Econo-Bloggers as Rock Stars
LAT has an interesting article about economists gaining more notoriety from their blogs than their professional work, with a few even garnering groupies. It’s an amusing concept, to be sure, but certainly a real phenomenon.
A large percentage of the most prominent bloggers are academics, whether by vocation or by training. Few were well known before starting their blogs. Glenn Reynolds graduated Yale Law and had a couple books to his credit before launching InstaPundit but it was the latter that turned him into a minor celebrity. The Crooked Timber principals are graduates of top schools and teach at places you’ve heard of. Few outside their narrow sub-specialties had ever heard of them. Brad DeLong was an economic adviser to President Clinton. I know him from his blog, though. Those of us from more obscure schools or out of academia altogether obviously benefit even more from the blog exposure.
Whether it’s a good thing that scribbling some thoughts on the Internets for a popular audience gains more notoriety than cranking out peer reviewed journal articles or publishing books for academic presses that few will read is debatable, I suppose. It is, however, undeniably true.