Archive for the 'blogger' Category

A new identity – I’m a blogademic!

I had not realized that higher faculty who blog have a name – “blogademics.”  I discovered this term while reading an article in the Fall 2008 issue of Thought & Action (an NEA publicationby Douglas Harrison entitled “Scholarly voice and professional identity in the Internet Age.”  In this piece Harrison discusses the tensions between what some see as the traditional role of an academic with that of contemporary culture, especially a culture that involves avenues for open expression such as blogs (and I would add other web 2.0 tools too).  He refers to himself as a “blogademic” as he bridges his personal and professional life through his varied blog posts.  He has written over 2 million blogging words in his 4 years of blogging.  Although I am just a novice to the blogging world, I think I might take on this identity of a “blogademic” and see how it fits.  I might like it.

While reading the article, I also checked clicked on a few references (which I always find to be new sources of learning).  One from Slate.com was a 2005 article about the risks that academic may face as they blog.  “Attack of the Career-Ending Blog” by Robert Boynton reports on the risks that academics who blog face as they search for tenure track positions in higher education.  The piece describes how search committees and others involved in hiring use the Internet to search candidates names and then read what they wrote. And what they read can be either harmful or advantageous to someone’s candidacy.  I have certainly heard some college administrators warn new faculty about blogging and even go so far as to tell them not to blog.  This reaction seems to me to be a bit too extreme.  Better advice would be to urge faculty to be careful in what they write and keep in mind that the public audience they are writing for is just that – public.  And you can never know who the public is or what power it might have in determining one’s livlihood.  Sensibility and responsibiliy can go a long way, says this blogademic.

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