An issues so important that the World Bank has been researching it!
From the Bank comes a new Policy Research Working Paper on The Impact of Economics Blogs (pdf) by David McKenzie and Berk Özler. The abstract reads,
There is a proliferation of economics blogs, with increasing numbers of economists attracting large numbers of readers, yet little is known about the impact of this new medium. Using a variety of experimental and non-experimental techniques, this study quantifies some of their effects. First, links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Second, blogging raises the profile of the blogger (and his or her institution) and boosts their reputation above economists with similar publication records. Finally, a blog can transform attitudes about some of the topics it covers.Can't say I have noticed any of these effects myself!