The New York Observer’s MondoWeiss: How the Internet Is Replacing the Book
Self-publishing on the web, whether through blogs or by posting articles in web-journals, is rapidly eclipsing traditional academic venues in its ability to serve the public and popularize knowledge. For example, I have an impact on policy making in Washington and capitals across the globe through my blog, which has close to 2,000
readers a day. Many of my readers are from a blue-chip list of policy wonks who have email tags from the leading think tanks and government agencies. Moreover scores of journalists are reading my site every day. I speak to at least 10 journalists a week, who use me and my site for story ideas, background information, and contacts. I was quoted in over 1,000 articles last year while living in Damascus. If my relatively modest, country-specific site is having an impact, Juan Cole’s is many times larger. He was getting a quarter million readers a month at the height of the Iraq war. Web-publishing and blogging is reconnecting academics to main-stream intellectual discourse.