A nostalgic debate on globalization and development

September 8, 2011

Can we demonstrate effectiveness without bankrupting our NGO and/or becoming a randomista?

September 8, 2011

Take the survey; plug the paper – what's the impact of blogs?

September 8, 2011
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You’ve probably seen it already, and may even have filled it in, but just in case – a bit of collective crowd-asking is taking place in the dog_blog_cartoonblogosphere. Please take 5 minutes to fill in this survey on why/how you read development blogs. It should only take 5 minutes (unless, like me, you’re a blogaholic and take ages to fill in the list of blogs you’ve visted over the last week) and will help us bloggers get a better feel for the people we are ranting at talking to.

This seems to be part of a wider outbreak of blog navel-gazing, including this World Bank study of the impact of top 50 economics blogs, which concluded:

‘First, links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Second, blogging raises the profile of the blogger (and his or her institution) and boosts their reputation above economists with similar publication records. Finally, a blog can transform attitudes about some of the topics it covers.’

Other juicy morsels:

‘A blog post on Chris Blattman or Aid Watch [now defunct] is thus equivalent to an extra 7-9 months of abstract views, and 4-6 months of downloads. The impacts of Freakonomics, Marginal Revolution and Paul Krugman are even larger – equivalent to 3 or more years of regular views, and a download impact equivalent to 8 months to 2 years of regular downloads.’

Wonder if the same applies to development blogs? Think we should start charging for academic product placement?

1 comment

  1. Duncan, thanks for advertising the survey! We actually put it on hold when the WB started publishing its results. Our aim is a bit different though – more like market research than impact assessment. We’ve had a great response so far and I’m really looking forward to learning from the results.

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