I recently wrote this congratulatory email to the wonderful admins of the Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Wiki (http://emcawiki.net) to congratulate them on reaching a real milestone in this community project. We don’t really have a place to share these things yet so I’m putting it here.

If you are reading this and would like to get involved in the wiki or related projects mentioned here, please drop me an email or message me on Twitter.

Dear Paul and the EMCA wiki team,

I can’t quite believe it’s been six years since we started the EMCAwiki project – when Paul sent out an email via the languse mailing list asking for help with his original EM/CA news site and we began the discussions that led to the lovely bibliography wiki we now run.

Towards the end of 2019 we finally completed the transfer of all remaining legacy bibliography entries to the new wiki format from Paul’s original very long PDF files. We now host a grand total of 8537 entries – from our first entry: (Harold Garfinkel, (1949), “Research Note on Inter- and Intraracial Homicides”, Social Forces, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 369–381.) – to a host of new papers published as recently as this first week of 2020. We can now begin consolidating and standardizing our work (as Andrei Korbut has been doing brilliantly over the last few months) – making sure things are consistent, and then thinking about how to explore, analyze and share the EM/CA bibliometric data we now have at our disposal. I’ll write more about that below – but this is quite an achievement, and I’m very grateful to all of you, for putting in such incredibly generous and dedicated work.

Before I say anything more or propose any new projects or initiatives, I should say that one of the things I like most about the EM/CA wiki is the almost total lack of administrative overheads. So many things in academic life are bogged down with committees, meetings, action items etc… I love the fact that from the beginning we’ve not really done that, but have mostly just got on with the tasks we thought necessary to the best of our individual and collective abilities. We’ve sometimes made efforts to met up at conferences, which has been fun, and have continued to take the pragmatic approach of just doing what we can when possible without undue pressure or overarching expectations. This is outstanding, and long may it continue.

Having said that, I did take on a new role in 2019 – that of ISCA communications & information officer, and I now participate in more admin meetings than I would usually aim for. These are great fun, and some have included ideas that involve EMCA wiki. I wanted to share some of those ideas with you now, and leave it open to you all to respond (or not) in what is now a time-honored laid-back tradition of the EMCAwiki admins.

Firstly, I am aware that the reason I was elected to the ISCA board was because of this project and all of your work. I would like to acknowledge that publicly by adding a page to the new ISCA website I’m currently developing – aiming to launch it towards the end of January 2020. I have kept a list of admins here: http://emcawiki.net/The_EMCA_wiki_Admins – I like the fact that we have all done different things at different times – and some of us have been more active than others. I hope that continues. If you would really prefer not to be acknowledged for what you’ve done – or what you may do in the future – let me know.

Secondly, I am working with Lucas Seuren and a great group of ECRs from around the world on an exciting new ISCA project. This will draw on the content in the EMCA wiki and promote it to a wider audience, as well as inviting contributions beyond bibliography entries (e.g. lists of up-to-date equipment, cross-cultural ethics frameworks for data recording, shared syllabi, useful youtube videos etc.). I hope that this will contribute positively to the wiki, without increasing any administrative overhead. Of course if any of you would like to contribute to that project too, please let me know.

Thirdly, I am aware that there are lots of features of the wiki that I have long promised to implement – and I have long delayed that implementation. I’ve written many of them down here: http://emcawiki.net/User:SaulAlbert. There is also a list of ‘known issues’ that have been pointed out as problems over the years: http://emcawiki.net/Known_Current_Emcawiki_Issues – I’m going to acknowledge now that I doubt I’ll ever have time to implement any of these myself. I have fewer and fewer of the kind of uninterrupted stretches of code hacking-time that are required for software development. Instead, I’m going to try to raise funds to pay professional programmers and systems administrators to do this. I think it’s something I could find a funder to support, and I’ll work on this – with your consent – and (if you have any ideas/time/funders) your involvement and collaboration.

I hope all of that sounds OK. I’m just going to get on with it slowly, and will welcome any thoughts/feedback/initiatives/and ideas that you all have over the next decade.

All the best, and happy 2020,