I’ve had quite a few articles, podcasts and other things appear over the last few months, but not on this blog. It seemed like a good time to catch up and point to some of those.
Podcasting portrait
Tom Mighell and I have continued a good run of episodes on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. Recent ones include:

The summer reading episode brought us one of my favorite responses ever. A listener told us that listening to the podcast actually got him to start reading books again.

Tom and I love doing the podcast, are grateful to our listeners, and, as always, welcome your suggestions for show topics and other feedback.

I believe that I’m now officially allowed to announce that I’ll be the chair of the board for the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center for the next year. Watch that space – there should be some exciting developments. As just one example, check out a new monthly roundtable series on the Law Technology Today blog that will feature LTRC board members discussing timely legal tech topics.

The first is already up: Five Questions on Artificial Intelligence. It was sort of funny that it wasn’t my insights into AI that got attention, but my line that “The Wikipedia entry for ‘artificial intelligence’ will make you wish you had an AI tool to interpret the entry.” that got picked up in other articles.

My most recent ABA Journal Kennedy on Tech column is called “Speech Recognition Moves Past the Dream Stage.”

I was honored in 2014 by being inducted as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management. There’s a new interview of me on the site in which I talk a bit about some of the things I’ve done in the world of legal tech over the years. Q&A: Meet Dennis Kennedy, Class of 2014

Somewhat dissatisified with the pace of my posting on this blog, my blog is also trying to tweet more links to interesting things on it’s personal Twitter account: @dkennedyblog.

For those who like my #bikeride and other personal tweets, there’s always @denniskennedy on Twitter. I’m trying to do more retweeting through that account as an experiment. Stay tuned there for upcoming news about a new bike for me.

If you are a regular reader of this blog and would like to connect on LinkedIn, I’d be happy to connect. Just mention that you are a reader in your invitation to connect.

2015 has also been a big international travel year for me – Austria, Switzerland, France, Israel and Greece, with Singapore on the agenda for later this year. Hence, the word “everywhere” in the title of this post.

And that seems like a good update for now. Thanks for reading.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Tom Mighell and I have had an especially good run of episodes recently on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. I especially want to recommend the most recent one “Are Lawyers Ready for Artificial Intelligence?Podcasting portrait

I had been seeing a lot of blog posts, articles, tweets and other mentions of AI, IBM Watson, machine learning and the like. I wanted to talk about it on the podcast. I had to convince Tom that we had something to add to the conversation. As usual, he did’t think he’d have much to say. And, as usual, when he says that, we have some of our longer episodes.

In a way, it was a perfect topic. I like topics where I can push Tom to react to some of my wildest ideas and we both start to see practical opportunities. This episode will also be known by us as the one where I left Tom speechless with one of my ideas.

There’s some interesting stuff in this podcast and I encourage you to listen to it and to subscribe to the podcast.

Here’s the show summary:

“Artificial Intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success.” -Tom Mighell

Developments in Big Data, machine learning, IBM Watson, and other advancements in technology have brought back the cyclical discussion of what artificial intelligence might mean for lawyers. Has anything really changed, or have we just reached another round of the AI debate?

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell analyze recent discussions about artificial intelligence and lawyers, try to separate myth from reality, and ponder whether AI can take over the work of lawyers. Together, they discuss the definition of AI, robotics, Technology Assisted Review, driverless cars, document assembly software, LegalZoom and how lawyers are assisted or threatened by these technologies. Dennis points out that lawyers are often worried about computer system mistakes but comfortable with the lower success rate of humans. Tom aptly explains that comfort in certain technologies stems from psychological acceptance.

In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom revisit traveling with technology. As Dennis was just in Europe, and Tom is headed there soon, they talk about wireless routers, mobile wifi, headphones, phone chargers, backpacks, and the other various technology necessities to bring on your vacation. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.

