Blogging on Research Ideas…and Research Ideas from Blogging?

Before this year I didn’t pay too much attention to blogs, especially ones focused on academic topics or international policy. In upper-level courses, though, I was introduced to  the work of some of the more well-known bloggers and saw how blogs can be both interesting and legitimate–quite an important lesson considering that many blogs popular with college students are, after all, focused on celebrity gossip, funny pictures of cats, and comedy videos.

Now, I can truly appreciate the value of policy and news-opinion blogs as a supplement to news outlets and traditional research sources. Ironically, I used to consider the many links within a post and the informal style drawbacks of blogs, but now I realize that they’re assets; not only can they provide quick but meaningful perspectives on current topics (taken with a grain of salt)–but those links can lead to more and more perspectives and information on a topic.  Even the different styles of blogs have their own strength: a journal/magazine’s bloggers can show their personal analysis of current events, bloggers at international organizations can provide less formal explanations of that group’s decisions, researchers can give quick studies of topics and then link to other researchers’ work, and other observers can comment and ask questions, which leads to further discussion and even more perspectives on a topic. In addition to my daily following and browsing, I’ve found all of these sources useful in my summer research while exploring topics–which is something I probably wouldn’t have considered as a freshman!


  1. I agree blogs can be a great source of information. For me, the one main drawback is sometimes being unsure of the legitimacy and expertise of the author of the blog. It would be cool if the best blogs in a given field were published in one large online journal… maybe something like this already exists?