Why is BlawgThink important?
Dennis Kennedy and I are rounding out our BlawgThink attendee list, and decided (after talking to Eva at Catalyst Ranch) that we have room for about 50 more invitees. If you’ve not received an invitation, but still want to come, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you can’t come, but think there’s someone who would be interested, pass their name on to me.
For now, I wanted to share parts of an e-mail that Dennis sent as a follow up to our original invitations that explains a bit more about why we feel BlawgThink is important:
While Matt and I were planning the original LexThink conference, we went to something called BlogWalk 6, an all-day conference on knowledge management and blogging that used the Open Space Technology we'll use on Day 2 of BlawgThink. Our experience played a huge part in shaping the first LexThink and what we've wanted to do with LexThink since then.
By the end of the day of BlogWalk, we had had an amazing set of conversations with an amazing group of people. More importantly, we changed our opinion of what it was possible to accomplish in a day-long conference if you flipped the norms of traditional conferences on their heads.
At the end of the day, I posed a couple of questions: If blogging is a world-changing technology, when and how do we start to change the world? Is it the technology or is it the bloggers? And, what happens if we bring bloggers together, turn them loose, and see what projects and collaborations grow out of that combination?
From that day on, we have talked about the potential value of getting a group of legal bloggers together, in person and face-to-face. I can tell you that I've been part of email lists, wikis, collaboration software groups, IM sessions and conference calls, but there's nothing like being together in person if you want to have collaboration happen.
Now, as you probably know, I really do believe that blogging has created a world-changing space and that there is no better collection of talent, ideas and energy than there is among bloggers. Especially legal bloggers. In fact, I believe that, in the future, some of the most important innovations that happen in the practice of law will be traced back to conversations that began at BlawgThink.
My premise has been that there was so much happening among legal bloggers and so much potential, that it was well worth my investment of some time, travel and dollars to spend a few days face-to-face with the legal bloggers I read on a regular basis. After talking with Matt, I decided that I believed enough in the potential outcome of such an event that I was willing to invest most of my time and energy over the next month or so in putting together BlawgThink.
How about you? Look, I've spoken with many legal bloggers. I understand the disconnect between the recognition and satisfaction you are finding in connection with your blog as compared to what you are finding in your work, employment setting and practice. Even if I haven't talked with you, I can read it in between the lines of your blog.
Are blawgs are a world-changing technology? Are blawgers world-changers? I don't know the answer, but I have an intuition about it. I may like the answers I find or I may be disappointed, but I've decided that I have to try to find the answer to these questions by trying to pull together the legal bloggers in one place at one time.
I understand that you have many competing priorities and other demands on your time, but I ask you to give this some serious thought. I've found that I'm always able to make time for stuff that I don't really want to do, while pushing away from things that I know I'll enjoy or might be beneficial to me. That's part of "thinking like a lawyer" – facilitating what helps others and downplaying what's important to you. Does that describe you?
Just try this exercise for me. Think about what you get from your blog and what blogging now means to you. Then consider what else you might be doing on November 11 and 12. Then consider that I would like to see you there and have you participate in the conversation. And, only then, make your decision and give us your final answer.
So, that's my message for the day. All I ask is that you give it some thought. I truly do hope to see you in Chicago. If you'd like to help us get the word out about BlawgThink by mentioning it on your blog, that'd be cool, too.