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Blog Definitions from Case Law

A “blog” is “an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed. 2005).

Bynog v. SL Green Realty Corp., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34617 at *4 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).


Blog: “A Web site (or section of a Web site) where users can post a chronological, up-to-date e-journal entry of their thoughts. Each post usually contains a Web link. Basically, it is an open forum communication tool that, depending on the Web site, is either very individualistic or performs a crucial function for a company.”  (Jensen, Netlingo the Internet Dictionary (1995-2004) <WWW.Netlingo.com/ inframes.cfm> (as of June 11, 2004) see also Davis, Rants, Rulings, & Recipes (June 2004) Cal. Lawyer, pp. 22-25.)

In re Stevens, 119 Cal. App. 4th 1228, 1236 n.3 (Cal. Ct. App. 2004).


A blog, short for weblog, is an internet website where users interested in a particular topic can post messages for other users interested in the same topic to read and answer if they wish. When users post information on a blog, they often do so using a pseudonym referred to as a “user name.”

Cahill v. Doe, 879 A.2d 943, 945 n.1 (Del. Super. Ct. 2005) (reversed and remanded by John Doe no. 1 v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (Del. 2005).


A blog is an internet website where users interested in a particular topic can post messages for other users interested in the same topic to read and respond if they wish.

Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg & Ellers, LLP v. JPA Dev., Inc., 2006 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 1 at * 15 n.9 (Phila. Com. P. LEXIS 2006).

February 25, 2006 in Blogs in the Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Addendum 2 to Academic Blogging

Here are four more excellent blog posts on Academic Blogging, from Chuck Tryon at The Chutry Experiment.

The fourth post is a response to the infamous (and pseudonymous) Prof. Tribble, and is thus added to the responses mentioned here.

February 24, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Addendum to Academic Blogging

Here are a couple of other articles on the subject of Academic Blogging that were not in the original list:

Rebecca’s article is one of several reacting to the pseudonymous Prof. Tribble, who criticized academic blogs here and here. Reactions from professor-bloggers to Tribble's articles are here, here, here, and here. In my collection of posts and articles on Academic Blogging, Prof. Tribble’s articles appear under the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” and the four posts from (non-law) professors are under “Cliopatra et al.”

I am currently seeking new articles and blog posts on the topic of “Academic Blogging,” especially concerning the matter of whether blogging is a legitimate form of scholarship. (My personal opinion is easy to guess.) Readers may feel free to suggest additions in the Comments.

February 24, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who's to Blame?

My re-posting of “Academic Blogging” took much longer than I expected, mainly because of formatting problems. I broke it down into sections after posting it as a whole led to all sorts of strange events (green fonts, triple-sized letters, etc.). Even the simple act of transferring the content from an old post into a new one caused problems. I used a Word Document as a transitional stage, and perhaps that made things worse. (But doing it directly within Typepad didn’t work either.)

I tried to re-post everything when I found out that section 1 of Academic Blogging has a “3” in its URL, and vice-versa, but I encountered the same obnoxious formatting problems. So I let it be.

Perhaps the fault lies with Typepad. But based on past experience, I think these people are to blame.

February 23, 2006 in Blame | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New Introduction to Academic Blogging Collection

A consistent theme of 3L Epiphany is that blogs are superior to traditional forms of legal scholarship in a multitude of ways. For this reason, I have:

But most importantly, I collected numerous blog posts and online articles on the topic of "Academic Blogging" and made them available as an online resource. One of the advantages of a blog is that it can assemble a tremendous amount of material from different places, localize them in one spot, and make them instantly available to the reader. But a counteracting disadvantage is that the localized collection can disappear from view as new material is added to the hosting blog.

The collection on "Academic Blogging" is one example of how a conversation in the blogosphere can be compiled, organized and structured. (And this matter of blogospheric structure is another theme of 3L Epiphany.) Yet the difficulty a reader would have in locating such a collection, even on this very blog where it was first displayed, manifests a limitation to the medium that will need to be addressed if blogging is to become a sophisticated form of academic scholarship.

