Saturday, December 23, 2017

End of Year Update

As we end 2017 (thank God, some of you are saying), it's time to look at the state of the blog. The earliest stats I have for the blog are from May 2010, though I know it's been around longer than that. Anyway, here are some key stats from 2010 on.
  • Number of total visits: 262,065. About what a good site gets in a day.
  • Of those, 4,429 were for a single post about the infamous The Red & Black staff walkout. Of my top five posts, traffic-wise, three were about the walkout. I can go and on about it, but let's not. Read the posts.
  • Google, no surprise, was the #1 URL referral. Lots of people searching for research stuff land on my blog, especially "cognitive mobilization," a major topic in Europe and something I wrote about a time or two based on one journal article I published, no doubt by sheer dumb luck or lack of editorial due diligence.
  • In fact, the #1 keyword search for folks who landed on my blog was indeed "cognitive mobilization," followed by "political knowledge and political partisanship" and in third place, I'm not making this up, "titular colonicity."
  • Most visitors were from the U.S., followed by Russia (spooky), Germany, and the U.K.
  • Chrome was by far the leading browser, and Windows edged out Mac as the most popular operating system.
And that's it. The blog has been slow of late as I deal with health issues and try not to die. So far, thanks to the magic of modern medicine, I've been successful. How long the docs can be so is up in the air as I move from med to med. Right now I'm on immunotherapy, the next great thing. Will know how great the thing is in a few weeks when we do a scan to see whether it's doing the voodoo it's supposed to do.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Grand Funk Railroad. Just Because.

My blog is usually about media or political knowledge or polling or local politics. Today, because it's my blog dammit and I can do what I want, I turn to Grand Funk Railroad and the big question -- why is the band not in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame?

I was messing around on YouTube and came across a bunch of Grand Funk videos and a documentary about them. I was a huge fan in middle and high school. For those of you drawing a blank, the band is probably best known for this hit:

As a kid I loved Grand Funk. Had all their albums, then 8-tracks, then cassettes. I also had stuff by the Rolling Stones and The Who and even back then my uneducated musical brain knew there was a huge difference between, say The Who, and Grand Funk Railroad. But you still find people steaming over the band never being inducted into the rock Hall of Fame. There are even sites out there that list the Top 10 acts not in the Hall but should be, and nearly all of them mention my boys from Michigan who I so dearly loved, but who honestly do not belong. Why? Yeah, maybe the critics were lukewarm toward them, favoring East and West Coast acts, but the critics were looking for musicians who broke new ground. As much as I loved Grand Funk Railroad, even back in my youth I could see this was not the case.

Thus ends a blog post about a musical act from my youth.  It's my blog. So there.

And if you've still never heard of them, listen to this live album. It kicks ass, except for the mangling of Gimme Shelter.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Is UGA Inching Closer?

I've written far too many times in the past about UGA's chances of being invited to the grownup table of universities -- the Association of American Universities (AAU). My 2016 post here includes some analysis.

Why am I bringing this up now? A recent The Red & Black story reminded me of it. The article notes UGA jumped seven spots in a national research ranking in one year, which is significant. And by invited in the earlier graf, I mean just that. You don't apply to join the AAU, you have to be invited, kinda like getting into tapped into a secret club and learning the secret handshake.

In previous posts I tried to estimate when UGA might possibly get an invitation based on the organization's timeline of adding new members and improvement over time in UGA's research productivity. It was a lost cause, making sense of the numbers, as I'm sure politics plays a role. And really, you expect Georgia Tech to vote in our favor?  Emory, maybe, but Tech?

The AAU can go several years between invitations, then add maybe one or two worthy additions. There's no consistency is what I'm trying to say, no easily predictive outcome. They may go another 10 years. They may invite 10 schools tomorrow.

Finally, it's difficult to generate the kind of research dollars the top schools brag about unless they boast an engineering and medical school on campus. That puts UGA at a disadvantage, though that's changing somewhat due to local initiatives on both fronts. Despite all this, UGA does rate higher on the National Science Foundation research table than some existing AAU members so maybe there's a chance we'll join the 62-school group soon. It would be a major feather in the cap of a certain provost looking to move up to president at a university.

Oh, by the way, you see the survey results here for yourself, which The R&B shoulda linked to in its story so readers could see it themselves.


Forgot to include a page that outlines the many criteria for being asked to join. Some day I'll break them all down and see where UGA stands, but that's a lot of work.