I was looking over the blogroll on Bitch. Ph.D., and realized the project of identifying “Scholarly blogs” is even more difficult than I had considered. Many of those blogs do not appear on my list of scholars who blog. I started to add some, but I see this as being a Herculean task. I conveniently avoided defining what a “scholar” was before, but the lack of definition makes things especially difficult. Is it just those with an academic appointment at a university? That doesn’t mesh with what I think of as a scholar. But where is the edge? Is it determined by the content of the blog? I mean, I find this entry about an undergrad who has failed to get into a business major very amusing, and sadly familiar, but is it scholarly when it talks not about a topic but about the process and problems of the academic system?
This is really not a posting about anything. I don’t know that the effort is really worth it. I mean, I am interested in the use of blogs by academics, so it makes sense to try to get something of a handle on what makes up that community, but defining the community itself — the criteria for being a member of the community — is a very difficult process.
It strikes me that a large number of the newer academic bloggers choose to remain anonymous, and that this has a significant impact on what they choose to and can blog. Honestly, there is a lot that I would love to be able to write about, but can’t because I would be promptly fired. On the other hand, a lot of what I blog about really only makes sense when people from my “real life” can connect it with me.