Law School throws launch party for blog
It was the blog’s 'first big outreach event'
April 6, 2011, 4:42 am · Updated April 6, 2011, 12:00 am·
“You can all say you were here where it all began,” Penn Law School and Political Science professor Cary Coglianese said at Tuesday’s launch party for Regblog, a blog run by Coglianese and Penn students that covers regulatory issues.
The party, held in Penn Law’s Silverman Hall at noon, celebrated what Coglianese called the launch of “Regblog in its new and improved format.”
It was the blog’s “first big outreach event,” said Law student and Regblog Executive Editor Jean Yin.
Coglianese first launched the site, regblog.org, in late 2009. As more students got involved and readership grew from 50 to 1000 hits a week, Coglianese and the student editors decided it was necessary to launch a new version of the blog.
“With the new site we’re making it a lot clearer what information is where and it’s just more accessible and friendly to the reader,” said Law student and Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Mincer.
This goes hand in hand with the blog’s goal of familiarizing the average reader with regulatory issues.
“Regulation is really front and center on the political agenda and it affects people’s lives in many different ways,” Coglianese said.
While Regblog is based in the Law School, students from six of Penn’s schools write or edit for the blog.
“I expect that over time that will only expand,” Coglianese said.
The purpose of the launch party was to increase readership on the site and inform students about the existence and function of the blog.
“It’s about time the Law School and the rest of the University know what Regblog is,” Yin said.
“There really aren’t other schools that have anything comparable to this,” Yin added.
Coglianese also highlighted that Regblog is unique to Penn Law.
“We think that readership is important because what we’re offering is a service that really doesn’t exist much out in the blogosphere or elsewhere,” he said.
“It’s a place where a person can go find a really broad coverage of issues relating to regulation that’s presented in a balanced, nonpartisan manner and that’s written in a way that’s accessible and engaging to a general reader,” Coglianese added.
Mincer was impressed with the turnout of the event, which offered food, a trivia game called “are you smarter than an administrative law professor” and a PowerPoint slideshow with facts about the site.
He expected about 200 to show up, but noted that this number was likely exceeded just 20 minutes into the event.
The trivia game allowed players to compete against Coglianese, Penn Law professor Matthew Adler and Penn Law professor Sophia Lee in answering general knowledge trivia.
Coglianese also emphasized that the blog is meant to be an educational experience for students.
“It’s important from my standpoint as an educator to provide this service, while also providing an opportunity for students to learn about collaboration in interdisciplinary issues, to learn more about regulation and to develop professional skills in writing,” Coglianese said.
Yin said that the event was also intended to spread interest among students in more of Penn’s schools to work for the blog next fall.
While the blog does not yet make a profit and is funded from Coglianese’s research grant and from the Law School, Mincer said that the editors may look into adding a business component to Regblog in the future.
“At this point, it’s really an educational effort and it’s about getting more people involved,” Mincer said.