I watched the Internet Archive’s 25th Anniversary Show on Thursday evening. Incredibly inspiring show.
The Internet Archive provides free public access to a collection of digitized materials, including websites. Almost 500 billion web pages, including my law firm’s website of twenty-five years ago.
Listing to the Archive’s founder, Brewster Kahle, you realize how important an archive of information is to our society. Information provided in an historical fashion is how we function.
The Archive represents a mammoth library shared through infinite portals. A library of “open” published information, versus social media and other closed information sites.
I couldn’t help but think of the role that legal blogs and an archive of same play in our society.
The law is how we function in our society, the guard rails which prevent us from going off the road – or being taken off the road by those serving up misinformation or lobbying for laws only in their interests.
As lawyers, we interpret and shape the law. We provide the insight and commentary that helps the public, whether consumer, large corporation or another lawyer make sense of the law. We also keep the law open, as opposed to access being sold.
The only way lawyers keep this law open, arguably, is through blogging. Lawyers have an easy to use printing press at their desktop or in the palm of their hand.
And rather than putting out the dreck many lawyers publish with ghost writers having no personal experience in the law so as to achieve search rankings, we have passionate, experienced and caring lawyers share invaluable information that also shapes our law.
Absolutely critical for the perseveration of this information, commentary and insight – the law – we need an archive from which this body of law is preserved and remains open.
While the Internet Archive is twenty five years old, we have no archive of legal blogs.
Understandable, as legal blogs, while they represent the law, are solely looked at as marketing by most law firms and lawyers. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Credible legal publishing does have a marketing effect.
We’ve been stewing over an archive of legal blogs at LexBlog for a long time. Goes back to the early days of LexMonitor and to the current LexBlog.com site.
Ratcheting things up, LexBlog is now backing the Open Legal Blog Archive, a database of all credible blog posts, worldwide, that will be both open and syndicated to various portals, worldwide.
Legal information – and the law maintained in an open fashion for our society.
I couldn’t help but think about the Open Legal Blog Archive while watching the Internet Archive 25th Anniversary Show tonight.
We’re just a few years and few billion web pages behind.