transparency, identity, blogging

Huzzah for this article… Jon Udell on transparency in blogging professional life.

The issue here isn’t simply that employers don’t get what blogging is or can be. I think that’s changing. I think there is an emerging consensus that professional lives can, should, and will be lived more transparently. But a successful negotiation of the limits of that transparency will be incredibly tricky. I’m hopeful that we’ll get there, but doubtful that we’ll get there soon.

People are going there, but it’s risky. I said last year at BlogHer that academic scientists are blogging about their work more than academics in the humanities. For example – Pharyngula. But no one knows the boundaries.

Are the most interesting details inevitably the most unbloggable, either because they’re proprietary, or because they reveal interpersonal complexity, or because they go too far into “private lives”? I think the blogosphere is revealing the power and danger of gossip. Feminists have often reclaimed the idea of gossip – and that’s going to happen again so that “what is trivial” will be redefined, remodeled. I know I harp on Feyerabend’s “Against Method”, but its ideas about how science works, how research and intellectual development actually unfold, are crucial here. What history points to as important, the narrative process of intellectual history, is not always “what happened”. Blogging, especially professional/personal blogging, will expose the richness of experience to a wide audience. Autobiography will change. And we can apply blog or social network models of reality to the past, as well; what if we represented, say, a literary/intellectual movement not through biography which shapes lives into a narrative, or an encyclopedia of biographical entries, but instead, create “Orkut 1910”? What would that look like?

Just as it’s pertinent information to know someone else’s blogroll from now — i.e. I share something in common with other readers of Pandagon and Bitch Ph.D., with the other commenters there — it would be lovely to draw sideways-going, networky, intersecting nexi (nexuses?) of people in various disciplines.

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