It is sad to say goodbye to Concurring Opinions, a law professor blog I co-founded in 2005. The blog began when a group of us (Dave Hoffman, Kaimi Wenger, Nate Oman, and me) who were blogging at PrawfsBlawg decided we wanted more autonomy in blog governance, so we founded Concurring Opinions. Over the years, we added many great permabloggers: Danielle Citron, Deven Desai, Frank Pasquale, Gerard Magliocca, Ronald K.L. Collins, Larry Cunningham, Naomi Cahn, Sarah Waldeck, Solangel Maldonado, Corey Yung, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, and others.
Regarding my reflections on Concurring Opinions, a lot of emotions are wrapped up in that blog. I enjoyed blogging and really liked building the blog with my co-bloggers. Through blogging, I got to engage with many people whom I never would have engaged with otherwise. I met a lot of other law professors I never would have otherwise met. It was a wonderful experience that truly enhanced my academic experience.
In the heyday of Concurring Opinions, we had hundreds of guest bloggers. Our readership numbers rose rapidly, and we were ranked in the top 10 law professor blogs with the most visitors. These were the golden years of blogging.
Here’s a screen capture of what our original site used to look like:
But then came the decline. Many of us permabloggers became busy with other projects. Several of us were invited to write for other sites and publications. I started blogging over on this blog for my company TeachPrivacy, and keeping up with two blogs was too much. My pen ran dry at Concurring Opinions, as did the pens of others. Only a few of the permabloggers were carrying the torch. The number of posts by permabloggers kept dwindling, and the site traffic dropped. So, this past month, we decided to shut the blog down. As of January 1, 2019, there will be no new posts at Concurring Opinions, and the site will go offline at some point in 2019.
Concurring Opinions (2005-2018)
The demise of Concurring Opinions wasn’t just caused by our being spread thin and not posting. Others could have joined the blog. We might have been more committed to the blog if it had a bright future.
But the blogs generally have been on the decline. Part of this is due to the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which have become the primary place people go to look for new content. In the old days, people used to visit blogs or follow along via RSS feeds. Now, hardly anyone visits a blog — they click over to specific posts from a link in Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Blogging still survives, but an independent blog site, with costs supported by advertising, is hard to run these days. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have grabbed all the advertisement dollars and all the primary Internet traffic, leaving little left for independent sites. It’s a story akin to how the big discount booksellers killed the small independent stores — though it’s heartening to know that the small bookstores are undergoing a resurgence these days.
I will continue to blog here at my Privacy+Security Blog at TeachPrivacy. This is a different blog than Concurring Opinions. It is more focused, doesn’t have comments, and doesn’t have other permabloggers or guest bloggers. Concurring Opinions was a group space, a community of scholars and friends of scholarship. It was eclectic and wide-ranging. Although Concurring Opinions is irreplaceable, I hope that my blogging here still is worth some attention.
I have decided not to let my old posts at Concurring Opinions turn into pixel dust, so I have archived them here. I’ll soon add some posts I wrote for other blogs, such as PrawfsBlawg and Balkinization, so my posts will all be under one roof. Right now, there are about 400 blog posts that I’ve archived thanks to the help of my terrific team here at TeachPrivacy. I’ve added spiffy new images to the posts because I now have thousands of images in my TeachPrivacy multimedia collection. Looking through these posts, there are some about interesting cases I had forgotten about. There are posts with my reactions to major cases, laws, and happenings in privacy and security law. Delving into these posts is like taking a nostalgic look at the history of privacy law over the past 10+ years.
So if you’re interested, click the button below to peruse some of my older posts. It’ll be kind of like rummaging through a yard sale. Some will find mostly junk, but for other lucky explorers, there will perhaps be a few items worth checking out. . .
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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy and data security training. He also posts at his blog at LinkedIn, which has more than 1 million followers.
Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz, of the Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 3-5, 2018 in Washington, DC), an annual event designed for seasoned professionals.