UNCHARTED TERRITORY: Mapping out the world of alternative dispute resolution blogs

Mapping out the ADR blogging worldA couple of days ago I published the results of a very informal survey I conducted in an effort to map out the known universe of ADR- and mediation-related blogs.

I turned up with only a handful—a dozen active and inactive ADR blogs.

It turns out that I missed a few, an oversight which I am happily able to correct today. (Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I warned you that my ADR blog survey was both informal and utterly unscientific.)

I am disappointed with myself that I managed to miss a really terrific mediation blog, Florida Mediator, which is “Florida’s first Mediator weblog dedicated to Florida’s Certified Mediators”. This blog is the creation of Perry S. Itkin, a full-time mediator and arbitrator who is also a Certified Provider of Florida Supreme Court mediation certification training programs for Florida Circuit Civil, Family and County Court Mediators. Perry’s blog is loaded with well-written posts, thoughtful commentary, and plenty of information for mediators regardless of what state in the U.S. they happen to practice in. This is one I’ll return to often and will add to the blogroll I’m currently in the process of developing.

I also came across a new addition to ADR blogging, this one from the Netherlands. It’s called Mediationblog.nl: De weblog over Mediation in Nederland (which translates as Mediationblog.nl: The Weblog about Mediation in the Netherlands). Unfortunately I don’t speak Dutch, so I can’t comment on the quality of the postings, but it’s great to be reminded that mediation is a universal language. (I wish though that its domain name didn’t so closely resemble the URL for my own blog–mediationblog.blogspot.com–especially since this Dutch mediation blog is powered by Blogger, just as mine is.) Minor quibbling over domain names aside, I bid “Welkom!” to this blogging mediator from the Netherlands.

Cyberspace, like any world, possesses locations which are vibrant and prosperous. Other sections of cyber real estate are strewn with expired links and abandoned or neglected web sites. Two ADR blogs that I recently came across are examples of this.

For instance, there’s Mike’s ADR (and related) Weblog. Mike, alas, has posted only a handful of times since he started his blog in early 2004, and his blog by all appearances is no longer active.

The same is true of J. Marshall Wolman’s ADR Blog, which describes itself as “[t]he world of Alternative Dispute Resolution brought home to you”. Wolman, who posted sporadically between June 2003 and September 2004, has now, it seems, fallen silent.

A Google search also yielded up two other blogs—or one blog and one newsletter disguised as a blog.

First, the blog. The Mediation Agency, an organization with offices in the U.S. and the U.K., has created an intra-agency blog for use by its mediators, colleagues, and alumni of its training programs, but which is also open to the public. The Mediation Agency Blog, however, which started up in March, 2005, contains only a few posts, the last one from April.

A Fair Way Mediation Center, which is based in San Diego, has a link on its web site directing visitors to its “newsletter & blog”. Once you arrive at that page, there is no blog to peruse, only a message advising visitors that they need to subscribe to the organization’s newsletter to receive updates on its mediation blog. I don’t get it. What I love about blogs is how public and fully accessible they are. Why say you’ve got a blog and then keep it tantalizingly out of ready reach? Why on earth wouldn’t an organization want to make its blog fully available to easily share information and news with the public? (Not to mention what that does for an organization’s search engine rankings.) Well, whatever floats your boat.

Anyway, if I recalculate my ADR blog census figures based on this new data, there are eight active blogs dedicated to ADR; three blogs which include ADR among the topics they cover; four inactive ADR blogs; one intra-agency blog; one blog containing automated feeds for ADR-related stories; and one newsletter-in-blog’s-clothing.

That brings the grand total to 18 ADR blogs.

What follows now is the list so far, arranged by category and alphabetically just to give you a sense of how it all breaks down:

Active ADR Blogs

Campus ADR Tech Blog
http://www.campus-adr.net/weblog.php

Florida Mediator
http://floridamediator.blogspot.com/

Mediationblog.nl
http://www.mediationblog.nl/

Mediation Mensch
http://mediationmensch.blogspot.com/

National Arbitration Forum Blog
http://arbitration-forum.blogspot.com/

ODR News Blog
http://odr.info/

Online Guide to Mediation
http://mediationblog.blogspot.com/

Peace Library News
http://peacelibrary.blogspot.com/

Active Blogs with Frequent ADR-Related Posts

Legal Sanity
http://www.legalsanity.com/

Maine Divorce Law Blog
http://www.mainedivorcelawblog.com/

New Jersey Divorce Blog
http://www.njdivorceblog.typepad.com/

Inactive ADR Blogs

ADR Blog
http://adrblog.blogspot.com/

Conflict Resolution Blog
http://www.conflictresolutionblog.com/

Mike’s ADR (and related) Weblog
http://www.mikeblaw.typepad.com/

The Naked Negotiator Blog
http://www.rbenjamin.com/pg29.cfm

Intra-agency ADR Blog

The Mediation Agency Blog
http://www.mediationagency.com/blog.html

Newsletter in Blog Clothing

A Fair Way Mediation Center Newsletter
http://www.afairway.com/newsletter.php

Automated ADR News Feed Blog

Advocare, A Mediation Resource
http://www.advocare.blogspot.com/

Readers, if you know of an ADR blog I

ve somehow failed to include (maybe one that you yourself publish), please e-mail me at mail [at] mediationnewsonline.com .

One response to “UNCHARTED TERRITORY: Mapping out the world of alternative dispute resolution blogs

  1. Diane Levin

    This post was published two years ago. The ADR blogosphere has changed radically since I conducted this informal survey. If you’re looking for a current inventory of ADR blogs, please visit the web site I created, World Directory of ADR Blogs, at http://www.adrblogs.com.- Diane Levin, Online Guide to Mediation