The Internet, academia, and lock-down

The Internet is influencing academia, moving professors to "market" their "intellectual property." Michael J. Bugeja, director of the journalism school at Iowa State University, writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

For better or worse, the Internet is playing a larger role in editorial decisions about books and in promotion and tenure evaluations. It is commonplace for external reviewers to Google Web sites or troll databases before rendering their decisions on behalf of publishing houses and institutions.

Search committees also are using the Web to evaluate the writing or scholarship of job applicants before inviting them to on-campus interviews.

Bugeia's advises academics to "market" themselves and their "intellectual property by setting up sites for their books and research, and creating their own "academic brand."

Supporting Sally Chandler's thoughts in the entry below, Bugeia writes,

If you're considering a book site, you should realize the convention of the Internet: People expect things for free. This is not the medium for professors concerned about copyright issues or intellectual property. If you're in that crowd, you won't easily share your pedagogies or methodologies so your site will be static -- or worse, will seem purely self-promotional.

Even so, the "free-for-all" attitude on Internet content is still in flux. Perhaps, the best example of common property knowledge is that of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written and maintained by volunteers. Recently, a Reuters article (via Kairosnews) reports that it has been subjected to vandalism. Its cofounder Jimmy Wales says that they plan to

impose stricter editorial rules to prevent vandalism of its content.

The interaction of Internet freedom with vandalism and content theft (along with media companies and others' influence) may result in the emergence of a much less free Internet, even for the digital generation.