old book

Academia has had difficulty figuring out where blogging fits in the scholarly landscape.

Given my difficulties writing this blog, it has become obvious I prefer reading blogs.

I regularly follow a few advertising and academic related blogs because the bloggers are subject experts who express their thoughts clearly and authentically. They sound like real people doing interesting work, right now and I enjoy stepping into their interests to learn something new.

In contrast, “Peer reviewed print articles are more static and linear in nature, and involve a strict adherence to preordained academic standards” (Asselin, 2008. p. 20) But let’s face it – some of those journal articles are challenging reads.  In fact, some of my course preparation involves summarizing such articles so that they are more accessible for students.

Each type of writing is valid and “require[s] a different, but not necessarily less worthy, academic standard in which to judge the scholarship of electronic publications such as academic blogs” (Asselin, 2008. p. 20). Good blogging – and vlogging – makes science and research more accessible to all people. With the glut of bad science floating around the Internet, proper blogging can counter-act some of that mis-information. It’s a unique medium with its own unique means and methods of communicating.

Some researchers have done a particularly great job of living in/straddling different camps simultaneously.  Steven Pinker, Dan Ariely and Michael Geist are three examples of academics who are making excellent use of various media and writing in plain language. In particular, Steven Pinker is challenging cognitive science to “replace the recycled dogma of style guides with reason and evidence.” (Pinker, 2015)  Links are posted in the references below.

Ya know, maybe writing academic blogs might be an interesting challenge.

We shall see!

References

Ariely, D., (n.d.). Retrieved from http://danariely.com/

Asselin, K. (2008). Blogging: The remediation of academic and business communications (Order No. 1452706). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304449817). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.royalroads.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/304449817?accountid=8056

Geist, M., (n.d.) Retrieved from http://michaelgeist.ca/

Pinker, S., (n.d.). Why academics suck at writing. Retrieved from http://stevenpinker.com/why-academics-stink-writing

Pinker, S., 2015. Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century – with Steven Pinker. The Royal Institution. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV5J6BfToSw