Anyone interested in blawgs as a phenomenon within the legal profession should read the results of the readership survey conducted by Bruce MacEwen for his blog, Adam Smith, Esq. The results are interesting for what they reveal about Bruce’s readers, but even more so for the glimpse they offer into blawg readership in general. If a cardinal rule of writing is to know your audience, bloggers are often knocking about in the dark, uncertain who they face. Bruce’s survey provides modest illumination.

Helping bloggers shed some light on their readership is the idea behind FeedBurner, as I understand it. Although I have not used FeedBurner, I have found myself intrigued by it ever since speaking with Rick Klau about his decision to join the company. By running your syndication feed through FeedBurner, the company says, you get more precise tracking of your readers and of what they’re reading.

Of course, RSS readership is only part of the picture. An interesting result of Bruce’s survey is that the largest share of his readers — roughly 40 to 45 percent — come not through syndication but through bookmarks.