July 28, 2011
The Fastcase 50: Honoring the law's smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders
Earlier this week the fine folks at one of the most, if not the most, innovative online legal publisher, Fastcase announced its inaugural class of the Fastcase 50: "the fifty 49 most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology" and one cranky aging and decrepit law librarian blogger. Well, perhaps 49 1/2 leaders in so far as that person was also acknowledged for co-founding the Law Professor Blogs Network back in 2004.
I believe the purpose of the Fastcase 50 is to recognize individuals who may not otherwise be acknowledged by the usual award giver-outers. It is certainly a diverse group of people with broadly defined shared interests within their own fields for engaging in transformative change, one that highlights the progressive intersection in law, scholarship and legal technology in the 21st century.
If you ever want to talk with vendor executives who give a damn about the proverbial big picture for the provision of legal resources in the 21st century, who are committed to assisting in providing free access to primary legal resources in action, not just in words, who are not hiding under their desks in their offices hoping this whole "21 century" thing is just a passing fad, who are committed to competing in the marketplace based on the value Fastcase adds, then Ed Waters and Phil Rosenthal are the folks you want to talk to. There are no two better, honest, well-informed publishing execs who are willing to share their opinions in candid (read unscripted by marketing drones) conversations.
I guess neither were listed in the Fastcase 50 because, ah, well, they are members of the Fastcase team. But Ed and Phil also deserve the recognition this award was intended to acknowledge. Kudos to them as well as the other members of the inaugural class of the the Fastcase 50. Do take a moment to review the 2011 Fastcase 50.
End note. As for me, I think the recognition should go to the long-suffering Blog Widow. She deserves it. Not me. The Blog Widow has put up with the insanity of managing a network of 40-plus law prof blogs, the largest of its kind, as well as the work involved in LLB. I would like to also acknowledge all the co-editors and contributing editors who have contributed to LLB since it was launched in 2005.
If there is a gain of truth in the Fastcase 50's statement about me --
Sometimes hard truths must be spoken, and when they must, you can bet that Joe Hodnicki will speak them.
Then I must also acknowledge that over the years many law librarians have taken time out of their busy days to call attention by way of leads and their professional opinions about matters that could benefit from openness and transparency, particularly for a profession that values sunlight as the best disinfectant. Unfortunately, the sad state of affairs is such that they all too often request that they not be acknowledged publicly.
"Truth" is an existential process of unveiling. It is not what one person says. It is the result of exchanging full and frank professional opinions publicly available for all to read, meaning not behind the walled garden of AALL communication vehicles. It is the result of the disclosure of issues that must be addressed and are addressed by multiple professional assessments. This is how institutional players, be they vendors or AALL, are held accountable for their statements and actions. [JH]
And 20% are librarians!
Posted by: Terry Martin | Jul 29, 2011 6:35:11 AM
Joe - You make a great point about Ed and Phil deserving to be on the list. Two true innovators.
Posted by: Bob Ambrogi | Jul 28, 2011 9:29:09 AM
Congratulations, Joe! And I definitely agree with you about Ed and Phil. I am a total fangirl for the both of them.
Posted by: Sarah Glassmeyer | Jul 28, 2011 8:02:31 AM