My blog has been going for just over a month, and it has had close to 2,000 hits, several of which have been from exotic locations such as Sierra Leone and Iraq - thanks to all my readers. What an amazing thing the Internet is!
I am old enough to remember the pre-Internet era. I remember my first introduction to the Internet in 1995, when I was a PhD student at Queen's University. Sunny Teoh, a good friend from Malaysia, showed me how to browse in the Elmwood Computer Centre. The first thing I searched for was <economist jokes> (click here for a taster). I remember it like it was yesterday. Today I use the Internet on a daily basis, and I can't imagine my working life without it. But has it made me a more productive academic?
On the plus side, I can now easily obtain papers and working papers at the click of a mouse. I can also communicate with scholars around the world via email or Skype, and I can also book travel to conferences etc.. On the negative side, the Internet (particularly emails) can break my concentration and result in me wasting time as I get sidetracked whilst browsing. This is one of the reasons I refuse to join Facebook and other such social networking sites!