Jay Rosen, author of the PressThink Blog, led the conversation about blogging and academia on November 4, 2004 at Bloggercon III at Stanford.

This quotation from a participant (I am not sure who it was) is very insightful in the context of higher education and reasons why graduate students and professors should be blogging. It also addresses the perspective with which educators in “the academy” of higher education can and possibly should blog:

So the question is, Why blog? When I do hiring, I really want to look at somebody’s blog. And academic credentials are starting to mean a lot less to me. I see some really impressive academic credentials, but if I have someone who has a good blog I can see the way that they are thinking. And so, [when] academics blog, we’re jumping past all these certificates you are earning, giving out, and all the thought processes and things that we think we are giving people, that we are guaranteeing with that degree, and I am jumping past that. The degree just becomes a lot less important. (12:32 of the podcast)

Blogs can be used as tools to effectively serve as a window into the mind of the writer. Used effectively, they also facilitate discourse and problem solving. One of the best higher education examples of this is Larry Lessig’s blog. In my own job quest this spring, it will be interesting to see what search committee reactions are to blogging in higher education contexts. Hopefully they’ll be similar to the reaction of the participant quoted above from Blogercon III.

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