Title: "Weblogs and the Academy: The Benefits and Challenges of Biblioblogging."I'll be talking more about this paper as I continue doing the research for it.
Abstract: A growing number of scholars have entered the world of academic blogging. Indeed, the influence of “biblioblogs” in the scholarly community is becoming increasingly evident in a number of ways. Alongside the names of the institutions where they teach and the titles of their previous books, academic publishers are now including the internet addresses of scholars’ weblogs on the book covers of their recent monographs, somewhat blurring the lines between print publications and on-line offerings. Moreover, a careful analysis of the blogosphere reveals ways in which scholars are “testing out” hypotheses prior to publishing them in academic journals. The on-line academic blogging community has thus become an important sounding board for scholars, at times playing an important role in influencing material later published in peer-review sources. Other benefits may also be recognized, e.g., humanizing scholars, drawing attention to important works published in obscure places, etc. At the same time, there are certainly pitfalls involved with engaging the blogosphere. Above all, blogs are not “peer-reviewed” sources. Identifying helpful sources from unhelpful ones is sometimes a difficult challenge. Moreover, while information produced by bloggers may be retrieved through search engines, finding the most helpful material often requires sifting through a great amount of material, taxing the patience of researchers. This paper will analyze the academic value of blogs, discussing ways to maximize the benefits of such websites while also offering suggestions regarding how to deal with the challenges inherent in consulting them as academic resources. In particular, the presenter will draw from his recent experience of completing a Ph.D. dissertation on the historical Jesus and the way his participation in the academic blogging community enhanced his work.
In the meantime, I'm definitely interested in getting feedback. I'm going to put together a bunch of questions and see if I can get some input from other academic bloggers.
I want to thank Dr. Robert Cargill--archaeologist, YouTube sensation, and all-around good guy--for the opportunity to present this paper. I'm really look forward to this.