I quit!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 16, 2009 in Technology | Subscribe

Just kidding :)

It does seem to be that time of year though. From new blogs I just discovered this week to that guy who unknowingly got me blogging, it seems to be a post-summer of discontent for law students. My own fingers are firmly crossed that I don’t get hit with the Reality Stick until after the J.D. is mounted on my wall… :beatup:

The thought of getting out of law school did cross my mind earlier today, but it had nothing to do with exams.

Madame Prosecutor wanted to start a new web-based venture (I’ll let her furnish the details at a later date/time) and mentioned it to me a couple days ago. She asked for my help. And since I graduated with a degree in Computer Science, used to build websites professionally1), and already run law:/dev/null, I figured I’d walk her through buying a domain name and set her up with a WordPress installation on one of my own servers since I could do it all at next-to-no cost.

And from the minute she sat down next to me, there was a steady stream of back-and-forth commentary between us over legalese. From figuring out who was going to register the URL (my GoDaddy account, her billing information, and whenever she sets up her own account I’ll transfer the domain to her) to the details over the WordPress installation (I keep root access for emergencies and leave 100% of all daily operations to her) to ownership of the content (she keeps it) to liability for illegal activities taking place (she keeps that too) and more, we hammered out the rudiments of a full-blown contract.

It made me wish I was back in politics.

My travails in the WakeGOP notwithstanding, the political arena largely operates on trust.  Now you can differentiate between what I call “positive” trust and “negative” trust:  the former is where you actively trust someone because you know them / have worked with them / think they’re a good person / etc, and the latter is passive / the basis of economic game theory / “rational people respond predictably to incentives” / you know what someone will do without even meeting them / etc.

But trust is ultimately at the root of the system. It’s the implied foundation of one of my rules of politics: loyalty is more important than competence (in politics at least).

So when I used to build websites for politicians, there were no extensive formal contracts. Somebody told me they needed a website, I’d quote a price, they’d counter-offer if it was too high, we’d settle on an amount, I’d get the site specifics and go to work.  Out of the dozen or so sites I put together there was never a dispute over me getting paid or over the customer being satisfied with the finished product. No one needed or contemplated reducing everything to writing, much less having a choice of venue clause.

And here I was helping out a friend with comparatively miniscule project, and both of us are trying to make sure we formally protect ourselves from getting screwed by the other’s activities :crack:

shootmenowplzkthxu :beatup:


In other technology-related news, I went ahead and installed a FeedBurner plugin for law:/dev/null. I’m still not sure what it does, but I was told by a fellow blawger I needed to have it — and since Fight the Hypo and No634 used it, I figured it was legit. You can access the “Subscribe” page up at the top of the blog.

And at some point I’ll fix the little “Subscribe” links that show up on each post to actually go where they’re supposed to go… just as soon as I figure out why I can only see them on some posts and not on others :beatup:

Finally, I stumbled upon a blog by one of my fellow Legal Eagles earlier today. It’s not solely law-focused and the updates have been sporadic, but it’s worth checking out. The guy’s got one of the sharpest wits in the class — his Facebook status routinely keeps people rolling, and I’ve jotted down a snippet or two on occasion. Enjoy: http://realgoesright.blogspot.com/

That’s it for tonight folks, I’m off to enjoy the Parol Evidence Rule and more defeasible estate festivities :)  Don’t forget to go watch the Leonid meteor shower around 2am EST! :D

  1. The backend coding at least. I manifestly fail at graphic design, as evidenced by the fact I had to use someone else’s theme for this site ; []

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Nov 16, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Tee-hee. Thanks for the mention. ;)

I find a lot of the things that occur in the blawgging world (ie Feedburner) seem to be because others do it — remember that’s not always a good idea (like these fugtastic-Blogspot accounts).

I’m still waiting you to join Huma and I with the glamour-shot mastheads.

Nov 17, 2009 at 8:18 AM

Well, now I have to try feedburner.

Nov 17, 2009 at 9:35 AM

@Jansen: note the footnote to this entry ;) I can code CSS like a beast, but actually *creating* the glamour-shot mastheads is more risky than coding them into the blog :)

@idwsj: try it, you’ll like it! (assuming you like graphs and stuff of course :))


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