eDJ Group – How did we get here?
To understand the aspirational purpose of the new eDiscovery Journal it helps to understand how we got here. Way back in the late 1990’s litigation support and eDiscovery was just getting started. There were not many of us wrestling with the first versions of Summation, iConect, Encase and IPRO imaging. Duane Lites started the Litsupport Yahoo Group where we lonely pioneers helped each other wrestle with corrupt .DII files, massive image collections and the first discovery on email. At some point I became a moderator on The List as it slowly grew to over 9,000 peers. Members generally quit posting questions or answers when we realized that every provider was mining The List for email addresses. Post a question about privilege searches and every provider and ALL their channel partners would blow up your Inbox and voicemail for a week.
My career took me from the corporate discovery hot seat, through a stent creating discovery software and eventually back to consulting just in time for the 2008 economic recession. Usually, recession boosts litigation. Only this time cash poor litigants declared a general litigation armistice which left me, Barry Murphy and most providers with LOTS of spare time on our hands. While criticizing the latest marketing material disguised as market research over Legal Tech cocktails, Barry and I decided to start a blog to ‘speak truth to the eDiscovery masses’. Barry patiently tutored me in market research while I took him on a deep dive into discovery from the corporate/firm perspective. The eDiscovery Journal blog quickly acquired readers, sponsors and momentum.
Around 2011 we brought Jason Velasco into the new eDJ Group partnership to convert our journalistic endeavor into a boutique market research firm covering eDiscovery and the new Information Governance markets. This included building a commercial research engine and website, www.eDJGroupInc.com. Somewhere in the next six years of rapid growth we became so focused producing formal research that we lost that raw unfiltered interaction with you, our peers. We also missed our acquisition window as the big analyst firms shifted their focus away from the confusing eDiscovery market.
In 2017, my eDJ partners and fellow analysts departed to look for other opportunities while I dove back into the consulting trenches to rebuild my savings. I forgot to mention that you should never try to build a house while growing a start up company. Luckily, I had good long term corporate clients and took a role in a massive legal battle down under. All those late night conference calls and crazy challenges kept me busy through 2018.
Which brings us back to the new eDiscovery Journal. I missed the writing, research, webinars, conferences and most of all interacting with you, my peers. I took a hard look at what had been so rewarding and joyous about the first eDiscovery Journal and why the Yahoo LitSupport list has died on the vine. After this many start ups, I now realize that I do not really like the business side of business. I love solving my clients problems. I love diving into new technology and services. So I have taken the new eDiscovery Journal back to it’s origins as a simple free WordPress blog and community site. I do not make money, but I hope to spark real conversations and keep us all on the cutting edge of tech and practice.