Will blogging hurt my tenure prospects?

I certainly hope not, based on the feedback I’ve had here at Fresno State, although some eyebrows are occasionally raised at how much time people think I spend on blogging. It certainly didn’t hurt John Hawks who just got tenure at the University of Wisconsin – Congratulations Prof. Hawk! He has begun sharing his experience of blogging while on the tenure-track in a four-part series:

This is the first of a four-part series on blogging and tenure. Each installment covers a different portion of the tenure process, from starting and establishing the tone of your blog, up to documenting your blog for your tenure dossier. I don’t guarantee anything, and I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I worked hard to develop some strategies in my tenure chase, and you may find some of them helpful.

The full story is divided into four parts. In the final installment, which may be most useful to current bloggers, I will describe the specific strategies that I applied to quantify my blog’s role as a service to the field and to the public. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be discussing strategies to build a blog’s reputation and readership in the years leading up to tenure review, and some ways to integrate research with blogging.

Today, I weigh the pluses and minuses of starting a blog on the tenure track, including the key question of anonymity. This will be especially relevant if you are newly on the tenure track and considering starting a blog. You may also find some of it useful if you have a blog already and are considering shedding a pseudonym and making a blog part of your academic life.

[From How to blog, get tenure and prosper: Starting the blog | john hawks weblog]

I sure could have used Hawks’ advice in the above post (especially where he says, “don’t do it”!!) a couple of years ago when I was contemplating dipping my toe into the blogosphere, but its too late for that now! I will, however, certainly wait for that final installment, especially the promised tips on quantifying a blog’s impact, as I begin to round the turn heading towards the final stretch of my own tenure-track here. Wish me luck!

I’m also looking around to see how many of my colleagues at Fresno State blog (e.g., TheAnthroGeek, Cakeypal, and Cakeypal) whether for fun or academic discourse. Perhaps it is time for us to network internally…

(Hat-tip: John Lynch at Stranger Fruit)

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