In November I will be presenting a paper titled “The Dangers of Blogging as a Student” at the 2013 SBL Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. This may seem a bit hypocritical to some. On the one hand, I have not done much that can be considered resume building scholarship. On the other hand, if I have a reputation at all it is because of this blog. I don’t regret blogging because it has provided me with opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. While blogging can be detrimental to some it has been quite the opposite for me allowing me to make connections, find resources, and think aloud about topics that may not have otherwise found an audience among my closest friends and acquaintances.
That said, everyone has their own goals. I may not have the same desires as others who are blogging. I don’t hold to grandeur dreams of being a tenured professor at a research university. I am far too simplistic and undereducated. That said, there are those who do have these goals and the necessary potential. In the dog-eat-dog world of academia one little mistake may make the difference as to whether or not someone becomes who they dream of becoming. One medium whereby said mistake(s) may be made is blogging.
While I will not be sharing much of the content that is going to go into my twenty-five minute presentation I will summarize the five points I will be making in my paper. I hope that this will invite some discussion, especially for those who may be gearing up for the Blogging and Online Publication Section where we will be discussing Student Blogging and Students in the Digital Age. For those who won’t be there this blog has always been a digital space for sharing thoughts and ideas that might otherwise stay trapped in textbooks, classes, and conferences. I invite your participation and I’d like to hear your thoughts on each point.
The participants for the aforementioned section will be Jack Collins of the University of Virginia discussing “Academic Busking: A New Paradigm for Distance Learning and Online Content Creation”; Joshua L. Mann of the University of Edinburgh presenting on “‘We’ve Got the Power’: How Bibliobloggers Can (and Should) Make the Most of Democratized Media”; and Joel L. Watts of United Theological Seminary is co-presenting with Thomas S. Verenna of Rutgers University a paper titled “Giving Your Students to Molech’s Fire May Be Permitted”. I know that Mann, Watts, and Verenna* are favorable toward students blogging. Honestly, in general, I am as well. Yet I agreed to be the villain, so the next five blog posts in this series will be short statements aiming to persuade students away from blogging. If I can’t persuade you not to do it I want to at least make you aware of some of the potential pitfalls.
* If you haven’t seen Mann’s series of interviews with scholars who blog or have blogged here are the links: ‘Press Publish’: Interview with Ben Witherington, Jim West , Michael Bird , Anthony Le Donne, Scot McKnight , Stephen Carlson, Nijay Gupta, Chris Keith, Peter Enns, Peter Head, James McGrath. Also, Watts blogs at Unsettled Christianity and Verenna at The Musings of Thomas Verenna if you are unfamiliar with their blogs. I don’t know if they have any plans to preview their presentation.