In the “B segment” of our next episode, which will be released soon, Tom and I revisited the topic of AI and Tom challenged me to come up with practical examples of the ways lawyers might use AI. I think even Tom will (grudgingly) admit that I won that challenge. Be sure to tune in to that episode.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Another ABA TECHSHOW (#ABATECHSHOW) blazed by and I barely have had time to catch my breath afterward. I also had little time to catch my breath at the show – it was a whirlwind.Podcasting portrait

The good news is that Tom Mighell and I captured our reflections on TECHSHOW in an episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast called, perhaps somewhat vaguely, “Dennis and Tom Go to ABA TECHSHOW,” which is the best place to get my thoughts on the show.

No surprise – I had a great time, met lots of old and new friends, had some great conversations, saw some interesting new products, learned a few new things and had some new ideas and potential projects. And I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with the great people at the Legal Talk Network (you know who you are).

At the end, I counted up that I had done three presentations, co-hosted a podcast, guested on a podcast, was on the critic’s panel for an Appathon, went to a Chicago legal tech meetup, had some great dinners and even found time for a trip to the Chicago Art Institute to visit some of my favorite Brancusi sculptures. I certainly got my money’s worth of that trip to Chicago.

If you use the hashtag #ABATECHSHOW, you can still find lots of great links to resources, photos and more.

I presented on the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes panel this year (I played the role of the serious one) – a first for me – and the list of the 60 or so sites is posted here. The whole notion of “sites” is an interesting one – some of my selections played with whole notion of what a “site” was anymore and whether the term still made sense.

I invite you to take a listen to the podcast episode. And I’ll hope to see you at TECHSHOW 2016 next year.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Birthday Cake with PineappleTwelve years ago today, I launched this blog. I decided to call the blog simply DennisKennedy.Blog.

My blog and I celebrated the birth day quietly today, with only a little fanfare, as we awaited a large winter storm predicted for St. Louis.We talked at length about the positive response the blog has always gotten and the many great people the blog has introduced to me. My blog likes to claim most of the credit, of course, but, after twelve years, we both will admit it’s been a great collaboration. My blog also felt that the best birthday gift I could have given it was the revamping and redesign of the site last year.

In earlier years, I sometimes devoted a whole week to the blawgiversary of this blog and my own birthday. Longtime readers will recall that the blog was an early birthday present to myself in 2003. In the blawgiversary week, I often asked for questions from my audience and tried to answer them.

My blog and I are again offering to answer questions about the blog, blogging, legal tech or other things that interest you/ As always, I reserve the right to avoid questions or to cleverly answer an easier question than the one you actually ask. You can pose a question in the comments or by emailing me.

I also wanted to remind readers that the best way to read this blog is by subscribing to its RSS feed.

It’s been a great twelve years. My blog and I hope to keep it going for many more. Thanks for being a great audience.

– Dennis and DennisKennedy.Blog

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I’ve been thinking lately about whether changes in technology should be causing us revisit ideas and approaches that we have tossed aside or put on the back burner for many years. In simplest terms, the question would be if high-speed Internet connections, mobile access, processor power, memory, storage and the Cloud now make it possible for us to do some of the things we’ve talked about for many years, but that never quite worked.

TKMR Logo

Another way to pose the question is to ask whether you have started to notice that things that never quite worked are now starting to work noticeable better.

I ran these questions by my legal tech friends Tom Mighell and Marc Lauritsen a while back and found out that they had been thinking about the same thing.

That gave Tom and I the idea to try to do an series of occasional podcasts on the The Kennedy-Mighell Report in which we would revisit some “old” technology ideas that people haven’t thought about for a while and see if new developments have made them more possible or things we should reconsider or even implement.

In our first episode in this series, Revisiting Technology: Speech Recognition, we start with speech recognition, a technology that seemed to never quite get to where we wanted it over many years and tended to ultimately disappoint.

I had noticed that I had been using dictation on my mobile phones for short emails and texts. I’m not a great typist on mobile phones, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised how useful and accurate speech recognition has become.

It turns out that speech recognition is a perfect example of how technology change has refreshed the potential of an old standard, and, in the podcast, Tom and I delve into changes in speech recognition and our new perspectives on it.

