So How Are We Doing?

So How Are We Doing?

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As Ken mentioned yesterday, we are extremely grateful for our readers. Lest we grow too comfortable with our incessant pointed discussions, please feel free to offer us any constructive criticism for how to improve OJ in 2009. We really do want to know if we are barking up the wrong tree. So please fill out the survey below and let us know how we are doing (you can tick more than one box or add your own comments):

My Wish List to Improve Opinio Juris
No Suggestions, Keep Up the Good Work!
More Frequent Posts
Better Quality Posts
More Guest Bloggers
Better Response to Comments
More International Law/Less International Politics
You’ve Become Too Conservative
You’ve Become Too Liberal
More Book Discussions/Symposia
More Current Events Discussion
Free polls from

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Kenneth Anderson

Also, if you would like Ken to a) stick to OJ topics, b) drop Stendhal except in private conversation with his loved ones, or c) both, feel free to indicate – I won’t take it personally. 

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I’m very proud to say that I’m the first voter (oops, that means you know how I voted!).

(Ken, Just return the favor and visit Ratio Juris now and again and I’ll back your freedom to post on anything you damn well please.)

All the best to everyone at Opinio Juris (and the thoughtful readers out there) for the new year.


Michael A. Innes

Roger, nothing to complain about from this corner! Short of moving yourselves under a corporate media umbrella with paid support staff, I can’t see how you’d improve things – and I’m not certain that would be an improvement, either! Keep up the good work.


I don’t have anything to complain about in the way of substance here. The quality of the discussion is great.

The only thing I would suggest is that I think you collectively make too many locked no comment posts, which denies the site the potential to grow and build a better dialogue with readers and between readers. It’s probably the only area where OJ is lacking community wise compared to some of the other good legal blogs.

I understand there may be good reasons for this toggle at times, but it appears to be used inconsistently, at the whim of the poster, and perhaps even unintentionally as a default setting. On the surface at least, I personally can seldom see rhyme or reason behind why one post is locked compared to another that isn’t, even when they are sequenced discussions on the same subject matter.

My thought is that you should probably implement an informal protocol or convention about this so it is more transparent to your readers – as I would argue it is a kind of barrier to the type of emergent communication blogs are supposed to remedy, contra traditional media.

Kevin Jon Heller


We never post without opening comments — we just have a relatively short commenting period.  (I’m not even sure any of us could figure out how to close comments!)  Should we lengthen the commenting period?


Michael A. Innes

Kevin, Roger, I’m certain that if you decided to implement a full-on discussion board, it would be an instant success.

Non liquet
Non liquet

I don’t think the comments area needs to be touched, to be honest.  I have never noticed Will’s problem about locked comments, except based on timing. 

OJ has one of the most open and accessible comment formats of any major legal blog out there (anonymity is okay, no cumbersome registration required, little moderation that I’ve seen).  Not only that, it’s one of the few legal blogs that engages with its commenters regularly and even has promoted a few of the good ones to guest commentator on its site (as a digression I always get surprised at how some bloggers really seem to hate comment sections (see <a href=””>here</a> from a prominent legal blogger), despite the fact that they are probably a blog’s best audience).  I’ve always appreciated that, especially on subjects that are bound to provoke heated reactions.

And Ken, post what you want, we’ll just write it off to your distinctive “voice.” 😉


I love the site.  Don’t change a thing!  As a student of Int. Law, I find this site interesting and provocative. 


One thing I really miss from the old days: the daily e-mail summaries.  As may be the case with many of your readers, I work overseas in places with very slow internet connections.  The daily e-mail update used to be a (bandwidth-justifiable) way to find out what you were writing about and follow up if I was interested.  While I still find the discussions interesting, it’s difficult to find the time to dial up the site directly.  Your site used to be part of my daily news intake; now it’s more like an occasional treat.  Still very useful, but I preferred it the old way.  Anyway, keep up the good work.