I am at the Milken Global Conference where I participated in a panel on "econoblogging" (though most of the people on the panel were more orientated toward finance issues than economics).
Calculated Risk attended the session:
Conference Comment, by Calculated Risk: I enjoyed attending the Milken conference yesterday. Thanks to Jennifer Manfre’ of the Milken Institute for arranging a press pass.
I attended a couple of sessions on topics that I know little about (like Urbanization in India and China), and they were awesome. IMO this type of conference has two strengths: 1) you meet a number of interesting people, and 2) the sessions provide a great introduction to a variety of topics.
However when I was familiar with the topic (like "Real Estate: Where is the Bottom?"), I was disappointed with the depth of the analysis. Hopefully Tanta will have a chance to listen to the audio of "The Future of the Mortgage Market: Where Do We Go From Here?" - but I suspect she will be disappointed too.
On a personal note, it was great to finally meet several bloggers: Professor Mark Thoma of Economist's View, Felix Salmon of Market Movers, Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, and Paul Kedrosky of Infectious Greed.
Mark and I are "internet friends" - we've corresponded for over 3 years - and it was fun to finally meet face to face. We seemed like old friends ... the internet is awesome!
The econblogger session was well attended. Personally I thought the moderator asked several wrong questions - and he kept focusing on the credibility of the bloggers and rumors being spread on the internet, as opposed to focusing on experts in specific fields bringing more in-depth analysis to a subject than a newspaper. The moderator worked previously at the WSJ, and he seemed to think blogs were a competing product to newspapers. Professor Thoma argued persuasively that blogs are complementary to newspapers and when written well (think Tanta!), provide more in-depth analysis on specific subjects.
I can't watch it, partly because I don't think I expressed myself very well (I never think I do...), but there is a video of the session here (Also, Felix says "If you're having trouble with the sound, it kicks in properly around the 8 minute mark").