The Blog Readablility Test
How smart do you have to be to understand the Becker-Posner Blog? Genius,according to Concourring Opinions blogger Daniel Solove's blog readability study! Solove's study uses the Blog Readablility Test to determine what level of education is required to understand a blog. This blog scores a whopping
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What level is required for your blog? [JH]
Berkman Center's 2006 Law Blog Conference Papers (Finally) Published
The papers from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's symposium on Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship, held on April 28, 2006 at Harvard Law School, have been published. See, 84 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1025-1261 (2006). The symposium was organized by Cincinnati law prof and TaxProf Blog editor Paul Caron who observes, "it is, of course, ironic that a symposium on how blogs are transforming legal scholarship is finally published over 18 months after the event and after the papers were first posted online [on SSRN]." Details on TaxProf Blog.
The Bekman Center conference was one of the first of its kind. Paul Caron, who also co-founded the 50-plus blog Law Professor Blogs Network, reflects on the contribution of law prof blogging to legal scholarship in a recent Lexblog interview. [JH]
Hack, Mash & Peer: Crowdsourcing Government Transparency
George Mason University professor Jerry Brito's Hack, Mash & Peer: Crowdsourcing Government Transparency is now available on SSRN. Here's the abstract for this very interesting paper:
In order to hold government accountable for its actions, citizens must know what those actions are. To that end, they must insist that government act openly and transparently to the greatest extent possible. In the Twenty- First Century, this entails making its data available online and easy to access. If government data is made available online in useful and flexible formats, citizens will be able to utilize modern Internet tools to shed light on government activities. Such tools include mashups, which highlight hidden connections between different data sets, and crowdsourcing, which makes light work of sifting through mountains of data by focusing thousands of eyes on a particular set of data.
Today, however, the state of government's online offerings is very sad indeed. Some nominally publicly available information is not online at all, and the data that is online is often not in useful formats. Government should be encouraged to release public information online in a structured, open, and searchable manner. To the extent that government does not modernize, however, we should hope that private third parties build unofficial databases and make these available in a useful form to the public.
Parents Say Fake MySpace "Friend" Led to Teenage Girl's Suicide
CNN reports: Family says a 13 year old girl was so upset after "Josh" ended their friendship on MySpace that she committed suicide in October 2006. "Josh" turned out to be the creation of a neighborhood family. The parents want the people who made the fraudulent online profile to be prosecuted but law enforcement officials say the case doesn't fit into any law. [JH]