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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Has Facebook sucked up the law blog comments?

In Paul's post below, he talks about reactions to the Hill-Thomas voice mail -- not in the press or on the blogs, but on Facebook.  I'm not on Facebook, but I wonder -- could Facebook be the reason we see far few comments on law prof blog postings?  I remember back in the day when you had posts like this one, where the comments from profs numbered in the 70s and 80s.  Nowadays, ten comments are a lot.  Perhaps many of the conversations that took place on the blogs in 2005 are now taking place on Facebook.  Facebook is much less noisy, as you only see comments from non-anonymous "friends," and your comments seem more private as well.  Perhaps folks are sharing there rather than on the blogs.

Of course, when you want to talk to strangers who are experiencing what you are, and/or you want to talk anonymously, blogs are the best vehicle.  Witness this post, with over 400 comments.  But it looks like the conversations over current events may be taking place elsewhere.

Posted by Matt Bodie on October 20, 2010 at 12:44 PM in Blogging | Permalink


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There had been many complaints these days, majority of them include against the facebook. The question is is all this done for a kind of publicizing its brand or really finding it into such situations.The law blog of facebook would have to see a lot of changes in the future to come.

Posted by: Rules | Oct 23, 2010 7:41:15 AM

All these comments from people I know . . . it's just like the old days! It's getting a little misty in here (sniff).

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Oct 21, 2010 3:10:20 PM

There's many more law blogs now than there 5 years ago, and a finite supply of person-comment-hours.

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Oct 21, 2010 11:56:24 AM

I'm doing my part to keep a decent conversation going at blogs (although I prefer generally to avoid threads like those found at VC), be it here, at Dorf's, Concurring Opinions, Faculty Lounge, Opinio Juris, Legal Ethics Forum, Legal Profession Blog...even, on occasion, at Mirror of Justice (sorry Rick).

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Oct 21, 2010 9:24:20 AM

I think it's a blog-by-blog issue. For some reason, Prawfs hasn't sustained a big comment culture. I'm not sure why: Maybe the annoyance of having to bypass the CAPTCHA screen has deterred commenters. Or maybe the number of guest bloggers played a role. I'm not really sure.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Oct 20, 2010 7:24:05 PM

There's a rollicking discussion of this post with tons and tons of comments back and forth, but it's all happening on FB. Sorry.

Posted by: rob vischer | Oct 20, 2010 7:11:38 PM

Well, the Volokh Conspiracy has a long thread on it. It's not exactly about legal issues, though.

More broadly, I would be more inclined to get into a political debate on a blog than on Facebook -- I don't really want to hassle my friends who have different politics than I do on Facebook. But maybe that's just me.

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Oct 20, 2010 4:10:50 PM

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