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Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Posts Tagged ‘blawg’

Announcing the 2013 Blawggie Awards – Tenth Edition

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Welcome to the 2013 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.”

The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog.

This historic tenth edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri. What was originally just a crazy idea turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging, illustrating my original premise: “Hey, I have a blog and there’s nothing stopping me from making up my own awards.”

I’ve included some explanatory and historical information about the Blawggies at the end of this post. As I’ve said before and explain in more detail at the end of this post, the Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. I choose the winners from only the blogs I read regularly. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone as I write this post.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert In this era of short attention spans, many people, especially lawyers, do not like three thousand word posts such as this one. Even fewer like long introductions to even long blog posts, or reading through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F (or command-F for Mac users) and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs. And I definitely encourage you to add the RSS feeds to all of these blogs to your RSS reader or “regularly-visited blogs” list.

2013 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – 3 Geeks and a Law Blog

2. The “Marty Schwimmer” Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Adam Smith, Esq.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. The “Kennedy-Mighell Report” Best Legal Podcast – The Return of the Legal Talk Network

6. The “Sherry Fowler” Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

8. The “DennisKennedy.Blog” Best Legal Technology Blog – V. Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM

9. Best New Blawg – Jerry Lawson’s NetLawTools

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2013 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – 3 Geeks and a Law Blog

I decided to single out the excellent 3 Geeks and a Law Blog not only for great content, but also for its ability to generate serious discussions. With everyone involved in several forms of social media, “engagement” and discussion with blog posts and blog comments is becoming harder to find than ever before. This blog has raised a lot of great questions about law and law practice and gotten people talking about those issues. I admit the authors and especially like how they’ve been able to keep a group blog going in a vibrant way – a rarity in the blawg world. My hat is off to 3 Geeks and a Law Blog for making themselves an easy choice for this award in 2013. Congratulations to Toby Brown, Greg Lambert, Lisa Salazar and their team of helpers.

Runner-up – Jordan Furlong’s Law21 blog won the 2012 Blawggie in the “best overall” category and continued in a very strong fashion this year, ending the year with a thought-provoking post called “You Say You Want a Revolution” that’s garnered a lot of attention. The post exemplifies Jordan’s coverage of law practice and the legal profession with insight, creativity and a willingness to challenge business-as-usual approaches.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning

This category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose The Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. Cybersecurity, discovery and data privacy have become front-and-center issues for many lawyers in 2013 (and should become top of mind for many more lawyers). I’ve really enjoyed Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning blog this year. She focuses on computer security and ediscovery, but has branched out in privacy and other areas. The posts are practical and thoughtful and often cover breaking developments with real-world insights. These topics cut across all traditions areas of law practice and I give this award in part in recognition that lawyers should no longer think of their niche practice areas as isolated islands that are somehow unaffected by the changes technology is bringing us.

Runner-up – The Inhouse Blog took the runner-up prize in this category for 2013. Since I work as an in-house counsel, this blog is a very useful resource with practical information, links, news and developments relevant to in-house counsel. Highly recommended for anyone who is an in-house counsel, wants to be an in-house counsel or wants to work better with in-house counsel.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Adam Smith, Esq.

The Adam Smith, Esq. blog has long been the gold standard in analytical study of the practice of law, with an emphasis on legal economics. The blog usually focuses on so-called BigLaw issues, but there is much to be learned for firms of all sizes. The blog also does the occasional longer, multi-part thought pieces that are well worth your time and attention.

Runner-up – Allison Shields’ LegalEase Blog. I know that Allison had to spend time away from her blog this year to write two books with me, but her blog (and email newsletter) have lots of great practical tips. There’s a series of time management tips she’s been writing and I really like her recent experiments with infographics.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I use this category annually to highlight the blogs written by law librarians, a category that I don’t think gets enough attention. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. If you want to try just one, Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog provides a steady stream of links to great US government and other information. The Law Librarian Blog is a great starting place and there’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – I also use this category to remind people that blawgging is a global phenomenon. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list. In the UK, I especially like the Legal Futures Blog.

5. The Kennedy-Mighell Report Best Legal Podcast – The Return of the Legal Talk Network

I name this category after the podcast Tom Mighell and I do, since I can’t really give it the best podcast award without causing much eye-rolling from Tom. Last year, we thought the Legal Talk Network was finished, but it was resurrected by the great people at Lawgical and I’m thrilled that LTN is again a vibrant resource for legal and law-related podcasts.Lots of choices. If you have not tried listening to podcasts, the Legal Talk Network gives you a great place to start. Try out a few of them.

6. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

As I was thinking about this award, I started thinking about how much I enjoy reading Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning blog on a regular basis. Sometimes when you have known someone for a long time and are friends with them, you tend to take for granted how good their work really is. Sharon’s an excellent wrier and her blog captures her voice so well. Blog pioneer, Dave Winer, has defined a blog as “the unedited voice of a person.” Sharon encapsulate that notion well. It’s time to recognize that.

