Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blogkeeping (literally): one of our blogs is missing

"One of our ____ is missing!" is such a movies of the week title, isn't it? But yes, one of "our" adjunct blogs is missing. MIA.  It is not "our" (pertaining to NFM) or even mine in the sense of my being the owner/ publisher/ writer. I wouldn't mind misplacing one of those, but they all have their addresses tattooed on their foreheads and know where they live. So, you may ask, if it's not yours, what's the story and what does it have to do with adjuncts, contingents, ad/cons or whatever we are calling ourselves or have been exhorted to call ourselves this week?

Easy... adjuncts write blogs. All manner of blogs, of such variety that the term "adjunct blog" is misleading. It's not a subject category like a "mom blog" (although adjuncts who are moms write those) or a "foodie blog." No doubt there are also ones written by adjuncts.  I hope to add examples to my adjunct blogroll. 

Do you remember my call for adjunct blogs? 

A few months or so back, I started bookmarking them with the tag "adjunct-blog" and combed my bookmarks for blogs tagged both "adjunct" and "blog." Many but not all so tagged would be adjunct blogs. Some of the best blog coverage of adjunct issues is by tenured faculty, former adjuncts more likely associate than full. I shouldn't need to remind you what safeguards tenure and academic freedom are for a cheeky blogger.  


Otherwise, however, blogging is an ideal medium for adjuncts: the price is right and it can be done anonymously.

I've been collecting and bookmarking these adjunct blogs to feature on the blog and for an adjunct (or NTT if you prefer) blogroll. Initially, my goal was modest: a blogroll as sidebar feature, as well as featured in posts and tweets. When the list approached the 50 mark (you know how research and results expand like the Blog), I realized that I had to revise that plan - and start thinking taxonomy.

Apparently my tagging and sorting are not as efficiently as I thought. There's one I distinctly remember but can't find. I visited the blog a number of times, read posts, and posted comments, where I entered into conversation with the blogger adjunct and another visiting adjunct blogger. One thread, among many, was about the lack of orientation for new hires and how to address it. If this rings a bell with anyone reading this, accept my belated apologies and please drop me a line at vanessa.87036@gmail.com

Sending this post out into the blogosphere may be like the proverbial message in a bottle, but it's all I've got. I thought I'd found it at Teaching College English, but I couldn't find comments I'd left. Still, I'm glad to have re-found an excellent blog I'd almost overlooked. Blogs can be so like adjuncts themselves ~ nearly invisible and easily overlooked but as full of excellence as any blog written by an academic superstar or Chronicle stringer.


My list of adjunct blogs is up to 81, not counting adjunct bloggers on group blogs or former adjunct bloggers, recently tenured. A work in progress, so there may be few listed that don't qualify. Some are inactive. Eligible ESL bloggers are as yet uncounted. Another factor: not every adjunct blogger self-identifies. Outing them even I knew would be distinctly bad form. 


So far, roughly delineated categories (with some overlap) would be by type/structure or content. Structure/type blogs include group (multiple authors with one or more adjuncts on the masthead, ie The Valve, University of Venus), organization or association, content mill, marketing, corporate, for hire as a feature for a publication (i.e. AdjunctNation blogs, Huffington Post blogs, others), blogging group (Open Salon), social network hosted, and individual (public or private). ProfHacker, a CHE hosted group blog is an example of overlap


Most blogs are personal, although some personal blogs can also belong to one of the preceding types. Content categories include academic disciplines, pedagogy, politics, personal (journal), travelogue, non-academic interests, creative writing (poetry), e-zine, adjunct issues, news, community, other advocacy. Tone and style vary no end as well. This blog, for example, does advocacy, news, adjunct issues, miscellaneous (to keep my blogging life more interesting) but is primarily an association blog

Got an adjunct blog to recommend? Yours or someone else's. Please share the link and your ideas. I'm thinking not just a static page listing them but an aggregator that also shows posts and networks adjunct blogs. How does that sound?

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