Do Not Fear the Blog (

First Person
Personal experiences on the job market

by Rebecca Goetz

My blog, “(a)musings of a grad student,” was born one day in July of 2002 when my then-boyfriend suggested I start one. I suspect he was slightly sick of listening to my running political commentary, and a blog seemed an ideal channel for my complaints. So with little effort and a crash course in basic HTML, I had my own Web-based publication, subtitled (appropriately as it turns out), “reflections on an academic life, plus politics and more.”

In the beginning I had five loyal readers: the boyfriend, my father, my mother, and my grandfather, who periodically printed out posts and brought them dutifully for my grandmother to read.

My blog inhabited a quiet, slightly dusty corner of the blogosphere. My posts were occasional meditations on the politics of the day, interesting primary sources, fun news articles, rants about graduate-student life, quick research notes, together with some thoughts about the plot arcs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I lurked on the edges of an increasingly vibrant scholarly community overflowing with posts on what it meant to be an academic, current research, teaching dilemmas and successes, and other day-to-day experiences of people in my profession. For me blogging was a professionally pleasant hobby. I could ruminate at will on what was going on in my academic and political lives.