Stephen Bainbridge is saying that blogging -- for lawprofs anyway -- is just for fun. He's reacting to Douglas Berman who's asking the dauntingly somber question: "How might we improve blogs as an academic medium?" Well, jeez, Doug, if you're going to phrase it like that, you're going to propel me all the way over to hedonistic side, where I don't even want to be.
Berman's regular blog is "Sentencing Law and Policy," so you can see where he's coming from. He's in that part of the law blogosphere where each blog is dedicated to a particular area of legal scholarship. He asks how we can transform blogging into "a more respected and trusted academic medium." He doesn't say, but I suspect his answer is that lawprofs need to dedicate their blogs to their specific areas of professional expertise -- like Sentencing Law and Policy. No more politics and photographs and idle thoughts about music and TV.
No wonder Bainbridge responds with "Yuck." He calls blogging a "hobby," a nice break from professional obligations.
If I had to pick, I'd go with Bainbridge, but in fact, I reject both the work and play models. Blogging means much more to me than either concept expresses. Blogging is life -- in writing, in public. It's not a job or a break from a job. It's everything you might think about. Blogging is art.