Saturday, July 29, 2006

Getting in touch with the whole world through blogging: Part 2 of "Getting to Yes with ADR Blogs"

earth pointingWelcome to Part 2 of a series of essays on blogging for the conflict resolution community. The series began several weeks ago with "Getting to yes with alternative dispute resolution blogs: time for ADR practitioners to join the conversation".

It was launched with the hope of encouraging ADR practitioners everywhere to think about blogging’s power to share ideas, encourage inquiry, and to build connections among us.



Mediators and conflict resolvers know that ours is not solitary work. It is rooted deeply in the matrix of human interaction.

At first blush blogging seems to be a poor fit for those whose work is so intimately bound up in interpersonal dynamics and the give and take of relationships and dialogue.

Yet blogging is not the solitary practice one might think it is. When you blog, you do so knowing that you are reaching out to share your message, that others, somewhere in the world, are listening. Readers reach back, reacting and responding through comments or emails.

When I first began blogging in January 2005, I had no expectations about where it would take me. I had no idea what kind of response this blog would even get.

Roughly 18 months and some 360+ posts later, this blog has attracted visitors from every continent but Antarctica (not known anyway as a hotbed of mediator activity) and from countries around the world.

Many of these visitors have taken the time to contact me and let me know what they’re thinking. Some have even written to me in languages other than English. Typically by email but on occasion even by phone, these readers have responded with positive feedback, with constructive criticism, with ideas they thought would be of interest to me and my readers. They have reached out to educate me, to share knowledge, and to pass along news, articles, links, information about upcoming events, and book recommendations. Some have asked for advice or help with their own blogs. Some have just wanted to say hello to a fellow mediator.

A number of these have turned into meaningful friendships--people whose work I admire, opinions I respect, and whose ongoing support and encouragement sustains me as a mediator, as a blogger, and as a fellow traveler on planet earth.

Those of us in the conflict resolution field appreciate the importance of relationships and communication. Blogging provides opportunity--plenty of it--for both.

Blogging has succeeded in putting me in touch with remarkable individuals I might never have met otherwise. It has, in effect, allowed me to network with the entire world.

It’s a trip I encourage every mediator to take.

Interested in learning more about blogging? Please visit the World Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs for links to resources, advice, ideas, and ways to get started for beginning bloggers.

And by all means please get in touch to let me know that you're blogging. Other ADR bloggers and blog readers can't wait to find out.