Andrew Leonard writing in Salon sums up something I have often thought about the medium of blogging- he discusses in particular economic blogging or rather blogging by professional economists and suggests that its actually rather unimportant for the formation of government policy. There is a sense here that we really don't and won't know- and may not for years- contemporaries didn't know that President Eisenhower's first activity every morning was to get up and read all the morning newspapers, President Bush's may be to wake up and read a morning digest of the internet. But I suspect that Mr Leonard is right. He beleives and again I suspect he is right that the main value of a blog is educational- again in my view that is a correct assumption- analytical blogs won't and don't at the moment influence vast ammounts of people to change their views- but there is a chance that they educate one of two people or provoke discussion. In that way say the analytical blogosphere is really to be compared to a large and rather raucous graduate seminar in which theses are presented and ideas debated- if Mr Leonard will allow me to extend the image, I'd suggest its a Graduate seminar with free entry to anyone who wishes- so bloggers unlike many academics try and couch their thought in ways that an ignorant but intelligent person will understand. Mr Leonard's image is a positive one- but for many blogs- including I hope at times this, its one that I think works.