Sniffing Out Fake Blogs
"You are perusing the shelves of a local bookstore, and you see the memoir of Count Chocula or the collected letters of Mr. Whipple. Might you be suspicious? Well, in the blogosphere, companies are trying to use legitimate-looking blogs as ads—nicknamed "flogs" for "fake blogs." But increasingly, savvy bloggers are thwarting them."
See also: Manipulating the Blogosphere for Fun and Profit, PC Magazine. [RJ]
Law Prof Blogs Ranked by Traffic
Dave Hoffman has compiled a traffic ranking of law professor blogs using The Truth Laid Bear data which unfortunately is not comprehensive in capturing the legal blogosphere but does provide a quasi-objective standard. The Law Professor Blogs Network is well represented in this ranking thanks to the efforts of our 80 blog editors. Two of the top five blogs -- Sentencing Law & Policy and TaxProf Blog -- and 15 of the Top 50 ranked blogs are members of the Law Professor Blogs Network. [JH]
Widespread Quality Problems Found in Podcasting World
Podcaster, author and operator of the Podcast Awards, Todd Cochrane, assessed the state of the podcast world in these words: "The amount of garbage sites out there astounded me." His study of the 4,00-plus podcast sites nominated for awards at his Podcast Awards site uncovered some disturbing flaws:
- Of the 4097 shows that were nominated only 2911 had a visible RSS feed link on their Page or was auto detectable.
- Of the 2911 sites that had a visible RSS feed, 82% (2387) had feed errors. The 2387 that had errors 61% (1456) of those feeds were completely invalid according to FeedValidator.org
- 81% of those sites that had RSS feed errors were hosted on a Wordpress blog.
- 93% of the bad feeds were being served up by FeedBurner
Read more about it at Geek News Central. [JH]
Blogs, Law School Rankings, and the Race to the Bottom
Denver law prof and The Race to the Bottom blogger Jay Brown has deposited in SSRN Blogs, Law School Rankings, and the Race to the Bottom. Here's the abstract to this very interesting paper:
Blogs are changing legal scholarship. Although not a substitute for the detailed, often intricately researched analysis contained in law reviews and other scholarly publications, they fill an important gap in the scholarly continuum. Blog posts can generate ideas and discussion that can be transformed into more a systematic and thorough paper or scholarly article. At the same time, blogs provide a forum for testing ideas once they are published in more traditional venues.
While over time, a blog presence will likely become de rigueur for top scholars and law reviews, top tier schools as a group have not yet targeted blogs as a necessary component of scholarly activity. In the short term, therefore, blogs provide unique opportunities for faculty and law schools outside the top tier to enhance their reputational rankings. Blogs can enhance reputation by allowing faculty to route around some of the biases in law review placements and SSRN rankings that favor those at the top tier schools. Blogs also represent a cost effective mechanism for advertising scholarly activity.
The paper discusses the evidence that blogs enhance reputation and surveys the way that scholars at law schools outside the top tier are already harnessing blogs to enhance their reputations. The paper also discusses what it takes to create a successful blog, from the search for content to the benefits of advertising. The paper finishes with a brief history of The Race to the Bottom, a corporate governance blog.
Editor's Note: On TaxProf Blog, Paul Caron notes that 37 of the Top 200 visited law blogs as ranked by Justia are authored by law professors. Five of the Top 10 law blogs (and ten of the Top 25 law blogs) are members of our Law Professor Blogs Network. [JH]