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Blog changes ahead


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There will be some changes coming on Free Movement. This has been absorbing quite a lot of my rather limited time of late, and there are several significant recent cases that I haven’t managed to flag up yet, for which I apologise. Work has been extremely busy and I have a family I’m supposed to spend time with as well.

Before I go further, the State of the Nation is that the blog topped 50,000 page views last month and has just short of 1,000 email subscribers. The Twitter account now has over 600 followers. The blog also has a Google Pagerank of 5/10, which is apparently quite good. We seem to be doing something right here, and I do not want to lose that. The current set up is not sustainable, however, yet it is also the case that I do not have a masterplan of what I would like the blog to be in a few months time. There will be trial and error, and I welcome feedback and suggestions from regular readers.

Firstly, you may have noticed that I am receiving a bit more help from other contributors. I certainly welcome this, and I hope it is proving useful to readers. Only last week I used some of the material that Sarah Pinder had very helpfully posted up. A range of input from different people inevitably raises new legal points and information that I alone would have missed, and I think a range of opinions would be useful as well.

I am open to further developments on this front. I did wonder about seeking ‘correspondents’ to cover particular legal areas, for example, but I doubt I’ll find enough nutterspotential bloggers out there willing to put in the necessary time. I have also wondered if any of the more thoughtful comment contributors from the Home Office might be interested in contributing more regularly.

Secondly, I am in the process of moving domain names and creating a self hosted website. This will enable me to add additional features to the blog. If you have any requests or suggestions, let me know. One idea was to set up a ‘Closet’ page to host anonymised skeletons and other precedents that might then be useful to others. However, this might be giving away just a bit too much of my output for free. There are also some apparently minor tweaks that self hosting will allow, such as better information about the various blog contributors.

Thirdly, I have some costs to recoup. Ever since I realised I needed to pay a fee to stop WordPress hosting Google ads on the blog (WordPress have to make a living too) I have had some very limited costs associated with the blog, but these have now increased. I’ve been willing to give away my time for free, although I’ve had plenty of doubts along the way, but I’m highly reluctant to fork out actual cash for the privilege of giving away my time. This is a vexed subject and, again, I’m entirely open to suggestions from those who find the information on the blog helpful.

If you have any other thoughts or suggestions on these or other topics, let me know either privately or by leaving a comment.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


6 Responses

  1. “I am open to further developments on this front. I did wonder about seeking ‘correspondents’ to cover particular legal areas, for example, but I doubt I’ll find enough ‘nutters/potential bloggers’ out there willing to put in the necessary time. I have also wondered if any of the more thoughtful comment contributors from the Home Office might be interested in contributing more regularly.”

    Perhaps some independent ‘nutters/potential bloggers’ (LOL) like myself or Mutly wouldn’t mind doing the odd article.

    Not sure why you consider the UKBA employee bloggers to be “more thoughtful comment contributors”, but I won’t hold it against you.

    I have enjoyed the articles by your colleagues, and also the few ‘guest’ ones.

    Hopefully this excellent site can grow from strength to strength.

    1. I have always had you down as very thoughtful, Mr T! I meant ‘more thoughtful amongst those from the Home Office that have left comments’. Some of the Home Office insights have been useful and valuable, some rather less so.

      I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the other material, as I have worried about changing the style and output – but I think it has been useful and hope it will continue to be so.

  2. Would the change not increase the possibility of (mis)associating you with the other John O site? sorry if this comment irritates you FM but it is one negative aspect of the move which I thought of: I suppose with 50K hits a month you really ought to get more for yourself out of doing this; early retirement even. Not sure if you consider my writing worthy but I will gladly be your correspondent :-) you radical dude you!

  3. Haven’t had much time recently…
    I agree with Mr T’s comments.
    I would be happy to assist if I can with general articles on areas I know enough about (which doesn’t include the PBS routes) but I think any contributions from non-advisors such as myself should be proof-read by you/your colleagues to ensure accuracy. Also they’d be general, as you lawyers are “at the coalface” with latest cases and expert comment on what they mean for others etc.

    Perhaps you could register a domain and have a site similar to David Swarbrick http://swarb.co.uk/ though no need to be as complex, just the one page for the blog or one page for it and another for articles older than a certain date etc. It could then be expanded or not as the case may be with future menu options at the top. It could be funded with advertising on the pages. This is something I don’t like but I certainly agree that you shouldn’t have to pay to provide information. Perhaps there could also be cross-linking with sites like swarb which cover law but without a specific immigration focus, there must be some areas especially §8 ECHR interpretation of interest to otherwise apprantly unrelated law sites. This may increase traffic.

    However I don’t know how easy all that would be, never had my own site. The blog is an excellent resource for non-lawyer readers such as myself seeking detailed information on points of immigration law and how courts interpret them. No doubt it’s a great resource for lawyers too. I often link to it on the UKResident immigration forum where I post regularly and am not the only one to provide such links. So congratulations on a great resource. :) If I think of anything specific I’ll mention it but don’t want to make it look like criticism, an impression that can all too easily arise from a passive reader making suggestions.

  4. I am a free-lance web developer and I enjoy reading your blog and willing to be your developer for free. I specialize in Joomla Content Management System (CMS) sites
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