08 April 2013


From Chris Ashford's incisive Law & Sexuality blog, announcing a shift from Blogger to Wordpress
When I started this blog – almost six years ago – I was using it primarily as a teaching tool to support my (then) new undergraduate Law and Sexuality course. I wanted to contextualise the module in a broader socio-legal environment. Then, I wanted to improve the blog as a teaching resource. I wanted the blog to become a ‘one stop shop’, to shave students moving from different access points (the virtual learning environment, individual sites etc). That meant providing some useful links, plus RSS feeds so that students could also see live updates of news headlines. When the excellent Pinksixty video news service was introduced, I also embedded that into my site, so that students could get a video news update, automatically updated every day. The longer the blog ran, the more data was accumulated and searchable. Finally, I wanted the blog to reveal a little of what Fiona Cownie has called ‘the private life of the Law School’, and it is perhaps revealing that my early posts relate to conferences – precisely the kind of activity that is often invisible to students. 
The explosion of social media in recent years brought a new audience to the blog, and shifted the focus away from students and more to fellow commentators, academics, lawyers, and activists. These readers are now the overwhelming majority of readers. A final category into this mix are students – both undergraduates and postgraduates – around the world studying law or sexuality-related courses. As the shift in readership has occurred, so too has a change in the way that we consume media, with people no longer needing updates all on this blog about breaking news. So, I’ve been able to adopt a much more minimal, cleaner structure for this blog. You can still subscribe to email updates (apologies to those who had done this over at Blogger, you’ll need to do it again). This is at the bottom of any page/post – you’ll see a subscription box. You can also search the blog as before, and like email updates this is accessible at the bottom of any page or post. The links section remain but I hope they are now clearer, and easier to navigate to. The personal aspect of this blog remains in terms of publications, media info etc, and these sections have been updated.