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July 9, 2005

Blogging on the Job

The academic corner of the blogosphere is buzzing about the now infamous Chronicle article/rant writen under the pseudonym, "Ivan Tribble," a humanities professor at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. Tribble writes that academic bloggers who publish under their real names risk being rejected for jobs by search committees concerned that the applicant might like technology too much ("we can't afford to have our new hire ditching us to hang out in computer science after a few weeks on the job"), because they might reveal deep dark secrets about their new job, even if they've never done so in the past ("a blogger who joined our staff might air departmental dirty laundry (real or imagined) on the cyber clothesline for the world to see. Past good behavior is no guarantee against future lapses of professional decorum"), or even because they have interests beyond the academic (the Professor Shrill rant).

Several other bloggers, including KF, GZombie, The Little Professor and Bitch PhD have already weighed in with insightful comments about the article, so I'm answering Matt's call for blog entries about the professional dividends that our blogs have garnered. And as Matt implies, many of those dividends are the product of the networking opportunities that blogging offers.

Among the many connections I've made via blogging: Collin, based almost entirely on the strength of my blog writing, recommended me as a participant at the Convergences symposium last fall. My use of blogging in the classroom also gained som good publicity in The Guardian, questions that I've since developed into a short, forthcoming essay for Pedagogy's "From the Classroom" section. I've also received some valuable feedback from colleagues and friends about my research, including extended discussions of my now-published essays on Dark City and Sans Soleil. And moving to DC has been much more exciting, knowing that I'll have a social network of bloggers here in town that I've been reading for some time now.

Tribble's observation that blogs are easily Googled is also nothing new (Invisible Adjucnt talked about this almost two years ago). Most academic bloggers know how to limit themselves. After I began teaching a composition course focusing on the 2004 election, I refrained from discussing politics as explicitly as I had in the past. I rarely discuss my "midnight anxieties" here, even if I sometimes write late into the night. In short, I've found that presenting some of my research, even if it's still in its most formative stages, has been tremendously productive. I've made contacts that have clearly helped my career, and my readers have provided me with some suggestions that have been very helpful for my work.

Like Matt, I'd like to encourage other academic bloggers to post some of the ways in which blogging has paid dividends for their careers and to send a trackback to Matt's entry.

Update: After talking with Matt IRL last night, I remembered that some of my blog movie reviews have been cited by the official websites of the film I was reviewing, including the recent documentary Gunner Palace. And I've been planning to mention the fact that Ralph E. Luker referred to my use of blogging in an article for the American Historical Association's Perspectives, but I kept forgetting until now.

Posted by chuck at July 9, 2005 1:32 PM

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» Ivan "McCarthy" the Tribble from Scottish Nous
Ivan Tribble appears as a guest-columnist in The Chronicle for Higher Education with a pseudonymously published article entitled Bloggers Need Not Apply. No comment - it's only a catchy tagline. All we know about the mysterious Mr. Tribble, who is [Read More]

Tracked on July 10, 2005 6:20 PM


The reference isn't to The Chutry Experiment but the other blog...


Some one was just too bashful to link... or just forgot us poor link followers looking for a mention of word herders :)

Posted by: Francois Lachance at July 14, 2005 9:21 AM

Francois, in my case, I'll admit it was the latter. I probably should have been a bit more specific about Ralph's footnote.

Posted by: Chuck at July 14, 2005 11:11 PM

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