It’s a lively conversation and we invite you to listen to the podcast. We also encourage you to share your thoughts. We’d also like to hear your ideas for other topics in this series.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

My latest “Kennedy on Tech” ABA journal column is my attempt to answer a question I frequently hear from lawyers – “What mobile apps should I have?”

ABAJ Column - Feb 2015

One of the things that intrigues me most about our new world of apps is how personalized each of our experiences using tech, especially mobile devices, has become. The apps that I like might not be the ones you like. The apps I use most might well be apps you don’t even use. It becomes more difficult than ever to compare what I’m seeing on my screens to what you are seeing on your screens.

As a result, I find that lists of “best” apps or even app reviews to be somewhat unhelpful for me.

In my new column, the title largely reveals my point of view: “Which apps are must-haves? It depends on your practice.”

In the article, I set out a framework for you to use when considering what mobile apps might work best for you.

I divided apps into four categories:

  1. Apps for programs you already use.
  2. Apps for convenience.
  3. Apps for how you work.
  4. The elusive “other” types of apps.

The money quote:

There are plenty of useful apps out there, especially if you take a step back and think about how you practice, how you use mobile devices and the intersection of the two.

Mobile apps are especially good for three things: allowing you to perform tasks anywhere and at any time, extending the range of what you can do with computer programs or Web services, and taking advantage of the features of a mobile device (camera, microphone, sensors) to give you new tools right at hand.

As always, I like to hear what you think of these columns. Let me know. Longtime column readers will notice that the column has a new photo of me.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

For the last few years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read. And it gives me a good reading target to shoot for.

Facebook book with box

Last year, I read 58 books, 6 more than in 2013. Or, more accurately, I listed 58 books that I read. I “read” many business books in the form of getAbstract summaries and I don’t list books that might reveal certain things I might (or might not) be working on.

I’m doing the same thing in 2015. My approach is the same in previous years – I’ll simply update this post from time to time sporadically throughout the year as I finish books.

I’ve noticed that I tend to read all or most of a series or two of books each year. Last year, they were Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee mysteries and Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge every year and hope you find the list useful. And I encourage you to take the challenge yourself.

I welcome your recommendations of good books I might read this year.

As Bill Taylor says, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” Challenging yourself to read 52 books is probably a good way to start to answer that question.

December

53. How to Meditate, Pema Chodron
52. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
51. The Meditation Transformation Jennifer Brooks
50. One Dot, Two Dots, Get Some New Dots, David Silverstein
49. Kerry Greenwood Blood and Circuses
48. Flying Too High, Kerry Greenwood
47. Cociane Blues, Kerry Greenwood
46. Ross Poldark, Winston Graham

November

45. Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin
44. Indian Summer, Alex Von Tunzelmann
43. Jerusalem: City of Mirrors, Amos Elon
42.What I Saw, Joseph Roth
41. Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins

October

40. If You Didn’t Bring Jerky, What Di I Just Eat?, Bill Heavey

September

39. The Long Way Home, Louise Penny

August

38. Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, John Szwed
37. The Nature of the Beast, Louise Penny
36. Less Doing, More Living, Ari Meisel
35. Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins, James Runcie
34. The English Spy, Daniel Silva
33. Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night, James Runcie
32. Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil, James Runcie
31. Sidney Chanbers and the Shadow of Death, James Runcie
30. Tomorrowland, Steven Kotler
29. The Age of Cryptocurrency, Paul Vigna and Michael Casey
28. Dreaming Spies, Laurie R. King

July

27. The Janson Equation, Douglas Corleone
26. The Outsiders, Gerald Seymour

June

25. All the Old Knives, Olen Steinhauer
24. Becoming Steve Jobs, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
23. Data and Goliath, Bruce Schneier
22. How to Do More in Less Time, Allison Shields and Dan Siegel
21. John Robison, Be Different

May

20. Dry Bones, Craig Johnson
19. The Lady from Zagreb, Philip Kerr
18. Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, Howard Pyle
17. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
16. 1177, The Year Civilization Collapsed, Eric Cline

April

15. The Republic of Pirates, Colin Woodward
14. Flash Points, George Friedmann
13. The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin
12. The Geneva Strategy, Jamie Freveletti
11. Retribution, David Hagberg

March

10. Slim by Design, Brian Wansink
9. Twelve Days, Alex Berenson
8. Waking Up, Sam Harris
7. Zero to One, Peter Thiel
6. The Journal of Best Practices, David Finch

February

5. Austria, Culture Smart
4. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Think Like a Freak
3. The Resilience Dividend, Judith Rodin

January

2. Ada’s Algorithm, James Essinger
1. The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Welcome to the 2014 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.”

