April 18, 2006

Writing about blogging and blogging about writing about blogging...

I see from this Prawfsblog post by Paul Horwitz that Orin Kerr has posted his paper for the Harvard Bloggership conference. The conference is next week and the papers are due Thursday. Kerr's paper is only 10 pages long. The papers are only supposed to be that long. I'm not done with mine yet.

You'd think it would be easy for me to bang out that much verbiage on the subject of blogging, considering how much I write on the blog, but it's always different writing a paper, intriguingly, weirdly different. It's not just the style or content of an essay for publication. It's the mental place where you find yourself. It's really different! Blogging is so much more fun because you find yourself in a much freer place. That's sort of what I'm trying to write about, actually. But I have much I need to do to finish by Thursday.

Let's see what Horwitz has to say about Kerr:
First, Kerr starts his paper by suggesting that the contributions to the symposium will likely have "a slightly self-congratulatory flavor. When asked to opine on blogs and legal scholarship, law professors who blog will tend to present a rosy picture. Call it self-selection, or maybe just self-interest." ... Kerr is ... likely right, but I'm not sure I'd lead with my chin so much; maybe everyone will show up with papers that begin, "I'm sure the rest of you will be triumphalist, but here are my second thoughts...."
Well, now that we've been tipped off that we're going to be scrutinized for self-congratulation, maybe we'll all go back over the draft and do a humility edit. Or -- here's where it gets complex -- maybe we think everyone else is going to do that, so the better strategy is to go ahead and be the triumphalist.

It's a fun job... and somebody's got to do it.


MadisonMan said...

Hmm. So you write a blog entry about another blog entry about writing about blogging. And now I write about your blog entry about a blog entry about writing about blogging. Can one tell a blogger not to over-analyze? Isn't that at the root of many blog entries?

If only I had written this entry on a laptop while sitting in a hall of mirrors.

Ann Althouse said...

Fine! Accuse me of over-analyzing. Just don't say I'm procrastinating...

JohnF said...


You could post some or all of it for comments here before submitting it for real.

Mr. Magoo said...

Yes, blogging is "fun". You can do any damn thing. Yep.

Writing a paper is hard. It requires thought, structure, content.

And the audience might actually be critical, not fawning.

Gee, I wonder why your colleagues think, as I do, that it would be nutty to "count" blogging as publishing.

Ann Althouse said...

Not that Joe: Blogging is considered more like service, I think -- referring only to the law-related posts. It's also a kind of a notebook or foundation for scholarly things -- again, referring only to some posts. Does that drive you crazy? Blogging is respected at my school -- even the way I do it. Deal with it!

reader_iam said...

I wish that this comments thread weren't thread, so that Not That Joe could consider this, in response to his comment:

There was a time, I think, when poetry writers basically said the same thing about prose, in terms of "real" writing and what it requires.

Only sayin'.