Contributed by Debra A. Dandeneau
Founding Editor of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog
On the fifth birthday of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to step back and reflect on what we have accomplished with the Weil Bankruptcy Blog. More importantly, I also wanted to thank our readers for embracing the Blog and making it the success that it is today. When we first started the Weil Bankruptcy Blog, we had a fairly simple goal — try to find a way to convert our historical, once a month bankruptcy publications (as long-time readers of our “Bankruptcy Bulletin” and “Disclosure Statement” may recall) to “social media.”
We decided, though, if we were going to change the way Weil had been communicating bankruptcy developments for more than 20 years, we wanted to do so in a way that maintained Weil’s high standards but also truly adhered to the expectations of blog readers that we generate readable content on a regular and frequent basis. So, we left behind mailing newsletters by snail mail and sending blast emails that might or might not get caught in spam filters, and over the past five years we have published an entry every business day (with the occasional breaks for holidays and sometimes summer Fridays). We have tried to do so in a way that eschews the stiffness of treatises and law review entries and often uses humor (if sometimes in a way that only bankruptcy geeks may understand) to convey important bankruptcy developments. Yes, we even used a hotdog graphic with ketchup and mustard to show the statistics on bankruptcy filings.
We did not realize when we started how popular the Weil Bankruptcy Blog would become. Over the years, we have heard from just about every type of party involved in the restructuring process — distressed companies, investors, bankers, judges, the media, and even our competitors — how much they appreciate the Blog. Indeed, it was in response to requests from our readers that we launched an app to make it even easier to access and read blog entries.
A special thanks goes to our blog team, our web and technical teams (especially Lori Seavey, who is the glue that holds the Blog together), my fellow editors Ronit Berkovich and Stephen Youngman, and the many Weil alumni who contributed to the Blog and have helped make it such a successful venture. I am proud that the Weil Bankruptcy Blog has provided an opportunity to showcase the talent of my younger colleagues. One of the benefits of social media is that it affords young lawyers, who historically may have had more limited opportunities to participate in traditional publishing, the chance to be published. Perhaps that is why, since the beginning of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog, we have operated on an all-volunteer basis.
In honor of the Blog’s fifth birthday, I asked the people who track these kinds of things to find the top five blog entries in terms of page views. As you can see from the list below, they span a wide range of topics — an entry in our almost-annual March Madness competition, the breaking analysis of Stern v. Marshall when it was decided, topical issues such as our “Drilling Down” series on Oil and Gas restructuring and Judge Drain’s “momentous” decision in Momentive, and even an entry from our “Breaking the Code” series, in which we dissect a single section of the Bankruptcy Code.
March Madness: The Weil Bankruptcy Blog’s Sweet Sixteen, dated March 22, 2011
Drilling Down: A Deeper Look into the Distressed Oil & Gas Industry dated January 7, 2015, by Charles Persons
The Stern Files dated August 23, 2011, by Kyle J. Ortiz
A Cram Session on Cramdown Interest Rates dated June 22, 2011, by Adam Strochak
Breaking the Code: Section 552 dated August 22, 2012, by Amy B. Price
As we prepare for the next five years (and beyond), we welcome your comments on topics you would like to see the Blog cover or ways we can improve the Weil Bankruptcy Blog. (And it’s not too early to make suggestions for next year’s March Madness contest!)
So, happy birthday to the Weil Bankruptcy Blog. We are going out for cake and are going to take the rest of the day off (from blogging).