The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog. Dennis Kennedy photo

This historic eleventh edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri. What was originally just a crazy idea has turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging, illustrating my original premise: “Hey, I have a blog and there’s nothing stopping me from making up my own awards.”

I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those who write them.

2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.

3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

I’ve included some explanatory and historical information about the Blawggies at the end of this post. As I’ve said before and explain in more detail at the end of this post, the Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. I choose the winners from only the blogs I read regularly. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone as I write this post.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert In this era of short attention spans, many people, especially lawyers, do not like 3,000 word posts such as this one. Even fewer like long introductions to even longer blog posts, or reading through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F (or command-F for Mac users) and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs. And I definitely encourage you to add the RSS feeds to all of these blogs to your RSS reader or “regularly-visited blogs” list.

2014 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law Technology Today

2. The “Marty Schwimmer” Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – The Inhouse Blog

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. Best Legal Podcast – The Kennedy-Mighell Report

6. The “Sherry Fowler” Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

8. The “DennisKennedy.Blog” Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedman’s Strategic Legal Technology

9. Best New Blawg – John Simek’s Your IT Consultant

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2014 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law Technology Today

I must disclose that I’m the vice chair of the board for the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, but I’m so impressed with the LTRC’s Law Technology Today blog that I’m giving it the grand prize this year. It deserves a much bigger audience than it already has. The team of Josh Poje, Gwynne Monahan, Rose Frommelt and Lauren DeGroot have built and will continue to build a great resource with strong regular content on legal technology (obviously) and other law-related issues. For example, a recent post, Four Areas of Legal Ripe for Disruption by Smart Startups, generated a lot of attention and discussion. There’s already a great list of contributors and the opportunity for others (perhaps you) to join up.

Runner-up – Security, privacy and related matters are at the center of attention these days and no one covers these issues as well and in as plain language as Sharon Nelson in her Ride the Lightning blog. Her posts practical and thoughtful posts often cover breaking developments with real-world insights that apply to real people focusing on real issues. These topics cut across all traditional areas of law.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – The Inhouse Blog

This category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose The Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. I’m an inhouse counsel, so my definition of “practice-specific” might vary from yours. This blog just keeps getting stronger and more valuable – a highly useful resource with practical information, links, news and developments relevant to inhouse counsel. Highly recommended for anyone who is an inhouse counsel, wants to be an inhouse counsel or wants to work better with inhouse counsel.

Runner-up – The Exari Blog took the runner-up prize in this category for 2014. One of the goals of the Blawggies is to get you to think in different ways and look off the beaten path for helpful blogs. I’ve been thinking a lot about contract lifecycle management, contract automation and contracting processes this year. The Exari Blog is a great example of a vendor blog that provides useful information and thoughtful commentary on a regular basis. Check it out.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog

The title of Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog basically says it all. It’s a combination of great practical tips, pointers to other useful information and helpful practical insights, all delivered in Jim’s great plain-spoken style that everyone can understand and relate to. Blawgs that have been around for a long time can ebb and flow, but Jim has been on a roll recently, with a nice run of great posts. This blog should be on every practicing lawyer’s list.

Runner-up – Allison Shields’ LegalEase Blog. The Blawggies are all about highlighting the work of my friends who produce high-quality practical content. I can’t let this year’s list go by without a hat tip to Allison and her blog. Even though Allison and I regularly write and speak together, I always know that I’ll find something new and insightful in her writing, often of the “I wish I had said that” type. This blog is great on social media, ethics, and a variety of law practice management topics.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I use this category annually to highlight the blogs written by law librarians, a category that I don’t think gets enough attention. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. If you want to try just one, Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog provides a steady stream of links to great US government and other information, and has been especially good over the last few months. There’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – I also use this category to remind people that blawgging is a global phenomenon. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list. In the UK, I especially like the Legal Futures Blog. Take a chance and globalize your approach to blawgs.

