Cruise Law News' Four Year Anniversary: Have You Read Our Stories?

This week marks the 4th year anniversary of starting my blog Cruise Law News (CLN). 

I've written 1,585 articles, which averages out to be over one per day. We have received over 4,700 comments to our articles, mostly from U.S. readers. Google Analytics tell us over 1,000,000 different people have read over 3,500,000 pages of our blog in the last 12 months. The blog has come a long way since September 2009 when barely 5,000 people read CLN.

According to the AVVO ranking system, CLN is currently ranked the 10th most popular law blog in the U.S. Of the nine blogs more popular than ours, five are written by law professors and four are for-profit, monetized blogs which accept advertising which you will never see here. So you can make the Cruise Law News - Jim Walker Miamiargument that CLN is the most popular law blog written by one lawyer who actually practices law.

CLN reached an international audience when I started my Cruise Law News Facebook page last year and began posting the CLN articles on Facebook. The result has been fantastic. Around 70,000 fans follow us on Facebook. We are growing exponentially. We have more readers whose languages are primarily non-English than English readers.

The top countries where our CLN Facebook followers are from are India, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and then the U.S. The next five most popular countries are Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Italy and Chile.    

The stories we cover here on CLN are genuine, dramatic and often disturbing. They are not fiction.

Several years ago, Kevin O'Keefe, the founder and CEO of Seattle-based LexBlog, which designed and hosts our blog, came to Miami to meet some of the Miami bloggers who are part of his network. During dinner, O'Keefe asked me why I liked to blog. Instantly I told him that a half-dozen of my clients have testified before Congressional committees in Washington D.C. about being victimized on cruise ships. Their stories, about ship fires, loved ones lost at sea, and cruise crime, are riveting. Their causes deserved a larger audience. And I wanted to tell their compelling stories and promote their causes on a national and international basis.

CLN permits me to do that. Our firm and our blog have been mentioned in over one-hundred newspapers, cable news stations, radio shows, television programs and documentaries this year alone. CLN has taken my client's causes around the world to places I have never been to before, like India, Serbia, Croatia, Peru and Venezuela.     

So why has Cruise Law News been so successful you may ask?

In Jonas Sachs' book Winning the Story Wars, the author explains that those who tell the best stories will be successful. Sachs defines "best" as those authentic stories which inspire compassion and hope and bring about positive social change.

Our stories are about the little man taking on the big corporation, such as $500-a-month cruise employees from India working over 360 hours a month standing up to the abuses of multi-national companies based here in Miami. We write about grass roots victims' groups enacting legislation over the fierce opposition and dirty tricks of huge, billion-dollar tax-avoiding cruise corporations.  Many of our stories are about women, both passengers and crew, taking on the male-dominated cruise industry.

There are many social media experts who say that the key to a successful blog is to consistently and genuinely demonstrate passion about an issue. That's true. But it's not enough. Whether your blog sells a product or promotes a cause, an author needs a compelling story to tell.

That's where I have a distinct advantage over other lawyers and bloggers. I realize that the stories here on CLN are not mine. I am just a storyteller. The stories are the only reason my articles are widely read and CLN is closely followed. The stories are of our clients and friends who have endured unimaginable events while cruising, of all things. Stories like being sexually assaulted during cruise vacations, or losing a parent or a spouse or a child on the high seas.  And in a time of despair and desperation, many of these nice people face corporate deceit or heartless indifference of the worst kind. These stories must be told.

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Comments (8) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Astrogal - September 13, 2013 9:27 AM

Yes, I read your stories, in particular with the only cruise lines I have been on - Disney and Royal Caribbean. I am a beginner cruiser, as I have only taken 2 cruises (a third is in the works for next year), and I have been educated and had my eyes opened by the stories on your site. I know not to trust the idyllic, perfect world that the cruise lines try to sell me, and even though I really enjoy cruising and fortunately have never had a bad experience, I am grateful that you publish these stories on here to learn from other people's mistakes and realize how important using common sense to keep safe is, on cruises as in everywhere else. I may not comment on every story but know that I do read them and I am thankful for a site like this that exposes the ugly truths, not to ruin people's enjoyment but simply to make them educated and aware and to keep them safe!

Jim Walker - September 13, 2013 9:31 AM

Thanks Asrteogal. Thank you for reading. And I have appreciated your comments here and there over the years. Happy cruising. Jim Walker

Michael Bauman - September 13, 2013 9:40 AM

Many thanks, Jim, for your diligence and your insightful and practical efforts. I check your blog frequently simply because it's so consistently helpful.

Well done. Keep up the good work!

Jim Walker - September 13, 2013 9:46 AM

Thanks Michael. I appreciate the kind words. Regards Jim Walker

Betsy Benitez - September 13, 2013 9:51 AM

Congratulation on the "4" year anniversary of this amazing Blog, Cruise Law News!! Thank you for informing the world about the cruise industry and how they treat their crew members and the risks passengers take when cruising. I should know, I am your assistant. Rock on Boss!!

Jim Walker - September 13, 2013 11:26 AM

Betsy:

You don't have time to surf the internet. Get back to work.

Jim

P.S. Thanks. Give yourself a raise . . .

Charles mathias - September 13, 2013 1:17 PM

Congratulations Jim. Thank you for the service and information you provide. I have been crusing since 1963 (Miami's Dodge Island did not exist) Have seen so many changes in the cruise industry and not all so positive. Charles Mathias

Jonathan - September 13, 2013 6:48 PM

Congratulations Jim on another anniversary! The world of cruising was forever changed for me when I first visited your site. I read your articles everyday to keep up to date with what is going on in the industry. I imagine next year is going to be a very different year for the cruise giants (fingers crossed) in terms of employee treatment, taxes, sanitation procedures, security, background checks on passengers/crew members, and overall safety. I think that you have had a major role in informing the public about the horrors of the cruise world and I commend you for your continued efforts to improve it. Thank you for the valuable information that you have provided and I look forward to many more articles.

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