Runner-up – Jane Genova’s Law and More – Topical, opinionated, wide-ranging, thoughtful and well-written, the Law and More blog is one that I just enjoy reading every day. I like the way Jane addresses issues like alcoholism, depression, burnout and other things that many lawyers like to avoid.

Special Mention – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest – Although technically not a blog, Jeff Brandt’s daily email newsletter selects three or four worthy blog posts and summarizes them in a pithy, witty and engaging style. Jeff also illustrates Dave Winer’s idea that a blog is the “unedited voice of a person.” We all get too much email, but this is an email newsletter that you won’t mind at all in in your inbox.

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

Although, I’m nominally a contributing editor of the Legal Skills Prof Blog, I’m way more a reader than a contributor. As the debate about the future of legal education started to take hod in 2013 and gain momentum, the “practical skills” approach started to get a lot of attention. THis blog’s coverage of those issues was excellent and it’s a great place to keep up-to-date on discussions about the future of legal education, analysis of current trends, and generally help links and information.

Runner-up – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog What more can I say than that this blog covers tax topics in such an interesting way that I want to read every post. My greatest compliment: reading this blog makes me want to take a class from Paul. I hope he’s thinking about doing some online courses.

8. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – V. Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM

[Note: I used to give my own blog this award every year, in part because of the attribution issue I talk about in this post and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends got a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn't, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that, and my friends laugh even more at that. Or maybe they just like to laugh at me.]

Legal technology takes many forms and covers a wide rage of areas. This category’s winner, V. Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM, covers an area I’ve long been interested in gaining more expertise – knowledge management. Interest in legal KM has ebbed and flowed over the years, but it seems to be gathering attention, especially as we start to enter the realm of Big Data. I find that I look to Mary’s blog for thoughtful commentary and her always excellent notes on presentations she attends. It’s a niche topic, but also one that has broader insights and principles.

Runner-up – Law Technology Today OK, I’ll admit that this blog is one that I post to on a once-a-month basis, but I really like what Josh Poje and his team are doing with this blog. If Above and Beyond KM is an example of a niche legal tech blog, Law Technology Today is a great example of a practical, general audience legal tech blog. Lots of great practical advice, often from well-known legal tech writers.

9. Best New Blawg – Jerry Lawson’s NetLawTools

I’m kind of cheating in this category, but you’ll see the reason for my selection. Jerry Lawson is one of the true Internet pioneers among lawyers. I had the chance to write a regular column with Jerry on Internet marketing more than ten years ago. Jerry is the one who first noticed that I had written that blogs might be a great thing for lawyers about two years before I actually got around to starting my blog. In 2013, I noticed that Jerry had started posting to his blog again after a long absence. It’s so great to have his voice and insights back on a regular basis that I knew that I had to give him this award, even if I had to change the rules. Then I realized that I made up all the rules and can do whatever I want. It is very welcome news to see that Jerry is back to writing regularly and I highly recommend you check out his blog.

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

Two different approaches to keep up with legal tech and law practice management blogs and other posts related to the legal profession. If you read DennisKennedy.Blog, then you should be (and probably already are) a member of Neil Squillante’s excellent TechnoLawyer community, with its great set of resources on legal tech, marking and management. TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld is a weekly email newsletter that uses human editors to cull out usedul blog posts and other materials. They say, “Week after week, BlawgWorld provides you with everything you need from the legal Web but nothing you don’t.” The Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest is a daily email newsletter in which Jeff Brandt highlights three or four blawg posts on legal tech and summarizes and comments on them in his perceptive, concise and often witty way. His eye for selection is also great and I usually find myself checking out a few of the linked posts everyday.

And there you have it – the 2013 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) I like, but this post is already long enough (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you don’t read my blog).

When it really comes down to it, the Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from nearly ten years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I’ve explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is “repurposed.”

I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those who write them.

2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.

3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital ‘B.’”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, the number of blawgs I read continues to decrease and the number of non-law-related blogs I read increases. Also, the blawgs I do read are concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident of the correct spelling, although I’m seeing more of the single “g” approach lately.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

All best wishes for 2014.

Dennis

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

The Return of Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast – Four New Episodes

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Tom and I have rebooted our podcast after a brief hiatus with four really good new shows, a second channel and what feels like a bright future for the podcast.

First of all, we’re grateful to Adam, Trent, Keoki and the team at the new Legal Talk Network for keeping LTN going and keeping our podcast in their lineup, with all the archives (and iTunes subscription feed) still available and a lot of fresh new ideas for the podcast. Check out what LTN is doing.

And we are also grateful to Josh Poje at the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center for helping us set up a second channel for the podcast at the LTRC site as part of a new legal technology podcast network.

What does that mean? Existing subscribers (RSS and iTunes) should be receiving the new shows automatically. New listeners will find the past four episodes and future episodes on both the Legal Talk Network and the Legal Technology Resource Center. Think of the new approach as a dual-channeled effort to get the podcast to new audiences. At both places, you’ll get the audio content Tom and I create, but in a slightly different wrapper (sponsorship, identifiers, etc.), depending on how you access the podcast.

