Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013: Heaps of Writing

I just explored my blog's 2013 to see what did well (got hits and/or comments).  I did not check out which posts got the least amount of interest--I don't have that kind of time (the snow needs shoveling).  I wanted to write about all of my writing, but the Spew stuff took up enough space that I thought I would address my 2013 of writing for CIC, PV@G, and Duck here.

CIC:  I have really enjoyed writing for Canadian International Council.  It tends to be a bit of a challenge as I try to write weekly, and topics sometimes elude me when it is my turn to contribute to CIC each week.  But I like engaging the Canadian public about Canada's role in the world, Canadian defence issues, and general IR stuff.  I don't get the hits data, so I have to go with likes/RTs/+1's, so here is the post that got the most love from the readers this year:
  • When Canada's Irrelevance is a Good Thing.  I thought this was perhaps my most obnoxious piece, which means that the audience may not be reinforcing my best tendencies.  But the point here was that Canada's less than insightful stance on Iran was irrelevant.  So, good news!
  •  My piece that got the most comments was on Canadian defence contracting and my frustration with the trend towards emphasizing defence spending as industrial policy (jobs) even if it means more expensive (which means fewer, less capabile) ships, planes, whatevers.
  • My piece on Hyperbole Overload got a heap of comments and likes/RTs/+1's.  I took offense at those applying the resource curse argument to the case of Canada.  Yes, the oil industry is very powerful in Canada, but it does not fit the concepts that people want to apply.  Canada's economy and political systems are are far more institutionalized than those who fit the resource curse argument, so the development of oil here matters, but does not warp the system as much as some folks would like to argue.
  • This piece takes issue with the idea that Canadian academics are not engaging the public.  This nostalgia was just confirmation bias covered in smug sauce--these kids today .... 
  • I liked this piece "Are We Going to War in Mali?" as it did a couple of things I like to do--beat up on those who stretch concepts beyond their breaking points (see Hyperbole Overload above) and do something that the government often refuses to do--be clear about what is going on.

Duck of Minerva:
My stuff at the Duck tends to be bipolar--silly videos posted on Fridays as part of Friday Nerd Blogging (I take turns more or less with Charli Carpenter on this) and rants about the profession.  Some IR leaks through as well.
Not a bad year, I think.  My output there was not so consistent, but I think the stuff I did post at the Duck was pretty interesting, including many posts getting comments.  Indeed, far more comments here on average than at the Spew.  It might be my selection criteria (I try not to post at the Duck every glimmer of an idea that pops in my head) or the community of readers or both.

Political Violence at a Glance:
I tend to focus mostly on separatism and alliance stuff here, as I think this is a place for my more serious take on that which is most costly--violence.

Random online stuff:
I was asked to think about Game of Thrones and what it says about popular understandings of IR for e-IR--an online compendium of stuff on IR.  It was apparently the most shared entry of 2013.  Woot!

2013 was a very interesting year, and pretty productive if online verbiage counts.  Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting on my stuff.  May your 2014 be peaceful, fun, and chock full of social science.

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