It’s been 2 years since I started writing this blog, (although it feels much longer than that).
The journey has been enormous fun and I regret very little of it except not spending more time just blogging. It’s brought me into contact with many thousands of you and has led to new and valued relationships taking root.
In the early days, I tended to feel a little sultry about the fact that I was sitting here frittering away precious time which I could be spending being paid by the hour, hunting down superb briefs or maybe throwing my children up in the air and catching them before they land spread-eagle on the floor.
That last one is always entertaining for me (at least).
I was miserable about the fact that I don’t get paid to write blogs whereas others in the world do and that it can take quite some time to write a blog and promote it properly. By which time I was often late for a train or had run out of time for breakfast and would go about my day through a blog-fog of petulant annoyance.
Fast-forward a few phases and I couldn’t really ask for more from here. 2017 has seen an amazing tangible increase in my regular readership. I don’t know exactly how or why this has happened and I’d rather not question it too hard, lest it take flight like an endangered species of fowl never to return again.
My best guess is that as my content library has grown over time, it has attracted a wider audience, like an ever expanding online legal-themed amoeba.
Over the last 2 years, the overwhelming majority of visitors are from the UK, followed by the US and Ireland. There aren’t many countries that I haven’t had visitors from.
Below is what my 2016 numbers looked like in terms of visitors and views. Not bad for my first year of blogging.
In 2017, visitor numbers almost doubled, and the number of views increased again by just under 50%.
As I’ve blogged less frequently, more people are actually reading what I write. Now that’s a trend I can handle.
Here’s the overview for 2017 which shows only 60 posts, (compared to 2016’s stonking 89). I also received far less comments in 2017 (17) compared to 2016 (112).
Was it something I said??
Anyway, I’ve been broadening the range of topics to provide greater emphasis on what new businesses and young organisations can learn from new developments in the law, as well as key issues that affect individual rights, like the UK’s indefinite detention of foreign nationals or challenges to workplace discrimination.
I hope that you find it an interesting / valuable mix and that I haven’t succeeded in alienating you just yet. Truth is that legal practitioners can often learn loads from developments in other fields, and so a blend of commercial and individual rights topics can create some intellectual fusion. Or fission. Or something like that.
Some of my most read blog posts were surprisingly left-field.
A lot of you read (and keep reading) my piece on the UK Supreme Court’s re-landscaping of the test for dishonesty (in the Ivey case). Although this site is not focused on crime, this is the type of case that has broad reach as it affects many professional regularatory Tribunals, as well as being of interest to those teaching and studying law. However, I bitterly regret not titling the post ‘Oh my Ghosh!‘. But the moment has passed and I must learn to move on now. *weeps, quietly*
A vast number of visitors to this site are seeking information on how to bring themselves within the UK government’s immigration policies that apply to the families of unlawful overstayers. Further information on that important topic can be found here.
Many are also interested in the fallout of the Home Office’s English language testing fraud scandal, which has affected many students and their dependents for some years now, and for some, does not appear to be capable of resolution anytime soon.
I’ve been doing my very modest bit for legal journalism whenever a story comes across my desk that I have both the time and the audacity to publish.
- Law, mostly was the first blog to break the story on this unfortunate judgment that castigated a First-tier Tribunal judge for a long list of errors;
- We led reporting on the Court of Appeal case of MK (Pakistan) which affects many thousands of relatives of EU nationals who have been wrongly denied a right of appeal;
- With great assistance from my lawyers, I defended a defamation claim brought as a result of this blog post. The High Court decision, reported on here, was hailed as a boost for legal bloggers and strengthens the protections for those who comment on cases.
So, um… What next?
Looking ahead to the rest of 2018, this site will be going through some changes to keep it modern and accessible.
I want to start running some training facilities on the site, where those who take an interest in learning more (be they lawyers, business owners or students) can do so. I’m very lucky to have been involved in some great legal training initiatives and legal education is something I’m (almost bizarrely) passionate about.
Already this year I’ve had articles being published by Lexis Nexis (in the New Law Journal and on Lexis PSL). I’ve released a series of youtube videos, all very spur of the moment almost totally without any preconceived master-plan.
I’m excited about using video and multimedia (can you tell?!).
If it seems a bit quiet on here, head over to my instagram, youtube, linkedin or facebook and you may find something more timely and of interest. I’ve been doing shorter posts on these mediums (see example below), though I may experiment with doing some on here too.
View this post on Instagram
I ❤ being organised. This is my handy carry case for chargers, usb adapters, bluetooth earphones and business cards. So much easier than having to rummage around for everything. Like if you think organisation rocks 🤘 #instatech #love #organization #happy #nofilter #fashion #technology #lawyer #traveller #ontheroad
Lastly, as liberal values become ever-more mainstream and are fully exploited by consumer capitalism (think the Kendal Jenner Pepsi ad), it helps to know that online spaces still exist where you can find and share information about legal rights for free, without any specific commercial agenda or BS behind it all.
Values don’t exist in a vacuum, they have to come from somewhere and this blog does its best to embody the values it stands for.
Thank you so much for reading. You don’t know how much it means to me. No, you really don’t.
Happy 2nd Anniversary- for your blog, Ben!
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog immensely (throughout all its changes ). Am looking fwd to reading much more and super excited for more changes to come. Yay.
Congrats & Happy Anniversary (again)!
Thank you Sam. Your support means a lot. 😁
Thanks, Ben. Welcome! 😎😉