Here's the link if you want to listen. No video, so you'll just have to picture a bunch of lawproffy types in a cavernous auditorium at Harvard Law School.
Next to me is Randy Barnett, who's reading my blogging on his Palm Treo 650, showing me that he's reading it, taking a picture of me blogging, and emailing me the picture to blog. Is that self-referential enough for you? It's really, really bloggy. And we're just getting started.
Don't you love technology?
Gordon Smith is nudging me and saying pay attention. Good point! Live-blogging should entail paying attention. Paul Caron is talking. And Gordon is also live-blogging. Do we care about what the speaker is saying or what the bloggers in the audience are blogging about it and linking to each other and blogging about the blogging?
9:13: Here's the agenda, listing the times of the speakers. Paul Caron is doing the introduction, assembling a lot of statistics about blogging and scholarship. Paul used a lot of PowerPoint slides. There's a huge screen, and I haven't got slides myself. Now Doug Berman is speaking, and he's just displaying his blog on the big screen. So I guess I'll end up putting mine up too and that will mean this very post will be up on the screen. Should lawprofs be blogging?, Doug Berman asks. Hey, Randy's commenting on this post, I just noticed, causing him to turn that Treo thing away. I have to read it the tech way, after he posts it here.
9:22: Here's Gordon's live-blogging post. He notes the many empty seats in the room, so we big bloggers aren't such a huge draw. Somehow, I think the students are probably sleeping at this hour. Or are they studying or taking exams? Is anyone listening to the live feed? Gordon is putting together his PowerPoint slides, Googling for a picture for "network."
9:27: Berman rejects the notion that lawprof blogs are like listening in on a faculty lounge conversation. "It's not as robust and engaged as the law professor blogosphere is." I'm trying to think if things in Lubar Lounge are "robust and engaged." Randy tells me he can't post his comment because he doesn't have a Blogger account. Email it to me:
It is divine to be seated next to Ms. Althouse watching her at work . . . I mean at play. Maybe she will let me borrow her PC so I can post a link on the Volokh Conspiracy to her blogging here. I have not yet installed a blogging client on my Treo 650.He used the Althouse code word "divine," but he called my PowerBook a "PC."
9:37: Larry Solum says blogs aren't changing anything about legal scholarship but are manifestations of other changes. He loves very long law review articles, but concedes that no one reads them. Yes, it's a funny thing about blogging: it's read. You have these elaborately written things that aren't read, and then everyone thinks of blogging as just thrown together. But short posts can be carefully written, and they can embody ideas that you have thought through in more formal scholarship. Larry's saying that short form "disintermediated" writing is a trend, and not just in blogging. He'd like to see a Wiki law encyclopedia.
9:47: Kate Litvak, commenting on the laptops in the audience, says she's going to ban computers in the classroom. Is she trying to tell me to to close the laptop? She's the panelist who doesn't have a blog.
10:05: Paul Butler starts the commentary on the articles, which he finds insufficiently excited about blogging. He says: "The blog is walking up to legal scholarship and slapping it in the face."
10:10: Butler asks, "What if law review articles had Site Meters?"
Eric Muller blogs a contribution to the scholarship and blogging conversation.
10:17: Jim Lindgren: "Why do you want to know if it's scholarship or not?"
10:35: Ellen Podgor says that before she started blogging -- at White Collar Crime Prof Blog -- she had never been quoted in the Wall Street Journal. She teaches at Stetson, note well. The reporters used to call lawprofs based on their law schools. Blogging can shake up the hierarchy and give different people a chance to be heard.
11:10: Gail Heriot says blogging is fun and lawprofs can do whatever we want. That's stating the problem plainly! "The legal academy has turned inward on itself," she says, describing what legal scholarship has become. It doesn't speak to lawyers and judges. Blogging lets the lawprof get back in connection with the practical legal world, to influence people on the issues of the day.
11:22: The audience has gotten a lot bigger since the break. I wonder if people in the room are reading my simulblogging. Leave a comment! Or are you going to tell me you can't register with Blogger? Email me, then (my last name, followed by @wisc.edu).
11:26: Orin Kerr starts off funny. He uses the computer on the lectern to check his Site Meter statistics. He's all, "Hold on just a sec..." Then he pretends he's accidentally brought his old notes from a 1999 conference called "Listservship: How Email Is Changing Legal Scholarship).
11:35: Orin ends by saying that if anyone is live-blogging the conference, we should say that he got thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Now, Gordon is up and he starts by displaying this post of mine, photo and all. He calls attention to the part about how he's putting together his PowerPoint slides, and then that's his intro into his PowerPoint presentation.
