Andrew Walker and Nicholas Farrelly, ‘Boffins blogging: unlimited review’, ANU Reporter, Summer 2008, p. 34
My rating: ****
Here are some extracts from an excellent short analysis of the benefits of the blogosphere for academics. The two writers have been running a blog titled New Mandala since June 2006.
I absolutely agree with what the two writers have to say here. I find writing for an online audience really works for me. If I could just redirect that enthusiasm into more formal publication!
‘Academic blogs … dramatically extend the boundaries of conventional peer review and academic readership… With engaging content, regular updates and savvy marketing, academic bloggers can build a community of peers that would fill seminar rooms, lecture theatres and conference venues many times a day. Statistics we have seen indicated that a blog run by a couple of academics can generate as much internet traffic as the conventional websites of an entire Faculty…
And perhaps most important of all, blogging maintains the daily discipline of writing. At a time when administrative loads distract many academics from their interpretive vocation, writing online is one way to keep the tools of argument and analysis as sharp as possible. Blog posts provide valuable building blocks for more formal academic articles. And they also open up discussions to a much broader and varied audience than the academic world, which in some ways exceeds feedback from peers. Blogging promises unlimited review.’
As another example, Henry Jenkins uses his own blog, ‘Confessions of an aca-fan’ in precisely this way.