Because a new Wall Street Journal article on law reviews has reinvigorated the discussion over whether blogging is an acceptable medium for legal scholarship, I am re-posting the entire compendium on "Academic Blogging" below. My hope is that new readers will discover and appreciate the insights offered by all of this diverse material. I believe that the compendium itself is a prime example of the advantages blogs enjoy over traditional scholarship, including law reviews.

In the context of the WSJ article, I would single out three articles from the collection as being particularly on-point regarding the relationship between blogs and law reviews. These articles are:

I have re-posted "Academic Blogging" below in three separate sections to avoid formatting difficulties. Unfortunately the section numbers are reversed from the numbers in the URL's (another blogging frustration). If readers would like the collection as one complete post, they can go to the original here. The sections of the re-posted version are listed here:

Academic Blogging

February 23, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Academic Blogging (1)

[Originally posted on Feb. 5, 2006:]

I have compiled a collection of blog posts and articles on the subject of “Academic Blogging.” I have divided them up according to the blog or online journal in which they appeared, and then followed blog protocol by listing them in reverse chronological order. The majority of the blog posts are from law professor “blawgs,” but a few are from other academic disciplines.

I fully realize that this collection, completed two weeks ago, is already outdated and that there are new discussions going on. But I believe that this compendium indicates the growing importance and sophistication of the legal academic blogosphere. In this context it is relevant to ask whether law student blogs will also achieve greater respectability, and contribute something of value to legal scholarship.

My intention is to demonstrate the value in organizing and structuring conversations from the blogosphere. These blog posts and articles offer extremely significant insights into the nature of academic blogging. This compendium fixes these insights into one readily accessible location, so that this resource can provide a foundation for future discussions.

I have also made available a Word document for downloading, containing all of the posts and articles with their URL's. I would like to thank the professors who contributed to this project and who offered me further suggestions. 


February 23, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Academic Blogging (2)

Academic Blogging

A Collection of Blog Posts and Articles

I. American Constitution Society Blog

Bridging the Divide Between the Blogsphere and Law Reviews, Liz Aloi (Oct. 29, 2005): link

II. Althouse

Where are the women lawprof bloggers?, Ann Althouse (Jan. 09, 2006): link

Blogging: is it serious or fun?, Ann Althouse (Aug. 2, 2005): link 

Academic blog controversies, Ann Althouse (Nov. 16, 2005): link

III. Balkinization

More Proof that Blogging Can Be a Form of Scholarship, Jack Balkin (Sept. 29, 2005): link

IV. Becker-Posner Blog

Introduction to the Becker-Posner Blog, Richard Posner (Dec. 5, 2004): link 

V. The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Blogosphere as a Carnival of Ideas, Henry Farrell (Oct. 7, 2005): link

They Shoot Messengers, Don’t They?, Ivan Tribble (pseud.) (Sept. 2, 2005): link

Bloggers Need Not Apply, Ivan Tribble (pseud.) (July 8, 2005): link

VI. Cliopatria et al [History]

My Colleagues Speak Up…, Ralph E. Luker (Sept. 14, 2005): link

The Tribble Fall-Out, and what we can do about it, Rebecca Goetz (Sept. 13, 2005): link

Me and Professor Tribble, Mark Grimsley (Sept. 5, 2005): link

More Tribble, More Troubles, Miriam Burstein (Sept. 4, 2005): link

VII. Concurring Opinions

Blogging Without Tenure, Daniel J. Solove (Jan. 9, 2006): link 

Blog Posts: Conversation or Publication?, Daniel J. Solove (Nov. 1, 2005): link 

Editing the Blogosphere, Daniel J. Solove (Oct. 30, 2005): link 

Why Blogging Is Good, Daniel J. Solove (Oct. 6, 2005): link 

VIII. Conglomerate

(Sigh) Women & Blogging, Part 72, Christine Hurt (Jan. 8, 2006): link

To Delete or Not to Delete?, Christine Hurt (Oct. 30, 2005): link

Improving on the Perfection of Blogs, Christine Hurt (Aug. 2, 2005): link

IX. Crooked Timber

Blogging and Tenure, Henry Farrell (Jan. 10, 2006): link 

Academic Blogging, Brian Weatherson (Sept. 14, 2005): link 

Blogging and Academic Jobs, Henry Farrell (Sept. 14, 2005): link 

X. DanielDrezner [Political Science]

So I See There’s An Article in Slate, Daniel Drezner (Nov. 18, 2005): link 

So Friday was a Pretty Good Day…, Daniel Drezner (Nov. 5, 2005): link 

Seven Days Later…, Daniel Drezner (Oct. 14, 2005): link

So Friday Was a Pretty Bad Day, Daniel Drezner (Oct. 8, 2005): link 

Grad students: no blogs allowed, Daniel Drezner (July 8, 2005): link 

Can academics be bloggers? Daniel Drezner (Mar. 13, 2005): link 

Here Goes Nothing, Daniel Drezner (Sept. 10, 2002): link 

XI. Ideoblog

Blogging: distraction from what?, Larry Ribstein (Jan. 9, 2006): link 

Blogging and scholarly productivity, Larry Ribstein (Oct. 11, 2005): link 

Blogging, tenure and the incentives of tenure committees, Larry Ribstein (Oct. 11, 2005): link 

The Drezner tenure denial, Larry Ribstein (Oct. 11, 2005): link

Do Bloggers Just Want to Have Fun?, Larry Ribstein (Aug. 2, 2005): link 

Blogging and tenure, Larry Ribstein (June 22, 2005): link 

Blogging as academic publishing, Larry Ribstein (Apr. 12, 2005): link 

February 23, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Academic Blogging (3)

XII. Insider Higher Ed.com

Notes from the Underground, Scott McLemee (Jan. 18, 2006): link 

XIII. Instapundit

Blogging and Legal Scholarship, Glenn Reynolds (Jan. 8, 2006): link 

Misconceptions, Glenn Reynolds (Sept. 6, 2004): link 

Can a Blog Entry Count as Scholarship, Glenn Reynolds (June 17, 2003): link 

Little Things, Glenn Reynolds (Tech Central Station) (Feb. 20, 2002): link 

XIV. JohnHawks.net [Anthropology]

Hawks in Slate on blogging and tenure, John Hawks (Nov. 17, 2005): link 

XV. Legal Theory Blog

Blogging, Legal Scholarship, and Academic Careers, Larry Solum (Jan. 9, 2006): link

XVI. Leiter Reports

Is the Internet Hurting Scholarship?, Brian Leiter (Apr. 20, 2005): link

Posner on blogs, Brian Leiter (Dec. 6, 2004): link

More on Academic Credit for Blogging, Brian Leiter (Jan. 9, 2004): link

Academic Credit for Law Blogging?, Brian Leiter (Jan. 9, 2004): link

XVII. PrawfsBlawg

Scholarship or Distraction?, Dan Markel (Jan. 9, 2006): link 

More thoughts about blogs as a law professor’s medium, Doug Berman (Aug. 3, 2005): link 

Topical versus generalist blogging, Kaimi Wenger (Aug. 2, 2005): link 

More on the academic value of blogging, Rick Garnett (Aug. 2, 2005): link 

Bloggership? On Blogs as Scholarship and Academic Blogging, Daniel Solove (Aug. 2, 2005): link 

How might we improve blogs as an academic medium?, Doug Berman (Aug. 1, 2005): link 

