I'm an academic primarily. These days, academia suffers from overspecialization and consequent disconnection from the "real world", not to mention communication difficulties between and within discipline specific departments. Academics bear a social responsibility to the public that partially subsidizes our luxurious research lifestyles to share insights in a manner that is both comprehensible and open to further discourse. We should generate ideas and foster an intellectual culture in the broader society upon which we depend.
Blogs can serve as a useful complement to news op eds and magazine pubs
to this end. Popular news outlets do not always lend themselves to
lengthy, sustained, or theoretical verbiage.
Blogs should also support academics in our quest to improve the quality
of scholarly studies, mainly by providing a free space for play and
exploration, open to feedback from varied sources.
Finally, the classic essay format of writing has fallen into disuse
among many professional disciplinary specialists, partly due to norms of
excessive citation and the "scientization" of many fields (including
some in the humanities, such as my home field of philosophy). Rather
than bemoaning these transformations, blogs allow us to seek new outlets
for essay style writing, while reaching a broader audience.
For these reasons, I now commence my blog.