We’ll be releasing new episodes every other week.

The new episodes are episodes 94, 95, 96 and 97. Observant readers will note that we are fast approaching episode 100 and plan to do a special episode in honor of that.

The new episodes:

#97 – The Internet of Things and Our Virtual Lives. [LTN] [LTRC]

In this episode, we discuss the idea of “the Internet of Things” and the implication of a world where more machines now connect to the Internet than people. Perhaps we have yet to see how much the Internet can do for us. I also talk a bit about my cool experience with personal genome sequencing with the 23andMe service.

#96 – Taking Control of Your Mobile Apps. [LTN] [LTRC]

In this episode, Tom and I confess to how many apps we have downloaded and installed on our mobile devices. I try to blame Tom’s iPad App in One Hour for Lawyers book for that. We talk about the growing need to organize and manage apps and then explain the basic ways to do that. We also answer a question about whether you should choose and iPad Mini or an iPad.

#95 – Digital Cameras in Law: Are Smartphones Enough? [LTN] [LTRC]

In this episode, we turn my recent failure to get a decent photo of two bears fishing salmon out of a stream near Lake Tahoe into a meditation on the role always-at-hand digital cameras in smartphones and devices can play in today’s practice of law. We have a lot of ideas and practical suggestions. We also answer a question on what are our best new presentation tips for 2013.

#94 – Top Legal Blogs & State of the Blawgosphere in 2013 [LTN] [LTRC]

In this episode, we are happy to be back to the podcast and discuss what seems to be a renewed interest in law-related blogging, my 2012 Blawggie awards, and our favorite law-related blogs. We have many new blogs for you to try if you don’t already read them. We also take the bold step of revealing our own 2013 technology resolutions.

To longtime listeners, we thank you for your patience and hope that you return to regular listening. To new listeners, sample a few episodes and consider subscribing.

We’re happy to be back. As always, if you have ideas for topics or questions for us to answer on the podcast, let us know.

And, if you will be at ABA TECHSHOW, consider joining Tom and me at a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner we will be hosting. Even if you don’t attend the dinner, make sure that you say hello at TECHSHOW and let us know that you listen to the podcast. We really enjoy meeting our audience.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Celebrating the Tenth Blawgiversary of DennisKennedy.Blog

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Ten years ago (February 15, 2003), I launched this blog and it’s striking how much that has happened to me since can be traced to this blog.

The original post started with a reference to my favorite science fiction TV series, Babylon 5, and said:

And so it begins . . .

I realized the other day that I had first written about blogs well over a year ago. In fact, the rise of blogs was one of my 2002 predictions for legal technology in my annual legal tech predictions article. As I was working on updating my web site (http://www.denniskennedy.com), I finally decided that I had to have my own blog. Thanks to people like Jerry Lawson, Sabrina Pacifici, the Support Forum at MovableType.org, it’s finally here.

This blog, which I named DennisKennedy.Blog, was my early birthday present to myself in 2003 (my birthday is actually in two days, on the 17th). I saw it as a place to experiment with my writing and the best way to generate my own RSS feed (the feed was something I wanted much more than just a “blog” and blogging software was the easiest way to generate an RSS feed). Both of those reasons remain true today.

I also remember how, at the time, I had the feeling that whole blog thing had already happened and that I’d missed it. I’m always surprised by how much time it took me after I had started speaking and writing about blogs to launch my own blog.

One of the annual traditions on this blog is to have an extravagant blawgiversary (or blogiversary) celebration. Another thing I tend to do (which some have even criticized me for – little do they understand how close you can get to a blog after a few years) is to anthromorphize this blog.

I mention both things, because my blog has made it clear that it wants just a low-key, stay at home, no presents please blawgiversary for number 10. The blog is feeling a little introspective and contemplative on this occasion, as am I.

I will say, on my blog’s behalf, that it’s been a great ten years and we look forward to many more. There are so many people to thank and we appreciate all the readers over the years, especially those who have been reading since the beginning. We also want to give a big welcome to new readers.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Announcing the 2012 Blawggie Awards

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.”

The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog.

This ninth edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri. What was originally just a crazy idea turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging.

I’ve included some explanatory and historical information about the Blawggies at the end of this post. As I’ve said before and explain in more detail at the end of this post, the Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. I choose the winners from only the blogs I read regularly. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone as I write this post.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert In this era of short attention spans, many people, especially lawyers, do not like three thousand word posts such as this one. Even fewer like long introductions to long blog posts, or reading through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F (or command- F for Mac users) and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs. And I definitely encourage you to add the RSS feeds to all of these blogs to your Google Reader (or other RSS reader) or “regularly-visited blogs” list.

