Tag: metrics

In the last year, I’ve become increasingly preoccupied by why we shouldn’t take social media metrics too seriously. In part, this preoccupation is analytical because following this thread has proven to be a useful way to move from my past focus on individual users of social media to a more expansive sociological account of platforms. The […]

How significant can a tweet can be? We can point to isolated cases of individual tweets going viral, creating controversy and producing material outcomes in the world. But isolated tweets rarely have such significance. Instead, we need to look at a Twitter feed as a unit of analysis, taking someone’s entire output on the platform as […]

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, there’s an interesting remark about the structural position of first time authors which I think has wider purchase. From pg 200: Ironically, in a world preoccupied by numbers, the author with no track is in some ways in a strong position, considerably stronger than the author who has published […]

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he describes what might be termed the bounded autonomy enjoyed by some editorial teams within publishing houses. From pg 128: the devolution of editorial decision-making to small editorial teams operating with a high degree of autonomy within certain financial parameters is the best way to maximize your chances of […]

In our discussion of metrics systems, it’s easy to treat subjectivity as a cipher, regarding people as passively moulded by algorithms or blindly governed by the incentives that operate through the institutionalisation of the metrics. My objection to the former is not the claim that people are shaped by metrics, but rather the assumption that this process is […]

Good news! This week it was learnt that CWTS will play host to the second annual conference ‘The Accelerated Academy: Evaluation, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life’. Generously sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the event will take place from 30th November to 2nd December 2016 in the beautiful city-centre of […]

An interesting snippet in this Fast Company profile of BuzzFeed about their viral lift metric and how this trumps page views as a measure of success: Stopera, an Internet savant so steeped in pop culture that he appeared on an episode of MTV’s Fanography as a teenager for his “psychotic” love of Britney Spears, is explaining how he […]

Call for Papers A workshop on Competition(s) As part of a broader project – Performances of Value: Competition and Competitions Inside and Outside Markets – we call for papers for a workshop on Competition(s) that will take place on June 10-11, 2016 at the Copenhagen Business School. Costs for travel, lodging, and meals for workshop […]

UC Davis, February 4-5, 2016 The event is open to the public. Please register here. Follow on Twitter at #GamingMetrics. This conference explores a recent evolution of scholarly misconduct connected to the increasing reliance of metrics in the evaluation of individual faculty, departments, and universities.  Misconduct has traditionally been tied to the pressures of “publish or perish” […]

A fascinating snippet from The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, describing the approach of a new operations director joining Facebook in 2007. From pg 144: The next week, Chamath asked me and my management colleagues in customer support to do an evaluation exercise in which we ranked everyone on the Customer Support Team from highest […]

From page 75 of Brad Stone’s excellent book The Everything Store: In early 1998, Bezos was closely involved with a department called Personalization and Community, which was geared toward helping customers discover books, music, and movies they might find interesting. That May, he surveyed what was then Amazon’s Hot 100 bestseller list and had an […]

When questioned by a friend in 1980 as to whether he was happy at Princeton, the philosopher Richard Rorty replied that he was “delighted that I lucked into a university which pays me to make up stories and tell them”. He went on to suggest that “Universities permit one to read books and report what […]

Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life, 2nd-4th December 2015, Prague Call for papers: Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life There is little doubt that science and knowledge production are presently undergoing dramatic and multi-layered transformations accompanied by new imperatives reflecting broader socio-economic and technological developments. The unprecedented proliferation of audit cultures preoccupied with […]

This article by John Holmwood is worth reading: There are few national systems of higher education that are immune from their effects, though their use is more extensive and systematic in some places, rather than others. They seem to have gone furthest in national systems with a high proportion of public universities, especially in countries […]

Paul Kirby and Meera Sabaratnam have written a thought-provoking response to the HEFCE consultation on using metrics for research assessment. Archived here because I plan on coming back to this properly at a later date. This is their account of the motivations driving this turn towards metrics, which they go on to critique: The research assessment […]