Jeremy Freese, who received tenure in sociology this year at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said that he worried that his blog might hurt his chances, but that he doesn’t think it had an impact.A good rule. I note the word "really" in the phrase "really regret." A little regret is worth it, apparently. If you spend your whole life being careful, you'll never have any fun, and bad things will still happen.
“If any senior faculty had ever expressed disapproval about my blog, I would have stopped blogging immediately, as wimpy as that might sound. I’m not addicted to my blog and the benefits I get from it are not as unique as the benefits of a wonderful job, which is what I have,” he said.
But Freese isn’t at all certain that senior faculty members even know about his blog. “I attended at least two dinner parties with senior colleagues in which the topic of blogs was raised and it was clear nobody else in attendance read blogs, and I certainly didn’t volunteer that I had one,” he said.
He said that his worry, pre-tenure, was that his department might think he was spending too much time on his blog, a concern he said would have been unfair. Freese noted that he doesn’t have children or a television and he’s sure he spends less time blogging than the average sociologist spends with children or watching TV. As for the content of what he writes, Freese said that he censored himself on some things before getting tenure and continues to do so now.
“It’s just the same kind of prudence that guides other kinds of interactions that could have professional consequences,” he said. “My rule is that I won’t say anything on my blog if there is anyone in the world that I would really regret if they saw it. But that hasn’t really been specifically motivated by tenure and hasn’t stopped with getting tenure."
I wonder which academic departments are most aware of blogging. I sounds as though the folks in Sociology just don't notice this ... social phenomenon.