If by chance you’re one of those who does “serious” blogging on any number of higher educational themes, this question is a rather moot point. You know the answer with hesitation. The smirk is already on your face. However, if the reverse were applied and you were not a serious blogger and your scholarship is between you and your research, then perhaps you scoff at the very existence of the question. But enter the shift-shaper that is Daniel J. Cohen, Director of the Center For New Media. I actually listened to the entire (one hour plus!) youTube video, but in case you don’t have the time or the inclination here’s the condensed nuts and bolts. 

 

The work that Dr. Cohen performs didn’t occur recently, it’s been making the rounds for years. Only now, the definition and the willingness to explore blogging as a legitimate inquiry has gained steam----not because of the rising popularity behind the “I, You, Me, We---we’re all bloggers”mindset----but because of the acceptance by scholars,particularly in the digital humanities to break the fourth wall. Also, no small amount of credit should go to the Open Access Movement. Educators and Scholars seem to want the participatory elements this Movement offers, and no longer march to the tightly bound drum of traditional publishing. The result is a community that grass-rooted themselves into a new online dimension. Without so much as a starship command, the Enterprise went to warp 10 with no jazzy CGI.

 

In reviewing the attached links, one can surmise that the pursuit of the Holy Grail of Information Sharing that isOpen Source leads us to a very revelatory truth. We not only get to see the many Wizards of Oz come out from behind the research machinery curtain, we also witness scholarship coming out of the intellectual closet, and becoming shared intelligentsia for the community at-large. As Dr. Cohen states, while the Humanities have proven to be an attractive platform for digitizing, there has been no small amount of resistance and praise.  Many see his efforts to promote blogging scholarship as faddish, and the absolute wrong approach to teaching and communication. Others, heap praise on how the web promotes new ways of thinking, sharing and providing a re-invented online curriculum for research. However, You need only to take a glance at Zotero to see how ideas,  and people with plenty of them, can co-exist under one big top.

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu 

 

 


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