Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Consumer's guide to Blogs

There have been a few people giving advice to people who start blogs.

Here is one. It is aimed at academics however it is from the producers point of view.

It maybe the MBA coming out in me but I want to look at blogs from the consumers point of view.

First the obvious. Go to a blog that is relevant to your particular interest.

Let us go through a few examples.

If you want to know about the US housing market then Bill McBrides Calculated Risk blog is sensational. He is always up to date and has odd statistics like Architectural billings, Miles driven as all.

Paul Krugman is required reading for macro-economic issues.
David Glasner is sensational for anything to do with  monetary economics.
Ricardian Ambivalence is very good for anything to do with the Australian economy.

There are blogs which look at the Irish economy, UK economy, European economy. OZ economy, Post-Keynesian theory, Austrian theory, etc

Second is you must know the blog well. Why do I say this? A great blog has incisive comments. Indeed a lot of the time you gain a better understanding of the topic because of the people who comment.
The best example here is David Glasner's Uneasy Money  or  Ricardian Ambivalance.

Third and related to the second is know blogs which are the opposite. Paul Krugman is wonderful for his articles but I am afraid the comments are next to useless in gaining any better understanding of the topic at hand.

Fourth look at the blogroll on blogs you rate.  Every blog has them and it is a terrific way to find out about topics you never thought you would ever read about.

Fifth, do not be afraid of getting stuff through sheer luck. It was only last week I got a really interesting paper by Thomas Palley  (on Market Monetarism) from a link from a link from a link.

Sixth, one should always beware of who is criticising whom.  Take Paul Krugman. There are people who criticise Kruggers because of his politics. however there are others who will criticise strictly on policy lines.
David Glasner comes to my mind here. Be aware of the difference particularly of this from blogs that are USA based.