On Wednesday I drove down to Santa Clara U for a Bay Area Blawgers gathering (Eric Goldman's recap here. The group comprised lawyers, law students, guys from Google and Sun Micro, law professors, blawg readers.
One of the themes I saw come up again and again was the power of blogs to connect lawyers to civilians. So many lawyers expressed their pleasure at giving information to people who couldn't afford or couldn't interpret the law themselves.
Humor highlight, for me anyway: A guy from EFF asked the group if anyone had received DMCA take-down requests for content on their site. The guy from Google grinned sheepishly and raised his hand. (Viacom...)
Talking about why he had come to this meeting, an attorney said, "I read a lot of blogs, and I wanted to see what bloggers look like!" Our host responded, "Sorry to disappoint you...."
A few years ago when I started blog-reading, I got so much flack from my friends for the geek-factor. Blogging has definitely become more main stream (MySpace has a blogging function). Nevertheless, when I told a buddy of mine (28 years old) where I was headed, he smirked.
When he saw me on IM a little while later, he wrote, "I thought you were at the geek fest?"
"I am," I replied.
"Of course. On your laptop at the geek fest."