What can academic blogs do? What might they replace? For instance, the Volokh Conspiracy recently surmised that law blogs would render otiose the student summaries of cases traditionally published in law journals: astute summaries are posted almost immediately on blogs. Similarly, can blogs in philosophy eventually do better much of what book reviews have traditionally done? How can they be used to test ideas? To foster a real exchange?
I try to avoid that staple of blogging--posting someone else's post. But here's an interesting article in the Chronicle on academic blogs, now ancient, but sound in its main themes.
And Salon recently reported on a study of blogs with this table:
|100 A-list bloggers ||15 million ||150,000 ||15,000 ||1700 hrs |
|2,000 B-list bloggers ||5 million ||2,500 ||1,000 ||62 hrs |
|18,000 C-list bloggers ||9 million ||500 ||150 ||13 hrs |
|80,000 up-and-coming bloggers ||8 million ||100 ||50 ||2.5 hrs |
|5 million remaining active bloggers ||15 million ||3 ||0 ||-|
Where does Dissoi Blogoi fall, now one month after it began? In the 'up-and-coming' class, that is, within the top 2% of US blogs.
(Btw, the Salon article also reports that, because of the recent explosion of blog readership in China, the 32 million US blog readers represent only 40% of the world audience for blogs.)