Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Chancellor Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Market Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has published a very detailed study of business blogging.
Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere
The paper (pdf) presents a lot of information that is invaluable to business bloggers, including lawyers and law professors with law blogs. Among other things, the study examines the time commitment required to make a business blog successful, and concludes it's worth the time and effort.
Dr. Barnes details what was learned from extensive research into blogging for business, including surveys, email conversations and interviews with hundreds of bloggers, resulting in these main points as headings:
1. Blogs Take Time and Commitment
2. Blogs Must Be Part of A Plan
3. A Blog is a Conversation
4. Transparency, Authenticity, and Focus are good. Bland is Bad
Ultimately, it's the Human Factor that is important.
Blogs are a human endeavor, a personal conversation, a sharing of thoughts and ideas. Readers form relationships with bloggers that are very real. Communities are formed and friendships are made.There is a lot that can be learned about blogging from the extensive comments of the established business bloggers included in this study, and much of it is worth the careful consideration of legal professionals who take their blogging seriously, and want to be successful.
One of these days, a law professor might undertake a similar study of law bloggers, or maybe a law student can figure out how to get a credit for such a paper. Perhaps Ian Best might undertake a similar study to complement his seminal work, A Taxonomy of Legal Blogs.