Moritz Law Library
Opinio Juris - November 2013
Scroll down to read about the first ever law blog, the Kluwer Arbitration online resource, a Congress.gov webinar, RegulationRoom.org, and an article on the decline of Wikipedia.
First ever law blog
Law and technology writer Robert Ambrogi recently conducted research to determine the first law blog in existence. The results: a mid-1998 creation by Memphis immigration lawyer Greg Siskind. The early posts are preserved by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, and update readers on legislative developments related to the H-1B visa category for professional workers. Another early law blog noted by Ambrogi is the still-running Overlawyered, "chronicling the high cost of our legal system." The Cato Institute's Walter Olson has been the principal author of the blog since its inception.
The Moritz Law Library now provides access to Kluwer Arbitration, an online platform containing various resources useful for international arbitration law research. The site contains ebooks, journals, news, and practice tools, including items related to arbitration in foreign jurisdictions. It also links to the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, edited by Notre Dame's Roger Alford with contributions from various practitioners. Kluwer Arbitration is accessible anywhere on the Columbus campus.
As noted in last month's issue, the Library of Congress's widely-used Thomas site now redirects users to the succeeding site, Congress.gov. The site is an excellent freely available source for information on pending Congressional bills or federal legislation enacted in the last 20 years. For legislation such as the recently-introduced Affordable College Textbook Act, users can conveniently see the bill text, any actions on the bill, related bills, a summary of the bill, and more. The LOC hosted a webinar on Congress.gov earlier this month, which is now available online.
Cornell's eRulemaking Initiative (CeRI) recently launched a redesign of its website, RegulationRoom.org. The site provides an online environment to learn about, discuss, and react to selected rules proposed by federal agencies. The site is hosted by Cornell's Legal Information Institute. CeRI works with federal agencies to select proposed rules for discussion on the RegulationRoom site. Potential Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations on consumer debt collection practices are currently in discussion.
The decline of Wikipedia?
A recent article in MIT Technology Review titled "The Decline of Wikipedia" discusses the current problems facing Wikipedia including a shrinking volunteer workforce and a lack of editor diversity. According to the article, estimates are that the makeup of those running the site is 90% male. The article notes that entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive while entries on female novelists are not nearly as thorough. The article mentions possible changes to draw more editors including a shift to more user-friendly text editing rather than the use of "wikitext" markup language, and adding a "thank" feature (similar to a Facebook "like") to acknowledge useful edits and encourage further participation.