By George

By Nick Holmes on June 7, 2007
2 comments
Filed under Blogging

Martin George has outed himself as author of the blog formerly known as Legal Scribbles, saying:

I would rather be open and honest about my identity. I don’t write about my personal life, nor do I touch on overtly sensitive topics …, so there is no good reason to hide behind a domain name.

I can see that for him anonymity served no purpose, and most law bloggers were aware of his identity any way. But I thought Legal Scribbles was a perfectly good name and that he had established a good following using that name. So, I sked him, “Why abandon it and the associated domain name? Why not just declare identity in the About page?”

Martin’s response is that he thought it better to move his blog to his named domain website (ie martingeorge.org), and phaseout all other “branding” (aside from www.conflictoflaws.net).

This makes it simpler for me (I don’t have to post to two blogs) and hopefully easier for everyone else as well. Domain names tend to go in and out of fashion (and I was never particularly enamoured with “Legal Scribbles” – it seemed to imply a certain frivolity or lack of care), but my name will be fairly relevant to me for a while yet, I imagine!

I don’t agree that “frivolous” (or should we say “clever”) blog names are detrimental. Indeed it is par for the course, even in legal academia: witness the wide range of clever names under which US law professors blog.

2 comments

Thanks, Nick.

I take your point that “clever” domain names are not unusual, even in academia. But I also think that those blogs that do identify their authors within the name itself (either by their actual name or their chosen research interest) tend (and I’m generalising immensely here) to have more sustained popularity (the big US blogs – Volokh Conspiracy, Balkinization, Althouse, etc).

There’s also the point that as my career progresses (Prof. George sounds appealing…), my research interests are likely to change. So using my name as the domain will mean I don’t have to change it in the future.

by Martin George on 7 June 2007 at 10:23 am. #

I get it: Volokh [Conspiracy], Balkin[ization], Althouse. [By] George!

All the best in your progression to Prof. Will keep reading.

by nickholmes on 7 June 2007 at 2:26 pm. #