Sunday, 13 June 2010

I'm in the wrong business

Not PC has recently put up his Blog Stats for May. Seeing these I took a look at some of my own stats. And yes nobody reads Anti-dismal. Ok the Standard thinks six people do, but that seems an over estimate. This didn't come as much of a surprise given that a couple of weeks ago another economist spent part of a Friday night complaining to me how boring and pointless the blog is. And this was after I bought him a beer!! But today I took at look at the draft programme for the upcoming New Zealand Association of Economists conference and there was nothing there that would make me spend even other peoples money to go and see.

I take from all of this that what interests me doesn't interest anyone else, be they economist or non-economist. May be I am in the wrong business.

15 comments:

MacDoctor said...

I suspect you have many readers who catch you via your RSS feed, Paul (I am one of them). These don't show up in your monthly stats.

Tom M said...

I certainly enjoy this blog, and I am also one who follows via RSS. I hope you don't get discouraged, and keep writing it.

homepaddock said...

" what interests me doesn't interest anyone else. . ." not sure if the views of someone who fluked a B in what was then Stage I Economics more than 30 years ago counts, but I'm interested.

Though like MacD and Tom I read every post through RSS feeds and don't always visit the site.

dan said...

Another RSS reader here.

bk drinkwater said...

Yet another RSS reader. Though I gave up on The Standard...

Anonymous said...

More frequent posting is my only request.
JeffW

Mark Hubbard said...

I don't know how the stats work, but I check in here normally once a day.

PC said...

Snap. An RSS reader mostly. And more frequent posting would be good.

There you go. That's eight of us. :-)

Tony Neville said...

Is your sphere of interest on the net confined to a few academic blogs visited by mostly other academics? You see, that would explain why whenever some friggin' weasel on any of the myriads of busy social/political newsgroups, blogs, forums, and social networking sites unloads garbage about the "evils" of capitalism and the necessity for more government regulation, bailouts, and takeovers, I have never once seen a guy named Paul Walker smack down the weasel with his big brain filled with a detailed and lucid understanding of economics.

You're in the right business, but IMO going about it the wrong way. Unless you are too delicate, go out into the wild internet megalopolis and attract people to your blog with the weasel thrashing skills we very few "Anti-Dismal" visitors know you have rather than waiting for people to find you.

Some colour as well as evidence of other aspects to Mr Paul Walker than just an interest in economic theory are sorely needed, too.


Don't hit me.

Tom M said...

Like Mr. Drinkwater, I also gave up on the Standard, and my life has been all the better for it... You might want to consider doing the same.

dragonfly said...

I look at your blog every day. I even made a comment once but received no reply (though I do understand why that might have been.)

I visualise your audience as odd creatures who occupy less favourable habitats – for example the damp, shady sides of rocks on an island that's been isolated from everywhere else since Gondwana broke away from Pangaea, and which has its own unique flora and fauna.

Some of your topics I find too arcane, but others I enjoy because I too have obscure interests and some of yours coincide with mine. I would be sad to see your blog go.

Something I feel is a bit missing (and I'm talking about on average here) is more of your own analysis and opinion. I'm not so sure you should go out and smash everyone who says stupid stuff on other sites (as suggested by Tony Neville), because it is true that if you dish it out then you need to be able to take it, and you may not be that kind of person (though maybe, to have a blog, you need to be). However I think Tony Neville has a point in his suggestion that you need to show more of yourself (which is why I would never have a blog, because I couldn't cope with that).

I did check out the draft programme for the upcoming New Zealand Association of Economists conference, and I was mystified. Who ever would not be interested in `A Time Series Approach to the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle with Panel Data from the OECD Countries'? You've really lost me now :)

Owen M said...

Just chiming in to say another RSSer who enjoys the blog.

Paul Walker said...

It is not, kind people, so much the fact that I may be out of touch with real people that worries me. This is normal for economists! It is more the lack of interest I seem to have in what passes for much of economists these days. As dragonfly points out, how could you not be interested in `A Time Series Approach to the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle with Panel Data from the OECD Countries'? How indeed?

A passed winner of the NZIER Economics Award wrote, "That my contributions could be included, points, I think, to the changing nature of economics as a discipline. It has become much more empirical over the last two decades. This is lucky for me since I have both a comparative and an absolute disadvantage in theory and in the sorts of mathematical abstractions that used to be mistaken for top level economics." It is this change in the nature of economics, which most people see as good, that puts me on the outer. I have little interest in, or ability at, running yet another million regressions to come up with a result that simply confirms my prejudices. I’m more of what may be called an applied theory type which seems frowned upon these days. Not a statistic in sight. Also the interest in production side of the economy, for me the theory of the firm, has dropped in the last 30 years or so. If you look at the big developments in economics over the last 30 years they are in areas associated more with the consumer/household/political side of the economy: behavioural economics, experimental economics, micro-econometrics, development economics, public choice etc all fall, roughly, into this group. Goods and services just seem to appear by magic with no one much interested in looking inside the magician’s hat to see from whence they came.

rsw37 said...

you're not interested in my paper on home heating and asthma? :(

Paul Walker said...

"you're not interested in my paper on home heating and asthma?"

Just don't tell A. The last thing I need is to be hunted down by the Czech Econ Mafia and bludgeoned to death with a huge t-stat!!