In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.
But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.
ideas42 is a consulting group started by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir (the authors of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much) and including an impressive roster of researchers. They perform research in behavioral sciences and develop ways to apply their findings to social problems. Their work ranges from redesigning violation and misdemeanor tickets in New York to improve compliance to redesigning Alliant’s credit services so that they can serve low income consumers. The most important work that they do is bring empirical research in behavior science to addressing poverty. In a field where policy is often determined by ‘common sense’, actual data is a welcome disruptor. Their blog is a great source for cutting edge research in behavioral science.