Although a handful of UK law bloggers were active before 2006, it was only then that the UK blawgosphere started to take off. Since then, new law blogs have continued to appear at the rate of about one a week.
On infolaw I catalogue all known UK law blogs (plus a small number of notable overseas blawgs and blawg directory sites). Currently there are 132 listings (125 UK law blogs). More than half of these are hosted by Google’s Blogger: 57 resolve to blogspot.com, 8 to wordpress.com and 8 to typepad.com; the remainder resolve to 57 other unique domains, though a number of these are nevertheless hosted by one of the big three blog services.
What trends do I see? New blawgs continue to appear at a steady rate – no great rush, but no significant falling-off either. It is noticeable that those who have been blogging for a while are (on average and with several notable exceptions) posting slightly less frequently; they are also tending to focus more on their core interests, with less posting about peripheral topics and less navel gazing. In other words, these blogs have matured.
As noted recently by Nearly Legal, there are several bloggers who have simply stopped posting or deleted their blogs or moved them elsewhere without so much as a by your leave. This I cannot understand. You have spent time creating and maintaining a blog and in building up a network of blog friends; the least you can do for yourself and out of respect for the rest of us is leave a forwarding address or tell us why you’ve stopped blogging. Leaving us with a stale last post or dumping us on a “page not found” are guaranteed to leave a poor impression.
For many, blogging is largely about self-satisfaction: getting it off their chest, stirring it up, getting feedback, learning from others; some use it more directly to promote their expertise and engage potential clients and associates. Whatever your purpose, blogging is a form of networking, putting you in touch with new people, sharing new information and insights and (if you do it right) earning you kudos and new business.
The novelty of blogging has worn off and the hype has died down. That’s a good thing. Blogging has become normal and newcomers will continue to see its benefits as part of the broader Web 2.0 movement. I don’t foresee any explosion of law blogs per se, but blogging will continue to grow and blog-like functions will increasingly be incorporated into all websites.