Favourite blogs: What kind of week has it been?

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2008 logoWelcome to Our Favourite Social Science blogs.

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 7th –16th March, Intute: Social Sciences is featuring a series of articles by our subject editors presenting their favourite blogs.

Today Paul Ayres the Section Editor for Economics and Education, looks back at our week of writing about blogs in the social sciences.

So what kind of week has it been? I hope you have enjoyed this all too brief sojourn through a compact and bijou part of the social science blogosphere. Over the last 10 days we have picked out some of our favourite blogs in a range of subjects.

Friday 7th of March: Sociology
Monday 10th of March: Psychology and Law
Tuesday 11th of March: Elections and Statistics / Data
Wednesday 12th of March: Economics and Business / Management
Thursday 13th of March: International Relations and Europe
Friday 14th of March: Politics / Government

We went with our favourite blogs for a good reason – the blogosphere is so vast that it’s difficult to be comprehensive in just a few hundred words and you will always miss someone out – though the recent Observer 50 most powerful blogs piece certainly got a lot of attention for taking a rather different approach.

However, I think that a special mention has to go to Crooked Timber which has been picked out by three of our contributors this week. The breadth of expertise on offer, the range of subjects tackled and the darned good writing, makes it hard to beat.

Just this week they have been discussing the future of current academic publishing models (and a follow-up asks academics what would change their publishing habits) with many of the points raised being equally applicable to blogging.

But what about the wider picture of blogging in academia? It seems clear to me that academics are taking blogs and blogging more seriously. ResearchBlogging.org aggregates serious academic blog posts about peer-reviewed research across a range of subjects, including a number in the social sciences. Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting organises this effort and includes a lively forum where issues around academic blogging are debated.

Why blog? It’s a question academics are still asking and answering amongst themselves and some of us have chimed in as well – but plenty of academics are just getting on and doing it, as the wiki at Academicblogs.org goes to prove.

Back in 2005 the old SOSIG blog got a fair bit of attention for blogging about the UK general election – less than three years later and such a development would not be remarked upon. And to me that shows how blogs and blogging have come into the mainstream, within academia and elsewhere, and perhaps the key lesson from this week is that blogs are here to stay.

You can contribute to this event by leaving a comment on any of the articles, perhaps letting us know about your favourite blogs in a particular subject or by helping expand our catalogue of academic blogs by filling in our suggest a site form.

If you would like to send some feedback about the ESRC Festival, then why not fill in their online survey.

Intute: Social Sciences features more blogs and more about blogging.