In preparation for my stint here at ConOp, I asked Dan S. whether there was any method for checking if the topic I was thinking about blogging about had been preempted by someone else’s blog post.
After all, in writing a formal law review article, the first item on the agenda is to do background research to see if your topic has been taken, done to death, or how you might best add to the literature that’s already out there. There’s certainly no sense in expending all the time and effort that goes into writing a full-length article only to have duplicated someone else’s work.
But with blogs, such a search is difficult. Yes, there is Google Blogsearch. But even narrowing it down somewhat, you come up with too many blogs to read. You can’t read all the law blogs on anything resembling a regular basis or check that someone three months ago didn’t write something similar. (I used to feel the same way when I would sit in front of a Bloomberg terminal and watch the stories come across the news services. It truly is a humbling encounter that makes one aware of one’s own bounded rationality).
Anyway, Dan S. also remarked that it doesn’t really matter if there are a few comments on the same thing in the blogosphere. I suppose he’s right – after all, there’s a dialogue out there, and so long as you’re adding to it, then it’s okay if you’re not the first to have made the point. If you’re giving appropriate credit if credit is due, no worries.
So, I realize this request is somewhat recursive, but if this is the millionth post on pre-emption in the blogosphere, will someone please tell me?