Category: Weblogs

Maniacs, all of us

Is blogging declining?  Matt writes:

Laura at Apartment 11D offers an excellent précis
of the ways in which the blogosphere of today lacks much of the charm
of the blogosphere of four or five years ago. I would say that there
are compensating benefits to the new, more professionalized, more
institutionalized blogosphere. But it really is different and the
change has been for the worse in many ways.

Laura links to many comments.  I'm more optimistic.  Very few (if any) of my favorite bloggers have quit and of course there are some new ones.  It's surprising how few of them have quit.  (If blogging is so great, why hasn't competition competed away their returns?  What about comparative advantage in this sector is so persistent?)  The rest of the output you can ignore.

How to follow current events

On Iran, Andrew Sullivan > Σ MSM. 

Megan McArdle offers some reasons why.  I would add that MSM is unwilling to rely much on information aggregators such as Twitter and they are reluctant to report things in the uncertain, hanging narrative kind of way that blogs (sometimes) excel at.  MSM needs the definitive-sounding soundbites for people who are tuned in for only a few minutes and don't come back or don't come back with any memory of what was said before.

We're seeing a revolution in coverage of current events right before our very eyes.

Blog on economics and comic books

Today I received this email:

I am a student of
economics in New York, an avid comic
book reader since childhood, and a big fan of Marginal Revolution.  I
just wanted to draw your attention to a blog that a friend and I have
created.  It's called Ecocomics
and deals with economics in comic books.  It's meant to be a fun read
and currently includes posts on topics such as how Two-Face
funds his crime sprees, the lucrative construction industry in comic
books, Jonah Hex and 19th century real estate, millionaires in
comic books, and Superman and labor unions.  I think you might really
enjoy it!   

Robin Goldstein is excellent

He writes to me:

Also wanted to let you know that I've just started a new blog, "Blind Taste" (,
which covers the food and wine worlds from an edgy, unusual
 perspective that draws from neuroscience, economics, and, of course,
gonzo journalism.

If you will recall, he is one of the guys who wrote the paper about pâté and dog food.  Robin Goldstein and I once sat down over pescado saltado to compare notes on D.C. (and global) food and, while you cannot take me as speaking for him in any formal sense, we agreed to an astonishing degree.  Here is his critique of molecular gastronomy.

Felix Salmon’s new Reuters blog

Up and running, welcome back Felix.  Here is one to-the-point excerpt:

Andrew Ross Sorkin
has been digging around in the FDIC’s charter, and has discovered that
it is barred from incurring any obligation greater than $30 billion.
Which is a bit inconvenient, seeing as how it’s about to guarantee as
much as $1 trillion as part of the PPIP bank bailout program.

The sneaky way that the FDIC is getting around this obstacle is to
say that the value of those obligations is actually zero, since zero is
the “expected cost to the corporation”.

How agreeable are econ bloggers?

Leigh Caldwell offers up some data:

Surprisingly (at least to me), economics bloggers are more
agreeable than not. "Agree" articles (category 3) showed up more than
twice as often as "disagree" (category 4). When measured by titles, the
trend is not so clear, with a majority "agree" articles (category 1)
when measured over the last two months but more "disagree" (category 2)
when taking the last 7 days alone.

So far, so good and indeed Leigh is a smart fellow to see the truth of that.  There is, however, a villain in the piece and dear reader it is you:

However, blog readers are
not so magnanimous. On the content measure, the mean number of comments
on an "is right" article (category 3) is 3.66, while there are an
average of 6 comments on an "is wrong" article (category 4).

the title filter is used, the difference is even greater: there are no
comments at all on the category 1 ("genius") articles, and an average
of 21.6 on category 2 ("idiot")!

Are bloggers simply nicer people than readers?  (Or should I say "all you idiots"?)  How would blog comments change if they were attached to your real name like glue and came up any time someone googled the commentator?  Which of us is the real human, the blog reader or the blog writer?

Ben Casnocha theorizes as to which is the most natural "you."