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Blogger Does His Own Unscientific Survey, Finds Many Legal Blogs Die Young

Posted Aug 31, 2009 1:38 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: What is the life span of a legal blog? For many practitioners' blogs, it’s likely less than a year, according to a blogger who conducted his own unscientific survey.

Jones Day partner Mark Herrmann, writing for the Drug and Device Law Blog, says he became curious about the life expectancy of legal blogs when he noticed that the professors who oversaw Product Liability Prof Blog and the Civil Procedure Prof Blog had apparently given up their blogging duties. New professors are being sought to take over the work. He also recalled that two of his favorite new blogs had lasted only four months.

Herrmann decided to investigate. He checked out Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs, and plucked the last six blogs from the first page of the blogroll listings. When Herrmann visited the blogs, one had a last post in October, another in March and the third in June. His conclusion: Those three blogs had already met their demise. The other three were apparently still alive, although one of the bloggers had not posted anything for the month of August.

Herrmann acknowledges that his research isn’t precise. “But you get our drift. Legal blogs don't last,” he writes. “They require a ton of work; they gather readership only slowly over time; and they're not the gold mine of new business that blogolaters say they are.”

Tom Mighell, who writes the Inter Alia blog, says he has more precise statistics. Mighell has tracked 2,300 law blogs since 2000, and nearly half are still alive and kicking. The others, he told Lawyers USA, had a fairly decent average life span of one year and 10 months.

Updated on Sept. 1 to include Mighell's research.

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