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Blogging's Death Exaggerated?

Is law blogging passe? That is the question Douglas A. Berman raises at his Sentencing Law and Policy blog in response to Peter Spiro's post at Opinio Juris. Spiro, considering the number of abandoned blogs he encounters, sees them to be "one sign that the blogging phenomenon may have peaked." Berman does not answer the question directly, but suggests that evidence to the contrary may be found in this post at the Law Librarian Blog, documenting the growth and popularity of the Law Professor Blogs Network.

Bloggers being bloggers, plenty of others chime in with comments to Spiro's post, including one Spiro cited as an example of an abandoned legal blog, Belle Lettre of the blog Law and Letters, who comments:

Rumors of the demise of Law and Letters, while not unwarranted, are premature. I admit I have not blogged consistently for the last two months. But it was always with the good faith intention of returning to a regular schedule that I warned my readers of the current paucity of postings.

Several of the comments to Spiro's post focus on the value of law-related blogs, for their authors as well as for their readers. But a comment by Dave Hoffman, contributor to the blog Concurring Opinions, says:

Putting aside the value question (my answer: timely provocation), I wonder whether the number of abandoned blogs is a good proxy for "enthusiasm" (or faddishness, or popularity, or whatever the blog-academic-metric is). Restaurants fail all the time: that doesn't mean that eating out is passe.

I like Hoffman's analogy. The birth and death of blogs is no different than the natural life cycles of other writing projects. In my career as an editor, I learned early on that the enthusiastic caller wanting to launch a regular column could well burn out after just a few installments. In following Web sites for years, I've seen any number launch with great fanfare and good intentions only to stagnate soon after. But I've also seen great writers grow from simple beginnings and valuable Web sites thrive from simple ideas. Of course some blogs will die, but, in my opinion, that is part of the process of natural selection that lets others rise to the top.

Your thoughts? Is blogging already on the wane? Or are suggestions of its death greatly exaggerated?

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 3, 2007 at 05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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