I’m pleased to announce that Martindale-Hubbell Connected was just named one of only three finalists for a 2010 CODiE award for Best Social Networking Solution and Martindale.com was named a finalist in the Best Online Directory & Business Leads Service. For those of you not familiar with the CODiE Awards, it is one of the software industry’s most prestigious awards, created by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). It is the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program – meaning we are being recognized by information industry experts, peers and competitors – not “friends and family” of Martindale.
Being selected as a finalist is especially gratifying recognition for two reasons. First, many called it a pipe-dream when we started on our journey to evolve the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory to become an online network with a robust collaboration community for lawyers. This recognition by SIIA provides additional validation that Martindale, renowned for over a century as the resource for connecting corporate counsel with outside counsel, remains at the forefront, with a new, growing and vibrant online community.
Second, this nomination represents additional validation that Connected’s strategy, technology platform and content are world-class. We designed and are evolving Connected to be more than “just another” networking site – there’s already a crowded field of broad networking sites that have captured millions (if not billions) of peoples’ time and attention. We are constantly asking ourselves “why would a lawyer want to come to Connected when there are more established sites out there?
Part of the answer is that we are listening to our members and building hooks into critical LexisNexis and third-party content – tailored to the people and issues members care about (ie Legal Library, corporate counsel Client Reviews of outside counsel, Legal Career Center) with more on the way in every release. Our community managers are hosting legal-specific events, CLE’s and other programming tailored for lawyers. And, our members are responding with rapidly increasing participation and engagement in the community. Speaking of that….Are you Connected? Join now!
Transforming the Martindale business through an “online community” strategy hasn’t been easy and early on we definitely had more critics than supporters. Still, we knew from our research and from your input that it was the right path for the business. Discussions with hundreds of legal industry veterans and now the accolades from others seemed to confirm our beliefs. Growth (nearly 30,000 members and counting!) and member engagement within Connected have been the most important affirmation of our efforts over the past year. But peer recognition like this sure helps too!