Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Why do academics blog?

Here's a 16 March 2004 post from Crooked Timber, a multi-person academic blog, on Academics and Blogging. By analogy to Jaume Barcadit's post on Is Blogging Journalism? the Crooked Timber post might be viewed as asking Is blogging scholarship? In actuality, the post specifically asked for and received comments on the following questions:

The responses are diverse, interesting, and well worth reading. One comment said that academic blogging could be viewed as "pre-scholarship," that blogging can be a research organizer and filing system as well as inspiration for future talks and writing. Another comment resonated strongly with my recent experiences with blogging, discourse, and social networking:

Academic blogs make me feel like I’m not alone in this enterprise.

Being an academic can be isolating. Working in a room, on some obscure topic, with mainly graduate students to talk to, blogging offers a way to have an interchange of ideas with a self-selecting group of people who find your writing interesting, challenging, or simply maddening. With its emergent topology of interconnection, serendipitous collection of correspondents, and adaptive fitness function of attention, blogging helps return academic process to its discursive ideal.

None of this addresses our earlier attention to the dearth of bloggers among academic leaders, but it is clear that, at the very least, a good and growing group of academics in the trenches are making peace with blogging, even finding solace in it.

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