My company announced last week that it would be hosting a Workers' Compensation Best Blogs program to “select and recognize outstanding original content for the industry”. It was an announcement that has been met with a fair amount of excitement and very positive responses. There have also been some questions, and I wanted to take the opportunity to expand a bit more from last weeks announcement.

First, I want to take a moment to pay homage to the folks at LexisNexis, who developed the first comprehensive blog recognition program for the industry. For a number of years they compiled a list of up to 25 “Top Blogs”, divided into categories such as National, State Specific and Niche. Lexis Workers' Compensation Senior Legal Editor Robin Kobayashi and her team were very kind to this particular blog, selecting it from 2011 through 2014 as one of the “Top Blogs” in the National Blog category. 

Unfortunately, Lexis has moved in a slightly different direction and they stopped producing the list in 2015. 2014 was their last edition. Still, many people appreciate the groundbreaking work they did on that project, and I wanted to take a moment to thank them for their efforts. Their support made a tremendous difference in the early days of this blog.

It was Safety National's Mark Walls who pointed out to me that a valuable service such as that should continue. He suggested that we were perfectly positioned to accomplish that task, and he was right. We very quickly made the decision to proceed, and went about assembling the framework of the program.

First, I want to point out that we have made tremendous efforts to keep this process as neutral and transparent as possible. On a very personal level I did not want this program to be viewed as simply a vehicle to promote a blog that I write. I have been asked (in somewhat humorous fashion) if the Cluttered Desk will be “listed” among the “Best Blogs”. The honest answer is, “I don't know”. 

We are not the ones who will be making that decision.

First and foremost, we have established a panel of independent judges who represent a cross section of the industry. None of them are affiliated with WorkersCompensation.com. In fact, WorkersCompensation.com employees will not be involved with the judging process, except for some rudimentary mathematical calculations on 4 objective judging categories. Nor will our employees be allowed to nominate any blog. 

There are five categories that will be used to determine the winning blogs. We are not publishing all the criteria so as to avoid any “gamesmanship” from people wanting to exploit the process, but the judging panel has been fully informed of the program. Their specific input will have the greatest weight of any of the five categories. Those judges, by the way, will remain anonymous until the winners are announced.

There are no restrictions on what blogs may be nominated, but we ask that they be dedicated to primarily serving the workers' compensation community. We will have a “badge” available that blogs may publish encouraging their readers to nominate them. You will see that badge in my blog as well after nominations open on March 1st. 

I am very excited at the opportunity to host this program. It is something we hope will continue for many years to come. WorkersCompensation.com serves millions of unique visitors a year, and as the most utilized website in workers' comp, it is a perfect place to find and promote the best original content being generated for the industry. 

It starts March 1st. Blog on, people, blog on.

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