Blogs and Academic Disciplines, Ron Wright (July 29, 2005): link 

Blogarship? Scholarlog?, David Zaring (July 6, 2005): link 

Law Professor Blogger Census (Version 2.0), Daniel Solove (June 16, 2005): link 

Should Law Schools Subsidize Blogging? For SSRN’s sake?, Dan Markel (Apr. 12, 2005): link 

XVIII. Professor Bainbridge

Blogging and Tenure, Stephen Bainbridge (Oct. 13, 2005): link 

Bloggers Just Wanna Have Fun, Stephen Bainbridge (Aug. 1, 2005): link 

Academic credit for blogging, Stephen Bainbridge (Jan. 7, 2004): link 

Blogging as Academic Work, Stephen Bainbridge (Aug. 3, 2005): link 

XIX. Slate

Attack of the Career-Killing Blogs, Robert S. Boynton (Nov. 16, 2005): link

XX. TaxProf Blog

Blogging: Scholarship or Distraction?, Paul Caron (Jan. 8, 2006): link 

XXI. The Volokh Conspiracy

Blogging and Scholarship, Randy Barnett (Jan. 9, 2006): link 

Lawprof Blogging: Scholarship or Distraction?, Orin Kerr (Jan. 8, 2006): link 

Boynton on Academic Blogging, Orin Kerr (Nov. 16, 2005): link 

Drezner’s Denial and Academic Blogging, Juan Non-Volokh (pseud.) (Oct. 9, 2005): link 

Why Blogs Will Not Replace Law Reviews, Orin Kerr (July 6, 2005): link 

Query on Blogs and Legal Scholarship, Orin Kerr (July 5, 2005): link 

Blogging and Blog-Reading – Why and Why Not?, Eugene Volokh (Apr. 8, 2005): link 

The Future of Legal Scholarship?, Orin Kerr (Feb. 10, 2005): link 

Are Blogs and SSRN Changing Legal Scholarship?, Orin Kerr (June 4, 2003): link

February 23, 2006 in Academic Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Temporary Hiatus

Earlier today I mentioned that I was ill, possibly with a bronchial infection. Well, it's gotten worse, and I'm actually writing this after getting back from the emergency room in the early morning. Nothing to be alarmed by, just a very nasty cough that won't let me sleep. So I've been prescribed some antibiotics and other medication. Most likely I will be taking it easy and not posting for the rest of the day. I'll resume posting tomorrow (Thursday). Thanks for coming.

February 22, 2006 in Previews | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Update to Blog Usurpation

I mentioned earlier about an archived blog post from the Volokh Conspiracy that was taken over by another entity, “SEO Reviewer.”  A Massachusetts court case cites what appears to be the Volokh archives, but actually the website is in the hands of someone else. Fortunately it’s only a citation for a satirical song. The entity which has usurped the Volokh archives has not (other than the URL) pretended to be Volokh. While “SEO Reviewer” has done something improper and perhaps illegal, any reader who goes there will know that the host of the website has changed, and the content is no longer that which was cited by the court.

But what if the usurping entity was more deceptive and manipulative? And what if a court referred to the fake Volokh archives not for a song, but for the analysis of a statute? Although it would no doubt be rare, and certainly actionable, there’s always the chance that someone might take advantage of a defunct URL by usurping the website, claiming to be the original owner, and then exhibiting false content. And a court case citing that URL could become inadvertently complicit in a deception.

All of this brings up the obvious question: What should we do about URL’s in actual court opinions that become inaccurate? What if a court cites to something online, and the address changes? In the Volokh example it was only a song, but what if a court cites to something more substantial, such as an important document (as in the Booker case mentioned here)? It may not matter so much if it is just a satire being cited, but if it is something more important, there needs to be a way to verify that the source remains precise.

It is problematic enough if a URL becomes defunct for “natural” causes, i.e. a website changes its format, old material is automatically archived, a server goes out of business, etc. But the song citation example reveals a deeper potential problem. What if the URL is taken over by someone who keeps the address in order to attract visitors to his own material? Even worse, what if the original content is kept but manipulated in some way, so that a reader who follows the case citation will think the online source is still valid? Again, this would be very rare, but it could happen. And court opinions can’t afford to leave open that possibility.

