Friday, September 26, 2008

The Joys of Google Reader

The internet is information at your fingertips. What I like about the blogosphere is that the market finds the information for me. I subscribe to about 100 feeds with Google Reader. (If you don't use Reader or some other RSS sorter then you're wasting a lot of time going from blog to blog to see if they've updated yet, and missing out on an easy way to expand your reading base).

During the recent Russia-Georgia conflict I added a bunch of blogs that were covering the action to my Reader. This allowed me to get as close to real-time updates as possible as well as much of the real-time commentating. Many of these blogs post info from other relevant blogs they're reading, so I end up reading what everyone else is reading and am just as knowledgable.

The financial crisis has been great for this. Fortunately, some of the best economists in the world keep their own blogs and many more write frequently in various newspapers. As other economist bloggers link to those articles, as I do, it saves me the time of trying to figure out who is saying what. I don't have to search through the papers to see if any economists have posted, one of the 20+ econ blogs I read has already found it and posted it.

This has allowed me to keep a play-by-play of economic analysis of the proposals as they are released to the news media.

Economists have analyzed, put out critiques and alternative solutions, critiqued those alternatives and accepted/rejected them, and put out new solutions. There's been an incredible amount of brainpower putting out ideas and analysis through the media and blogosphere, some of which filters back to Congress and is also considered by people at the Fed and Treasury.

It makes me happy to live in this present information age. I've learned more about economics and finance in the past week than I would have in a semester or two of class.The really beautiful thing is that people who are already "experts" are also learning. It's a huge collective project.

No comments: