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Tag Archives: Victoria Pynchon

IP News Shorts

Posted in Legal News

Here are several stories to start your Monday morning with that I was not able to get to last week because of client commitments and some new business opportunities:

  • The first round of Bilski briefing has been filed  with the Supreme Court.  Click here for links to the various amici briefs at Patently-O, and here for an analysis of Bilski’s opening brief at BlawgIT.
  • Victoria Pynchon has an important warning for IP litigators about understanding a client’s insurance coverage at her IP ADR Blogclick here to read the story and here to check out Pynchon’s husband’s new Catastrophic Insurance Coverage Blog.  The blog appears to be a good read, but more importantly IP litigators should make sure that they investigate client’s insurance policies early in a case.
  • William Patry has a new copyright-related blog, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars.  It is a companion to his book of the same name, which is excellent.  I had the privilege of receiving an advance copy, which I loved.  I will post a review soon.  For now though, click here for Patry’s first post on the new blog.
  • Finally, last Friday, as they were headed into the August recess the Senate confirmed David Kappos as the next Director of the PTO — click here for the PTO’s press release.

August Carnival of Trust

Posted in Legal News

Welcome to the August 2009 Carnival of Trust.  The Carnival of Trust is a monthly, traveling review of the last month’s best posts related to various aspects of trust in the business world.  It is much like the weekly Blawg Reviews that I post links to and have hosted (click here and here), but those generally contain far more than ten links.  My job this month was to pick those ten posts for you and provide an introduction to each post that makes you want to click through and read more.  For my regular Chicago IP Litigation blog readers, this will be a slight departure from the case analysis format you have come to expect, but very similar to my earlier stints hosting the Carnival of Trust and Blawg Review. 

It is the trust that matters, not the title.

At IP Think Tank, Duncan Bucknell added to the recent debate in the patent community about whether the IP function should move into the corporate C-level suite, adding a Chief Intellectual Property Office to the ranks of CEO, COO, CTO, CIO, CLO and CMO – click here and here to read Bucknell’s posts. Following up on comments by Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps and Rockwell Collins’ Bill Elkington, Bucknell explained that the issue is not the name, but in a company having an IP champion that earns the organization’s trust and respect, whatever title that person is given:

You have to build your own credibility within your organisation as someone who reliably gets the job done.  As you build trust with those senior to you, then your (ongoing?) commitment to communicating the value that can be added using intellectual property will become more prominent. 

Make some (achievable) promises and then deliver.  The more that you do this, the more credibility will be given to the IP function, and the greater awareness those senior to you will have.  Some would call such a person an ‘IP Evangelist’ – I would say that they are just doing their job.  People executing on difficult tasks bit by bit has always been what success is about.

As usual, Bucknell’s analysis is excellent. A person’s respect within an organization is at least as important as their title.

Running an organization is all about building trust.

The patent community focused much of its attention this week on the confirmation hearings for David J. Kappos, nominee for Director of the US Patent & Trademark Office. Click here for Patentability’s summary of the hearing highlights and here for a copy of Kappos’s statement at Patently-O. The hearings were relatively short, likely because there appears to be widespread trust in Kappos’s background and abilities. And although much of the hearing focused on procedural patent office issues, Kappos showed he deserved that trust by focusing his statement on his plans to earn trust with all of the stakeholders in the patent world. He specifically addressed concerns that his corporate background could disadvantage individual inventors or academics:

I am mindful that the USPTO serves the interests of ALL innovators in this country, small and large, corporate and independent, academic and applied, and – most importantly — the public interest. While I have spent my career to date at a large corporate enterprise, I am familiar with the concerns and issues of all USPTO constituents – including small and independent inventors, the venture and start-up community, public interest groups, the patent bar and many others – and will reach out to all of them.

Kappos addressed his plans to build trust with his employees at the USPTO:

I am mindful of the incredible dedication of the thousands of USPTO employees, and the essential role they play to the success of the US innovation system. I will work every day with the USPTO employees and the unions that represent them to establish strong, positive relationships grounded in professional treatment for these workers producing work product based on professional judgment.

He addressed the need to build global trust and relationships:

I am acutely mindful that innovation today is global and that IP policy is of paramount importance, not only in our country, but also in the EU and Japan, in China, India, Brazil and many other developing countries. I will use my international experience and my understanding of global IP trends to help this Administration represent, advance, and protect the interests of American innovators in the global arena and to lead the world in developing strong, balanced, inclusive intellectual property systems that advance the well-being of all participants.

And he addressed the need to build trust with the Administration he seeks to join and the American people the Administration serves:

Finally, I am mindful that the office for which I am being considered, working as part of Secretary Locke’s team and within the Administration’s agenda, must be intensely focused on how to serve the American people at this time of economic uncertainty.

Gene Quinn provides proof that Kappos’s trust-building efforts worked in his IPWatchdog post about the hearings (click here to read the post):

In all, what Kappos said was certainly reassuring, and he should have absolutely no problem getting confirmed.  If he does stay mindful of the needs of all those who use the USPTO, small, large and in between, and the interests of the diverse industries who sometimes need contradictory things in order to thrive, he will not only be a good leader, but he will be an exceptional leader and might really reform the Patent Office into the entity it can and should be in order to foster economic development and job creation in the US. 

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IP News Shorts

Posted in Legal News

Here are several stories and updates worth a read:

  • I am hosting the August Carnival of Trust on Monday, August 3 here.  I hosted once before and really enjoyed the experience — click here and here.   The Carnival of Trust is a monthly, traveling review of ten of the last month’s best posts related to various aspects of trust in the business world.  If you have trust-related posts from the last month, send them to me. by Friday or Saturday.  For other examples of Carnival of Trust posts, check out recent hosts Adrian Dayton and Victoria Pynchon.
  • I was featured in Stephanie Allen West’s Reading Minds column in the ABA’s Law Practice Management magazine this month — click here to read the column.  Along with Jennifer Loud Ungar, Andrew Flusche, and Todd Kashdan, I was asked to recommend a favorite management book.  I went with an unorthodox choice, but a valuable read, the Boy Scout Patrol Leader’s Handbook.  Here is some of my recommendation:

In the many years since I relied on the Handbook to run Boy Scout patrols, I have found the lessons in this volume to be equally applicable to leading and managing teams of lawyers or businesspeople. The Handbook is a powerful guide for developing successful organizations, maintaining group morale and achieving group success. As an example, it lists these 10 tips for being a good leader: (1) keep your word; (2) be fair; (3) communicate well and often; (4) be flexible; (5) be organized; (6) delegate; (7) set an example; (8) be consistent; (9) give praise; and (10) ask for help. These are words to live by for patrol leaders, lawyers and C-level executives alike.

New Blogs & IP ADR News

Posted in Legal News

A new blog and several stories I have been meaning to get to, but have not had enough time:

  • Tom Patterson, from Chicago, has joined the blogosphere with the Emergency Business Litigation blog, another blog by Lexblog.  It does not have an IP focus, but some of Patterson’s first post deal with Federal Circuit decisions regarding injunctions in patent cases — click here and here to read them.  Welcome to the blogging conversation Tom.
  • The IP ADR Blog has an interesting guest post from Robert Rose discussing patent arbitration rules — click here to read the post.  Of particular interest, Rose points out the oft forgotten statutory obligation to notify the PTO of any arbitration award, which is made part of the file history.
  • Also from the IP ADR Blog, Victoria Pynchon has posted the slides that were the basis of a February 2009 CLE presentation we did about alternative dispute resolution in patent disputes, a valuable tool particularly in difficult economic times.  Click here for Pynchon’s post with the slides.

Copyright & Trademark News

Posted in Legal News

I have noticed that my news updates tend to be patent-focused, so today  they focus on trademarks and copyrights:

  • IP Law & Business (subscription required to access the article) has an interesting article in the February/March 2009 issue identifying Justice Ginsburg as the Supreme Court’s "champion of copyright holders" because of recent opinions supporting broader copyrights.  The article also identifies Justice Breyer, based on dissents in the same cases, as leading the cause for narrower copyrights.  And the article predicts that the Supreme Court is trending toward a narrower view of copyrights.
  • Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins has a timely post (click here to read it) that traces the March Madness trademark back to the Illinois high school basketball playoffs, as early as the 1940s.  The NCAA and the Illinois High School Association have since pooled their rights and both have a license to use the marks. 
  • Victoria Pynchon has a great series of posts looking at laches in trademark law based upon a recent Ninth Circuit decision — click here and here.

IP News: ADR & Copyright Damages

Posted in Legal News

Here are several items from around the web that are worth your attention:

  • The latest edition of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available here and it is another excellent listen.  The program looks at copyright’s statutory damages regime through the lens of music downloading.  Lichtman moderates an impressive group of experts and stakeholders in the debate.  It would be worth the time, even if CLE credit was not available, but it is.
  • Congratulations to Victoria Pynchon of the IP ADR Blog and Settle It Now on her move to ADR Services — click here to read Pynchon’s post about the move.
  • The Alternative Patent Dispute Resolution Project at San Diego’s Thomas Jefferson School of Law has an interesting survey up about how ADR should be used in patent cases.  No results yet, but I will discuss them here when they are made available.  The survey follows up a survey done ten years ago by IPWatchdog’s Gene Quinn.  Click here to take the survey.

Continuing Legal Education: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Intellectual Property Cases

Posted in Legal News

Along with the IP ADR Blog’s Victoria Pynchon, I am giving an ALI-ABA continuing legal education teleconference discussing alternative dispute resolution as a low-cost alternative for intellectual property disputes — click here to register.  The program is at 12 pm CT on this Wednesday, February 18.  Here are ALI-ABA’s program highlights:

Why Attend?

 

In a difficult economy, intellectual property protection and assertion is more important than ever. The combined stressors of a poor fiscal climate and shrinking legal budgets place a significant strain on any business dependent upon IP assets. as companies face difficult economic decisions, it is increasingly difficult to fit the expense and extended uncertainty of copyright, patent and trademark litigation into a forward looking business plan. This one-hour seminar explores the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means of protecting intellectual property and business activity, while minimizing the expense and devotion of time related to traditional IP litigation.

 

What You Will Learn

 

This program examines how to move an IP dispute toward alternative dispute resolution; best practices for controlling the expense and length of the process; and best practices for successful alternative dispute resolution. Whether you are an experienced IP practitioner or simply one grappling with IP issues in your general commercial practice, knowing how to offer your clients a wide array of ADR options might make the difference between a practice that survives and one that thrives. The seminar will cover the following topics:

  • How to choose between litigation and ADR.
  • The most successful strategies for guiding your dispute into the best ADR forum at the most productive time. 
  • The five basic rules of “distributive” or “fixed sum” bargaining that will give you the “edge” in all future settlement negotiations. 
  • The five ways to “expand the fixed sum pie” by exploring and exploiting the client interests underlying your own and your opponents’ legal positions. 
  • The Ten Mediation/Settlement Conference Traps for the Unwary.  

Invest just 60 minutes at your home or office to learn about alternative dispute resolution in the IP field from this duo of experts. This audio program comes to you live on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm CST, via your phone or your computer. Materials corresponding to the course may be downloaded or viewed online.


Planning Chair

 

R. David Donoghue, Esquire, Holland & Knight LLP, Chicago, IL

 

Faculty

 

Victoria Pynchon, Esquire, Settle It Now Dispute Resolution Services, Beverly Hills, CA 

Continuing Legal Education: IP Alternative Dispute Resolution

Posted in Legal News
Along with the IP ADR Blog’s Victoria Pynchon, I am giving an ALI-ABA continuing legal education teleconference discussing alternative dispute resolution as a low-cost alternative for intellectual property disputes — click here to register.  The program is at 11 am CT on February 18.  Here are ALI-ABA’s program highlights:
Why Attend?

In a difficult economy, intellectual property protection and assertion is more important than ever. The combined stressors of a poor fiscal climate and shrinking legal budgets place a significant strain on any business dependent upon IP assets. as companies face difficult economic decisions, it is increasingly difficult to fit the expense and extended uncertainty of copyright, patent and trademark litigation into a forward looking business plan. This one-hour seminar explores the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means of protecting intellectual property and business activity, while minimizing the expense and devotion of time related to traditional IP litigation.

