If it’s October 21st, then it’s ICTlogy.net anniversary. And if this is 2013, then it’s the tenth anniversary. Happy birthday, ICTlogy.net.
As usual, first some figures and then some comments.
- 1,131 blog posts at the ICT4D Blog, (), 1,316 comments () and 162 pages.
- 259 blog posts at the SociedadRed Blog, (), 4,242 comments () and 133 pages.
- A bibliography with 2,463 works and 2,007 authors ().
- 622 wiki entries (, ).
- 23 learning materials.
- 519 articles from 98 events from my liveblogging sessions.
- All the usual stuff: Twitter, delicious,
Google Shared, Google Calendar, Slideshare, Prezi, YouTube, Lifestream/aggregator and FriendFeed.
The first obligatory remark that needs being made is that I forgot celebrating the 9th anniversary. It is a surprising thing to acknowledge as I cannot remember being specially hectic at that time. Maybe the novelty of the site having been somewhat recently renewed contributed to forget the date.
On the other hand, Twitter has become so central in daily, quick news, that the whole dynamics of the site — and not only sharing special dates — have been affected by it. Thus, now many of the things that I do are not publicly announced on the website as they used to, but are just shared on Twitter once the corresponding file has been created in the personal repository. Now, the news section features only very remarkable milestones, mostly publications, leaving other stuff (speeches, for instance) fall directly into the personal repository and then shared on Twitter.
The second big, huge, change has been the creation of the second blog, SociedadRed in Spanish and about Spanish politics and policy — with some bias, of course, towards the Information Society. Yes, the blog has already been up for almost 4 years so far. But its activity has grown quite a bit in the last two, especially in the comments section: in less than four years, the blog has more than four times the comments of the main academic blog. In terms of comments per post, while the ICT4D blog has 1.16 comments/post, SociedadRed has 16.37 comments/post. That is a difference.
I am glad to ackowledge, though, that even if the second blog is not an academic one, a series of posts on the Spanish “Second Transition” has already been the seed to the paper IntenciÃ³n de voto en EspaÃ±a 1978-2013. Â¿Una Segunda TransiciÃ³n hacia una polÃtica extra-representativa? which I recently presented at an academic congress on political science. So, despite it not being an academic blog, I am glad to see that I am quite able to keep some rigour in my non-academic reflections.
By the way, both blogs have now the possibility to navigate through their archives in a much more comfortable way than before. Check that yourself visiting the ICT4D Blog Archives and the SociedadRed Blog Archives.
This year also saw the discontinuation of Google Reader, which took away my Blogroll, which was feed by Google Reader shared folders. Feedly is proving to be a good substitute, but it does not have this feature yet.
I cannot help by ending this reflection with a couple of negative notes.
The first one, of course, is about how increasingly difficult is to do research in Spain. Budget cuts in research and education in general (and especially in higher education) are making things very complicated. Just as an example, two of my academic communications in academic conferences required that I looked for an extra gig (a keynote in Granada and a workshop in Seville) to pay for my travel expenses. Not that I did not enjoy those gigs (on the contrary), but the point is that funding for research is really an issue — and, comparing with many of my colleagues, I cannot complain very much.
The second one is how the academy is increasingly locked in its own ivory tower. Research and policy are becoming so far away one from the other one that it will soon become difficult to make informed and evidence-based decisions. Scholars do not “waste their time” on policy papers, and decision-makers do not make the effort of digging into scholarly research. Many of the works that I did during 2013 are useless in academic terms. A complete, utter, sheer waste of time. An issue that raises an important dilemma: should the researcher focus only on “what matters” in academic terms? or should the researcher risk the academic career and try to make an impact even if it is outside of the scholarly track? or should the researcher — as I am myself struggling to do — try and play a role in both worlds? The latter is very satisfying, but a little bit stressing (and resources consuming). Any comments on that?