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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blogger Guilt: On Being a Part-Time, Not-for-Profit Event Planner, Among Other Things…

This morning I am off for a 17 hour flight to Israel (and Barcelona and Paris in the middle) for six weeks. The Tel-Aviv University Law Faculty has kindly offered me an office during for the summer so I am hoping to establish something more or less like a writing routine during the home visit. The plan is to continue research on social enforcement within organizations, thanks to a generous ABA grant (with co-author Yuval Feldman); wrap up edits for the forthcoming Elgar Encyclopedia of Employment and Labor Law and Economics (with Ken Dau-Schmidt and Seth Harris); revise the forthcoming review essay on behavioral law and economics (with On Amir) and forthcoming article on organizational citizenship, and finally get to my two book projects, one on New Governance as the Regulatory New Deal of 21st Century and one on IP @ Work.

In anticipation for another busy global month, I wanted to share with our readers my rational thoughts about my emotional experience with “blogger’s guilt.” I admire my co-bloggers who can juggle it all, but for me, blogging during busy research, teaching, travel, work/family activities, and social time is simply difficult. Inevitably, I face the need to prioritize. Not posting a constant stream on the blog and walking around with blogger’s guilt is of course a matter of personal choice. Here in San Diego , the law faculty is a gregarious bunch and, more generlaly, life in Southern Cal is intensely social. Looking back on this year, it turns out that one of my unplanned jobs has been a part-time, not-for-profit event planner. Just a small sample of some of these events includes five birthday parties, two showers, one going away party, an 80s disco party, four holiday events, including one mega-Hanukah party (200 invites). And that’s just at our home…It occurred to me that planning offline events is somewhat antithetical to blogging, where communities are virtual at large. There are different times of year when each of these social aspects takes priority. But the problem begins when one feels that they are neglecting one community, in this case, the online group.

I looked it up, and sure enough the urban journal already has the following entry for blogger guilt:

“A fit of guilt, physical discomfort or dysphoria that occurs when one is too busy with an actual social or professional life to properly update one's livejournal. Particularly prevalent in those who use weblogs as coping mechanisms, artistic or creative outlets or routine social tools. Popular sister terms are "blog guilt" or "livejournal guilt.”

They also have a funny illustration:

“Nashor was scratching himself and feeling more and more inadequate around his dirty, slow 2003 ibook G3. He had taken many pictures that January and spent time with many beautiful people, but never seemed to have time to upload them or talk about his experiences. "What's wrong with me?", he posed to a doctor in relation to his increasing self-loathing and inability to sit down in front of a computer. "You are suffering from Blogger guilt. I suggest you stop reading Click Opera; it will only make you feel worse. And remember, Momus is unemployed and middle-aged.”

We have had wonderful recent additions to prawfsblog permabloggers and so many terrific guest bloggers to which I am deeply grateful that they are filling up our blog with such thoughtful posts at times when some of us walk around with blogger guilt. I hope to post about my stay in Israel and the conference in Barcelona and Paris, but in the meantime, if you are also in the region, do drop me a note!

Posted by Orly Lobel on June 24, 2008 at 01:23 PM in Orly Lobel | Permalink


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