“No Longer Available”

I’ve been developing web-based resources and writing for the web for over 10 years. For the most part, these resources were developed for the college or for the SUNY Learning Network (SLN) — some of them as a faculty fellow at ESC’s Center for Learning and Technology and others as a mentor at the college.

As I look at my vitae, however, I see “no longer available” next to almost every project. My work has vanished, been orphaned, been replaced — have I accomplished anything?

One explanation for the loss of my work is that the institutions have changed: the college has changed, the college’s relationship to SLN has changed, and SLN has changed — some of these resources are only of historical interest since they are irrelevant to the current institutions.

Still, what does it mean to have one’s body of work disappear or be orphaned by the institution? Just what have I accomplished? Was it worth the time and thought that went into it?

What does it mean to have a vitae with so many empty spaces? What might it mean for our younger colleagues as they think about how to spend their scarce resources on “the work” of academia? Will they create for the web? Are there sufficient incentives to write for the community given that the product may disappear with a change in technology or a change in administration?

Who will write for the commons?

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