Technology & Marketing Law Blog a Finalist for Best Law Blog

I’ve been running two blogs for about 4 years now, and much of that time, the blogs have operated in relative obscurity. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the blog’s many readers, and I’m always amazed when I meet people for the first time and they mention that they are blog readers. And there have been a few high points, such as occasional blog pickups in Digg, Slashdot, Wonkette (back when that mattered) and the New York Times, but those have been rare–and even rarer in the past 2 years, which I think has contributed to the blog’s Technorati ranking now being only about half of its all-time high.

Then, mysteriously, in the past couple of months, the blog has started to pick up “best of” awards (about a half-dozen in Q4 2008). I say “mysteriously” because the blog really didn’t receive many such honors in its first 3 1/2 years, so to have them come in a bunch was very odd. I don’t have a good explanation for the sudden recognition; perhaps the blog has earned extra gravitas simply due to its venerability, while many other top bloggers of its era have moved on to other things.

In light of this history, you can imagine my surprise to learn that the Technology & Marketing Law blog is one of 10 finalists for the “Best Law Blog” Weblog Award. First, there are many excellent and much-better-known blawgs that didn’t make the list but should have. Second, the blog has never tried to cater to a general audience, and the blog intentionally assumes a lot of foundational knowledge about its subject matter. I get emails all the time from readers asking me to explain the legal basics better and stop using so many acronyms, but we’ve deliberately kept the conversation sophisticated. Third, the blog doesn’t look like a paradigmatic “blog”–the average post is probably close to 700 words (with some posts over 2,000 words), and there are almost never as many as 5 posts in a week. So to be recognized as a finalist despite all of these irregularities is stunning to me.

I have no illusions about the blog’s chances of winning–they are zero (not 1%, but 0%). There are 4 major players in the category that have defined the public’s perception of what a legal blog looks like (Bashman, Volokh, Above the Law and the WSJ Law Blog). Each of those sites has at least 10x the number of readers that the Technology & Marketing Law Blog has, and it would be truly shocking if one of those four didn’t win. So feel free to vote for the blog if you want, but consider it more like a statement vote (like writing in Daffy Duck for president), and I won’t be campaigning for votes. For a niche blog with a small target audience, just being a finalist is plenty of recognition.

As always, many thanks for your continued readership. Happy new year!

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