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BlawgWorld 2006 gets mixed reviews : Needs to be posted in blog format

TechnoLawyer, a well respected source for information on technology and the law, has published a free pdf ebook called BlawgWorld 2006. It’s billed as a sample of blog posts from 51 leading legal blogs.
Blawg Review, which regularly reviews the highs and lows of legal blogs, offers this on BlawgWorld.

It’s an excellent little eBook, and just one more good reason to become a member of TechnoLawyer. But the pdf format has its limitations, and the jury is still out whether the book itself might have overstated the import of these “thought-provoking essays from the most influential blawgs.” That bit of puffery seems to have been edited to “51 of the most influential legal blogs” in the covering email, and also on the TechnoLawyer Blog. Like many publications printed on paper, this eBook succumbs to the temptation to call what is, at best, representative of this year, the best of next year. …..While this eBook is an interesting marketing idea for TechnoLawyer, the value seems limited by the format and the delivery conditions. The concept of putting a previously published blog post, hand-picked by a writer selected by a publisher, on a pdf and making it available behind password registration on the publisher’s website, seems overly self-interested. And, quid pro quo, presenting the writers’ posts in a self-described collection of “the most influential blawgs” seems to take the concept of vanity publishing to a whole new level of tech savvy.

Don’t get us wrong. We’ve been known to encourage a reasonable amount of self-promotion by law bloggers on Blawg Review. The differences are that law blog posts submitted by the open market of blawg writers, or recommended by our regular readers, for inclusion in Blawg Review each week are more current. And their relevance is assessed by peer-review by a different host each week, rather than by a publisher at an annual publication date.

I’ll concede, I have not read BlawgWorld. Although I am a member of TechnoLawyer (must be member to get copy), I do not see a way for members to get more than a one post sample of BlawgWorld from the TechnoLawyer blog or Website.

But I agree with Blawg Review, why would one publish a rehash of what may be excellent blog posts in pdf format? It would be a heck of a lot better to put the posts in a blog, if anywhere. If it’s to get the lawyers who contributed posts to BlawgWorld to tell people on the Internet to join TechnoLawyer, then it worked. I have seen numerous lawyer blogs post announcement of BlawgWorld with a link to a page that prompts one to join TechnoLawyer.

From the standpoint of adding subscribers to TechnoLawyer’s newsletters and in turn the amount companies pay to advertise on the newsletters, BlawgWorld is a wonderful marketing idea. But Like Blawg Review, I question the format and it’s true value.

And if anyone knows how TechnoLawyer members get a copy via the TechnoLawyer site, let me know.

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