Earlier this week, I talked to Tim Haab and John Whitehead, professors at THE Ohio State University and Appalachian State University, respectively.
Tim and John got their PhDs in the early 90s and started env-econ blog in 2005, for fun and to improve the public's knowledge of environmental economics.*
We discussed how much time they put into blogging (30 min to 2 hrs/day), how blogging affects their research (no) and teaching (yes), their influence on environmental policy (slight) and people's knowledge of environmental economics (better), and why they bother (beer?).
We also talked about how 90 percent of the work in an academic paper goes into convincing 10 percent of readers that the paper makes sense. Those numbers worry me.**
Listen in to our 46 minute conversation (18MB MP3).
Oh, and buy their book (if you can understand the title and have $115): Preference Data for Environmental Valuation: Combining Revealed and Stated Approaches
Bottom Line: It's nice to take time to understand how and why people do similar stuff to you.
* On a related note, the NY Times (via JF) reports that "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter." That's good news to me, since fewer blogs mean less noise for those of us who are more interested in "meaty" discussions than 140-character updates of what's for dinner.
** No, not because they are incompatible. I worry about impact vs. effort (read this and this on effective scholarly communication).