MAKING THE CONNECTION: Networking with the world through blogs

Conferences and blogging helps make connections for mediatorsOne of the primary reasons I enjoy events like yesterday’s annual conference of the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution is the opportunity to schmooze—connecting with old friends, making new ones, and meeting conflict resolution professionals and supporters from places well beyond my usual stomping grounds.

Yesterday Bob Ambrogi, Dina Beach Lynch, and I led a panel discussion on blogging in an effort to spread the blog gospel to the ADR community.

We were delighted to discover two bloggers in our audience: Tammy Lenski (featured in an ADR All-Stars interview in September), publisher of Strategic Conversations, and Chris Bailey, the Director of Membership for the Association for Conflict Resolution in Washington, D.C., and the publisher of the insightful (and imaginatively titled) Alchemy of Soulful Work. (Although I was familiar with his blog, this was the first time I’d had the pleasure of meeting Chris.)

Alchemy of Soulful Work explores the connection and integration of work, home, community, life, and spirit, and offers much to stimulate, inspire, and challenge readers. Be sure to pay Chris a visit at http://imaginactive.typepad.com.

Speaking of blogs and conferences, one of the points we emphasized at yesterday’s workshop was the opportunity conferences and blogs alike afford for networking and meeting others in our field. Blogging, however, because of its capacity for transcending geography and time zones, allows you to network with the entire world.

Case in point: I often hear from folks in the conflict resolution field from countries around the world. The other day I got a friendly e-mail from Geoff Sharp, a commercial mediator and barrister in Wellington, New Zealand, who dropped me a line about this blog. You should stop by Geoff’s web site for two main reasons.

First of all, Geoff has published some terrific articles on mediation, including my personal favorite, “Desert Island Questions for Mediators”. (Given his flair for writing, Geoff should definitely be blogging.)

Secondly, because of its client-friendliness, Geoff’s site could serve as a blueprint for any ADR professional in the process of planning or redesigning a web site. Well organized and informative, the site allows visitors, among other things, to complete an intake form, download Geoff’s agreement to mediate, and even gain some negotiating tips to prepare for mediation.

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By the way, some good news about my fellow bloggers Bob and Dina. Bob’s LawSites earned a coveted place as one of the featured blogs on Law.com’s prestigious Legal Blog Watch. And Dina, who took a short break from blogging this fall to deal with a family emergency, is now back in the saddle at Mediation Mensch, a blog with marketing tips and techniques for the ADR entrepreneur. Dina, a specialist in workplace disputes, was also featured in an article on office conflict appearing in this month’s issue of Inc. magazine. Nice job, Dina.

(Small business owners, take note: read Dina’s recent post to find out how you, too, can be interviewed for a major publication.)

One response to “MAKING THE CONNECTION: Networking with the world through blogs

  1. J. Marshall Wolman

    Diane,As one of the inactive bloggers, I hope to meet the more active of you all in the near future, as I plan to move to Boston in the next several months. It seemed like a good idea when I started my blog, but it takes quite a bit of dedication and I am impressed by yours.I have not read many of the others, but I wonder if (and I’m not specifically pitching myself) a collaborative blog would be worthwhile.Regards,Jay Wolmanjwolman@adrassociates.com