Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category
A few months ago, we discussed the general shift from blogs to social media and anonymous boards. But a question remains: if that’s true, why bother with blogs at all? In fact, our evil twin blog surrendered and admitted defeat, while retreating into Facebook. Why continue?
Answer: Only a blog does what a blog does well. In other words, blogs are good at specific things and social media is good at other things.
- Searchable – orgtheory is completely searchable going back to the first post in 2006. Twitter only allows searches of the last 3k tweets (which is, like 5 minutes, for some Tweeters like Tressie Mc). Facebook is basically unsearchable for content.
- Accountability and identity – Blogs are good for creating an identity, which means accountability. Even if we used pseudonyms, we’d still create an identity that would help you assess the quality of the post.
- Quality – I’m sorry, but most social media simply isn’t good at producing high quality content. Twitter may be fun, but it won’t replace a sustained argument. Facebook allows length, but it is often buried deep inside a walled garden. A lot of social media is good for “in the moment discussion” rather than sustained truth seeking.
I love social media and I have account on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. But make no mistake. If you care about writing, blogs are a good format and it’s much better than social media which favors snark and anonymous sniping. So for now, I’m stil McBloggin‘.
Do you enjoy this blog? Why don’t you write a post for us? For the last couple of years, we’ve had a policy of accepting submissions from readers. It’s simple. If you want to discuss a social science issue, or an issue related to the academic profession, send us a post. We won’t repeat recent conversations and we won’t tolerate uncivil discourse, but we’ll take most other stuff. Send your sociological, economic, political, anthropological, and academicological thoughts! Send us self-promotion of articles and books! Join the fun!
This blog has been around ten years and we’ve had a lot of good times. I wanted to reflect a little about the changes:
- People: Most importantly, many of the 1.0 bloggers have become very successful. I count at least three department heads and one major journal editor That means less time for blogs from the 1.0 crowd.
- Content shift: The 2.0 bloggers – Katherine, E-Poppp and Jeff Guhin – are more qualitative and sociological. Between E-Poppp and myself, there is a lot more higher ed posting. High theory has receded on this blog as Omar has moved to other pursuits, but Jeff will likely bring that back. More classic management posts still appear, but less frequently.
- Novelty: Blogging is no longer innovative. It’s an established format. That means there is less “e-buzz” about orgtheory. It’s just a routine thing that some people do.
- Alternatives: Now, the blog lives in a world of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and anonymous gossip
garbagewebsites. Much attention has moved to these formats. Still a lot of readers but most of the contention has moved away from the blog.
Use the comments to discuss what you like about the blog and what you might want to see.
At his web site, Kieran has a nice working paper called “Public Sociology in the Age of Social Media.” The paper, forthcoming in Perspectives in Politics, has some really nice commentary on how the world has changed since Michael Burawoy called for a public sociology. A few clips:
I shall argue that one of social media’s effects on social science has been to move us from a world where some people are trying to do “public sociology” to one where we are all, increasingly, doing “sociology in public”. This process has had three aspects. First, social media platforms have disintermediated communication between scholars and publics, as technologies of this sort are apt to do. is has not ushered in some sort of communicative utopia, but it has lowered the threshold for sharing one’s work with other people. Second, new social media platforms have made it easier to be seen. Sadly, I do not mean that it is now more likely that you or I will become famous. Rather, these technologies enable a distinctive field of public conversation, exchange, and engagement. They have some of the quality of informal correspondence, but they are not hidden in typed correspondence. They take place as real-time interaction, but do not depend on you showing up to a talk. Again, as is typically the case with communication technologies, exactly what gets enabled can vary. The field of public conversation encompasses everything from exciting forms of serendipitous collaboration to the worst sort of trolling and harassment. Thirdly, new social media platforms make it easier for these small-p public engagements to be measured. They create or extend opportunities to count visitors and downloads, to track followers and favorites, influencers and impacts. In this way they create the conditions for a new wave of administrative and market elaboration in the field of public conversation. New brokers and new evaluators arise as people take the opportunity to talk to one another. They also encourage new methods of monitoring, and new systems of punishment and reward for participation. Universities and professional associations, for example, become interested in promoting scholars who have “impact” in this sphere. But they are also slightly nervous about associating what they have come to think of as their “brand” with potentially unpredictable employees, subscribers, and members.
In “Science as a Vocation”, Weber remarks that although we do not get our best ideas while sitting at our desks all day doing regular work, we wouldn’t get any good ideas unless we sat at our desks all day doing regular work. In a similar way, successfully engaging with the public means doing it somewhat unsuccessfully very regularly. This fact is closely connected to the value of doing your everyday work somewhat publicly. You cannot drop a lump of text onto the Internet and expect anyone to pay attention if you have not been engaging with them in some ongoing way. You cannot put your work up on your website, or “do a blog”, or manufacture interest in your research like that. There is a demand side as well as a supply side to “content”, and most of the time the demand side does not care about what you have to say. This is why, in my view, one’s public work ought to be be continuous with the intellectual work you are intrinsically motivated to do. It is a mistake to think that there is a research phase and a publicity phase. Your employer might see it that way, but from a first-personal point of view it is much better—both intrinsically and in terms of any public engagement you might want—to think of yourself as routinely doing your work “slightly in public”. You write about it as you go, you are in regular conversation with other like-minded researchers or interested parties, and some of those people may have or be connected to larger audiences with a periodic interest in what you are up to.
Read the whole thing.
To celebrate our 10th year, we are introducing a new blogger – Jeff Guhin. Jeff graduated from Yale with his Ph.D. in sociology and is the author of the upcoming The Problem of America: Practices of Moral Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools (Oxford University Press). He is a scholar of culture, religion, and education. This Fall, he will begin teaching at the sociology department at UCLA. Welcome aboard!!
On April 21, 2006 (!), Teppo Felin wrote a post called “greetings – organizational world.” Since then, we’ve had a great time discussing management, sociology, economics, political science, and a whole lot more. Over 5,000 posts, 28,000 comments, 800, 000 visitors and over 5 million visits.
But people are more important than the discussions. We’ve made life long friends through this blog and we’ve been able to build a truly wonderful online community. That is the true legacy. So all I can say is “thank you” and I hope that our community continues to grow.
What are the most commented on posts in the blog’s history? According to WordPress, they are:
- The critical realism affair. Technically, Kieran’s critical realism post only got 122 comments, but taken together, the three CR posts got about 160 comments. That was the hardest blogging I ever loved.
- Should I stop teaching post-modernism? (144 comments)
- Elizabeth Berman’s inequality in the skies. (101 comments)
- GRE scores are valid. Sorry, guys. (99 comments).
- You know who in Texas. (74 comments)
- Brayden and Eszter’s book on online reputation. (74 comments)
- How I pick grad students. (63 comments)
- Is academia meritocratic? (63 comments)
- Steve Vaisey on how to theorize motivation. (58 comments)
- World Cup Survey. (57 comments)
Great mix of serious debate on issues ranging from social theory to stratification to social psychology to teaching. Other contenders: Brayden thinks Gladwell is sometimes really, really wrong (54); what has been accomplished with math soc? (51); Kieran discovers that me and one of my PhD students gamed his soc rankings (54); Gabriel Rossman’s infamous “assumptions” post (50); Chris Martin on White privilege (46); a discussion of Jessica Collette’s impostor syndrome research (47); and Chris Winship discusses the ASA amicus brief in the Walmart case (44).