What You Will Learn

This program examines how to move an IP dispute toward alternative dispute resolution; best practices for controlling the expense and length of the process; and best practices for successful alternative dispute resolution. Whether you are an experienced IP practitioner or simply one grappling with IP issues in your general commercial practice, knowing how to offer your clients a wide array of ADR options might make the difference between a practice that survives and one that thrives. The seminar will cover the following topics:

  • How to choose between litigation and ADR.
  • The most successful strategies for guiding your dispute into the best ADR forum at the most productive time.
  • The five basic rules of “distributive” or “fixed sum” bargaining that will give you the “edge” in all future settlement negotiations.
  • The five ways to “expand the fixed sum pie” by exploring and exploiting the client interests underlying your own and your opponents’ legal positions.
  • The Ten Mediation/Settlement Conference Traps for the Unwary.

Invest just 60 minutes at your home or office to learn about alternative dispute resolution in the IP field from this duo of experts. This audio program comes to you live on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm CST, via your phone or your computer. Materials corresponding to the course may be downloaded or viewed online.

Planning Chair

R. David Donoghue, Esquire, Holland & Knight LLP, Chicago, IL

Faculty

Victoria Pynchon, Esquire, Settle It Now Dispute Resolution Services, Beverly Hills, CA

Creating Order in Complex Litigation

Posted in Legal News

Litigators universally struggle to enforce order over complex cases, and patent cases are some of the most difficult.  They often include multiple patents, numerous accused products, inventors, experts and often various contracts.  Generating systems for both capturing and organizing facts and issues is critical, but difficult.  And once you organize it for yourself, you need to find a way to organize it for the Court and then the jury, an even more difficult task.

I have generally used notebooks including marked up copies of the patents, key prior art, any contracts , accused product information and other hot documents.  Others use computer programs or even whiteboards.  But the Settlement Perspectives Blog (via Vickie Pynchon at the IP ADR Blog) has converted me to mind mapping — click here for the Settlement Perspectives post and here for the IP ADR Blog post.  Mind maps allow you to graphically depict all of the critical facts and issues in your case, how they interconnect and to hyperlink to the relevant documents or testimony.  And the best part is that you can burn your mind map onto a DVD and offer it to the judge as an aid for resolving summary judgment motions or construing claims.  This one graphic depiction of your case with hyperlinks to the evidence could be more powerful than a twenty-five page brief explaining your arguments in detail.  Mind maps are excellent tools for creating order from the disorderly facts of a litigation. 

Here is an example of what a mind map can look like:

IP News & Advice — Thanksgiving Edition

Posted in Legal News

Here are several IP posts that you should check out:

  • The MTTLR Blog’s Lauren Strandbergh has an interesting post (click here for it) about the implications of the Google Book’s settlement and how the Book Rights Registry — a Copyright Clearance Center or ASCAP-like entity that will, among other things, distribute proceeds from out-of-print books to the authors or rights holders  — will change the publishing industry.  Strandbergh raises the right questions, but we will only get answers as we ee how the system works.
  • [UPDATE:]  Speaking of the Copyright Clearance Center and ASCAP, the WSJ Law Blog has a post today (click here to read it) based upon this WSJ story (subscription required for the full text) about two new companies that are aggregating patents and guaranteeing never to assert those patents against their members.  It is not clear from the story if they plan to assert them against non-members, but it is an interesting move in the struggle between non-practicing entities and corporations that feel targeted by patent litigation.  I believe there have been industry-specific versions of these companies in Europe for some time.  As I understand some of those entities, the do assert their patents against non-members to help fund operations.
  • Victoria Pynchon offers advice for dealing with those uncomfortable Thanksgiving political conversations with family and friends at her Settle It Now Negotiation blog — click here to read it.  The advice translates well for unwinable conversations with opposing counsel.
  • This week’s Blawg Review is up at LawyerCastingclick here to read it.  It provides lots of advice for lawyers dealing with the tough economic times.

Blawg Review #181 — ADR & Canadian Thanksgiving

Posted in Legal News

Diane Levin hosted this week’s Blawg Review #181 at Mediation Channelclick here to read it.  As you would expect from one of Ed.’s Blawg Review Sherpas, the Review is both well-written and exhaustive.  Levin’s focus was International Conflict Resolution Day.  And when Ed. realized that he had created an international incident by not acknowledging Canadian Thanksgiving, Levin even updated the Review with some Canadian content.  By the way, happy Thanksgiving to the Blog’s Canadian friends and readers.

