Monday, March 12, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog...

The readings for today made me rethink blogs. I have always been under the impression that people are too open on blogs - letting anyone on the web glimpse their personal lives. I realize not all blogs are personal, and I personally enjoy exploring cooking and equine blogs, among others. But, you have to consider that public element - you don't know who will read your blog, and what they will do with that information. 

I decided to start a blog about a year ago to keep my family in the "loop" of my life. It took me a really long time to muster up the courage to put semi-personal information out on the web. Everything I wrote came after a lot of thought - who was going to read this, if future employers read it, what would they think, if my professors read it, what would they think, etc. In her article Scholarly Reflections on Blogging: Once a Tortoise, Never a Hare, Andrea Doucet argued that "Blogging doesn't "count" in academe; it holds no weight when we apply for tenure, promotion, or research grants." But is that true? I would argue that blogging does hold weight, even in academia. Isn't it like saying that Facebook or Twitter don't hold weight? Whether we like it or not, people judge us by what they can gather from the web - whether that is good or bad. 

I think blogging is one of the best things to happen on the web - it connects people in a way that wasn't possible before. While I tried to enter the blogging world, it only lasted about two or three posts, and I've lost interest. But, I will continue to read and enjoy what other people are gracious enough to post. 


  1. I agree with you Dana, and I know all about only blogging 2 or 3 times! I did not lose interest in my blog, I just became distracted by another interest, and so on... Unfortunately I am way too undisciplined to commit to writing a blog on a consistent basis. For the very same reason, I have never been able to keep a diary either. And, yeah a blog is like an online diary, view-able by the public, so it does matter what you write.

  2. I also started a blog and wrote about 3 times. Then i came to the US and wrote stuff in the beginning but now im struggling to write. Perhaps because im so used to everything here. Does not feel interesting anymore.

    But i love blogs. My everyday relaxing routine is eating lunch/dinner and going through my favorite blogs. Everyday things, nothing special, but maybe its because blogs feel so close to me: the feeling that one can relate to the writer is something that makes blogs so enjoyable. He/she is one of us. And also the interactive nature of blogs brings the writer and the reader together. Me likey.

  3. Good point-- for me, it's sometimes difficult to remember how public a blog or facebook post is. It's really a constant exercise in writing to your audience (potential employers, friends, and family).

    my understanding is that Blogs, because they're updated regularly (ish) rank better on google. For example, if you run a air-vac company and keep a blog page on your website, your site will rank higher and show up higher on google than an equivalent site on google.

    1. Great point about the public nature and easy access of blogs. Often they feel like digital diaries to folks, but it's good to remember how totally easy they are to stumble on.

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  5. Considering that I don't even really post to facebook, I don't think I have a future as a blogger. I do see the appeal for information sharing and self-expression, but it is too public for me.

  6. I think blogging "counts" in Academia in a negative way: something one posts could easily be viewed and remembered during a job interview or when considering tenure. On the other hand, a scholar's blog probably won't be evidence of publication. At a conference, I recently learned about the "impact factor", a score based on the number of citations a publication receives, in academic publishing. I suppose a blogger could use analytics to argue the case for counting a blog because there are tools that track the number of times and sources linking to each blog post. Thinking about the Diablog project that the Minnesota professors started, I can't imagine this project not helping their careers.