OpenFiction [Blog]

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Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on February 5, 2010

I’m always on the lookout for revealing OCW numbers. I spent a chunk of today resorting my e-mail archive to finally fully clean up the mess from last year’s hard drive crash. I sorted things into files by year, one for sent and one for received, and was thus able to generate the following data set:

Year: Received/Sent

2003: 5,587/4,219
2004: 3,849/3,116
2005: 6,203/3,256
2006: 8,041/3,620
2007: 12,498/5,720
2008: 13,474/7,465
2009: 11,884/5,509

To some extent, there is a personal history of the project written in these numbers. ’03, which was a full year (I started January 6th, 2003), was arguably the busiest year I’ve spent with the program–a year in which I managed the publication of 100 courses, developed a major database we still use, and launched our department liaison program. In ’04, the pace was a little slower and I worked quite a bit on the program’s evaluation, which required less communication and more quiet desk work.

’05-’08 chart in part the growth of the Consortium and the increased communication it generated. They also chart increased internal responsibilities as I took on more comunication and management tasks. ’08 was a peak year as we pushed the Consortium through to incorporation and more independance. ’09 was lower as I was less split between the OCWC and MIT OpenCourseWare.

The larger point though, and I think this is true for many people I know, is that my work life is increasingly fragmented into (literally) 10,000 splinters. I’ve felt in the last year or two like I am developing a bit of e-mail induced ADD. I’m finding it more work to focus on tasks requiring an hour or more of attention. I’m looking forward to working on another big evaluation report in the coming months, simply for the opportunity to shut off the e-mail and work on an extened project for several hours at a time.

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