Readers may (or may not!) have noticed that I have been posting a bit sporadically lately. The reason for this is simple: I have a big deadline to meet next week, and have been working day and night to meet it. Hence, my comparative "radio silence." Consequently, I will probably not have much time to blog this week, but should be back at it full time, as it were, after that. Which will be nice. I'm sick of this impending deadline! :)
Anyway, you might be wondering why I'm mentioning this. The answer is that the time I haven't had to blog lately got me to briefly thinking about something I've thought about before: namely, why there aren't more early-career bloggers. We have a pretty good readership here at the Cocoon, after all--normal ups and downs aside, we tend to average between 800-1,200 visits a day, and are nearly up to 750,000 visits--as well as a pretty large contributor list and, of course, a supportive community. Still, by and large, there seems to be a general reticence to blog: a few people (such as Helen, Elisa, and myself) who blog quite a lot, and others who blog much less often (and, of course, members of the community who aren't signed on as contributors). This isn't intended as a criticism in any way, by the way. I don't think anyone's under an obligation to blog, or that they would be better people if they did. It is really just an observation. But, for all that, it is one I am curious about. Let me explain why.
For all I know, the apparent general reticence of early-career bloggers to blog may have a totally "innocent" cause. Maybe people just don't feel like it, or maybe they think their time is better spent elsewhere (writing papers, teaching, and, you know, stuff besides philosophy!). I'd be really curious to hear if these things are the case, or, alternatively, whether there are other reasons why people don't blog. In particular, I'm curious whether people who might otherwise want to blog have concerns about its effects on their career or perception, either in the discipline broadly or in their programs. For instance, I imagine grad students or "job-marketeers" might have some such concerns--concerns about what their grad faculty might think, or search-committee members, and so on.
The main reason I'm curious about this is that, quite frankly, I'm curious to see whether the reasons why more early-career people don't blog are largely an intrinsic matter (simply not being interested in blogging), or an extrinsic matter (thinking it either [a] won't benefit you, or [b] might have negative consequences vis-a-vis perception in one's program, the job market, and so on). I know that I had many concerns about how I was perceived in graduate school, and I even suspect that such concerns might have even deterred me from blogging (under my own name at least). Then again, I'm an old man now ;), and I don't know whether people have the same kinds of worries I had, particularly when it comes to social media.
So, then, to come to the end of the story, I'd like--if people are willing--to find out the truth. I'd like to ask "early-career"-ish people (grad students, postdocs, adjuncts, untenured faculty, etc.) who don't blog to share, anonymously if you'd like, why you don't. If you're so willing, it might be helpful if you could include some general information about your career stage (grad student?, job-marketeer?, etc.), because, depending on how the survey turns out, I might give some thought to writing a follow-up post to discuss the results (in particular, a post relating my own experiences as a blogger to the survey's results).
In any case, I'd like to thank anyone and everyone who takes part in advance for doing so. I'm really curious to see what the results are--and again, please be frank. If you're just not interested in blogging (or whatever), I promise I won't hold it against you! :)