Quinquennial. IP Draughts has always wanted to find a use for that word, which is encountered in the academic community. This posting is our quinquennial review. 5 years ago, IP Draughts’ colleague, AnnMarie, set up this handsome-looking blog. The first article appeared on 10 March 2011; the image on the left was the first to appear in that article.
What have we learnt over the last 5 years? IP Draughts thinks his writing has improved, after producing more than 400 articles. Sentences. Are. Shorter. Opinions expressed plainly can be stronger and more persuasive than those that come with rhetorical flourishes.
IP Draughts has learnt the importance of a good headline, and that announcements about courses and publications are read less than other subject-matter. He is less concerned about pre-publication polishing of the text. Corrections can be made after the “publish” button is pressed.
With your own blog, it is possible to have an author’s voice. Whether this is a good or a bad thing may be a matter of taste. The voice is often edited out in articles that IP Draughts writes for other publications.
The readership of this blog is spread across the world, but is dominated by the leading common law jurisdictions (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Singapore) followed by other leading EU jurisdictions (Germany, France, Netherlands). Ireland nestles between Germany and France in the pecking order, and could be put into either of these categories.
Over the last 12 months, page-viewings have been running at about 10,000 per month. In the same period, readers in 60 countries viewed pages of the blog more than 100 times. Within the next 12 months, we are very likely to exceed 500,000 page-views in total.
Are these good figures or bad? IP Draughts thinks they are good, for a blog on a very specialist subject, but would like them to be better. IPKat has a broader subject range; its annual readership runs into the millions.
The most popular article on this blog, on the subject of injunction clauses in confidentiality agreements, has been viewed, at the time of writing, 27,782 times. As part of a conventional, paper publication, it is highly unlikely that the article would have been read so many times. Perhaps, if it had been included as an annex to a Harry Potter book, it might have been read more frequently. Ah, has IP Draughts hit upon a new distribution method?
IP Draughts and his colleagues have received many positive comments about the blog from people they encounter professionally. This is very reassuring. We get hardly any feedback about books and articles in magazines. What is different about the blog, that provokes these comments? Perhaps it is the fact that we are able to express opinions and inject some humour, and other human qualities, into the writing? Why are these qualities not seen in traditional publications? No idea.
Thank you for your support. Some blogs fizzle out. This one is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future.