A business colleague emailed Friday asking what equipment I used for the Facebook Live interviews I’ve been doing at legal and tech conferences over the last year plus.

Video, and Facebook Live in particular, is perfect for a blogger. Publishers are using video more and more. Video is no longer the sole province of television stations and video crews. Video is engaging and a perfect way to shine a light on influencers in your niche.

Facebook Live is also good because of Facebook’s giving greater weight to video, especially live video. Like Google showcases influencers in search, Facebook showcases influencers in users’ News Feeds. Doing Facebook Live increases your personal influence.

So what do you need? First, it’s what you don’t need.

Don’t buy expensive and fancy equipment. To me, it’s a waste of money. It’s a headache to haul around. You’ll need another person or two to operate the trappings. Perhaps most important, you’ll loose some of the informality that makes Facebook Live video engaging for those being covered as well as viewers.

I did a fair amount of research before buying equipment. So though I am far from an expert I’d suggest going with the below. It’s what I reccomended to my friend on Friday.

In addition to Amazon, B & H Photo Video (everything listed) and MeFOTO (tripods) are good suppliers.

Like blogging, developing your own style on Facebook Live takes a little trial and error. Fortunately, it’s not expensive and the medium is perfect for that.

Why don’t more small legal tech companies use bank loans to fund their companies? Most are chasing angel and venture capital when funding may be down the street.

I was over to LexBlog’s bank this afternoon for what feels like an annual checkup. I am happy to report, all good, the bank was impressed with the bottom line from last year. I asked that they come over and tell Mrs. RL.

We do a line of credit with our bank that was turned into a term loan a few years ago that’s renewed annually. We pay interest monthly and make regular principal payments throughout the year to reduce the balance.

I have always liked banks. Straight talking and down to earth people who are in business to make loans to business people. Today, the home loans are gone to the large aggregators of home loan lenders it seems.

Small banks matter. I sat down with the CEO, in addition to our loan officer, today. Our bank is a $100 million bank, not a $900 billion one, like Wells Fargo.

Why small bank loans for legal tech companies?

  • Keeps you focused on business (producing and selling), not raising capital.
  • Keeps you lean and mean. You’ll not spend money on things you don’t need – you won’t have the money.
  • Keeps you focused on developing cash flow. Banks need to see you can cash flow payments on a loan. They cannot lend on collateral or a guaranty alone. Until you get cash flow, or least a forecast of cash flow based on a history of revenue, ie growing subscription revenue, scrape buy. Don’t quit your job. Or as one lawyer I know did, work in large law for a number of years and save what you can. He has accumulated enough savings to survive for two to three years in his new venture.
  • You learn to build a small business. Venture capital companies may call it a “lifestyle company,” but a small company doing millions a year and feeding twenty to thirty families is something to be proud of. It’s the stuff that this country is made of.
  • You have a ready source of capital for hiring or small acquisitions.
  • It’s cheap. You’ll pay as little as three to four percent interest.
  • You build a real relationship with real people in the banking industry. You are going to want those relationships over your business lifetime.
  • Many lawyers have a history of working with small banks for working capital or the funding of cases. Borrowing from banks is in your comfort zone.

You’ll need to collateralize the loan. For most people, that’s a second mortgage on the house or condo. That can eliminate folks without real estate. You may need turn to a guarantor.

The amount you are borrowing needn’t be a large sum, it probably should not be. It could be $50,000 to $200,000. In today’s world, with open source solutions, cheap hosting, people working on contract and the like, such sums can go a long way.

I get to a fair number of legal tech conferences. Good people with decent ideas sound like they are in the HBO show, Silicon Valley, rather than in real life when it comes to funding companies. Rather than talking like you are in the funny papers of tech startups, why not just build a business with funding down the street?

Necessity is the mother of invention, and it will certainly be on display in New Orleans this week at the Legal Aid Technology Conference.

The annual conference, sponsored by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the nation’s largest gathering of professionals dedicated to using technology to address the civil legal needs of low-income Americans.

The conference, billed this year as Innovations in Tech, brings together technologists, legal aid advocates, court personnel, academics, and other professionals to showcase technology projects and tools being implemented across the country and internationally. I am glad I was able to get in as the conference, expecting record attendance, is sold out.

For me, I’m looking for inspiration from some of the most dedicated professionals in legal tech.

I last attended the conference fifteen years ago, I was starting a legal tech non-profit to help individuals and small business people. I was blown away by the energy, passion and ideas of the legal services technology professionals in attendance.

While there are other good conferences focused on consumer electronics, marketing and technology, it feels right to be headed to New Orleans – to learn, to be inspired and get focused on ways LexBlog and I can contribute to the legal services’ cause.

LSC President, Jim Sandman, who invited LexBlog’s editor-in-chief and publisher, Bob Ambrogi, to give the plenary address, knows how important technology is in the delivery of legal services.

Technology plays an important role in making legal information widely accessible. This conference stimulates collaboration, creativity, and communication. It promotes new initiatives that will help make justice more accessible for Americans who cannot afford to pay for legal assistance.

Ambrogi, in his plenary on Wednesday morning, will explore the impediments to the broader use of technology and what can be done to overcome them.

Few would dispute that technology is one of the keys to addressing the justice gap—the difference between the need for civil legal services among low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. Yet at a time when technological innovation abounds, the justice gap seems to grow only wider. The problem is not technology—it is the failure to fully employ it.

Highlights of the three day conference, ending Friday, include:

  • Incubating Innovation in the Aloha and Midnight Sun States: Updates on the Justice Portal Initiative
  • Emerging Technologies: Harnessing the Exponential Power of Digital Technology to Transform Legal Systems
  • Rapid Fire Tech: A Show and Tell of Technology Projects and Ideas

Over 125 speakers from around the country are scheduled to present on all sorts of challenges, technology, solutions and the programs they’re spearheading to bring legal services to lower income Americans.

LexBlog is blessed to be able to cover the conference by curating the social media coverage from conference attendees, Facebook Live interviews, blog posts and my tweets from the conference. We’ll see what Isabelle Minasian, LexBlog’s social media and editorial coordinator can cook up.

Look me up if you’re going to be there. I’d welcome meeting, and maybe cover what you’re working on.

The conference Twitter hashtag is #LSCITCon.

Swing on over to the LexBlog website and you’ll see that our marketing website has been replaced by the contributions from law bloggers from around the world.

Gone are highly profiled slogans, packages of services, testimonials, profiles of team members, our values and the history of the company. All of things we’ve come to expect of corporate websites.

In their place, insight and contributions from legal professionals. Blog posts representing a conversation – what legal professionals have read, oberserved or heard and their accompanying engagement.

As my COO, Garry Vander Voort says, we’re not so much about what we say we are, we are about our bloggers. Legal professionals who are blogging tell our story.

Almost twenty years ago the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto wrote that markets are conversations.

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter, …and getting smarter faster than most companies.

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.

LexBlog has always been about conversations. Rather than advertisements, email marketing, brochures and conference booths,  we’ve, or perhaps I should say I have blogged to grow our company,

There’s nothing wrong with traditional marketing, it just wasn’t LexBlog.

Truth be told, when sitting in my garage starting LexBlog, I asked myself how the heck was anyone going to hear about my company. The minute I thought about buying an ad in a publication such as the ABA Journal, I said “What I am thinking, I need to put my money where my mouth is, I need to blog to grow my business.”

I read about blogging, digital media (as we called it then), the Internet and legal marketing. I blogged what I read, offering my take. What it meant, how I disagreed and how I agreed.

I met people along the way. I came to realize that Winer, Searls, Weinberger and the other signatories to the Cluetrain, were right. Markets are conversations — or as I described it, marketing is a conversation. By engaging others in a real and authentic fashion you built a name and a business.

I came to strongly agree with Cluetrain.

Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do.

But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about “listening to customers.” They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.

We’ve had a website for almost fourteen years. But from now on we’ll be known by legal bloggers. Bloggers publishing on LexBlog’s managed WordPress platform and now, bloggers publishing on their own platforms.

We’ll focus on curating the best in legal blogging from around the world. Where there are gaps in the network, we’ll recruit bloggers.

The current LexBlog site is just a start, admittedly a rough start. Our editor-in-chief and publisher, Bob Ambrogi just joined LexBlog this last week. He is already working with the team on improvements to the site. Our tech and products team will be developing a new solution for the curation of legal blogs that we’ll use for the site later this year.

What we do know is that The New York Times wouldn’t have a front page marketing packages for advertsing and subscribing. The Times leads with stories by talented reporters. Like the Times and other news and information sites, LexBlog will lead with stories from talented legal bloggers.

