useR! 2008: Excuse me, are you … ?

“Excuse me, are you the author of Curving Normality? I am quite a regular reader of your blog.”

I can’t think of a nicer place than the useR! conference to find my single reader. Or, at least, one of the not-all-that-much readers. He appeared to be a sociologist, quite involved in the German ‘blogosphere’.

We ended up having lunch, while discussing differences between the Dutch and German sociological community. Apparently, there are not that many differences. Both have had a debate between proponents of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and in both countries the quantitative groups seem to have ‘won’ the discussion, in the sense that quantitative methods are gaining in influence and relative number of users.

Interestingly, he was amazed by the openness of American professors such as Douglas Bates, whose session we had both attended. When I attended the ECPR conference in Rennes, France, I had a similar discussion with a German PHD-student. It seems that in Germany the distance between student and professor is indeed a lot larger than in other countries.

Well, B., should you read this: it was nice meeting you, and hopefully we run into each other a couple of times more during the conference.

4 comment on “useR! 2008: Excuse me, are you … ?

  • Thanks for your kind words! See you again on Thursday and enjoy the conference.

  • Haha, now up to meeting the other 30 readers you have per day ;). One of them is missing you. Yesterday Sonja was so kind to accompany me. Today it’s me myself that has to do her studies, and instead I’m reading your blog. Do you still have time to see E. when you’re writing this much?

  • @ Anja: yes, perhaps they’ll identify themselves indeed! By the way, the number seems to be increasing rather rapidly 😉

  • Hiya: I was at the conference as well, but had no idea that it was represented in the blogosphere, as I’ve only today discovered your blog! :-) I guess you’ve been immediate in your reports whereas I have only just got home, had to come in to work, so my little look-ins to the conference proceedings will probably take the weekend to be published. I’ll be sure to stop by regularly at this blog of yours. Good luck!

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