7. Conclusion

"I'll publish, right or wrong" (Byron)

This article has outlined the possibilities that blogs offer in terms of teaching, personal and professional development and engaging with a global audience. The chance to take advantage of an "invisible college" of fellow scholars, informed readers and actively engaged students, means that blogs can provide a whole new dimension of interaction in helping people make sense of economic issues. Using blogs as part of the classroom experience can take the technical strain out of producing a website and allow you to concentrate on writing, discussing and teaching online.

We hope that this short guide has made you aware of the mechanics of blogging and some of the potential pitfalls, given you some ideas as to how you could use them for economics teaching and opened your eyes to some of the future possibilities that blogging as a technology can offer. If you successfully build blogging into your normal work routine, you may soon find that blogging starts to take over your life and that it is increasingly difficult to live without your virtual notebook.

The freedom that blogs bring to the voiceless in politically repressive regimes is a good example of how blogs enable anyone to publish anything online. The chance to hear from alternative viewpoints, to publish ideas that may not get an airing elsewhere, to sidestep the mainstream media and to experience quality writing freely and openly, means blogs can help produce a genuine free market in ideas.