Well, there we are, Nearly Legal is 5 years old. In internet terms that is positively middle-aged. We will be keeping a close eye open for any signs of mid-life crisis – whatever the website equivalent of wearing too tight jeans and buying a motorcycle is, maybe taking up with some inappropriately young social networking site and coming over all txt speak.
Still, middle-aged or not, it does seem that Nearly Legal has become something of an institution. In the last year, the site had 270,429 page views, and not all of them from the same few people obsessively reloading pages. That strikes me as a lot for such a resolutely specialist legal blog. In addition, there are 1,107 subscribers, including 823 by email.
Out of curiosity, I totalled up page views since May 2007 (which is as far back as the statistics record goes) – 738,816. And that is even after I cleverly managed to make the site invisible to google for six months when we moved to the new server in January 2010. (Without that, we would certainly have cleared the three quarters of a million mark, not that I’m obsessed or anything).
Since NL started, we have clocked up 1,170 posts (that is one every 1.5 days on average) and 4,746 comments. That is a remarkable level of engagement by readers – and thank you. It would be a much poorer site without the arguments and information from commenters.
I’m not wholly sure what I think about the site being an institution, but it is certainly flattering and a fitting return for all the incredible work that my co-authors have put in since mid 2008. We’ll just have to struggle on personfully with the (entirely imagined) weight of responsibility.
While the site may yet fall prey to a mid-life crisis, I’m not planning any great changes – we’ll keep on doing the same thing, at least for the foreseeable future. Or at least unless some jealous big legal publisher makes a huge offer to buy the site, but somehow I doubt my principles are going to be put to the test.
Now, where did I put my slippers?