An interesting exchange.
My comment here:
I'm not an academic in my critical interests. As a writer, I gravitate toward thought "in-process" --working out, rather than "worked out." The essay, as Montaigne would have it, essayer, to try out ideas, but in the company of others, as an ongoing, multi-faceted conversation.
In the blogs, 'peer review' takes place in the open. The quality of critical writing, like that of the academic journals, depends on editorial selectivity. In the blogs, you see this in the links. I find that I judge blogs by their content--and classify them by the links they choose to publish.
There's a sorting out at work here. Those who are primarily interested in increasing hits and raising their "authority," to the degree they succeed, drift into a general bookish cloud of blogs that now and then will have posts that might interest anyone, but I see more discriminating, more sharply defined associations coming into being, recognizable constellations, proximities of interests and ideas and modes of expression that encourage readers to draw connecting lines, as between stars, galaxies, nebulae.
Sustained analytic works are hardly absent from these blogs, but they more often appear as links: sources suggested for readers to visit and harvest, to bring back what they find to the more protean, generative milieu of interconnected conversations--the characteristic mode of the blogs.
There is no incompatibility between this and the academic mode. I think that academics who claim to have no time for searching them out might be astonished--if they were to do a search--at how many academic scholars and publications are referenced in these blogs. I would like to see longer, more systematic articles published on blogs. I see no reason why that shouldn't happen; but they would serve a different purpose here, address a different readership, opening into ever wider concentric spirals of response, throwing out sprays of sparks and light, of fructifying energy, as opposed to the self-consuming vortex of the academic journals... black holes devouring everything they produce into the same gapping maw, impotent to generate anything but more of the same.