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Friday, June 17, 2011

The End Of Legal Insurrection's Beginning

I've told the story of how Legal Insurrection got started before, but I'll give it a little more flavor.

Prior to starting this blog, I was completely non-political.  I may have donated small amounts of money to a handful of candidates, but I was not politically active.  Like most people, I was more concerned with other aspects of life. 

As 2008 progressed, I became increasingly frustrated with and concerned about the mass delusion of Obamamania sweeping the nation, and the blatant media bias.

Yet I still did not become political until very late in the game, and by happenstance.

In early October 2008 I was at the home of a friend and former client, someone I had represented quite successfully in a case before I left private practice.  Despite having spent hundreds of hours together, we never had discussed politics. 

At the dinner table with our wives, he asked me for whom I was voting.  I mentioned that I was voting for McCain, and we got into a big argument, since he was an ardent Obama supporter and suffered from severe PDS. 

After we argued back and forth for a while, he said that he never had heard anyone make the points as clearly as I had, and suggested that I should start a blog.

That's it.  No grand plan, just an argument and a dare.

I didn't really know what a blog was.  I didn't follow the blogosphere much, if at all.  So I picked Google Blogger because it was free, easy to use, and free.  I was so ignorant of blogging that it never dawned on me to blog under a pseudonym.

My first post, Obama is Door No. 2, still is one of my favorites.  Proudly, I was against Obamamania before it was cool to be against Obamamania.

The subsequent two and one-half years would prove to be a roller coaster of emotions and blogging ups and downs.  But mostly ups. 

And while I often joke about the "obligatory thanks to the wife," she really does deserve a lot of thanks for putting up with this.  It's not easy being a blog widow.

I've met some really great people along the way, and some miserable wretches.  The great people keep me motivated; the miserable wretches keep me agitated.

Two and one-half years later, after almost 8 million visits and 10 million page views, I'm moving away from Blogger.  I made the decision even before the Big Blogger Blackout of 2011, but that event confirmed my view that I no longer was comfortable relying on the goodwill of Google.

It's a somewhat frightening process because for all its faults, Blogger was easy to use and free.  It's also free.

Instead, now I'm dealing with issues such as "load" and bandwidth.  For those who care, I'll be using a Virtual Private Server with Media Temple.  I think we've sized things to maintain very fast page loading, but since I've always been on Google's servers, we really don't know what the "load" will be until we get there.  If you find that the new blog loads slowly, please let me know, I want to hear from you.

I have no illusions that the new website will be problem free, but at least now I'll have someone to call and will have the ability to make changes.

Late tonight I'll stop putting through comments and stop making any new posts here.  After that the final data will be downloaded, and then uploaded to a custom designed blog, including over 3,500 posts and 32,000 comments.  As you can surmise, I'm not doing this myself and had the good sense to hire professional help.

This "blogspot.com" address then will be redirected to the new location (http://www.legalinsurrection.com/); all links should work so that if you click on a prior blog post link, it should direct you to the same post at the new blog.  If you subscribe to the RSS feed or via Google Friend Connect or Facebook, there should be no change; let me know if you encounter any problems.

Phase 1, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, will result in what hopefully will be an even more user-friendly blog.  Comments will use the Wordpress system; registration will be required but open.  It's not yet clear whether we'll be able to use the Open I.D. usernames.  Comments will continue to be moderated.  I've opted not to use vendors such as Disqus at this time because I'll have enough to do becoming familiar with Wordpress, I don't need any more complications.

Phase 2 will take place sometime over the summer, hopefully sooner rather than later.  Phase 2 will include the creation of a format off the home page for registered users in which we can focus on specific political races, topics, or candidates independent of any particular blog post.  This will be in keeping with my goal of focusing the blog on a relatively small number of races which are flying under the radar in which we may be able to make a difference for conservative candidates, similar to what I tried to accomplish in the 2010 elections.

So there will be a lot taking place here over the next couple of months, and even more so as we gear up for the most important election since the Great Depression.

But first I have to get through the weekend.

Wish me luck.

Updates:  Since I'll likely lose "authority" after the switchover, I'll note for the record that as of today Legal Insurrection is ranked #14 in Politics and #72 Overall by Technorati, and #2 in Law and #44 in Politics by Wikio.

Also, since I'm unable to post comments (yes, really!) I'll respond to reader questions and comments here:

@Shaun - blogroll links will redirect, but next week once the new site is live, please use the new url.

@Aucturian - thanks, but we've now put up a blank page so no more sneak peeks!

