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Here is Wednesdays Top 10 in Law Blogs:

I’m a big fan of very focused niche blogs, with Sullivan & Worcesters publication on financing in the world of energy being a great example. Today, there, Van Hilderbrand examines growth in the green economy. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 188.

For more of the best, check out LXBN, a complete review of the top insight and commentary across the LexBlog Network.

You may have noticed from the selections, but I always enjoy the work Kenneth Grady is doing—be sure to check out his post today, it’s a good one. Also, on LXBN, Zosha writes on how cops posing as citizens on Facebook is now standard practice. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 204.

For more of the best, check out LXBN, a complete review of the top insight and commentary across the LexBlog Network.

Having been out last week, we’ve got some catching up to do in introducing you to some new publications on our network. Since our last post updating you on growth in the network, we have ten new blogs joining our ranks. Have a look.

  • Having worked with a number of the talented professionals at this firm in previous roles, we’re excited to Bradley Arant Boult Cummings join the LexBlog Network in the form of Labor & Employment Insights. This should be a fine addition to the constantly expanding employment law blogosphere as they’re already off to a great start with insightful and approachable commentary.
  • The Policyholder Report is one of two publications from Portland, DC and Orlando law firm Ball Janik to join the LexBlog Network—their first with us—as they really dive right in. The authors here represent insureds in insurance recovery, claims and disputes with their insurers, and bring that expertise to bear in offering up commentary on the ins and outs of the insurance world. 
  • Construction Law Watch is the second of two Ball Janik blogs to join us on the LexBlog Network. They put an extensive team of authors to use as they write on topics that include construction contracts, construction defects, green building, insurance and a lot more.
  • The third of the many new blogs joining us from firms just getting started on the LexBlog Network is on an interesting subject, it’s The Law for Lawyers Today from Thompson Hine. Again, it really is an interesting subject, and I’ll let them take it away in describing it: “The Law for Lawyers Today is a resource for law firms, law departments and lawyers needing information to meet the challenge of practicing ethically and responsibly.”
  • It’s good to see a lawyer at a large law firm take the reins of a publication and really run with it, and that’s what we see with Bridging the Week from Katten attorney Gary DeWaal. The blog “discusses the top financial and regulatory news of the prior week in a concise, interesting and meaningful way,” combining insightful written posts with videos from Gary.
  • This batch has another blog in the construction arena in the form of the RFI Blog from Texas law firm Sanderford & Carroll, as this site aims to keep Texas construction professionals and government contractors abreast of the latest developments. Temple attorney Calvin Cowan serves as the blog’s primary author.
  • Now if you’re looking for more insight for government contractors, we have that in the form of The Procurement Playbook from Oles Morrison, as this is their first on The LexBlog Network.  The team at Oles Morrison prides themselves on being one of the premier government contract practice groups in the country, and they bring that to bear in writing on bid protests, LEED certification, relevant legislation and the False Claims Act.
  •  With the large and prestigious law firms on the LexBlog Network, some of the publications are bound to have quite the scope, looking not just at things in the States, but globally—and that’s just what we have in the IP Law Watch from K&L Gates, and the team out of Australia running it. They aim to cover prominent developments with patents, trademarks and more, all while offering an international perspective.
  • Walking you through something of a complex subject, we have the EB-5 Financing Matters blog from Mintz Levin, which covers the American government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. For those who don’t know, this program created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Already off to a strong start, this blog explains all of the program’s nuances.
  • Like I mentioned up above, the large law firms we work with like to offer up a global perspective, and that continues with Doing Business in Africa from Greenberg Traurig. We’ve been seeing more blogs focused on Africa as of late, and this continues as the lawyers at GT hone in speciifcally on Africa’s impact on foreign investment.

 

Leave it to DuetsBlog to find and explore the most bizarre examples of branding and the most interesting trademarks. Today, Steve Baird examines the trademark behind Budweiser’s absurd bowtie can. Yeah. In case you didn’t know, they have a can shaped like a bowtie. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 189.

