I note with sadness the passing of “Ed.,” the anonymous editor of Blawg Review, who died recently of esophageal cancer. Although I never met Ed personally, I worked with him via email on many blog-related projects over the years, most notably the development and founding of Blawg Review.
Here's something I'd forgotten: in 2005, Ed himself launched Blawg Review in a guest post on Legal Underground. His post, titled "Oh Yeah, It's Over for Law Review," is interesting in a history-of-blawgs sort of way, and ends with this call to action:
[T]he time has come to announce Blawg Review, the next big thing in blogging for lawyers, law professors, judges who blog, and law students who'd rather make a name for themselves than make law review. How can everyone get involved?
- Submit great posts from your own law blog for publication on Blawg Review, which is hosted on a different blog every Monday.
- Host an upcoming issue of Blawg Review on your own incredible law blog. Evan Schaeffer is hosting "Blawg Review #1" on Notes from the (Legal) Underground on April 11th. Kevin Heller is hosting "Blawg Review #3" at Tech Law Advisor, and others have already signed on for subsequent issues. Reserve a date for your blawg review, now!
- Write a review of a blawg for publication on Blawg Review. Maybe someone will review yours.
- Add a link to Blawg Review on your blog and spread the word throughout the blogosphere, especially when your own fantastic posts are reviewed for all to see.
It's fun to read that post after so many years. Ed's concept for Blawg Review was based on other blog "carnivals" that were popular at the time. He approached me with the idea and asked me to assist with development and promotion. Although I was skeptical, I finally agreed--after a seemingly endless barrage of arm-twisting emails.
It turned out my skepticism was misplaced. Thanks to Ed's enthusiasm and hard work, Blawg Review was a huge success. I admit that nearly ten years later, it's been quite awhile since I've thought about Blawg Review. But the sad news about Ed has made me take notice again, and I've spent some time this morning reading the wonderful posts about Blawg Review and Ed by Mark Bennett and others. (Bennett's post contains a number of links to other posts about Ed, so I don't need to link to them all here. But be sure to read "Ed, We Hardly Knew Ye" at Trial Warrior Blog.)
Oddly, many of my memories of Ed involve grammatical errors. In Legal Underground's early, raucous days, I paid my readers to point out typographical and grammatical errors in my posts. I did this for about a year about, eventually paying out $1,040.
Those who knew Ed won't be surprised to learn most of this money was paid to him.
Sometimes I'd receive Ed's "typos!" email only moments after I'd posted. It got to the point that each time I saw an email from Ed, my heart would sink--I'd spent so much time proofreading, but failed again.
Finally, I grew tired of Ed's emails, and tired of sending all those $10 and $20 payments to his paypal account. So I pulled the plug on my experiment in crowd-sourced proofreading.
Did my blog suffer? Not from a proliferation of typos: Ed continued to notify me of typos, just as he always had.
And he did so in a gentlemanly way, without reminding me that I had never really had to pay anyone at all for proofreading. He would have done it all for free!
Rest in peace, Ed. The blawgosphere will miss you, as will I.