December 2, 2009

Orin Kerr notes a convergence of lawprof blogging and lawprof scholarship.

"Back in 2005 and 2006, a lot of law-professor bloggers wondered whether blog posts could and would serve as ways to advance scholarly ideas about law. At the time, I was very skeptical... and I now think my old self was wrong....  In the past five years, legal blogs have become an acknowledged and accepted part of the world of legal scholarship.... It might be because more law professors are blogging. It might be because our experience has been that what profs say on their blogs is usually the same as what they say in their articles.... [T]here seems to be more of a convergence between scholarly blogging and 'traditional' law review articles today than existed 4 or 5 years ago. That convergence encourages more scholarly blogging and recognizes its value."

All that may be true, but I still maintain, as I did back then, that blogs are a distinct form that offers the opportunity to write in new, challenging, artistic ways. Reading Orin's post reminds me to think of myself as a true blogger, not a professor taking advantage of a device to push out scholarship. Of course, I want credit and regard for my writing here, but because it is different, not because it is the same.

17 comments:

Paddy O. said...

I'm curious how you see this blog affecting your scholarship?

Does the conversation provoke different streams of thought which you pursue in a more rigorous way? Do you sketch ideas out here that show up in your teaching or formal writing?

That you don't use this for your scholarship doesn't necessarily mean this isn't a useful tool your scholarship is aided by. Most of us here don't know Professional Althouse, so I'd be curious to hear how it contributes. And maybe it has a unique contribution because it is not purposefully about Law. Artistic expression is hard to keep within neat little boundaries.

OhioAnne said...

I used to teach a business law class at a community college despite not being a lawyer. I started reading Instapundit, Althouse and a few others because I found their names when I googled various cases.

I enjoyed the back and forth discussion between the various sites on the merits of various rulings. It allowed me to provide various viewpoints on cases in a form that was understandable to the layman.

Since I no longer teach the class, I have given up on sites that are devoted strictly to law review, but continued with the ones that just occasionally delve into case review.

For what I needed at the time, it worked very well.

peter hoh said...

I knew a scholar (not law) who used her blog to engage with people who disagreed with her, and I think this helped her refine her arguments.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Your writing is certainly worthy of credit for the extent to which it combines opinion with fiction. I don't think any artist has pushed that boundary quite so far as you have. For that you deserve recognition and the regard of a devoted political fan-base that operates in the same psychological fashion!

Keep it up and good luck going against Turley!

(I actually mean it! If it weren't for this blog - and I do find it interesting - my appreciation for honesty and rationalism would suffer. People really do believe what they want to believe and it's good to have a platform for sorting that out with debate among people with clearly divergent epistemologies).

traditionalguy said...

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17 The ideas of others which we encounter lead us along into an Educated Place. So the ideas of so many and varied others that we encounter at the Althouse Blog Salon are very educational. Thanks again for your open door policy.

traditionalguy said...

"No one wants advice, only corroboration", said John Steinbeck. That quote is for Ritmo.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I'm glad I have both you and the more vituperative commenters here to sharpen my iron, Traditional Guy.

Seriously.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I also agree with more of your approach and your ideas than you probably know.

I apparently don't always agree on how to react to those observations, though.

But I respect your wisdom.

Chip Ahoy said...

... and now I think my old self was wrong ...

That's an odd phrasing, in'nit? Here on the timeline, your oldest self and your newest self are at the same latest point.

I'm afraid I got stuck on that and then started thinking about heading out to the aquarium shop.

Tony O. said...

I want credit and regard for my writing here...

Academic credit?! If so, thanks for the biggest laugh I've had in a long, long time.

c3 said...

Is this a legal blog!?

Why do I feel like this guy.

m00se said...

I would encourage you to write a book or two, or sell your photos - then you'll have acheived parity with those other *important* bloggers...

Ann Althouse said...

@Tony O I already graduated. Quite a while back. I don't need academic credits. I don't even need CLE credits.

Joe said...

At The Volokh Conspiracy, it seems that Eugene Volokh and even Orin Kerr often use blog postings as a way to express ideas for which they are still working out the intellectual kinks. I actually enjoy this since it often raises challenging questions without being too didactic.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucid said...

@Althouse:

I agree that your blog is very distinct from a legal blog, which is why the ABA contest with Turley et al. seems a bit beside the point. I have several times thought about what you do in comparison to what Maureen Dowd does. She writes a couple of times a week, a few hundred words, mostly marginally amusing snark and contempt. You pour out ideas every day while, I assume, you go about the rest of what I would take to be a reasonably demanding professional life. Dowd probably gets a salary consistent with Sulzberger's conception of his own importance--in other words, inflated. I would bet you earn not all that much from your blogging even though you turn out more ideas, wit, and amusement in a day than Dowd does in a month.

Is this another reason the old business model of newspapers is doomed? And don't get me started on Frank Rich.

I heard someone say tonight that the threee leading media spokesmen for the "intellectual" left these days are a comedian (Jon Stewart), a drama critic (Frank Rich), and a sportscaster (Keith Olbermann). It is no wonder they are confused.

Peter Friedman said...

an't a blog be an artistic endeavor, a scholarly endeavor, a combination of the 2, or something else altogether?

It hardly seems to me that Althouse exhausts the genre. There are plenty of legal blogs that advance scholarship and legal education. I would agree that Althouse is not one of those