Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blog, Blog, Blog

One Tom Mighell writes on ABANET on "The Next Stage of Lawyer Blogging." He's bullish on blogging, and why wouldn't he be? He's got a gig, writing about it. What's not to like?

And I agree, I guess, with his analysis, as far as it goes. Only... where does it go? It goes to extolling "the ease with which larger professional networks are developed," "all sorts of benefits—new clients, speaking engagements and job offers," "the collaborative opportunities that blogs provide to lawyers." And, intriguingly, he predicts "the creation of 'virtual law firms' between groups of lawyer bloggers."

It remains to be seen, though, what we shall ever do with all the damned blogs? I can't even keep track of all the copyright blogs out there now, let alone the law student blogs, and what if there's something important that I want to get right? The notion that the Internet provides a self-correcting, fact-checking system is clearly fallacious... which is why it leaves a lot to be desired as a research tool.

I foresee, not only the continued proliferation of blogs, but the rise of directory services - a combination of fact-checkers, trustworthy gatekeepers, and clipping services. Kind of what the yahoos who founded Yahoo might have had in mind, way back before they began trying to be all things to all people. Something, perhaps, very like... well, newspapers. The signal-to-noise ratio on the Internet is too low for it to be otherwise; the "every man his own gatekeeper" model that Google encourages doesn't work very well now... and it's only going to get worse.

So says my crystal ball.


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