If there's an advocacy topic you want to see discussed, or about which you wish to contribute, contact one of the blog administrators - see the list on the right side of this page. Lonely thinking changes nothing, sharing your thoughts may start a trend.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Advocacy Teaching Blog Passes Milestone

Advocacy Teaching Blog Passes Milestone

This past week, The Advocacy Teaching Blog passed an important milestone: 20,000 page views on the Internet. This figure does not take into account the articles read by our many email subscribers, who automatically receive email copies of every blog posting. While the blog's total page views pale in comparison to more well-established, general interest blogs, the number indicates that The Advocacy Teaching Blog is thriving and achieving its purpose as an on-line resource and communication center for trial advocacy teachers.

As one of the blog's founders, I am grateful for our readers and guest bloggers. We've been blessed with a treasure trove of insightful articles and comments from a group of truly gifted judges, practitioners and professors who love to teach and are willing to share their knowledge with others.

And with our chief correspondent from Down Under, Hugh Selby, we offer an international perspective to advocacy and a different way of teaching--material that is literally available nowhere else in the world. A few weeks ago, I had a telephone conversation with a blog reader from St. Louis. "Where did you find Hugh Selby?" he asked. "He has some amazing insights. I love reading his articles. He really knows his stuff." I met Hugh at the Stetson Educating Advocates conference a few years ago. Charlie Rose had met him at a NITA course, courtesy of Mark Caldwell, who is a master at finding and collecting great advocacy teachers from all over the world.

I agreed with my St. Louis friend about Hugh, and I reflected to myself that without the miracle of the internet, this St. Louis/Canberra mind connection might never have been made. There are other teachers of advocacy out there like Hugh, geniuses who work outside the spotlight, quietly and thoughtfully influencing students and colleagues. We need to hear those voices, and this blog is an ideal platform--perhaps even the only forum--to make that happen.

As we head towards the next 20,000 page views, we'd like to hear more from you, and from more of you. Don't worry about being mocked, ridiculed or dismissed. Our audience is an accepting one, full of people who love the art and science of advocacy and are always looking for ways to improve.

If you are receiving the blog posts via email, take the time to click the link to the blog at the bottom of every email. Comment on blog posts using the blog's built-in comment function. You can add additional ideas and suggestions to any blog post. I've received a number of insightful email responses to blog articles from readers, and I've often asked for permission to post the responses as blog comments.

I follow several blogs, and one of the best features of most blogs is the comments that follow a blog posting. I'd love to see our blog readers interact with our articles and each other by using the comments section of the blog.

For instance, we have a fantastic opportunity as a community to discuss the very real issue of bad behavior and cheating at trial competitions. Temple's Eddie Ohlbaum has created a new set of model rules of conduct (available here) for trial competitions and has persuaded several competitions to use them this year. A recent blog posting, also by Eddie and available here, discusses some of the issues that have arisen with these new rules. It would be wonderful to get your comments about the whether such rules are needed, the language of the rules, how they've worked in competitions so far, and whether we should start naming and shaming unethical teams and schools.

In addition, if you are grappling with an advocacy issue, send us an email and we can post your question to the blog. With our audience of experts, we can help solve nearly any dilemma.

Finally, share the blog with others. I regularly email guest blog articles to my students and colleagues. Some of the very best advocacy tips I've ever seen are found in written form exclusively on this blog.

Thanks for your support!

Chris Behan

Sent from my iPad

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