OverFlow Legal is trying the digg method of dealing with news information overflow and is offering a similar system of information evaluation with regard to legal news in the modern age.
It is a nice idea which, however, pits two conflicting forces against each other:
1) the need of legal professionals to manage information overflow more effectively; and,
2) the resistance of the skeptical Socratic legal mind to an abdication of intellectual choice.
We think that this idea will not gain much popular recognition in the legal community for the same reason that we ourselves no longer use digg, i.e. we are not prepared to let other Internet users who are unknown to us to determine for us what is important in the news and what is not, especially in view of the fact that online popularity populism tends to pull things down to the primitive level of the lowest common denominator.
This kind of news selection also tends to favor populistic topics marked by sensationalism, rather than by a cogent determination of what is truly important to the legal field. Moreover, those who determine what is to be read may be dominated in numbers by those who have idle time on their hands and who thus do not represent the mainstream interests of the legal community.
Hence, we give this concept little chance of succeeding. But then again, we are not typical.
Monday, January 19, 2009
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