There are a great many reasons to love the SSRN. First, it's the best online library of fabulous, first-class research I've seen in the subject matters I love most (law, philosophy, political science) and beyond (economics, etc.). Secondly, I know of no better website to get one's work "out there" and available for others to read. I have lost count of the number of colleagues that have well and truly transformed -- always for the better -- my work published online which has made a significant difference to improving the formal, final drafts I've published.
But a third is the insightful data the SSRN provides authors about their work. My latest:
"AGGREGATE STATISTICS ON YOUR PAPERS
Your Publicly Available (Scholarly and Other
Papers) and Privately Available Papers on SSRN as of 20 August 2014 have:
24,042 TOTAL DOWNLOADS
2,936 DOWNLOADS IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS
92,902 TOTAL ABSTRACT VIEWS
(Note: The totals above are calculated specifically for this author letter as
of 20 August 2014 for all your papers on SSRN (summing the data on both your
publicly and privately available papers) and therefore may differ slightly from
the numbers on the SSRN site.)
Your Author Statistics as of 08/01/2014 (out of
260,471 authors in SSRN, based only on Publicly Available, Downloadable Papers)
519 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 23,285 TOTAL DOWNLOADS.
475 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 2,923 DOWNLOADS IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS.
23,827 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 11 TOTAL CITATIONS.
You can find the complete table of the Top Authors Ranking by Downloads and
Citations at http://hq.ssrn.com/rankings/Ranking_display.cfm?TRN_gID=7"
SO my recommendation to readers is that - if you're not already on SSRN - you should do so...now!