Ryan Steans: A Decade of Blogging

Congratulations are in order.  Friend of the blog, Ryan Steans, himself a long-time pop culture blogger, recently celebrated a memorable anniversary: his tenth year as a blogger.  Steans, who blogged first at a site called The League of Melbotis, and then at a sequel blog of sorts named The Signal Watch, deserves much praise for reaching this anniversary.  Long-time bloggers like Steans, and of course, Walter Olson of the Overlawyered legal blog, have dedicated substantial amounts of time to their websites and blogs. To reach ten years, well, that’s a lot of sweat equity.

We here at Abnormal Use, a baby in the legal blogosphere at only three years old, certainly understand the commitment required to maintain such an enterprise.  However, the diligence and discipline needed to maintain a blog for more than ten years – like Steans and Olson have done – is quite a feat, no matter the topic.  Accordingly, we applaud Steans upon reaching this milestone.

Steans is a long-time friend and former college classmate.  His blog typically centers around popular culture and events from his daily life.  His posts are often much longer than those you see here on Abnormal Use, and although he does not post every day, he posts often enough to suggest that it is, indeed, a full-time job for him.

What is interesting about his site is the manner in which he has created a community of readers.  That is quite an accomplishment, as many blogs come and go, live, and then die, without attracting much of a readership.  Steans, in the manner in which he writes his site, offers shout-outs to readers and encourages conversation.  Surprisingly, readers of his site – who had no previous connection to each other – have met and become friends after becoming initially acquainted on Steans’ site.  That sense of community, in part, is what has allowed Ryan’s blog to endure as long as it has.

We here at Abnormal Use have taken several lessons from Ryan and his long-time blogging experience.  We here try to foster a community of readers, both by adopting an informal style of sorts but also by utilizing social media in such a way to prompt interaction with our readers.  We are still working on that, and like any blog, this is still a work in progress, even three years in.

To date, we here at Abnormal Use have authored almost 900 posts.  We look back on that with some level of pride, and occasionally, we will peruse some of our favorites years after they were published.  In his own posts observing his milestone, Ryan remarks that he has authored “around 5,000 posts.”  There is something existential in his account of his site’s first decade, as he pauses to reflect upon some of the lessons he has learned in maintaining the site from his late twenties to his late thirties.

We congratulate him on this milestone.