2012 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca

2. The “Marty Schwimmer” Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. The “Kennedy-Mighell Report” Best Legal Podcast – Lu Ann Reeb’s Legal Talk Network

6. The “Sherry Fowler” Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Evan Schaeffer’s Beyond the Underground

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog

8. The “DennisKennedy.Blog” Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

9. Best New Blawg – MoFo Tech Blog

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2012 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law21.ca

Jordan Furlong’s Law21 blog was the runner-up in the “best overall” category and it just made sense to move it up to the top spot this year. As I said last year, Jordan covers law practice and the legal professions with insight, creativity and a willingness to challenge business-as-usual approaches. The typical post is a thoughtful, well-written meditation on the changing landscape for the practice of law. He makes you think. This year, Jordan has offered great perspectives on legal education and many of the trends lawyers and law firms must come to terms with – soon. Always a pleasure to read, I can’t recommend this blog highly enough.

Runner-up – Ride the Lightning – I’ve really enjoyed Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning blog this year. Sharon’s a longtime friend of mine and I like the way her writing captures her voice. She focuses on computer security and ediscovery, but has branched out in privacy and other areas. Her post on digital estate planning got a lot of deserved attention and got many people thinking about that important subject.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – The Trademark Blog

Perceptive readers will note that this category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose The Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. As I thought about this category this year, I came to the conclusion that Marty’s blog really is the best practice-specific blog this year. Marty is one of the original lawyer bloggers (blogging for more than ten years) and The Trademark Blog continues to have great energy and wit, while providing great information about trademark and related issues and developments. It’s a great example of a blawg that can be enjoyed by those who don’t even practice in the trademark field. If you are writing a blawg, you’ll want to read Marty’s blawg to get ideas about how improve your blawg. If you have trademark questions or want to learn more about trademarks, you will quickly realize that Marty is the go-to-guy on trademark.

Runner-up – The Contracts Guy Blog – I wanted to recognize the good work of a fellow lawyer in St. Louis. Brian Rogers’ The Contracts Guy Blog is a great example of a niche practice blog that provides useful and practical information on a specific topic, in this case contracts law with a Missouri focus. Brian has a corporate law practice and, as an in-house counsel, I appreciate how his blog reflects the concerns of corporate counsel and business people. It’s another good example of how to create an effective practice-specific blawg.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog

There are so many great law practice management blogs out there that it’s difficult for me to choose just one. However, Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog emerged as my winner. Steven focuses on the very important area od legal project management and incorporates his technology experiences and insights gained from working at Microsoft earlier in his career. This blog has the consistent posting of thoughtful and though-provoking material that I find so appealing. If you aren’t familiar with the legal project management trend, this blog is where you want to start.

Runners-up – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips Blog; Allison Shields’ LegalEase Blog; 3 Geeks and a Law Blog; Adam Smith, Esq. – So many great blogs in this category and so many had great 2012s. I picked the four runners-up to highlight some of the best and give you a way to sample the great content and different approaches out there. I especially want to congratulate Allison, who was able to keep a steady flow of great posts going this year while writing two books with me.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I use this category annually to highlight the blogs written by law librarians, a category that I don’t think gets enough attention. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. If you want to try just one, Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog provides a steady stream of links to great US government and other information. The Law Librarian Blog is a great starting place and there’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – I also use this category to remind people that blawgging is a global phenomenon. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list.

5. The Kennedy-Mighell Report Best Legal Podcast – Lu Ann Reeb’s Legal Talk Network

I was tempted to give The Kennedy-Mighell Report the actual award this year, but I knew that would embarrass Tom. However, I really thought our podcast had a great year, with many great topics. We’re on a short hiatus with the podcast, as I’ll explain shortly, but expect to announce the re-start of the podcast in the very near future.

This year’s award is an emotional one for me. As you probably know, Lu Ann Reed had to shutter the Legal Talk Network family of podcasts this fall (see Bob Ambrogi’s post about the last Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast). I could not have enjoyed my relationship with the Legal Talk Network (and working with Lu Ann, Kate Kinney, Mike Hochmann, Scott Hess and others at LTN) any more and I’ll always remember the call I got from Lu Ann wanting to know if Tom and I would bring our podcast to LTN. LTN played a huge role in the history of legal podcasting and set a standard of professionalism that raised the bar for legal podcasts. Most important to me, Lu Ann was able to provide a platform to make legal issues accessible to lawyers and the public and developed a great list of podcasting talent. It was a sad day to learn about what was happening this fall, but what a body of work and a legacy. The archive is still available, so start downloading the episodes that interest you most. Lu Ann, you are the greatest.

6. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Evan Schaeffer’s Beyond the Underground

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

This fall, longtime blawgger Evan Schaeffer sent me a copy of his new book, How to Feed a Lawyer: And Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground (Disclosure: link is through my Amazon Affiliate account and may generate income to me), which is a collection of some of his blog posts over the years and includes many of his classic blog series about traits of lawyers. The book is excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was great to revisit those early posts and re-experience them.

It also made me think about how many of the early blawgger were/are excellent writers. Evan is a classic example. I often tell people that my blog was an “experiment in writing” where I could try new things. Evan always took an experimental and writerly approach and it’s fascinating to see the posts collected together and remember the buzz at the time when I would be reading these great posts on a regular basis from Evan. The Legal Underground blog (as it was formerly named) became quite popular, especially with law students. The humor in the posts is still very funny.

