All I can tell you is that it’s been a long time since I’ve felt as intellectually engaged as I do now that I’ve started blogging again.
Blogging–and publicizing my posts via Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other social media outlets–has allowed me to connect with people I never would have been able to reach in any other way.
Previously if I wanted to convey an idea or a research finding, my choices were limited to a conference paper or journal article or, if I could work it up, a book. These choices still remain, but in addition I can create a video, podcast, blog post, slidecast, and more. It may be that a combination of these is ideal—a blog post gets immediate reaction and can then be worked into a conference presentation, shared through SlideShare, or turned into a paper that is submitted to a journal. In each case the blog or social network becomes a key route for sharing and disseminating the findings.
But we can also act locally, serving as a body of peers for each other’s reviews. As an online anthropology writer on Neuroanthropology, and commenter and participant in discussions in lots of online forums, you may very well be precisely the sort of person who is my ‘peer’ if you’re reading this. So why not crowd source our letters of reference to make the case for the importance of our online publishing?