16 July 2007

Bloggers' Get Together

Thanks to Barbara Fullerton, who got us organized and found a spot (Gordon Biersch Brew Pub), around thirty of us got together for the second annual Bloggers' Get Together. With various beers, sodas, and other beverages before us, we had a chance to meet each other, share some experiences, and talk about this new medium we have either tried or would like to try.

A special guest was Ernie Svenson, the thoughtful and witty New Orleans lawyer who founded and writes Ernie the Attorney.

Blogs represented included:

This group was just a fraction of law librarians who blog. Bonnie Shucha maintains a list of Law Library Blogs and Blogs by Law Librarians or Law Library Associations, now up to 117.

A few notes:

Karen Schneiderman (Drexel University School of Law) analogized legal blogs to something she witnessed as a child. She sometimes tagged along when he and other lawyers and judges in Akron got together, as they did every week, to have lunch at a round table and talk about their cases. Blogging can be a way to share information and ideas -- a new round table.

A few people from different remarked that they began their libraries' blogs because they were tired of formatting their print newsletters.

Lee Ryan added that she thought nobody was reading the newsletter. One test was that they started inserting the word "panda" in the middle of articles and no one noticed. Ernie Svenson had had a similar experience -- he and others put a lot of work into the firm's newsletter. And then at some point they discovered that the staff person who was supposed to mail it out hadn't done so. For two years. And no one had noticed.

Many people had found their audiences were different than originally expected. For instance, Lee and Amy at USF were writing for their own law school community but got hits from all over. They have also responded to search patterns: they'd had a few posts about how to survive the first year of law school that got lots of hits, so they intentionally created more content so those searchers would get a lot more when they reached the site.

People in our communities have different preferences about how they get information. Some like blogs, some would rather still see a print newsletter, some want email announcements, some only want to get information when they go out to search for it.

Many bloggers have found that blogging changes the way we read or take in information. It can help us focus. Several people said they blog partly to help themselves keep track of interesting material they have come across but would otherwise forget.

For more about law librarians and blogging, see Bonnie Shucha, The State of the Law Library Blogosphere, LLRX, Nov. 3, 2006 (winner of the ALL-SIS Outstanding Article award for 2007, by the way).


Barbara Fullerton said...

Thanks Mary for blogging this entry!

It was great to see the bloggers together and a special Thanks to Ernie, who is a wonderful speaker!

Karen said...

Thanks for the 5 seconds of fame.