As I’ve written before, the purpose of this blog is naval gazing, not navel gazing, so I always feel funny about making posts about CAAFlog.  Nevertheless, in light of the fairly recent overhauls of our comment policy, I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to assess how things are going.

As our regular readers may recall, until fairly recently, we allowed open comments with no moderation, with the exception of attempting to block posts by three specific commenters who had been repeatedly over-the-top inappropriate in previous comments.  Due to repeated scurrilous anonymous drive-by comments, we shifted very briefly to a period where comments could be posted only under the commenter’s actual name.  After my CAAFlog colleagues beat me into submission, we adopted our current policy of allowing comments to be made under the individual’s actual name or a “registered pseudonym.”

Two of the effects of the changed policy were anticipated.  First, in the wake of the new policy, comments dropped off sharply.  The number of comments seems to have increased somewhat, though to nowhere near the volume during the period when comments were almost entirely unregulated.  Second, the ratio of civil to uncivil posts has improved markedly since the new policy was put in place.  What surprises me is that our other metrics appear to be basically unchanged.  We’re getting about the same number of hits, unique readers, and page views that we got before the change in policy.  In fact, this last Wednesday, we had a huge spike in readership, which I assume resulted from interest in the Kabul Klipper’s analysis of CAAF’s Prather opinion and the comments to that analysis.  So it’s gratifying to see that our readers seem to think our site still has something to offer even with the reduced flow of comments.

Even before the recent comment brouhaha, I had been considering retiring from blogging.  But I’ve decided that with several major military justice cases on the horizon — including the Hasan and Manning courts-martial — I’d like to continue for the time being.  So after the hiatus that I mentioned in today’s This Week in Military Justice, I’ll be tickling the keyboard once again.  As always, I’m sincerely grateful to those who spend a precious finite resource — time — reading what I have to write.

18 Responses to “A very quick thought about the state of this blog”

  1. Ama Goste says:

    On the plus side, the serious readers no longer have to wade through the junk to get to the beef. Or maybe it’s just that Lakin’s over, not due to your policy change.

  2. Christopher Mathews says:

    On the plus side, the serious readers no longer have to wade through the junk to get to the beef. Or maybe it’s just that Lakin’s over, not due to your policy change.

    I dunno … I kinda miss being lectured to on the finer points of military law by guys who couldn’t spell “UCMJ” even if you spotted them all the consonants.

  3. Stewie says:

    It seemed to me much was due to Lakin but granted my period of following this blog only goes back to 2009, so I admittedly do not have the depth of review that the folks who run this place obviously do, so if they say this is a problem that keeps coming up from time to time, who am I to disagree.

    However, it did feel like one interaction in which, IMO both sides aggravated the exchange, led to the current setup.

    Regardless, glad to see the website continues on. I know I’ve used the resources here both in helping me with my legal work and academic scholarship. And I’ve learned a lot here and hope to continue to do so. It’s made me a better attorney.

  4. John O'Connor says:

    “I know I’ve used the resources here both in helping me with my legal work and academic scholarship. And I’ve learned a lot here and hope to continue to do so. It’s made me a better attorney.”

    ———————-

    I’ll take the contrarian position and invoke the principal from Billy Madison: “Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read this blog. May God Have mercy on your soul.” ;-)

  5. soonergrunt says:

    I dunno … I kinda miss being lectured to on the finer points of military law by guys who couldn’t spell “UCMJ” even if you spotted them all the consonants.

    Well, the Manning case will start heating up soon enough, so you can get it from the other direction. Of course, Manning’s supporters don’t seem to have found CAAFlog yet. I’m not telling them about it, either.

  6. Anonymous Air Force Appellate Defense Lawyer says:

    As long as you’re writing it, I will be reading it.

  7. k fischer says:

    I just read the line above stating “Military justice blogs are to blogs as military music is to music.”

    As a former Army Bandsman, I take great offense, unless your point was that military justice blogs rock the house, as this one does. If a rousing rendition of ‘Gary Owen’ doesn’t blow your hair back, then you need to check your pulse.

  8. Peanut Gallery says:

    Caaflog groupie? Who knew.

  9. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    K Fischer—Sorry, we can\’t take credit for the tag line. See Groucho Marx circa before I was born.

  10. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    As for JO\’C, with all due respect, and remember I\’m sayin\’ it with all due respect, that comment ain\’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin\’ it on.

  11. Marcus Fulton says:

    Robert Sherrill, author of “Military Justice is to Justice as Military Music is to Music” had this to say about the line, which he attributes to Clemenceau:

    “As epigrams go, this one is unusually accurate. Both military music and military justice have purposes narrower than music and justice; one is supposed to keep ‘the boys’ pepped up, the other is intended to keep them tamed down.”

    I’m not sure what application that has to blogs; it just seemed clever at the time.

  12. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    Marcus–from the man also credited with the \”military intelligence\” quip, I don\’t believe that Groucho used it in the complimentary fashion that Clemenceau did, probably more sarcasm than anything—which I believe is the tone we were shooting for.

  13. Dew_Process says:

    You should be so lucky. Take your “commercials” elsewhere.

  14. Christopher Mathews says:

    Kenneth Olsen says:

    … I would contend that CAAFLOG.com could be called “Sullivanity on Parade.” I must be nuts.

    Too easy.

  15. sg says:

    @Christopher Mathews:

    I thought of your earlier post when I read his effluent.

    Awesome.

    @Olson:

    In addition to being nuts, you are dumber than a bag of wet mice. You make me seem like a crack military lawyer, and that really says something.

    BTW-if you have an android phone, you need to get “swype” for text entry. It kicks all kinds of ass!

  16. Phil Stackhouse says:

    Yawn.

  17. David Sheldon says:

    Skippy,

    Blog on.

    Siddartha

  18. Balkan Ghost says:

    Sullivan’s contributions to this blog are more than our small, esoteric, niche market of military justice deserves. He’s that good, and we’re lucky to be along for the ride, however long it lasts. Though I also wonder if writing the blog is what brings out the best in Sullivan, and if he needs to keep writing as much as we need his insight.