For more of the best, check out LXBN, a complete review of the top insight and commentary across the LexBlog Network.

20130525-163348.jpg Jeff John Roberts (@jeffjohnroberts), legal and media reporter for GigaOm and paidContent, reports that “Twitter is teaming up with everyone from Bloomberg Television to Major League Baseball as the social media site expands its range of “multi-screen partnerships.”

Why? To provide advertisers who advertise on TV an integrated cross-platform tool for reaching the social conversation wherever it happens.

You can’t turn on a sporting event or entertainment show on TV without seeing a Twitter hashtag. Every TV reporter’s Twitter handle accompanies their name on the screen.

Millions and millions of Americans are enjoying an integrated experience with television via the iPad’s on their armrests and the smartphones in their palms. In some cases they’re creating the media with their questions and comments which are then integrated into the live broadcast.

What’s this have to do with the law? We’re operating split screens in legal publishing.

One one hand we have traditional publishers (Thomson-Reuters-West, LexisNexis, Wolters Kluwer, Bloomberg) providing legal research materials, case law, statutory and regulatory law, treatises, and journals.

One the other hand we have tens of thousands of lawyers, law professors, and law students, via social media and blogging, publishing and sharing insight and commentary on the law. Such insight is more timely, and arguably more peer reviewed than anything we’ve ever had in the law before.

The two need to tied together in a “multi-screen” partnership. And maybe it need not be multi-screen. Each time a lawyer goes to research a case or statute, vetted and credible social media commentary appears along side the primary law.

Wild idea? Hardly. The annotations which accompanied my Wisconsin Statutes provided by West Publishing were invaluable.

I received legislative history, case law interpretations, law review commentary, and references to American Law Review. It was this secondary interpretation which brought the law to life for me. It was this insight and commentary that framed my arguments to the Court.

Social media insight via blogs, Twitter, and the like is going to come to the law in a “multi-screen partnership.” It’s inevitable.

LexBlog is doing its best to play a role by providing good lawyers a professional turnkey publishing. Not just technology, design, and marketing, but coaching on a strategy and what good blogging entails. We want our lawyers to be their in the “multi-screen partnership.”

In addition, we want to play a role in curating good legal insight and commentary via LXBN. Rather than looking at blogging as solely a vehicle to grab attention and social media as a distribution channel for whatever is reduced to digital copy in a lawyers name, we want to harness valuable insight and commentary provided by passionate lawyers.

Such a “multi-screen partnership” is a win/win for lawyers and publishers. Publishers cannot continue to go on without what is arguably over half of the legal insight and commentary being published and shared.

For lawyers? Imagine being cited as an authority along side primary law. Imagine your commentary being cited. And imagine being called in as co-counsel because of your niche expertise by a lawyer doing research.

What do you think? Do you see a “multi-screen partnership” taking place in the law?

Image courtesy of Flickr by Deryck Hodge.

missed the boat on social mediaLoeb & Loeb’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jennifer Manton (@jennifer_manton), and Shawn Amos, Managing Partner at Amos Content Group (@ShawnAmos), led a post LMA Conference workshop on social media last Friday afternoon. Billed as ‘Achieving Measurable Lead Generation, Increased Brand Awareness and Business Development through Social Media,’ the workshop was very well done. The information and reports presented were valuable and the interaction between the audience and the presenters was among the best at the conference. I was struck though by the difference in how Amos and Manton view social media, in at least the way presented, and the way I view social media. For Amos and Manton, social media appeared (welcome being corrected) to be all about creating content and getting the content out on social media and social networking channels to build a brand. When I asked how much of the content was created and personally published by lawyers without going through marketing channels, I was told less than 5%. Continue Reading Where's the social in this social media?