5. Best Legal Podcast – The Kennedy-Mighell Report

My friend and podcast Tom Mighell will be rolling his eyes and shaking his head when he reads this award, but, darn it, I thought that we did a really good job in 2014. Our last couple of podcasts have been really good – Pardon the 2014 Legal Technology Interruption (our look back at legal tech developments in 2014) and Controlling Your Social Media Strategy. I especially like our recent podcast on discovering and listening to podcasts called The Fundamentals of Podcasts: Listening and Subscribing, a primer on how to get started in listening to podcasts and to find podcasts that really help you. Our podcast appears every other week and covers, as we say, “legal technology with an Internet focus.” We’re nearing our episode #150 of the podcast.

Runner-up – The Digital Edge Podcast – Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway have done a great job this year with their legal tech and law practice management podcast on the Legal Talk Network and I’ve really enjoyed all the episodes this year.

6. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

Martin Schwimmer could win this award every year. However, he locked up this year’s award with just one post called 5000 Trademark Blog Posts, which I will now quote in full:

There have been 5000 posts on The Trademark Blog since May 2002. If your trademark attorney had read all 5000 posts, then they would be informed. If they had written all 5000 posts, then they would be me.

If you ever heard the term “drops the mic” and wondered what it meant, this post illustrates exactly what it means.

Runner-up – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest – Although technically not a blog, Jeff Brandt’s daily email newsletter selects three or four worthy blog posts and summarizes them in a pithy, witty and engaging style. Jeff also illustrates Dave Winer’s idea that a blog is the “unedited voice of a person.” We all get too much email, but this is an email newsletter that you won’t mind at all in in your inbox.

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

Although, I’m nominally a contributing editor of the Legal Skills Prof Blog, I’m way more a reader than a contributor. As the debate about the future of legal education blossomed and took on a sense of urgency in 2014, the “practical skills” approach in law school programming started to get a lot of attention. This blog’s coverage of those issues was excellent and it’s a great place to keep up-to-date on discussions about the future of legal education, analysis of current trends, and generally helpful links and information.

Runner-up – The Legal Whiteboard – Bill Henderson and his fellow contributors cover the cutting edge of law practice, legal education and delivery of legal services. If you want to now what’s happening on the frontier of the practice, this is the outpost you want to visit.

8. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedman’s Strategic Legal Technology

[Note: I used to give my own blog this award every year, in part because of the attribution issue I talk about in this post and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends got a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn’t, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that, and my friends laugh even more at that. Or maybe they just like to laugh at me.]

Legal technology takes many forms and covers a wide range of areas. Ron’s blog is always one of my “go to” blogs on legal technology because Ron thinks deeply and carefully about the implications of legal technology. His posts also give me plenty to think about and he comfortable ranges across the landscape of the coming future of legal technology and law practice.

Runners-up – Jeffrey Taylor’s The Droid Lawyer and Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. – Mobile devices became a large category of legal technology in the last few years. Fortunately, there are two great blogs from two great Jeffs that are essential for those of us using iOS and Android devices. Lots of practical information, tips, news and examples of the way lawyers are using mobile devices. Although having the name “Jeff” probably is not a requirement to blog about mobile devices for lawyers, maybe in 2015 we’ll see a Microsoft Surface blawg.

9. Best New Blawg – John Simek’s Your IT Consultant

John Simek hit the ground running with this new blog in May 2014 and hasn’t let up on the pace. I really like the title, especially because whenever I have difficult tech questions, John is always someone I ask. The blog is direct and to the point, as is John, and gives you practical advice, makes you think, and, most important, gets you to take some action.

