It's time for a new posting, and since I can't think of anything going on in my life to blog about, now seems as good a time as any to post about the recent Chronicle of Higher Education article about blogging.
The pseudonymous Ivan Tribble is "a humanities professor at a small liberal arts college in the midwest." In his article, "Bloggers Need Not Apply," he advises job seekers to beware of having blogs. He refers to experiences from his department's job search, in which the search committee googled candidates, found their blogs, and read them. He cites the bad examples of candidates who bitched about their current jobs on their blogs, or who revealed on their blogs that they'd misrepresented their research in the job search process. Okay, so we can probably all agree that these are bad ideas, since the blog is a public forum. Although Baxter Sez sometimes feels like an intimate conversation among friends, we've seen here that lots of other folks may be hanging out among the friends. So I try not to say anything here that I wouldn't want my dean, or the parents' of my students, to read. It's a good idea for folks searching for jobs to be mindful of blogging responsibly.
However, Tribble goes on to say,
The content of the blog may be less worrisome than the fact of the blog itself. Several committee members expressed concern that a blogger who joined our staff might air departmental dirty laundry (real or imagined) on the cyber clothesline for the world to see. Past good behavior is no guarantee against future lapses of professional decorum.Okay, so he's suggesting that having any kind of public forum is a bad thing for a candidate looking for an academic job? The fact that a candidate might have a life that extends outside the walls of the university--that the candidate might at some point in the future voice an opinion that represents a "lapse of professional decorum"--is reason not to hire a person?
Come on, folks. I mean, yikes. What do you all have to say about this?