It may well come as a surprise to some, but blogs or at least the word weblog, has been around for 10 years. Since then the world of blogging has expanded hugely with at least 70 million blogs in existence, over 120,000 new blogs created every day and 17 new blog posts published every second.
The Guardian is fairly sure blogs have been round for more than a decade and they present a brief timeline of blogging, picking out some of the key ways in which blogs have invaded our consciousness in the last decade. While Wikipedia seems to suggest that the evolution of blog-like online services, stretches even further back.
Blogs continue to spark debate, with the Wall Street Journal presenting a range of views that is largely positive and highlights the role blogging has played in giving dissidents a voice in countries like Iran and China, changed the dynamics of political debate and challenged the worlds of business and journalism.
Blogs are also an increasing part of the Intute catalogue of resources, but this does vary greatly by subject. It is a topic we will be exploring in much more detail on the Intute: Social Sciences blog as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science in March 2008.
But what is the place of blogging in academia? Does the world of peer review and Research Assessment Exercises, sit comfortably with the realm of quick and easy web publishing, where everyone can have an opinion? Is blogging more appropriate for some academic disciplines than others? Why not leave a comment and express your view
The Economics Network have put together a briefing document on how to find audio, video and images for use in economics teaching, which can be a tricky area, given the strictures of copyright and the poor way standard search engines handle resources in different formats.
For example, this recent audio interview available from Warwick Podcasts on the future direction of multilateral trade would be invisible to search engines, if it were not surrounded by descriptive text explaining what it is.
Similarly this extract from Fora.TV featuring Paul Krugman talking about the income inequality and the American Middle Class is arguably more visible to users via YouTube than it is from the original site.
… and while image searching is available from major search engines – are the results really more useful than looking at a specialist source? Especially given that copyright means that it would be unwise to reuse many of the images, such a search returns.
Intute: Economics also features resources in the areas of audio, images and video.