Welcome

This is a practice and demonstration site built by professor Tim Kubal, for sociology students, and for the professor to discuss his projects that merge technology, research, and teaching.

The site provides individual pages for each student in my sociology classes. The site also provides a place to display some of my amateur online “tinkering”. I’ve built many online tools and used almost all of them in my teaching and/or research. Below are a few examples:

I’m producing a sociology textbook written by AI robots.

I periodically run a call center for collecting survey data. I have my own program, but also use several market and wholesale providers.

I periodically run email survey research. I have built my own email blast program, but also I have found a big-name outfit to provide great service for the money.

I built a custom site that produces academic-quality random number lists for survey research. Contact me for more details (see below for contact info). This site doesn’t have much competition, so the alternatives are no better, and still very expensive.

I am building a website for students and scholars to document and discuss county-level statistics on sociological topics. This is an improvement over the “Fresno Scorecard” site that I had built for a local nonprofit.

I am building a website for students and scholars to produce content analyses of qualitative evidence on sociological topics.

I produce sociological animations for online lectures.

I have many decommissioned research tools. Below are a few, along with what I’ve learned through the process:

I have built tools for automatic transcription and translation of interview texts. Those tools are decommissioned. I have tried many competitors. Most of the online tools are good, probably because they are using the same AI scripts. Downloaded software can’t compete in my opinion. I currently support Ottervoice.

I have built many recording tools to assist in research, including several versions of face-to-face interview recording apps for telephone and computer. These have been decommissioned. I currently support Ottervoice.

Back when I had a lot more money to spend (pre-2106), I was able to produce quite a few interesting (but still amateur) programs for social research, including a mapping program that allowed user input of data and even had geo-fencing, and an online statistics program that interpreted the data, rather than just giving the numbers. There were several other interesting academic toys I was building too, but all had to be put aside, mostly for financial (and time) reasons. In general, I found that I could act very agile and produce interesting products, but the real cost was in the upkeep — not (just) the hosting, but the ongoing version updates, importing of new technology, new tools, and new bugs. I learned firsthand why technology-intensive sites (even those starting with open source tools) cannot afford to operate without charging customers. Also, I learned that, in most cases of technologies and sites with a broad use, eventually the market will produce reasonably-priced solutions that far surpass small-scale tinkering. This has led me to focus more concretely on sociologically-based productions.

Contact: Tim Kubal, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, California State University Fresno, CA 93740

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