If you know me, you know that I have a bunch of nicknames for the lawyer bloggers. Ernest “Ernie the Attorney” Svenson has long been “the coolest blawgger.” The new interview of Ernest on JD Bliss will help you understand why I think this nickname is appropriate. I also like to say that Ernest is even cooler in person than he is on his blog – no small feat. After you read this interview, you’ll understand why I gave Ernest one of my “lifetime achivement” Blawggies for 2004.
Ernest is the legal blogger who most inspired my entry into blogging and gave me the model for the approach that I have taken. I’m such a pure fan of bloggers and blogging that I still remember how thrilled I was the first time I got an email from “Ernie the Attorney.” I told him that and he told me that he was thrilled the first time he got an email from “Dennis Kennedy.” It was a good laugh.
Reading the interview made me wish that we had more chances to talk. Ernest and I stayed up until 4:00 AM talking in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel at TECHSHOW last year – the first time we met. He then introduced me to one of his favorite haunts in New Orleans a few months later. We’ll get the chance to catch up at TECHSHOW and LexThink!, if not sooner.
I’m noticing that more and more of my phone calls and emails are to and from other bloggers. I also hear the term “community” used more often by bloggers. One of the reasons there is a sense of community is the generosity, creativity and good hearts of the early legal bloggers like “Ernie the Attorney.”
People often ask me what I’ve gotten from all the work I’ve put into my blog, usually in the sense of “what is the ROI?” I’ll always duck the financial aspect of that question, but the real reward is in the new friends I have made. I simply cannot put a value on friendships like the ones I now have with the Blawg Channel core group, Denise, Ernest, Marty and Tom, and the other bloggers I now have as friends – almost too many to list, especially without leaving out someone.
There’s a tendency for those who are new to blogging to look mainly at the marketing and other possibilities of blogging, which are very real, without appreciating the way that blogging allows you to connect and create communities of interest. I sometimes get criticized for not pursuing the commercial potential of my blog and my blogging as much as others think I should, but I’ve always placed a very high value on friendships and blogging is an amazing friendship-building tool.
So, read the interview with Ernest. Take some time to think about his wise thoughts and resolve to explore the ways that your blog can help you build friendships. To me, blawgspace is still a generous place, in no small part due to the efforts of people like Ernest.
I highly recommend the JD Bliss site. Josh Fruchter is doing great work with this project. For those of you who haven’t already gotten enough of my story, there’s an interview with me on JD Bliss that covers some of the important directions I’ve taken in my career.