By now, even lawyers who wish the internet never descended on them world, have heard of “blogs”. For those who still somehow manage to live outside the rarified atmosphere of the internet world, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual.
Blogs are great because they can be easily created, maintained and updated. Any lawyer who knows how to use Microsoft Word can blog. No tech skills required.
Although blogs started as “personal ramblings” of individuals, companies have also dived headlong into the blogosphere. Companies such as Sun Microsystems and Microsoft,have a community of employee bloggers who discuss topics related to their company’s products and services. Blogs written by executives are associated with “areas of thought leadership”, and generally penned by respected industry figures.
A business blog can be a most effective way of communicating with customers and marketing to new customer prospects. It also puts a human face to the company and can go a long way to conveying the values of the corporation.
In the legal arena, there is the legal blog, aka Blawg, which is a blog on the law or legal related issues and concerns. Blawgs are often maintained by an individual who studies, practices or otherwise works in the legal field. Blawgs outperform lawfirm websites
As always, America leads the way in blawgs. But in Singapore, we have a very commendable one (just one, still better than nothing) from the folks at Ong Tay & Partners. Their Singapore Law Blawg provides quick updates on Singapore lawgenerally. As at now, the opportunity in Singapore for legal blawgs on specialized areas of law is completely untapped.
In the context of a law firm, blawging is a marketing tool that helps you to establish your expertise and personality, and enables you to stand out from the crowd. It is fun and your insights may prove invaluable to your clients. The cost is time but if you enjoy writing, you should definitely consider start a blawg with an RSS facility (we will explain that in just a bit).
There are many ways to start a blog and the choices can be overwhelming for a beginner. Mainly, you can choose between a hosted blog or host your own blog.
There are two main types of hosted blogs, free and subscription-based. The free hosted blogs usually are advertisement supported and there is very little in terms of support and maintenance. The most well-known free hosted solution is Blogger which is run by the Internet giant Google. This is a very quick way of getting started even for beginners. An account needs to be created and after choosing the blog from a set of templates, you could publish your blog in a matter of minutes. The subscription-based blogs work similarly to the free hosted blogs but are without advertisements and provides support and maintenance. A well-known subscription-based blog is TypePad.
The second option of hosting your own blog requires intermediate to advanced knowledge to install and configure blogging software. However, most hosting providers allow users to install and configure a blog via a graphical interface known as Fantastico. WordPress and B2Evolution are the two main types of blogs that are included in the Fantastico interface. Below is a brief primer on WordPress and most blogging software primarily works in a similar manner.
Assuming that WordPress is installed correctly, you should be able to see the Dashboard as below with links to manage your posts and presentation among other options. The hyperlink “View Site >>” allows you to preview the blog.
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The “Write” tab allows you to write a blog post with options to publish it or save it either as draft or as a private post in different predefined categories.
[Insert Figure 2]
The “Presentation” tab allows you to see the active template as well as allows you choose the template style of your blog.
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Another important feature of blogs is the RSS Feed. This feed allows readers of your blog to subscribe to new updates from your blog which they can view using RSS readers.
It is an important feature that saves you valuable time and effort required to inform your readers about new content on your blog.
These are a list of my favourite blawgs on legal technology, practice management and knowledge management.
Dennis Kennedy is a well-known legal technology expert, technology lawyer and blogger. His blog covers legal technology
An excellent blog examining the economics of law firms.
Creating Strategic Advantage in the Legal Market through the Use of Technology
A friendly blog on cool tools and mobile computing for the legal professional.
One of the best blogs on knowledge management in the legal industry.
Authors – Serena Lim and Dipankar Subba
2 February 2006