A very interesting piece on grad students, blogging and academe turned up in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently: “Bloggers Need Not Apply.” It’s been further discussed in “Blogging and job prospects” in Ars Technica. In essence, the articles are about the negative impact blogging can have on the job prospects of graduate students.
An excerpt from the Chronicle:
> More often that not, however, the blog was a negative, and job seekers need to eliminate as many negatives as possible.
> We all have quirks. In a traditional interview process, we try our best to stifle them, or keep them below the threshold of annoyance and distraction. The search committee is composed of humans, who know that the applicants are humans, too, who have those things to hide. It’s in your interest, as an applicant, for them to stay hidden, not laid out in exquisite detail for all the world to read. If you stick your foot in your mouth during an interview, no one will interrupt to prevent you from doing further damage. So why risk doing it many times over by blabbing away in a blog?
And the Ars Technica piece further comments:
> Ultimately, I think the answer to this dilemma is pretty clear: graduate students simply should not blog, and if they do blog they should never do so under their real names. As a grad student, your writing time is much better spent producing papers that will get you feedback from the folks who you’re paying to study under. Furthermore, anything that you have to say that’s even remotely interesting to anyone other than your parents and your best friend from childhood is not worth publishing online when it could easily come back to haunt you years later. And the more interesting and relevant your comments on the pressing issues of the day, the more you should keep them strictly confined to the kinds of everyday offline intellectual conversations that make academic life so rewarding.