11:45: Gordon does care about whether blogging is considered scholarship, because he wants to legitimate what he's doing. Randy Barnett is next, and he frets about the "flight from scholarship," which has long been the "dirty little secret" of lawprofdom. "It's a syndrome," one symptom of which is saying nobody reads legal scholarship, and it doesn't matter. "I should also mention that a lot of law professors don't like teaching. Or serving on committees." Lots of lawprofs are looking for "something else." And along comes blogging, and the self-justifications of the lawprofs who get into it.
12:00: Michael Froomkin mentions classroom blogs. He suggests that lawprofs write 1 or 2 page posts reviewing long-form scholarship.
12:10. Question time. They've got a microphone now. The first question is about the "performative" nature of blogging, meaning that bloggers are performing for an audience.
2:00. Back from lunch, and now Glenn Reynolds is video-ing in his talk. He did not -- as I thought he might -- laugh at us for going to the conference, us low-tech losers. Walking to lunch, we were talking about the coming video'd-in performance, and Randy Barnett commented on how Glenn was going to be a 12 foot head on the screen, then said that Glenn Reynolds actually was a 12 foot head, which is why he couldn't appear in person. Waiting for the talk to start, Jim Lindgren compared him to Orson on "Mork and Mindy." Glenn compared himself to some other pop culture character on a screen, but I've forgotten which one. Anyway, Glenn's talking about why there are so few libel suits against bloggers. Answer: Bloggers are unlikely to commit libel. They're big on support, and their mistakes get pointed out and corrected quickly. Also, bloggers are less trusted so the crap they (we) say causes less harm.
2:15: Eugene Volokh is talking about blogging and liability. Lots of detail: listen to the podcast. Should bloggers get worse treatment than traditional journalists? That's just one of many things he covered.
2:30: Eric Goldman has a very specific topic: group blogging activities. Being a solo blogger, I guess I don't have to worry about these problems... unless you commenters are causing problems.
2:38: Jim Lindgren types with one finger. You rarely see that anymore.
2:50: Betsy Malloy is talking about anonymous bloggers and what rights they have to preserve their privacy.
2:55: Daniel Solove is comparing Eugene Volokh and Jessica Cutler (the "Washingtonienne"): both so love to blog about sex.
3:45: My panel is about to start. I'm up on the dais now and feeling nervous, even though I think there will hardly be any audience left (except out there is cyberspace, so I guess I can't just fool around). I check my email. A student at Georgetown has sent me this:
3:50: Larry Ribstein is listing the categories of lawprof blogposts: amateur journalism, self-expression, "blogicles" (little law scholarship articles), self-promotion (getting people to download your articles), and publicly engaged academic posts ("PEAPs").
The PEAPs idea is to "leverage your expertise" as you contribute to the public debate. You tap your serious scholarship, as you write about some timely issue.
4:05: I notice that Glenn noticed I was blogging about his head.
4:22: I'm done! Having written my article in bloggish form, I tried to do the talk in podcasty form (which is bizarrely stressful!).
4:25: Christine Hurt is talking about blogging without tenure.
4:28: Christine says that by blogging -- as part of reading the news every day -- she forces herself to keep up with legal developments, which gives her a headstart on the serious projects she begins in the summer. If she weren't blogging, she says, she'd be more consumed with teaching during the school year and putting off reading up on the current developments. This is a good point: I know I read cases as soon as they come out, cases that, pre-blogging, I would have just downloaded for later consumption.
4:38: Howard Bashman is up to comment on Larry, Christine, and me. He also has a lot to say about his blog, How Appealing.
4:50. Peter Lattman, the Wall Street Journal legal blogger, is next. He says journalists don't see bloggers as competition, but as fodder.
5:12. Nice questions. Listen to them in the podcast. Now, Harvard lawprof Charles Nesson is closing and talking about the Berkman Center, which sponsored the event. The internet, he says, has thrived because large institutions haven't figured out how to use it yet. There's a danger now, and he has a proposal, which you can hear on the podcast.
ADDED: Douglas Berman was live-blogging here. And Larry Solum sort of disagrees with me here (that is, he thinks that to be taken seriously, a law scholar had better keep the fun stuff on a separate blog). Solum is concerned about how "academic administrators" will figure out how to reward the part of the blog that deserves to be considered part of one's professional work. I'll just say that I have not encountered this problem at the University of Wisconsin Law School and assert that that makes my school cooler than the schools that fret about clear line drawing, like a child eating dinner and worring that the meat is touching the mashed potatoes!