True confessions here...
I started blogging over a year ago just to figure out what this blogging business was about and whether it had any value for my teaching. As I continued blogging, I found that I have been focusing on a number of areas:
As you can see from this survey, this blog is not really intended to be a discussion-generating blog, but it has been a neat way to make contacts with a number of others in these fields. I am grateful that Tim Bahula has provided some guest entries. This blog has also provided connections for me with people like Tim Bulkeley at SansBlogue, Todd Bolen at BiblePlaces.com, David Barrett of BibleMapper fame, the remarkable James Tauber (the person behind MorphGNT), Rick Brannan and others at Logos, the BibleWorks wizards Michael Hanel and James Darlack, and many others.
NOW, for the point of this post: As I mentioned in the anniversary survey post, I have been keeping up this blog as part of my sabbatical work. I have developed an unsustainable lifestyle of posting about 4 times per week, so once I am teaching again, that will have to be cut back.
BUT, does this blog 'count' for real academic work? My seminary has been very supportive of my technological interests, but at the same time, my postings on this blog are not valued in the same way as if I had been busy instead writing articles and publishing books (though I am trying to do that too!). Take a look at this section from our faculty handbook that describes one aspect of how faculty performance will be evaluated.
The following sources and criteria for evaluating a faculty member's professional development shall be used:Does this blog constitute acceptable "publication"? Does it count as "research"? Do the interactions with other scholars who read this blog serve as "participation" in the scholarly community? Do the few comments my posts generate function as "peer review"?
I suspect that those of you who are even of the sort to be reading a blog like this (and reading this far into a blog post like this) are fairly sympathetic to my hopes that this blog 'counts' as real research and publication. I don't know what kind of numbers publishers hope to attain when they publish a book or journal, but over the last month or so, this blog is averaging about 100 visits per day and about 2 pageviews per visit. A blog entry may be a rather shallow form of engagement, but that readership seems fairly wide to me.
Bottom line: When I write up my post-sabbatical report, how much emphasis should I place on the work I've put into this blog? What are the rest of you doing when asked to give an account of your work?
Saturday, May 31, 2008
True confessions here...