Academic blogs, versus (people who happen to be) academics who blog

I have a busy rest of the week coming up here, with an “end of the summer term” grading push coinciding with a visit from the in-laws. But I had to post about this one more time after reading what Collin said about all this over on his blog. I don’t want to drag him into this (and I don’t think he really wants to be dragged in, either), but I like what he mentions with this post about the difference between academic blogs and blogs written by people, anonymously or not, who happen to be academics.

I wish I would have said/thought of that in the first place.

I’m a lot more interested in academic blogs than blogs that happen to be written by academics, as I think is evident in what I’ve written here in the last few days.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO KEEP PERSONAL BLOGS WRITTEN UNDER A PSEUDONYM ARE JUST WRONG, NOR IS THIS MY WAY OF POLICING OR JUDGING THE WAY OTHERS BLOG! Short of posting pictures of kiddie-porn and other similarly appaling things, I don’t really care what people who may (or may not) be academic post on their blogs. Do what you want.

Just thought I’d make that obvious– folks didn’t seem to get that before.

The problem I have as a reader is the line between “academic blogs” and “blogs written by people who happen to be academics” is constantly shifting. Again, Collin talks about this in smart ways here, and he more or less exemplifies the way that “the personal” shows up in academic blogs right here.

I’m not saying it’s “wrong” for Collin or anyone else to mix the “personal” with the “professional!” But what I am saying is I think it potentially problematizes the way us academics who want to “count” and “cite” blogs. This is the reason why I personally keep my “academic” musings here, and my “non-academic musings here. This is of course a completely artificial and leaky separation in aspects of my identity, but it works for me.

The last thing I would ever do is try to propose the answer. I’m just thinking with my fingers here, which is pretty much the purpose of this blog for me. (And that’s a sentence that could be dissected quite a bit– a blog with a purpose, a blog where the purpose is more for the writer than the reader {I think of the distinction between “writer-based” prose and “reader-based” prose…}, a blog where I’m trying to “think” and put on my “academic” persona, etc.)

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