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

Here are two different approaches to keep up with legal tech and law practice management blogs and other posts related to the legal profession. If you read DennisKennedy.Blog, then you should be (and probably already are) a member of Neil Squillante’s excellent TechnoLawyer community, with its great set of resources on legal tech, marking and management. TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld is a weekly email newsletter that uses human editors to cull out useful blog posts and other materials. They say, “Week after week, BlawgWorld provides you with everything you need from the legal Web but nothing you don’t.” The Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest is a daily email newsletter in which Jeff Brandt highlights three or four blawg posts on legal tech and summarizes and comments on them in his perceptive, concise and often witty way. His eye for selection is also great and I usually find myself checking out a few of the linked posts everyday.

And there you have it – the 2014 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) I like, but this post is already long enough (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you don’t read my blog). You might also take a look at the awards for prior years to find even more great blawgs.

When it really comes down to it, the Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from more than ten years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I’ve explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is “repurposed.”

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital ‘B.'”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, the number of blawgs I read continues to decrease and the number of non-law-related blogs I read increases. Also, the blawgs I do read are concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident that I have the correct spelling.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

All best wishes for 2015.

Dennis

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. It’s a good time to say “thnak you!” to my patient readers (and the impatient ones, too). I’m hoping to get back onto a regular blogging schedule soon.

I also wanted to highlight some of my recent podcasts, articles and other odds & ends.

Podcasting portraitTom Mighell and I just reached the 140-episode milestone for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. It’s great working with the Legal Talk Network team on the podcast. I recommend subscribing to the the podcast (free) in iTunes or in a podcast app.

I mention subscribing because we often get questions about how best to download and listen to podcast episodes and how to receive them automatically when they are released. In episode 140, we took an in-depth and practical look at how to answers these questions and also how best to listen to podcasts. I can tell you that the key words are “subscribing” and “time-shifting.” The episode, called “The Fundamentals of Podcasts: Listening and Subscribing,” has a lot of practical advice and our reflections about the podcast medium (which we love).TKMR Logo

Other recent episodes:

Turning Legal Services into Products

Get Ready for Your Video Call Closeup

Surveying 2014 Legal Technology Surveys

The College of Law Practice Management’s 2014 Futures Conference

Planet of the Apps: How Lawyers Are Using Apps

A few recent articles:

My ABA Journal technology column is now called “Kennedy on Tech.” The most recent columns are:

Preparing for the ‘Internet of things’

Get the most out of PowerPoint and Keynote with the ‘Presenter View’

Speaking:

I do a limited amount of speaking these days (but am always happy to be asked). Recently, my “Ethical Cybersecurity for the Non-technical Lawyer” has been popular.

I have a LinkedIn presentation called “LINKEDIN TRAINING: TAKING YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT & NETWORKING INTO THE DIGITAL AGE” for the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel coming up on January 14 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, MO. Details and registration information are here. Note that attendees will receive a copy of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, co-authored by Allison Shields and me. If you can’t attend or are looking for a great gift for the lawyer on your list (maybe even you), you can order a copy of the book at the ABA Bookstore.

And those are some of my recent podcasts, articles and other odds & ends. Best wishes for the holiday to all.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be inducted as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, joining a group full of people I have long admired and gotten the opportunity to speak, write and work with over the years.COLPM Induction 2 - 10730193_10152796951291407_5441207644036415288_n

Even better, I got to attend the 2014 Futures Conference held at Suffolk University School of Law. Suffolk could not have been a better host and the program – a combination of TED-type talks and brainstorming sessions leading to a “Shark Tank” competition was quite fun, giving both the opportunity to learn and the chance to meet and collaborate with many other attendees. My thanks to everyone involved with the conference.

Tom Mighell and I devoted a recent episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast – “The College of Law Practice Management’s 2014 Futures Conference” – to our reflections on the conference and I recommend it for your listening.

Deborah McMurray, on the Law Firm 4.0 Blog, has posted notes from the sessions and speakers and a great list of links to posts about the conference from other attendees.

The Futures Conference is an annual event. I recommend that you keep it on your radar as a place you might want to be in 2015.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.