Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The End?

Hi everyone. As you've no doubt noticed, we've been nearly AWOL over the last few months. The reason is simple: we simply haven't had time to maintain the blog.

We're also not sure about the future of the IR Rumor Mill. With the help of amazing faculty and students, we've been able to keep the IR Rumor Mill a good source of information about the job market, but it increasingly feels like the time of this blog is passing. The wiki has proven about as reliable as our own tally board. PSJR may be a cesspool, but it enjoys "network effects" that we can't hope to match.

We've made noises about this before. The last time we questioned the point of continuing the site, we had a great deal of encouragement from our readers to push onward. But that was before the team running the Mill stopped -- to be blunt -- doing an administrative job.

We'd like to hear from you -- either in comments or via email -- about what you think we ought to do. We'd like to know if anyone is willing to take over. We're also thinking of conducting a survey, both to help us decide what to do with the site and to use if we ever write anything about our experience with the IR Rumor Mill. If you have any thoughts about that, please also let us know.

All the best, The IR Rumor Mill Team


Political Science Guy said...

You guys do/did good work. The time commitment had to be huge. You deserve a great deal of good poli-sci karma for what you tried to do here.

If any of the IR Rumor Mill team would like to join PSJR as a mod, I would love to have them. I think we are doing much better since the relaunch, and each time we add a good mod things get a little mo' better.

IR Rumor Mill said...

That's a nice offer, particularly as we referred to PSJR as a "cesspool" :-).

Will be in touch.

Anonymous said...

Would you agree with this comment about the impact of PSJR on the IR Rumor Mill?

PSJR also had a large impact on it. 5 years ago people self-reported lots of information to the IR Rumor Mill or their friends reported it since they were happy to tell the Rumor Mill their friends had an interview. However, when doing so made it more likely that someone would get personally bashed on PSJR, it decreased the incentive for self-reporting, friends reporting, or confirming self-reporting when the IR Rumor Mill administrators e-mailed you (I can speak from personal experience on this one).

I thus think PSJR helped crush the IR Rumor Mill.

It is also amazing how long the IR Rumor Mill lasted given the very specific incentive that drove its creation.

IR Rumor Mill said...

While we maintained some reliable sources, people definitely clammed up over the last two years. It became less rewarding -- given the hassle -- to email professors, chairs, and candidates for information. People stopped responding. Candidates often asked us to censor information about their interviews.

Was this a consequence of PSJR? That's a theory we often see peddled over there. It also might be a result of how many Departments, advisers, and grad students reacted to the proliferation of blogs and message boards. Attempts to stifle the flow of information preceded PSJR.

We also have some anecdotal evidence -- in the form of some specific correspondence -- that suggests some segments of IR faculty may be less aware of PSJR than of the Rumor Mill or the wiki.

Anyway, all of this cries out for survey data.

Anonymous said...

The "clamming up part" was particularly true of this job market season. I looked over the last several months of comments and realized that about 1/4 of them were posted by yours truly (a minor player I was, but I still felt that I should contribute to the commonweal).

You guys/gals did great work that was much appreciated. I am sad to see you retire the Mill, but certainly understand your reasons. Did your departments give you some "service credit" for this activity? ;)

IR Rumor Mill said...

Thanks anon. And thanks for being such a good source this year!

Anonymous said...

This was a really nice blog. You guys did a great job. Good luck with everything.