Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Blast from the past: Do blogs help or hinder professional prospects?

Back in 2007, although now we should ask the same question about Twitter.  Signed comments from readers (full name plus email address that will not appear) are welcome.  Submit the comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.

Deja vu all over again (reposting of earlier items of interest) | Permalink


Deciding to blog at Opinio Juris 17 years ago -- over the objections of my then-Dean at Georgia -- was the best decision I ever made. My posts exposed me to literally thousands of readers all over the world, the vast majority of whom will have never read any of my traditional scholarship. Blog posts have also proven to be a great way to test out whether there will be interest in a particular idea for an article -- and have led to numerous invitations to contribute to high-quality books and journals. I think my career would have turned out quite differently without my blogging.

Posted by: Kevin Jon Heller | Aug 10, 2022 4:29:21 AM

My writing for Lawfare, first as a student when the site first started, and now as a pre-tenure professor at Minnesota, has been incredibly valuable, in terms of: (1) testing out new ideas (several blog posts have formed the basis of full-length legal scholarship); (2) getting my ideas out to non-academic audiences, especially journalists; and (3) being really fun and a nice break from traditional legal scholarship (and fun is an underrated consideration!). Fortunately my faculty has been nothing but supportive.

Twitter is a harder case. It's still very helpful for exposure (especially re journalists), but it can also be distracting (not to mention bad for one's intellectual and emotional habits) if not used with enormous discipline, which is something I'm only partially successful at.

Posted by: Alan Rozenshtein | Aug 10, 2022 6:36:14 AM

I agree with Kevin and Alan that blogging has been incredibly valuable both personally and professionally. I blog somewhat regularly for Lawfare, Just Security, and Penn's Regulatory Review. It is a wonderful opportunity to respond in a timely manner to a legal issue that has arisen, and I have found the editing process to be rigorous but quick. There have been instances where an issue arises, and I am able to go from a draft blog post to publishing within 48 hours. There are no citations, but these blogs require accurate hyperlinks, which force you to show your work. Beyond reaching a broader audience, other news outlets will re-publish the work in accordance with governing agreements (e.g. Slate has a relationship with Just Security). Finally, short posts are a great way to synthesize an existing longer law review article - much of the work is already done and if the reader enjoy the blog post, they can easily click on the hyperlink to the larger version on SSRN. Win/win.

Posted by: Mark Nevitt | Aug 10, 2022 2:02:55 PM

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