One obvious solution to these problems would be for courts to employ people who constantly verify that any citations to online sources remain accurate. Perhaps this would be something that could be added to the ordinary duties of a judicial clerkship, provided it is not too time-consuming. The courts themselves would police their own decisions and make certain that cited URL’s have not become outdated, and the online content has not been changed. If it is discovered that a URL is no longer valid, then some parenthetical insertion could be made in the actual case indicating this to the reader.

This approach of courts employing people to verify online sources would ensure that the cases stay accurate in their citations. This is especially important in a world where blog archives can be taken over and used by someone else. If a court employee were to find that an online source is not accurate, he could leave the original URL in the text, and then insert a bracketed statement indicating that this URL is no longer valid. If there is an alternative location online for the material being cited, a new URL could be named.

Most people in the legal profession would reject the very concept of a retroactive change to a court opinion.  But if we are merely speaking of updating the URL of an online citation, I’m not sure there is any convincing reason to avoid making the correction. Is there any harm in letting the reader of a case know that a cited URL is no longer accurate, and that a different source for the information exists (or does not exist) elsewhere? At least for the electronic versions of cases, such as those on Westlaw and Lexis, it seems peculiar not to update the online citations, provided that any changes from the original are conspicuous.

I’d be interested to know if readers consider this a realistic idea.

Incidentally, the song which began this discussion is available at the “official” Volokh archives here. It was originally posted by Temple professor David Post.

Sean Sirrine said more about the song in his comments here. I remember hearing the original (Turtles) song on an “oldies” station when I was in junior high school. Now “oldies” stations play music from the 80’s. Ancient at 35.

February 21, 2006 in Blog Usurpation | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Law Reviews Adapt to New Era (WSJ)

This article from the Wall Street Journal, Law Reviews Adapt to New Era, is a must-read regarding the transitional stage we are now in, as older forms of legal scholarship give way to blogs and online resources. Here are a few choice quotes from the article:

For years, publishing in journals has been a prerequisite to getting tenure or to moving to a more prestigious institution. And for just as long, scholars and laypeople have criticized the stultifying style of legal academic articles, which tend to be extraordinarily long (sometimes 100 pages or more), dense, and endlessly -- even sadistically -- footnoted.

But the most recent wave of criticism has been especially costly to the legal journals. More than any other time in the past, law professors are looking beyond law reviews, moving relevant and timely commentary to the Internet and the blogosphere.


The focus of much current scholarship -- theoretical work with no real application for judges, practitioners, or policymakers -- has reduced the audience for it outside the legal academy. Hard statistics on law review readership are hard to come by, but anecdotal evidence suggests that practitioners simply don't pay much attention to them these days.


The law reviews are also turning to another strategy -- moving content to the Internet -- to boost readership. The law schools at Harvard and Yale, for instance, have both introduced special web-based supplements to their print publications.

At the same time, some newer journals have jettisoned print publication altogether and are operating purely as online publications. Much like web-based publications outside of the law, they're geared toward briefer, more timely writings.

…These days, quite often a law professor will read, criticize, and even cite drafts of an article posted on SSRN before it appears in final form in a law review. The result is that law reviews are, in the minds of some, beginning to feel like yesterday's news.

The debate about law reviews isn't simply academic. Rather, the issue puts into question the role of what professors should do when they're not teaching. "Legal scholarship is at a crossroads," says Ethan Leib, a young professor aiming for tenure at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. "The question we're asking is: Is our job to advance knowledge through contributions to academic journals, or is it to contribute to the public conversation about law?"

