Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blogging As Scholarship As Struggle

Major points to anyone who can identify the allusion.

Anyway, Paul Caron blogs on an AALS panel on the quite salient topic (to me anyway) of blogging by law faculty members (H/T: Orin Kerr). The three panel participants were Larry Solum (Legal Theory blog), Vic Fleischer (Conglomerate), and Randy Barnett (Volokh Conspiracy).

There seemed to be a fair amount of trepidation about blogging by junior faculty, most manifest in the fear that senior faculty might get offended by a comment and retaliate come tenure time. Other issues were time management and self-regulation. However, Professor Fleischer pointed out that blogging can also raise a young scholars profile and get her/him invited to conferences, test-run new ideas, and get immediate feedback. So while I recognize the concerns, I think that for the careful pre-tenure professor, blogging can still be a professional perk.

On the more meta-level, I agree with Professor Solum that blogging will not transplant but complement traditional scholarship. I know this argument has been made before, but to briefly reprise--blogging is fast and allows for immediate reactions, while traditional scholarship is slower but more meticulous. Both have functions--and its been interesting to see how law journals are incorporating smaller, quicker, bite-sized pieces into their publishing (the Yale Law Journal's Pocket Part, for one). In any event, it sounds like an interesting discussion--wish I could have been there.

UPDATE: See also Dan Markel.

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