April 15, 2015
On the 10th Anniversary of the Blawgosphere (Happy Anniversary, Prawfsblawg)
Posted by Christine Hurt

Over at Prawfsblawg, contributors are posting about their memories of blogging from the past ten years.  I thought I would add mine here.  

Gordon and I began Conglomerate in November 2004 after combining/abandoning our two "weblogs," BizFems Speak!  (wince) and Venturpreneur.  I'm sure I won't get this all right, but the other blawgers on the block were Volokh Conspiracy, Bainbridge, Ideoblog (Larry Ribstein), The Right Coast, Leiter Reports, Crescat Sententia (then law student Will Baude and others), Sentencing Law & Policy,  Crooked Timber (ok, economists), and a handful of others.  Then came Prawfsblawg.  Then Concurring Opinions. Then my Marquette colleage Eric Goldman's Technology & Marketing Blog.  Not to mention the Law Professors Blog Network (Paul Caron).  Then everybody.  I wrote with nostalgia about 2005:

Blawgosphere 2005 was like a freshman dorm.  I felt like I was great friends with all sorts of law professors, and we all sort of new about each other, just from the blog.  We knew what Steve had for dinner and Orin linked to a picture of my dog.  Sure, we all had different specialties, but we were thrown together for intramural sports and mixers.  On our blogs, we spent a lot of time talking to each other just about law school in general.  Now, we're like in graduate school.  We each focus on our own stuff, and link to primary sources in our field.  We link to each other occasionally, out of nostalgia, but not often.  Back then, we had a lot of conversations that were rarely discussed in big groups:  getting into law school, going through the meat market, whether students should be on law review, whether students should clerk, what the standard course package was, etc.  One of our posts that got the most traffic was on blind grading!  But now, these discussions seem stale.  Do we really need to have another round of "where are the women bloggers?" or "what should professors wear to class" or "what do you call your students?"  It's almost like your freshmen buddies asking you five years later "Is Goofy a dog?" and you think, "Didn't we already cover this?"

I remember going to Law & Society in 2005 in Las Vegas, and it was like a family reunion with cousins I hadn't seen since childhood, even though I had never met them in person.  Suddenly, even though I was teaching in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I had colleagues across the country it would have taken me years to meet through going to conferences.  It was a little weirder meeting readers, where the informational asymmetry was real -- they knew what movie I went to last week, but I didn't know their names.  Still, I loved it.  I loved the camaraderie and the fellowship.

Of course, Danny Markel was a big part of that camaraderie, and many of the anniversary posts at Prawfs are dedicated to his memory.  And, of course, Larry Ribstein.  I unwittingly picked a fight in the blawgosphere with Larry Ribstein, and he recommended me for a job.  The rest is history.  

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