One of the most important things I've learned about publishing is how important it is to get good feedback on working papers. Simply put, it is very hard to put together a publishable piece of work all alone. This is not to say it is impossible -- but good feedback helps a great deal. But how does one get it? One obvious way is to make connections with people and trade papers with them. Another way to get feedback is to present at conferences. But sometimes neither of these options present themselves. For example, I know many people inside my AOS, but I just finished a very long paper (one too long for conferences) far *outside* of my AOS, in an area in which I simply don't know anybody. What should one do in this case? I've considered posting the paper on a blog or two, but (A) I've done this before and hardly anyone responded, and (B) it would completely undermine the process of blind review (the paper is out at a journal). Indeed, this brings me to a more general question: how smart/dumb/etc. do people think it is to post (polished) working papers online? I have some papers on SSRN and Academia.edu -- and I tend to operate in the spirit of sharing rather than hiding my work (isn't that what philosophy is all about?) -- but at the end of the day I'm not sure whether this is all that smart. One possible problem is that people can steal ideas (I'm not saying this is common, but it could happen). Another issue is that it undermines blind review. Etc. On the flip side, it's incredibly frustrating to have what one believes to be a great paper on one's hands and keep it a secret. If one doesn't share it, one can get "scooped" (someone else can publish the idea before you do). Certainly sharing online doesn't totally obviate this problem -- someone else can still officially publish an idea before you do -- but at least if you share it online, if there is ever a question of precedence later on down the road, there is still a "paper trail" showing that you got there first.
Anyway, what does everyone think? I'd love to hear what you all think about these issues in general, as well as what you all think about my particular situation (i.e. having a paper on my hands that I think is super-cool, but *very* long, not in my AOS, etc.). Thanks in advance -- looking forward to discussion!