Existentialism and Legal Blogging

Recently, I found myself engaged in conversation with a past – and possibly future – legal blogger. The person in question – a lawyer who once regularly maintained a legal blog – had decided to abandon his site, perhaps due to lack of interest, perhaps due to lack of time. However, during the conversation, this former blogger revealed that he ultimately wished to return to the legal blogosphere. He had recently wiped the archives of his former blog from his site, but he wished to start anew with a fresh perspective and approach.

The dilemma: How to do so? And if so, when? It’s hard out there for seasoned blog writers and editors. As we here at Abnormal Use previously noted:

The enthusiasm of a new law blogger is unparalleled.  When a lawyer decides to blog, he or she has much to say and to offer potential readers.  Often, the new legal blogger already has several – perhaps even half a dozen – potential posts in mind.  In fact, it is that initial multitude of post ideas which prompts the desire to create a blog in the first place.  But, inevitably, as days pass, weeks go by, and weeks become months, the initial joy of blogging – like most other things that once made us happy – becomes a chore.  Sadly, the once promising blog evolves from a labor of love to a non-billable business development task, which typically falls to the bottom of the stack.  After all, non-billable work – particularly tasks which do not involve direct contact with actual or potential clients – must come second, third, or even fourth to other such plans.  This is why so many blogs die early deaths and why the legal blogosphere is full of blog graveyards.

As noted above, the issue confronted by this legal blogger is similar to those who wish to start their first blog, as well. The task of creating a site and regularly contributing to it is daunting. We, as lawyers and writers, tend to think of a blog post as a tedious task on our daily checklist; something that we must stop what we are otherwise doing in order to place ourselves in front of the computer, stare at a blank screen, and hope above all things that a topic materializes in our mind. But as we have noted before, it is a much easier task than that.

We, as lawyers, have a myriad potential posts in us. Any anecdote, complaint, legal pet peeve, war story, or off-hand thought on the latest court opinion can itself become a blog post. Any story that we have told at a party, over dinner, or at lunch with colleagues is fodder for a legal blog. Further, one’s immediate – or reasoned – reaction to another’s blog post is, itself, a potential blog post. In fact, it may be that once a lawyer begins to think of all of these things as blog posts that many such topics will come naturally.

Here at Abnormal Use, we have certainly utilized this approach. In addition to covering the latest products liability court opinions, we also discuss the perils of pop culture references at depositions, legal pet peeves, the existential dilemma prompted by one’s temporary loss of an iPad, and Foursquare check-in’s at state and federal courthouses. Of course, we have also written about the state and federal products liability jurisprudence, social media discovery, and the latest recall news. But’s all fair game and good blog fodder.

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