June 30, 2005
On Big Box Blogs and Boutique Blogs
Posted by Christine Hurt

Many people today are interested in Brian Leiter's post defending of his blogging style, but I'm more interested in the post a little above that one.  In August, Brian is moving part of his blog to a different blog, which will be under the Paul Caron Law Professor Blogs umbrella.  He is moving the law gossip part of his blog, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of his blog.  Brian's readership is large and diverse, but there's probably a big chunk of law professors/students and a big chunk of philosophy professors/students, and he's moving the part of his blog that is probably interesting to only one of those chunks.

I have had a conversation on this topic of topical blogs with many other bloggers.  Conglomerate is, well, a conglomerate.  We generally post of corporate law and business topics, but we also have the occasional (or not so occasional) movie post or cheese post.  We post a bit about the legal academy and law schools.  Some people have told me that they read only one of those groups, but I like them all together.  I don't mind having a larger group of readers, even if not all of them read all of the blog.  I read a lot of group blogs, and I skim over some things.  It doesn't bother me, and I don't think it would bother the blogger.  And sometimes I even get thinking about topics I never think about.

My colleague Eric Goldman runs two blogs:  one for IP topics, and one for more general observations on life, law practice or law school.  He argues that his IP readers, who are not all lawyers/law students, would be annoyed weeding through the other stuff.  Some bloggers have explained to me that folding in the other light-hearted stuff may get you more readers, but maybe not the serious readers you want.  I'm not sure there's any kind of reader I don't want.

I'd be interested to know what other bloggers/readers think about full-service blogs v. boutique blogs.  What is the future of blogging?  Consolidation?  Niche blogs?  Associated, but separate blogs?  Franchise blogs?

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