Monday 26 March 2012

Network effects - blogging edition

The Economist says America's number one in EconBlogging. Why? They have a blogosphere, where Europe only has blogs. It's the links and the discussion that makes the whole thing worthwhile. They point to Bruegel's assessment:
As Ronny Patz noted in a recent post (hat tip to the European blogs aggregator bloggingportal), European blogs are still very much “unconnected”. That is, they use hyperlinks far less than their American counterparts or do it and in a way that doesn’t create two-way debate. In brief, Europe has bloggers, but no blogosphere: it lacks a living ecosystem to exchange and debate. Of most leading European blogs, only 1 in 5 were linked to other online content. This is a pretty striking number but one that is somewhat consistent with the use that Europeans make of blogs (ie. just another media but not an interactive one).
How did America make it work? The Economist's R.A.:
How did America's economics blogosphere develop the necessary density? Early buy-in by important economists mattered, but the growth of the community has been more driven, in my opinion, by an aggressive horde of strivers. Economists, journalists, and would-be pundits with less access to traditional outlets (newspapers, conferences, and journals) were attracted by the low barriers to entry of the web. This ready group of writers created sufficient "liquidity" of opinion to drive an effective conversation, the value of which has subsequently pulled in other respected voices.
New Zealand's getting better. Paul Walker and the TVHE team drew me in, and together we dragged in Seamus (occasionally), Bill Kaye-Blake, and now Sam Richardson. Let's hope we can pull a few other folks into the conversation.


  1. Keep it up. I'm an American who loves the NZ econ blogosphere.

  2. Blogger above, Ryan, its good to see you follow Eric,but our NZ blogosphere is degenerating every day, do not be tempted to go to Farrar or anything with the name Kiwi in it,or kiwipolitico, or the tv addicts, Eric, not him, he is alive and well,

  3. Eric, don't forget about the ability of US economists to whore themselves out to investment banks, combined with the fact that the top 200 US economists all think they should be chairman of the fed. This all creates an environment where people need to make names for themselves, despite so many of them being so completely and utterly wrong about "the great moderation".

    NZ doesn't really have such incentives, I mean leading a review for the NZ govt only generates so much status.