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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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March 20, 2006

Survey Says: Good Sense Prevails For Personal+Professional Bloggers

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Posted by Denise Howell

Many, maybe most, weblogs involve some combination of personal and professional material. In recognition of this fact, and in an effort to understand how people are striking this balance in the real world, BlogHer recently conducted a survey and gave a presentation at SXSW, entitled "We Got Naked, Now What? Blogging Naked at Work." From the panel description: "Can you open your kimono in one blog post, and wear a button-down shirt in another?"

Lisa Stone live-blogged the panel, moderator Elisa Camahort gives this rundown of the survey results, and The Washington Post has this postscript. Among other things, the survey found the majority of the respondents "draw distinct boundaries between public and private information," and (perhaps accordingly?) "83 percent of professional bloggers who responded to BlogHer’s survey indicated that they had never received negative feedback to the personal opinions, feelings and experiences included on their business blogs." The survey also showed the respondents, whether they self-identified as more "personal" or "professional" bloggers, shared a tendency to exercise judgment and discretion as to subject matter:

The top subjects that were considered not suitable for business blogging include romantic/sexual feelings (84 percent), salary/income (77 percent), religious/spiritual beliefs (63 percent), and sexual orientation (57 percent). Surprisingly, the personal bloggers were also likely to consider salary/income (68 percent) and romantic/sexual feelings (50 percent) off-limits. In addition, personal bloggers showed reluctance to discuss feelings about events at work (54 percent).

No surprises there to me; you?

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | Blogging Policies | Ethics and Technology | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Law Practice Management


1. Elisa Camahort on March 20, 2006 6:21 PM writes...

I think there were two surprises to me:

1. That money was as taboo as it was...more taboo than sexual orientation or religion or politics for business bloggers, and almost as taboo for the personal bloggers.

2. That 50% of self-identified personal-only bloggers stil considered sex and romance off-limits. I think people have a much more provocative impression of personal bloggers, don't you?

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2. Denise Howell on March 20, 2006 6:44 PM writes...

Y'know, the money thing doesn't suprise me that much; people are sensitive to issues of online security and that may be playing a role (?). And there are other, non-blog, more anonymous online venues where people expect to gather down-n-dirty salary information re companies.

Re thinking that people in general (including nonblogging members of the professional media) have a much more provocative impression of personal bloggers, oh yeah, no doubt. But in my own experience reality is much more in line with your survey, which is why that bit didn't surprise me.

Great job Elisa, fascinating data and a fantastic resource. So sad I missed your panel and the rest of SXSW, from all accounts it looks to have been The Event of the year!

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3. Elisa Camahort on March 20, 2006 8:20 PM writes...

Until BlogHer '06 of course!

And yes, I agree with you that the media paints a much more outrageous picture of blogs than I personally experience in my online travels.

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4. Marshall Wooden on November 1, 2006 6:38 AM writes...


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