Thursday, December 20, 2018

Year in Review, part 2: What Got More Attention?

I don't write posts or tweets to maximize hits.  For instance, I had no idea that my tweet yesterday would get more than 1k likes.   I have very little strategy besides express what I think.  But I used to be a narcissist until Trump tainted that as well, so I like to look back and see what played more broadly.  Not to change how I blog, but just curious.

So, here's the top ten posts of 2018 according to google analytics with some commentary:
  1. McGill's Shame Continues.  This post from 2016 keeps getting hits, partly because I keep linking to it in other sexual harassment stories.  That was, in some ways, one of the riskiest posts I have written, but I did so because I wanted to warn folks about a serial sexual harasser.  That people will not convey who is the bad guy to avoid, and so someone new will have their career damaged.  That this post serves as continuing warning is a good thing.  Of course, the real test is after this generation of grad students moves on.
  2. ISA Sexual Harassment In The News.  The story about Richard Ned Lebow's elevator joke and the subsequent reactions got heaps of play at the Semi-Spew as well as elsewhere.  It only seems that whenever I write about the ISA, it is bad news.  I was worried at the time that this particular event would trivialize claims about sexual harassment. 
  3. Reflections on L'Affaire Lebow.  A very rare guest post, this one by Tanisha Fazal, put Lebow into context.  Tanisha did a great job of explaining her experience with the professor at the heart of the controversy.  By the way, notice a theme here?
  4. Advice for the First Year Professor.  Finally, a non-sexual harassment post.  In August, folks on twitter were pondering what they would say to someone starting out, so I tried to remember and offered my take.  Be chill might be the shorthand--do what you can, but don't set goals/expectations too high.
  5. Institutional Sexism.  Yes, the post that led to the one at the top of the charts.  A brief venting of how institutions protect themselves more than their students via covering everything in confidentiality sauce.
  6. The Last Father's Day.  What started out as acknowledging that my daughter is now fully out of the nest became something else as my father died on father's day.  I very much appreciate the support and kindnesses that the readers of my blog as well as twitter followers and facebook friends.
  7. How to Explain the Academic Job Market to Non-Academics. We academics compete in a strange market that is hard for outsiders to explain.  I came up with a bunch of handy rules that illustrate some of the complexities and challenges.
  8. Social Media Etiquette From Me?  This recent post might be the most hypocritical thing I have written, as I am not so restrained except in comparison to those who are completely unconstrained.
  9. Appalling, Not Shocking, Academic Edition.  I address the Jorge Dominguez story at Harvard--of decades of getting away with sexual harassment.
  10. Comparative Xenophobia, part I.  And oldie from 2013, which probably continues to get hits thanks to being featured on the old Max Fisher WashPo page.   The only post on this top ten list that actually is focused on what I have studied.  My old work on ethnic conflict is hip again thanks to both catastrophic separatist referenda (Brexit) and the rise of xenophobia.  This piece focused on a newspaper report about academic work, and I used it to discuss how identity is complex.
Should I be troubled that few of my posts on my areas of research--civ-mil relations, alliances, and ethnic conflict--get heaps of hits?  Maybe. While I think that stuff is important, it is clear that those issues resonate locally.  That sexual harassment got half of the top spots?  Probably not as #metoo and all that remains quite important and resonates broadly.  My advice to academics, especially younger ones, tends to get more play.  Whether it is good advice or gets heeded?  No idea.

The honorable mentions do include more of a mix: Trump Rules, Finding Co-Authors, Don't Get a Phd, Rules for Writing One's CV, Why Do We Care about Ethnic Outbidding, Civil-Mil Relations and Trump's Ego, Canada Should Look East?

As I said, I will not change what I do in light of this--I will still write about civ-mil often since that is my research focus and US foreign policy as that is what I am teaching this winter/spring.  Will I write less about sexual harassment?  Probably not, as it is not going away, alas. Will I write less about Trump?  Maybe, as it is exhausting and I am exhausted.

Thanks again for reading my musings, half-baked as they are. And, yes, full of typos. 

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