Thursday, September 06, 2007

My blogging policy

As the IP Works in Progress conference approaches, I thought I should say something about my policy on blogging conferences. I treat conferences as open by default, and so I generally plan to share my notes on presentations. Especially when work is in early stages, though, some people are uncomfortable with this. So I won’t post notes if a presenter asks me – or asks everyone, via announcement or word to the organizers – not to do so. I will not publicize any such requests. If I make a mistake, I will edit or delete posts. Because I have a bad memory – which is part of why I take notes – I probably won’t remember that a person opted out by the time the next conference rolls around, so in general I will treat each conference separately.

Works in progress are just that, and should not be judged by the standards applied to finished work. (And people’s relationship to their finished work changes over time, too; there are some things in print I’d never write again.) But we share unfinished works because they’re useful to other people as well as because we can get good suggestions – it's not a one-way street. And if you’re going to the right conferences, a good number of the people whose opinions matter will be able to judge your presentation for themselves.

Regardless, I suspect legal academia is going to have to learn greater formal appreciation for beta versions – the rise of preprint sites like SSRN is a step in that direction. But I have no interest in defying presenters’ preferences.

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