There's an interesting post about the changes which have occurred in the blogosphere in general. It's a good summary.
The legal blogosphere has changed dramatically since I began blogging over 5 years ago. It's a lot worse than it once was. I probably read 5 or 6 law blogs.
The biggest - and worst - change to the legal blogosphere has been the Rise of the Marketers. It used to be that a lawyer would publish a blog for the sake of blogging. Blogging was intrinsicly good. He or she would give a name and professional bio. But the posts didn't read like lawyer billboards. Blog posts had actual substance.
Lawyers shared their knowledge of their specialities to other lawyers and lay persons. Blogs were actually edyifing. Now most law blog posts are filled with lines like, "You need a personal injury attorney," with alink to the blogger's law firm. Blogging is about closing sales.
Because of the excessive marketing, I barely venture out into the legal blogosphere. Most of the law blogs I read aren't even law blogs. Although written by lawyers, the blogs discuss non-law issues that interest me.
Law blogging logging has also gotten very cliquish.
Law professors have their space. They link to each other rather than the greater legal blogosphere. Before, there was a lot of cross-discussion between professors, lawyers, and law students. All comers were taken seriously. People were judged based on their message rather than their perceived status.
With only a 100 or so legal blogs, you didn't have much choice. If you wanted to converse, you had to respect the diversity. You had to engage others outside of your status or social class.
With so many legal blogs (thousands?), no one is forced to interact with others. If you want to gripe about how much you hate prosecutors, or how butt hurt you are that law professors don't link to you; you have a niche. You can name your fraternity the "practical blawgosphere."
If you're a law professor, how will linking to a law student or lawyer help you get tenure or more academic prestige? So you boot lick other law professors, by linking to their blogs.
Law blogging is like high school or college. The black kids, white kids, and Asian kids are all sitting at separate tables. The law professors, lawyers, and law students all link to members of their respective subcultures. There thus isn't much debate worth reading.
It's bad enough that we have to glad-hand in real life. On my own time, I am not inspired to read the latest ass-kissing post of the day.
The modern legal blogosphere sucks because it's been overrun by legal marketers, and because people who might be able to engage in actually-interesting conversations are too busy sucking up to their e-friends and e-colleagues.