It’s also interesting to see how today the advice to bloggers is to stay on topic, think carefully about what you post, follow standard formats, keep posts short and the like. In the early days of blawgging, those rules definitely did not exist. Yet, blawgs became quite popular even though they broke all of today’s rules. Something to think about, no? You definitely have to check out Evan’s blog. And he’s another St. Louis blawgger.

Runner-up – Jane Genova’s Law and More – Topical, opinionated, wide-ranging, thoughtful and well-written, the Law and More blog is one that I just enjoy reading every day.

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog

The Blawggies have always had a spot for the best law professor blog. In part, it’s my little effort to bridge the great divide between practicing lawyers and law professors.

I have a repeat winner here and it’s a great blog to read as we approach the fiscal cliff. As I said last year, the test of a great blog is how it keeps me returning to it time after time because of its great posts when it’s outside my subject matter. The topic here is U.S. tax, but Paul ventures into the real word with regular, thoughtful posts. It’s a blog with an academic focus and a a real world impact. My greatest compliment: reading this blog makes me want to take a class from Paul. I hope he’s thinking about doing some online courses.

Runner-up – Legal Skills Prof Blog – Yes, I know, I’m involved in this one, but I don’t post very often, so I can pretend to be objective. This blog has great coverage of the current debate about what needs to be done with the current approach to legal education and what law schools are doing in the area of skills education.

8. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

I own an iPhone, an iPad (that will probably go to my wife or daughter soon) and an iPad Mini. I enjoy reading Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. every day. It’s another of example of how a blogger can cover a niche topic and become a “go to” resource. Jeff does a great job of covering the iOS waterfront from the perspective of the practicing lawyer. Jeff provides news, tips, apps and hardware recommendations and more.

Runners-up – Tie, V. Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM; Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology; The TechnoLawyer Blog – Again, a category with lots of great choices. Ron’s blog won this category last year. We have similar interests in and perspectives on legal technology and he’s great at posting about issues that intrigue me, like outsourcing, strategy and bigger issues. I have long been interested in knowledge management and Mary’s blog has done an excellent job this year of covering KM and related topics, with coverage of tech conference, too. It’s another great example of a blogger posting thoughtful and thought-provoking content on a regular basis. The TechnoLawyer Blog covers technology issues from a practitioner’s perspective with a focus on practical and helpful material. It’s also the external portal for you to enter all of the great resources at TechnoLawyer.

[Note: I used to give my own blog this award every year, in part because of the attribution issue I talk about in this post and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends got a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn't, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that, and my friends laugh even more at that. Or maybe they just like to laugh at me.]

9. Best New Blawg – MoFo Tech Blog

Last year, I was disappointed that I didn’t have a new blawg to highlight. This year, I have a winner and a runner-up, so there seems to be new life in the blawg world. I did notice an increase in law firm group blogs this year and Tom Mighell certainly did not run out new blogs for his Blawg of the Day feature.

This year’s winner is the MoFo Tech Blog from the Morrison & Foerster law firm. Again, this choice reflects my own subject matter interest, but it’s also a good example of a group blog from a prominent law firm on a specific niche, in this case technology law. I like the coverage of the technology industry, intellectual property issues and much more. However, I especially like the name of the blog. It seems that many lawyers and law firms have doubts about what names they can use, whether they can use pictures of judges, court houses or dogs on their websites and whether and how they can use social media. There’s a general concern about what kind of “professional” image lawyers and firms must project. Amidst all that, Morrison & Foerster brands to the “MoFo” name and strides boldly across this part of the legal ethics and discipline landscape like a, well, like a mofo brandishing the MoFo brand. I admire that. And I admire their tech blog, too.

Runner-up – Law Technology Today The Law Technology Today blog is a new blog that I’ll be a small part of (one post a month) from the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center. I’m also on the LTRC Board. Hmm, perhaps I’m a little biased on this choice. Josh Poje got the blog launched and we’ve assembled a stellar cast of legal tech experts to contribute regular posts. This blog should become a must read for anyone interested in the use of technology in the practice of law.

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

Here’s a daily email newsletter in which Jeff Brandt highlights three or four blawg posts on legal tech and summarizes and comments on them. Jeff’s comments are witty, perceptive and generally great, and I enjoy reading them everyday. His eye for selection is also great. In a world where no one likes to get more email, this free email newsletter is one that you will want to have.

And there you have it – the 2012 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) I like, but this post is already long enough (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you don’t read my blog).

When it really comes down to it, the Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from nearly ten years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I’ve explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is “repurposed.”

I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those who write them.

2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.

3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital ‘B.’”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, the number of blawgs I read continues to decrease and the number of non-law-related blogs I read increases. Also, the blawgs I do read are concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident of the correct spelling, although I’m seeing more of the single “g” approach lately.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

All best wishes for 2013.

Dennis

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

The 2010 Blawggies – Dennis Kennedy’s Annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.” The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog.

