A New Venture --
I've decided to experiment with a new blog. Starting today, I am splitting my time between the Volokh Conspiracy and a new solo blog, I imagine the new blog as a kind of "lawyer's lawyer" blog; all of the posts will be about the law, with an emphasis on current legal debates and a broader perspective on the legal academy and the legal profession. I'll continue to blog here at the VC about general topics, but my legal posts normally will appear only at the solo blog.

  In case you're wondering, I'm trying this experiment for two reasons. First, I find myself increasingly drawn to more legal and less political blogging topics, and I'm not sure I like the juxtaposition of the two that is common at the VC. I gather lots of readers like the combination — the VC's sitemeter stats are proof enough — but for a range of reasons I'm interested in creating a sharper divide between the two. The new blog will have a much smaller readership than the VC, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

  Second, starting a new blog will let me try a new approach to comments. At the new blog, most comments will be by invitation only. I explain the details in my first post, but the idea is to promote comments by a specific group of legal experts and commenters rather the general public. This isn't very populist of me, I realize, but I think it fits the focus of the new blog: Comments can add tremendous value to a blog post, but legal experts and informed commenters tend to add the most value to blog posts about the law. Of course, my posts here at the VC will continue to be open to all.

  Anyway, the plan is to try the new blog for a month or two and see if I enjoy posting there. If it doesn't work out, I'll fold up shop and post exclusively at the VC.

  Comments here are enabled (naturally, please keep it civil).

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Just A Reminder:
  2. Good Luck to Orin:
  3. Curse you Orin Kerr!!
  4. A New Venture --
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
We get an extra legal blog from you for free? Sound great.
3.13.2006 1:13am
Guest poster (mail):
Good luck on your new blog. This adequately summarizes my views on your move.
3.13.2006 1:14am
Good luck. I'll be reading it.
3.13.2006 1:20am
I just hope this doesn't compromise your political blogging here, which I very much enjoy. As I became increasingly annoyed with David Brooks a few years back, you took his place in my heart as "the conservative a liberal can love." Your reasonableness has caused me to rethink a number of positions that I never would have bothered to had I just read polemics from your side of the fence. If you weren't posting here, I'd come over quite a bit less frequently. And while I enjoy legal discourse and have an amateur interest in philosophy of law, your new project sounds like it may be too specialized for my tastes. In any case, thanks for writing here and I hope you continue to do so.
3.13.2006 1:26am
Dustin (mail):
Definitely a bold decision.

Best wishes.
3.13.2006 1:41am
Visitor Again:
This blog, the V.C., will be a lot poorer for the change. And I don't think I'm alone in saying that since quite a few commenters have said the main reason or one of the main reasons they come to the V.C. is for your law-related posts.

Your new site's rules will ensure that only feedback meeting your standards appears. But it may also ensure that some worthy feedback is not delivered at all because some people will not go to the trouble of composing comments unless they are assured they will appear, an assurance they do not have since they do not know whether you will approve their comments.

The new site's restrictions on posting of comments also sacrrifices the educational impact of give and take between those who are informed and intelligent and those who are less so. Some of the best posts I've read have been responses to the questions and claims of the ill-informed and even to ill-considered statements. I guess I'm saying that back and forth dialogue does have some advantages even when some of the participants are not up to snuff.

Of course it's your time and effort to spend as you see fit. I hope it works out for you.
3.13.2006 1:57am
Defending the Indefensible:
I wish you the very best success in your new venture. I have suspected for some time that you might make such a move eventually. It is interesting to note the commentators most active in your threads are not especially active in the threads by most of the other VC members, and vice versa. I think you have established a track record of careful analysis, tempered language and engagement with your audience unique to your byline here. Conservative, liberal and libertarian commentators have all praised your fairness.

I have said before that you are one of the primary reasons I read the VC, along with the ensuing conversations. My main fear with your new blog is that your moderation policy might be too constricting, and perhaps overwhelming to you if you must review and approve every submission by uninvited participants. But if you can make it work, or find a more manageable alternative which gives you a sufficient check against trolls and other abuse, then I will hope to be a regular reader and possible participant (if welcome).
3.13.2006 1:58am
Thanks for the comments, all.

Very good points about making sure comments aren't too restrictive. My hope is to find the right balance, and I'll see if what I'm imagining is workable. If it doesn't work, I'll ditch the plan and try something else.
3.13.2006 2:14am
Wintermute (www):
Good thing about WordPress, it has an RSS feed for comments too.

Orin, you got my email addy. Live dangerously LOL.
3.13.2006 2:24am
Porter Venn (mail) (www):
Good luck with the new blog, I actually started a new blog too. Its sort of like "The Onion" but with real news stories. its at:

Anyways, I definatly recommend Word Press, its made it really easy to Blog.

- Porte Venn
3.13.2006 2:44am
Rue Des Quatre Vents (mail):
The real question is who the Yoko Ono is behind this.
3.13.2006 5:11am
anon) (mail):
Ironically, Kerr and Barnett have been the only ones that have NOT been political bloggers. But, many have been hoping that Kerr would start his own blog for months.
3.13.2006 8:34am
SenatorX (mail):
I started a new blog too. Its called all about me and I am the only one to post there and comment. I call it "My Diary".

