Clawbies and Community
I've always found it remarkable, generally speaking, how attitudes change during December. How we reconnect with family and friends, reflect on our lives, events, and start planning out steps for the new year.
For bloggers, this same introspective period occurs as well. Lots of 'year in review' pieces, 'top-10 for 2009' lists, and so on. It's the same reflective spirit that inspired the start of the Clawbies in '06, and I suspect, why so many Canadian law bloggers have been willing to go 'off topic' and chime in on the nominations.
Not to go too far off topic, but blogging often makes it (too) easy to get caught up in a solitary approach. Grab a piece from the daily news, cite it in a quick post, and call it a day. Maybe it's the twitterization of blogging, I'm not entirely sure. What this style lacks, however, is the human exchanges that make blogging different. Differing perspectives, spontaneous thoughts, or tapping into the ideas of a like-minded individual half-way across the country (or world). The good stuff, IMO, often requires community.
In Canada, law bloggers aren't a huge group. A couple hundred at best. But through my rose coloured glasses, I see the Clawbies tying things a little closer. It's incredible, frankly, to see those nominations fly around. It's not about the blogger or their personal accomplishments, but rather, 'about the other guy'. Sometimes a competitor, but always as a peer. And the answers to some very simple questions can become incredibly valuable: who do you read? and why does it matter to you?
That this all happens in December, doesn't entirely surprise. But if it inspires participation, then I'm all for it. Plus, it's fun.
If you'd like to track this year's nomination posts, most of them are piping through Twitter, and can be found by searching for #clawbies2009.