Among other posts, Levin highlighted the October Carnival of Trust, hosted by its founder Charles Green at Trust Mattersclick here to read it.  Green links to a post at Without Wax about what to do when your trust in someone begins slipping away — click here to read it.  The blog, and the post, appear to be focused more on family and friend relationships.  But the issue and the proposed resolution translate to the legal realm because trust is paramount in the law just as it is with family and friends — with courts, with opposing counsel, with clients and with colleagues.  Without Wax suggests that instead of pulling back when trust is disappearing, you engage that person and the problem.  Silence rarely fixes trust.  You are far better off facing the issue and trying to fix the problem so that it does not recur, whether it is a misunderstanding or an actual breach of trust.

Finally, Larry Lessig’s enthralling Wall Street Journal op-ed piece about the current state of copyright law and whether it fits with modern life did not make the Review (probably because it was not a blog post), but it is worth a read — click here for Lessig’s op-ed.  Or you could skip right to Victoria Pynchon’s excellent analysis at the IP ADR Blogclick here to read Pynchon’s post.

[UPDATE]:  Lessig makes clear at his Lessig 2.0 blog that despite the title the WSJ gave his op-ed — A Defense of Piracy — he does not support piracy.  Lessig is proposing conforming copyright law to what he sees as the realities of modern living.

Making Joint Defense Agreements Work

Posted in Legal News

Joint defense agreements are an increasingly common part of big patent litigaitons, in the Northern District and across the country.  Having been involved in numerous joint defense groups, my colleague Thomas Pasternak and I wrote an article that was published in the most recent edition of the ABA’s Litigation magazine about best practices for joint defense groups and dealing with joint defense agreements — click here to for a pdf of the article, with permission from the ABA of course.

Probably the most important tip is one I have discussed before — communication, including live meeetings, is critical to building and maintaining relationships among the joint defense group:

The number of members of the [joint defense group] will have some bearing on how it is organized and managed, but regardless, communication is the key. Weekly, short conference calls once the case is running hot are important, however painful that is, to keep everyone looped in. For important strategy decisions, live meetings are going to be necessary. At the same time, try to put as few communications between co-defendants in writing as possible. Discovery of those communications can and does happen, despite all best legal efforts to prevent it, and you will be particularly embarrassed if you disparage opposing counsel or the judge in venting in an e-mail to your codefendant and that e-mail ends up being produced.

Click here for my previous discussion of the importance of live meetings for building relationships during litigations and click here for Victoria Pynchon’s IP ADR blog post that sparked my comments.

Blawg Review & the September Carnival of Trust

Posted in Legal News

Blawg Review #175 is up at Jamie Spencer’s Austin DWI Lawyer (another LexBlog site) — click here to read the Review.  Fitting with Ed.’s sense of humor, a DWI lawyer was chosen to host the Labor Day Review, instead of a more traditional pick, like a labor lawyer.  Of course, there are lots of interesting DWI posts, and a few good IP links.  Spencer links to Victoria Pynchon’s post at the IP ADR Blog about the arrest of a blogger who posted new Guns N’ Roses tracks before the group released its new album — click here to read it.  In a "teeny tiny" act of civil disobedience, Pynchon posted the entire text of the LA Times story on the arrest.  While I will admit to one or two acts of civil disobedience in my day, today you are just getting a link to the Chicago Tribune’s story by Michelle Quinn and Swati Pandey on the arrest and the increasing use of criminal copyright infringement prosecutions — click here.

September’s Carnival of Trust is up at Compensation Forceclick here for the Carnival.  There are no specific legal or IP posts this month, but lots of great stuff on building and maintaining relationships with trust.

Blawg Review #173

Posted in Legal News

Last week’s Olympic edition Blawg Review focused on the medals. Building on that, this week I discuss the elements of a world record swim. If you were watching last week, instead of blogging, you saw 20 of them in the Olympic pool; seven by Mr. Phelps.

 

Practice

Nothing is more critical than preparation. A big part of preparation is tightening your stroke and cutting out unnecessary motion. Reese Morrison, at the Law Department Management blog, discusses blunt suggestions for trimming legal bills.