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  1. mazal tov ... and good luck

  2. Your blog has been a shining beacon of hope in this age of Obamamania "hope" & "change". Keep up the great work!

  3. Wow, I didn't realize I've been here since the very beginning! Your site is a daily read for me and I wouldn't even consider not reading it on a daily basis. Looking forward to the future!

  4. Ditto to Vinny. You've accomplished a lot in 3 years. I assumed you had been around much longer.

    Q: Advantage to having a handful of regular readers?

    A: don't have to move to Wordpress.


    Good luck, and what about blogroll links in blogger - will they redirect or will I need to delete the old one, add the new?

  5. Professor, good move. Look forward to continuing my daily read on the new platform. Keep the heat on the libs.

  6. Luck is 99.99% hard work. The harder you work, the luckier you are. You will continue to be "lucky", as you have in the past, by producing work that has become a daily 'must read' by so many.

    Here's my wish of luck for the .01% that hard work doesn't cover. :-)

  7. Good Luck...and the new blog looks cool.

  8. Previewed the new site. Classy and Beautiful!

  9. First off, please thank your client for me (and, I suspect, thousands of others.)!!

    Best wishes on the migration.

  10. Good luck, and what about blogroll links in blogger - will they redirect or will I need to delete the old one, add the new?

    Shaun, if I'm reading the Professor correctly, you're fine for the time being - you'll be directed from his end. Sort of like being transported through a wormhole.

    That said, it won't hurt you to tweak your blogroll a bit - just as I'll have to tweak mine.

  11. Professor, on to bigger and better things. I have enjoyed your blog and it is always one of the first I view every morning. So I look forward to the new blog.

    Your reviews of judicial decisions, that in some way will affect all of us, are especially appreciated. Clear, concise and no penumbras. If I could ask for anything more, it would be how those decisions stand up to the Constitution itself. I am constantly amazed at the number of the people who are now reading the Constitution for the first time since they left junior high.

    As to your recent entry into the ranks of those who are politically active, you are not alone. Perhaps the one legacy that Obama will leave is a populace that has become more informed about their own government. I truely believe that had it not been for Obama, there would never have been the creation of the TEA Parties, people would never have looked up from their daily lives of just trying to do the best for their families, to say "Whoa, what are you doing to my government?"

    So we will travel this road with you.

  12. Bill: you made your own luck--and I'm sure more will come your way on the new platform! Best wishes. . .

  13. Good Luck Professor. I look forward to seeing you arrive safely in your new home!

  14. Media Temple. H-m-m-m-m. This is all so sudden. I'll have to take time this weekend to think about whether I'm ready to change religions. I never knew there were evangelical Jews.

    I'm sure it will go well and we will end up in a better place.

  15. I was so ignorant of blogging that it never dawned on me to blog under a pseudonym.

    Boy, I can relate to that! I was reading Lucianne's site the first year she began. After much hesitation, I decided to register so I could post comments. When I was asked for my "user name," I put my own name never realizing what a user name was. I was scared when I realized what I had done and hardly slept for a week thinking of the horrible things that might happen with my real name out there for everyone to read. Nothing ever did, and I've been using my real name ever since, along with my real picture, too.

    Congrats on your step forward :~)

  16. We got hooked on LI early. We also chose Blogger because it was free, did not cost us any money, and was free.

    We're not professional journalists here, but this seems like a good time for the Ithaca Journal to take break from its blanket coverage of the recycled plastic skateboard industry and run a "local boy makes good" story about LI.

    Keep up the good work, Professor!

  17. 'I was so ignorant of blogging that it never dawned on me to blog under a pseudonym.'

    Actually, I thought about it, but a lot of academics had built their reputations with a blog online, amazingly. But I shifted from being an academic blogger to a partisan blogger, and that's when I had second thoughts about using my real name. I'm up to half a dozen complaints to my workplace about my blogging, and I've now been libeled at the Office of the State Community College Chancellor and the California Attorney General. Must really be over the target.

    Anyway, I like the "Blogs I Read" blogroll links, especially since I see the hits from "LI" in my Sitemeter and I come back over here to visit. Try to keep those if you can.

  18. Congrats, Prof.

    I've been following your blog almost from the beginning, when I was overjoyed to find this port in the Progressive Storm. Thanks for many wonderful reads, great kindness, and introducing your readers to a wonderful assortment of smart patriots.

    Here's hoping you enjoy the next phase as much as your readers have enjoyed the first!

  19. "...but we've now put up a blank page so no more sneak peeks!"

