blog theory unsolicited advice

5 Reasons why I blog

Studying at Starbucks and occasionally blogging.

By request, 5 reasons why I blog:

1. Journaling

The best part of having a blog is the journaling effect. My blog is a type of scrapbook/diary. I blog about  what happens to me so I can remember these stories later and share them with others (ie the big semester reviews here and here.) Journaling is a cumulative thing – what seems inane today might turn out to be an important part of a bigger story.

I learned this in undergrad when I became a Resident Assistant for a freshman floor.

I wrote:
I seriously have the coolest guys on my floor. I think I lucked out. I’m really proud of them and so grateful that I got the best guys in Hecht. Everyone is interesting, they get along with each other, they are wild but not in a bad way, we don’t have that many serious writeups, and I think they’ve realized that I’m not an asshole.
A few weeks later there was a huge football game and I wrote up over half of the guys on the floor for drinking. That started a year-long feud with some of the freshmen that culminated in them throwing a mixture of poop, urine, and beer down the hallway towards my dorm room. The best part about that was that the floors in the dormitory were not level, so all of the nast flowed into the room next to mine.1

Fail bratty freshmen…fail.

But at one point I really felt that I had the coolest residents in the world and you couldn’t have told me anything different. If I didn’t record those feelings I certainly wouldn’t have remembered them. That’s the journal effect, and I think it’s important.

2. Actually “Keeping in touch”

When I tell someone that I will “keep in touch” I mean it. My blog allows me to keep in touch with relatives, friends, and former classmates. People don’t feel like I “disappeared off to law school” and I don’t have to have those epic catch-up phone calls anymore. The blog lets people read up on me on their own time, and allows acquaintances to stay in contact without that awkward stalking-feeling that comes with looking at someone’s facebook wall

3. Connecting with Classmates

The blog is a convenient way to get to know my classmates, especially those from other sections. What usually happens is that a classmate stumbles across the blog, reads it for a while, and then starts commenting or strikes up a conversation2 at school. Some of my classmates vicariously experience the journaling benefits of the blog because they are reminded about all the funny stuff that happens to us at school, like The Crash or When Jill Became “That Girl.”

4. Managing my Web Presence

Managing your own web presence is crucial. Maintaining a blog helps check rumors and misperceptions and allows people to have a reliable source of information about you. Sure, some of my professors are mortified that I post about going to gay clubs, getting shot, and my run-ins with the neighborhood druggies. I hear this all the time:
Professor: “Your blog! Gasp, what if a prestigious employer read these things? You’re ruining your career!”
Am I? My theory is that any employer (professor, classmate, etc.) will quickly realize that I’m the drug-free, designated driver type who mostly blogs about school and his dog. There’s a difference between writing about the remmidemmi and being a part of it. Besides, if an employer is completely scandalized by this meek little blog then I probably wouldn’t be a good fit at that firm anyway.

5. The Community

Yes, there’s an amazing community of law school bloggers. I have a good chunk of them linked on the page. It’s always interesting to read about people going through the experience at different schools. I think it informs and enriches the law school experience to read student blogs. As a single male, I definitely think about all the female law students raising children (such as her, her, her, her, and more…) before I ever dare bitch about being busy in law school. I’m sure that I wouldn’t have this perspective but for blogging. And remember your community is not limited to law students: cool undergrads, reporters, political columnists, and yes even amazing local bands all have blogs.

Those are my reasons for blogging. I think it’s time more people join in on the conversation, and start blogging.

1 I’m not starting the “the dorms at UMiami are unruly chaos” rant but lets just say it’s hard to get punished for anything really…
2 Sure, there are people from other sections that read the blog and never comment, but I prefer people to know more about me than

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  • Reply
    June 15, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Your profs read your blog? Gasp!
    I, too, want more people to blawg.

    However, if all 10 thousand people in my class decided to blog, I might stop following them altogether.

    • Jansen
      June 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

      Well, you only read the blogs that are truly interesting. Besides, the vast majority of blawgs die within a month of school starting.

  • Reply
    The Exit
    June 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Well put!! Also, I was more than reasonably pleased when I saw my blog was moved from 1L to 2L.

    • Jansen
      June 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm

      Haha, it’s the right yea right?

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Your’s is a fave of mine and it cool to know I’m not the only one out there in blawgland who has some hysterical stories BEGGING to be told.

    You rule. Swear.

    • Jansen
      August 8, 2009 at 11:11 pm

      Haha, why thank you!

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