Monday, December 31, 2012

Considering The Best of Legal Schnauzer For 2012

Murphy Abigail Shuler,
as a puppy in 1993: She
is the real schnauzer who
inspired this blog.

Americans must love end-of-the-year lists. We certainly have plenty of them, so I've decided to join the crowd.

My all-time favorite such list was Casey Kasem's countdown of the year's biggest pop-music hits on American Top 40. Casey is getting way up there in years, but as far as I know, he still might be doing his "best of" list. If so, I don't know how he manages to find enough decent songs these days to fill a countdown.

As for Legal Schnauzer, it had never occurred to me to do a "best of" list at the end of the year. But a reader suggested one a few days back, and I thought, "Well, why not?" After all, many of my best ideas--and many of my most intriguing pieces of information--come from readers.

So I started thinking: What posts this year best represent the kind of reporting I hope to do here? Which ones were best written? Which ones best covered important subjects, in Alabama and beyond? Which ones addressed issues that most touched lives? Which ones seemed to resonate with readers? Which ones generated a high volume, and quality, of comments?

Those thoughts led to this question: What kind of impact is our little blog having? The year 2012 marked our fifth full year of blogging, plus about a half year of pieces in 2007. What do the numbers show? We churned out 322 posts this year, bringing our total to 2,334. Our audience continues to grow, with roughly 387,500 page views in 2012, up from 379,156 last year--and way up from the 187,571 in 2008, our first full year.

Our all-time page views top 1.57 million, with almost 1.1 million unique visits. (The real numbers are higher than that because I blogged for four to six months before signing up for a statistics service.) Those totals  represent only visits directly to Legal Schnauzer, and do not include readers at a number of national Web sites where my work appears.

Gauging readership in the blogosphere is an inexact science, but I took a crack at it in July 2011, when we reached 1 million page views. Totaling our audience from all sources, my best guess is that we've had between 5 million and 10 million of what I call "significant reading experiences" (SRE). From all of the statistics available to me, our readership and influence seem to be growing steadily. For that, I am deeply grateful--especially when you consider that many of our posts deal with complex subjects and are not easy reading. Keeping up with Legal Schnauzer takes some work, and it's heartening to know that a significant number of people are willing to put in the effort.

With a variety of questions and numbers swirling in my head, here is my shot at Legal Schnauzer's Top 10 posts of 2012. I like to think we are getting better at this blogging thing as we move along. If so, this list should represent some of our best work. And early indicators hint that 2013 will be very interesting,  indeed.

It's traditional to publish these lists near the end of the year in question. We are running out of time on that front, so I will start this post here on New Year's Eve 2012--with details to follow, in the first few days of 2013.

As always, we pay tribute to Murphy Abigail Shuler (1993-2004), our precious girl and the real schnauzer who inspired this blog. Her memory keeps us moving forward, toward a day when we hope Americans can enter courtrooms with some assurance that the rule of law will prevail.

With that in mind, this seems like a good time to rerun Murphy's appearance on a Birmingham news program, commemorating a Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis of Assisi day. Murphy is the schnauzer being held by her mom near the beginning and end of the clip.

Happy New Year to all of our readers. Thanks for your tips, your inspirations, your support, your constructive criticisms, your witticisms, and your determination to join us in this effort to help resuscitate a broken justice system. Most of all, thanks for your time and your interest.

Quite a few of you have become friends and acquaintances. Getting to know many of you--via phone, e-mail, snail mail, in person, or a combination of all the above--has provided some of my fondest memories  of the past 5 1/2 years.

Burton Cummings, one of my favorite musicians, says, "Without the audience, you have nothing." I know from first-hand experience that he is right on target about that.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

You should have a heck of a list. Look forward to checking it out. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

LS rocks in 2012!

Anonymous said...

In 2013 would like to see what you can learn about the Gary Rollins/Ruth Rollins cause for her filing for divorce after over 40 years of marriage. Ted Rollins is a nephew-got to wonder if there are any similarities in this. Thanks for all your research and detailed reporting on a variety of topics. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Legal Schnauzer thank you for being the human American with the gene of altruism and then an ARTEEEST too.

You said "without the audience," and this is what all artists say, different words but same idea:

the art is what happens between the "arteest" and the "appreciators."

There is no art without the hollow bamboo and the energy that fills up the emptiness of the beautiful "instrumental flute."

Your memory takes my sadness to the memory for "litter mate" JRT that is only now in spirit, too.

Like ~Murphy ~Ramona keeps me feisty in the battle to bring back truth and justice in due process law, Our Whole Family,


Now we roll up sleeves and let loose the spiritual hounds of hell onto the physical U.S. of A. FRAUD.

Barb said...

The pic of Murphy melts my heart. Bless her for inspiring your work on this blog. A happy 2013 to all LS readers. May justice roll down!

Anonymous said...

I'm betting that Ted Rollins shows up somewhere on your list.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the reader who suggested this. I might make a list of my own. Looking forward to seeing yours.

Anonymous said...

One of the most satisfying accomplishments of LS in 2012 was the freeing of Bonnie Wyatt and the exposure of Sibley Reynolds.

Happy New Year, Roger!

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:45--

I agree. That definitely is on the list, way up there.

legalschnauzer said...


I should note that I had a whole lot of help from readers in exposing Sibley Reynolds and researching the Bonnie Wyatt story.

That's the case on many of the stories that will make our Top 10. It's heartening to see that this blog has become, in many ways, a community project.

jeffrey spruill said...

Mr.& Ms. Schnauzer:

Happy New Year!

There are some things that occur inadvertently & serendipitously in life & the justice system that- in the final analysis ultimately protect the Constitution & the rule of law.

This jurist (Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson) will NEVER sit on the Supreme Court:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to learn about the statistics for a blog such as this. People do care, and that is good to know. Keep up the good work. It is badly needed.

Wish you could help produce a whole litter of legal schnauzers.

Anonymous said...

Right, had to come back and look long at Murphy's puppy pic. Truly this truth about the spirit that just is, Murphy LS!