Note to (a few) commenters

Larry Ribstein —  10 June 2011

Seems I need to write a post like this every once in a while.

I really appreciate comments, particularly including when they disagree with the posts.  These comments are what distinguishes an interactive blog from a passive website.  I’m glad people are willing to take the time and effort to engage in the discussion.  The vast majority of our readers have worthwhile contributions.

But every once in awhile we get the other kind.  Like yesterday:  a completely baseless (and untrue) accusation that I had a financial conflict regarding one of my posts.  The comment was not only insulting, but even worse contributed nothing to the discussion.  The comment now sits in trash.

So for the small fraction of our readers who need to be reminded: be civil and be substantive.  This is our blog.  If you want the other kind, get yer own.

For the vast majority:  keep the comments coming.

Larry Ribstein


Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

5 responses to Note to (a few) commenters


    For what it is worth, I agree with blabla.

    I generally enjoy this blog, but most readers quickly become overly familiar with your work (if they are not already familiar with it).

    Occasionally, mentioning your work is expected, but as promotion starts to overcome substance the blog becomes less and less valuable to readers. Of course, it is your blog and you can do as you please – you just may do so with slightly fewer readers.

    J.W. Verret seems to have learned this lesson. He has quieted recently, after turning off a lot of academics and practitioners by over-promoting his proxy access defenses piece. J.W. is young, and obviously trying to make his mark, but Larry, you are already a leader in your field – the negatives of self promotion are just as great for you, but the upside is less because people already know you and your work.


      Guest: Um, where have you been? Discussing my writings is a big reason why I have been blogging for the last seven years., Indeed, my initial blog started as a way to discuss just one of my articles, on business and film. This morphed into Ideoblog, and then my work on TOTM, and discussions of my other work. Since I have 160 or so articles and several books, there’s a fair amount of variety. The blog posts develop and elaborate on ideas in the articles by showing how they apply to current events and other papers. Some articles, like Law’s Information Revolution, tie better than others with the news and what I’m thinking about and so tend to get linked more. Readers get the benefit of blog posts that are generally grounded in a lot of thinking, and have longer articles to back them up. I don’t spend a lot of time broadcasting my tastes in television or political candidates. The great thing about the blogosphere, as you indicate, is that readers who don’t like the mix have lots of other places to go. I would like them to stay, but not if it means doing something I’m not interested in.

      Bernard S. Sharfman 14 June 2011 at 5:32 am

      I really disagree with the comment about Professor Verret’s article on proxy access defenses. The article is a great example of thinking outside-the-box, especially for those interested in protecting the value of centralized authority in a public company.



    Blabla: No. I confess to being a little irked by your comment (maybe wrongly so). But as I said in my post it was a different one that set me off, one that I deleted. But thanks for this explanation.


    I hope this wasn’t prompted by my comment that you were over-promoting the “legal information markets” piece. I honestly was not trying to offend you. I genuinely am a long-time reader of the blog who wanted to provide a little constructive feedback. I respect you and enjoy reading about your work, and I don’t mind it when law professors promote their work intermittently, but I think there should be some limit. Mentioning your own work a few times is OK, but I’m sure you can appreciate that there is a certain level of self-promotion that is off-putting. But if you find this kind of feedback unproductive, just so say so, and I won’t mention it again.