My friend Ray Dowd of Copyright Litigation Blog fame has caught a little attention with this post listing “the top 50 intellectual property law blogs of all time,” according to Justia’s Blawgsearch. (Ray’s blog made the list, as did LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® and pretty much all the usual suspects).
I don’t know what the criteria of “top” are, but I suspect there is in fact only one. Tell me if I’m wrong — someone? Ray? — but I guess it was generated off this list from Justia, which probably isn’t all that stable, despite being “all time,” and I assume it’s based on traffic. But after all, as I pointed out in a tweet this morning, “all time” is a bit of a profound formulation, considering that — well how old can a blog be? Not that old. To be fair, what is a nice achievement is that some of them are, I believe, relatively young, and have built up such nice traffic in a relatively short time. Even then, in blog years, you have to be doing something right, I suppose, to make the “all time” list. (Unlike certain other lists.)
There are flaws in this methodology. A lot of old traffic keeps you in the game, because Justia doesn’t seem to ever drop blogs from its listing. So Bill Patry’s copyright blog is number 26, but he hasn’t posted to it in a year. Similarly, The Daily Does of IP blog is pushing eleven months. There are quite a few others.
“All time” means all time. But in Internet sensibility, you’re either there today, I would think, or you don’t really matter any more. Well, Hank Aaron hasn’t hit a home run in a few years, either, I guess. But I would be interested to see that list pared down to the top 50 all-time among active blogs. Because, of course, mine would move up! And that would make me a better person.
As would yours, Ray!
Advice? I get asked for advice. Here it is: The main thing bloggers — IP law bloggers, or whatever — can do right to be successful with their blogs is write them. That means write them themselves, write them consistently (i.e., frequently) and, unless they can build up some extraordinary legacy of traffic like those ghost blogs on the list (not too many can) don’t stop writing them.
And if you can’t see yourself keeping it up, at least for a while, probably you should just as well not start.
UPDATE: More thoughts about those top blogs from Ray.