The idea for the TLF came about after I asked some tech policy wonks whether it was worth putting together a blog dedicated to covering Internet-related issues from a cyber-libertarian perspective. The model I had in mind was a “Volokh Conspiracy for Tech Issues,” if you will. I wanted to bring together a collection of sharp, liberty-loving wonks (most of whom worked in the think tank world) to talk about their research on this front and to give them a place to post their views on breaking tech policy developments. It was to be a sort of central clearinghouse for libertarian-oriented tech policy analysis and advocacy.
At first, Tim Lee and I debated whether it even made sense to have that sort of narrow focus, but I think the passage of time and the rise of plenty of competition on this front shows that it was worthwhile. And I’ve been very pleased with the tag-team effort of all our TLF contributors and the way—without anyone planning it, in true libertarian fashion—we’ve sort of developed a nice division of labor on various tech policy issues.
Our traffic level is roughly in the same place as it was last summer: hovering somewhere around 2600 active Feedburner subscribers measured on a rolling basis (see the little red box at the top right-hand corner of the page under the banner) and our PageRank is still a healthy 7, putting us in the same league (logarithmically speaking) with the Volokh Conspiracy, our model, as well as popular sites like TechMeme, my daily first-stop for tech news. Here are a few key traffic statistics:
- 34,000 comments
- 1100+ Twitter followers
- 1,325,621 pageviews since Nov. 2006 when we started using Google Analytics
- 223,828 absolute unique visitors in the last year or about 21,000/month
Since last August, we’ve had three new bloggers join our merry band, now 21 strong!
- Steve Titch of the Reason Foundation;
- Carl Gipson of the Washington Policy Center; and
- Larry Downes, the author of the best-selling book Unleashing the Killer App and, recently, The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age, currently a nonresident fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society.
Recent Memorable Articles
Here are a few of our more popular and memorable posts since August:
- Net Neutrality: James Gattuso’s Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and the FCC: Will the D.C. Circuit Ground Net Neutrality Rules?, Ryan Radia’s How Government Control of Internet Threatens Innovation: My FOXNews.com Op-Ed on Net Neutrality, Adam and my The Day Real Internet Freedom Died & Net Neutrality, Slippery Slopes & High-Tech Mutually Assured Destruction, and Steve Titch’s Net Neutrality Means No More iPhones
- Copyright: Tom Bell’s Copyright Duration and the Mickey Mouse Curve & Cord Blomquist’s Special 301 Watchlist” Threatens Open-Source Software
- Books: Adam’s The Digital Decade’s Definitive Reading List: Internet & Info-Tech Policy Books of the 2000s & The 10 Most Important Info-Tech Policy Books of 2009
- Privacy: Jim’s The Government Can Monitor Your Location All Day Every Day Without Implicating Your Fourth Amendment Rights & Dropbox: A Privacy Black Box, my Google Buzz is No “Privacy Nightmare” (Unless You’re a Privacy Paternalist) & Julian Sanchez’s Defining “Paternalism” Online
- Online Safety: Adam’s Rethinking “Sex Crimes” and Sex Offender Registries
- Openness: Ryan Radia’s Newsflash to FCC: The iPhone is a Closed Platform, and Consumers Love It and Adam’s Oh Farts! The Droid, the iPhone & the Lessig-Zittrain Thesis & Apple’s App Store, Porn & “Censorship”
- Philosophy & Ideas: Adam & my Cyber-Libertarianism: The Case for Real Internet Freedom and Adam’s Are You An Internet Optimist or Pessimist? The Great Debate over Technology’s Impact on Society, Can Humans Cope with Information Overload? Tyler Cowen & John Freeman Join the Debate, & Hillary Clinton’s Historic Speech on Global Internet Freedom
- Media: Adam’s A “Public Option” for Media? The Free Press Plan to Put Journalists on the Public Dole, Free Press, Robert McChesney & the “Struggle” for Media, A Brief History of Media Merger Hysteria: From AOL-Time Warner to Comcast-NBC, & Violent Video Games & Youth Violence: What Does Real-World Evidence Suggest?
- Humor: Wayne Crews’s Act Now! Support a Bold National Elevator Plan & Adam’s My Swan Song Moment: I Will Take Elmo Hostage in the Name of First Amendment Freedoms!
Get Involved & Share Your Thoughts!
I hope you’ll take a moment to:
- Subscribe to our RSS feed or to our email updates;
- Follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or this list of our individual Twitter accounts;
- Add a TLF search engine to your browser so you can easily find TLF posts whenever you’re researching a particular tech policy topic; and
- Check out our new events calendar.
As always, we welcome any feedback you may have on the substance of what we’ve been writing about or how to make the site more user-friendly. We’ve kicked around a few ideas recently, such as:
- Trying to find some way to make older posts somewhat more visible, so they don’t just get buried below new posts;
- Adding Facebook Share & Buzz buttons in addition to the Retweet button for easy sharing, as Mashable has done;
- Making the category list more of a navigation menu by moving that column to the left of the main column (a bit like Reason Magazine has done with the menu at on the left of their site);
- Moving some of the content in column 2 into drop-down nav menus;
- Displaying tags at the bottom of each post in addition to categories;
- Finding a consistent way to display related posts at the bottom of each post; and
- Showing our tech-related individual tweets on the home page in a widget.
Just a few UI ideas… If you have any thoughts on this or any aspect of the TLF, please share them. We’d love to hear from you now or in comments on our posts.
We hope you enjoy the site and will pass word on to friends who might also be interested in coming here and discussing these issues with us. Viva la (Technology) Revolucion!