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Diane Levin’s Mediation Channel Reminds Us to Blog Responsibly

February 19th, 2010 ADR Social Media, Reinsurance Social Media 3 Comments » By Philip J. Loree Jr.

Diane Levin’s blog, Mediation Channel recently posted “Blog responsibly:  a public service reminder for dispute resolution bloggers,”  in which she recommends that ADR bloggers to follow three important rules: 

1.  Create good content.

2.  Be social.

3.  Don’t plagiarize. 

This sage advice applies not only to ADR blogging, but to serious blogging in general.  And Diane’s Mediation Channel is a fine example of a blog that sticks to these important principles. 

Diane was also kind enough to mention the Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum — along with several other, excellent ADR blogs — as “examples of [blogs that] .  .  .  make the ADR blogosphere a great neighborhood to hang out in,” and which “consistently honor[]” her three principles of responsible blogging.   We were, of course, flattered by this mention, and thank Diane for her support of not only our blog, but of the many other great ADR blogs with whom we are honored to keep company.

Diane’s comments made me reflect on the question whether there is a cohesive reinsurance blogging community in place, and, if not, what we could do to help foster one.  There is unquestionably a very social and accomplished group of bloggers that cover ADR-related topics.  While there are a few blogs out there that regularly cover reinsurance-related matters, there are not that many, and they do not interact as much as one might think they would.  There are exceptions to this rule — we’ll make it a point to survey the “reinsurance blogosphere” in the near future  and report to readers on what is out there — but, let’s face it, compared to the ADR blogosphere, the reinsurance blogosphere is still pretty undeveloped.  

I think reinsurance bloggers could learn much from ADR bloggers.  In the coming weeks we’ll give some thought to how the reinsurance blogosphere might improve itself.  And we’ll draw on Diane Levin’s teachings, as well as those of other accomplished ADR bloggers.


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3 Responses to “Diane Levin’s Mediation Channel Reminds Us to Blog Responsibly”

  1. Diane Levin says:

    Phil, this is most kind of you! Thank you so very much for linking back to this post.

    Sadly, what prompted me to write this post was the discovery that an ADR practitioner plagiarized my work. However, rather than dwell on the action of one, I wanted to use the post to honor the many wonderful, talented, and conscientious ADR bloggers I am privileged to know, including you.

    Best wishes – with much appreciation for our friendship –


  2. Eddie Smith says:

    Great posts on an important subject, Phil and Diane. I also think plagiarism sometimes occurs out of ignorance and not malice. Since blogging is relatively low-skill, it invites people who may not understand basic journalism and writing practices, even though they may be highly knowledgeable in their field.

    But certainly, one needs to understand a basic set of rules before blogging. The more light that gets put on this, the better. We may never be able to stop the “screen scrapers” that crawl the web, but hopefully “human” bloggers will understand to respect each other by not plagiarizing.

    With blogging, social media, and life in general, you’re always better off giving credit to others. It allows you to form a stronger “social capital base,” which, I believe, is vital to the future success of anyone conducting their affairs online. Also, I don’t think some people quite grasp the concept (yet) that the more you connect, the greater your voice becomes. Credibility is difficult to fake online.

  3. Eddie,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comments, and congratulations on your new blog, “Risk + 2.0:”

    The reinsurance industry really needs someone to step up to the plate and grapple with — and spread the word about — important Web 2.0 issues. You may be to the reinsurance blogging community what Diane Levin is to the ADR blogging community.

    I agree with all of your points, including the one that what is and is not plagiarism is not always clear, and that, accordingly, we may see from time-to-time examples of unintentional plagiarism. That said, I think it is the responsibility of all bloggers to make an effort to familiarize themselves with the basic rules and conventions of scholarly writing and journalism. Good faith mistakes are excusable (indeed, inevitable), but that is as far as it goes.