Kite Flying for Academic Digital Identity

We have the black hand of ERA in Australia, AACSB in my own faculty and REF in the UK stifling all but prestigious academic journal publishing. It is more than refreshing then to see Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth in his innocuously titled …before the ink is dry article hold out for the benign influences of academic blogging. This creates a digital identity capable of spreading a discourse of ideas well ahead of any journal article ever could achieve. I could not put it better than Steve:

For me, and for an increasing number of fellow academics, publishing in traditional journals is becoming increasingly anachronistic in the digital age of social media communication. We can be our own publishers now. We can build up audiences and loyal followings that are larger than most journals and publishing houses could ever boast. For me, blogging is now the first place I consider when I want to disseminate my ideas quickly, directly to my own community of practice, and in a form that is considered relevant and accessible to those who are engaged in that particular sphere of activity. Blogging is freely accessible, and it is usually concise enough to be assimilated in a few minutes.

I say hear, hear or as those around me probably prefer, good on ya mate.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

2 Responses to Kite Flying for Academic Digital Identity

  1. Geoff Fellows says:

    But if it can’t be measured how can it be managed they will ask. We need an influence metric for non-traditional academic communication and then get it recognised by management. Is five citations of an A* journal article as influential as 5000 readers of a blog post?

  2. Michael Rees says:

    Absolutely right, Geoff, a community influence metric is needed, not just the easy-to-measure citation count of the elitist, closed academic peers in the discipline. 5,000 readers of a structured blog post is in my mind at least equivalent to any journal article provided it is backed up with around 100 considered comments. These are definitely not the realms I have acheived in my own blog as yet.

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