| Nicolai Foss |
As you may have noticed — and as Peter points out in daily emails — my blogging activity has been rather light of late. Part of this is caused by being a department head, a task that has a notorious (and entirely correct) reputation for letting your brain rot. And part of it has been caused by the completion of some major projects.
I have , however, done the Facebook thing. FB seems to be overcoming its teenage bias, attracting more mature and normal people, such as academics. (Check the group Unlike 99.99% of the Facebook population, I was born in the 1960s). Indeed, I have noticed a very strong FB herd behavior among academics this last month, no doubt prompted by the summer vacation. Quite a number of people of interest to readers of O&M are now on FB (e.g., professors Jackson Nickerson, Nicholas Argyres, Russ Coff, and many others, including O&M’s own Peter Klein), and there are fan groups devoted to Herbert Simon, Michael Porter, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig Mises, etc. started by students and academics on FB.
I have also noted that fewer of academic friends and acquaintances are using Skype. I conjecture that overall blogging activity — not to mention research and writing activity — has also diminished. Possible conclusion? Blogging is becoming passé and the immediate future belongs to Facebook. Who wants article-like treatments of esoteric subjects, when they can have one-liners about going to the gym, reading, etc.?
More seriously, there are in fact blogging features on FB for those who have more to say to the world than “NN has gone kite surfing.” Indeed, FB combines the features of the homepage with the blog — and introduces even greater possibilities of ego massage than these two (e.g., it is terribly easy to upload pics).