We’ll of course communicate with the outside world, sometimes using the mediums used by other companies. But we’ll not forget the theses of the Cluetrain, the first ten of which are below.

  1. Markets are conversations.
  2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
  4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
  5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
  6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
  7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
  8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.
  9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
  10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

To the conversation — and legal bloggers.

Bob Ambrogi and I have been talking this week about getting people, companies and organizations to blog as way of communicating, collaborating and advancing solutions in their industry as a whole..

Bob, who just joined LexBlog as editor-in-chief and Publisher, is in Seattle all week. In meetings and in discussions over a pint, breaking the silo effect (as I’ll call it) regularly comes up – one, as a problem that should be solved and two, a problem that blogging and LexBlog can help solve.

Take legal technology companies, which Bob writes about everyday at his blog, LawSites. How many legal tech entrepreneurs and company founders blog so as to share what they are working on? Hardly any.

If they’re blogging as a company, they have a marketing focused blog on their website with posts focused on a new product, a conference they are speaking at or attending or other news that’s often more befitting of a press release. The blog posts are often written by someone with no expertise in the technology being advanced by the company.

There’s no blogging on what software or technology they are working with to develop solutions, the challenges they are facing in development and how they overcame the challenges.

There is no blogging of what and who they are following so as to share what they are learning. There is no offering their take on what they are seeing in the field, the opportunities they see with technology and where they see things headed.

Some might think no sane person would share their thinking, what their company is developing and how things are going. The fear being that someone is going to copy you – the secret is out.

But what company is going to stop what they are doing and say we need to start doing what Acme Legal Tech said they are doing in a blog post. Any company that’s that misguided is the last company you need to worry about.

Blogging in an open fashion grows a network. Bloggers, company leaders, technologists, followers, conference attendees who engage you.

When 10, 50 or 100 people do this, you start to move ideas and solutions exponentially faster. Does anyone really believe the fastest way to advance technology is to raise capital, fail inside your silo after two years or get bought out by a large company whose interests may be adverse to the advancement of technology.

Blogging leaves a record of thought and advancement for the benefit of those who follow along.

Blogging will not only break the silo in legal technology, there’s many other places in the law.

Law school deans are struggling big time. How do we attract students? What’s an innovative curriculum? Should technology be taught, and if so, what, who and by whom? How do we get our grads employed? What are law firms looking for? What will law firms and in-house counsel be looking for in grads two and three years from now? Is what we’re doing any different than other law schools?

But how many Deans collaborate by listening, sharing and engaging through the Internet? Hardly any. I am sure there are some deans blogging in an engaging (versus artcle writing) fashion? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

So much is being lost for law students, professors, law school employees and alumni by law school deans not advancing discussion, collaboration and practices. But yet law school deans are acting in silos and ignoring the Internet.

Sure, there are conferences for law school professors and deans. There’s one this week in California. There’s other dialogue one to one and otherwise.

That’s all good, but it’s much like someone saying I’ve got the horse out in the stable behind the house when there’s a car out front that does 70. There’s nothing that compares with blogging when it comes to networking, collaboration, learning and advancing ideas.

The list goes on.

Think of the underfunded legal services corporation with 800 offices across the country. Challenges galore with necessity being the mother of invention in spades. Technology being developed at the state and local level to bring access to legal services.

Yet there’s no rapid fire listening, sharing, collaborating and advancing solutions (technology or otherwise) in a common fashion. So many people who could be better served. Again, blogging by legal services’ people and technologist is largely absent.

The Internet works for learning, sharing and the advancement of ideas and solutions when leaders get of their silos. The vehicle for getting outside the silos is blogging.

Sounds crazy that lawyers beginning to use the Internet would be viewed as a legal tech trend for 2018.

But that’s what Keith Lee, a Birmingam attorney and editor of Associate’s Mind shared with Clio in their survey of “Top Law Firm Technology Trends to Watch for in 2018.”

As Lee sees it, the biggest risk for lawyers in 2018 is the demand for legal services is not growing, it’s shrinking.

Combine that with the trend I said was a threat last year (non-lawyer legal services) and that means there are more people competing for a pie that isn’t growing. Below average lawyers are going to be squeezed out.

Jordan Couch (@jordanlcouch) of Palace Law agrees.

As clients demand the same services for less money, lawyers will have to find new ways to increase volume if they are to maintain the same workload and profits.

Reiterating his prediction from last year, Lee sees the internet as the biggest opportunity for solos and small firms to prevent from being squeezed out.

