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Whether ‘Tis Nobler In the Mind to Blog

Another round of comments today on the wisdom of blogging as a university faculty member, generally and for the untenured in particular. There is this piece from Robert Boynton in Slate, this post from Ann Althouse (which I found especially insightful), this article by Rebecca Goetz in Monday’s Chronicle of Higher Education. These pieces add to other recent posts, such as Michael Berube’s from October 11 and Mike Madison’s from October 20. An October 11 article from Inside Higher Ed, by Scott Jaschik, focuses on the Drezner tenure denial at the University of Chicago.

I’m still quite new to the blog scene, so I ponder the question “why do I blog?” more than some (e.g., the vets) might. The meditations and anecdotes from others fascinate me. And I find it funny, too, that I am happy to blog without yet having a clear statement for myself about why I am doing so.

UPDATE: My favorite bit of Ann’s post: “Most of the on-topic things we write are communicating our knowledge to the general public, which is a worthy old tradition, long categorized as service, not research.”

UPDATE 2: And this from John Holbo, at the Valve. He’s thinking big sky: “Still, it seems to me true that the great good of blogging points beyond its nice little self to prospects for broader shifts in publishing, teaching and the very conception of what the academic life of the mind should be like.”

3 thoughts on “Whether ‘Tis Nobler In the Mind to Blog”

  1. The Web is an extra dimension in which to earn prestige and notoriety, and for now the competition from academic peers is thin on the ground. It’s a gold rush. Who could resist? As soon as the snob barrier is crossed there will be a flood and no more fun than the MLA.

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