Burn the books, brave the blogs

The results of the most recent IPKat poll are staggering. The question asked was "Which is/are your most important source(s) of information about intellectual property?" The Kats received answers from 334 respondents, the biggest-ever voter turn-out for an IPKat poll.

While the size of the turn-out was encouraging, the answers were nothing short of astonishing. Weblogs proved to be consulted by readers a third more often than law books. The fact that this survey was conducted among blog-readers might well have distorted the margin by which the popularity of weblogs exceeded that of law books. Even so, it is easy to see why their popularity exists - they are free, they are up-to-date and, increasingly, they are written by the same people who write the books in the first place. What's more, they are generally interactive, easy to copy, paste and send to colleagues, and (often) fun.

Also of huge significance is the fact that the least popular sources of legal information among the IP fraternity are law firm newsletters and law firm websites. Many law firms spend so much time and effort on these facilities in the hope that they will win or retain clients, impress lateral hires, dazzle prospective trainees and generally reflect the dynamism of a modern legal practice in the white-hot era of professional marketing. This poll suggests that law firms might re-think their strategies on all these points.

Right: ever the traditionalist, the IPKat visits the Pataskala Public Library to peruse a page of old-fashioned print

A final point to note (apart from the fact that a lot of IPKat readers have nothing better to do than to read Heat mazagine) is the fact that online journals have achieved hegemony over their paper counterparts. Some journals exist in online-only format (like the excellent Script-ed), while others have paper and online personae - but the message is clear: we are all becoming more comfortable with, and more likely to trust, what we see on the screen.

How we used to publish law before books were invented here
The death of books here
The Room 6 IP Wiki initiative here
Burn the books, brave the blogs Burn the books, brave the blogs Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, August 17, 2007 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. "Also of huge significance is the fact that the least popular sources of legal information among the IP fraternity are law firm newsletters and law firm websites."

    Not so fast, IP-Kat. Take a subscription out on Mondaq and you'll find that the law firm notes become very useful again.

    Before Mondaq - well written, informative, up to the minute.

    After Mondaq - well written, informative, up to the minute AND available.

    (Sort of like when scientific journals become open source ... they become useful and relevant).


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