I had a lot of fun producing the 2006 list of my favourite Canadian Law Blogs. And while there’s a long-term plan to produce a full scale awards with nominations & voting – hence the new domain CLawBies.ca – this wasn’t the year to do so.
Once again, I’d like to thank our fun loving award making counterparts down south – namely Dennis Kennedy’s Blawggies, the ABA’s top 100 list, and even Honest Ed’s non-ego boosting “peer review” effort ;) And congratulations to every Canadian law blogger. We’re a community because you take part! Here are my 2nd edition of the CLawBie awards. Enjoy!
1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: (TIE) Rob Hyndman – Rob was key to the success of Canada’s Mesh conference. Who else can take a couple months off blogging and sustain the demand for his digital voice? We watch Rob. (TIE) Michael Geist – As many have said before, Geist is a leader on the Canadian copyright front. In 2007, Geist pushed more than 35k facebook members to a copyright group. A copyright group? Ya, no kidding. Runner up: Slaw (another monster year).
2) Best Practitioner Support Blog – Garry Wise – Year-in and year-out, Garry is one committed law blogger. He offers his opinions on almost everything, and if you do a Google search for Toronto lawyer you’ll see how blogging benefits the online exposure of his practice. If you didn’t read his Starting a law firm post back in February, please do. Garry Wise consistently offers great vision to a lot of solos across the country. Runner ups: David Fraser’s Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Hull & Hull’s Toronto Estate Law Blog
3) Legal Culture Award – LawisCool.com - This group of Canadian law student bloggers has offered up some great commentary in ’07, and often some of the fastest coverage out there. Not afraid to voice an opinion, and lots of fun! Runner up: Precedent (going from blog to magazine!).
4) My Non-Legal Audience Award again goes to Rob Hyndman – Mesh was an imposing presence on Rob’s life for many months, but I’m sure he’d agree it was a fantastic initiative for driving online relationships. More people know Rob Hyndman in ’07 than they did in ’06. And you can watch his hockey stick popularity go up even further in 2008.
5) Friend of the North Awards – Getting US bloggers to link into Canada is never easy. I’m not entirely sure why, but recognizing those that do freely exchange ideas south-to-north remains important. The web is international and Canadians need to be in the mix. So like last year, I’d like to recognize two bloggers that do so: Jason Eiseman and Doug Cornelius are both deserving of a ‘Friend of the North’ Award for frequently reading, commenting and linking to Canadian Blogs. Thanks guys!
6) EuroCan Connection Awards – By the same notion, European law bloggers (who frequently link into Canada) are also extremely important. Our 2007 euro-blogging friends were Nick Holmes of Infolaw and Lo-Fi librarian. Thanks to both of you! Runner Up: Scott Vine was also in there in ’07, but I gave him an award last year. ;)
7) Practice Management Award – Big movement in this category in 2007. The west-coast trio of Dave Bilinsky, Doug Jasinski, and Allison Wolf are all managing to make some great headway for our Canadian practice management category.
8) Law Librarian Blog Award – (TIE) Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s Library Boy. Michel-Adrien had another outstanding year, but also worthy in ’07 were the efforts of the BC Courthouse Library Society What’s New Blog. At least here in BC, no one monitors things closer and reports quicker than the BCCLS. Runner up: Connie Crosby (Connie’s blog is a must for anyone entertaining aspects of the social web in their library).
9) Best Legal Technology Blog – This is easy & yes I’m biased: Slaw. Sporting a new re-design late in the calendar year, Slaw attracted more readers in 2007, had more comments and trackbacks than ever, and continues to diversify its network of contributors. That all adds up to another fantastic year.
10) Best New Law Blog Award – Osgoode Hall’s The Court was easily the most important new Canadian law blog in 2007. Spearheaded by Slaw’s Simon Fodden, this group of law student editors is working hard to become the equivalent of the SCOTUS blog in the US. They’ve now got a full 12 months under their belt, and it’s hard to argue they aren’t. Runners up: Dave Bilinsky’s Thoughtful Law, Human Rights in the Workplace, and All About Information.
11) Law Professor Blog Award – University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog. Like last year, I still feel this category is under represented in Canada, but the new UofA blog was a great addition. This blog is timely and well written. A first class effort! Runner ups: Jeremy De Beer , Vincent Gautais
I guarantee I’ve missed lots of great Canadian legal voices, and my apologies for glaring omissions. And like last year, check your egos at the door, ’cause blog awards (even these ones!) mean nothing… But they are fun! Make sure you’re on my list for 2008!