Around the Blawgosphere

What's the upshot of the Google Reader shutdown for bloggers and the rest of the (not) free world?

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When Google announced that it was shutting down Google Reader, its RSS feed reader Legal Blog Watch’s Bruce Carton was, as he put it, part of the “1 percent of the world looked and reacted as if the veterinarian had just said that their dog had only a few months left to live.” And he thinks that many members of that 1 percent are bloggers like himself.

“Why do bloggers care about RSS feeds, and, specifically, Google Reader?” he asks. “Quite simply (unless you are Scott Greenfield), most humans and legal bloggers are incapable of sitting down at a computer and repeatedly coming up with ideas for intelligent, interesting posts. Yes, you may be able to do it for a day or a week or possibly even a couple of weeks, but blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. Can you do it every day for several years? I don’t think so. … So please excuse me and my fellow legal bloggers while we mourn and possibly whine about this a bit.”

Meanwhile, techdirt’s Mike Masnick noted an email he received from someone from China saying that “the Great Firewall doesn’t block Google Reader—so that’s his one way of reading outside news” that isn’t censored. “And today, European MEP Marietje Schaake tweeted nearly the same thing about Iran.”

But Canadian legal marketing consultant Steve Matthews writes at Vancouver Law Librarian Blog that he didn’t think Google Reader was so great, anyway—it’s user interface was frustrating.

“Here’s a better way to look at all this: Google is releasing its hold on RSS,” Matthews wrote. “The monopoly is done. (It’s always a monopoly when Google is involved. Who wants to compete?) … And that reopens the market again. To innovation, and to competition.”

LexThinkers announced

After a period of voting, the speakers for LexThink.1—an event at which 10 speakers will give 6-minute presentations during which the slides behind them will be forwarded every 18 seconds. The event is part of ABA TECHSHOW and takes place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at the Hilton Chicago.

There are a few active legal bloggers among the ranks of presenters. Listed here with the titles of their presentations:

Dan Pinnington: “Legal Services in a Global Village”
Sarah Glassmeyer: “Disruption in Publishing”
Chad E. Burton: “The Future of Virtual Law”
Mark Britton: “LegalZoom is Eating Legal’s Lunch”

Start spreading the news

The U.S. News & World Report rankings came out this week, making it a big one for law school deans everywhere.

“The annual ‘let’s figure out what to say in our press release’ dilemma begins,” University of Nevada-Las Vegas Law School dean Nancy Rapoport wrote at her eponymous blog. She jokingly suggested a template for schools to consider that started like this:

Dear [stakeholder or possible donor]:

We are pleased to tell you that our law school ranking

• increased more than we expected
• increased a negligible amount, but we’re going to tout the change as if it were huge
• went down far enough that we’ve called in sick for the foreseeable future
• went down a negligible amount that will provide us with a disproportionate amount of grief for far too long
• stayed the same

And continues for a few more grafs. “Of course, it’s easier for me to write a post like this one given that we did just fine in the rankings,” Rapoport wrote. UNLV was in the No. 76 spot last year and rose to No. 68 this year. “But some of the press releases that are pouring in are just too funny to ignore.”

This is the press release her school ultimately came up with.

Hat tip: Above the Law.

Last updated April 2.

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