A significant development this year was the emergence of Twitter as a truly vital hub for the profession's online written contributions. Twitter now rivals law blogs in terms of volume of participation and as a reliable source of immediate legal information, particularly about current and breaking news and developments.
And in fact, I did find myself doing more tweeting than blogging in 2011 - posting legal headlines on Twitter in real time, and then reposting those headlines at this blog with our daily 140 Law summaries, to be specific.
All was not silent at Wise Law Blog in 2011, of course - aside from our daily updates we continued posting Ontario Court of Appeal Reports and ongoing employment law and topical updates. I'd like to thank Robert Tanha, Rachel Spence, Christopher Bird and Alim Ramji for their contributions all year long.
This was not a year, however, in which I found myself doing that much analytical writing, in the traditional blogging sense. My extra-curricular attentions, frankly, were mostly focused on chairing two Law Society of Upper Canada CPD programmes in October and November, Ethical Considerations in the Age of Technology. I'd like to take a moment to talk about these two webinars.
In many ways, I believe they reflected yet another "coming of age moment" for the Canadian law blogging community, as our Law Society called upon four law bloggers to host two accredited professionalism programmes on the ethical considerations affecting blogging, social media, online marketing and living in "the Cloud."
Over 5,000 Ontario lawyers and paralegals joined us for these two programmes. As I noted during the webinars, that may mean we had more viewers than SunTV (and deservedly so, I might modestly add)!
That Canada's law bloggers were afforded this honour and acknowledgment by our regulators is noteworthy, to say the least. It is certainly not something I imagined when I started this blog in April 2005.
The tremendous volume of legal information, opinion and analysis now emerging from our nation's excellent law blogs and twitter feeds is of enormous benefit to the public, the media and the profession, as a whole. It is genuinely worthy of collective kudos. That our regulators are also recognizing the important role played by the blogging community is extremely gratifying.
I implicitly cast my 2011 Clawbie votes when I asked Bob Tarantino (@bobtarantino) Mitch Kowalski (@mekowalski) and Omar Ha-Redeye (@omarharedeye) to join me as panelists for these webinars. Today, I'd like to make that official with these nominations:
- Bob Tarantino's Entertainment and Media Law Signal continues to be an excellent example of a well-written, thoughtful and consistently updated blog. Its niche focus allows it to consider both substance and nuance with a depth of understanding and humour that I have learned is highly representative of Bob's own abundant talent as a legal professional.
- Mitch Kowalski is a regular contributor to the Financial Post Legal Post, and while his focus there is on the offbeat and wacky developments in the law, he has also emerged in 2011 as one of the profession's most persuasive and outspoken proponents of practising law in the Cloud. Never afraid to speak his mind, Mitch has taken it upon himself to urge the profession to a speedy embrace of a modernity our clients are increasingly going to demand. It behooves us all to listen.
- Finally, Omar Ha-Redeye. The Zelig of the Ontario bar, if there is an event or function somewhere in the legal community, Omar will probably be there - and a thoughtful and insightful blog post will almost certainly follow at Slaw, OmarHaRedeye.com, or his old alma mater, Law is Cool. For a man who was called to the Bar only a few months ago, he has already left quite the footprint throughout the profession.
In addition, I'd also like to mention:
- Andrew Feldstein, who continues to deliver Canada's best family law blog, week in and week out. If you are a family law practitioner (or client - or both), Andrew's blog belongs in your RSS feed.
- Barry Sookman's blog and Twitter feed, which provide an impressive collection of up-to-date reports and summaries on computer and internet law and are a must-follow for the tech-minded among us.
- The other prolific contributors I read regularly, including Adam Goodman, Damien Penny, David Bilinsky, Erik Magraken, Stuart Rudner, Dr. David Doorey, Connie Crosby, Dan Pinnington, Dan Michaluk, and all the good folks at Slaw.
If nothing else, our blogger meet-ups have proven that law bloggers are a genuinely interesting and entertaining group with a whole lot in common, aside from our chosen careers.
Thanks to Steve Matthews for once again taking the time to recognize this worthy group with this year's 6th Annual Clawbie Awards.
And good luck to all in the Clawbie hunt.