Category: Meta

A Week In The Life of the Road to Popehat

It's time for the Road to Popehat, the feature in which we check out our traffic logs, see what searches brought you here, and think to ourselves "this serves the people at the NSA right." The following searches brought people here during the last seven days: mother in law unmannered: My mother-in-law has lovely manners. She even laughed politely the time she gave my toddler son an empty plastic Jack Daniels bottle to play with and I referred to it as a "Tennessee rattle." somewhere sometime someone: This is the sort of thing I see after one of my partners...

Journalistic/Blogger Ethics Question

I'd like input from journalists and bloggers. Here's a hypothetical. You're a blogger and you write about a person who has been thrust into the spotlight — they are mildly internet-infamous. That person emails you and asks if they can talk to you off the record. You agree. They make a series of statements to you about the litigation that is the subject of your post. Some months later, that person's lawyer files a motion in court with a representation contradicting something that the person told you off the record. So: either the person lied to you during the off-the-record...

Next Time You Are Unexpectedly Banned

Dear y'all, We're using WordPress. From time to time, we have tinkered with caching software. At the moment, we're using none because we enjoy our banning software more, and cache seldom plays nicely with ban. Our server also offers caching for interpreted php modules, but we've turned that off. None of the other plugins we employ makes conspicuous use of caching, and we're presently not (knowingly) relying on a CDN. (The server bills at a flat rate, not by the mile.) Nevertheless, folks occasionally report that they're encountering a ban notice on the front page or on a given post....

A Day Reading Popehat Is Like A Day At The Farm. Every Post Is A Banquet! Every Amazon Purchase A Fortune! Every Comment Thread A Parade! I Love Popehat!

But we don't love a few of you. This is to advise that I have conducted our first mass banning, for intolerable rudeness to other commenters, ninnyhammery, and general jackanapery. If you can read this, congratulations! You have survived to fight another day. I shan't name names. The guilty know who they are, or will soon. As for the innocent, keep fighting the good fight! Politely. You may review our comment policies here. You may discuss my decision below. Politely.

Update On Our Amazon Associate Program, and Thanks

Back in July 2012 Patrick announced that, though we still won't run advertisements, we'd started an Amazon Associates program to defray costs. The Amazon Associates link is on the right-hand sidebar, or through here. If you follow it, and buy something at Amazon, we get a cut. I'm writing with an update. 1. You've ordered 1,255 items through the link, at a cost of $27,417.50, and we've gotten a cut of $1,680.14. 2. There's no way to tell who ordered what; we can only see what's been ordered in the aggregate. Some of you have awesome tastes. Some of you...

Our Plan For World Domination Proceeds Apace

Numbers courtesy of David, who found them on WordPress: Average visitors per day, 2009: 1,834 Average visitors per day, 2010: 2,277 Average visitors per day, 2011: 3,135 Average visitors per day, 2012: 10,964 Average visitors per day, 2013 (so far): 18,169 Visitors per annum, 2009: 670,000 Visitors per annum, 2010: 831,000 Visitors per annum, 2011: 1,144,000 Visitors per annum, 2012: 4,013,000 Visitors per annum, 2013 (113d/365d): 2,054,000 Reality check: we could increase that by an order of magnitude by focusing exclusively on pictures of ungrammatical cats.

Pimp Your Blog, Spring Edition

We haven't done one of these in a while, and I'm waiting for some responses about some contemplated posts and am generally lazy, so let's give this another shot. Have you written a blog post you're proud of? Created some art that moves you? Gotten mentioned in the newspaper in a non-humiliating way? Found something you want to promote? The comments are open. Promote yourself, your kids, your friends, your bizarre and frankly disturbing social and political interests (within reasonable decorum, please). Have at it. (Remember comments with more than one link will get shunted to spam).

