Neat Numbers from the Canadian Legal Blogosphere

Every June, we review all the blogs listed at lawblogs.ca, fixing dead or outdated links and feeds and removing defunct blogs. It’s a big project but an interesting one. This year’s review left us with a final tally of 444 blogs (up from 415 last June) and I decided to take some statistics as I went through them. I hope you’ll find these facts about the Canadian legal blogosphere as fascinating as I did!

Keeping up to date

Our general rule is that blogs that haven’t posted anything new in the past year get removed from the directory. There are all sorts of reasons why bloggers take breaks now and then, but I was curious: on the whole, how current are blogs being kept? I found that:

  • 40% had been updated within the past week
  • another 31% had been updated within the past month
  • the remaining 29% had been updated more than a month ago

Staying power

I also wondered, what makes a blog last? I wanted to determine whether bloggers who have won Clawbies are more likely to have stuck with blogging – and it turns out, they are.

  • There were 16 Canadian blogs cited as winners or runners up in the inaugural Clawbies awards of 2006. Of those, 11 are still blogging fairly regularly – that’s 68.75%
  • Compare that to the 71 blogs listed on Steve’s law blogs list around the same time, and only 27 (38.5%) of them are still blogging

I’m not suggesting that winning a Clawbie inspired these folks to keep blogging — though it’s nice to think that the Clawbies could play some small role in encouraging bloggers to stick with it! Rather, I suspect that the kind of people who were dedicated enough to produce an outstanding blog back then are still just as passionate about the things they write about, and truly get something out of the process that makes them keep doing it. And I’d also bet that bloggers who’ve been at it this long just enjoy writing, period.

Pod(cast) people

While clearly, most legal bloggers feel most comfortable with the written word, there are two Canadian legal blogs that have taken up the mic and are steadily producing podcasts too:

  • Hull & Hull LLP has been producing their Hull on Estates podcast steadily since 2006, and now has an impressive 380+ episodes in their archives.
  • In less than a year, Ideablawg blogger Lisa Silver has produced 26 podcasts on the Criminal Code of Canada.

New kids on the block

We’re seeing a rise in blogging on niche topics.  Here are three categories that didn’t exist three years ago on lawblogs.ca:

Ripe for the picking

Even with 444 blogs in our directory, there are some niche topics that haven’t been snapped up yet. Here are five topics with no dedicated Canadian blog coverage at present:

  • Education law
  • Election law
  • Animal law
  • Admiralty/marine law
  • Church/religion law

Each of these categories has significant coverage in the US – so what’s stopping Canadian law bloggers from delving into these topics?

Movin’ on up

We’ve also seen big jumps in several substantive law categories:

La belle langue

Over the past several years, we’ve also seen the number of French-language blogs grow. This time three years ago, there were only nine “blogues en français“; today there are 20.

Geographically speaking

Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of Canadian law blogs are written by lawyers in Ontario, and most new blogs are from Ontario too. BC comes in second. This lines up pretty predictably with the number of lawyers in these two provinces.

Despite the hundreds of lawyers who practice up north, our country’s three territories have zero listings on lawblogs.ca. Any would-be law bloggers from Nunavut, Northwest Territories or the Yukon out there? Here’s your chance to snag the first lawblogs.ca listing for your territory!

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