Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Final Words on Blogs, "Blads" and Other Forms of Legal Marketing

Certain legal bloggers led by a couple of people I hold in moderately high regard, are ticked off about what they see as a proliferation of Blogs that are not conversations but are in their not so humble opinions "advertisements". These "BLADS" are annoying to them because:

1. they aren't about substantive issues they are more along the lines of "Hey, hire me I'll set you free."

2. They do not add to the quantum of knowledge or foster discussion about the law and,

3. They ( these "Bladders") make it look like lawyers who blog are hucksters.

I concur with both points 1 & 2 and I understand that those types of blogs are not really helpful. I will also not allow spammers to leave messages and I will not allow "nonsense" on this site.

I vehemently disagree however with the third reason that is put forth against "Blads." I do not see how these Blads effect how anybody else looks at me or my blog, any more than allowing Homosexuals to get married makes my marriage look cheap.

I do not consider my blog a "blatant marketing blog" and I too don't like the "Call me and get out for free" bloggers. On the other hand, I have no problem with someone who occasionally says on his blog, "Hey I do this type of work and I would like your case if you have one." I have said that in the past on here but not recently. In fact I think it is a duty of the bar to let people know there are honest good and hard working lawyers willing to take cases on.

Now I also don't have a problem with the guy who writes for the love of teaching. In fact that is what led me to blogging. I just think that guys who do that, who aren't teachers and who then take cases from the blog, need to realize that the blog is a marketing tool. A well written blog tells people a lot about the author, a lot more than the client learns about a lawyer from solely reading a website or a yellow page ad.

Look, I like Jazz. I like that Coca Cola sponsors Jazz at Lincoln Center. I like that they don't come on before every song and say "Have a Coke while you listen to Wynton blow that horn and smile." I am also aware that if I buy a drink at JALC, I am going to get a Coke product. Now I may buy a Coke product if I am outside of JALC, just because they give money to a cause I care about. Their subtle marketing in that situation works. That type of marketing is not the same as the Coke Commercial during American Idol. One is sublime, the other is in your face.

Now, I don't know of any real blogs, indexed and respected blogs, blogs that have been cited by other lawyer's blogs, that are no more than advertisements for their authors services. I get newsletters all the time from colleagues that talk about their wins and analyze the legal news and mention themselves in the article. I don't consider that sublime, but I don't think it is advertising either, it is in a in between state.

Finally take a look at one of my favorite blogs, DUI Blog by Larry Taylor. DUI Blog is one of the most informative blogs about a single subject that I have ever read. To that end, in the upper right hand corner of Larry's blog is a picture of him as a talking head on Court TV. If you click it, it brings you to a page that says Larry Taylor is the "Dean of the DWI Bar". Isn't that marketing and maybe advertising?

And what of the blog of that great anti-marketer from the Big Apple Mr. Scott Greenfield himself? I notice he still has not explained why I am a marketer but he is a writer, when his blog links directly to his webpage and he even tells readers that reading the blog doesn't equal him giving legal advice, but if you pay him then you may have the advice. Come on, is that not a fairly blatant attempt to say "Look, if you like what I write, this is how you hire me?"

And what of Mr.Bennett's banning any blog(ger) that has a so called "Call to action" on it (The outright "If you want to hire me, click here and it will take you to my website)? I am not offended by this type of blog and I will link to a commentor who has such a blog, as long as his blog posts have some value in explaining the law to lay readers or lawyers. If you have something to say, then I am willing to let you let others know you have something to say by allowing NAY encouraging you to comment here.

Frankly I am tired of this fight. It isn't my fight. I don't care what others are doing on their blogs. I am doing what I want on mine. My blog is a conversation. Anybody who wants to add to that conversation is welcome to do so here. I am aware that what I write is being read by my adversaries, my enemies, as well as my friends family and clients. It is also being read by writers and newspeople. I guess it is being read by potential (and I hope future) clients.

They can follow me on Twitter but they cannot log onto my website from my blog.Does that make this less of a marketing tool than Greenfield's or Taylors blogs? No. It is just a different degree.

Nevertheless, I am going to brag about my victories and whine about my losses. I am going to grab my soapbox and hope it holds me up as I say whatever the "You KNOW WHAT", I want to say. I will let others do that too as long as it is not a flame post, or a spam post, or some type of rubbish that only spammers know why they put it there.

If that means that Greenfield, Gideon, and Bennett don't want to blogroll me, then fine. If they do, that is fine too. Oh and if you leave a comment on my blog, I won't edit away and I won't attack you. That goes for BLADDERS as well as for all the rest of the "non-admitting marketing attorneys who write blogs but delude themsleves into think they are writing for a law review."

The only non-marketing lawyer-blogger I know of, is the person who writes Blonde Justice. She is anonymous. after all the garbage about this topic, I now know why...

You can follow me on Twitter, by going to Twitter.com/thatlawyerdude. Try it, you may find you like it. Oh yeah, please go to the ABA Top 100 Blogs and vote for Blonde's blog, she wants to win, and I like it when Blonde is happy.
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