Daniel W. Drezner

Just so we’re clear on the hierarchy of words….

One of the biggest mistakes traditional academics make is to take all words equally seriously.  That is to say, academics who do not write for a non-scholarly audience tend to assume that it takes an equal length of time and effort to compose a journal article, an op-ed, or even a blog post.  In reality, ...

One of the biggest mistakes traditional academics make is to take all words equally seriously.  That is to say, academics who do not write for a non-scholarly audience tend to assume that it takes an equal length of time and effort to compose a journal article, an op-ed, or even a blog post.  In reality, it's kind of like circuit training -- each activity exercises a different set of writing muscles (that said, journal articles require way more reps than other forms of writing).

I bring this up because I have now joined Twitter, in a desperate, far-too-late-effort to catch up to my FP colleague Mark Lynch -- who is securely ensconced in the FP Twitterati Top 100.  Right now he's crushing me in terms of followers, so I warmly encourage all my readers to start following me on Twitter -- and then feel free to ignore my tweets. 

Somewhat more seriously, my Twitter postings will mostly be on matters that are other off-topic for Foreign Policy or things I don't have time to develop into the long, nuanced sentences required for blogging.  So, just to clarify for those academics in the audience, here is the official Hierarchy of Drezner Publications -- from highest degree of effort to lowest degree of effort: 

One of the biggest mistakes traditional academics make is to take all words equally seriously.  That is to say, academics who do not write for a non-scholarly audience tend to assume that it takes an equal length of time and effort to compose a journal article, an op-ed, or even a blog post.  In reality, it’s kind of like circuit training — each activity exercises a different set of writing muscles (that said, journal articles require way more reps than other forms of writing).

I bring this up because I have now joined Twitter, in a desperate, far-too-late-effort to catch up to my FP colleague Mark Lynch — who is securely ensconced in the FP Twitterati Top 100.  Right now he’s crushing me in terms of followers, so I warmly encourage all my readers to start following me on Twitter — and then feel free to ignore my tweets. 

Somewhat more seriously, my Twitter postings will mostly be on matters that are other off-topic for Foreign Policy or things I don’t have time to develop into the long, nuanced sentences required for blogging.  So, just to clarify for those academics in the audience, here is the official Hierarchy of Drezner Publications — from highest degree of effort to lowest degree of effort: 

  1. University press books
  2. Peer-refereed journal articles
  3. University press book chapters
  4. Editor-refereed essays
  5. Non-university press books and chapters
  6. Op-ed essays
  7. Commentaries for Marketplace
  8. Blog posts about Salma Hayek and zombies
  9. Other, lesser blog posts about trade, finance, etc.
  10. Twitter tweets/Facebook status updates
  11. Comments on friend’s Facebook pages
  12. Mutterings under my breath while waiting for airport security
  13. Things I shout at the television during Red Sox-Yankee games
  14. Things I say at the bar on the third day of the American Political Science Association annual meeting after I have three vodka tonics in me.
  15. Things I say at the bar on the third day of the American Political Science Association annual meeting when completely sober. 

Also, just an FYI — usually you can write off a technology the moment I embrace it.  So if tech stocks go down today, that’s on me. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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