Confessions of a researchaholic

July 31, 2012

The blindness of post

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:02 pm

Today I realized an analogy between academic peer review and social post.

The usual academic peer review processes are either single- or double-blind, depending on whether the reviewers know the author identities.
(The reviewer identities are almost always blind to the authors.)

Social posts can also be classified as being either none- or single-blind, depending on whether the authors know the (potential) identities of the readers. For example, blogs are single-blind because they are usually public and readers do not have to reveal their identities, whereas twitter and Facebook are none-blind because authors explicit know (and can even control through privacy policy) the readership.

The blindness policy has great influence on both peer review and social post.

For example, studies on peer review have shown that knowing the author identities can increase potential biases (e.g. favoring well known authors) but also increase courtesy (e.g. being more polite in the reviews).

Given the multiple venues of social posting, I am pretty sure authors also behave differently for different venues, and conversely, choose the proper venue for the intended behavior.
In my personal case, I usually use twitter and Facebook for quick and fun thoughts that I really want to share, and blog for materials that are longer, more controversial, with narrower appeal, or those that I just feel like writing down without really caring who and if anyone will actually read (like this post).

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