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Thursday, November 17, 2005
“Do not fear the blog”
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:35 pm

More on academic blogging from the Chronicle from grad student blogger Rebecca A. Goetz. It is a pretty good piece, and on-target.

She rightly notes:

Academics who blog and assemble carnivals can perform thought experiments and try out ideas quickly without going through the conventional publications or conference process. They can also comment on areas outside of their expertise or current research. If they like, and I’ve been known to do this myself, they can be a bit silly on their blogs too, letting off steam at the end of a long week.

In short, I find that blogging makes my work better. What isn’t to like about that?

Indeed.

Ultimately blogging is, to me, about more reading, thinking and writing. How can that be a bad thing for anyone, let alone someone in academia?

And her advice to hiring committees is correct:

The meaning and purpose behind a blog is, of course, in the eye of a blogger. For every blogger who posts only serious scholarly material, there will be many more bloggers like me who mix the personal and the professional in fun and quirky ways. My advice to job committees: If you have a blogger in your pool, give the candidacy serious consideration. Job seekers who blog are thoughtful, interesting people who are fascinated by the possibilities that this new medium has for enhancing their personal and professional lives. Do not fear the blog; embrace it. You’ll be glad you did.

Of course, despite their likely political leanings, academics are a conservative lot by nature when it comes to the way they conduct their professional lives. My guess is that general acceptance of blogging (or a web presence in general) is, at least in part, a generational issue.

The good news is that a lot of older faculty don’t automatically Google people.

And setting aside all seriousness, the line “don’t fear the blog” makes me think that it is time for a remake of “Don’t Fear the Reaper”:


Don’t Fear the Blogger
(with apologies to Blue Oyster Cult)

All our words have come
Here they’re never gone
Professor shouldn’t fear the blogger
Nor should the hiring committee
You can be like we are

Come on baby… Don’t fear the blogger
Baby take the keyboard… Don’t fear the blogger
You’ll be able to write… Don’t fear the blogger
It’s our medium…

Writing time’s not done
Ideas are far from gone
You and I
Are together in the blogosphere…
Send a link and draw near

21.3 million blog everyday…so says Technorati
21.3 million blog everyday…redefine the internet
21.3 million blog everyday…you can be like they are

Come on baby… Don’t fear the blogger
Baby take the keyboard… Don’t fear the blogger
You’ll be able to write… Don’t fear the blogger
It’s our medium…

Love of words is one
Arguments are won
Posted last night some writing
And it was clear all didn’t agree
The comments were open and more words appear
The trackback linked and did not disappear
And then on Memeorandum all appeared
Saying don’t be afraid

Come on baby… sign up an blogspot
Or run to WordPress… Then we started to type
They linked backward and said thanks a lot
She had become like they are
She had taken started a blog
She had become like they are

Come on baby…don’t fear the blogger

Of course, any serious scholar noting the silliness in the above portion of the post would probably think “shouldn’t Taylor be doing some serious work instead of composing lyrics?” (Of course, if you read the lyrics, you can discern that it didn’t take me all that long).

The answer would be “yes”-I have a book and an article that both are calling for my attention (and some grading), but if it makes anyone feel better, I was writing this post while I was eating lunch-but now it is time to brew some coffee and go back to writing on Colombian democracy.

h/t: Daniel Drezner.

Filed under: Blogging, Academia | |Send TrackBack

Unlocked Wordhoard linked with Don't Fear the Blogger
Signifying Nothing linked with Fearing the blogger

5 Comments »

  1. Fearing the blogger

    Steven Taylor and Dan Drezner link this Chronicle piece by Harvard history grad student Rebecca Goetz that sticks up for academic blogging, adding to the anecdotal evidence that blogging isn’t the career poison it might often be perceived as.

    Trackback by Signifying Nothing — Thursday, November 17, 2005 @ 1:56 pm

  2. Colombian coffee, I would hope.

    Comment by Matthew — Thursday, November 17, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

  3. I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is MORE COWBELL!

    Comment by B. Minich, PI — Thursday, November 17, 2005 @ 5:47 pm

  4. Blogosphere writer

    Hey anyone, will you read my work?
    It took some time to write, will you take a look?
    It takes up way to much time I fear
    And I’ll lose my job, but I want to be a blogosphere writer,
    Blogosphere writer.

    It’s the wandering thoughts of a musician
    And I write it simple so you’ll understand.
    You can leave a comment or send an e-mail,
    I just lost my job so I want to be a Blogosphere writer,
    Blogosphere writer.

    Blogosphere writer

    It’s a thousand words, give or take a few,
    I’ll be writing more in a day or two.
    I can post jpegs I know they’ll make you smile,
    I’ll pretend I’m smart cause I want to be a Blogosphere writer,
    Blogosphere writer.

    If you really like it you can hyperlink,
    It can make you laugh It can make you think.
    Blogging’s easy I’ve got google ads too
    But I need some traffic cause I want to be a Blogosphere writer,
    Blogosphere writer.

    Blogosphere writer

    Blogosphere writer - Blogosphere writer
    Blogosphere writer - Blogosphere writer

    Comment by sonicfrog — Thursday, November 17, 2005 @ 9:07 pm

  5. Don’t Fear the Blogger

    Since Blogrolling isn’t working (again), for your surfing pleasure I send you to Poliblog where Dr. Taylor has revised a Blue Oyster Cult classic.

    Trackback by Unlocked Wordhoard — Friday, November 18, 2005 @ 9:28 am

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