too much information and blogs


It occurs to me that one reason scholars may not blog is for the fear of releasing “too much information” about one’s self. Who, after all, wants to know or cares whether you are lost in nyc, think campuses are ugly, or, who cares what states you’ve blogged from. On the other hand, if you keep the purposes of blogs in perspective, then occasional musings of this sort should not bother anyone.

Specifically, blogging is the electronic equivalent of standing around the watercooler, sitting at the cafe, or visiting at the faculty lounge. As mentioned by Brad Delong, blogging is a way to engage in dialogue with those beyond your physical vicinity, in short – engaging the invisible college. It is informal chit-chat about current events and research and ephemera, it is commiseration and perhaps a form of therapy, it is public discussion and interaction, it is a free-flowing, informal medium to exchange thoughts, float intellectual trial balloons, and so forth. In the very best cases – ideas are seeded, information is distributed, public interaction is facilitated, community is built. In the worst cases – time is wasted.

Idealistic. So, all that said, there is of course such a thing as “too much information,” and to recognize that fact, we will add a new category with that title as is likely to have future posts that easily meet the “too much information” category.


Written by teppo

August 12, 2006 at 2:06 pm

2 Responses

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  1. It’s true that some people don’t blog for fear of personal overdisclosure. But that’s also why a lot of academics have blogs and it’s why other academics read their blogs. There are many avenues for intellectual exchange, but blogs are unique because the writers add a personal flair that couldn’t be done with other forums. Blogs combine the intellectual with the personal.

    Also, as I was reminded at the ASA meetings, blogging is nice because it facilitates many personal friendships that you wouldn’t have otherwise. An impersonal interface probably wouldn’t have the same kind of community-building effect.



    August 13, 2006 at 12:23 pm

  2. […] Over at organizations and markets and orgtheory authors ponder what might prevent academics from blogging. Peter Klein is searching for Academic Management blogs just as I searched for blogs on sociology a while ago. Peter Klein discussed if opportunitiy costs might hinder academics from blogging. At a first glance, that is a plausible thesis: blogging requires resources, effort, creativity and time. Besides, up to know, blogging is not a form of publication rewarded by academic institutions and the system of science in general. […]


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