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Edith Lam

Hi, Professor Myers. This comment should have been posted for your previous entry on "Some advice on projects studying the language of blogs" posted in 2007. In fact, I'd like to study the business/financial blogs featured by the professionals in the industry. Actually there are very good ones in some online business/management magazines, such as Harvard Business Review. But as you know, getting official permission might be a problem as paid subscription is required for access to the online materials. Then how about the blogs in the international newspapers, such as the World-wide Telegraph, which can be accessed online for the expatriate? Do you think capturing the texts there also requires writing for their official permission? Would it make a difference when I capture and use their business blogs for the purpose of academic research/writing dissertation? For your information, I'm currently studying your University's Hong Kong MA TESOL programme (Cohort 10).

Greg Myers

On the big issue of permission for quoting blogs, I have assumed that for student essays, and for blogs that are clearly meant to be public, you only need to give the source URL so that readers can see for themselves. I would ask permission if you were quoting in print, though the copyright issues are blurry. For the book, where in most cases I am quoting just little bits from each blogger, I did ask for permission from all the bloggers I could contact, but that wasn't all of them I quoted, and only some of them responded.

On business blogs, I would think it might be better to use blogs that **weren't** associated with the major business publications. Otherwise you might get texts that were pretty much like what one would find in other media. And there are many different kinds of business blogs, from reporting to more marketing to more personal-seeming diaries of business leaders. If you Google 'CEO blogs', you will get an interesting selection (not surprisingly, Jonathan Schwartz's blog is high on the list). Some idea of the range of types of business blogs is given in this list:

But having said that you would want blogs that aren't from the mainstream media, the one business blog I actually follow is from Robert Peston, who is on the radia nearly every morning:
I think he has an interestingly skeptical and informal style, and he has been remarkably consistent through the financial crisis.


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