Social Media or Blog? New Dilemmas for Academics & Writers

Categories: Other, Research, Tools and Resources, Writing and Editing

Tags: , ,

News about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica comes on top of increasing unease with online privacy, hacking and tracking. What are the implications for academics and writers? (See my post on the Textbook and Academic Authors Association blog Abstract for more on this topic.)

Tufekci observed that when social media platforms emerged in the mid-2000s the “networked public sphere–the burgeoning civic space online that had been developed mostly through blogs–expanded greatly, but with a simultaneous shift to commercial spaces.” Many academics have made significant efforts to move into those commercial social media spaces, in an effort to connect with colleagues and readers. Are we now in a time when we should rethink about where and how to focus our online presence? Is it time to re-imagine a social web, with less dependence on social media?

Is it time to think again about using blogs and other means to connect and share our thoughts? I use the term social web to describe a broader universe of digital places where we communicate and exchange ideas including blogs, wikis, 1-1 email or newsletters, or collaborative document tools and shared folders. Social web spaces can be enabled by commercial services or applications, just as writing electronically is enabled by word processing software. However, as defined here, social web applications or services do not monitor or use algorithms to promote content, place ads on users’ pages, or conduct surveillance on content creators or visitors. (See a related post on the Textbook and Academic Authors Association blog, Abstract.)

While the SAGE Journal database is open in April, you might find it interesting to review related research. Learn how to log in, search, and navigate here. If you have other readings to suggest, please post them in the comment area or send the reference(s) to me.

Anna, G., Miriam, S., & Ann, G. (2018). Who are you writing for? Differences in response to blog design between scientists and nonscientists. Science Communication, 40(1), 109-123. doi:10.1177/1075547017747608

Azariah, D. R. (2016). The traveler as author: Examining self-presentation and discourse in the (self) published travel blog. Media, Culture & Society, 38(6), 934-945. doi:10.1177/0163443716664483

Brooke Erin, D., & Jefferson, D. P. (2017). “Facebook for Academics”: The convergence of self-branding and social media logic on Social Media + Society, 3(1), 2056305117696523. doi:10.1177/2056305117696523

Carpenter, S., & Lertpratchya, A. P. (2016). Social media communicator roles: A scale. Social Media + Society, 2(1), 2056305116632778. doi:doi:10.1177/2056305116632778

Cole, J. (2011). Blogging current affairs history. Journal of Contemporary History, 46(3), 658-670. doi:10.1177/0022009411403341

Drew, F. (2015). Private journals versus public blogs: The impact of peer readership on low-stakes reflective writing. Teaching Sociology, 43(2), 104-114. doi:10.1177/0092055X14568204

Fullwood, C., Nicholls, W., & Makichi, R. (2015). We’ve got something for everyone: How individual differences predict different blogging motivations. New Media & Society, 17(9), 1583-1600. doi:10.1177/1461444814530248

Jonathan, M., & Hauke, R. (2017). Gadflies Biting Science Communication: Engagement, Tricksters, and Ambivalence Online. Science Communication, 39(5), 673-684. doi:10.1177/1075547017736068

Kurtz, L. C., Trainer, S., Beresford, M., Wutich, A., & Brewis, A. (2017). Blogs as elusive ethnographic texts. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 1609406917705796. doi:10.1177/1609406917705796

Lisa, W., & Gwen, S. (2012). Sociologicalimages: Blogging as public sociology. Social Science Computer Review, 31(2), 221-228. doi:10.1177/0894439312442356

Marie-Claire, S. (2011). Science blogs as boundary layers: Creating and understanding new writer and reader interactions through science blogging. Journalism, 12(7), 903-919. doi:10.1177/1464884911412844

McPeak, A. (2014). Social media snooping and Its ethical bounds. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from

Mewburna, I., & Thomson, P. (2013). Why do academics blog? An analysis of audiences, purposes and challenges. Studies in Higher Education, 38(8), 1105-1119.

Meyers, E. A. (2012). ‘Blogs give regular people the chance to talk back’: Rethinking ‘professional’ media hierarchies in new media. New Media & Society, 14(6), 1022-1038. doi:10.1177/1461444812439052

Nicholas, H. (2008). `Entering the blogosphere’: Some strategies for using blogs in social research. Qualitative Research, 8(1), 91-113. doi:10.1177/1468794107085298

Paige Brown, J., & Lance, P. (2017). Science in the social media age: Profiles of science blog readers. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95(1), 142-168. doi:10.1177/1077699016685558

Yana, W., & Megan, A. S. (2017). Are Twitter and blogs important tools for the modern psychological scientist? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(6), 1171-1175. doi:10.1177/1745691617712266

Zurbriggen, E. L., Ben Hagai, E., & Leon, G. (2016). Negotiating privacy and intimacy on social media: Review and recommendations. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 2(3), 248-260. doi:10.1037/tps0000078


One thought on “Social Media or Blog? New Dilemmas for Academics & Writers

  1. 2 years on.. what are your thoughts? 🙂

Leave a Reply