Monday, January 29, 2007

Advice for blogging mediators and lawyers: be a joiner (and join Blawg Review)

Last Friday I wrapped up the final day of teaching at a week-long mediation training. This was a basic training--the first training that these individuals would have in preparation for becoming a mediator. Typically at the end of a training, the last thing we cover is "What Now"--the next steps for them to take.

Our parting advice is simple: be a joiner.

"Joining" means to take part in the life of a community. Joining means to show up for professional development workshops, conferences, and roundtables. Joining means getting to know people who have something to teach you. Joining means passing that teaching on to someone else. Joining means to join professional associations, not just for the usual member benefits--the reduced fees at association events, listings on web sites or in print directories, or discounts on malpractice insurance--but the really important stuff: the networking, the schmoozing, the connecting. Joining is the exchange of knowledge, the debate of ideas, the joy of discovery. Joining is about contributing to the conversation, in big ways and small.

Today marked another last day: it was the final day of a four-week teleseminar series on blogging for alternative dispute resolution professionals that I taught with my friend Tammy Lenski.

In thinking about that it occurs to me that I can pass along to bloggers the same advice that I gave those new mediators last week.

Be a joiner.

And what's the best way a blogger can join in?

Introduce yourself to other bloggers. Link to them. Be helpful. Post constructive comments. Welcome new bloggers. Find a way to contribute.

And if you're a blogger who is fascinated by the law, you can do no better than to join in the community that is Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in law blogging.

So, how can you join Blawg Review? Read it regularly, link to it, submit articles to it. You can even host it.

To see it for yourself, visit this week's edition of Blawg Review, hosted with flair by Kevin Thompson at Cyberlaw Central, which delivers conspiracy theory, subversion, and world domination, along with plenty of world-class blogging.

You can view the complete list of past hosts and upcoming ones at Blawg Review.

(Mediators mark your calendars: next week's edition of Blawg Review will be hosted right here at Online Guide to Mediation.)