LexisNexis Social Media Visibility“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase credited to American showman, P. T. Barnum. Barnum’s friends and acquaintances told him the quote was out of character for him. Barnum’s credo was more along the lines of “there’s a customer born every minute” — he wanted to find ways to draw new customers in all the time because competition was fierce and people could become bored easily. Either way, a sucker born every minute or people easily bored being sold things by fierce competitors, the concept aptly applies to lawyers and law firms buying Internet marketing products. The latest is LexisNexis – Martindale-Hubbell Search Engine Social Media Visibility product. Continue Reading LexisNexis Social Media Visibility : PT Barnum incarnate?

Flipboard legal publishing I’ve never bought the argument that law firms should have iPhone apps for the distribution of their content. It made no sense that consumers of legal services (whether a corporate exec or consumer) were going to download and browse multiple apps to get legal information. Now I’m starting to wonder if legal publishers (ALM and it’s many publications, including Law.com, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis, or Wolters Kluwer) should build their own apps for distribution of their content on mobile devices. The same question applies to curators of legal publishing such as my own company, LexBlog. We have a network of over 7,000 lawyers publishing to law blogs. The content is automatically aggregated and then manually curated by our editorial team to LXBN. Would these legal publishers be better served using a third party application, ala Flipboard, for distribution of their content? Would these publishers be better served by focusing on what they know best — reporting, editing, and publishing as opposed to the technology required for building apps. Flipboard is a social magazine application and company founded last year by Mike McCue, former VP Technology at Netscape and CEO of Tellme, and Evan Doll, a former Senior iPhone Software Engineer, based out of Palo Alto, originally for Apple’s iPad tablet computer and now, the iPhone. Flipboard collects the content of social networks and other websites and presents the content in a magazine-like format on the iPad and iPhone. The application is designed specifically for iPad’s and iPhone’s touch screens and allows users to “flip” through their social networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with Flipboard. Though a publisher’s ‘partnership’ with Flipboard may get a publisher’s content into ‘pre-filled’ content channels on Flipboard, partnership is not necessary to get your content, as a publisher, onto Flipboard. I was able to do a search for LXBN on Flipboard, see our network’s content displayed, and then add LXBN as a channel that displayed when I opened Flipboard. How popular is Flipboard?

  • Flipboard tablet downloads top 4.5 million.
  • Flipboard is now on 1 in 10 iPads.
  • Flipboard, which began just for iPads, added an iPhone application last week. The Flipboard iPhone app has been downloaded 1 million times already.
  • Flipboard released their first international edition for China after being blocked by China’s “great firewall.” Flipboard now has over 1 million users in China.

I have met with many lawyers who love Flipboard. Rather than Google Reader, they like the magazine-like format and the crisp, clean and pleasing interface of Flipboard. The same for executives. I was meeting with a former CEO of a Legal Technology company which sold for north of $100 million about LXBN. He mentioned that he loved using Flipboard. I told him to do a search for LXBN on Flipboard and pull it up. He was able to easily grasp the depth and breadth of the legal content and insight we were curating across various areas of the law. Legal insight he could use. Why would Flipboard become the future for legal publishing? Any number of reasons.

  • Flipboard is already going to be on the mobile devices of publishers’ subscribers and potential subscribers. It’s going to take a change in behavior, and more time, for subscribers of legal publishers to use another app produced by the publisher.
  • Flipboard is going to refine its app on various fronts. The user interface will be upgraded regularly. Technology will be regularly deployed and refined that will deliver content to readers based on their interests and the people they are connected to in social networks. Publishers will not be able to develop an app, check that one off the list, and let it sit.
  • Legal publishers have never been in the business of developing the vehicle on which their content was consumed. Publishers did not produce paper nor did publishers produce and drive the vehicles which brought their publications to readers. Getting into that business is not trivial.
  • Legal publishers in Toronto, New York, Dayton, London, and Amsterdam may not be able to hire and retain the technology minds available in Seattle, the Silicon Valley, Boston, and Austin.

