related to altmetrics, scholarly communication, and librarianship.

Use the top nav bar to find posts related to SOUL PONIES and my Work & Research, or view new additions on all topics as they are added here.

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Records for Sale

Update: these records are no longer available, as of 6/2/2014. Thanks for your interest!

The following albums are being sold for the cost of shipping only (where they’re inherited from Abe) or the cost I paid for them, plus the cost of shipping (where they’ve been purchased by me). Want to purchase one (or many)? Please read the following carefully.

Email me ( with the title(s) of the record you want.  I’ll then get in touch with you to let you know the shipping total you’ll need to send me (Paypal & snail mail both OK). Once I’ve received payment, I’ll ship the records.

By emailing me, you accept that all records, tapes, and CDs are being passed along you to “as-is,” with no guarantee for quality. Few of them are in “mint” condition, but all are in good enough condition to listen to and enjoy for years to come. Just so we’re clear.


Amateur Party (members of Limp Wrist) – Public Utility Complaint – 45 – $3 (incl. S+H)

Autoclave (Mary Timony) – s/t – 45 – $3 (S+H)

Bush Tetras – Das Ah Riot – 1981 Fetish Records – 45 – $3 (S+H)

Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps – 1980 99 Records – 45 – $3 (S+H)

Carnal Knowledge s/t – cassette – $4 (incl. S+H)

Cheesecake – COQfighters – 1994 Fistful Records? – 45 – $3 (S+H)

CeBe Barnes Band – s/t – 199? Horsekitty Records – 45 – $3 (S+H)

Cheeky – Choke on a Cheeseburger EP – 45 – $5 (incl.S+H)

Dominatrix/The Haggard split 7″ – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Explode into Colors – Eyes Hands Mouth – 45 – $7 (incl. S+H)

Explode into Colors – Coffins – 45 – $7 (incl. S+H)

Gimme Cooties Compilation (For the Birds Collective) – CD – $4 (incl. S+H)

The Haggard – A Bike Called Greasy (Mr. Lady Records) – CD – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

The Haggard – No Future – CD – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Tami Hart – What Passed Between Us – CD – Mr. Lady Records – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Huggy Bear – Long Distance Lovers – 45 – $3 (S+H)

Hunx & His Punx – Gay Singles – LP – $15 (incl. S+H) (unopened)

Jackqueen – Jackqueen EP – CD – Jackqueen Records – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

layers/quake – Tape 2009 – cassette – $4 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Limp Wrist – s/t – LP – $10 (incl. S+H) (unopened)

Little Lungs – Hoist Me Up! – 45 – $5 (incl. S+H)

The Moves – Magneto Single Fire 7″ (Mr. Lady Records) – 45 – $4 (incl. S+H)

Mulkiteo Fairies – Closet Check – 45 – $2 (S+H)

Screaming Females/Hunchback – Cortez the Killer – 45 – $5 (incl. S+H)

Screaming Females – What if someone is watching their TV? – LP – $7 (incl. S+H)

Sextional EP – CD – Mr. Lady Records – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Sin Orden/Condenada Split EP – amor sin fronteras – 45 – $5 (incl. S+H) – multiple copies available

Sta-Prest – Vespa Sex – 45 $3 (S+H)

The Third Sex – “Mombies” et al – 45 – $3 (S+H)

The Big Shebang Compilation (For the Birds Collective) – CD – $4 (incl. S+H)

Younger Lovers – Newest Romantic – LP & CD combo – $10 (incl. S+H)

Posted in SOUL PONIES | Tagged | Leave a comment


Hello friends,

I hope you’ll forgive the long hiatus. Long story short, I moved to the Midwest for a Grown Up Job and got pretty boring. Updates to SOUL PONIES gave way to writing proposals for conferences, etc. Sadly, I’m going to move on from actively updating this blog.

Some of the records I’ve collected over the years could find better homes with You. Starting in early 2014, I’m going to periodically list the records up for grabs on this blog.

There remains the obvious question, What Happened to All the Old Recordings that are No Longer on Megaupload? I’ve hunted down quite a few and am working on finding a self-controlled solution, such as putting stuff up on Bittorrent. (If you have any ideas, please let me know!) In the meantime, I’ll try to check my email on a regular basis so that I can respond to requests for specific artists/records that have already appeared on SOUL PONIES.

Keep an eye out for the first post of items for “sale” in the next few weeks.

Posted in SOUL PONIES | Tagged | 2 Comments