a little more on academic blogging

Tech ronin (nice name) writes, in her post "Academic Blogging is a Must" about the need for academic bloggers:

"...if you really care about the higher purposes of academic life at all, you get out there into the fray and risk a little to get a lot. But more than that, to give and share with the academic community and the world so that we all can benefit. And I hope you'll post links to the pdfs of your academic papers whenever you can too - I really love them.

All of a sudden there's this revolutionary possibility that we can get a ten-fold increase in communication around all this, and we turn it down for small-minded reasons? OK, maybe everyone isn't meant to be a blogger but academics seem like naturals. [...] I'm just coming down hard on the side of academic blogging. We need you."

The one downside of academic blogging is the negative feedback--or, the plain insults that arise, basically. The more one writes, in public, divulges readings and research, responds with speed, the more one's "colleagues" don false masks (online identities without proper email or names), and take chances to swipe at you for the audacity of writing, online, "outside" the confines of (scarcely-read) peer-publications. Competition for scarce funds is so vicious that such writing is seen as a publicity stunt or a show-off manoeuvre, rather than for what it aspires to be -- the art (and necessity, as Tech ronin mentions, the principles) of engaging the world. One needs a thick skin for interventionism.

See Liz Lawley's post on Many 2 Many:

"But with all that, it has still been my experience that the rewards of academic blogging far outweigh the risks and demands. Yes, I feel stress about producing on a regular basis. Yes, Ive been burned when offering ideas that werent yet ready for prime time. But in return, Ive become part of an amazing, supportive invisible college of colleagues, from inside and outside of academia. Ive had input into ideas that have helped me shape my research agenda before Ive gone too far down a blind alley, Ive found people to work with on papers and conference presentations, Ive found encouragement when Ive been stuck on a tough problem."

I think the crux here lies in constructing then coming to render tangible this "invisible network."

posted. Sun - March 28, 2004 @ 12:07 PM           |