I’m still working my way through the readings for DOOO this week. I start feeling overwhelmed – the kind of overwhelmed that comes mid-semester, when the grading keeps creeping in, and the conference is 2.5 weeks away (and involves a paper on data I’ve not yet had time to analyze…), and I have somehow agreed to also overextend myself on the child-rearing front.
And I read the first piece, and wonder if I now have to re-jigger how I think about research. How will networked, open, digital shape how I view my local, qualitative, often applied research? Is this a bus I must get on? Not sure, read on.
And then, bless her, Kate Bowles describes my experience – the experience of many academics – to a T. The scrambling to keep up, the push to work on no matter what, out of fear of what will await us if we don’t. The personal failure and shame that is part and parcel of what we do, and how a reputation economy is developed. Further, she discusses WHY blogging has been good for her – how it can be about ideas, about self-expression, not about promoting her brand:
“These not-work practices now need protecting against the seductive but ultimately quite sleazy pull of the attention economy.”
This grabbed me. I think the talk of PLCs and of owning your reputation on-line and all that – important, surely, but felt so oriented towards figuring out how to “amplify my signal.” I enjoy the thought of a space in which I can reflect and think and post and share – and people who are interested can explore, and see the work I’ve done, and maybe that can provoke some conversations. I’m increasingly excited about the possibilities of some innovative pedagogical tools. But I emphatically do not want more ways to feel that I am participating in this greedy “attention economy.”