Software developer, entrepreneur, and net thought leader, Dave Winer (@davewiner), tweeted yesterday evening, Winer may have been referring to large companies and their skirmishes dominating the net today. But what he said reminded me of lawyers contributing nothing to the net while expecting the net to be a source of new legal work.
Throw money (thousands a month in some cases) at a large website development company, you get a website, some un-earned links pointing to the website to increase search performance, a blog with content not only not written by you, but with content that’s not befitting the lawyer you are today or strive to become, and someone to lead your social networking so you need not get out and engage people on the net.
Then wonder why it doesn’t work out in the long term.
Sound far fetched? I am not sure it is.
Look at some of what Winer says today in his post, The Internet as a Ecosystem.
The proliferation of corporate networks is like the spreading of corporate everything from coffee to big box stores to airports. Sameness, lack of diversity, individuality withers. What makes life interesting fades away, conformity reigns.
There is another way per Winer,
…[T}here still is art, even if most people don’t live artisitc lives. And you can still use the open Internet even if most people don’t.
If you choose something other than what everyone else is using, you’re helping the net. You can still use the stuff everyone is using. But find a way to express yourself that’s unique and that you know has value. And when you do that you’re helping our intellectual and informational planet. (emphasis added)
Communication requires thought and contribution. That’s good for lawyers. Thought, expression, and contribution is what being a good lawyer is all about.
Don’t fall prey to using the same box store legal Internet marketing that every other lawyer is using. Don’t take the easy way out by saying, “I don’t understand the Web and I don’t have the time to learn or act on my own.” You deserve better and so the does the world from you and the legal profession as a whole.
As Winer says, “Think, and act, and do something full of thought, for the Internet. Roll up your sleeves and do some good work.”