‘University professors turn to the blogosphere, for classes and recognition’

From Michigan Daily: University professors turn to the blogosphere, for classes and recognition:

In recent years, academics across the country have started using blogs to relay information and ideas. Many are now incorporating the medium into their classes, asking students to take to their keyboards and post thoughts or resources on course material.
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The time commitment means professors need to prioritize when it comes to blogging. Those who write personal blogs do so outside of their teaching requirements, but as blogs become more popular, the question of their role in academic research and publishing becomes more complex.
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“It’s so new that (universities) haven’t quite incorporated it yet into the three areas that we’re responsible for — teaching, research and service,” Perry said. “But it really kind of overlaps in all those areas.”
Perry said he believes that blogging could be considered applied research.
But in an interview, University Provost Teresa Sullivan said that blogging lacks an important element, which generally elevates the credibility of a publication: peer review.
“Peer review is an important quality marker,” said Sullivan. “With electronic media now, anybody can publish anything.”
While the University doesn’t view blogs as a form of official research or publishing, Sullivan said she encourages professors to use them, even if they express controversial opinions or ideas.
“That’s what universities are about,” Sullivan said. “The university is the place where you’re free to put ideas out there, and we’re tolerant of other people’s ideas but it also means you’ve got to be ready for somebody to go after you and attack your ideas.”
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Blogs considerably raise the profile of University professors, which is good for the University. Through their archive of posts, professors advertise their expertise in a given field. Establishing that authority leads calls from the media — and the University’s name appearing in print.

A good, positive article, including quotes from some well-known academic bloggers. Except for the very first sentence:

The booming blogosphere is a world dominated by celebrity gossip, confessionals and radical opinions.

But we know that corporate journalists have to say something offensive whenever they mention blogs, as a loyalty test, lest they be expelled from their guild.

3 responses to “‘University professors turn to the blogosphere, for classes and recognition’

  1. OH LOOK! It’s my college pub! Ahh the Daily. They train their journalists to be real offensive there 😉

  2. i’d say blogs probably fall under a form of public outreach, which, unfortunately, counts for naught at most unis.

  3. I know Dr Sullivan is referring to all forms of electronic media but I’d easily put up the peer-review of blog comment threads with “conventional” peer review.