This is the 6,003rd post at Simple Justice. I’ve written more, but only published 6,003. When I started this blawg in February, 2007, because I had nothing to do one day, and my wife said to me, “why don’t you start a blog,” I really had no thought about its future. It was just something to kill some free time doing what I enjoyed doing. I like to write.
I’m sure some of the blogs that were around before me have more posts, but it struck me that 6,003 is a lot of posts. Having switched systems and platforms a couple of times over the years, I’ve lost track of some of the data. I don’t know how many people have visited SJ over the years, but the numbers were above 25,000,000 reads when I left my last platform at GoDaddy. I don’t know how many comments have been left here in total, but according to WordPress, it’s just under 45,000.
I’ve made a lot of friends here. I’ve made a lot of enemies. Some have been in both camps at different times. New people show up for a moment then disappear. Some people stick around for a while, then disappear without a trace, then are back again. Some tell me they don’t have the time to read, or to comment, like they used to, which I always find ironic since I have the time to write. But that’s me, and it has nothing to do with anyone else.
I’m fortunate to have the courtesy of others who provide me with links to stories that interest me, and correct mistakes that embarrass me. I’ve watched as good blawgs are born and die. I wonder what happened to good people who enter my sphere and disappear again.
There are emails from people I don’t know who tell me that something I’ve written helped them to understand the law. There are emails from people I don’t know who tell me that something I’ve written is wrong and they want to hunt me down and kill me. I’m told constantly that I’m wrong by people who are the center of the universe or arbiter of right and wrong. I shrug, because they have it backwards.
But 6,003 posts is a lot of writing. A lot of words have been murdered here. When I think about it, I wonder whether it’s been for good or not. One guiding principle is that I hope to illuminate, or more to the point, I hope not to make anyone stupider. Far too many people don’t really give a damn about that, and they spew stuff out without much concern. It troubles me deeply. And it troubles me that I might be one of them. I don’t think I am, but no one is a good judge of himself.
According to the internet, my 6,003 posts should have brought me vast wealth and prestige. That’s what people say happens when you write that much stuff. They hold conferences about it, and lawyers pay big money to attend those conferences to learn how to do this. I have apparently done it all wrong, as I’ve attained neither wealth nor prestige from the internet. Or else someone isn’t telling the truth.
At various points, people have suggested I charge for the pleasure of reading SJ. Others have suggested I put advertisements all over the place and monetize the effort. I never took these suggestions, as I didn’t think anyone would pay for the privilege of reading SJ and I despise ad-laden blogs. I laugh every time I see an Alexis Neely ad next to a post at The Puddle, which reminds me of the awful irony of trying to monetize blogs. It’s not that I have anything against making money. I am a capitalist. But the trade-off has to be worth it. It isn’t.
I’ve heard from various legal publishers who have graciously sought my content for their use at wages that might pay for lunch at McDonalds, provided I didn’t supersize or get a beverage. They were in it for a profit. They really don’t want to share.
I’ve been asked to do books a few times, though never by the ABA like some other bloggers, but they were huge time-sucks with no return on the back-end. I signed a contract with one publisher to make a book out of SJ posts, but they never got around to it. I was told that the staff assigned to do the aggregation was offended by my content, whether because I was unkind to police or the slackoisie, and they couldn’t bear to read any more. So it died on the vine.
Readers, especially non-lawyers who come here for one particular post, tell me everything I’m doing wrong. Other readers, especially new lawyers who were in junior high school when I started SJ and whose parents were in junior high school when I started practicing law, tell me what I should be doing all the time. I do a lot wrong, apparently.
There are days when I feel as if I’ve already written about everything there is to write about. But that doesn’t stop me when an idea pops into my head. I apologize if I bore you, and I admit that I sometimes bore myself, but no one makes you read here. The joke has always been, if you don’t like it, you can have a refund. I think it’s funny. Others, not so much.
But 6,003 posts is a lot. There are some good ones in there. Some aren’t as good. Some of the posts I like most don’t seem to capture the interest of others. Some posts that I think are a bit silly get a ton of interest. Many times, I respond to people that they should go take a look at things I’ve written in the past which respond to their comments or questions, but not too many people take me up on the suggestion. What’s past is past. That means that 6,003 posts are now dead and buried, as if they never happened. Lost to the ages, so to speak. Gone. Forgotten.
I’ve enjoyed writing them, even if it hasn’t made me rich and famous. But 6,003. Whew.