[in response to questions e-mailed by a writing doing a piece for sociology's newsletter, Footnotes; links to parts 1, 2, and 3]
Question #4: Do your students read your blog?
I think this question is most interesting with respect to the question of whether one's undergraduate students read one's blog and, if so, how this influences content. Graduate students do not influence content of my blog any more than the general knowledge that anyone out there could be reading my blog, but I might imagine approaching my blog a little differently (as in more self-consciously) if I was teaching a class of first-year undergraduates at the same time. I have not had that experience yet with my blog.
Question #5: How do you decide what topics to blog on and do you believe they go beyond the scope of sociology?
My blog posts mostly happen by me happening to be at the computer when I think of something I think would make a good blog post, and then I write it. Most of my blog posts are resolutely not works of sociology or about sociology. I did not start my blog as an act of "public sociology," and, even if I did, I generally regard as objects of disdain and intellectual suspicion those in sociology who fret overmuch about whether they are talking about things in a consistently "sociological" fashion. In any case, I view my blog as more an outlet from my non-sociology and meta-sociology thoughts. I think if I had started my blog with the idea of it being something where instead I would write only about my take as a sociologist on issues of the day or whatever, I would have written about five posts before getting bored with it and giving up.
Incidentally, if anyone does answer this question by saying they have an exclusively sociological blog and it's a blog they have managed to keep up for, say, more than a fifty posts, I want to know who they are. To my knowledge, no true "sociology" blog, in the narrow and tedious sense presupposed by the question, exists. All the better for sociology, I say.