A few days ago, I attended an entertaining discussion on blogs at the IDB. It had the wonkish title “Blogging without borders: best practices of highly effective global blogging.” Shanta Devarajan Chief economist for Africa at the World Bank, Felix Salmon from Reuters and David Roodman from the Center for International Development discussed on whether blogging can be good for economics and public policy discussions.
The message was clear: there is a lot of information out there and we (economists that is) need to propagate the good ideas, even if they are half baked. The web will help in the cooking. Maybe we will go from broody brown bag lunches to half baked snacks.
Why wait three or four years to get published in a peer reviewed journal, if you can publish on line now?
Who knows, even a book or two might come out of it. I guess it is a transition from the old academic rule “publish or perish” to the new world of “blog or not be heard.”
This is exactly the point that Andrea Moro from Vanderbilt University made on the web in this cool presentation a few days ago. In more academic terms a recent paper by World Bank economists David McKensie and Berk Ozler conclude that blogging causes a striking increase in the number of views and downloads of economics papers, raises the bloggers profile and boosts their reputation.
Blogging is good for economics and economists.