Blogging in Academia

Blogging in Academia
Michael Watkins
BloggerCon
Saturday, April 17, 2004

I didn’t take particularly good notes during this session because I was monitoring the Webcast and IRC channel and there were some problems I tried to resolve.

Michael began by talking about his situation. He has been blogging about how he Harvard Business School did not grant him tenure even though some would consider him to be a successful scholar. Now that he’s been blogging about not getting tenure and the business school’s system for granting tenure, his blog has been attracting lots of attention. He said when a professor doesn’t get tenure, he’s expected to leave quiety. He has chosen not to.

“Harvard academics are the academics who are not going to be the big bloggers,” Michael said.

Will universities try to control professors’ blogs, like they try to control what material professors develop for courses?

Audience members talked briefly about research communities, home schooling, and blogs.

Is homeschooling subverting the educational system?

A community newspaper guy talked about getting community members into blogging because they’re good for public relations for the newspaper.

One reason why some academics don’t blog may be time: they’re already doing committee work, publishing, teaching, research, etc. Who has time to blog after that?

Do student blogs count as papers?

Many academics focus on the problems of blogging versus the opportunities they present.

There’s a dichtomy between being paid to write and writing a weblog

Thirty-seven people were in the room. On IRC were people from Montreal, the Netherlands, and Alaska.

from the board:

knowledge creation systems
egos and ideas
guilds
tenure
journal
conferences
promotions
the academy
arts
sciences
professional
technical
research
accreditation
connection
brand
the blog
creative destructive

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