Nigh-related guests

by Henry on March 2, 2004

“Kerim Friedman”: has an interesting idea; rather than inviting guest-bloggers to come on board for a period of a week or so (as we and the Volokhs do) he’s inviting academics to come on board for just one post, a mini-essay on some topical subject. As he says:

bq. Often I’ll see academics post short statements on professional e-mail lists which I feel deserve wider attention, or I’ll see news story on a topic which I know someone else would handle better than myself. Unfortunately, many of my efforts in this direction are in vain, since most academics aren’t yet comfortable with the format of a blog. The idea of rapidly responding to current events, or popularizing a specific idea without the extensive preparation and editing that goes into a published article scares a lot of scholars – not to mention the fact that they are just too busy.

It’s an interesting way of getting academics to dip their toes in the blogosphere, and I imagine it will be attractive to a lot of people. Most professors have more ideas rattling around in their head than they’ll ever be able to write up in articles. As Brian “says”:, blogging is a nice way to play with ideas that you think are interesting, but that you’ll never have time to develop properly, or even just to help flesh out a thought that’s still in its early stages. Even if most academics don’t want to start their own blog, I imagine that a fair few of them wouldn’t mind hiving off their excess ideas by posting occasionally on somebody else’s. It’ll be interesting to see how Kerim’s experiment works out (not that I think we’ll be moving that way ourselves anytime soon).

{ 1 comment }


John Quiggin 03.02.04 at 11:20 pm

(Crossposted from Brian’s blog)

I’m really rather good at generating ideas, but average at best at most the other relevant philosophical skills, e.g. sorting good ideas from bad ones, placing ideas relative to the existing literature, developing ideas to meet objections, communicating ideas in a way that gets them understood, etc.

SNAP! Me too.The kind of academic who is attracted to blogging is likely to be one with this kind of asymmetric skill set.

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