As spring semester beings, I’m happy to dust off this blog and break the hiatus silence. I’m sure that I experienced many of the same things any tech savvy reader of this blog did over the holidays: fixing family members technology. Items were fixed that were obviously broken or sadly out of date, or I HAD to impose myself upon them seeing how inefficiently programs and objects were setup.
Unfortunately, I (and a few others I know) run into this problem professionally as well. And reflecting back on winter break, because of course with the start of spring semester the most likely question a person is asked is “How was your break?”, fixing family members computers reminds me a lot of the hurdles being faced within Anthropology. Much of Anthropology is just beginning to embrace digital technology and social media.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know that change is slow, especially academically. And it’s great that professional organizations and conferences are trying to connect with blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s also frustrating to see it done incorrectly. You know what I’m talking about, tweets so far over the 140 character limit that the hashtag isn’t visible, or incredibly long hashtags that are practicably un-functional with no thought for reuse in the future years/conferences; tweets or Facebook posts about connecting with social media at a conference, with the instructions on a webpage that doesn’t work on mobile devices.
There’s also a current discussion regarding how to count online publishing on the yearly academic review for students and faculty. As many journals transition to online only publishing, these considerations need to be made now, rather than later.
So as 2015 begins to fly by, I’m hoping by this time next year progress towards digital acceptance has been made. But I have a feeling, we’ll all still be saying, “Yes I can fix that”, or “No, that’s not how that works”. I did just field a call from my step-dad asking me for the router password, even though I haven’t lived there in 12 years. And yes, of course I knew what it was.