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July 19, 2005

Eliminate the negative

A professor on a hiring committee at Quaint Old College in the American midwest writes that candidates with blogs found themselves at a disadvantage. S/he seems to imagine that just because a non-blogging candidate can obscure their interest in electronics, cats or countries we should invade that these views are somehow less likely to have any such interests because they have not written about them on-line. Trust me, I have read enough student blogs (not you, Agent C) to have an idea of the range of things I did not need to know about as their professor. Heck, I have graded enough student papers to have worked that one out. I assume the same would apply to any potential colleague, blogger or not. It may be a small comfort to Ivan Tribble that I would not want to work with him or his nosey colleagues either (via WitchyProf).

The pertinent question for bloggers is simply, Why? What is the purpose of broadcasting one's unfiltered thoughts to the whole wired world? It's not hard to imagine legitimate, constructive applications for such a forum. But it's also not hard to find examples of the worst kinds of uses.

A blog easily becomes a therapeutic outlet, a place to vent petty gripes and frustrations stemming from congested traffic, rude sales clerks, or unpleasant national news. It becomes an open diary or confessional booth, where inward thoughts are publicly aired.

Ahh, so different than using the Chronicle of Higher Education for anonymous petty venting of frustration at the existence of "the internet". It seems to me that with every new cohort of increasingly wired students cranky grumblings at the strangeness of blogging will be harder and harder to credit. But by then I imagine clever Professor Tribble will have invented the whole idea.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 19, 2005 06:54 AM

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What are the professors worried they might actually learn how to expresses themselves in an understandable way and thus able to counter the frothing morons that are most of today's liberal arts professors?

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2005 06:24 AM