Friday, January 01, 2010

Blog Resolutions

In terms of the main resolution, then barring unforeseen events we will continue the blog throughout the year. Some features for New Year are below. As usual, please feel free to email to suggest content or structure.

1. More Video and Audio from events here. We have been recording almost all Geary events this year and these will feature more on the blog over 2010.

2. More guest posts. This will start very soon. Suggestions (via email) please.

3. We will get the look right this year. Anyone who knows how I dress will know why the blog looks the way it does. I was not gifted with a refined sense of visual design and we do not have specific resources for development of this blog. We will get there though. I confidently predict that the blog will be a shining example of elegance and functionality by next new year's celebrations.

4. Greater use of the blog to trigger "in-person" events. A blog is not a perfect substitute for seminar-style events even if it has some key advantages (e.g. hyperlinking). Book clubs and the further development of our monday morning sessions here are two such events that will be promoted more.

5. Greater use of the blog as a "nudge". The upcoming funding and conference deadlines have been handy this year. At present, I have a large set of "basecamp" projects that works to remind me of deadlines, seminars, milestones for projects and so on. I am working out the best way of using the blog for this, without cluttering it with material that is too specific.


Stephen Kinsella said...

Audio/Video events are pretty easily done once you have the tech for it, drop a few hundred and get it designed. Ronan Lyons used Susan Gallagher design,, if I'd the money I'd call her, they won a golden spider for

One thing I'd really like to see on this blog is more dialogue between the Phd students about their ongoing research-it would be really interesting to view the conversations about individual research projects *as* they happen, rather than viewing the finished result.

Kevin Denny said...

Personally, I am most interested in the blog for talking & learning about academic research, my own and others.
Anything else is a bit peripheral for me.

Liam Delaney said...

true kevin. but getting the design right will help that, as will widening the posters. One reason why I push the in-person events stuff so much is that it is difficult to generate a lot of actual discussion through the comment sections of the blog. I'm not fully sure why that's the case. The blog has always had more of a message board feel rather than being a discussion forum. Maybe we need to do a few NAMA posts Kevin?

Ok steve, I will think about dipping into my enormous wallet but we don't have institutional resources that I am aware of for this. Ronan's site is nicely designed. Perhaps we need a nice picture of Ronan on our site also. I'm sure he wouldnt mind if we capitalised on his film-star economist good looks to move up the value chain.

Geary used to do a newsletter feature where PhD students could say what they were doing. The ISNE in Ireland is a good venue for that, as is the European young economists session. Rightly or not, I tend to dissuade people from talking about their own very early stage research online, partly because it will damage their credibility if they don't follow through, and partly because it leads to arguments about ownership of ideas. We have a lot of internal sessions for presentation of early stage work both in Geary and in the School of Economics and have mostly avoided problems but I would hesitate to move toward disseminating that type of material. In general, I am very interested in the best models for promoting early stage research, hence all the time trying to get those ISNE sessions going. Its a trick one though.

Kevin Denny said...

Whats wrong with the design? I don't think its too bad, maybe a bit cluttered but lots of useful links. The Irish Economy one, by contrast, is a bit spartan.
NAMA...hmmm...think I will leave that to others.

Liam Delaney said...

There is a wider discussion here about how to organise discussion of academic ideas more generally within a research group and between the group and the wider world. Outside the working paper/journal/conference spectrum. Our model here is a Monday morning informal session, a formal Tuesday seminar, a regular journal club, bespoke sessions with policy and business groups, this blog and then about 4/5 home-produced half-day events. Yes, a couple of us even twitter.

It is important. Kuhn talks about the context of discovery, as opposed to the context of verification. The context of verification is the 'hard stuff', namely the hoops we must pass to get material into books and journals and accepted by the paradigms we work in. However, the myriad interpersonal interactions between scientists that form the context in which ideas are thought up (context of discovery) is given a lot of importance also. I'm not sure what he would have made of twitter and blogger but the basic technologies are extremely efficient for allowing a richer context for ideas to emerge.

Liam Delaney said...

there are a few things wrong with the design

- Takes a few seconds to load up if bandwidth is not very good

- The colours, to use the technical aesthetic phrase, don't look right

- I haven't embedded widgets yet to keep new books rotating on the site as I dont know an elegant way to do this on blogger. This is a really good feature of some of the best economics blogs.