The Historic Record of the Internet

A decade ago few of us had heard of “blogging”. With the meteoric rise of the Internet, however, the “blog” has also risen as one its primary tools of communication. Thanks to user friendly software like WordPress, today anyone with a computer can have a blog, leveling the imbalance that has long existed in the market place of ideas. On the net, an individual’s voice can now be as loud as that of the largest of organizations.

Although blogs follow a certain standard format, for example the publication of posts in reverse chronological order, beyond that the variation both in subject and style can be as varied is as the personalities of the individuals responsible for creating them. A fact that makes the emergence of the “blawg” rather easy to understand. Within the internet taxonomy, we here at fall neatly within this subset of internet creations. The blog that is dedicated to legal topics has become known as the “blawg”.

Blawging is now firmly established in the U.S. and we are definitely getting there in Canada. In that respect, is simply a part of this larger legal/technological movement.

It is however rather difficult to gauge how large a movement blawging has become. Of course, we have a sense of our own readership (which is indeed large, continually growing and surprisingly varied: law students; lawyers; judges; and ordinary members of the public all frequent our site). But just like with any social phenomenon, one is always left to wonder whether blawging will endure and, if it does, how significant it will become.

All of this is a rather drawn out lead up to the very narrow purpose of my post. Last week we here at were contacted by the United States Library of Congress. In 2000 the Library of Congress began collecting Internet content relevant to certain specified topics, for example the 2000 U.S. elections and the events of September 11. Since then this “webcapture” project has grown to collect websites within certain themes or topics, with “Legal Blawgs” recently being added as a distinct category. For more information on the Library’s webcapture project see here.

The Library contacted us because they would like to make a part of their record. This means that from this point onward the Library will periodically capture our site and add its content to its historic record of the Internet. For those of you who have contributed a post or comments in the past, or who are contemplating doing so in the future, this is of course great news. From this point forward not only will your contribution become a part of our site, it will become a part of the official record of the Internet maintained by the United States Library of Congress!

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