Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Legal Schnauzer passes 3 million page views and reaches its 10th anniversary, two major milestones in our effort to unmask legal and political corruption
Both are pretty neat when you consider that I started this little enterprise with the idea that it probably would last a year or so.
Along the way, we have . . .
* Been named among the top 50 law blogs in North America, the only truly independent blog on the list. All the others are connected to law firms, law schools, legal associations, media groups, or public-affairs organizations.
* Played a lead role in the ousting of corrupt political figures, such as Alabama "Luv Guv" Robert Bentley and his mistress "Home Wrecky Becky" Caldwell Mason, plus former U.S. Judge Mark Fuller. We played a supporting role in the investigative journalism that led to the conviction of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard.
* More than any other news site, we've exposed the hypocrisy of "family values" conservatives, reporting on the extramarital affairs and financial shenanigans involving U.S. Sen. Luther Strange and Jessica Medeiros Garrison; GOP operative Rob Riley and lobbyist Liberty Duke, and the fully nude, gay-porn photographs of U.S. Judge Bill Pryor, Our coverage of the Strange/Garrison and Riley/Duke stories are part of pending federal lawsuits.
* On a story that has international implications, we've reported on Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his history of corrupt actions dating back more than 20 years in Alabama. If the Trump administration goes down because of the KremlinGate scandal, Sessions likely will be in the middle of it.
As for our milestones, they start with our first post, which was titled "Is 'Your Honor' Really Honorable?" and published on June 3, 2007. Some 3,378 posts later, we are still cranking out the kind of investigative journalism that is found at very few news outlets in Alabama, or anywhere else. For the record, I think the coming weeks and months will bring some of the most explosive reports in our history.
We're not certain when we passed 3 million page views, but the current number from the primary statistics service that we use is at 3,063,424. Our all-time unique visits are at roughly 2.19 million.
For reasons I don't fully understand, our second stat service (which is Google based) provides significantly different numbers. It has our all-time page views at 5.6 million, which means we passed 3 million there a long time ago. I didn't sign up for the first stat service until I had been blogging for several months, while the second one is attached to the blogging platform itself, and that might explain part of the difference. But on a daily basis, the Google-based counter provides a number that is roughly 1,000 higher than the independent counter.
Never have figured out why that happens. I like the Google numbers better, but I tend to look at the independent numbers as the official count for Legal Schnauzer.
The numbers show that our readership is growing substantially. After starting the blog on June 3, 2007, we reached 1 million page views on or about July 15, 2011. We reached 2 million page views on or about February 25, 2015. I'm publishing this post about hitting 3 million page views on July 5, 2017.
That means it took a little more than 4 years to reach 1 million, another 3 1/2 years to reach 2 million, and another 2 1/2 years to reach 3 million. That indicates there is a serious appetite for the kind of journalism we produce at Legal Schnauzer -- and I would say that's a good thing, especially given that we might be heading into an era of public corruption that will be unlike anything this country ever has seen. And much of it likely has ties to Alabama.
In the end, these milestones remind us of that classic philosophical question: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" Our version of that question: "If a journalist writes a blog and no one reads it, does it make an impact?"
Legal Schnauzer clearly has made an impact, largely because of readers who follow and support us, and sources who help inform us. Regular readers know that our kind of unbridled journalism comes with a price, especially in red states like Alabama and Missouri, where corruption flows like a river.
In October 2013, I was kidnapped by "law enforcement" from inside our home in Birmingham and tossed in jail for five months. In essence, I was arrested for blogging, reporting on the gross corruption that only recently has caught the attention of the state's somnolent mainstream press. In summer 2014, forced from our home by a wrongful foreclosure, Carol and I landed in Springfield, Missouri, where I grew up. In September 2015, we were the targets of an unlawful eviction, which included cops pointing assault rifles at my head and shattering Carol's left arm so severely that it required trauma surgery.
It seems clear that both of these events were attempts to shut down Legal Schnauzer. But we are still here, and our readership is growing. The thugs have failed, in the face of devoted, intelligent, and thoughtful readers.
For your gracious support, we offer our most sincere thanks. And we invite you to stick around for the next 3 million page views.