If you’re a professor, your blog should count as scholarship

I’m serious! And I’m not writing this simply because I have a blog and I’ll be seeking promotion to Professor soon.

Read what Martin Weller wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education: “I have been an active blogger since 2006, and I often say that becoming one was the best decision I have ever made in my academic life. In terms of intellectual fulfillment, creativity, networking, impact, productivity, and overall benefit to my scholarly life, blogging wins hands down. I have written books, produced online courses, led research efforts, and directed a number of university projects. While these have all been fulfilling, blogging tops the list because of its room for experimentation and potential to connect to timely intelligent debate. That keeps blogging at the top of the heap.” Weller continued: “Increasingly we find that our academic identities are distributed. There was a time when you could have pointed to a list of publications as a neat proxy for your academic life, but now you might want to reference not only your publications, but also a set of videos, presentations, blog posts, curated collections, and maybe even your social network. All of these combine to represent the modern academic.” http://chronicle.com/article/The-Virtues-of-Blogging-as/131666/

I love blogging. It provides an incentive to attend various events, meet new people, ask questions, take pictures, gain background information for context, organize my thoughts, and so on. Plus I get lots of photo credits. In other words, I like blogging for the same reasons that I liked working as a photojournalist. But now I only pick “the best” assignments, and if I’m tired, I take the day off. I can’t say that my blogging has benefitted my traditional scholarship—yet—but it might. I may be invited to participate at a conference in Armenia in June because of my blogging. Someone may see progress on my documentary video in Adishi and ask me to show the finished film. I’ll be writing soon about my John Dewey chapter, which may improve my writing style—less academic. I hope that my blog posts from Georgia will benefit my USC colleagues who will later work at CSJMM. Similarly I hope that my blog posts from Columbia, SC, will benefit my CSJMM colleagues in Tbilisi. At least, that’s the argument I’ll use when seeking promotion.