Blogging and the Road Ahead: What Next?

future3.jpgBlogging is still in its developmental stage. Several of us here at Concurring Opinions have been thinking about ideas to try out in the future. We want to make this the most interesting blog it can be. Are there any nifty things we should be trying out?

At a very general level, I believe that most blogs have one or more of the following elements:

1. Content — providing information and opinion.

2. Links— providing links to interesting stuff on the Internet; serving as a useful filter and resource for locating material to read.

3. Community — developing a community; fostering extensive discussion among readers.

Many blogs combine all of these elements, but each blog has a different balance between them. How is our balance here at Concurring Opinions?

Blogging is an experimental and dynamic medium of communication. It is also interactive. So that’s why we’re posing these questions to you. What do you recommend for the future of Concurring Opinions? Are there possibilities we should be exploring? And more generally, are there possibilities in blogging that aren’t being explored sufficiently in the blogosphere?

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10 Responses

  1. Orin Kerr says:

    Don’t forget (4), stealing copyrighted pictures.

  2. Doug B. says:

    As developed in posts while guest-blogging at PrawfsBlawg, I’d like to improve the blog for to be a more effective academic medium (for those who wish to use the medium this way):

    See

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2005/08/how_might_we_im.html

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2005/08/more_thoughts_a.html

  3. Mike says:

    Funny you should mention this. I have post (still in draft form) entitled: “Doing Everything Right: Concurring Opinions.” Maybe I should finish it.

    In the meantime, let me mention that the (almost total) lack of political hackery is a big benefit. Though the contributors here are liberal, your group is not (for the most part) whiny liberals. (Bush is like so evil, dude!) And almost all posts lack a political slant. There are enough hacks in the blogging world. Being a hack (Bush is evil, but Janet Reno was such a great person!) will raise your stats (I’m not going to mention what blog is Exhibit A for that proposition), so I hope you don’t become hack for the sake of more readers.

    I haven’t seen Paul Gowder around lately. (Paul has a blog, but for some reason, he is a much better commenter than blogger.) When he’s active in the comments, I check out Con. Op. several times a day. When he’s quiet, I go a whole day or two without reading. He sees to help tighten up the contributors’ arguments.

    I hope you don’t add any additional contributors – unless it’s Orin Kerr. Some blogs have “too many voices,” and that gets annoying.

  4. Nate Oman says:

    Mike: I am not sure to what extent I qualify as a liberal, except perhaps in the technical philosophical sense, given that I used to work for GOP Senator…

  5. Mike says:

    Nate: No offense intended. Anyhow, you tend to blog about law books and buildings, so I think of you as apolitical.

  6. Ann Bartow says:

    I’d disagree with Mike and suggest you think about adding some female contributors.

  7. Law Student '06 says:

    Shouldn’t bloggers be chosen for their intellect and insights, rather than an immutable characteristic, like gender?

  8. Ann Bartow says:

    That would depend on how one views concepts like “community” in the context of “law, the universe and everything.”

  9. Bill Sjostrom says:

    Dan: Would you mind responding to Orin Kerr’s comment, i.e, what are the copyright considerations of pulling pictures off other websites?

  10. Simon says:

    I haven’t seen Paul Gowder around lately. (Paul has a blog, but for some reason, he is a much better commenter than blogger.) When he’s active in the comments, I check out Con. Op. several times a day. When he’s quiet, I go a whole day or two without reading. He sees to help tighten up the contributors’ arguments.

    I agree with this. I can’t think of many things on which Paul and I agree, but he’s always ready with something interesting and thought-provoking.

    I think what I mainly read PrawfsBlawg and Concurring Opinions for is the opinion of the writers; sometimes I’ll find a link to a news story I’ve not seen elsewhere, but mainly the interest is in what our hosts have to say, and what interesting thoughts come up in the comments. I think that blogs which don’t have comments sections, or even blogs with almost entirely inactive comment sections – even ones where the writers have some very interesting things to say – are less interesting, because they lack firstly the interplay of viewpoint diversity, but also because people write a better quality of blog if they can be publically corrected and challenged in the comments section.