Ever since I saw Anthony Grafton (yes, that Anthony Grafton) pop up in the comments section at Tenured Radical (http://tenured-radical.blogspot.com/), I was curious about what he was doing there: Slumming? Slapping his forehead at the boneheaded comments? Sneering at the sheer mediocrity of it all? But no, he actually seemed concerned about the discussions taking place there, and interested in other people’s comments, and eager to participate.
And then I was delighted to find, courtesy of a tip from Ancarett’s Abode (http://ancarett.com/?p=414#comments), a nice essay from Grafton himself, explaining why he likes to read blogs:
The piece speaks for itself, but I wanted to point to the following observation, that pinpoints one of the reasons for the growth in scholarly blogs:
[These blogs] offer the comfortably tenured reader uncomfortably vivid insight into what it feels like in the 2000s to go through the job search year after year, to try to make a home in a new department and a new city, to attend one’s first conference as a professional, and to move from writing a dissertation to working on articles and book chapters. These blogs have all become the hubs of virtual communities, whose members offer one another a kind of support, intellectual and moral, that sometimes seems to be missing in actual departments.