Now the Creation Begins...
The character of this blog - 3L Epiphany - is about to change. My future posts, for the next few days, will be focused mainly on my taxonomy. ln particular, I will be creating blog posts designed as "holders" for specific categories. Readers who visit consistently will see one post after another, sometimes containing legal blogs, but other times containing no blogs at all (i.e. just a title with no content). This is all for the sake of preparing repositories for the various legal blogs as I fit them into different classifications. These "holder" posts will be intermingled with explanatory posts, requests for reader feedback, and general posts on other topics. It may look somewhat chaotic, but the eventual result will form a structured and cohesive whole.
I expect that some readers might find this process very interesting. I will be creating the taxonomy online so that my methods and decisions are visible publicly, as opposed to working entirely behind the scenes (outside of public view) and displaying only the final product. I will also be asking readers for their opinions on occasion, and comments will always be open. This is one of the great advantages of blogging over traditional legal scholarship. I hope that readers enjoy watching the process of creation unfold, and playing a role in its ultimate consummation.
Taxonomy Questions and Answers
I wanted to highlight a couple of responses I made to comments under this post. The first concerns law student blogs, and the second concerns foreign legal blogs.
What about law student blogs?: “Unfortunately, as I said in my main post, I am not including law student blogs. This is not because I have anything against them (I'm a law student blogger myself, obviously). It's simply a matter of practicality. Limiting my list to legal blogs by attorneys and law professors still leaves me with a tremendous amount of work to do. If I include law student blogs, it makes the project much more overwhelming. Law student blogs are simply harder to locate, and more difficult to classify.”
Exception: I will accept group blogs done by law students for a class (such as ip + internet).
What about non-U.S. legal blogs?: “I will not be incorporating foreign legal blogs. The reason is the same [as for not including law student blogs]: I have to draw some parameters in order to make this project realistic. If this were my full-time job it might be different, but as an Independent Study project in the midst of other 3L responsibilities, it's just too much for me to handle if I open up my taxonomy to non-US legal blogs. … [O]nce my final semester of law school is over (and the Bar, and my job searching), I plan to revise my list and taxonomy. I will hopefully then be able to include law student blogs and foreign legal blogs. I don't yet know whether this is realistic either, because it depends on what my future holds.”
Exception: I will accept legal blogs from Canada (such as Canadian Immigration Blawg).
Let me now answer two other questions readers have asked.
What about defunct blogs?
I received an excellent comment from fellow OSU-student blogger Ed Olszsewski (under this post). He clicked on a few of the links and noticed that several blogs were dormant. For the time being, I am including defunct (dormant, inactive) legal blogs on my list, even if they have not been updated in several months. I am not seeking them out (unlike active legal blogs), but I will include them in my list as I come across them. Some of them I will eventually exclude from my taxonomy, but others I will keep. At the moment my list is over-inclusive, but I will whittle it down over time. (I will also remove active blogs that aren’t sufficiently “legal.” Instapundit may be an example.)
Ed names the Harriet Miers’s Blog!!! as a defunct blog which might not be useful. But I will keep that one as an example of a “Humor/Parody Blog.”
Why do you use the term “legal blog” instead of “blawg”?
I answered that here. Briefly: 1) “blawg” is a contrived word that is not universally accepted by legal bloggers; and 2) “blawg” is a homonym with “blog,” so the words can’t be distinguished in a conversation.
"Legal Blog" versus "Blawg"
I've indicated that I will be researching legal blogs, using 3L Epiphany as a tool to conduct my research and display my results. I wanted to mention briefly why I prefer using the term "legal blog," as opposed to the term "blawg."
Of course, the word "blawg" is derived from "blog," which in turn is short for "weblog." The word "blawg" was invented to distinguish legal blogs from other types of blogs.
There are two reasons why I dislike the word "blawg." First, "blawg" just looks like an unserious, contrived word, and many legal bloggers have indicated disdain for the term. Second, and more importantly, "blawg" sounds exactly the same as "blog." Because the words are homonyms, there is simply no way to disinguish between "blawg" and "blog" in conversation. So if a person gives a speech and refers to a "blawg," listeners will not be able to instantly discern whether he is talking about a regular blog or a legal blog.
The term "legal blog" makes it clear that something other than a general blog is meant. For oral communication purposes, "legal blog" is instantly understood, while "blawg" is more likely to obscure its own meaning. So I will be using the term "legal blog" and avoiding the term "blawg" throughout my independent study project.