The Power of the Blog: My Most Widely Read Work
This is a navel-gazing post, but it is self-deprecating, so please read on. What is my most widely read work? Is it one of the articles I wrote? Nope. My book, The Digital Person? Nope. My casebook, Information Privacy Law? Nope. None of the above.
The answer is The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun!
The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun! isn’t a book. It’s not an article. It’s a blog post. And it’s not a blog post about the law; nor does it have deep thoughtful musings about information privacy. Instead, it is a humor piece about the Playmobil airline screening playset.
I posted the blog post on October 11, 2005. Within just a few hours, the post got linked to at many other blogs and in countless chatrooms. Hits to the post began to pour in. I received over ten thousand hits in the first day, and the hits just kept coming afterwards. The sitemeter is on the left.
I still get many hits each day for that post. In all, based on my server’s statistics, it appears that the post has received over 50,000 visits. If you add up all the sales figures for my two books as well as all my downloads on SSRN, it comes nowhere near this figure. This probably means that my most well-read work is my post about a toy playset! So while some law professors can say that the work they’re most famous for is some article or book about the law, I’d be forced to say that my most widely-known work is a blog post about a toy.
Anyway, I guess this is just one of those bizarre facts of life. . .