The elasticity of promotions with respect to blog output is approximately zero

Commentary on academic bloggers in the United States tends to give the sense that university promotions committees regard blogging as either a big plus or a big minus. I’ve never had much data to go on in Australia, but I went in front of an ANU internal promotions committee today, and it seemed that they weren’t in the least interested in my blogging.

I hasten to say that this indifference is probably no bad thing. I don’t think I’d like to live in a country that gave strong rewards or harsh punishments to academic bloggers. But I thought I’d relate the story, as it is quite different from the accounts that one hears of in US universities.

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4 Responses to The elasticity of promotions with respect to blog output is approximately zero

  1. Corin says:

    I think is is great that you make your world come alive for the less economically minded via the blog. Promotions or not – it must help in getting a name out there too – beyond ANU? Say communicating with the US or around Oz in other capitals. Also as a starting point for ideas and like minds.

    I’d suggest it will keep growing and seems to be a parallel media rather than a replacement for books and articles.

    I think your editorial is tighter than most – which is good.

    Anyway just letting you know that it is very informative whatever the promotions people say.

    I’ve never joined the email device but given my next comment may do: It would be interesting over time to see how good (or powerful) your database becomes as well. Then ANU may be very interested in the blog – especially if it leads to collaboration. Don’t worry I’m not volunteering – my economic and statistical literacy is back in the dark age. Well non existent to be frank.

  2. Yobbo says:

    Maybe whether they regard it as a big plus or a big minus depending on the academic. For instance I could see how Eugene Volokh would garner a great deal of respect for his blog work. But what if Ward Churchill had a blog?

  3. Kevin says:

    Keep up the good work Andrew. Your readers appreciate you even if the promotions committee doesn’t.

    However, I would be most surprised if they were interested because the criteria they use is probably more related to the measures that the University uses in measuring its status. Now if you could get blogs included in the measure for “the best University” in some way that was similar to refereed journals – but of course that would destroy much of the value of blogs and would lead to blogs being created for the purpose of promotion not for the purpose of informing and debate – and that would be a bad thing.

    Your blog has probably more influence than you realise when you consider the number of lurkers that each response represents.

  4. luke says:

    Keep up the good work Andrew. In regard to the comment about blogs running parallel with media, last week saw an interesting development as news.com.au got the author of ‘The Road to Surfdom’ onboard as part of a new push into blogging. Crikey had the story last friday, and the new blog (called Blogocracy, up today) also has yours, and a range of other blogs listed on the blogroll. It will be interesting to see if the influence blogs have on debate will increase as a result (as I’m sure traffic will), and if those now part of ‘mainstream’ media will be able to continue with an independent voice…

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