Welcome, US News and World Report Readers
If you've arrived at this blog via the April 10 issue of US News and World Report, welcome! Please stay and have a look around. You should also check out my links to other blogging academics at left. (It's a limited list; there are many, many more of us out there!)
The story in US News is titled "Blogging their Way Through Academe," and addresses med and law school blogs as well as grad student blogs like (a)musings of a grad student.
The story also quotes the now-infamous Ivan Tribble, whose two columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education warning against blogging grad students and untenured faculty set of a storm of metablogging in the academic blogosphere last year. Ivan Tribble's warning:
"Job seekers who are also bloggers may have a tough road ahead, if our committee's experience is any indication."(I responded to Tribble in the Chronicle here.)
When I was interviewed for this article last December and January, I was still on the job market, and I told the interviewer that I didn't believe my blog would prevent me from getting a job, but I was frank with her, telling her that some academics didn't think blogging was a good idea.
Now I've been through the job process and I have a much better sense of the role blogging played in my job search. Blogging certainly came up in my job process. While on my campus visit to Rice, I met with graduate students who expressed a great deal of curiosity about the blog (aha, I thought--that's where all the sitemeter hits from rice.edu are coming from!). It came up over lunch with other faculty members later that day, but no one seemed uncomfortable with my blogging habit. Instead we had a brief discussion about the uses of blogging for inter-faculty communication and let it go at that. In other words, no one had a Tribble-like reaction to my blog. It wasn't a focal point of my campus visit; my scholarship and my teaching were much more important to my future colleagues.
I'm not the only non-pseudonymous blogger to have found employment this year: fellow Cliopat Caleb McDaniel will begin at the University of Denver this fall (while you're on his blog, take time to read his post about transnational political history--it's great stuff). I think if I were to do a brief, informal survey I would find that non-pseudonymous bloggers fared no worse on the job market this year than non-bloggers. (If anyone would like to comment on that, drop me an email at rgoetz AT fas DOT harvard DOT edu.)
If you're interested in other ruminations about academic blogging, I recommend Mark Grimsley's recent writing on the topic, here and here.