Mark Goodacre has, as per usual, some very interesting thoughts about the phenomenon of blogging, this time regarding the rare case of a peer-reviewed article offering a full critique of a blog post.
I think Goodacre's comparison with a conference paper is nearly apt. I tend to think of a conference papers and blog posts as "thinking out loud," as a works in progress, as ways to informally experiment with new ideas that is often difficult to do in more formal contexts. A conference paper is, however, more formal and goes through a peer-review process of acceptance and rejection (even if not as rigorous as a journal or a book) and, at least for me, longer than a blog post (I know some of you like really long blog posts--I simply don't). And, indeed, some of these things do develop into more formal contexts. Goodacre mentioned this; my series of blog posts on "God and the Senses," which were a series of posts of me thinking out loud, will be making their way into a more systematic presentation at the SBL next fall. I have had ideas on my blogs that have made their way into my syllabi as well. Not yet into a formal publication, but I am sure one day that will come. While thinking out loud, if something I say on a blog post helps someone else out with their more formal writing, I would expect a footnote.