A mediator recently asked me for examples of top-notch conflict resolution blogs written for prospective clients. Absolutely terrific question and deserving of a thoughtful answer.
There are a number of excellent mediation and ADR blogs now, of course, and I link to and reference many of them regularly in my posts here at Mediator Tech. But there are far fewer that focus exclusively and in a very focused way on the public market (i.e., not all or in part for fellow attorneys, mediators, arbitrators) many mediators are trying to reach.
What makes a top-notch conflict resolution blog for the public market
The blogs that I’m naming here have a number of characteristics in common:
- They are clear about the audience for whom they’re writing.
- They stay on message.
- They have content that’s substantive and speaks to their audience’s questions and interests, not content that’s more of interest to mediators and lawyers than to the lay person.
- They have a unique voice. You can tell there’s a person behind the blog and can feel like you get to know them a bit.
- The focus of the content is on the prospective client, not on the mediator-blogger’s brilliance.
- They post regularly enough to stay relevant and are active at present, meaning they’ve had new posts within the last 30 days.
- The writing is competent and professional.
5 top-notch ADR blogs for the public market
- Resolving Conflict in Teams – Guy Harris does a great deal right with his blog. His intended audience can’t be missed because it’s the title of his blog. His posts consistently offer genuinely good and interesting content for his audience and he stays on topic – his readers know what to expect from him and they get it. He writes regularly enough to stay in people’s minds. And the blog’s layout is clean and navigable (I note he uses WordPress, which I consider the best of the blog software options).
- Campus-ADR Tech Blog – ACR just awarded Bill Warters the 2008 William Kriedler Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Conflict Resolution and when you visit his blog, you begin to understand why. Bill’s blog is one of the few that’s stood the test of time – just take a look at that archives list. He’s relentless about staying on topic and he knows his audience extraordinarily well (and as someone who’s been in higher ed as both a professor and a dean, I can say that with some authority). Bill has a knack for finding cool stuff that makes his readers want to stay subscribed.
- Colorado Family Solutions Center – This blog’s audience and focus is crystal clear in 10 seconds. If I were a divorcing parent looking for a mediator who could help me navigate co-parenting, parenting plans, and negotiating child-rearing issues with my soon-to-be ex, I’d feel like I’d come home when I landed at this blog. Posts provide careful and creative details on the kinds of topics divorcing and divorced parents care about because they’re dealing with them every single day.
- Pace and Kyeli: Authentic Communication – This blog has a unique design and tone that set it distinctly apart, and the authors don’t bland-ify themselves to try to speak to everyone. When you read Pace and Kyeli’s posts, it’s easy to see that they write in a way that conveys real consonance with their “authentic communication” tagline. They speak with passion about what they believe and honestly about their own attempts to live those beliefs.
- Real Divorce Mediation – Nancy Hudgins’ and Debra Synovec’s blog is shiny new and it’s joined the blogosphere with a bang. Nancy and Debra are abundantly clear about their intended audience and the blog’s content echoes that clarity beautifully. Their posts so far provide a nice balance of resource and advice and I can imagine prospective clients getting a very good scan of what it would be like to work with either of them.
The limits of this list
I hesitated before sharing this list, because I know, inevitably, I will have missed some blogs that are equally due celebration but that I don’t know about yet or don’t have the time to follow carefully. And the list is English language-oriented because both my German and Spanish are just rusty enough to make discernment difficult in those languages.