    Hah! Good thing I got mine early this morning! :)

    (Looked good, too.)

  20. Just one question professor will it be Word Press.com or Word Press.org. There is a difference as one is free and the other paid for.

  21. To the toppermost of the bloggerposts! (Or at least to infinity and beyond.) Good luck with the move !!

    LukeHandCool (who thinks LI should be required reading for America's younggins ... and oldins, too).

  22. Professor, as a long-time listener and rare (but not first time) caller, I want to congratulate you on your blog and its progress. I also think that the client who suggested that you start this blog sounds like an o.k. guy. He was willing to engage in spirited discussion and credited you with some good arguments, as well as suggesting that you take your message to the world. A shout-out to him as well.

  23. Moves this large no matter however smooth they go always come with much technical pain.   But.   I'm looking forward to the 'new' Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

       Good luck to you Professor!

  24. All my best wishes for you, Professor... from a stay-at-home mom who is not supposed to know much.

    Since I am already registered on WordPress, I'll be there when you move to your new location! :-)

  25. Bill,

    Best of luck with the new site!

    I can honestly say that among the best times here have been the occasional opportunities to respond to the trolls -- control or otherwise -- who have either shown up on their own, or perhaps been assigned here in order to try to muddy the waters.

    My personal favorite was during the recount fiasco for the seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- when one JoAnn at May 7, 2011 5:36 PM (NOT frequent commenter "Joanne") showed up here to lay out the basic argument in support of Ms. Kloppenburg's decision to demand a taxpayer-funded recount, in spite of having little or no chance of prevailing. Responding to "Joann" was fun. Then there was also Wrisky who showed up on the same thread, and heard back from us!

    You were obviously getting to them!

    I have no doubt that during the run-up to the 2012 election, we will all see a concerted effort to dominate the national conversation, and that the supporters of the President will try to make up for what they must see as a failure to get their message through. Part of their response will be to try to ratchet up the debate, will include challenging you and your followers by posting contrarian comments on your blog.

    It will just never dawn on them that the real problem they have is that their policies are wrong.

    Speaking of comments, you may have addressed this specifically already, but will your Wordpress affiliation include broader comment formatting function capability? Sure hope so! It's nice to know a bit of html formatting here and there to illustrate one's points. But there are significant limitations on Blogger -- no paragraph indentation, no editing function (other than completely removing a comment).

  26. Good luck Professor. Try not to pull your hair out.

    "G_d bless us, every one!"

    Tiny Tim

    (no not the 'Tiptoe thru the Tulips' singer)

  27. "Perhaps the one legacy that Obama will leave is a populace that has become more informed about their own government."

    Yes, also up-armed. Classical theological principle: give the Devil his due.

    Professor, happy you went with professional help on the change-over. Always best practice.

  28. Whither you goest . . .

    (And is your friend/former client still an Obama supporter?)

  29. Although I seldom post, I have followed you and been a follower since the beginning. I visit at least once a day, often many times more. I consider your blog one of the best and your insights and commentary are so in tune with my beliefs and thoughts that it is sometimes frightening. I suspect that you have gained such popularity because a large segment of people relate and agree with you.

    Thanks for your devotion to this and I look forward to the new Legal Insurrection

    Jerry Brown
    Sebastian Florida

  30. Please, do me a favor and use Discus for your commenting system.

  31. I am wondering the same thing as Ms. Slippers. :-)

    Thanks for all you do, and also for the pseudonym comment. I now think it's past time I posted a full explanation of my own.

  32. Can't wait for the new digs!! As one of your early readers and a regular commenter, I can say this is exciting! I remember when...... Your story is so like mine; but I never received the great advice to blog about my new-found concerns with the election, the media, and the country's seeming kool-aid addiction in 2008.

    I have a Wordpress ID with Hot Air, but I don't know if it will work with your blog; it won't with Michelle Malkin's (her login process is much more controlled - so many haters due to her effectiveness and fame).

    Thank you to your wonderful wife, for allowing us all to glean from your wisdom and insight as we travel through this malaise together. She is a generous woman.

    See you on the other (blog) side!

  33. Best of luck, and bon voyage, Professor.

  34. Congratulations on living the American Dream (version 1.6 trillion).

    "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

  35. Clicked on the wrong comment thread the first time. :-/

    Just goes to show the truth of two sayings:

    1. Cream rises to the top.

    2. When Americans get involved, they usually choose the right course.

    Heartfelt thanks, Professor, and here's hoping everything works great on the new blog host.