October 20, 2004
I’ve been thinking about a few things related to academic blogs, but rather than roll them all into one mega-post I think I’ll post them one at a time. For starters, I was struck by some reasons for academic blogging noted by Liz Lawley and a group of social software all-stars:
- speed of publishing (and dissemination),
- the ability to publish (and get feedback on) work in progress,
- an increased authorial/personal voice (in contrast to the typical passive voice of academic writing),
- bypassing of the editorial process, and
- increased distributed peer review.
Part of what struck me about this list is that is doesn’t include some of the main reasons we had for starting GTxA.
I won’t attempt a comprehensive list here, but I think these were some of the primary motivations for starting our semi-academic blog:
- pushing forward discussion among the blog authors (much as Lawley’s post came out of a small group discussion among diverse participants with certain common interests, and was itself posted to a group blog that encourages discussion among its members, we started GTxA in part as a discussion space for its geographically-distributed authors),
- bridging academic, artistic, and industry communities (the GTxA bloggers have roles and histories in multiple communities, and the readers come from a variety of backgrounds), and
- helping define our field (by creating a regularly-updated resource and discussion venue for a group of topics — digital games, writing, and art — that aren’t always seen as related).
Nick, Scott, and I saw Jill Walker recently (1, 2) and she pointed out that the list reported by Lawley positions blogging relative the peer-reviewed academic journal. Maybe that’s where the difference lies. I think the academic structure we’ve thought of in relation to GTxA has been the conference panel, rather than the journal.
I wonder if we could learn something interesting about other (semi-)academic blogs by asking their authors if they see their work in relation to another accademic form — and, if so, which?