Who goes to the top? – you decide

The ABA Journal Blawg 100 are “the 100 best Web sites by lawyers, for lawyers, as chosen by the editors of the ABA Journal.”

Kevin O’Keefe reacts to this with a star post Law Blog vanity contests : ABA adds to the silliness:

to get sucked into believing a contest like the ABA Journal’s 100 best lawyer blogs means something is the height of folly.

I’m not as worked up as Kevin, but I completely agree that this sort of award does miss the point. As Kevin says:

Law blogs represent disintermediation of publishers and gatekeepers. No more are those in supposed power and control going to screen and serve up what they think is important. A lawyer in a town with a water tower, an old grain elevator and 3 four way stops is on equal footing with a lawyer who clerked for a Supreme Court Judge. The democratization of publishing and dialogue we get through law blogs is at the very heart of what we stand for in America.

In a comment to the post, ABA-listed blawger Dennis Kennedy agrees that this “might be the best paragraph you’ve ever written and it perfectly encapsulates what I also think is the core of law blogging.”

Blogging, and Web 2.0 in general, is not about publisher A or B selecting and promoting what is best; it is about all the Xs and Ys contributing to the conversation in their field of interest and the Zs voting with their mice. The best will rise to the top and we don’t need anyone to select the short-list.

4 thoughts on “Who goes to the top? – you decide

  1. While accolades are always nice, I agree wholeheartedly. Niche players are as important to those who use and read them in terms of the dissemination of information as some headline site may be for others. There is no single (or 100) ‘best’, but a multiplicity of more or less useful/effective/entertaining sites for a multiplicity of different reader interests.

    For instance, a niche site with a few readers might have a dramatic effect for those few which mere readership numbers or general popularity can never reveal.

  2. As I tend to prefer, qua ‘Charon QC”, awarding honours to myself or trying to buy them from the government (difficult these days in Britain) I shall continue to avoid honours and awards.

    Where are all the UK blawgers… quite a few dormant sites.

  3. A site aiming for awards will likely get awards. It’s not difficult. As a matter of fact it is far easier than creating a useful, informative, relevant and well indexed site. Of course, the later is not only more worthy but more useful. All that said, we all collectively and indivually have a need for recognition. In our example http://www.backupanytime.com we focused on page rank as a bench mark of how worthy our site is. Page rank has gone from 2 to 4 and only after achieving this do we realise how insignificant it is compared to our original focus on content which thankfully has once more become the main focus.

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