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The death of the blog : Long live the law blog

December 26, 2013


There has been discussion the last few weeks about the change in blogs? Some even asking whether the blog is dying, a question asked each year.

Veteran blogger, Jason Kottke (@jkottke), had a great piece last week entitled, The Blog is Dead, Long Live the Blog.

Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice. Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.

Unlike the early days of blogging, we have publishing to Medium and Tumblr and sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

We also have publishers making major investments in online media beyond just the blog.

Instead of launching blogs, companies are building mobile apps, Newsstand magazines on iOS, and things like The Verge. The Verge or Gawker or Talking Points Memo or BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post are no more blogs than The New York Times or Fox News, and they are increasingly not referring to themselves as such.

Most of these media have the fingerprints of blogs all over them. Major publishers use blog software, whether MovableType (Huffington Post) or WordPress (CNN, NBC Sports, NY Post, Time, Dow Jones, New York Times). The concept of the ‘average person’ citing, sharing, and linking all came from blogs.

Without blogs driving insight and commentary from thought leaders onto short form social media, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ would be much less rich. There are over 200 million blogs being published. That’s a lot of content to be shared socially.

Sure there’s been a change in blogging over the last 10 years. What hasn’t changed in that time? We’re empowering law firm magazines, social media networks, intranets at LexBlog today. Much of this new development parallels the online media development from major media companies. I envisioned nothing like it when LexBlog started.

But blogs are the heart of online publishing, especially for lawyers. Without learning how to share one’s insight and commentary in this new medium in a proper way (conversational, linking, engaging, brevity), lawyers are excluded from both the advancement of law and making the law more accessible to people (corporations or consumers).

The motivation to remain relevant and be recognized as a reliable and trusted authority is more than enough to motivate lawyers. Being cited by major publishers, other bloggers, law reviews (in the form of blogs), and, ultimately, the courts is all the motivation good lawyers will need to keep blogging — and to start blogging.

As Kottke says,

The Stream might be on the wane but still it dominates. All media on the web and in mobile apps has blog DNA in it and will continue to for a long while.

Especially for lawyers.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Karyn Christner.

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