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A Quarter Million Readers Can’t be Wrong

That’s right, you all can’t be wrong.  At some point this morning this site will cross the 250,000 mark for the year-- not bad for a little academic blog run by one guy who didn’t figure out how blogs worked until about two years after all the cool kids on the block had one.  And have you seen?  Academics are already beginning to distribute questionnaires and surveys about academic blogs, which means that the MLA panel on “The New Blog Intellectual” cannot be far behind, which means that blogging will soon be so over and will have to be replaced by something even cooler, like slogging or flogging.

But let’s not worry about that today.  Let’s worry about something else, like the right’s assaults on academic freedom-- compellingly documented and dissected by Bryan Pfaffenberger, the fearsome Pink Bunny of Battle.

Posted by on 08/31 at 03:17 AM
  1. Visitor # 000250002
    Argh!  If ONLY I had clicked a millisecond earlier…

    Are you giving away a prize to your quarter-millionth customer?

    Posted by Marianne  on  08/31  at  05:00 AM
  2. which means that the MLA panel on “The New Blog Intellectual” cannot be far behind

    Do you think academic blogging will take off? It seems to be popular in some disciplines (particularly philosophy), but much less in lit-crit and cultural studies circles. At least those I know (grad students and recent grads) are pretty unenthused by the trend.

    Posted by Chris in Boston  on  08/31  at  05:02 AM
  3. Haven’t academics already done flogging, like, to death?

    So 90s.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  05:17 AM
  4. Personally, I like the idea of academic “flogging.” Of course, most of us are already pretty good at that, so I don’t know whether it could qualify as the coolest new thing. wink


    Posted by Jimbo  on  08/31  at  05:29 AM
  5. Good question, Chris.  You’re right-- law and philosophy professors seem to have taken the early lead in this genre, perhaps because those people don’t do any real work, unlike us literary-and-cultural-studies types who have to historicize our breakfast before we eat it.  (Remember, Jameson didn’t say, “always historicize, except in the morning when you’re kind of groggy,” or “always historicize, but remember to leave some time for blogging.” He said “always historicize,” and he meant always.)

    Seriously, I think academics will make good use of course blogging with and for their students-- some already have.  And among the academic-specialist blogs, Juan Cole’s is clearly a national treasure.  But mine is obviously a Sideline Blog, on which I don’t talk much about my department or my university or my discipline or any of the other aspects of my day job. (That’s one of the things that distinguishes this humble blog from the Crank Blogs!) I don’t think we’re going to see too many of those, really, partly because they’re time-consuming (not everyone has a spare hour in the day for this kind of thing) and partly because (in some quarters) they’re still considered kind of scruffy and dÈclassÈ.  But we don’t care what they think in those quarters, now, do we.

    And Brian, if you’re really weary of academic flogging, there’s always clogging.  So 70s, therefore so now.

    Sorry you missed the 2005 Corvette that went to the 250,000th visitor, Marianne.  Better luck at half a million!

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  05:52 AM
  6. Congrats on the quarter mill mark! If the Pfaffenberger essay is even remotely on the mark (and it does seem that calling the so-called Academic Bill of Rights “Orwellian to the Max” might be softpedalling), however, there’s still serious word yet to be spread.  The SAF’s “How to Research Faculty Bias” comes with quite a methodolgy and smacks of an initiation rite.

    Posted by sian  on  08/31  at  09:57 AM
  7. There was a time many years ago when I was institutionalized in Cambridge, Mass., spoiled by endless evenings of, mostly, talk.  Beer.  Movie at the Brattle.  Self-conscious intellectualizing.  Genuine debate. 

    So the more the BÈrubÈs and Coles and DeLongs make themselves available online, the better mood I’m in.  I don’t think it matters in the least whether Our Scintillating Host sticks to his area of interest or whether he overthrows Tom Ridge as long as he sticks around!  The intelligence, grace and humor of this site is the draw.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  11:58 AM
  8. Well, yes.  The MLA panel is not far off.  Which demonstrates, as you suggest, our field’s terminal belatedness.  My good pals at AOIR, who are holding their fifth annual conference next month, have been all over the blog thing for a couple of years now, including the scholarly and pedagogical ramifications thereof.  All the cool kids are already starting to move on to other technologies, like wikis, and, well, other stuff that they haven’t told me about because I’m not one of the cool kids.

    The thing that frightens me more than anything in this, though, is the idea of humanities scholars with questionnaires.


    Posted by KF  on  08/31  at  03:49 PM
  9. Hi, KF!  I read somewhere you were in Hawaii this summer, reading and having fun and not getting some things done.  Well, don’t worry about not getting done all the things you wanted to get done.  I am so not done with the things I was supposed to do this summer, and I didn’t even go to Hawaii.

    Thanks for the link to AOIR, of which I was completely ignorant--

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