I miss academia. I had 6 good years “there”: two at a community college (Cabrillo College), two at a university (UCSB) and then almost two online (University of Washington.) But I’ve been out of academia for three years, finishing up my MLIS in March 2008. This void and the hope that I can devote some time to academic interest in the future is what drove me to sign up for a userid on Academia.edu. The site’s tagline and idea is to “Follow the latest research in your field.” You can read the 3+3 bullet points on how you can do that on the site’s about page.
When I signed up on February 17 I was happy and surprised that in the process the site found 22 papers I wrote at various stages of my academic career. Considering that I posted all of them on my site and they were findable via Google it wasn’t an impossible task. But still, it was good for my ego. What’s even more interesting is that every time my paper shows up in somebody’s Google search I get a notification. For example I know that on March 25 somebody from Belgium searched for “japans watersystem” and my related undergrad research paper showed up as #1 on the results page. It may not mean much, e.g. the person may not even started to read my paper, but it still reminds me of my past and connection to academia. An incentive to return to it, when I can.
My public webpage on the site starts with “independent”, because I am not associated with any academic institution: http://independent.academia.edu/GaborPor