Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blogging vs Academia

What type of writing ...

- measures its success by inbound links?
- cross-links to peers on the same subject (out-linking to as many as possible)?
- presents huge lists of similar authors with each of its publications?
- gets its authors interviewed and invited to conferences?
- publishes posts chronologically?
- has A-listers through Z-listers?
- has better and worse platforms and authoring tools?
- tries to attract advertisements and sponsors?
- may get paid per post?
- has to publish regularly or loses its audience?
- tries to get the most eyeballs?
- must check facts or risk losing reputation?

There are still a few differences between academia and blogging:

- Academia relies on exhaustive research. Academic posts are supposed to survey all material on a topic, not only those that support their argument. Most blog posts survey only a limited amount of material, or are "off the cuff".
- Academia is painstaking and slow to write, too slow for the blogging world.
- Academia is usually meticulously edited. Academia is often peer-reviewed before publication. Blogs really should be.
- An individual academic writes about only one very narrow topic, consistently, while many bloggers tend to cover a wider range of topics.
- Academia is intended to further the sum total of human knowledge. Most blogging is for personal expression or entertainment.



Anonymous said...

I'll just add that that a quantitive appreciation of ones academic worth is plain wrong, exactly because academis is neither blogging and shouldn't be treated as oil/potatoes/$.

Very interesting post Yehuda.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison.
I can't disagree that personal blogs are mostly about self-expression, yet there's something academic (certainly worth researching) about how strangers read and completely relate.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on the knowledge skillz of the blogger.


Yehuda Berlinger said...

I'm just wondering how soon until the two forms learn to use each other.