February 21, 2006 in Blogs and Law Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Advice for 1L’s

Someone came here via Google by searching for “Advice for 1L’s.” This brought the reader to my post on 1L Blues. That same Google search also led to other helpful blog posts. I am listing a collection here from Letters of Marque. While it is mainly intended for 1L’s who are just beginning law school, it is still valid for students already proceeding full-speed ahead. I originally was going to copy and paste the items one by one, but after searching for most of them I found out that Blawg Wisdom already did the work for me here a year-and-a-half ago.

Heidi at Letters of Marque begins each post with the appropriate caveat that this is not “advice,” but simply a description of what worked for her. However, she clearly knows what she’s talking about, and her suggestions and experiences are well worth paying attention to. While I won’t necessarily endorse every single thing she says, I suspect that her first-year GPA is higher than mine. So here’s the collection:

1. Choosing a route

2. Reading a law school case (for the first time)

3. What to get from your classes

4. Being Socratic Bunny

5. Fun and Focus

6. Ladies and Gentleman, start your outlines

7. What's a "blueprint" anyways?

8. An incomplete list of generalized tips

9. The use of subjective knee-jerk reactions in law school

10. Exam Tips 1: Why IRAC Sucks

11. Exam Tips 2: Approaching the Question

12. Exam Tips 3: What you should get out of practice exams

February 21, 2006 in Advice for Law Students | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Posts Coming

I have several more posts coming, but I've come down with an illness (some kind of bronchial infection) so I rested this morning. I'll catch up later in the afternoon. You can file this in the "Thanks for telling me about your life, but I really didn't want to know that" department.

Visitors desiring something new should read Sean Sirrine's comments under the post immediately below. Thanks very much for all the info, Sean, and the compliment as well! I'll also have more to say about this particular example later, namely what to do about court citations to online sources with URL's that change, or even worse are taken over by an unknown entity.

There's also new comments under "Response to Prof. S" and "Response to Porten." One advantage of a blog is that the comments to previous posts can continue ad infinitum, leading to an ongoing discussion underneath the blog-surface. A disadvantage is that readers may not know about these new comments unless it's pointed out to them, because they're not inclined to re-read old posts.

Anyway, please stay tuned, same blog-time, same blog-channel.

February 21, 2006 in Previews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can Blogs be Usurped by Hostile Takeover?

An unusual district court case begins with this song, to the tune of “So Happy Together” by the Turtles.

“Imagine me as God. I do.

I think about it day and night.

It feels so right

To be a federal district judge and know that I'm

Appointed forever.

I was anointed by the President,

And revelation told him I was heaven-sent.

And Congress in their wisdom granted their consent.

Appointed forever.

I'm a federal judge

And I'm smarter than you

For all my life.

I can do whatever I want to do

For all my life.


Even at the very worst,

If you take me up to get reversed,

You'll have to get the circuit court to hear you first,

And that takes forever.”

Suboh v. Borgioli, 298 F. Supp. 2d 192, 194 (D. Mass. 2004).

What’s especially interesting is that, according to this case, these lyrics are available at http://volokh.blogspot.com/2003_04_13_volokh _archive.html#200154916.  But if you go to the online citation, you get a website entitled “SEO Reviewer,” which appears to be a collection of information about search engines. The posts collected there now are mainly about Google.

How did SEO Reviewer take over the URL to the Volokh archives? What process was involved? And are there any laws making such a takeover illegal (if done without consent)?

Nate Oman previously posted about this at Concurring Opinions here, and asked similar questions. One blogger commented: “I'm not sure how solid those claims are but I am pretty sure the ACPA extends to unregistered marks and personal names protectible as marks. Where the alleged infringer engages in no commercial activity (or engages in criticism) the claims are a bit tougher, but here, where driving traffic is the sole goal, courts may be more receptive.

If any reader knows more, please comment.

February 20, 2006 in Blog Usurpation | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Student RA's for Blogging Professors

I suggested here (and followed up here) that law students should consider working as a research assistant for a law professor who blogs. I corresponded with a number of such law professors. Below I am listing a few who liked this idea, some of whom already employ an RA for this purpose. I quote them with their permission. I would like to thank them and all of the other law professors who responded to my inquiries. 

