Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The rewards of blogging 

Arnold Kling wonders:
What can be done to raise the signal-to-noise ratio of economics journals? At one point, I suggested that blogs could provide a better filter than economics journals. That is, one could imagine bloggers combing through academic research papers and picking the most interesting ones, rather than having papers go to editors and referees of journals. I think that would be a better form of intermediation. However, there needs to be a reward system for the type of blogger who acts as a neutral referee-editor type.
The reward system for most bloggers (though I guess not Kling, who's done pretty well in his life) is readership. Most of what I get from this blog is a name for me, and hopefully a good name for my university. (Yes, I complain about the place, but I still work here and there are many good colleagues here. I want them to have a place with a good reputation even if that reputation spills over to the leftist loons in our midst.) I'm slightly less obscure now than I was when the blog was started. If I review articles and find them wanting and if I can drive traffic from other economists here to read my reviews, I get more prestige, more visits to guest-lecture, etc. If that's what I want out of the blog, that's one way to get it.

Question is, how big is that market?