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Grad Students Blogging

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I picked up the grad school issue of US News and World Report at the book store and read an article about graduate/medical students writing blogs (I didn't end up buying the magazine, if you're curious). On the one hand the article said that graduate students make the perfect candidates for blogging, but on the other hand, some people argued that it might make it more difficult for you to get an academic job after your time in graduate school.

I'm torn on this issue. I run a couple of blogs (see the links below) and I feel as though it helps me practice my writing for a popular audience. It doesn't take very much time, and I've also seen a lot of academics blogging recently (my own alma for example has been promoting a blog run by a biology professor).

Thoughts? Is blogging a bad idea for graduate students?

Excuse the poor spelling and grammer this evening, I'm a little tired.

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Yeah, there was an article about it in the Chronicle, too, that was anti-blog. I guess they had googled someinterview candidates (or gone directly to their webpages that they provided - stupid thing to do) and decided these people were all screwed up.

I think it's a bit Big Brother, myself, to be googling people without their knowledge and basing job decisions on what a person may vent or act like outside the realm of work. I certainly act differently outside of work than at work, and if I want to vent or express political views or comment on any other inane parts of our universe, that's my business. I guess I would just recommend that if you blog, make sure it's anonymous and can't be traced to you through the things you say. They also pointed out that stuff is cached on google, so even though one person had taken their name off their blog before job hunting, it came up through the cache.

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Ugh. That sucks. I recently locked my Livejournal to friends-only because I had some privacy issues with it. Hopefully if it's locked it's safe.

Facebook is another one I've heard that some employers have started to look at. Of course to view any facebook profiles they have to have someone who has an account through an institution, but for academic jobs of course this is no problem. I locked my Facebook so faculty/staff can't view my profile, but who knows if that even does any good.

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Yeah... I heard that facebook gets looked at too... wonder if I got rejected because of that some places? j/k

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Yeah... I heard that facebook gets looked at too... wonder if I got rejected because of that some places? j/k

You hear about people looking at facebook and myspace accounts like that all the time, which I think is just crazy. Like most of you have said, personal lives should in some sense be seperated from your on the job performance. So what if I listen to hip-hop or have tatoos, etc. Will that make a difference in my academic or on the job performance? It hasn't up to now.

Interesting stuff though.

Ohh - and I'm pretty sure I was turned down by a school because I was on Girls Gone Wild . . .just kidding.

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See... I'm pretty sure my "Girls Gone Wild" performance helped me. I got a lot of money and an interesting assistantship. j/k

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Guest grecko
I feel as though it helps me practice my writing for a popular audience.

I think that's part of the problem. Academics, especially young ones, are supposed to write for the academy rather than popular audiences. publishing your book through a popular press rather than an academic one can be a reason for denying tenure. After tenure, that's different - you can play around. But for job candidates, especially - I don't know about grad school applicants - it's a detriment.

I have a personal blog that no one at my grad institution knows about that and that doesn't have any part of my name or any institutional affiliations anywhere near it. i hope i'm safe. :-)

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I hate the idea that people are going to look at me negatively for being who I am. Oddly enough, on my blog I tend to leave my political opinions in the open. I have in the last year or so made an effort to keep the personal posts private or at least limited.

All the incidents of the police using facebook, myspace, etc briefly made me worried but really, I don't have much to hide.

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