Should junior faculty blog (a.k.a. my most ignominious quote ever)

John Sides examines the political scientist as blogger in the latest issue of PS.

Is blogging for the untenured? By dint of their relative youth, untenured faculty are often those most disposed to read and produce content online, but they may perceive blogging as professionally risky. One political scientist and prominent blogger, Daniel Drezner, did not receive tenure at the University of Chicago—a fact that cannot be directly attributed to his blogging but nonetheless may make junior faculty anxious (see Drezner 2005).

At one level, skepticism about the time you spend blogging has an arbitrary quality. Because blogging is public, some may consider it a direct threat to research productivity. But why focus on the opportunity cost of blogging? This activity is far from the only thing that detracts from time devoted to research. Political scientist and blogger Chris Blattman makes this point well:

I average under 30 minutes a day blogging—less than most people would take to commute (I don’t), practice an instrument (nope), or watch a TV show (don’t even own one). Has anyone ever reflected, “A pity Bob didn’t get tenure. It’s a shame he lives in the suburbs and plays the piano. But it’s that fourth season of ‘Lost’ that really screwed him”?

Such is my blog debut in the academic press. Sigh. The original post is here.