Friday, February 29, 2008

Peer Review

I've heard the observation that the process of learning through reading blogs and publishing one's own is not really all that different from reading and publishing in print journals, except that it's light years faster. Of course, that's the first radical difference, but it dawned on me the other day that, although the blog conversation, through comments and linked posts, still uses third-person language, it has much more of a collaborative "talking with one another" feel than the old, strident, confrontational "talking about others" tone of academic debate in printed resources. Is this also mostly a function of the shortened response times? In print, scholars have significant lag time before somebody hammers them for one thing or another in their work and then another lag before they get their equally fiery response into print. Of course, my perspective is skewed by the way I "vote with my feet" re: who is worth listening to--I spend lots of time (maybe too much) following the friendly banter and civilized discourse in web communities; I would have no time for any who prefer bashing and flaming (and I'm dismayed whenever people I've come to respect slide over into that style in putting forward their strongly-held positions).

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