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Author Topic: Finding out who's Googling you  (Read 14485 times)
epistephiliac
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2008, 6:47:47 am »

My own real-name "professional" blog is on hiatus until I can give it a proper overhaul, which I'll get around to this summer. I've a bit sporadic in keeping it up, anyway, but I want to start working on it more systematically. I think that in addition to (relatively) static content  like a CV and statement of interests, regularly updated content that establishes a person's professional identity and participates in scholarly dialogue can only be a positive thing for one's career.

Unless one is an idiot, but if so, people will find out soon enough anyway. It's not the blog's fault.

I will say that the only vicious review of my book manuscript included a mention of my blog in a disparaging way. It wasn't actually a criticism of the blog itself, just that it existed. Then again, the same person was also offended by the fact that I was a) a graduate student, and b) American, both of which s/he claimed (along with the blog) made me unfit to publish this book. So I have a hard time taking this criticism to heart. Still, it did make me hyper-aware of who might be looking, and that's another reason I'm redoing the site.
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larryc
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2008, 9:39:25 am »

I will say that the only vicious review of my book manuscript included a mention of my blog in a disparaging way. It wasn't actually a criticism of the blog itself, just that it existed. Then again, the same person was also offended by the fact that I was a) a graduate student, and b) American, both of which s/he claimed (along with the blog) made me unfit to publish this book. So I have a hard time taking this criticism to heart.

Yikes--was that review decisive? Did it prevent you from publishing?
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bwithrow
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2008, 9:43:47 am »

Watermarkup-

Quote
For what it's worth, I had a higher response rate to my applications this year than ever before (over 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 6 or so in earlier years, based on an average of 35 applications a year in an MLA field).

That is very helpful.  Thanks.  Like you, my blog has much to do with my real-world identity, so blogging anonyously hasn't really sounded like a good thing to me either. 

epistephiliac-

Quote
Unless one is an idiot, but if so, people will find out soon enough anyway. It's not the blog's fault.

Loved that line.  It would be like blaming the mouth rather than the person.

Quote
I will say that the only vicious review of my book manuscript included a mention of my blog in a disparaging way. It wasn't actually a criticism of the blog itself, just that it existed. Then again, the same person was also offended by the fact that I was a) a graduate student, and b) American, both of which s/he claimed (along with the blog) made me unfit to publish this book. So I have a hard time taking this criticism to heart. Still, it did make me hyper-aware of who might be looking, and that's another reason I'm redoing the site.

I agree with Larryc.  Yikes indeed. I would probably ignore that criticism as well.  I hope it didn't produce any long term problems. Though it always seems true that the criticisms are harder to shake than the compliments. 

I agree that a decent site layout can also go a long way for influencing opinion of one's blog.  It acts as the first impresion.
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larryc
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2008, 9:45:31 am »

Bwithrow, thanks for sticking around to discuss your article.

My blog was a major factor in helping me land an exciting new position this year. But a big part of what they were seeking was digital outreach, so that may be a unique situation.

I have been on a lot of search committees the past five years, and I would see a blog as a definite plus--IF it is professional and rightly focused on the discipline for which we are hiring. No stupid blog memes ("13 Things about X"), no politics ("Why I, a historian of colonial Peru, Oppose the Iraq War: Part 9"), and no pictures of your damned cats. And no pissing contests in the comments section or with other bloggers.
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I can be happy anywhere I have a little money and the cops aren't after me--I'm still searching for this place.
epistephiliac
Could serve monkey ass and empty clam shells and still win
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2008, 9:48:52 am »

I will say that the only vicious review of my book manuscript included a mention of my blog in a disparaging way. It wasn't actually a criticism of the blog itself, just that it existed. Then again, the same person was also offended by the fact that I was a) a graduate student, and b) American, both of which s/he claimed (along with the blog) made me unfit to publish this book. So I have a hard time taking this criticism to heart.

Yikes--was that review decisive? Did it prevent you from publishing?

No--thankfully, it was the only truly negative review of about ten (although certainly not the only one with criticisms), and the book is coming out in June with Prestigious University Press. A story with a happy ending!

I was taken aback by the attack, though, on all counts. I'm not even sure whether the reviewer had read the proposal, since it was a one-paragraph comment and I've summarized most of it here. I thought it was extremely unprofessional.
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When asked about my research interests, I quote Kelly Kapoor: "Basically, everything that is awesome."
daurousseau
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2008, 10:36:10 am »

Quote
Finding out who's Googling you


Why?
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fiona
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2008, 12:19:38 am »

One other thought about having a blog when you're job searching:

I agree that a professional-looking, well-organized Web site will help you.

Where a blog may not help, besides the examples LarryC gives, is if your blog gives the impression that you spend most of your writing time blogging. Schools where you have to publish for tenure/promotion may be leery of someone who's using his/her writing energies on a blog, which isn't counted as a publication.

That's something worth considering about a blog as self-presentation.

The Fiona
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The Fiona or Them FionŠ or Fiona the Sublime

Professor of Thread Killing, Fiork University
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