Considering that he can't know whether his blogging played a role in the denial of tenure, does he have any regrets?
[I]f one assumes that the opportunity cost of blogging (e.g., better or more scholarship) was the difference between tenure and no tenure – an unclear assertion at best – then it’s a tough call. From a strict cost-benefit analysis, one could argue that the doors that blogging opened could have been deferred for a few years in return for the annuity of a tenured position at Chicago. That said, if I did things only for the money, I never would have entered the academy in the first place. And I’ve enjoyed the psychic rewards of blogging way too much to regret my choice.I know some untenured lawprofs who want to blog but who are hesitating or have already decided to wait until they have tenure. Drezner's case will probably stand as a cautionary tale for everyone now, despite the paucity of evidence that the blog hurt his cause. With the University of Chicago Law School putting its weight behind an official faculty blog, should we think that the University of Chicago political science department is hostile to blogging?
But there is a real range of thought among faculty members about blogging. Some get it and some don't. Those who do tend to have blogs or want to start them. But there are many -- and they might not talk about it -- who don't understand the phenomenon. Some of these feel threatened by blogging or, perhaps, jealous of those who are getting attention -- unjustly! -- by blogging. Anytime a blogger falls short in any other aspect of life, it is possible to say it was because of the blogging.
If you didn't blog so much, you would have [used all that time to do whatever I think you ought to have done].
Time spent on a blog is visible in a way that time spent watching movies or talking with friends or reading mystery novels or engaging in physical exercise or playing with your kids or daydreaming is not. Those who worry about blogging or feel jealous of bloggers have that blog always there, so visible, planting tiny negative impulses in their heads day by day. Then some day, when they must make a decision about you, who knows what role the blog played?
But for a true blogger, like Drezner, it's worth it.
UPDATE: Steven Taylor notes that colleagues keep asking him how much time he spends blogging. It makes you wonder if they're going to use it against you. My stock answer is: "It's a trade secret." The truth is, I myself don't know. Relatively little time is spent actually writing out posts, but a strange amount of time is spent on peripheral activities that are hard to draw a line around -- like reading miscellaneous things and thinking. But is that blogging? People who don't blog do that too.