Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less


with 6 comments

Total Black: $6.71
Total Red: $245,724.55

When it rains, it pours, eh?  And when it’s shines . . . it’s hot?  Not sure what a corollary to that old adage would be, but today goes down in the books.  The blog broke a few records. 

Although it’s been a long-time coming, I finally set up a Facebook profile and page.  I’m hardly a fan of Facebook profiles for everything under the sun.  Nearly anything one can think of—there’s a profile for it that we can “like.”  I was a member of Facebook back when a .edu email address was required to join.  I’ve watched the site balloon over time.  And I liked it at the beginning and hated it in the middle—when zombies and mafia bosses and vampires would do unspeakable things to you.  And friends would poke and prod you.  But it’s now become damn near a requirement.  So, this weekend I took the time to set up an account for Laid-off Lawyer and a page for my Confessions.  Head on over and like me, won’t you?  I know you want to.

In fact, you like me so much that you helped break a record today.  The blog passed 100,000 viewers!

I’m not too certain how WordPress tracks hits, whether by clicks or IP addresses.  So if one viewer reads through ten articles—does that count as ten hits or one?  Unsure.  Regardless 100,000 is an amazing accomplishment.  And with all the viewers out there, we’ve passed 1,000 comments.  But there, of course, the number does include duplicate hits.  It still represents over 1,000 different comments, however, even if some are my own replies.

And lastly—today the blog topped 1,000 viewers in one day.  The closest I came was about 900 back in February 2010.  I can’t recall which post now.

Keeping this blog—and this journey—going everyday has been a challenge.  With only two exceptions, I’ve posted everyday.  I can’t claim that I posted full content everyday—the last forty-five days or so were rough going.  At most I think I fell about fifteen or more days behind.  But I did make it a point to get the current financials posted each day.  And that means something, if only to me.

I’m not sure exactly what I envisioned when I started this blog. Then again, I don’t think I truly had any “visions” of what it would be like since I hadn’t been a blogger nor a follower of blogs.

One thing I can say, however, was that I had expected more of a dialogue with readers and less jabs, insults, and electronic slaps.  The past few weeks has seen the blog move in the dialogue direction.  Would’ve been nice if it had headed down that path a while back.  Mostly the blog attracted naysayers and ne’er-do-wells.  But certainly not all.  Negativity on the net seems to come in tandem with its anonymity.  Jonathan Acuff, of the blog Stuff Christians Like, wrote an editorial for CNN titled “My Take: Why Christians Are Jerks Online.”  Fascinating observations on a living contradiction.

But I digress.  Perhaps Unconcerned (/Blade/Zine) was on to something in his (mostly likely gender) comment awhile back.  He asserted that the “ENTIRE purpose” of this blog was to solicit donations.  Sure, truth be told, I did think perhaps a few readers would donate.  And they did.  A few.  I had looked into the topic just after getting the blog up because I was in a think-outside-the-box mindset and I’d seen discussions on the internet about blog donations and viewers paying quasi-subscriptions.  But UBZ was incorrect to assert I’ve written three-hundred and twenty-three (this would be three-hundred twenty-four) posts just to charm the pants off you—and the coins out of your pockets.  And there I’ll leave it; to give further discussion would be to give further undue credit to that point.  Yet what he may have been “on to” was that I do certainly write for the readers.  Not for their money, but for their engagement.

It’s hard to explain.  I write for myself, to chronicle my efforts.  But I do so knowing others will read it, comment on it, dissect or even vivisect it.  And I do like it.  I welcome it.  I’ve learned much about me by exposing myself to the world.  So no . . . I work hard, but it’s not for the money.  I do it for the engagement, I suppose.

I do wonder what brings everyone here though.  I’ve only shared this blog with about five or six friends and colleagues.  Whether they, in turn, shared it with others who know my true identity—that I’m unsure of.  Still, that couldn’t have garnered over 100,000 people.  Even to be caustically cautious: let’s say 50,000.  Even that number is astronomical to comprehend.  How many fans fit in a typical football stadium?  Granted, viewers haven’t shown up all at once.  As noted above, today I’ve topped 1,000 per day.  But what brings people here?  Can my writing and tone be that engaging?  Or might the commenters think they’re engaging in a wee bit of schadenfreude?  I wonder sometimes if Mike is still out there.  Minnesota Man just recently popped by.  Then there’s T-Bag: with me since March—at least.  And Donnelly since February perhaps.  Ladybug was a frequent commenter; but seems like once I left New York, she left me.  And last we heard from her pal Prince Michael III was way back in Cookie Monsters.

And others, whom I expected to be constant commenters—are not.  People like the friends referenced above.  A few comments came from those friends, but they seemed to comment only until others commenters took over.  But friends are odd in that sense: they want to talk with you off-line about the blog.  They’ll call or email and mention a recent post.  Nothing wrong with that, just that the blog is its own world, its own creation.  It lives online.  And anyone can enter the discussion.  And when friends take that “discussion” offline, it deprives the rest of the readers of their insights, suggestions, and commentary.  I suppose I feel like I’m stepping-out on the readers when I have private conversations offline.  Silly, eh?

So yes, this experience has surprised me.  My first fan on Facebook surprised me.  (And no, that fan is not my true identity.)  Surpassing 100,000 viewers surprised me.  And topping 1,000 people in one day surprised me.  And yet I wonder what brings all those people back each day.  And nearly all strangers.

Intriguing to say the least.  And thank you to say the most.

6 Responses

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  1. I’m sorry but I don’t have a Facebook account. As much as I love my children, I do not want to tend their farms, send them fruit, or engage in any mafia-related wars. Sometimes it’s better that I don’t know what my children are doing in their private lives. I will continue to read your posts and comment but, regrettably, I cannot be your Facebook friend.


    July 1, 2010 at 09:54

  2. I meant to say Facebook “fan.” By the way, govtlawyer has some really good insights and I believe he/she is a fairly new commentator.


    July 1, 2010 at 10:01

  3. I sent you a friend request on Facebook. Keep writing!

    Jim in Chicago

    July 1, 2010 at 10:41

  4. Woo-hoo! My first friend! Thanks Jim in Chicago!

    Laid-off Lawyer

    July 1, 2010 at 11:07

  5. No worries. The “you” in “you know you want to” was general, not specific. 😉

    Laid-off Lawyer

    July 1, 2010 at 12:26

  6. Hey,

    Yep, I’ve been around for a while…probably at least a couple of months before I adopted the T-Bag nome de plume, but I honestly can’t say for sure why I keep coming back!

    I suppose the main thing is I like your writing. But I also, like many other folks here, have gone through some tough financial times and hope that sometime I might have a piece of advice that might help you (which is why sometimes it is frustrating when you do things that seem a little self-destructive, financially). But, the fact that I get frustrated just means that I actually care about the outcome. Since I don’t even know you, that’s a pretty amazing thing you/your blog has done.

    Anyway, keep up the good work (on the blog!), and hopefully, someday, your net worth will start going consistently in the “right” direction.



    July 1, 2010 at 13:59

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