And Then There Was One
January 15, 2020 § 10 Comments
Back when I started this blog in 2010, there were some entertaining, informative Mississippi lawyer blogs that I read regularly. These were on my regular reading list:
Ipse Blogit was Jim Craig’s and Matt Eichelberger’s fun, mildly muckraking, always satirical entry. After resurrecting it from a hiatus, they stopped publication entirely only a few months after I started.
NMiss Commenter was started by Tom Freeland as a real-time report on the Scruggs scandal and morphed into its own freestanding general-purpose entertainment and must-read daily until Tom’s untimely and unexpected death early in 2015.
Thus Blogged Anderson was erudite, humorous, and subtle, as well as full of book recommendations and insight. Anderson exited the stage for Twitter a few years ago, where he may still hold forth. I don’t know. Twitter can be bad for my blood pressure, so I avoid it.
randywallace posted on law, hunting, cooking, and anything else he put in his crosshairs. His posts became less frequent over time; his latest was in August, 2019.
Jane’s Law Blog, which came along only a few years ago, kept us up to date on our appellate courts, but author Jane Tucker lost her server in 2019 and never recovered. Her site is still down.
MS Litigation Review and Commentary by Philip Thomas was for years a go-to site for following litigation stories and developed more recently into a resource for law-office technology and practice. On Monday, he posted that, after 11 years, he is ending his blog with a final post on March 2. I would not be surprised if fatigue is an element in that decision.
There may be other Mississippi non-marketing legal blogs out there that I have yet to discover, and I would like to hear from them if there are. Until then, when March 2 rolls around I guess that this will be the last Mississippi legal blog standing, so to speak. There’s a reason in common that most of those blogs have gone extinct: it’s hard to keep up, even burdensome.
If you’re considering blogging as other than a marketing tool, there are some pluses and minuses:
- Pluses include getting to express your views, coming into contact with a wide range of people you’d probably never meet otherwise, and the motivation to learn more about the subject on which you blog.
- Minuses include demand on your time (a biggie), the need to be mostly accurate and right, and the burden of the whole thing. You can minimize the minuses somewhat by posting irregularly and less frequently, but if you do you will have fewer readers; people like to find something new to read when they click on your site. And if you have only a few readers, what’s the point?
Finally, you have to find a niche. Jane, for instance, met a need by posting decision summaries and describing motion hearings and oral arguments. I have focused on chancery practice. Tom enlightened us on the law, food, the blues, and Mississippi culture. The others mentioned above all catered to readers searching for something specific. And, it’s important to understand that if you’re not a crisp, clear writer like Anderson or Tom Freeland, you probably shouldn’t blog.
Every blogger has the nagging concern about running out of worthwhile things to say. Philip Thomas hints at that in his announcement when he says, “In retrospect, it’s past time.” For me, as long as we have appellate courts burping out opinions twice a week, I have plenty of material to keep me occupied, so I feel (I hope not mistakenly) that I still have something worthwhile to say, and for now I will continue to soldier on.
Those bloggers up there inspired me to undertake this one. It came about after a telephone conversation with another chancellor about how to educate lawyers on compliance with the adoption statute in effect at the time. We talked about an information sheet and a couple of other ideas, but couldn’t come up with anything satisfactory. After hanging up, I returned to my computer where Tom Freeland’s blog was on the screen. A lightbulb went on in my head and the idea became this.
So soon there will be one. For now.