Monday, May 23, 2005

The advantages of academic blogging 

After reading some give and take in comments on a post by Mitch the other day, I thought I should address this issue one time and one time only. The issue is: Can I blog at work? The answer is yes, provided it
The advantage of being an economist and an academic is that I can blog about economics and higher education pretty much within the purview of my job. Academics research in many fields: I've been at times a Fedwatcher, a forecaster, a public choice economist, a sports economist, a development economist and a central bank specialist. I still to some degree hold all of those interests, some more than others. I once was asked to write an article about affordable housing. Certainly not my field, but researching it became part of my job until the article was done (I didn't enjoy the experience, so I haven't read about the topic since.) So my remit in terms of subject matter is pretty darn elastic. That's the nature of academic inquiry, and you wouldn't want it any other way.

Look around the blogosphere and you'll find many academics who blog. Instapundit is a law professor, and I dare say he blogs a good bit from the office. At Crooked Timber last year, Eszter wondered what the value of academic blogging as an alternative to scholarship printed in academic journals, and it may open up new markets for scholarship. cff John Quiggin and Tyler Cowen. The advertising value of this blog for me and for SCSU can be evinced by the increased traffic I get when John Hinderaker says nice things about me on Powerline. The university has benefit from that (double normal traffic on a Saturday when all I'm doing is blabbing about MOBfest.)

No doubt there are days the university does not like this blog, and they've had occasion to lodge complaints and seek redress. Yet they also read here; they were the blog's intended audience initially, and this whole MOB/NARN/VRWC thing was an unintended, serendipitous consequence. I've had members of the administration discuss posts with me. So it will do nobody good to contact the university and tell them I might be moonlighting on company time. They don't think of it that way, and neither do I. If and when they change their mind, I'll change my behavior.