Blog locally, research globally

I would like to see my department at the forefront of open research. At first, this desire came from wanting faculty to collectively manage our school website and keep it from becoming another boring pamphlet. The plan was simple: instead of hiring a webmaster we should instead make it a graduate assistant position, and encourage that assistant to coordinate the faculty and graduate students in collectively adding to and updating the site. Unfortunately, it seems likely that it will be handled as most university sites are: this design will remain in place until another crisis forces a redesign.

A more radical approach would be for each faculty member and graduate student to be responsible for sharing their work with a larger public. The role of the “webmaster” is then simply collapsing material they find on a larger loose confederation of sites. The Web visibility of such an approach would be enormous.

To that end, I would like to see my advisees with their own web spaces in which they provide information to their own students and to the larger research community. I can claim no credit for Kara’s site, since it was already in existence before I became her advisor. But I am happy to see Jia is putting together her site, and Cliff has a page (with no research materials but some stunning photos). Now I just need to get Amber on board…

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