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January 24, 2006



as a non-blogger I have no useful opinion on why legal bloggers post, but perhaps it would be of interest to know why one (not necessarily representative) legal blog reader reads.

as a post-retirement project, I've been trying to develop an informed - though lay - perspective on constitutional law. certainly reading books, court opinions, etc., is necessary, but as prof brooks notes it's nice to have access to a community of common interest for informal chit-chat. bloggers and their thoughtful commenting readers provide that. for a quasi-student, blogs also provide a classroom-like opportunity to ask questions. so if, in the spirit of drucker's query "what is our business?", law profs consider themselves to be in the "business of legal education", blogging could be considered "part of the job".

observation re comment volume (both senses): one in the position of "student" typically doesn't have much to add and thus may comment infrequently if at all. hence, although comment volume may be a good measure of reader interest in a post, it may not be an indicator of post utility and may even be a contrary indicator. more controversial and/or less substantive topics can result in soaring comment volume, but the heuristic value of such posts and attendant comments is often low (see VC for examples of this phenomenon).

which leads back to the question of why legal bloggers blog. from a "student" perspective, ideally it would be to expand the audience for their wisdom. the evidence, however, suggests that in some instances it's for baser reasons. with that in mind, I rather hope that the LC comment volume increases, but only modestly.

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