Monthly Archive: March 2012

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Setting experiments

I love saying I am doing experiments. It sounds so serious, so mature, so not like writing complicated (and maybe absurd) theories on letters as paradigms for literary texts as pieces of paper that always miss their destination like I did this afternoon… Here is what the experiment consists in, for a sober evening (with Simon and Garfunkel cheering me up though). The aim is to figure out how legitimization mechanisms in Wikipedia biographies work. We (Christof and I) divided this one question in the following ones: 1) How much weighs scholarly reputation? 2) Is a manuscript proof worth as much as...

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Word of the Day: Workflow

I started noticing the recurrence of the word “worklflow” about a year ago. This is also the time that I had begun to get what metadata are (I come from a galaxy far, far away, as you see). At first, I imagined a nice little boat gently floating  on a river: me and my team along the workflow. I took me a while to accept that the problems of workflow involve thinking in terms of non-linearity and arrhythmia. In the traditional way my discipline works, the most you have to coordinate is topics for papers when you plan a conference or...

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What’s in a Boeckh?

I have already mentioned August Boeckh several times in the past (here, here and here for instance), but never presented the importance of the Boeckh part in the big picture of my project. Since we will have a team meeting in a couple of days, this seems to be a good time for a recapitulation on the workflow and the objectives. First, let me tell you how I came to working on August Boeckh! When I developed my project on Berlin intellectuals around 1800, I thought that there was nothing new to find on the “big” intellectuals in the archives, nothing unknown...

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Writing blog posts takes too much time, they say…

I give you my quintessence of the last 2 papers of the Weblogs conference – In a short, but intense paper, Hubertus Kohle presents a series of theses. The first one being that blogging and a peer review is a contradiction in terms. The quality of a blog post, says Kohle, depends on its quick access, on its making a good and clear point, on it being short – all qualities that get lost if you want to fit in the criteria of traditional scholarly peer-reviewing. He also states: the posts that are most commented  are the shortest and most...

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Blog-ray exposure (Weblogs in Munich Part 3)

The first afternoon session presents existing blogs. Maybe I will finally understand what makes a good blog. So far, my conclusion was that the traffic on a blog defines its official success. But on the other hand, a scholarly blog with 15 visitors that are “the right ones” is also considered successful. All in all, I still don’t understand what success looks like for a scholarly blog. The number of visits combined with the number of quotations or links? The number of commentaries? The number of tweets? Or maybe nothing that could be summarized in numbers? Let’s see… Eva Pfanzelter...