So, what were you doing on December 1st, 2006?
My friends and I here at Stem Legal were doing all the things respectable Canadians were doing at the time: starting families, building communities, and consulting or working in the legal marketplace. I imagine myself downloading Nelly Furtado tracks from iTunes, Emma lining up to see a Da Vinci Code/Night At The Museum double feature at the local cinema, and Jordan binge-watching his DVD collections of High School Musical and Ugly Betty. The iPad was still three years away, the first Android smartphone had just been released, and Facebook still forced you to start your status updates with “is.” Yes, those truly were innocent times.
In the fabled spirit of optimism and possibility of 2006, I took a chance and decided to publish the Canadian Law Blog Awards, known then, as they still are today, as the Clawbies. When the Clawbies were first assembled, the purpose was simple: to create a fun and engaging way to encourage more participation in the Canadian legal blogosphere. At the time, the whole concept of Canadian legal blogging was still emerging; today, the list at lawblogs.ca is closing in on 500. Our original lineup of winners in 2006 included David Canton, Michael Geist, Vincent Gautrais, Allison Wolf, David Fraser, Neil Melliship and Melissa Kluger — clicking those links will take you to a series of interviews conducted by my colleague Emma Durand-Wood about what blogging continues to mean to these winners, ten years later.
So 2015 is a big year for us, and today is a big day. Because we’re very happy to announce the official opening of the 10th Annual Canadian Law Blog Awards! It’s our celebration of excellence in law-related blogging in Canada (and beyond). We want to honour the very best of the Canadian legal blogosphere: the most interesting, timely and helpful law or legal-industry-related blogs on the internet. The Clawbies are a crowdsourced effort that relies on the enthusiastic participation and support of Canada’s legal social media and blogging communities. But before you nominate, please understand our quirky rules:
Rule No. 1: Do not nominate your own blog for a Clawbie. It doesn’t work that way. The only surefire way of getting your work on our radar is to write a blog post about other bloggers. Follow this rule and your blog will be taken into consideration automatically.
Rule No. 2: Nominating a blog must happen in one of two ways:
(a) Write a post nominating up to three Canadian law blogs you currently read, with a brief explanation of why you think those blogs deserved an award in 2015.
(b) Tweet your nomination on Twitter, using the hashtag #clawbies2015
The categories are the same as last year — here’s a link to last year’s awards to bring you up to speed.
Rule No. 3: Don’t forget to look outside our borders. Each year we bestow a Clawbie to both a US-based and European blog, so be sure to let us know about your favourite blogs from around the globe.
Not sure where to start? Head over to lawblogs.ca, the comprehensive directory of Canadian law blogs: choose your favourite categories and start reviewing what’s out there. Once again, your Clawbie judges will be yours truly, Jordan Furlong, and Simon Fodden. We’re also welcoming our colleague Emma Durand-Wood into the judging fold. As the administrator of Lawblogs.ca, she sees more new blogs every year than any of us!
For the past decade, the Clawbies have allowed us to celebrate the best of Canadian legal blogs. We truly see value in how blogging has impacted legal commentary; how first-person opinion-driven writing has inspired digital conversations and opened up the web for the sharing of ideas. So this year, on the 10th anniversary of our little project, we’ll also celebrate the Canadian blawgosphere itself. You folks do great work, and we’re proud to shine a light on it.
One last important piece of information. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, December 23, and we’ll announce the winners of the 2015 Clawbies on New Year’s Eve.
The rest is up to you. Start your nominating!