Some Exciting Changes to the Blog–PLEASE READ

I don’t often make purely administrative posts, so let me start by thanking you for reading the blog. Whether you’re a long-time reader or a relative newcomer, it means a lot to me that you’re willing to share a portion of your busy day with us.

This blog dates back to Fall 2004, when two of my Internet Law students, Matt Goeden and Rex Holmes, told me that they would read my blog if I started blogging. (Rex and Matt, are you still reading?!) When I expressed willingness to consider it, Rex built the blog and my website back in Fall 2004.

Rex implemented the blog using Movable Type 3.2. At the time, Movable Type was state-of-the-art, and it’s served us well over the past 9 years. Still, I found it just complicated enough that I feared making any changes to my Movable Type installation (because if it breaks, I may not be able to fix it), so the blog basically still looks like it did 9 years ago. Of course, we could update to the latest Movable Type version, but that doesn’t solve the complexity problem. As a result, I’ve decided instead to make the inevitable move to WordPress now. Not only do I use WordPress for my Tertium Quid blog, but it’s simple to maintain and it’s easy to implement new plug-ins.

Thus, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll convert the blog from Movable Type to WordPress today, October 18 at 3 pm Pacific. The blog will be off-line at that time for what I hope is a short period.

Any conversion runs the risk of breaking things, and I’m especially worried that the conversion will break the existing RSS feeds. We have taken numerous steps to avoid breaking the RSS feeds. When the conversion is complete, I’ll post an all-clear message. If you get that all-clear message in your RSS feed, then it looks like the transition worked for you. If you don’t get an all-clear message by Monday, please contact me and we’ll sort it out.

Moving to WordPress has numerous benefits for you. Let me just mention three:

* Cleaner user interface. Although I like the current interface, it’s dated. The blog looks like a 2000s-era blog. We’ll be rolling out a modern and simple interface that should make the blog easier to read and easier to find what you’re looking for.

* Email subscriptions. The #1 most requested feature from readers is a way to subscribe to new posts via email. We’ll be offering that feature!

* Comments. I shut down reader comments in 2006 after a virulent comment spam attack. With the move to WordPress, we’ll be offering a new commenting feature for the first time in 7 years. I must confess that I have mixed emotions about turning comments on. On the one hand, a lot of sophisticated readers, with a lot of expertise, read the blog, and it would be incredible if we can get readers to share their expertise with each other. I often get brilliantly insightful emails from readers in response to posts, and I hope that some of those emails will turn into public comments that benefit everyone. On the other hand, just being honest, I rarely see blogs where user comments are a net benefit to the conversation. At my Tertium Quid blog, I’d guess that less than 10% of the user comments are actually useful to other readers, and I can think of numerous blogs where I cringe when reading the user comments. So I will be tightly monitoring the comments to see if they work, and it’s entirely possible we’ll decide that the commenting function isn’t an improvement and turn it back off. However, I’m cautiously optimistic that the sophistication of the readers will help this blog defeat the odds.

The conversion from Movable Type-to-WordPress has been a long time in coming–over a year since we started working on it. I’m eternally grateful to my RAs Jake McGowan (3L) and Addam Kaufman (1L) for working on this project. I’m often asked by prospective employers for recommendations of students I can personally endorse. Please contact me if you have job opportunities for a 3L or 1L where a Goldman-trained and -vetted student would be interesting to you.

While the blog’s skin may be changing, I don’t expect any change to the substance. Venkat and I (and our guests) remain committed to telling you what we’re seeing and why it matters. Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement over the years. As always, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

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