To Wiki or Not to Wiki?

…that is the question.

As I ponder my potential to soon leave the safe cocoon of grad school, I’ve begun to let myself explore the bounty of “real” jobs available in academia.  This is a new type of transition for me.  Back when I was transitioning to college and to grad school, there were no shortage of websites, manuals, and special-edition magazines to guide me through the application process.  Unless APA has recently published a guide that I don’t yet know  (“The Official APA Guide for Finding the Perfect Academic Job: With Real-Time Job Postings”), I’m a bit more on my own this time.

I’ve enjoyed the easy access to postings that I’ve gained from subscribing to RSS feeds of listings posted through various societies (APA, ISIS, SRCD, etc).  Many even allow you to type in certain key words so that you may narrow down results to, for example, only those with “development” in the title or to those within a certain radius of a specific location.

I’ve found that there are also many opportunities to enroll oneself in various listserves.

And, of course, there’s always word of mouth.

One option that I feel myself going back and forth on, though, is that of the infamous “psych jobs wiki“.  The website offers a venue through which academic hopefuls can post listings that they have found.  In addition, users can post regarding the status of a position.  For example, one may choose to share that (s)he has been given a phone interview at the location so that other users can expect when to hear from that particular committee.

Such information is, no doubt, valuable, but I wonder what it does for our sanity to constantly have the option to check and to worry.  I remember a similar website from the grad school application process (the grad cafe) causing a great deal of anxiety.  It was often difficult to pry myself away from the computer when, at any moment, someone could post that they were just offered (and that they accepted) the one and only open position in my dream lab.

What’s your take?  Are wikis a valuable resource for the job search or would we do better with less access to such information?

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