Michigan Professors Turn To The Blogosphere
MICHIGAN DAILY -- The booming blogosphere is a world dominated by celebrity gossip, confessionals and radical opinions. But blogs are increasingly hosting a new breed of user: university professors.
In recent years, academics across the country have started using blogs to relay information and ideas. Many are now incorporating the medium into their classes, asking students to take to their keyboards and post thoughts or resources on course material.
Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University’s Flint campus, is a self-described “slave” to his economics blog, “Carpe Diem.” Perry said he spends up to five hours a day making various posts to his blog and thinks there is a place for blogging in the duties of a university professor, albeit an evolving one.
Perry used himself as an example of what blogs can do to elevate an instructor’s status, saying a Google search of his name yields substantially more results than University President Mary Sue Coleman. Coleman’s name generates 246,000 results while Perry’s name registers more than 2,620,000 results.
“Someone like Mary Sue Coleman, who has a very high profile — you would expect a lot of attention to her on the Internet,” Perry said. “Now here I am just as a professor without any staff, without any research assistants, writing a blog that’s gotten pretty popular. I’ve now got this presence on the Internet that in terms of the number of hits is even higher than the president of the University.”
MP: Actually, a more advanced Google search over just the last year now shows 4,930 results for "Mary Sue Coleman," and 4,450 for "Mark J. Perry" (as of 2:11 p.m. EST). However, Google's search function seems to be a little unstable, and yields different results at different times (understandable to a certain extent due to the dynamic nature of the Internet). When I spoke to the Michigan Daily reporter last week, I mentioned that my name was showing up with slightly more Google results over the last year (when Carpe Diem started becoming popular), a result that is slightly different today.