Getting the Most from Economic Bloggers

In the Internet age we are not troubled by a lack of information, but by too much.  Successful decision making has become a matter of figuring out whom to trust and on what topics. Some decide to increase their brand through social media to improve credibility. Apps like socialfollow can support you on that journey to increasing traffic to your blog if you’re interested in using social media like Instagram. But I digress.

My original mission statement at ‘A Dash’ was to take an eclectic approach — finding the best sources, information, and methods.  It has been a common theme for me.

Regular readers know that I have enjoyed and learned from my association with the Kauffman Foundation.  Their support of economic bloggers helps many of us convene annually.  There is no substitute for meeting people in person.  The assembled group at the conference includes academic economists, leading economists from think tanks, entrepreneurs, economic journalists, and a group that I’ll call “pop economists.”  Each plays a certain role.  All are intelligent and hard-working.  There are no slackers among the economic bloggers!

My sense is that the group is a bit conservative, but that does not trouble me.

There are many criticisms of Wall Street economists.  They are not represented.  Academic economists are also a popular target for those who never took a class or don’t remember it.  This group is a distinct minority.  If you are skeptical of traditional economic reporting, this is the source for you.

Here is the opportunity:

We can learn from the wisdom of a special crowd — the economic blogging community.

The Current Findings

The Q211 results are out.  A big story is the accurate perception of a growing economy, but one with less certainty.  More bloggers see the economic potential as mixed than did a quarter ago.  Poll leader Tim Kane has an innvoative pictoral method for conveying the message.  He asks us to provide five terms to describe the economy and then creates a word cloud.  Here is the current result:


This is a very realistic picture.  With this in mind, I urge careful consideration to the next chart.


There is a lot of skepticism about the economy.  It includes average folks, business leaders, and individual investors.  The pessimism is excessive, sometimes generated by political sentiment.

Take a look at the assessment from this hard-headed group of bloggers.  The expectations for economic growth, employment, and the stock market are all pretty solid.  The budget deficit is expected to decline, and some think it will decline a lot.

These findings are only scratching the surface.  Anyone who thinks that economic prospects are relevant to investment decisions (and that should be everyone) should take a deeper look at these results.  There are many interesting results related to specific policy ideas.


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  • Paul Nunes May 9, 2011  

    jeff; you always provide special insight with your original thinking and commentary. thanks!

  • Proteus May 10, 2011  

    In addition to the word cloud, what I found most interesting from the links was that both optimists and pessimists saw increasing uncertainty, as evidenced by the big increase in the “mixed” category. What do investors do under increasing uncertainty? What should they do?
    And I understand their reaction. My investments are doing well, but I feel as though I should be making changes anyway. Very odd feeling.

  • Paul in KC May 11, 2011  

    Proteus; everyone i talk with feels the same way.

  • Proteus May 11, 2011  

    That is not encouraging.
    As my Scoutmaster used to say: “Don’t follow me, I’m lost too”.