I haven't been following the debate on "academic blogs" very much. Gary has an interesting post. Though, what Gerald Howard says on the much-alleged "crisis" of reading and 'literature' might just as well apply...(the Frankfurt school basically got it right, etc.) Obviously writing itself cannot be contained, or any more than more or less usefully categorized, by the petty, increasingly unjust politics of any institution. As always the most presciently political writing seeks to take account of this, and of itself, somehow. When it comes to the sort of writing that takes place on blogs, some humility and lightness is certainly in order; that should be obvious enough. However this lightness is also something of their vulnerability, hence the vituperative and always oddly personal register for which blogs are likewise renowned. But how difficult it becomes to read anonymously (to read truly) once again, after the thin wall barring the faux-intimacy of everyday exchanges has been breached. Somehow we find these faux-intimacies harder to forget than anything, though they matter least. To regain that fragile discretion (depending of course on what sort of audience one seeks), is sometimes the challenge. No amount of institutional status or banally competitive posturing - especially masked by seeming-perfunctory declarations of/or wills to authority - can ever hope to compensate for it. Blogs do have a unique material, quasi-independent status in today's messaging system (quasi because they often "survive" only as parasites on the same rush to ever-lower economies of interest). But the stakes of writing itself do not change, nor the fact that the medium may be conducive to both another pace and quality of "self"-expression.