Year In Review: Who Are You, And Why Are You Here?

As I hope all readers know, I have a very strict privacy policy, and I don’t use Google Analytics, Twitter share buttons, or any other tools that would allow Big Brother to track your visits to Letters Blogatory. But I like to look at the statistics myself to see where in the world you live, what Google searches bring you to Letters Blogatory, and what topics are of greatest interest to Letters Blogatory readers. In this post, I am going to share a little of this data with you, and then ask for your suggestions for the coming year.

Looking Behind The Curtain: Who Reads Letters Blogatory?

Letters Blogatory readers come from all over the world (hello, Tuvalu!) But there are pretty clear geographic patterns to the readership. In descending order, the top ten countries for Letters Blogatory readers are: the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, India, Australia, Ireland, and Spain. It’s not a surprise, given that I write in English, that the Anglosphere is dominant. The remaining countries are from the core of the EU, which again is not surprising given the high interest among European lawyers and scholars in private international law issues. I would like to note that China is country #11, just behind Spain, and one of my goals is to try to write on topics that will be of greater interest to East Asian readers in the coming year.

What are you reading?

I only started keeping statistics in the middle of the past year, so my look at what interests you is necessarily incomplete. We had a few big stories in the first half of 2012—I am thinking particularly of the coverage of the Second Circuit’s decision in Naranjo and my favorite feature from the last year, the symposium on forum non conveniens and recognition of foreign judgments. But based on the data I have, I see that the issues that have drawn the most attention from readers are my coverage of the Belfast Project, my Lago Agrio coverage, the Argentine sovereign debt cases, and Chafin v. Chafin, the case now before the Supreme Court on the Hague International Child Abduction Convention. (My post on the Sea Search Armada case was also a big draw, mainly because it got picked up by a bunch of non-legal websites. Welcome, age-of-sail enthusiasts!)

Now, all of these are cases that I have put in special areas of the blog—you can find all of them using the “special coverage” button in the menu bar. So this could mean that I have done a very good job of identifying which cases should get special coverage, or it could mean that by making the choices I have, I’ve called attention to some issues and not to other issues. One of the questions I’m going to ask you to answer (see below) is: What am I not writing about that you would like to read more of?

How do you use Letters Blogatory?

As Letters Blogatory matures, I’ve continued to make changes to the back end to make it a better website. This year I installed a new search engine to improve user searches, but it turns out that almost no one uses it, so I have removed it, which incidentally speeds up the website just a bit.

I also have tried to provide several ways for you to get your daily dose of international judicial assistance adventure. You can always come to the website, of course, but I encourage you to think about subscribing to my email service (you can subscribe on the right-hand side of the screen). The software that I use to send you the newsletter is not perfect, and sometimes you may prefer to visit the website. But you may find it convenient to have the case of the day waiting in your inbox in the morning. Of course, you can also read Letters Blogatory via an RSS reader.

This year I inaugurated the International Judicial Assistance Brigade, a group of intrepid writers from around the world who have undertaken to keep me (and you) up to date on happenings in their countries. We have had some great contributions from Peter Bert, Antonin Pribetić, Jie Huang, Rafael Romano, and Fanny Cornette. How would you like to contribute to Letters Blogatory as a member of the IJA Brigade? New members are always most welcome—you can express interest using the contact page.

Your turn

Now I turn the floor over to you. Here are some of my questions, and I would be grateful for your thoughts and insights, either in a comment to this post or by email:

  • What topics would you like to see more of?
  • What topics would you like to see less of?
  • Are there any big stories I’m missing?
  • What new features would you like to see? A LinkedIn group? Better search capabilities? More indices or digests?

Thank you as always for reading Letters Blogatory! I look forward to bringing you all the latest in international judicial assistance in 2013!

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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