Seriously though, good luck with your experiment. I am not sure about the wisdom of trying to separate Politics from Law thought. It seems like the vain effort of trying to separate Philosophy from Science. I could be wrong though. Experiment on brother!
3.13.2006 8:40am
Good luck! And personally, I'll be interested to see if you can successfully develop a filter to let in only "informed commentators" while still allowing commenting to be worth the effort.
3.13.2006 9:31am
Just an Observer:
Best wishes. I do implore you to keep commenting here, as well. Your posts at VC have provided the only forum for discussion of certain controversial topics, such as the NSA matter, that span politics and the law and are not entirely dominated by partisanship.
3.13.2006 9:37am
Ross Levatter (mail):
Eugene: Perhaps if you changed the name to Volokh-Kerr Conspiracy...

3.13.2006 9:38am
Wikstrom (mail):
... SenatorX is quite correct — you can NOT separate 'politics' from the current American legal profession/academy/debates/practice.

Our legal system is politics ... one cannot alter the contents by merely changing the label on the bottle.
3.13.2006 9:41am
Baronger (mail) (www):
I will be looking forward to your new blog. Even though I am not a lawyer, I enjoy reading well reasoned legal blogs.

Sounds like you are planning something like the "friends list" which is found on live journal. So instead of being a public bar it would be more of a private club, where the procedings are televised (to stretch a metaphor). I like this system, since it makes for a more civilized conversational enviroment.

Concerns of course is that the blog discussions will develop tunnel-vision or group think. I hope that you invite people who oppose your points of view, but likewise can discuss the issue in a well reasoned and polite context.

I noticed on one bb, where instead of it being invitation only, it was a combination of registered users and very heavy moderation, they managaed to keep the discussion civilized in a political forum. Once the name calling posters were eliminated, and everyone was forced to talk in a reasoned manner, issues could be discussed. Of course that forum went in a conservative/libertarian direction, as the people who hadn't learned to really argue were excluded.

good luck
3.13.2006 9:41am
A law post a day keeps the gun nuts away.
3.13.2006 9:55am
Saturday Night Live analogy, anyone?
3.13.2006 10:12am
Professor Kerr,
Although I don't often agree with you, you're the only blogger on the VC whose posts consistently offer civil and informed discourse rather than what often seems like little more than partisan ranting. I'm looking forward to the new site where it sounds like it'll still be possible to read and engage your views. I don't know how you manage to post so often and so well (on top of everything else you do) but I'm excited about a new location for said posts.
3.13.2006 10:37am
SNL? Nah.

More like Ricky Martin leaving Menudo.
3.13.2006 10:41am
Pete Freans (mail):
It was clear after your encyclopedic NSA/FISA post that you had outgrown this blog. It was probably the most informative and timely post I had ever read on a legal blog or any blog for that matter. I look forward to patronizing your solo venture.
3.13.2006 11:09am
Defending the Indefensible:
Prof. Barnett seems upset, maybe he should be invited to join but then there might be a mass exodus from the VC.
3.13.2006 11:13am
JosephSlater (mail):
I'll add my name to the list of folks who have appreciated your careful, interesting, and balanced posts. I'll certainly check out the new site.
3.13.2006 11:33am
fmb (mail):
Whistling: "I will remeeember youuuuu....."

The menudo reference was wonderful.
3.13.2006 12:54pm
Nobody Important:
Should we expect more cat-boxing videos on your new site?

Good luck!
3.13.2006 1:13pm
42USC1983 (mail):
To the people whose voices are afraid of not being heard: Have you ever considered that if what you had to say was truly valuable that you could simply set up a blog that people would read? Not trying to be snarky... But if you couldn't set up a self-sustaning blog, then could it be that your comments aren't nearly as provocative, insightful, or pointed as you think?
3.13.2006 1:19pm
KMAJ (mail):
Prof. Kerr,

I wish you the best in your solo endeavor. I will certainly read your new blog, though, not being a lawyer, I won't attempt to post. I hope you will continue posting some of your analysis here about particular recent events, like the NSA program, for comments. Though I do not always agree, your analyses are always well written, clear and easy to understand. Your writing style encourages thoughts from both sides of an issue.

Keep on keeping on. Good luck.
3.13.2006 1:44pm
A doting fan (mail):
Prof. Kerr - All of the women in your Monday lecture think you are hott with two tees. We cannot wait to read your new stuff and commit it all to memory while we engage in pillow fights. Tee hee.
3.13.2006 3:58pm
ADF writes:
We cannot wait to read your new stuff and commit it all to memory while we engage in pillow fights. Tee hee.
Orin, here's a tip on how to respond to this kind of thing:
[L]et my words fill your computer screen, and make sweet, sweet, Valentine's Day love to your eyeballs. I'll be making love to your irises, girl, and your corneas; I'll be caressing every beautiful rod and cone, one by one, and I'll be nibbling on you optic nerve until you just can't focus no more. Because I came here to blog you girl, and when I blog you, I will blog you all … nite … long.
3.13.2006 5:03pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Best of luck to you, Orin. But let's hope your last post isn't typical of all we're going to see from you here anymore. :) (But I have to admit, I did get a chuckle out of it.)

One caveat, however: Going to a moderation queue format like that, you may want to install a Turing code filter. Sifting through 40-50 spams every couple of hours, just to review a couple of genuine comments, can quickly become maddening.
3.14.2006 1:44am