Thursday, August 11, 2005

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Creating a map of the alternative dispute resolution world

Putting yourself on the map of the alternative dispute resolution and mediation worldAs even casual visitors to the Internet know, the web makes the world a more intimate place. Technology provides a medium through which individuals who share professions, politics, amusements, aspirations, or obsessions—regardless of their geographical proximity—can achieve connection and community. As I have observed here before, this makes the Internet an ideal space for those of us whose work is anchored in ADR practice or philosophy.

With that in mind, I’m asking my readers for help with a new project—a project that will create an interactive map of alternative dispute resolution practitioners around the globe.

Inspiration came this morning while I was surfing the web for material for this blog. This morning’s travels took me to Blawg Review (a web site well worth visiting for its weekly updates on the latest buzz in the law blog world).

Blawg Review has just added a new feature to its sidebar—a Guest Map courtesy of Google technology. The Guest Map functions as a kind of geographical guestbook, which visitors can sign by selecting and pinpointing their location on a world map. Visitors may then add greetings and provide links to their own blogs or web sites.

Intrigued by the idea of a guestbook in atlas form, I was inspired to create an Alternative Dispute Resolution World Map for visitors to this blog to set their mark upon.

To add yourself to the ADR World Map, first find your location using the map’s zoom and positioning tools on the upper left corner of the Guestmap screen, and then zoom in to street level. (For those of you who wish to be discreet about your precise location, zoom in only to the city or state level—it's up to you to choose the level of accuracy in pinpointing your location.) Then click to place your icon, and add your name, your greeting, and the URL for your blog or web site.

My readers and visitors arrive here from all over the world—I invite you all to stand up and be counted. And I would of course be most grateful if you could pass this along to your colleagues and friends, encouraging them to add themselves to this map.

By the way, please add your web site to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Web Ring, which my friend and colleague Dina Beach Lynch and I set up this summer. The web ring is open to anyone with an interest in alternative dispute resolution or who is ADR-friendly. It’s absolutely free—and of course a great way to increase your visibility on the web. For more information about the ADR Web Ring, click here to visit the web ring portal.