Friday, July 01, 2011

'Real blawging' and the 'establishment'

I posted a while back about what was happening to legal blogging, suggesting that it was becoming 'establishment'. The post was picked up by many, and stirred up quite a reaction. I've now given a little more thought to the matter.

I have always previously taken the view that there is no restriction upon the forms that blogging can take. There are no rules about blogging, and it is still 'blogging' no matter what you use blogging software for. However, now I'm not so sure. Perhaps there are (unwritten) rules about what really constitutes a blog, and anyone who doesn't follow those rules is merely using blogging software for a purpose other than true 'blogging'.

So what then is a blog? I'm not entirely certain about this, but one feature that I feel true blogs should have is that they should be personal. True bloggers should put something of themselves into the blog - this, I think, was at least one of the things that I was really getting at in my earlier post. So many of the newer law blogs are utterly impersonal (not helped by the fact that they are often written by more than one person), and are really no more than the writer(s) passing on and demonstrating their expertise. I'm not saying that this is not a valid and useful thing to do, just that (in my view) it is not 'blogging'.

I'm also not saying that it is not possible to be a 'real' blogger and still provide useful information to the reader. In the field of family law, Lucy Reed at Pink Tape and Marilyn Stowe are very good examples - they both provide much extremely useful news, advice and comment, whilst at the same time giving a little of themselves to the reader. By comparison, the newer 'blawgs' that I am referring to seem to me to be very dry and impersonal.

These thoughts have been going through my mind for a while, although they have been cobbled together in this post in short order, and after a couple of glasses of wine. Whether I am talking utter nonsense, I will leave to you to judge.

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