Prof. Gerry W. Beyer (Texas Tech), Wills Trusts and Estates Prof Blog:

“I think research assistants can be a tremendous help to professors who run blogs. So far, I have used my RA to research some postings and to make postings when I am beyond the reach of computers. (I pre-write the postings and then she posts them at the appropriate times.) So, I would definitely encourage students to approach blogging professors!” 

Prof. Eric Goldman (Marquette), Technology & Marketing Law Blog: 

“I have already done this. See here, here, and here. [URL’s changed to “here.”] I would probably not work with any random student, but I plan to ask for student contributions and research help from time to time. I also have an ongoing relationship with a student who helps me with blog administration.”

Prof. Adam Kolber (San Diego), Neuroethics Blog:

“As a general matter, I think that student RAs can absolutely help with blogging.  My blog, however, lends itself to this a bit less because I don't post a whole lot of commentary, and I've been able to handle it myself pretty well.  But someday in the future, I might want to have a student help with the blog.” 

Prof. Tom Mayo (SMU), Health Law Prof Blog:

I would definitely pay a research assistant to help with my blog. I already pay for one to help with a weekly listserve message to the state bar Health Law Section, and I've paid for research help on my web pages, which have a couple thousand links.  First preference would be for an SMU student to help (and get paid with SMU funds), of course . . .

Prof. Eben Moglen (Columbia), Freedom Now Blog: 

“It's an interesting idea.  As people shift away from law reviews, as they must, other forms of ‘clerkship to scholarship’ will have to evolve, and this is one.” [Prof. Moglen also indicated that he himself is not in need of such an RA.]

Prof. Susan Smith (Willamette), Environmental Law Prof Blog:

I think that is a great idea. I'd love to have an RA available for this purpose.” 

February 20, 2006 in Futuristic Summer Job | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just What is a Blog, Anyway?

Here is an interesting article entitled, “Just what is a blog, anyway?”  It is from the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review, and was posted on Sept. 29, 2005. The article looks at blogging from a journalistic perspective, and traces the evolving definition of a “blog” in the context of developing technology.

Three excerpts:

[Jeff Jarvis:] “There is no need to define ‘blog.’ I doubt there ever was such a call to define ‘newspaper’ or ‘television’ or ‘radio’ or ‘book’ -- or, for that matter, ‘telephone’ or ‘instant messenger.’ A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list. People will use it however they wish. And it is way too soon in the invention of uses for this tool to limit it with a set definition. That’s why I resist even calling it a medium; it is a means of sharing information and also of interacting: It’s more about conversation than content ... so far. I think it is equally tiresome and useless to argue about whether blogs are journalism, for journalism is not limited by the tool or medium or person used in the act. Blogs are whatever they want to be. Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘blog’ is a fool’s errand.”

“I look at it as a hybrid medium somewhere between broadcast and print,” [Eric] Zorn says. “It strives for the immediacy of broadcast, with the elegance and accessibility of print. It’s very difficult for print people to get their minds around the idea of something with high standards but not as high as print. It’s OK to put something up on the Web with a typo -- and that’s not nearly the disaster if you do in print because you can go back and change it. Blogs also allow closer to real-time information commentary. There’s a debate going on out there about whether it’s a new medium or the old medium repackaged. At some point, all forms of communication come from the same stump in the ground.”

“We’re transforming from the traditional newspaper with an online component to a more cooperative newsgathering partnership between professionals on our staff and members of our community,” says [Lex] Alexander. “Blogs are an important tool but part of a larger mission. ... I think in the big picture, when the framers of the Constitution put in freedom of the press, blogs was what they had in mind. They understood freedom of the press not so much as a literal press but as a means of communication. Freedom of speech is the freedom to convey ideas by other means. Blogs are an individualized mechanism to do that.”

February 20, 2006 in Definitions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack