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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More on the academic value of blogging

I really appreciate Dan's and Doug's posts on "academic blogging."  This point of Dan's struck me as worth repeating and emphasizing:

Finally, there are some other benefits that blogging brings to one’s academic career.  Through blogging, I’ve met a number of other academics whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise.  Blogging has allowed me to think about some issues that I might not have thought about otherwise.  These were issues where I wasn’t going to write an article about anytime soon, but I had an idea about that I wanted to flesh out to a limited degree.  Blogging has enabled me, when I’m focusing heavily on the papers or books I’m working on, to avoid neglecting issues that I should be keeping up with or at least thinking about to some degree.  These benefits don’t readily fit on a resume or on a tenure application, but they are benefits that can assist in one’s development as a scholar. 

I think this is dead-on.  My work -- and, more broadly, my life as a teacher, scholar, and lawyer -- has been greatly enriched by those I've "met" and "conversed" with in the blogosphere.  To pick just one out of many possible examples:  Professor Don Herzog contributes to an interesting blog called "Left2Right."  He also wrote a really good book -- one that had a big influence on me in law school -- called "Happy Slaves:  A Critique of Consent Theory," from which I borrowed shamelessly (but with attribution!) in my first published article.  We've never met, so far as I know.  After reading one of his posts, though, I sent him a note, and mentioned "Happy Slaves," and we went back and forth a few times, sharing views.  He was wonderfully genial and generous, and I really enjoyed the exchange.  But for "academic blogging," who knows if this (or many other) such exchanges would have ever happened?


Posted by Rick Garnett on August 2, 2005 at 01:11 AM | Permalink


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Being an adjunct Professor, I am not as thoroughly enmeshed in teh world of legal scholarship and law school as if I were a full-time prof. I will say that when I get the chance to visit this blawg, it is encouraging to me to continue to work towards a switch to full time teaching later in life. I don't have other Professor's offices or the coffee pot around which to gab about random legal theories. For me, this is a benefit to my personal career path and will hopefully help me get the time and energy to write something for publication after this next suite of classes.

Posted by: Joel | Aug 3, 2005 8:28:49 AM

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