Trevor Butterworth offers a sharp account of the factors that led to a nation of natural bloggers - "What was the blogosphere but a virtual pub where wits could clash, lubricated by sobriety" - into an online desert. But he notes one huge success story:

Imagine most of the leading economists in the United States banding together to create a blog to analyze and comment on what the President and Congress were doing each day. That, in effect, is what Irish Economy is for Ireland

As Carey notes, Irish Economy is "driven by the demand for qualified opinion. We are in an economic crisis, and newspaper editors suddenly discovered they had no economists on staff! The academics could write all the blogs they want--but the financial crisis created the audience." And the economist bloggers really work for their audience, too, she says. "They tend to notice things normal mainstream journalists don't that end up coming into the mainstream. Irish Economy is doing what everyone thought blogs would do. But--in Ireland anyway--this blog is unique. The fact that this one blog succeeds shows why the others have failed."

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