Yeah, all you academics who might be blogging or considering blogging. Be afraid, be very afraid. Don't you dare blog. Close down right now. You've got to choose. Do you want to be an academic or do you want to be a blogger?
There, now. More room in the blogosphere for me.
Well, really... Here's the Metafilter discussion of the topic. I suppose if I were desperate for a job, this article might scare me into not blogging. So you can discount what I'm saying if you want. But, for me, blogging is so phenomenally satisfying that I would find the possible career advancement sacrifices worth it, and, what's more, I love the idea that this blog automatically functions to deflect people from me who don't like it. Saves me a lot of damned time interacting with people I'm not going to like.
UPDATE: I went back and reread this article, looking for the one really serious danger that a responsible, high-quality blogger faces: revealing your politics. The article has nothing on this, perhaps because it would reflect poorly on the appointments committee. But I think there are people on appointments committees who would set themselves against a candidate who, say, voted for Bush or supported the war in Iraq. If you blog about politics, you're quite likely to write things that will make someone you're going to need to like you hate you.
Another thing I noticed on rereading was this paragraph:
We felt deceived by his overstatement of his academic expertise. In this case, it was not the candidate's own blog, but that of a boasting friend, that revealed the truth. The lesson? Be careful what you let a close associate's blog say about you. What that associate sees as complimentary may cast you in an unflattering light in the eyes of a search committee.Well, there's little you can do about that! This is the same problem anyone has confiding in anyone. I guess there's just the extra concern that confidences can nowadays be violated on a spectacular scale. Or maybe the point is: don't let any bloggers near you. They might up and tell the whole world just about anything. Scary, scary bloggers!
The content of the blog may be less worrisome than the fact of the blog itself. Several committee members expressed concern that a blogger who joined our staff might air departmental dirty laundry (real or imagined) on the cyber clothesline for the world to see. Past good behavior is no guarantee against future lapses of professional decorum.What idiocy! Anyone on the faculty at any time might start a blog and hang out the dirty laundry. It doesn't matter that the person doesn't have an established traffic flow. All he needs is a link -- easy enough to get if you have a juicy post -- and the traffic will gush over. A person with an established blog has a track record of responsibility and an interest in maintaining the blog long term. It's that rash newcomer who's most likely to do something outrageous. How many of my readers think one day they are going to read something nasty about the University of Wisconsin on Althouse?
Man, these people are just too stupid to be trusted with appointments -- and too timorous to deserve to a university position from which to dribble out the contents of their weak little minds.