Why blog? Lots of reasons.

  1. To offer a loss leader; Tyler Cowen laid this out pretty clearly when he was our guest here. You got a book to sell? Your blogging helps sell it. Or your product may just be you, in which case
  2. To increase your influence, or mind-share. You want people to know who you are? you blog; you get out there and you engage other bloggers in discussion, you link to them, and you get more people talking about what you think and what you say.
  3. To provide yourself a google-searchable commonplace book. You can’t remember everything you surf, but you can find it if you blog it.
  4. To change the profession: be the academic discourse you want to see in the world. You want historiography to move quickly, have relevance, be sharper? You can’t make it that way book review by book review: but you can if you blog.
  5. So that all that reading doesn’t go to waste. Some of it ends up on note-cards, some in Endnote, but most evaporates. Get it down.
  6. To get into the conversation. Sure, you can comment on this or that blog, but mostly even very intelligent comments get buried under a flurry of trolls. Blog posts, on the other hand, can stand out.
  7. To keep sharp. Learn some html, listen to how the kids are talking these days. Get out of the study and onto the internets.
  8. And of course, because everyone else is doing it, so why can’t we? as the Cranberries would say.