I’m very pleased that this seventh edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s difficult to keep a blog going for that length of time, let alone maintain an ongoing feature on blog for so long. I’ve enjoyed seeing how what once was just a crazy idea has turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from nearly eight years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

Seriously, though, I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those who write them.

2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.

3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital ‘B.’”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, lately I find the number of blawgs I read is decreasing and the number of non-law-related blogs I read is increasing. Also, the blawgs I do read have become concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

While the trend toward creating niche blogs has its benefits, I’m not really able to follow law-related blogs in niche areas outside of my subject matter. For example, I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident of the correct spelling, although I’m seeing more of the single “g” approach lately.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

The 2010 Social Media Factor.

As I predicted in my 2009 Blawggies post, the biggest trend in blawgging in 2010 is the continuing movement of blawggers into social media. It’s definitely decreased the frequency of blog posting by many blawggers and changed what gets written about on a blog as opposed to distributed via social media. As I considered the 2010 Blawggie awards, I was surprised by how many well-known blawgs were not very active this past year because the authors were using social media as their primary daily outlet.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert I’ve found that many people do not like long blog posts such as this one, or long introductions to long blog posts, or needing to read through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs.

2010 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Real Lawyers Have Blogs

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Ken Adams’s The Koncise Drafter

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips

4. Best Legal Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. Best Legal Blog Digest – Stark County Law Library Weblog

6. Best Blawg About Legal Blawgging and Social Media – Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs

7. The Kennedy-Mighell Report Best Legal Podcast – The Legal Talk Network Family of Podcasts

8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca

9. Best Law Professor Blog – Tie: Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog and Jim Maul’s Mauled Again

10. Best New Law-related Blog – Tie: Jane Genova’s Law and More and Rebecca Stahl’s Is Yoga Legal?

11. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

12. Most Important Trend in Law-related Blogging – Social Media, the Mobile Platform and Personal Portals

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2010 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Dave Winer has famously defined a blog as “the unedited voice of a person.” Nobody covers the ways lawyers are using blogging , social media and other outlets in the way Kevin does. His blog is informative, feisty, conversational in the best sense of the word, highly-opinionated and a treasure trove for anyone wanting to learn about how lawyers are using the Internet and the issues that arise. In other words, he has the unedited voice of a person and his blog is a must-read. I always learn a lot from Kevin and he regularly gives me new ways to thing about aspects of blogging and social media that help me question what I’m taking for granted. One of my favorite experiences of 2010 was a webinar on managing your online presence I moderated with Kevin and Jim Calloway – it’s definitely worth looking for the replay. Kevin is one of the early Internet pioneers who has had a big impact on lawyers using the Internet for many years. He’s a true believer in the best sense of the term. In the interest of disclosure, Kevin’s company hosts the companion blog for the collaboration tools book Tom Mighell and I wrote.

Runner-up – SLAW – It’s worth noting that Kevin kept the SLAW blog from achieving a Blawggie three-peat this year. SLAW is still a great blog, but I liked what Kevin did this year more and I’ve started to feel that the large number of contributors to SLAW might have caused it to lose some focus and personality. SLAW is still great, however, and has consistently useful posts, a welcome diversity of viewpoints and focus, and shows off the excellent Canadian blawgosphere.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – Ken Adams’s The Koncise Drafter

Legal drafting expert Ken Adams recently renamed his Adams Drafting blog to Ken Adams’s The Koncise Drafter and revamped his site. Ken covers every aspect of improving the drafting of contracts. If you ever find yourself in a debate over whether you need to say “indemnify AND hold harmless,” this blawg will be the resource you will want to know. His blog is a fantastic resource for transactional lawyers who draft and review contracts, and it would also be useful for litigators who need help in interpreting specific contract language. [Note #1: This category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. Note #2: This category illustrates how my choices are based on blogs I actually read and my own subject matter areas, and should give you a reason to create your own awards to highlight the best blawgs in your practice areas.]

Runner-up – Evan Brown’s Internet Cases – One the one hand, Evan’s blog is a model for a practice specific blog focused on a single niche topic (the title says it all), but it also shows how really good blogs can transcend the genre, show personality and create an enjoyable experience for those not practicing in the niche. If you want to keep up with legal developments on the Internet, Evan’s blog is the place to start.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips Blog

Repeat-winner Jim Calloway is a model of consistently good blogging and Jim has a great understanding of what his audience will find helpful. Jim is the Practice Management Advisor of the Oklahoma Bar, a popular author and speaker, and one of the most knowledgeable experts on law practice management you will ever find, especially in the solo and small firm space. His genuine helpfulness and willingness to teach always shine through in his blog. I’m happy to call him a friend, too.

Runner-up – Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca – Jordan Furlong covers law practice both as a journalist and a thought-provoking commentator. His blog both keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments and gives you Jordan’s insights and analysis about these developments. Simply put, if you want to get the jump on what people will be talking about a year or two from now, you’ll want to read what Jordan is writing today.