Road To Popehat: Week In The Life Of Popehat Edition

It's time for the Road to Popehat, the feature in which we check out the traffic logs, see the searches that brought you here, and shoot an email to Rand Paul asking whether a vigorous program of domestic drone strikes is really such a terrible idea after all. All of the following searches were used to reach us in the space of one week. is constantly saying you are overpaid bullying: Not according to my managing partner. is clint eastwood an asshole: Well, I like him, but my Barcalounger says he's kind of a dick. i am in a wedding...

Facebook

We have a Facebook page, which like the gym, the kids, the dog, the cat, the taxes, the rent, and Mom (as she never ceases reminding us) we've neglected. But we're considering reviving it.  The thought is, Facebook may be a good home for other things we've neglected, things that suffer under the weight of Ken's walls of text, things too delicate for Patrick's sarcasm, things that burn under David's glare. Things like this: This will be a supplement to the blog, something like an Island of Misfit Toys, in which things that don't quite make it in will be...

Question for Bloggers: Do You Even Try to Check The Spam Filter?

We've got a comment spam problem. We use Akismet at Popehat, like many blogs using WordPress software. We've set comments to close automatically on posts after 60 days. But the flood of spam is still inexorable. I emptied the spam filter yesterday afternoon, and this morning it was at 600 comments again. That makes it impractical to check the filter for genuine comments accidentally caught there. This annoys me. Do any bloggers have any useful hints on managing this?

Any Club That Would Have Us As A Member, Part II

Like last year, Popehat has made the ABA Journal's Blawg 100, this time in the News/Analysis category. It's clear that they still don't quite know what to make of us: For a blog named after the pontiff’s headgear, Popehat sure is irreverent. A group blog devoted to—among many other things—First Amendment rights, Popehat was established back in 2005. Although it doesn’t necessarily consider itself a law blog so much as a geek blog, its members are quite active in the online legal community. We'll likely be crushed by heavyweights like Above the Law and Volokh and Turley and Randazza, all...

The Road To Popehat: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

It's time for the Road to Popehat, where we look at the traffic logs, see what searches brought you here, and wonder if voting is a good thing. Thanksgiving objectivism: GRAVY IS GRAVY. naturally assumed you knew what was going on: I love this defense, but it never works, in court or at home. can we file a low suit on physic attackers: I think I found a way to make amends to Charles Carreon. how rizona law applies to fuck parents having arguments and taking children somewhere else for the time being: TWO ways. o my god Leave me...

Keep the server happy

As you throw yourself into the seasonal mêléeshopping spree, don't forget that items purchased from Amazon through our Amazon search widget (over on the right sidebar) will help us to keep the server spinning. Thanks!

Regarding the Popehat Signal: You People Are Awesome

Every time I'm down on humanity, I think of this: whenever I put up the Popehat signal seeking pro bono help for people whose freedom of expression is threatened, I get a wave of responses. I get many from lawyers, even from lawyers in other states offering to help however they can. I get responses from web mavens and technical experts and just plain folks asking if there is any way they can contribute their efforts. I get offers of funding for the defenses. And it's not just with the Popehat signal. When I write about evil people victimizing innocents,...

Bleg: Time To Find A New Webhost

I know, I know. We asked you back in June for suggestions for a new webhost, and many of you kindly responded in comments or emails and tweets, and we haven't moved yet. But now the frequent outages are making me more stabby. Time to pull the trigger on this thing. If anyone has anything to add to what they said before, or if anyone didn't get a chance to recommend a host before, your suggestion will be much appreciated. I want something that is reliable (doesn't go down all the time, whether during surges of traffic or not), something...

A Word of Thanks to Our Sponsors (You)

It's been more than two months since Patrick announced that we'd joined the Amazon affiliate program in an effort to defray some of the cost of running Popehat. Today I'm reporting on how it's going. 1. You all ordered 244 items through our affiliate links, buying $5,287.59 worth of merchandise, netting us $308.01. 2. If you all buy 7 more items, our referral rate goes up to 6%. 3. This amount was somewhat less than the costs of Dreamhost (for hosting) and Woopra (for traffic monitoring) during this period. That's largely my fault. During my hiatus, I didn't bother to...