Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Academic Blogosphere

You don't become a competent speaker of a language if you never have occasion to use it. Academic English is no different, so you do well to find contexts in which to use your English on a daily basis.

One possibility is the blogosphere, i.e., the community that exists among bloggers and their readers. I read every day and Organizations and Markets almost as often. If I have something to add, I contribute comments. It is a good way of experiencing the sense in which organization theory really is a "living language", not just something that happens in books and journals. You will of course have to find your own virtual community.

I cut my teeth on blogging in the poetry and poetics area after discovering that my favourite living poet, Tony Tost, had a blog. That was back in the summer of 2004, and I owe much of my sense of what is happening to American poetry today to the blogosphere. (Ben Lerner, K. Silem Mohammad, Lara Glenum, Kate Greenstreet, Drew Gardner, Gary Sullivan, Katie Degentesh, and Sharon Mesmer—to name just a few things that are happening to American poetry today.) I'm certainly much hipper than I would have been just reading Poetry and the New Yorker. In the same sense, academic blogs take us beyond the sometimes too composed (though no less admirable) prose of the Administrative Science Quarterly and the Harvard Business Review. They give you a sense that someone is actually TALKING about organizations.

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