Even some of the people who get blogging still hate the idea that the fun of blogging should have to be shared with older bloggers, with professors. They will say: Don’t you have a life? Who do you think you are? If a lawprof receives too much attention blogging outside of the lawprof box, there will be push-back. Bloggers will make it their business to tell you to get back in the box.I wanted a footnote at "older bloggers," that would refer to a comment over at Wonkette. The subject over there is Stanley Fish's new blog at the New York Times, and the first commenter, one "Chris," writes "Another step in the geezerfication of the blogosphere."
What's the Bluebook citation form for blog comments? I make this up:
See"Stanley Fish Has A Blog?," http://www.wonkette.com/politics/stanley-fish/stanley-fish-Then I email that attempt to my son John -- currently a law review editor -- with the subject line "not really meaning to bug you about citation form but..." and ask "how far off is this?" Now, you could say, why are you bugging John about it? You should look up the citation form. But the alternative for me would be just leaving the citation in the form I'd guessed might be right. I'm not going to look it up, but I thought John would be interested in the citation problem.
has-a-blog-167381.php (4/14/06) (comment by Chris on 4/14/06 03:34 PM) ("Another step in the geezerfication of the blogosphere.")
He wrote back:
Well, I think the Bluebook's blog cite form (rule 18.2.4) is very problematic, but assuming you're following that, it should be:
See Posting of Chris to Wonkette, http://www.wonkette.com/politics/stanley-fish/stanley-fish-
has-a-blog-167381.php (Apr. 14, 2006, 15:34 EST).
That assumes you know it was posted in the Eastern time zone.
The BB doesn't mention comments to blogs as opposed to authors' posts. I am using the "multiple posters" cite form, which is meant to parallel the form used for web discussion forums. I can't see why you would cite comments any differently from authors' posts if you're using the BB.
The BB doesn't provide for giving the titles of blog posts, which I think is a problem.
That's followed immediately by a second email:
And of course you can have the parenthetical with the quote at the end.Responding to the first email, I write:
And put a period at the end.
Thanks. You could say "Comment by Chris" etc.(Responding to the second email, I compliment him on his eye for the missing dot.)
I'd like to be able to use the title! I guess you could put it in a parenthetical, right? Not using the title puts a premium software that makes URLs that pick up the title (like that one).
He writes back:
The BB form allows you to refer to a "Posting" in the case of "multiple posters" to blogs. I would apply that to comments. "Comment" is a term of art that's meaningful when used on a blog; it's not necessarily a valid distinction in the context of law review citations.Not distinguish between a post and a comment? Anyone commenting at Wonkette gets to be "posting" at Wonkette? The Bluebook must recognize the blogger/commenter distinction. It's so important. But I'm pleased to know the Bluebook has a rule about blogs. Still, if it is problematic, why not write an amendment to it? I think law reviews should tweak the rules and make in-house rules to follow instead of waiting for the next edition of the Bluebook.
I don't see how you could put the title in a parenthetical unless it was genuinely a statement that you wanted to quote to support your proposition. The phrase "Posting of Chris" is meant to take the place of the title. If you really want the title, I would just completely ditch the blog cite form and cite it as an online periodical, using the form you'd use to cite a Slate article under rule 18.2.3(b).
(I'd like to quote the text of the rules John cited, but it seems as though the Bluebook isn't available online. That's ridiculous, but not to Harvard Law Review which asks $24.95 for the manual. An awful lot of people need that book, and do you buy a new one each time a new edition comes out? They are up to the 18th edition. That's a lot of money for Harvard!)