Having done this work for a few years now, I do sometimes ask myself what the best bloggers have that I might lack.
The answer comes down to one thing. The best stay on one thing. They know their beats, know their limits, they do the research, and they don’t flit around outside those subjects (the way I often do).
The most important blogger of our time is probably Pamela Jones of Groklaw. Groklaw is more a community than a blog (but so is DailyKos). Despite the extensive help her audience gives her, Jones still gives her beat rigid attention, tons of supporting materials, and she gives her enemies plenty of rope for hanging themselves so that, when she does speak her mind, she has both authority and supporters.
The best example of this is the SCO vs IBM case, which she recounted recently. It is, in fact if not in law, all over but the shouting, and SCO’s Darl McBride is still shouting (mainly at Jones herself).
Still, in this case the market has voted with its dollars, and it has voted overwhelmingly for IBM, not SCO. The judge in the case, Dale Kimball, could make a final ruling as early as Thursday.
This does not mean Groklaw will go away. There are many more legal issues Jones and her reader/collaborators can pursue. She’s already on the case. Having carved herself a niche as the best technology law site out there, it remains only for her to exploit it, and find its proper business model.
One more important point. Jones is, by her actions, Exhibit A for why bloggers are journalists. She acts as a journalist in all things, which is meant as a compliment, her ethics are impeccable, and her work ethic is astounding. She is, without doubt, one of the best reporters on law in the country, if not the best. She has earned far more praise than I have the power to bestow.
So congratulations and thanks.