Here we begin to answer: What is Booles’ Rings?
The short version
Booles’ Rings is an experiment.
Booles’ Rings is a network of academic homepages.
On Booles’ Rings researchers can share with one another and connect all of their work online.
Booles’ Rings encourages researchers to take their online presence into their own hands so as to create a real academic community online—independent, decentralized, connected.
Booles’ Rings is an “anti-gated” community: we’re exploring tools that are open source and work across websites to guarantee researchers complete control over their own content, on all levels.
The long version
Just to get the simple question out of the way: at its technological heart, Booles’ Rings is wordpress, the well known blogging engine.
A test case for researcher homepages
Currently, most researchers use their academic homepages for little more than to display contact information and publication lists. We believe it is our responsibility to take charge of our online presence, especially the academic side of it.
Modern web technologies allow us to create our own site and connect with others without joining a centralized social network such as Facebook or Researchgate. On Booles’ Rings we experiment and share best practices towards such a network of homepages.
On Booles’ Rings we experiment with tools to interact, connect, communicate and exchange our research on all levels.
Publications, teaching, lecture notes, expository notes, conference announcements and visits, personal and invited talks, local and online seminars, collaboration experiences, grant applications and scientific policy debates — they are all part of the daily life of any researcher.
Yet only the first part in this list is deemed valuable when it comes to assessing academic success. For this reason, researchers seldom have the ressources to invest time and effort into communicating the other aspects of their work. In short, the larger part of a researcher’s activities is rarely made visible because there are no easy tools to share these kind of informations, to connect with other researchers.
The web has the potential to alleviate this situation. Communities like mathoverflow have shown what potential lies dormant waiting for the right technology. Projects like mathblogging.org make the loosely connected blogosphere a much more accessible place for everyone.
With Booles’ Rings we want to offer researchers the room to experiment with the tools the wordpress has to offer. We work to broaden the spectrum of what academic homepages can accomplsih.
As a network, we are dedicated to join each other in discussion, give feedback and collect best practices.
Joining Booles’ Rings
While we’re still in the early phase of experimenting, we will only add users in very small numbers. Our goal is a great diversity of users, both mathematically and otherwise and we will work hard to achieve this.
As the project matures, we plan to be more open but please understand that this is not possible from the start.
So if you are very eager to join Booles’ Rings, it’s best to simply get involved. Read what people are writing, join our conversations and, if you’re really sure Booles’ Rings is a place for you, just contact a user of your choice.
While we aim to make Booles’ Rings a flexible environment that adapts to the needs of its community it remains, in essence, designed to self-destruct. In the long run, we will encourage each other to make use of the fact that we can leave and move our content to our own independent server for even greater independence.