Monday, June 3, 2013

What Academic Blogging Can (and Cannot) Do For You

Check out Dr. Cleveland's take on academic blogging.  In this straightforward and honest post, he declares that "you can't blog your way to a tenure-track job.  You simply can't."  But he does think that blogging can help you to build a professional network and call attention to your academic writing.  Here is his conclusion:

For an academic, blogging is the writing you do to get attention for your other writing. Blogging, even with my open-secret secret-identity, means that I'm more likely to be on some people's minds, and that they're more likely to come to one of my conference papers, glance at one of my articles if they see my byline, or read a review of my book. And I have professional friendships that are largely kept up through the blog and other social media. Blogging helps to get and keep you on people's radar. It's a good thing to do. But it only serves to assist your other work.

I agree with most of this post. In our current academic culture blog posts, no matter how thoughtful they might be, will not advance your academic career or land you a job.

But our current academic culture is changing.  In history, the field of public and digital history has made great strides in the last decade.  If one blogs as a way of bringing the past to public audiences (as opposed to other scholars) then I think it has the potential of "counting" as scholarship in the same way that curating a museum exhibit or creating a digital project might count toward the scholarly work of a public historian.

Does anyone want to peer review my blog?