Sunday, February 24, 2008

Are Lawyers Blogging? - Yes they Are!

Lawyers are blogging. Kevin O'Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs noted an article in the Financial Post: Blogging Can Be Useful As a Low-cost Public Relations and Marketing Tool. They cite an American Express Survey that 5% of businesses with 100 or fewer employees have blogs.

Kevin goes on to note that law firms adoption of blogs are on pace with other businesses. With "40,000 small law firms and 2,000 lawyer blogs, our profession is right on pace." Kevin also noted that 39 of the AmLaw 200 firms have blogs: State of the AmLaw 200 Blogosphere, August 2007.

Over at my Real Estate Space blog, I compiled a list of 39 blogs that originate from Massachusetts based lawyers: Massachusetts Blawgs.

I have found that law firms (including my firm) are unsure how to deal with blogs. There is a lot of concern about how blogs amplify bad content and make it easy to find that bad content. They are rightfully concerned about preventing the release of confidential client information, inadvertently creating attorney-client relationship, stating positions that are adverse to clients and attorney advertising restrictions.

I think the mistake is thinking that blogs only amplify bad content. They amplify all content. Good content rises to the top as well. I ran an example of a Google search for "bad boy guaranty" (that's a commercial real estate finance term). My blog posts on bad boy guarantees at Real Estate Space appeared on the top of the search results. Similarly, a Google search for "Interwoven Express Search" pulls up my posts on Interwoven's new search tool in the top position. (Ahead of Interwoven's website.)

Those results do not come from implementing expensive websites and SEO campaigns. (My blogs run on free blog hosting services, with no support from my marketing department or IT department.) The results come from writing content. If you are not writing content, people are not finding you. Some people may not like what you have to say and some people love what you have to say. You can't please everyone. But you will not please anyone if you remain silent. Blogs are about having that conversation. Lawyers should join the conversation.

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