Back to blogging
I came across a post that Heather had made over at Cultivating Minds called "Finally a defense of blogging". It was actually inspired, for lack of a better word, by an article in the Chronicle entitled "Do Not Fear the Blog."
This past summer and fall, the Chronicle ran a couple of articles (referenced in both pieces above) that talked about why graduate students and junior faculty members shouldn't blog. I even joined the fray and wrote pieces on Careful about what you blog and Be careful about your web presence.
The main point that I made in these pieces, that others are starting to pick up on now, is that it is not so much that you shouldn't blog, that you shouldn't have a web presence, but you do need to watch out what you do put out there. As I have suggested in the past, if you haven't done so already, you should Google yourself and see what comes up. Is what you see reflective of the type of image that you want to put forward of yourself. If the answer is no, then you probably need to re-think some of the things that you have been doing. If what you see if fairly reflective of what you would want a potential employer to know about you, then keep doing what it is that you have been doing.
Personally, I look at the six blogs that I post to on a semi-regular basis and I'm okay with putting that out there about myself. I have this blog, which I use to talk about more academic things, getting my Ph.D., trying to find that first job, and issues surounding both of those activities. I have what I call my research blog, Virtual High School Meanderings, where I throw around ideas and issues surounding virtual schooling (as that has been the topic of much of my research and is the topic for my planned dissertation). I have what I call a personal blog, Rock Ruminations, where I tend to do those stupid little online quizzes and post the results, talk about different trips that my wife and I have taken, or discuss my on-going struggles with my bird feeders and the squirrels. There are two organization blogs that I either maintain or am the main contributor: AERA's Rural Education SIG and AECT's graduate student blog - The Program. Finally, there is a blog which I maintain for my EDIT2000 student reflections.
I can honestly say, other than those stupid little quizzes that I personally find kind of funny, there isn't much there that I would have a difficult time answering a question about during a job interview (even the battle with the squirrels).
Tags: blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education