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Taxonomy: Statement of Intentions

I am currently compiling a list of legal blogs for my taxonomy. Soon I will make it available here as a preliminary "pool" for my research. I am going to provide readers the opportunity to name legal blogs that are missing from my list. Although I don't expect to be able to research every single existing legal blog, I at least want to begin with an exhaustive, over-inclusive collection.

I have already collected exactly 475 legal blogs. I will lengthen this list as time allows. My current list includes blogs which are no longer active (i.e. the blogger hasn't posted for several months or more), and also blogs that are not necessarily "legal" (i.e. blogs that are not focused on law, but are written by lawyers). There are many decisions I will be making over the next few weeks about which blogs to include and how best to categorize them. I will be pruning away blogs that are not appropriate for inclusion in a legal blog taxonomy. I will describe my reasons and decisions online, and will invite comments and suggestions from readers.

Here are is a preliminary statement of my intentions for this taxonomy of legal blogs:

1. I will be focusing on blogs by legal practitioners and law professors. I will not be including law student blogs, simply because there are too many and they are much more difficult to locate and categorize.

2. I will be focusing on American legal blogs. It would be too impractical for me to incorporate foreign legal blogs.

3. I will include the following categories in my taxonomy. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor will I definitely include each category.

  • Solo blogs.
  • Group blogs: small group (2-5 contributors), medium group (6-10), large group (11 and up).
  • Law firm blogs: size of firm, and number of contributors.
  • Professor blogs: tenured and untenured.
  • Defunct blogs: blogs no longer active (but still online).
  • Jurisdictional scope: federal, circuit, state, city, county.
  • Legal specialty.
  • Frequency of posting: light (less than 1 post a week), medium (between 1 post a week, and an average of 1 a day), and heavy (average more than 1 post a day).
  • Duration of blog: how long online.
  • Intensity of traffic: light, medium, and heavy (measurement still to be determined).

4. This list above represents initial ideas. I am open to suggestions for new categories, or for ways that the list can be improved. Readers can leave a comment below, or email me here.

March 6, 2006 in A Taxonomy of Legal Blogs | Permalink


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You might want to check out the sort of related project Mr. Blawg Review is working on here. I appreciate the impulse behind these projects and wish you the best. I have one suggestion, though: Wiki. Why do all the work yourself when this project is ideal for some collaboration and collective wisdom?

Posted by: ambimb | Mar 6, 2006 3:25:15 PM

Nevermind a wiki. You know what would be perfect for this? Set up a del.icio.us account and publish the login info so that anyone can add to it. Then poeople can tag and annotatate the links as they see fit. Your taxonomy could grow itself according to the logic of all law blog readers. That's how it would work in theory, anyway. Del.icio.us is only the idea; what you really need is a wiki that works like del.icio.us so you won't have to worry about the login issues at all... Or not. I'm just thinking out loud here...

p.s.: HTML seems to work fine in posts now....

Posted by: ambimb | Mar 6, 2006 3:36:55 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, ambimb. At this point I will probably do as much of the research myself as I can. I'm getting credit for this, after all. But I might try to find a way to include other bloggers (i.e. "research assistants") if they would like to be involved in this project. Unfortunately I won't be able to repay them, other than thanking them publicly and driving some traffic to their blogs. I do expect that some day law student bloggers will work together on projects like this one (but of any variety of legal topics), and will receive academic credit for it as a group. I even think this could happen across law schools, i.e. with bloggers from different schools participating in a large-scale project for credit, subject to approval of the various administrations. That's where I honestly believe the future is headed.

Posted by: 3L Epiphany | Mar 7, 2006 7:34:55 AM

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