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Hilary '11 & with Academia.edu in San Francisco

As of the summer I (Wybo) will be working for Academia.edu, based in downtown San Francisco, California.

Academia.edu is a Facebook/LinkedIn for academics, and one that might very well change the way scholars communicate and work. Besides social networking functionality, it also offers features specific to the academic world, such as commenting on papers, following research-interests, and it has more in the pipeline. Academia currently has over 270.000 users, a couple of million in funding, and is rapidly growing.

The people behind Academia are great. My H1B visa just came through. And as some I talked to might have heard earlier, the (decent) job-offer was made a couple of months ago. So San Francisco & Silicon Valley it is :-)

San Francisco seen from across the Oakland Bay Bridge.

In the meantime Hilary term (2nd term) has just ended in Oxford.

Besides it having been another splendid 8 weeks at the Oxford Internet Institute, it was intense, and I learned a lot. Mini-conferences, seminars, and lectures by world-class speakers, as well as good dinners, walks through Magdalen deer park, and debates (and even a ball) at the Oxford Union, again complemented the experience: In all, academic life as it should be :-) (& my grades have not been bad so far).

We’ve just had our last exam (in statistics), and apart from my thesis on critical mass (+ thesis-seminars of next term), there are two large essays left to write (on the impact of timezones in online communities, resp. on critical mass in online politics) before the start of next term (so we don’t have much of a break ;-). But I am looking forward to writing them…

The smaller essays I wrote so far were on the validity of online surveys, the opportunities posed by online experiments (both summative = for grades), on the digital natives debate, and finally one on why people contribute to online political discussion forums. Not that anybody would want to read these :)

Finally, I might be committing a few minor updates to LogiLogi soon (don’t have as much time to develop as I used to).