Periodically we bloggers ask ourselves exactly how valuable a pursuit blogging is. Blogging is great for lots of reasons, but certainly part of its value is in its contributing to some other activities. For a current example, Rosalynde’s post on conscience played a role in the development of a paper she will be presenting this weekend at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, at Utah State University. A couple of other T&S bloggers will also be giving papers there (click here to view program).
Ironically, probably more people will read her blog post than hear her presentation, though the presentation will be much more thoroughly worked out. I am curious to see how the relationship between blogging and conventional publication develops with time.
pd mallamo kindly observes:
Much as I love T&S, this discussion, in particular, makes me wonder if some – many – of you should blog less and write for publication more. In other words, even though this kind of exchange can be stimulatiing and useful, past a point you’re wasting your time – if your time could be better spent committing these ideas to a more permanent and reviewed form, such as a book. Hate to be old fashioned, but there are obviously many good minds and lots of energy here – too much just for a Mormon audience.
Of course, one of the fun things about blogging is that your ideas get reviewed immediately! Sometimes even by some pretty interesting people. Like, say, the authors of works you are discussing. And theoretically a blog post can be pretty permanent, though a recent power loss on my PDA reminds me that printed books have a very nice variety of permanence. And instead of referring to another work in a footnote that someone might have to go to a library in the next state to look up (depending on how obscure the work cited is), on the blog I can link, and the reader can open it up in the next tab on her browser.
Still, there is something importantly different about reviewed conferences, books and other conventional publications. They are a lot more work to access and use than a blog, for those of us with broadband at home or at work. But I think what makes them special is closely related to the fact that they are also so much more work to produce. Glad you can make it out to Logan, Rosalynde!