Monday, April 2, 2007

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It's your last chance to help me help APSA to help you

I've finished a draft of my chapter on how to be a successful political science blogger for the American Political Science Association. If you want to take a gander, click here.

Political scientists are strongly encouraged to read and critique draft, as I should have one more pass at it. I'm particularly curious if I've made the downsides seem too scary.

posted by Dan on 04.02.07 at 08:42 PM


Daniel: thanks for giving us this sneak preview. As for your question about the downsides, I think they're fine - not too scary, but to the point.

I don't know if it would be in line with the direction you're taking in this chapter, but IMO it would be nice to have some kind of intro to blogging for newbies - at the very least some extra links, perhaps...

posted by: Leo Martin on 04.02.07 at 08:42 PM [permalink]

Iím glad APSA is acknowledging blogging, and this is a nice discussion of it--I think your downsides are accurate. I do wonder, though, whether the response of colleagues (senior or junior) will often be so negative, simply because many have no idea what a blog is. For example, Iíve even mentioned my blog to several younger faculty both at my and other universities, who gave me a rather glazed look of incomprehension and never visited it. Since no one can know that ahead of time, however, untenured faculty and graduate students just have to use extra caution.

posted by: Greg Weeks on 04.02.07 at 08:42 PM [permalink]

Dan's chapter, though it extols the virtues of linking, contains no links. Obviously these are less useful in a print publication than in a blog, but it occurs to me that letting readers know where they could find what Dan considers to be a successful blog by a political scientist might be as useful as describing what such a blog looks like.

I'd encourage him also, perhaps in the section he devotes to developing a thick skin, to discuss technical issues, particularly the problem of keeping trolls, spammers and nutbars out of comment sections without blocking desirable commenters as well. A number of bloggers have commented on this from time to time, and in reviewing Dan's archives I note that the number of comments in posts of his from a year or two ago are substantially greater than the number of responses he gets now. It could be Dan has just gotten less interesting since he moved to Boston, but I think it more likely that some of his commenters got locked out by Movable Type's spam filter and gave up posting.

Finally: comment section or no comment section? Some prominent bloggers (e.g. Dan, Kevin Drum) have one; others (e.g. Glenn Reynolds and Josh Marshall) don't. Is there an advantage to a political scientist to having a comment section, or not?

posted by: Zathras on 04.02.07 at 08:42 PM [permalink]

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