Article on Academic Blogging in The Guardian

Via Crooked Timber, an article in today's Guardian about academic blogging: It's basically an explication of the academic blogging phenomenon, but Jim McClellan also addresses the concern of some academics that others might steal their ideas. :evil: :P Sorry, I tend to get a little flippant in the face of this postulate because Torill and Jill debunked it years ago:

The current reward system depends on certain formulas of academic
publishing that encourage exclusivity and the fear of being robbed of
thoughts and ideas. Since the real currency in the trade of academia is
originality of thought and imaginative development of theories, there is
more to lose than to gain in exposing your own ideas too early. The
danger of having thoughts, ideas or questions copied before they have
been published is not just a matter of some petty game between jealous
professors with too little time on their hands, it's a very real matter of
being robbed of the currency which measures academic success.

From this point of view a weblog that reveals the thoughts, arguments
and questions of the scholar continuously during the process of
research and long before academically accepted publication in print
seems like a waste of perfectly good imagination and theory development, an invitation to having your ideas looted. On the other hand,
published and archived in the World Wide Web, the same ideas and
thoughts are in fact published and as such better protected than if they were
for instance given away over a cup of coffee, randomly at a conference.

Into the Blogosphere gets a mention, which I'm happy about; we (the editors) were interviewed for this story a while back, but McClellan didn't end up using any of the interview. He took the story in a different direction, and that's cool, I'm not complaining. I do want to try to find the interview, which is floating around on my hard drive or one of my flash drives somewhere, and post it here for those who might be interested.


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guardian interview

Yes, I think the article turned out quite nicely, especially the discussion of copyright issues. I will sometimes hold back certain ideas, but I've found my blog to be the best forum possible (so far) for learning more about what I'm writing. And I don't worry about people "stealing" my ideas. After all, they're time-stamped, yadda yadda.

Sorry your interview didn't make it into the article, but I'm glad the book was mentioned b/c it reminded me to revisit some of the essays for a conference paper I'm writing.


Plain ketchup

TrackBack from Collin vs. Blog:

Or rather, playing catch up, which is what I've been doing over the last couple of days. And now, ta-daaa, my Bloglines feeds are back at a manageable state, I did a little blogroll updating, and I'm feeling like I should be able to balance the travelogging with a little bit of your regularly scheduled programming. I'm probably the last person on Planet Blog who (a) cares about this Guardian article from last week and (b) hasn't yet posted on it, but that's okay. The article mentions several of the people in my 'roll, and that's worth a post if nothing else. Like Clancy, I thought that the portrayal of a resistance to blogging that somewhat missed the mark. McClellan writes But many more traditional academics are suspicious of taking their ideas public in this way. For some, the blogging academic is the latest incarnation of the media don, ready to simplify complex ideas in return for a few minutes of fame. Others are wary of sharing ideas before they are ready - or of seeing original theories stolen before they are published. Well, yes, there's a little of that, but far more important, I suspect, is the fact that daily writing is difficult. It requires a pretty deep commitment to a process that carries no guarantee of reward in a profession whose members are hyper-conscious of what meager rewards...

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