Academics and blogging don’t mix?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an offensive article on the pseudonymous Ivan Tribble’s experience on a (reactionary, shortsighted, but perhaps not unusual) faculty search committee which rejected all the bloggers who applied. Aside from the obvious “don’t blog”, the lessons don’t seem to be restricted to the internet:

  • Don’t have any interests outside of academia.
  • Don’t ever mention your personal life where anyone might overhear.
  • Don’t ever talk about your research unless it’s been refereed.
  • Don’t ever talk about your department or university. At least, only say nice things (i.e., lie).
  • In fact, it’s better never to talk at all. Just publish.
  • Unless, like Ivan, it’s anonymous.

Scoble — not an academic — doesn’t get it when he says “It sounds like blogs helped keep him from making a bad hiring decision”: they were using the blogs to reject candidates for reasons having nothing to do with their suitability for the job.

That the Chronicle titled this drivel “Bloggers Need Not Apply” implies that perhaps they understood its ridiculousness;
I hope they will solicit a response from the academic blogging community. But you can already find much more commentary
here, here,
here and everywhere else in the blogosphere.

P.S. It turns out that yesterday was the first anniversary of this blog. Should I celebrate, or just take Ivan’s advice and shut down?


7 responses to “Academics and blogging don’t mix?”

  1. Paul avatar

    It is indeed ridiculous, you should belatedly celebrate your blog’s anniversary (if so inclined) and continue on blogging (in the free world…). One has to accept that running a blog allows interviewers to learn a lot more about you than other candidates. This ought to be in your favour.
    Some of the reasons for feeling unease at hiring a blogger are fair though. Any comments that might offend ‘polite society’ should not be expected to be beyond reproach just because it appears on a blog. So long as one is responsible for the content, what can go wrong?
    Best wishes,

  2. Ian Landsman's Weblog avatar

    Professional Decorum

    OK I was going to let the HelpSpot preview be the top post on the blog over the weekend, but I just have to comment on this. Scoble points to a Chronicle of Higher Ed article about how profs who applied for jobs were not hired because of their blogs. …

  3. Greg Yardley's Internet Blog avatar

    Blogging and academia

    There’s been a minor tempest over the Chronicle of Higher Education’s latest anonymous essay, “Bloggers Need Not Apply.” Apparently a hiring committee took a few candidates’ blogs into account when evaluating them from a position – and it didn’t help….

  4. coturnix avatar

    The only person I called an idiot on my blog is David Horowitz. That should make me more likely to get hired in the academia, don’t you think?

  5. Joe avatar

    I’ve meant to ask this before – what exactly is a “liberal arts college” (the writer works at one, it says)?

  6. It's equal but it's different avatar

    The interesting bits of today…

    Today, albeit modest, is a bit curious: Deep, Dark Secrets of His and Her Brains; Bloggers Need Not Apply and its repercursions Academics and blogging don’t mix?; Psyching Out Evolutionary Psychology: Interview with David J. Buller (via 3QD); Pro…

  7. coturnix avatar

    I have folloed up on this topic recently…