I was talking to my friend Greg Storey, President of Happy Cog West, this morning and raised the Flipboard versus independent app question with him. Greg has 18 years of interactive creative and development experience. Greg sees a lot of publishers looking to develop their own app which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store. They want to say they are in the App Store and want people to find and review their app in the App Store. But what’s better? To have an independent app in the App Store or to ride the coattails of a company like Flipboard, which may be bringing us the new way in which content is delivered and consumed. Part of me feels like LXBN should have its own app. The other part wonders if we’re going to move away from apps from independent publishers and onto an app where we’ll receive content from multiple sources on multiple subjects. If the latter, publishers are going to see even greater change than they’ve seen to date. I also wonder if I can continue to provide my network members and readers the level of technology advancements that a company like Flipboard can bring when they are focused 100% of the time on technology associated with content delivery. What do you think? Independent apps from publishers? Or companies like Flipboard serving as distribution channels? You may also discuss in the comments at Google+.

Alastair Otter, a twenty year media veteran and now head of Media Hack, a media training and consulting business, shared seven reasons why editors ought to be on Twitter.

I thought many of his reasons reasons were spot on for lawyers.

I’m tired of lawyers saying they don’t have time for Twitter and that’s there not much to be gained from Twitter. Such lawyers are showing their ignorance and shirking their responsibility to lead.

The train has left the station and anyone in the information business, of which lawyers are included, can benefit big time from Twitter.

From Otter, with a little annotation from me, admittedly much of which of which involves changing the focus from editors/publishers to lawyers/law firms, here’s six reasons you as a lawyer need to be on Twitter.

  1. It’s where your target audience is. Gone are the days when the only way clients, prospective clients, or referral sources could express their views on current events was in a letter to the editor or guest article. Twitter is increasingly becoming the go-to place for discussing news issues and expressing opinions. Lawyers are often at the center of topical or community news. You can’t stay abreast of such news without Twitter.
  2. It’s about leadership. Like editors, lawyers proudly declare themselves to be “old school”. Which is fine, except that it ought not to be an excuse for not embracing change. Young lawyers coming into the profession today are already equipped with a range of digital skills: they tote their iPads, Tweet on their BlackBerrys and express opinions on blogs. This is not something that is going to change.Senior lawyers owe it to their staff to be at least conversant with the technology that lawyers are already starting to use in their day-to-day work.

    As much as lawyers may not be pleased about the digital changes squeezing business, there is no way to escape. This is no longer about what damage digital could do to traditional legal business development; it is about what digital is already doing to business development.

  3. It’s about engagement. Not everyone is a fan of your blog or website. As lawyers we ought to be engaging with all viewpoints. Twitter offers a unique opportunity to talk directly with influencers of your clients and prospective clients, such as reporters, bloggers, and association leaders.
  4. It’s about authority. Traditional media has been accustomed in the past to setting and leading the news agenda. Today, they no longer enjoy that privilege, and blogs, Twitter, and Facebook are shaping the news. Standing on the sidelines while competing law firms are shaping the news via Twitter, and other social media, is not where you want to be.
  5. It’s about marketing. As with editors, marketing is not a welcome word for senior lawyers but, for law firms battling to hold onto their territory, it’s a role they’re going to have to become used to. You don’t have to sell your soul as a marketer.In fact, Twitter offers lawyers the opportunity to establish themselves as an intelligence agent of news and information in niche areas of the law. Doing so, you’ll find prospective clients and referral sources following you on Twitter, giving you the opportunity to build relationships with them.
  6. It will open your eyes. Twitter will surprise you if you give it time. And not in a bad way.If you take time to follow a good handful of people (and not just your staff to keep an eye on them), you’ll eventually be rewarded with insights into what people (your potential clients and referral sources) are thinking about. You’ll find new ideas, insights and opinions.

    Twitter is a lot like going to a massive conference, with every imaginable subject on the agenda. Many of the topics will be of no interest to you but with a little bit of time you’re bound to find something that makes sense.

I apologize Alastair for lifting so much from your article. But your kick in the fanny of editors is exactly the message lawyers need as a well.