Two different posts, but both contain the same message.
Ian’s thoughtful post is about writing books that people want to read as opposed to ones that have to be written for tenure. And here’s a post that suggests that writing popular books, the very type that Ian suggests, is not a good thing to do for tenure.
I know people who’ve written text books, technical books, and scholarly books. This is despite being in a field where books are not as prioritized as in other disciplines. All of them have gotten tenure, and I believe all of them have received it post-writing their first book. Particularly the text and technical books. Perhaps it’s because the field doesn’t tend to place as much value in them as they do in other disciplines. Which says a lot for how to write a popular book in the tenure culture.
I’m not sure I agree with him about the blog, although I do think that there’s probably things that are better unsaid on a blog prior to tenure. But that’s also true in person.