November 21, 2011 · Lessig
Twenty-seven months ago, I announced the hibernation of my blog. It is with deep deep embarrassment that I confess that for about the last 24 of those 27 months, I have been trying to find a way back. The latest of these efforts has again failed, but I am not going to wait any more. I want a blog again. Someday I may get it back in a form and style that I like. Meanwhile, I will use the magic here at tumblr, and see if I can recruit the help I need to make it something more.
As I described 27 months ago, a big chunk of the reason I had to fold was the coming of the third child. She has been amazing beyond belief, and her demands on my life have only grown. But a separate cause was the extraordinary burden of protecting the blog from the malcrap that is too much of the Net. Because my site was relatively popular, it was the target of all sort of junk. Hidden in my archive was an endless supply of gambling junk. So bad was it that at one point, Google kicked me off the index. I needed real expertise to manage and protect the site. But all I had was a collection of extremely decent sweet soul-ed volunteers, who could not keep up.
I had to depend upon volunteers because (a) I am not a corporation, and (b) I don’t have lots of money. But after that failure, I decided I would try to recruit professional web sorts who might be able to do a redesign, and relaunch the site with the right sort of 24/7 protection. Suffice it that this hasn’t worked. I have spent thousands of my own money, endless hours of frustration and failure, and still have no ability to launch a dev.lessig.org with the infrastructure and protection it needs.
All this is because of an inherent conflict in the emerging reality of the web: Because of the miscreants who make up too much of the web, the free speech enabled the web is costly. Sites need real administrators. Administrators have to eat. Eating costs money.
Many deal with this reality by serving ads to defray costs. But I never wanted to be in a space where I needed to (or did) worry about whether my words were earning the right number of click throughs. So I have never permitted ads to be a part of my site. But that decision left me in this awkward position where I (a) could not afford to hire 24/7 support, and (b) I had to rely upon good souls as volunteers.
There are, of course, alternatives. I have been writing a lot at Huffington Post largely because it gives me everything I want for writing that is properly, or appropriately, public: It is free, it has amazing web support, I get to write whatever I want, they don’t even give me a way to know how many people read what I write, and so I get the freedom I need at the price I can afford.
But Huffington Post is not a personal blog. And that’s what I want. There are things I want to be able to write that are not appropriately there, and that take more than 140 characters to say. And that’s what this space will be.
So, if you’re interested, stay tuned.
And if you’re a webmaster soul, who might be able to help achieve what I have been unable to do for 24 months, please email me at lessig at pobox dot com. I’ll send you the spec of what I need/want, and you can give me a budget and some confidence you can help.
Thanks to everyone who has encouraged this return. Just don’t tell my 2 year old daughter, and we should be fine.