Reflections on a year of academic blogging and the road ahead

2015 recap

2015 was a funny year and my first foray into academic blogging. I started this blog at the end of January while attending a conference on framework agreements organised by Dr. Marta Andrecka at Aarhus University. At the time my personal ambitions for the blog were quite limited - all I wanted as a venue and a schedule to write about public procurement outside the more traditional academic settings. I reckoned that 2 posts per week and 100 visits/month would be a good result for the first year.

And then February came along and the coalition Government dropped the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 bomb on us and I had the crazy idea (influenced by Dr. Carina Risvig Hammer while having brunch in Copenhagen) to comment on every single Regulation. I could not do it by myself (me, keeping up with a post a day rhythm for 6 months?) and recruited Dr. Albert Sanchez-Graells for the folly. In total we wrote 230 blogposts about the Regulations and I reckon we clocked a total of 70-80,000 words in the meanwhile.

After finishing that session of endurance blogging we could have left it there and moved on for new things. To a certain extend we did, but it was clear for both of us that all that effort deserved a better home and environment than the deep archives of our blogs. I am thrilled to say that the Society of Legal Scholars awarded us in late November a small grant to compile/merge the commentaries into a single joint commentary and give it its own website. As for timelines, I will refrain from announcing any before we can be 100% certain of being able to comply with those timelines.

On the subject of grants and 2015-16 projects, I am incredibly grateful for the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award received in March. It made possible the Public Procurement Podcast and also the upcoming Early Career Researcher Conference which I am running next March. By the way, we are still accepting applications for participation until next Monday (January 11th).

2015 Stats

My guess is that I probably wrote around 200 blogposts in 2015. As for visits, this blog received 5,500 in 2015 - a much better end result than anticipated, so thank you for dropping by! I have no way to track the downloads on my presentations and papers, but my SSRN numbers for 2015 were also quite good, with around 400 downloads in the year.

The road ahead

The plan for 2016 is to double down on comments about public procurement in general as I did in 2015. In addition, I want to comment caselaw more often (and more quickly...) as my guess is that people like that type of content and it forces me again into a certain rhythm&discipline, something I find important to drive output. You will find from time to time non-procurement content, mainly on legal education, startups and legal technology. I need to think and write more in those areas.

As for specific research interests, I will focus in 2016 on three main areas: EU public procurement thresholds; blockchain uses in public procurement and framework agremeents/dynamic purchasing systems.