The first assignment given to the class for Central’s Public History class was not one that I had ever been assigned to before, but I suppose that would be the purpose of perusing higher education, to be able to have experiences not had before, and become more well rounded for it. So that no one is lost while reading this post, the class was simply told to read a blog post written by Dan Cohen, an ex history Professor, and current blogger, and to respond to his claim of why academics should blog.
The post goes on about how blogs are generally seen in academia as mindless drivel posted by teens who believe the web revolves around them, and hormone driven collegiate twenty-somethings. Of course I do take a bit of offense to that, as somewhat ironically, this hormone addled twenty-somethings first blog post is in response to the very one that claims by most accounts I would be going on about something inconsequential right now. But I digress.
Cohen makes some excellent points in his post as to why other academics should all hop aboard the blog train. Of course there would be some blogs that could be considered to be a bit more on the vapid side, but likewise, there are some books that one could find on the grocery store shelves make no claims to be the worlds next literary masterpiece, they’re simply fun reads. The fact, Cohen states, is that the web opens up the field of academic history to a much wider, and much more broad audience then if it were to just stay withing the four walls of scholarly setting. There is very little excuse as to why not write a blog. Don’t have enough time? Doesn’t matter, with RSS feeds readers don’t need to feel like the must continually check in on you to see if you’ve posted something new. Not sure what to talk about? Most who are experts in the field have a long list of knowledge that they can tap into and put down.
The post argues that short or long, seemingly unimportant, or masterfully written, it does not matter what Professors and other academics blog about, just that they do. The internet as it is right now is essentially an infinite resource of knowledge, and globally reaching. Most of the resources needed are available and free, and there is little time commitment on behave of the poster, the most important thing for Cohen, is to just try it out, and add to the wealth of information that is on the web today