Chautauquas

Blabberings on technology, the web, mobile world, India, books, events, communities and everything else (Chautauqua: An old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the participants)

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Blogging and "the intellectual influence game"

The Economist has an article on why economists spend valuable time blogging. (sorry, I think that link might prompt for an ID and a password). What's interesting to me is that I find more university faculty members from economics, social sciences and the liberal arts blogging than from engineering and the sciences. Maybe it's because the former subjects deal with people and realize the value of influence more than scientists or engineers who spend their lives in laboratories (an atmosphere devoid of human beings). No offence to engineers...I am one too and proud of it!

I have talked about the value of influence earlier and intend to talk about it again in a later post. However, for now here are some excerpts from the article.

“CLEARLY there is here a problem of the division of knowledge, which is quite analogous to, and at least as important as, the problem of the division of labour,” Friedrich Hayek told the London Economic Club in 1936. What Mr Hayek could not have known about knowledge was that 70 years later weblogs, or blogs, would be pooling it into a vast, virtual conversation. That economists are typing as prolifically as anyone speaks both to the value of the medium and to the worth they put on their time.

and later...

So why do it? “It's a place in the intellectual influence game,” Mr DeLong replies (by e-mail, naturally). For prominent economists, that place can come with a price. Time spent on the internet could otherwise be spent on traditional publishing or collecting consulting fees. Mr DeLong caps his blogging at 90 minutes a day. His only blog revenue comes from selling advertising links to help cover the cost of his servers, which handle more than 20,000 visitors daily.

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