I guess i need to be more careful with my use of words,
and in my discussion of 'alternative recognition metrics' i was drawing
on a discussion with Jon Ippolito on how to recognise the
impact someone is having through their work, and the fact that
academic criteria today have trouble taking into account the impact
of creators outside established academic metric systems. We tried
to set up a working group on this at Banff REFRESH conference
but it never got going.
A metric is a way to assess impact, and the impact needs
to be relative to a particular community of practice.
Raw popularity doesnt always translate into impact, and some
impact is delayed from time of creation.
Clearly within the field of philosophy Wittgenstein has had
a large impact and this must be measurable in a straightforward
way at looking at the way his ideas have circulated and impacted
other thinkers decades after his initial work. Internet tools today
should be able to show this. One problem is tracking ideas rather
than key words.
Metrics also need to look at timescales, and evolution over time
I happen to be reading Robb's biography of Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud
had almost no impact at the time he was writing his poetry, and his impact
increased steadily in the century after he died. He wrote poetry for less
a decade. The last thing that Rimbaud wanted was an academic career !!
One of the advantage of developing new metrics is that it levels the playing
to other kinds of ways of assessing impact= eg what big museums have shown
your work, or art market sales figures.
With visual web tools being developed, one could presumably look for the
of visual ideas or styles. I assume that one can trace the spread of manga
through web image banks. It should be easy to trace the influence of new
styles in second life I would think.
So in my thirty year vision thing, i was imagining new kinds of tools for
seeing who is influencing who, detecting the emergence of new ideas
in specific communities of practice= not just primitive current metrics like
number counting publications in rank a publications, or number of patents
or number of exhibitions in museums.
Well, by now most of those derivatives would be penny stocks I am
afraid. But if a citation metrics had been in place in the early 1940ies
the reputation of a certain L Wittgenstein would also have been very
poor. The guy only published one short book, the Tractatus, and nothing
else afterwards. By the standards of metrics fetishists he would have
been a total failure