Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Loose Ends and Pre-Season Thoughts

Not long ago someone posted a request for us to "fill in" the Big Board for last year's job carnage market. We think that's a great idea, particularly if, as rumor has it, the wiki is an unreliable mess.

But we also remember what happened when we made a plea for our readers to help us with such a task last year: almost no one stepped forward to help out.

Please don't make that the case again this year. We're counting on you.

Here's the plan: we've created a duplicate of the Big Board with a clean comments section. Please help us complete the board by leaving information there.

Now, on to other matters.

The major development on the rumor mill front in 2007-2008 was the advent of the wiki. At the time, we asked for opinions about whether we should shutter the mill. The overwhelming consensus was "no," and we must say that you were right. This year not only did the wiki prove problematic, but a significant number of its rumors came from us.

The major development this year has been the advent of Political Science Job Rumors. A rather lively place, in our opinion. And we find ourselves wondering yet again: has the Rumor Mill lost its raison d'ĂȘtre? Should we continue?

To be honest, running the thing during job season is kind of a pain. A big reason is that we make sporadic efforts to contact faculty and job candidates about rumors we receive (we didn't do this as frequently as we should have in 2008-2009, and if we continue we'll aim to ramp up the effort). On the other hand, we think we're a somewhat cleaner, friendlier place than the message boards, and that probably counts for something. What do you think?

Finally, if we do continue, what can we do better? What should we change? And no, we won't ditch moderation.


Anonymous said...

i like the Rumor Mill b/c it's less nasty and more trustworthy than the polisci job rumors board.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to give good feedback as I am on the market for the first time. I know that this site is the one I check first when I have questions about IR jobs. I think the big board is really helpful to give folks on the market the big picture without having to hunt through 100s of comments. This will be a bookmarked page for me in the fall. I'll provide intelligence as I can.

Anonymous said...

I believe the IR Rumor Mill and PSJR serve two very separate functions.

IR rumor mill is moderated MUCH more actively, and as such it is much more credible as it pertains to particular jobs and names (From what I can tell the PSJR wiki and discussion gets much of its good info on IR jobs from IR-RM).

On the other hand, PSJR has a good deal of discussion, when one cuts through the BS, on topics other than jobs, which is helpful in addition to IR-RM. The unmoderated threads on journals, etc., are useful, but they are just a side bonus for those people who have yet to have the quality interaction with journals or other faculty who have been around the block.

I would much like to see IR-RM stay as active as possible as a moderated forum with job rumors because I think it's where the meat of good info (jobs) is located. We can pick up on the issues PSJR covers on our own through some interaction with real people, but what we can't get there is actual quality information on our job status/future.

Stay in the hunt. You make our lives much less stressful. Or more, if you will. Nonetheless, it's a good service you provide. Please continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

A thought: I feel that part of the allure of PSJR is the sense that it is dynamic--immediately on their front page, you see what is new, what topics are being discussed, and you get a quick idea of what has changed since the last time that you visited the site. By contrast, here there is little immediate sense of dynamism, except when you add a new topic/entry as you have done recently. Otherwise, you have to scroll through a couple of pages of comments to figure-out where you left off. I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done about this, but it is a thought.

Other minor suggestions: spell-check the "external links" tab: "hire"-->"higher;" "Rumorws" to "Rumors" ...

IR Rumor Mill said...

7:24: Thanks for the corrections :-). You have a very good point about dynamism. Obviously, the kind of moderation we use will slow things down. But part of the problem also resides in the way blogger handles comments. It sounds like we should post new threads more frequently, and find ways to more quickly direct people to new information. Keep in mind that we try to be very responsive to suggestions for threads, so also let us know if you want a new one.