From the Slate piece:
In many respects, Drezner's predicament was merely a cyber-version of an age-old dilemma. Whether online or off, the kind of accessible and widely read work that brings an academic public recognition is likely to draw the scorn and suspicion of his colleagues. Furthermore, so-called public-intellectual work won't count for much when it comes time to decide whether one gets tenure. In most disciplines at large research universities, tenure is directly related to the number of peer-reviewed books and articles one publishes. Teaching and community service are factored in but are usually far less important than one's publishing record. "For the time being," says John Holbo, an assistant professor of philosophy at the National University of Singapore and the founder of a group blog called The Valve, the most academic bloggers will receive is "a bit of 'service' credit, for raising the department's profile."...One thing missing from this article is the recognition of the fear nonblogging academics have about bloggers. For one thing, they don't understand what the bloggers are doing and worry that we'll do something damaging or dangerous with our power (such as it is!). But they also don't want to know that it's good, because that unleashes the other fear: Will I be required to blog? If blogging is good, are they going to be judged deficient for not blogging. And they are probably already at least a little jealous about ther colleague's heightened profile. It seems a little unfair that the ability translate expertise into blog form brings prominence that nothing ensures will be proportionate to the quality of the traditional written research. Of course, the actual quality of the traditional research has never been precisely calibrated to an academic's prominence, but blogging lets different individuals use different paths to prominence. Most notably, it gives new power to persons who don't teach at elite schools and don't have elite connections. It's a new way to get connected. It's threatening! And since it may be intertwined with political power and a kind of pop culture celebrity, it can be infuriating!
But in another sense, academic blogging represents the fruition, not a betrayal, of the university's ideals. One might argue that blogging is in fact the very embodiment of what the political philosopher Michael Oakshott once called "The Conversation of Mankind"—an endless, thoroughly democratic dialogue about the best ideas and artifacts of our culture. Drezner's blog, for example, is hardly of the "This is what I did today …" variety. Rather, he usually writes about globalization and political economy—the very subjects on which he publishes in prestigious, peer-reviewed presses and journals. If his prose style in the blog is more engaging than that of the typical academic's, the thinking behind it is no less rigorous or intelligent....
The current antipathy toward blogging may have something to do with the fact that universities have no tools for judging blogs. And most people agree that blogs would need to be evaluated through some kind of peer-review mechanism if they are to be taken into account. "It is utterly absurd to propose giving someone credit for activity with no barriers to entry," Holbo says.
In any case, I agree with Holbo that most academic bloggers really deserve service credit for what we're doing. Most of the on-topic things we write are communicating our knowledge to the general public, which is a worthy old tradition, long categorized as service, not research. It is possible for some parts of blogs to count as research, but that, of course, would need to be judged to count in the tenure process.
If various academic departments are looking for a way to judge writing published in places that are not peer reviewed, I have some advice: Look to the way law schools do their tenure process, because most of what law professors publish is not peer-reviewed. Here at the UW Law School, our tenure process goes through the Social Sciences Divisional Committee and is judged by committee members who serve in departments like Political Science, Economics, and Sociology. You can image how these folks look at the student-edited law reviews where lawprofs publish. But we've developed ways to interact with them. Adapt these techniques for blog-writing that deserves to be treated as research.