 

Endless hours in the pool alone are not enough, you need a good coach. Business development coach Cordell Parvin provides an excellent three part series at his Law Consulting Blogone, two, and three – on persistence, an important element of any Olympic training program. In an Olympic caliber display of persistence, Drug & Device Law had an exhaustive post discussing and classifying each medical device preemption case since the landmark Supreme Court decision in Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 999 (2008).

 

You also need a support network to help you get through all of the pool time. Bruce Allen, at Marketing Catalyst, teaches us how to avoid the cocktail conversation you cannot escape from at a networking event. At Copyblogger, John Morrow explains that content is no longer king in the blogosphere, you need friends. And he teaches you how to get them. At BlawgIT, Brett Trout – who is a fighter, not a swimmer – has an interesting post about how to work together as a community to thwart webjackings (the hijacking of a website). And Mediation Channel’s Diane Levin discusses the social side of blogging, and reading blogs.

 

Of course, if you do not have time to practice you will never set the record. So, you need a job, or at least some cash. On that note, Harmful Error posts the great news that loan forgiveness programs were expanded this week for legal aid lawyers, state prosecutors and public defenders. 

 

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Blawg Review #171 — Setting, Then Meeting Expectations

Posted in Legal News

For my rookie Blawg Review, I kept my head down, worked hard and hoped to meet the Review’s high standards set by the reviewers before me.  Victoria Pynchon at the IP ADR Blog, took a different route.  She guaranteed victory, promising "one of the best [Blawg Review]‘s ever."  And she was right.  She used a risque theme and a massive number of links to deliver an excellent review — click here to read it.  My only complaint, I cannot possibly get through all of her linked posts.

I am hosting the Blawg Review in two weeks, and Pynchon has set the bar high.  Make sure to be here in two weeks to watch me clear it.

A Call for Face-to-Face Communication in Litigation

Posted in Legal News

Victoria Pynchon posted an article she wrote (not sure where it was published) at her IP ADR Blogclick here for the post and the article.  Pynchon argued that the common practice of communicating with opposing counsel largely by email, except during depositions or hearings, tends to increase animosity and conflict of a litigation.  In the asocial world of email we tend to write more aggressively and we tend to read more aggression into emails we receive.  Pynchon supports these theories with studies, but I suspect most litigators are aware of the email aggression problem from practice. 

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Blawg & Trust Reviews

Posted in Legal News

This week’s Blawg Review is up at More Partner Income, click here to read it.  Among other articles, the Blawg Review highlights Victoria Pynchon’s excellent series of posts at her Settle It Now Negotiation Blog, about facing the last days of her father’s life.  The posts are moving on a personal level, and Pynchon manages to work in good legal advice as well.  Click on the titles to read Pynchon’s Negotiating Life’s End posts:  Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five; Part Six; and click here for the remainder of the posts.

And June’s Carnival of Trust is now available at Clark Chinge, click here to read it.  Chinge does a nice job of helping the Carnival of Trust celebrate its first birthday.  Congratulations to the Carnival on the big milestone.

May Carnival of Trust

Posted in Legal News

Welcome to the May 2008 Carnival of Trust.  For regular Blog readers, this will be a slight departure from the case analysis format you have come to expect.  But I promise you the trust-related links will still be valuable reading for IP litigators and IP litigants.  And in the spirit of the Carnival, I will now proceed to build your trust in me by following through on that promise.

The Carnival of Trust is a monthly, traveling review of ten of the last month’s best posts related to various aspects of trust in the business world.  It is much like the weekly Blawg Reviews that I post links to and have hosted, but those generally contain far more than ten links.  My job this month was to pick those ten posts for you and provide an introduction to each post that makes you want to click through and read more. 

Do you trust me?  Jeremiah Owyang at Web Strategy by Jeremiah says you do not , unless you are related to me.  But the real point of Owyang’s post and the studies he cites is that people do not trust an unspecified blogger as much as their family or other unspecified news sources.  That is not surprising and even shows good judgment.  As Anne Reed at the Deliberations blog points out, choosing blogs is about developing trust.  You find a few that you like and trust, trust developed by entering that blogger’s conversation and developing confidence in that person’s posts, and based on your trust in those blogs, you begin to find other quality blogs:

I learned the territory one or two blogs at a time, first coming to like and trust a few blogs (and bloggers) and then following their links and blogrolls to others. 

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