Why don’t more lecturers blog?

The internet has changed the way people interact. In today’s society the development of networks and communities are an essential part of promoting ideas.

This brings to mind an important question:

Why don’t more history lecturers write regular blogs?

Here’s my thoughts:

1. They don’t realise the power of the internet.
2. They are intimidated by the technology.
3. They are unaware of the technology and its latent power.

If lectures are aware of the technology and it’s power, then maybe it’s one of these reasons:

1. They are worried that by blogging their ideas they will give away precious information.
2. The idea of opening themselves to unlimited interaction is intimidating.
3. They simply have nothing to say.

Whatever the reason, the situation needs to change. If History is to develop and more forward, universities need to recognise that an information revolution has occurred. Introducing a few online courses isn’t enough. They need to develop interactive networks and open ended networks.


8 Responses to “Why don’t more lecturers blog?”

  1. Gavin Robinson Says:

    I think another important reason is that they just don’t have time. Dan Todman understands the technology, appreciates the power of the medium, and has interesting things to say, but he also has other things to do, so Trench Fever doesn’t get updated as frequently as we might like. Since Sharon Howard became project manager on the Old Bailey Proceedings (a very important and exciting project which harnesses the power of the latest technology) Early Modern Notes has pretty much died. Even I haven’t been posting as much as I used to. Although I’m unemployed I’ve had other things to work on which have taken away time that I could have used for blogging, and if I get a job it’ll almost certainly get worse.

  2. Claire Says:

    There may also be an element of fear. Academics are judged on what they write and blogging is so immediate that it’s easy to write stupid things.

  3. breathinghistory Says:

    Time is a constraint on all of us. However, you never hear of anyone dropping dead because they didn’t have time to eat. Finding time to blog is about priorities. If lecturers realised just how important it is to develop their online persona, then they will find time to blog. Everyday.

    Caution is important when blogging, but if people believe in what they are posting they should not be worried about sounding stupid.

  4. Esther Says:

    A forth point is the resistance of the rest of the community. Subjects like cultural studies or media take blogging as the opportunity it is. History and literature subjects see blogging as amateurish. Again in the five 1/2 years of my site, the university I attended refused to recognise it as valid research, and had such a negative attitude to online research technology in general that I sometimes wondered why they didn’t set flaming brands to the university servers. They then expressed huge surprise at the publicity that the site generated over a considerable period of time – and still does, chossing to attribute this to ‘flash-in-the-pan’ gimmickry, and not the product of such a sustained research effort. Depsite the huge amount of content the site contains, it is stil lnot regarded as valid, mainly for the reasons you express above. I agree that the ‘caution’ versus ‘stupidity’ argument puts a lot of people off, but blogs are surely an expression of voice – and thus they argue in ways that may be wrong or require alteration or retraction – that’s the beauty of them! You get to be wrong in a more informal atmosphere where that’s ‘okay’, and you can then work through the process of why, how, where the stupidity lies… I’m sure, like everyone else, we’ve read books, seen tv programmes, heard radio programmes, reviewed articles and heard conversations that were immensely stupid… is there really a difference here other than the fact that blog entries are partially intended to be up for debate?

  5. breathinghistory Says:

    Your story makes be purple with rage and frustration!?! It also makes me more convinced that I am right. The internet has changed the world. History is a very commercial subject and universities seem to hate this fact. But hey get a life. Online interaction is staying. I just wonder how many future history students are being excited and encourged by your blog.

    Perhaps they should have to tick a box when they enrol.

    ‘Where did you hear of this course – answer? I have read the blogs of your lecturers for a few years and was really excited at having a chance to join your open minded institution and be taught by such great people’ – or words to that effect.

  6. World enough and time « Trench Fever Says:

    […] In different ways, Great War Fiction, Investigations of a Dog, Break of Day in the Trenches and Victoria’s Cross have all discussed the experience, costs and value of blogging. Esther at BODITT points out that in […]

  7. Andy Frayn Says:

    The article in the THES this week, explaining how a lecturer has recently been sacked for comments posted on a blog, probably also goes some way to explaining this (though it makes clear this was the tip of the iceberg). I dare say no more…

  8. Smithd7 Says:

    Hey there! I realize this is somewhat offtopic but I had to ask. efdefbcdgdadkeae

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