More and more blogging anthropologists - but the digital divide persists
Savage Mind - the new anthropology group blog is big news and is being discussed in many blogs (interesting to see how fast the news is spread). Recently I mentioned several new anthro-blogs - Kerim Friedman has discovered even more, for example The Old Revolution by "tak", a cultural anthropologist and New Yorker and a Tokyoite who has compiled a list of Anthropology and Japan blogs - even more to explore.
I began to work with this blog (which also includes a kind of Norwegian anthropology journal), because I missed anthropological content on the web. Much has changed since then. But nevertheless, my impression is that Internet is still a quite new medium for many anthropologists - at leasts in Norway. People here do read the national and regional newspapers online, send mails and transfer money. But none of my friends and people I know at the University know what a blog is, let alone RSS. Only a few have heard about Wikipedia. They're not familiar with the gift economy principles on the Internet either (I heard of anthropologists who don't publish online because they don't want their ideas to be "stolen" (!) before they can elaborate them in a traditional paper-journal.
Those people (the majority) don't participate in discussions. They are the unknown passive readers. It's quite striking: All the (few) comments to entries in my Norwegian blog are made by people who already have a website or an own blog.
I think here we see another type of a digital divide - between those who know how to use the internet actively (or are interested in it) and those who don't.
UPDATE: See also the post by Alexander Knorr on xirdalim on academic blogging and its difficulties: "What struck us most was the fact that the vast majority of our institute's anthropology-students (and we have 1200+ !) never made good use of the ethno::log >> continue