Does Blogging Count as Academic Work?

Stephen Bainbridge's somewhat tongue in check suggestion that if his blog is being cited in high-class law journals maybe he should get institutional credit for blogging gets taken somewhat seriously by one law dean.

Boy do I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think a smart Law Dean (or any academic administrator) should encourage blogging by folks who will raise an institution's profile as part of a general strategy of institutional advancement. I proposed just that to our Dean some time ago, but other than generously offering to pay my hosting costs (an offer I declined so that I could also use the host in good conscience for various personal and family projects), and telling the faculty in a memo that if anyone else wants a blog the school would pick up the tab, the idea didn't go far in the law school; fortunately the University will be rolling out blogs for everyone Real Soon Now. While I could see a very enlightened Dean counting blogging as a form of community service, I wouldn't expect that to be very common. That said, there are a few blogs — Larry Solum's extraordinary efforts come immediately to mind even without prompting — that probably should count in other columns too.

On the other hand, while if pressed I would claim that my running ICANNWatch is a form of community service, I wouldn't make that claim for the more self-indulgent, mostly half-baked, musings and agitprop here. Plus, I'd feel odd asking for credit for another one of my hobbies. I already made my hobby my job by becoming an Internet lawyer. Besides, I'm already having too much fun on my job to make this part of it.

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