What did I do in 2016?

Spurred on by this post from Mark Johnson, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time this year and co-authoring a paper with, here’s a round up of what I did in 2016:

  • Wrote a paper for the Centre for Social Ontology book series about the digitalisation of the archive.
  • Co-wrote a paper about the Moral Economy of Celebrity Streaming with Mark Johnson and Tom Brock.
  • Finishing off a book of Margaret Archer’s collected papers, co-edited with Tom Brock and Graham Scambler, which came out last month.
  • Wrote most of a paper offering an overview of Digital Sociology and an agenda going forward which was due in at the end of the year (and isn’t quite finished yet).
  • Did loads of talks and workshops in various places. I realised I’d done a lot but was surprised to find it was actually 34 in total. Mostly to promote social media for academics but there was a range of other stuff as well. Highlights included talking to a massive room of press officers from universities across the UK and doing the closing session at the big ESRC postgraduate conference in Liverpool.
  • Edited a special issue of Discover Society with William Housley on digital futures, as well as put together a special section of LSE Impact Blog with Filip Vostal based on the conference in Prague last year.
  • Organised 6 symposia type things, a conference stream, a conference panel and a skills workshop at a conference. These included two on reflexivity, the morphogenetic approach, digital futures, beyond big & small data, conceptual challenges for interdisciplinary work, anxiety in the accelerated academy, practical sociology and public sociology.
  • Continued to develop The Digital Social Science Forum, with quite a lot of the activity above being driven by this in one way or another.
  • Continued to develop The Sociological Review’s digital presence, including making some really exciting plans going forward. I’m now entering my final year with the journal and I’m really pleased with the position things are getting to for when I hand it over to someone else.
  • Finishing off my last year at Warwick and with the Centre for Social Ontology. I’ll still continue to be involved in a research capacity but it’s nice to be moving on to new things.

What I conspicuously failed to do was finish my book about digital distraction. In fact, it’s not all that much further along than it was this time last year. This probably ties in with my decreasing affection for Twitter. Though I still recognise it’s useful in many respects, it can be a sink for time and energy, in a way that has started to feel toxic at points. I plan to step back from Twitter in 2017 and focus my social media activity on on my blogging and podcasting, while hopefully resisting the urge to use a phrase like ‘digital minimalism’. Here are my plans for 2017:

  1. Finally finish my book on digital distraction! Each chapter is mapped out in great deal, I’ve written chunks of it, I just need lots of time and space to sit down and get it out.
  2. Finally turning my PhD into a monograph (or promising myself to stop obsessing about doing so if I don’t manage it).
  3. Putting together an edited collection on personal and collective reflexivity, following from a symposium I ran with Tom Brock in Warwick last year. Hopefully also doing a follow up volume to the collected papers book we did with Graham Scambler.
  4. Four large and exciting conference type things which are in the works, which I can’t really say anything about until more details are confirmed.
  5. Social media training and workshops, including a series of public workshops in Manchester, Birmingham and London over the summer.
  6. Starting writing on an occasional basis for the Chronicle Vitae about social media for academics and exploring whether there are other avenues like this available, as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
  7. A series of collaborative papers on various digital social science and digital university related topics
  8. Put in an application for a three year post-doc on social media and academic labour (as the first stage in the broader project of the Digital University Lab) before my post-PhD window closes for these schemes.
  9. Trying to curate the slightly messy network of Digital Social Science Forum projects into a coherent agenda in order for the project to culminate in 2018, hopefully with some very exciting grant applications leading from it.
  10. Finish my time with The Sociological Review and hopefully get the website up to the popularity threshold I’ve had my eye on for the last year, as well as work with the new multimedia team on our first few projects.

2 thoughts on “What did I do in 2016?

  1. Ah they’re scattered throughout the web, but all hosted here:

    Hope the start of your 2017 has been more productive than mine!

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