In an age of sophisticated social media and rapidly evolving technologies, blogs would seem to be about as sexy as a pair of sensible shoes. Yet as simple as they may be, blogs have also proven to be valuable to economists debating principles and policy, and to faculty looking to breathe life into the teaching of their discipline, speakers said here on Saturday.
The micropayment site Flattr is trying to get November 29 to catch on as “Pay a Blogger Day,” both as a marketing campaign* and an effort to recognize all the free content that people contribute daily to the web. I learned about it from Ernesto Priego’s fine post at HASTAC, “I Smell Smoke”: Blogging as an Endangered Species,” which argues that the ongoing difficulty of finding a place for blogging in the academic rewards system ought to serve as a reality check for more enthusiastic proponents of online scholarship.
Priego’s primary concern is that academics will, necessarily, do what’s best for their chances of being hired, renewed, promoted, and tenured, and so may very well see their online projects as easily abandoned ...
The real point of the post is not to pay academic bloggers (I hope you don't mind our ads) but that blogging should be recognized as some sort of academic output (in economics, I don't think so) and blog deaths are OK (many academic projects fail [i.e., end without formal output]).
I’m a writer for Onlineuniversities.com and we just published an article “25 Economics Blogs Anyone Can Appreciate”. I think you’d like, since your blog often covers the same subject matter. Feel free to share the article with your readers if you have a place for it in upcoming post schedule.
Thanks for the pointer. Could you also send me a link to the list of "25 Men That Women Find More Attractive Than You" or "25 People That Are Better Athletes Than You" or "25 Economists Who Are Smarter Than You"? I would find that very helpful.
How about if I submit a link to Onlineuniversities.com of the list of "25 Websites Promoting Online Universities That Doesn't Include Onlineuniversities.com"? I think you'd like.
From the Chronicle of Higher Ed, here are a couple of tips for professors using social media.
Under the "Don't be creepy" heading:
Some professors use only one Facebook page but wrestle with how open to make that information. One of the most-discussed questions about social networking on campuses is whether or not professors should "friend" their students on Facebook. Mr. Brady's policy on the issue is one I've heard from many professors: He will accept a friend request from any student, but he never makes the first move. "I think it's a little creepy when the old guy asks his students, Will you be my friend?," he told me.
But some personal stuff is OK:
There may be a benefit to that kind of sharing. Ms. Johnson recently conducted a survey of 120 students at the college about what they thought of a series of Twitter feeds run by professors. The majority of students found the professors who mixed in personal details with their down-to-business tweets more credible—rating them higher on measures of competence, trustworthiness, and caring. Her theory: Students want to end the semester with a connection to their professors, not just a head full of facts.
Both Ms. Johnson and Mr. Brady acknowledge that there are topics they avoid on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, knowing that bosses and students might see. ...
My Chicago teachers were wrong about one key point. You can get work done in the sunshine. I work harder here than I did when I was a graduate student in Chicago, or when I worked in New York City or when I worked in "glamorous" Cambridge. The state's budget crisis will end, UCLA will become "self-sufficient" (i.e privatize) and order will be restored to the Star Wars galaxy. This is paradise. Life is too short to be miserable 9 months of the year (we did like Boston's May, September and October).
We get it. UCLA is awesome and you are glad you made the move. That's cool. But, now it is time to move past the mantra and simply live the dream. The folks back in Chicago, New York and Boston who (apparently) give you a hard time about not being serious anymore (you moved to California, you blog, you write books) are likely jealous that you have broken the chains and are now soarly freely. Try to ignore their jabs and don't look back.
“A new study, done at the University of Copenhagen, asked participants to perform a simple task—watch videos of people passing balls and count the number of passes. But first they were presented with a distraction. One group of participants had a funny video come up on their screens; the rest saw a message telling them that a funny video was available if they clicked a button, but they were told not to watch it. After ten minutes, during which people in the second group could hear those in the first laughing at the video, everyone set to the task of counting the number of passes. And the curious result was that those who hadn’t watched the comedy video made significantly more mistakes than those who had.”
Surowiecki ties this new research on the Internet and productivity to existing research on the limited nature of willpower, and suggests occasional brief “Internet breaks” for employees. Readers, what do you think? Does the internet make you more or less productive at work?
The Freakonomics blog recently moved from its home on the NYTimes website to it's own site at Freakonomics.com. Since, I haven't been able to load the site most days, and when I can, the whole site is slow. Anyone else having that problem? Or is it just me?
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous