I find commendable the ABA Journal’s annual “Blawg 100″—its list of the hundred best law blogs. It brings some attention to an important but fragmented form of legal publishing. And the ABA Journal goes about it in a serious way.
So yesterday I was gratified to learn that in this year’s Blawg 100 this blog had been named to the ABA Journal’s “Blawg 100” hall of fame. I can’t say I was too surprised, in that I’ve featured in the Blawg 100 six of the past seven years.
Accompanying this year’s list of blogs was an interesting article on the state of the legal blogosphere (here). It’s by @Molly_McDonough, managing editor of the ABA Journal. Although a little navel contemplation goes a long way, here are a few thoughts that came to mind on reading Molly’s article:
- Yes, bloggers, like writers generally, do burn out. But I have a fascinating field essentially to myself, so I’ve never run out of stuff to write about. And I’ve always had the next edition of MSCD to prepare, so I’ve had plenty of incentive to keep writing. The stuff I’m posting now is, I think, as interesting as what I’ve written at any point in the past nine-plus years of blogging.
- I think that tracking blogging by percentage points doesn’t accomplish anything. You might as well track the percentage of people who write novels. Writers gonna write, and if what they have to say is conducive to their writing a blog, then that’s what they’ll do.
- I’m not inclined to wax nostalgic about the convivial glory days of blogging. In any new initiative, the pioneers get to feel special, but inevitably that fades. For one thing, we’re specialists: I keep track of a bunch of blogs, just in case I see anything relevant, and I dip into them as the urge strikes, but the only blog that regularly touches on stuff of interest to me is IPDraughts.
- Yes, comments have dropped off somewhat, or have moved to Twitter, but I wouldn’t want to exaggerate that. I recall years during which I cranked out what I though were compelling pieces, to the sound of crickets chirping. That doesn’t matter—I have a job to do, so I keep on writing.
- That said, thanks to reader comments I’ve been able to refine and improve my analysis of any number of issues. As a result, and because I’ve had to constantly feed the blog beast, MSCD is way better than it would have been if I didn’t blog.
- I haven’t kept track, but my blog has brought me business. And more generally, it helps ensure that if you’re interested in contract drafting, you’ll find me all over the place on Google.
- When I need to consult someone about a particular area of the law, my first instinct is to find someone who blogs about the topic. A blogger is more likely to be informed and engaged.
OK, that’s enough of that. At least you’ll now be spared this sort of thing when the ten-year mark of my blogging rolls around in May 2016.