The life expectancy of a blawg

From Drug and Device Law 24/08/2009:

Talking about the high attrition rate of academic law blogs written by those in academia, the drug and device law came to some startling conclusions about blawgs.  In essence: we're all doomed!


Even the academics can't do it! The professors can't feed their blogs; it's too much work.

And those guys spend their lives wearing tweed jackets, smoking pipes, and thinking great thoughts!

So today's question was this: How long does the average practitioner-blogger last?
Four months.

So, the life expectancy of many of the blawgs out there doesn’t look too great.  What I've witnessed in the UK student/graduate blawgsophere certainly bears that out.

This brings out a number of other issues – such as why different people keep a blog.

why blogWhen I first started my legal blog back in February 2007, I’d had an F1 blog for 3 years though I had only been posting frequently in the last few months of that.  I was finding that my F1 blog had become a dumping ground for all kinds of topics.  I was in the final year of my LL.B and all was going well and had intended law actually to be an outlet for my legal musings.

Over time, though, I think the reasons behind why I blog have evolved but the principal reason hasn't changed.

So why do we all blog?  There are a lot of reasons, I suppose, including:

Sense of community; debate and feedback from like-minded folks; sense of release; sense of creativity; self-promotion; financial gain and so on.

I think those blogs are that created solely (or at least mainly) as a means of self-promotion, where the blogger doesn't truly enjoy wallowing in the subject matter are at the greatest risk of failing quickly.  To build a decent readership takes time and effort and, on top of a day at work or studying, can't really be forced.  Or at least not for long.

Even now, I don’t pretend to fully understand the lure of blogging or what's the driving force behind that sense of 'I really should get a post out today'.  And I know that's not just me, having heard other bloggers say much the same thing.

The sense of creativity is definitely one of the main reasons why I still blog.  This was particularly the case when I used to tinker around creating/modifying pictures for each post which I do far less of now.  But I carry on posting nonetheless.

Maybe there's still some cathartic effect that's inherent in posting to a blog - even though Law Actually doesn't take the form of a journal or diary.  But whatever the reason, it boils down to one thing - enjoyment.

Ultimately, you need to blog because you enjoy it.  Academic blogs which aren't a labour of love, like any blog, I guess, will ultimately fail.  Should blogging become more of a chore than enjoyment I wouldn’t hesitate in retiring from the blawgosphere for good. 


  1. I blog because I have grown to like it. I can put my feelings out there (and then have to remove my posts!!) and pour my problems out to the world. It's a great way to get a release from whatever is on my mind, but lately I just don't feel like blogging (probably because I was told to remove some posts eventhough I felt that I wasn't giving away any confidential information, but that's a whole other can of worms)

    Blogging has its good side and bad side...and you either like it or you don't.

  2. I think it's interesting that you've taken to blogging despite some early doubts. I remember even just a few months ago that you were having doubts about continuing. I think it's great that you've stuck at it and you've undoubtedly become an distinguished member of the inner sanctum of UK blawgers :-)

    Just out of interest, who suggested that you should remove some posts?

  3. Aww thank you :)

    It was the law firm I used to work at. They felt my posts in relation to my job etc were giving away too much information as to the confidentiality of their practice...which I didn't understand as my posts NEVER mentioned names etc. It was only ever about me. Ah well their loss I guess.

  4. That's interesting, Pooni. Did you actively tell colleagues about your blog or did they find out in a less intentional way?

    I've always kept my blog a relative secret (though the MD of my current job knows about Law Actually) but I'm pretty circumspect about what I include. I certainly haven't given any details to work colleagues, nor did I mention the existence of my blawg while I was a student.

    But I'm an overly-cautious person by nature, I guess. :-/

  5. I started because when I was looking at doing the BVC, I couldn't find out anything that actually explained what the Course dealt with and what the lessons were like.

    Well, that was the good intention before I started, but its all gone a bit tits up and doesn't say anything of any relevance to anyone or anything anymore.

    Its all just a bit of fun really. I have been recognised by one person, who felt I was a bit of a celebrity for being Swiss Tony.

    I do enjoy being a part of the blogging community, even though I have yet to meet anyone in real life, and some of the ones I like drop away.


  6. They were aware of it but they knew it was always based on me and my thoughts. I would never have thought that it would have been taken the wrong way. I did explain that to them but they didn't understand. It is on my facebook and twitter [but I have now removed the link from my twitter, unless you follow me, you will see tweets about new posts] It's a shame really because I never meant any harm.

  7. aww pooni shame about the blogging. Yeah I've been thinking a lot more about what to put in my blog recently. I didn't really care when no one read it and it was more for me.
    I blog because I love it. I started like Michael with a different topic of blog (in my case food) when I was an undergrad. Sometimes I don't have a lot of time to blog or sometimes I'm too tired or worked up to write something worthwhile, but I just find it a great way to relax.

  8. I blog because I like sharing stuff about my life, I guess. :D Nah. If I don't blog about something, I'll forget it sooner or later. And if it benefits some people, then why not do it publicly?

    Plus: I 'met' some great people through my blog!

  9. P.s. Pooni, that is a real shame that they asked you to take the posts down. Cowards! Or what? Were they going to sue you or something?!

    I hope it hasn't discouraged you!


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