Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 CLawBies - Canada Law Blog Awards

There's no doubt that Canadian Law blogs were on a roll in 2006. Our online voices have made inroads into the US blogosphere, and we've established great connections with European law blogs. So in the spirit of the Blawggies & the Blawg Review awards, here's my inaugural edition of the CLawBies. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: Michael Geist - Simply put, Michael Geist is the most influential of Canadian law bloggers. He's the epitome of a thought leader, and our Canadian equivalent to Lawrence Lessig. And that's saying something. Runner ups: Rob Hyndman, Simon Chester.

2) Best Practitioner Support Blog - No question on this one. If you track privacy law in Canada, you read David Fraser's Canadian Privacy Law Blog. David must also be Canada's most dedicated blogger. His work is as close to exhaustive as a blog can deliver. And did I mention David's selection as a 2006 Outstanding Young Canadian? Runner ups: eLegal Canton, Alan Gahtan’s Technology and Internet Law Blog

3) Legal Culture Award - Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style. Melissa Kluger's mix of law firm issues, fashion advice, and legal news worthy controversy is one of a kind in Canada. The tabloid approach to law blogs may soon be upon us, but we can take comfort that Precedent is doing it right - with class and humour.

4) My Non-Legal Audience Award goes to Rob Hyndman - Law bloggers constantly talk about engaging non-legal audiences, Rob Hyndman does it. The 'A-list' Technology bloggers read & comment on Rob's posts like he's one of the family. Why? Probably because better than any other Canadian law blogger, Rob understands his blog as a voice. He engages and converses where others simply opine. New law bloggers should take note.

5) Friend of the North Awards - Blogging is international, and keeping the north-south idea flow is important. So I'm recognizing Kevin O'Keefe and Dennis Kennedy with the first 'Friend of the North' Awards -- given to a US law blogger that actively reads and links to Canadian law blogs.

6) EuroCan Connection Awards - In a similar vein, European law bloggers are also very important to making our Canadian voices heard. Leading the way in 2006, I thought, were these three blogs: Information Overlord, ServiceDoc Info and Markenblog. A big and regular thanks to each of them.

7) Practice Management Award - I didn't think there was a worthy Canadian in this category, but a new entry is about to add a substantial Canadian voice to this blogging genre. Allison Wolf's The Lawyer Coach Blog is very new, but very good. So trust me on this one, take her feed, and watch it soar in 2007.

8) Law Librarian Blog Award - Michel-Adrien Sheppard's Library Boy. Michel-Adrien has had an outstanding year, breaking stories faster than almost everyone. He's constantly relaying content that Librarians can rely on. Runner ups: BCCLS What's New Blog, Connie Crosby. (Of note... I'm excluding the VLLB from this and all other Award categories.)

9) Best Legal Technology Blog - I'm biased on this one, but Slaw is world class. From Jordan Furlong's guest blogging, to the Marshall Rothstein SCC appointment, to the Grey Lit theme week, Slaw is the context behind legal technology. 2006 was a mighty fine year, and I'm proud to be a part.

10) Best New Law Blog Award - Lots of great new Canadian law blogs, and way too tough to call anything but a tie here: Vincent Gautais, Atlanteknology, Precedent, and the Canadian Trademark Blog*. (*Disclosure: While I've disqualified the VLLB, the content coming out of the CTB is top notch. So I think this one's justified, despite my involvement.)

11) Law Professor Blog Award - University of Toronto Law School Faculty Blog. This category is still under represented in Canada, and the UofT blog could bump up their posting frequency, but this initiative is definitely a quality effort. Let's hope that 2007 will bring out more Canadian law professor blogs! Runner ups: Vincent Gautais, Michael Geist

I know I've missed a number of great Canadian voices, and my apologies for any glaring omissions. Plus, this really is all in fun! Make sure you're on my list for 2007!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 DK Blawggies

Well it's year end, and time for recognizing the blogs you read. For the second year in a row, this blog has had a link mention in Dennis Kennedy's Blawggies. Under the Best Legal Blog Category, Dennis handed out a tie between 'Law Librarian Blogs' & 'Canadian Legal Blogs'. I obviously have a connection to both these groups, and also great respect for the others mentioned, including Rob Hyndman, Slaw, and Connie Crosby.

And speaking of Connie, link on over to the Blawg Review to see her award for Legal Support Blog, a recognition well deserved. Connie's a pioneer, and for many of us Canadian legal information types, her blog is a must read.

Maybe one day I'll hand out some awards to compliment my Canadian law blog list. hmmm... make sure to check back here in a couple days. I just may be motivated this year... :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

5 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Jim tagged me with the ever popular '5 things' meme.

1) I'm a closet business book junkie. Riskin & Maister aren't in my blogroll by accident, and the fact that I can send either of them an email, get a response, and not be labeled a spammer will always amaze me.

2) As a 5 yr old I willingly dropped a brick on my own head. While demonstrating my Superhero strength, a young lady told me that the real Superman could lift the brick with no hands. Guess I proved her wrong...

3) I was once able to juggle anything, from bowling balls to flaming torches.

4) I'm a techie that's never taken a programming course. Pure hacksville. I can tweak most scripting languages, and have coded a number of unique legal-web products, but almost everything I know is self taught.

5) While I work in Vancouver, and this blog has 'Vancouver' in the title, I actually live in Mission, BC. I'm up at 5:00 am and have a one hour commute into the city each day. (Whew! that one was cathartic!!)

Tag forward: Scott Vine, Kevin O'Keefe, Simon Fodden, Cindy Chick, & Bonnie Shucha.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lawyer Coach Blog

Best of luck to Allison Wolf on the launch of her new Lawyer Coach Blog.

