My MWDSI 2009 paper was a day late and a euro short, thanks to Freiburg im Breisgau, but the U.K.’s Headstar.com still thought my discussion of electronic participatory budgeting was worth reading… and publishing! Editor Dan Jellinek boiled it down to an essay (stripping out all those boring old APA citations) and posted it in Headstar’s E-Government Bulletin Live online newsletter. Cool!

…or is it? For much of the academic world, publication in anything other than a scholarly journal is irrelevant to status. I’ve heard that occasionally profs look down on colleagues who get articles published in practitioner journals.

But again, to whom are we telling our stories? To whom do they matter? I know there’s some big timber we can fell in our forest that will build some spectacular houses, even if the rest of the world that lives in them can’t comprehend how they were built. But when we can express our ideas in ways that a broader audience can grasp, I see no reason that we shouldn’t. The fact that an idea can be expressed in a broadly comprehensible manner does not render that idea inherently inferior or less important. Spread the word!

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