Friday, October 27, 2023

4,000 posts and counting

This post isn't itself the 4,000th post I've published on FWIW. Strictly speaking, and if you're only talking about this site, and not counting what I call Page Two of FWIW (where I've also put up over 500 posts), my 4,000th FWIW post went up last week sometime.

But a 4,000th post is a significant milestone -- a monument to stubbornness, perhaps -- even though not all the 4,000+ posts that have appeared here have been mine. I've been gratful for the opportunity to publish a number of guest posts, such as the many substantive posts from Albert J. Klumpp, who has provided scholarly analysis of the last several judicial election cycles.

Another bunch of these 4,000 posts that I did not write, but in which I nevertheless take particular pride, are the "In Their Own Words" posts that I have solicited and published in every campaign cycle since 2008. These are posts in which I've let Cook County judicial candidates write whatever they want to say to the voters, however they want to say it. I'll be asking for these again in a couple of months. Not every candidate takes me up on this offer; I wish it were otherwise. But I link to the all the candidate statements I do receive from the Organizing the Data posts that I feature in the last weeks before the primary or (when there's been the odd, contested election) the November election.

As for the rest... well... in my more candid and reflective moments I will concede that most, indeed the vast majority, are (at best) informational. The Pulitzer Prize Board has committed no grievous oversight in passing me by. On the other hand, I did win a Kogan Award from the Chicago Bar Association in 2012
and an Honorable Mention from the Kogan Committee in 2014. (The CBA seems to have disbanded the Kogan Committee recently; I'm not sure how much I am to blame for this.)

Some of the posts I've put up here and on Page Two have included personal recollections of my own ill-fated runs for the bench in 1994 and 1996. I tried to distill and offer lessons from my own electoral failures in these 2021 posts:
Some of the posts I've put up here and on Page Two are humorous; some posts were intended to be humorous. I like to think there's a substantial overlap between those two categories....

But even in strictly informational posts, I sometimes try and slip in a zinger or two. I used to do this in appellate briefs, too. My thought was that the judges (and/or their clerks) who had to read those things might appreciate a little diversion. You know... never a joke, certainly, but perhaps a play on words, or an unexpected allusion... a little levity to leaven the grim necessity of plowing through page after page of dense legal prose. It never occurred to me that it might cause some judges (and/or their clerks) not to take me seriously... but, now, looking back, considering some of the results that obtained... well, I can't help but wonder....

I've written some posts for FWIW that I consider substantive -- even if I try to approach serious topics in a readable, conversational way. By way of example, I hope that one of these days, the courts will realize that access to justice in civil cases and meaningful employment for lawyers are both negatively impacted by the soaring costs of discovery. When that day comes, I hope the courts will remember that I've been advocating for "Zero-Based Discovery" for some years now (and, if you're interested in what I mean by this, perhaps start with this post).

But I realize that what keeps readers returing to FWIW is my coverage of Cook County judicial elections. People tell me I am providing a useful service with this site. I hope I am.

For those of you who may be new here, and unfamiliar with how I've tried to cover these elections in the past, this FAQ post may be of some assistance.

If you've consulted one of my FAQ posts, now or ever, you know that I don't accept ads from candidates and I don't charge candidates to promote their websites or events. I will accept ads from persons or companies looking to sell services to candidates... but I don't suffer from the burden of too many ads. I do accept reader donations. If you're viewing this article on a laptop or desktop, you can see there's a "Donate" button toward the top of the Sidebar on this site. You are welcome to contribute to the upkeep of this site by clicking there.

The "Donate" button links to PayPal, and allows readers to pay either by PayPal (if you have an account) or by credit card. And PayPal has recently added another donation option, for those generous souls who may be reading this only on their phones and/or who already have a PayPal account (I'm told it's quite common). This link -- PayPal.Me/FWIWChicago -- supposedly will allow you to help support this venture as well.

Charlie Meyerson, in his hugely popular email news briefing, Chicago Public Square, regularly solicits support from his readers, and occasionaly he will publish a list of those who have most recently taken him up on that invitation.

But be not afraid. I realize that everyone who reads this site seems to prefer, and even cherish, anonymity. Much as I would like to publicly thank anyone who contributes -- I am truly grateful for any and all support -- I won't mention anyone who donates by name unless they ask me to do so.

I may not know how to 'read a room' well, but I'm not totally illiterate either.

More posts to come....


Anonymous said...

Congrats on 4,000 posts, and your continued longevity to post 4,000 more.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS on this milestone. Your articles of substance, election news and even of your musings are appreciated by many. And your dedication to the blog and the law are applaudable.

One comment/question/complaint: have you looked at your blog since you added more ads? I am sorry to say that it makes your posts almost unreadable - at least on my Android phone where I always read the blog (like those click-bait stories on social media). Not only are there top and bottom banners popping up and filling half the page but clicking on a story now always brings up a disruptive ad which must be "x"d out of, not to mention ads that lean towards inappropriate to the more gentle-minded of your readers. While this ad situation does not keep me from being an avid reader of your blog, it does cause me to read less of an article out of frustration as to where the article continues after a pop up of another attorneys firm soliciting business or worse, an ad for "personal" items.

Tom Davy said...

A belated congrats. I'll try to be more timely when you hit 5000. Always interesting reads, even though I'm no longer in the game. (And I'll go out on a limb and use my real name. Come on folks, picking a Nom de Blog isn't that hard. Unless, of course, there is really only one Anonymous out there who comments all the time. Food for thought.)