Most people in the Vancouver legal market will recognize Allison as the former Marketing Director at Harper Grey LLP. Allison's background includes being a certified executive coach, as well as the incoming President-Elect of the LMA Vancouver Chapter. Her blog (and new business!) will focus on Business Coaching for lawyers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Canada Tops in Blog Readership

Steve Rubel points to a new study by Comscore Media Metrix which measures blog readership by country, and remarkably, Canadian online readers came out on top at close to 60%! Here's the first bullet from their summary:
  • "Among the eight countries examined in the study, Canada saw the highest penetration of visitors to blogs, with 58 percent of all internet users visiting the category in October 2006. Half (51 percent) of all internet users in Spain also visited blogs."

This makes total sense to me. Canada is a physically large country with a population that has to work at keeping in touch. The Internet historically has made it easier for us to communicate, and new web-techs like blogs are simply the next logical step to exchanging ideas online.

The other big finding was the European adoption rate (Spain: 51%, France & UK: 45%). Again, no surprise. When my we launched our Trademark blog earlier this year, readership from across the pond was as good as here in North America (still is). Despite the fact that most of the top law bloggers originate from within the US, blog readers really are international.

Looks like the influx of euro-law bloggers we saw in 2006 may just become a phenomenon in 2007!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Good Work by the BCCLS

Updated copies of the BC Courthouse Library Society's Mission & Values and Strategic Directions are now available on their website. (Source: BCCLS What's New Blog)

Let me also take the opportunity to support BCCLS Executive Director (and current VALL President) Johanne Blenkin and her bid to be a member of the CALL Executive. Good luck Johanne!

Blog Anniversary

My 2nd blogoversary, on Nov. 30th, went right by me. Definitely going into my calendar for 2007.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Santa Claus vs Government of Canada

Santa Claus has a true friend in Larry Munn over at the Canadian Trademark Blog. Despite the fact that the Canadian Trade-marks Act prevents the registration of marks that are “merely the name or the surname of an individual who is living”, or, that the man's got a legit address (remember, postal code: HOH OHO), AND that he's in non-profit cahoots with Canada Post, Larry writes, the 'Big Guy' is still not getting proper protection from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)!

Come on people! Who are you going to believe, the USPTO? Go Larry!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

David's Fight for Computer Time

On a bit of a one off, legal management guru David Maister may soon find himself fighting for computer time with his wife Kathy. She's just started a blog aimed at teaching "the absolute basics of cooking, with short cooking videos and step-by-step photo tutorials." Very interactive, and a nice interface too...

Aaaah, I remember when I first went off to University, and getting a copy of Cooking Without Mom... But now, I'm thinking I can 2.0 my parenting technique, and simply blast my kids a link to Kathy Maister's Start Cooking! woo hoo, who says technology doesn't make the world easier! :-)

Congratulations on the new business Kathy & David, and best of luck!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BC's QP LegalEze Adds RSS

QP LegalEze, the "web-based subscription service providing access to the current laws of British Columbia", has retooled their website, and launched its collection of RSS Feeds. Here's what's available:
Congratulations to everyone at QP, and thanks to Ken O'Connor for giving me a heads up. Next up, we want to see the changing text delivered by RSS, paragraph by paragraph! Oh well, I suppose I should be happy for small blessings. :-)

Librarian Blogger is AALL President-Elect

Congratulations to James Duggan, who has been elected Vice President/President-Elect of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) . His VP term will begin in July 2007, and in July 2008, he will take over as AALL's new President.

Also worth noting, James is a fellow law librarian blogger, and part of the team at Southern Illinois University's Law Dawg Blawg. Wouldn't it be great if he also became the first AALL President with a voice in the blogoshphere?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tom & Dennis, Thank-you

There's a lesson to be learned in getting extra mileage out of our past successes online. In the case of my rss in law firms post, I'm still deconstructing the chain of events, but obviously there's something to be said for sitting back, and letting guys like Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy do the work for you.

Tom & Dennis have not once, but twice made mention of it in their jointly authored articles for ABA's Law Practice Today. Dennis was also one of the first to post about it on Between Lawyers, a collaborative blog that both Tom & Dennis are a part of. And that's not to mention the spin off buzz that arose.

Guys, I've exchanged emails with both of you, but before I let 2006 slip away, let me say it publicly... thank-you!

Blog Networking for Introverts

Kevin O'Keefe has a great list of tips to help introverts utilize their blogs for business networking... definitely worth the click over.

I've been reading Kevin's blog for a few years now, and recently got to do a panel with him. One thing that really amazes me, is how much he believes in his technology. Not that he doesn't believe in his product too, but you always get the sense he's on a pulpit for professionals blogging, and doesn't need to put the 'hard sell' front & centre. I admire that tone for doing business, and think there's a few marketing lessons to be learned there too...

Back to the original topic... probably the best quote I've heard about blog networking was that "it's like 'working a room', only you don't have to touch people." :-) Funny quote, but a lot of truth too. Many of us cerebral types aren't always comfortable 'working a room'. Sure, it's a skill that can be learned (and should be), but why not play to our strengths? Many of us [Not sure if I should include myself here, but a little self-doubt goes a long way in life...] do great one-on-one, especially with the written word. And professional blogging, whether it's posting, commenting, or emailing behind the scenes is all about one-on-one. If it's your strength, why wouldn't you use it?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

17 years ago

I don't give glimpses into my social moral side very often, but as a father of two daughters, my memory of 17 years ago seems to become more vivid as each year passes.

It's good to see groups like the White Ribbon campaign working, and now, even better to see them blogging! Two thumbs up for the good guys.