4. Best Legal Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I’ve long been a fan of blogs written by law librarians. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. Just this past week, I was noticing how often I was finding links to useful documents and information sources on a variety of topics on Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog. The Law Librarian Blog is a great starting place and there’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – There is a whole world of law-related blogs outside the United States. If I could read a language other than English, I’m sure that I’d know even more about these than I do now. There are many great United Kingdom blawgs and, as longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list and I’m proud to have received a 2009 Clawbie for being a “Friend of the North.”

5. Best Legal Blog Digest – Stark County Law Library Weblog

Nancy Stinson and the Stark County Library Weblog gets the three-peat this year. If you can’t or don’t want to follow a lot of blawgs, be aware that some blogs aggregate information from other law-related blogs, digest posts from other law-related blogs or highlight and point to posts on other law-related blogs. You can effectively monitor the best posts from a number of blogs in one place. Nancy Stinson at the Stark County Law Library Weblog is my favorite example of this category. She makes excellent selections and I find a lot of good posts from this blog. If you don’t have much time, this blog is a great way to keep up with the best of the blawgosphere. I always enjoy seeing that Nancy has highlighted a blog post that I also liked.

Runner-up -Legal Blog Watch – This blog has had a major transition from the halcyon days when blawgging giants Carolyn Elefant and Bob Ambrogi ran it, but it’s moved forward and is still a good place to find coverage of what’s being talked about on other blawgs as well as coverage of news and developments. Also, although technically not a blog, I really like Tom Mighell’s “Linkstream” as a resource for following the blog posts Tom finds most interesting and useful – I find lots of great information there.

6. Best Blawg About Legal Blawgging and Social Media – Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs

I have to admit that I started this category as an inside joke so I could make Kevin use the word “blawg,” which he hates (or used to), when he mentioned that he won this award, as he has done every year. I now think it really does deserve its own category, especially as social media has transformed the world of blawgging. As I said in 2008, “No one covers the world of legal blogging (and now related topics like Twitter and social networking) better than Kevin does. And no one today knows more about the practical aspects of legal blogging and what lawyers are doing in blogging than Kevin does. . . . If you want to learn how to start blogging and how to blog better, there’s no better place to start than Kevin’s blog.”

Runner-up – Tom Mighell’s Inter Alia and its Blawg of the Day feature – For me, the best way to learn about blogging, especially as a beginner, is to look at and read as many blogs as you can and decide what you like and dislike. For years, Tom Mighell’s Inter Alia has offered a Blawg of the Day feature in which he has highlight thousands of blawgs. This feature provides a service to the blawgging community and gives you a way to find lots of new blawgs. It also is a great way to spot trends and patterns and see what is happening in terms of design and content in new blawgs.

7. The Kennedy-Mighell Report Best Legal Podcast – The Legal Talk Network Family of Podcasts

[Disclosure: Our podcast, The Kennedy-Mighell Report, is now produced by the Legal Talk Network and I’m an unabashed fan of the production team at LTN. That has no impact on my choice, but you might wish to factor that into account and it gives me another chance to remind you that these awards are my personal, opinionated choices. I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I've explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is "repurposed."]

2010 has been the year of the legal podcast. There are many great legal podcasts and it’s difficult to choose just one. So, I took the easy way out (and went with my heart) and chose the whole family of blogs on the Legal Talk Network, the producers of the The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. This family of podcasts includes the “granddaddy” of legal podcasts, Lawyer to Lawyer with Bob Ambrogi and Craig Williams, and excellent podcasts from Rodney Dowell, Monica Bay, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, and many others. With consistently great production values, top notch hosts and great topics, LTN is the place to go for legal podcasts. This award is, in part, a small way to thank LuAnn Reeb and the LTN team for all the great work they do.

Runner-up – Denise Howell’s This Week in Law – I’m not sure whether it was Denise’s decision to actually make this a weekly (rather than an occasional) podcast, the addition of Evan Brown as a regular, or great topic choices and guests, but TWIL really found its stride this year. The podcast covers new developments in technology law and occasionally strays into other interesting areas of technology. It’s a great place to find discussion of the legal issues arising out of technological change. The podcast is very long (usually at least an hour), which some might find off-putting, but you can always listen at double speed on you iPod (my favorite tech tip of the year).

8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Jordan Furlong for the Law21.ca blog

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

On Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca, Jordan writes longer essay posts of the type I favor. You will find well-crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking essays on a variety of law practice management topics, including legal technology and economics of practice. Often the first to delve into a topic, Jordan always makes you reconsider your assumptions and to look at the world with new eyes. His posts often get retweeted by many people on Twitter. Highly recommended.

Runner-up – Ernest “Ernie the Attorney” Svenson – Ernie is one of the pioneering lawyer bloggers and one of my favorite people to read. He’s created a small family of blogs, including the excellent PDF for Lawyers blog. His writing on technology is patient, accessible and enlightening, as Ernie is in person. I always find something of value in his thoughtful posts, even those on topics I think I’m quite familiar with. Ernie’s perspectives and insights are always a welcome visitor to my Google Reader.

