“We are approaching a decade since the first blogger — regarded by many to be Jorn Barger — began his business of hunting and gathering links to items that tickled his fancy, to which he appended some of his own commentary. On Dec. 23, 1997, on his site, Robot Wisdom, Mr. Barger wrote: ‘I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis,’ and the Oxford English Dictionary regards this as the primordial root of the word ‘weblog.'”
But WSJ writer Tunku Varadarajan is quick to add that the dating of the first blog and the naming of the first blogger “are imperfect exercises.”
So too with the first lawyer blog. No one seems quite able to identify the first legal blogger. Just a month ago, in writing Blawg Review No. 111, Bill Gratsch admitted that he did not who was first, but that when he compiled his first Blawg directory in January 2003, he found only 57. I launched my LawSites blog in November 2002, and there were already a number of legal blogs underway. In fact, I wrote a two-part column in December 2002 and January 2003 rounding up 62 of the “blawgs” then being written.
The aforementioned Bashman was on that list, as were several other bloggers still at it today: Bag and Baggage, DeLawOffice.com, Ernie the Attorney, HIPAA blog, Howling Point, Inter Alia, Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer, Jurist, Lex Communis, Mad Kane, Ninomania, Rory Perry’s Weblog, SCOTUSblog, Sneaking Suspicions, TalkLeft, The Buck Stops Here, The Dark Goddess of Replevin Speaks, The Shout, The Talking Dog, Tins, Trademark Blog, Votelaw and West Virginia Legal Weblog.
But who was the first legal blogger? I snooped around the archives of some of the longest-running legal bloggers that I know of. Here are the birthdates I found, from youngest to oldest:
- SCOTUSblog, Oct. 1, 2002.
- Inter Alia started on Aug. 18, 2002.
- Jottings by an Employer’s Lawyer, July 17, 2002.
- TalkLeft, June 2002.
- The Trademark Blog, May 18, 2002.
- The Volokh Conspiracy appears to start on April 10, 2002.
- The Shout, March 10, 2002.
- Ernie the Attorney’s first post was March 2, 2002.
- Bag and Baggage launched on Nov. 28, 2001.
- Rick Klau’s first was, of all dates, Sept. 11, 2001.
- Instapundit’s archives start on Aug. 8, 2001.
- Overlawyered launched on July 1, 1999.
So it would appear that the prize for oldest legal blog goes to Overlawyered.
[This post originally appeared on Legal Blog Watch.]