On his blog Sam Burgum provides some thoughts about the risks of academic blogging. I’ve posted a quite few times in the past about academic blogging, but Sam focuses here on his experiences of using his blog. These experiences include the freedom it brings and the potential audiences it reaches, he also talks about the new possibilities for critique which come from the dissemination of ideas on blog form. Sam suggests that stimulating debates around ideas helps to formulate and develop them beyond more casual or loose beginnings.
Sam also uses the post to discuss the risks of academic blogging. He describes a recent experience he had when he transcribed a short excerpt from a talk by Slavoj Zizek. Zizek was responding to a question about a comment made by Chomsky. Sam’s transcription suddenly drew a large amount of attention towards his blog, with media organisations and both Chomsky and Zizek responding to the transcribed passage. Sam notes this as a risk, once we have posted on a blog it can circulate in all sorts of unpredictable ways. I’ve discussed this a little in relation to my work on the politics of data circulation in a couple of pieces (both are open access). The first is a response piece about social media and public geography and the second is a long blog post on the general intervention on social media in academic work. Sam’s experience shows how social media’s politics of circulation can work, with ideas being swept along in flows of data with unpredictable results. It provides a really good example of how certain content achieves visibility as a result of social media’s infrastructures and networks. This is definitely something that needs to be considered as academic blogging continues to expand, we need to think about how ideas circulate and how they might take on a life of their own.