9. Best Law Professor Blog – Tie: Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog and Jim Maul’s Mauled Again

The Blawggies have always had a spot for the best law professor blawg and now that I’m a contributing editor to the new Legal Skills Prof Blog on the great Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog and Jim Maul’s Mauled Again. I like how they both cover tax law and tax developments, explain the practical implications, and branch out into the economic crisis, law school issues and much more. Both bloggers show how to write a blog with an academic focus and a a real world impact. I admire them greatly. Perhaps my highest compliment is that their blogs make me wish I could take a tax law class from them, which is no small feat when you consider that the late Martin Ginsberg was one of my favorite professors at Georgetown University Law Center.

Runner-up – Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog – Eric’s blawg covers my own area of work – information technology law and related and intellectual property law issues with gusto, style and excellent insights, all done in a way that keeps touch with the real world. Very helpful.

10. Best New Law-related Blog – Tie: Jane Genova’s Law and More and Rebecca Stahl’s Is Yoga Legal?

I found this to be the hardest award to decide on this year, in large part because so much of the new action seems to be taking place in social media and in part because most of the new blogs I’ve begun to follow this year are not law-related blogs. With today’s focus on niche-oriented blawgs and so much happening in social media, my sense is that it’s harder than ever for a new blog to get traction and find a general audience.

I found two new blawgs this year that have found a home in my Google Reader and that I enjoy reading on a regular basis. Both blogs illustrate my belief that good writers make for good blogs.

The first is Jane Genova’s Law and More. It’s one of my favorite types of blogs – opinionated, feisty, thoughtful and always interesting. Even if I don’t agree with Jane’s point of view, I enjoy reading the argument. I especially like the way Jane writes fearlessly about topics often like to avoid.

The second is Rebecca Stahl’s Is Yoga Legal?. This blog actually started in late 2009, but I wanted to include it and, since I make up the rules, I stretched the rules a bit. It’s perhaps turned into a blog more about yoga than law, but I find myself looking forward to reading each post. It’s like a small oasis in my Google Reader list. It’s always important for you to read some blogs that fall outside your beaten path.

11. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

As I mentioned, I used to give my own blog this award in part because of the attribution issue I talked about earlier and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends would get a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn’t, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that and my friends laugh even more at that.

Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D., as I mentioned last year when it was a runner-up in this category, is the perfect example of a niche legal technology blog and how a niche blog, if done well, can grow a larger audience as it expands its coverage and reflects the interests and personality of its author. This blawg has excellent coverage of the use of the iPhone in legal practice – developments, tips, news, apps recommendations. It also meets one of my favorite crtieria of a great blog – I don’t even have an iPhone and I’m a regular reader.

Runner-up – Tie: Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology; Ernie Svensons’s PDF for Lawyers blog; and Rick Borstein’s Acrobat for Legal ProfessionalsRon Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology has long been one of my favorite legal technology blogs. Ron and I have similar interests in and perspectives on legal technology and he’s great at posting about issues that intrigue me, like outsourcing, strategy and bigger issues. Ernie Svensons’s PDF for Lawyers blog is a great resource to help practicing lawyers use PDFs in their practices. Rick Borstein’s Acrobat for Legal Professionals is both a great practical resource for tips and techniques for using Adobe Acrobat and a model for how a software vendor should use a blog to distribute useful information to users.

12. Most Important Trends in Law-related Blogging – Social Media, the Mobile Platform and Personal Portals

I really see this as one trend with three components. Tom Mighell and I have talked quite a bit about these topics on our podcast this year. Social media has had a huge impact on the frequency and types of posting blawggers do. If you take my blog as an example, my frequency of blogging might be the lowest ever (about once a week or so) and many of the things I probably would have blogged about in the past now appear as links on DennisKennedy.Microblog, my blog’s Twitter account.

Readers now find information you publish in many places, especially on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Part of my blog posting regimen is tweeting about a blog post after it has been published and issuing a Facebook status update about it. Readers often read your material using a smartphone as we all move onto the mobile platform.

It used to be that websites and blogs made a great effort to drive people back to the website or blog and capture the reader there. The website or blog was the one central “home base” (as Chris Brogan and others call it). Now, I see our web presence as much more distributed and our audience finding us in a variety of unrelated ways. The key thing is not to “drive and capture,” but to recognize the different routes people take and the different audiences, and make each location a “personal portal” that lets your audience easily find and get to your other presences, if they choose to do so. This means more repurposing, more linking and a more open and fluid web presence than in the past. It’s challenging, but it’s exciting. It will be interesting to see how much longer blogging awards like the Blawggies still make sense in the dynamic world of social media, apps and new developments.

I’m looking forward to seeing how all of this year’s winners deal with these challenges, the experiments they try, and the lessons we share. And I’m especially looking forward to those not even on my radar this year who will rise to the top and teach me new things next year.

And there you have it – the 2010 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) Ilike, but this post is already ridiculously long (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you haven’t read my blog). The Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Best wishes for 2011.

Dennis

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

A great addition to your bookshelf for 2011! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools