The distinction between "academics who blog" and "academic blogs" ought to be insisted upon. . . . Careerists like myself may unwittingly pressure "academics who blog" into thinking their blogs must be more than mere blogs to justify their existence.
Although I think he means well, there's kind of masterstroke here: all at once he (1) elevates "academic blogging" above "academics who blog" (although with a "not that there's anything wrong with that" statement, he says that he has underestimated blogs that "deal with the minutiae of academic life"--"mere blogs") and (2) places himself in the second category, the one with the power to make bloggers quit because they can't be in category 2.
What fascinates me about this idea--and I don't think he's wrong about the ways in which academic blogs are characterized--is the unholy speed with which the academic blogosphere seems to be scrambling to create an alternative hierarchy that could end up being just as rigid as the old one. The mechanisms of establishing caste may be different from the nametag-gazing dance at MLA and other networks of privilege, but the result will be the same.
I hope not.
[Updated to add]
Also, the power hierarchy Scott mentions (I hope he won't mind my using his first name; I did see him at the MLA panel, though I wasn't able to hear his paper) creates an automatic divide between anonymous and named bloggers. Since talking about theory, research, and so on would out most of us if anyone really cared to investigate, switching to an academic blog would mean coming out and being held accountable in the ways that Dr. Crazy discussed in her post of a few days ago.
It can be stimulating to read the discussions of theory at The Valve, Scott's blog, and other sites, but sometimes, especially if you've been toiling in the fields of reading academic criticism all day long, what you long for is a diversion. The best diversion might just be the lovely prose--fresh, funny, and with a dash of occasional snark--to be found on a lot of those "mere blogs."