A colleague asks what he should tell his students when they say:
What’s the point of formalizing all of this into such a long dense 10-page paper? why can’t we just put up our code and demos on github, maybe write a blog post on it, make some youtube demos and give talks, etc.?
Tell them they don’t want to end up like me!
Blog posts and demo videos don’t stick. I’ve been doing them for years and almost no one pays any attention. They don’t get cited by related work. It’s like they never happened. Writing a paper sucks, and you have to do a ton of bullshit to get it accepted, but it has two crucial benefits:
- You need a really deep dive to explain something new or complicated. Someone can closely study a paper and get 10x more information than any slide deck or video.
- Other researchers doing related work are obliged to read your paper if it is peer reviewed. Let’s face it, that is usually the only reason a paper gets read. Researchers are not obliged to cite non-peer-reviewed content, so it gets ignored.
Let’s see if I can take my own advice!