Uber didn’t exist five years ago. Now it’s a multi-billion dollar company and has supplanted the word ‘taxi’ from the everyday lexicon. The internet is still the Wild West. Attorneys need to embrace it.

I don’t know that Lee is referring to individual lawyers reengineering the delivery of legal services the way Uber reengineered local travel, but Lee is pointing out the obvious — that being that the Internet is too valuable to waste.

And boy do most lawyers waste the opportunity to use the Internet. The Internet for lawyers, in their work, stops with email, legal research, cloud based business services and the limited use of social networks.

Lee and I met each other through blogging. I suspect the majority of people Lee knows, professionally and personally, he met through blogging and social media.

To Lee, myself and many legal professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders the use of the Internet comes naturally. It’s how we learn, how we engage others, how we get known and how we grow business.

Ask most lawyers about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for building a name as a leading lawyer, nurturing relationships and growing business. They haven’t a clue.

Ask yourself. Are you really using the Internet to prevent being squeezed out? If you don’t have enough good work, are you using the Internet to increase the volume of your work so as maintain the same workload and profits.

I am not referring to a refresh of a website and forking out money to get people to your website. A website that does little, if anything, to distinguish you from other lawyers.

I am referring to really using the Internet to take a step up in who you are and what you do and, as a result, to do some things for your family.

If someone told you that there was a powerful tool to grow legal business, it was relatively inexpensive and less than one percent of your competitors were using it, you’d be all over finding out more.

Well, it’s the Internet. And Lee is right, “The Internet is still the Wild West. Attorneys need to embrace it.”

Long time blogger and New York Criminal Defense Lawyer, Scott Greenfield, continues the fourth wave of law blogging discussion in his announcement that there won’t be a J-Dog Memorial Prize, awarded the last five years to the Best Criminal Law Blawg Post. The award is named after criminal attorney, Joel Rosenberg.

There have been occasional blawg posts from the elders of the crim law blawgosphere, but only a few, and only occasionally. It’s not that these aren’t good and worthwhile posts, but you already know their work, read their brilliance, and don’t need me or this contest to spread the word.

The J-Dog award need not be over.

Last month, Greenfield and I had lunch back in Oyster Bay and and agreed the time was ripe for a fourth wave of blogging. Real blogging by real lawyers, as opposed to lawyers and law firms throwing up “blogs” to grab attention and web traffic. Some even written for the lawyers by “ghost bloggers” and marketing companies.

The “blogs as advertising” approach used by so many lawyers opens the door for real lawyers to shine in their blogging.

{T]here is a huge opportunity here. There are still people whose brains desire more than an insipid twit filled with emotional angst. There are people who want to think, to engage with others who want to think, and there are few places to go to do so.

Don’t whine that no one will see you when you start blogging and that everything in the world has already been blogged about. Get over it.

Start a blawg. Let me know about it. Let others know about it. If you have the chops, word will spread. Keep it up. Engage with serious people about serious things. Recognize that there was a blawgosphere before you got here, but also know that old subjects and issues keep arising again. For people who didn’t see the ubiquitous discussions the first time, or second, or tenth time around, they’re brand new.

Law blogging is more important than most lawyers and marketers understand. With the decline of legal journalism and legal commentary moving online and away from traditional law reviews and journals, it’s blogs where much of the law gets reported and legal dialogue is advanced.

Veteran legal journalist and blogger, Bob Ambrogi, in his announcement that he’s joining LexBlog as editor-in-chief and publisher, made clear the importance of law blogs.

[T]here is one area of legal publishing in which coverage and analysis is increasing, in which key legal developments are regularly tracked, and where all of the content is free, no subscriptions required. It is a medium in which leading lawyers, academics, technologists, law librarians, consultants, vendors and other legal professionals are regularly contributing their insights and knowledge. It is, without doubt, the most vibrant area of legal publishing that exists.

I’m talking, of course, about blogging.

Sitting in my garage fourteen years ago, I ran across this blog thing. Wow, perfect for lawyers. Lawyers who are passionate about what they do, no matter whether a solo or a in a large law firm with a big marketing budget, could offer their commentary on the law.

Legal publishing had been democratized. Blogging lawyers could build a name for themselves in the same way the big name lawyers and scholars always have.

There was no way lawyers could turn blogs into advertisements beckoning a call or a chat in a pop-up chat window. Blogging took some thought, some passion and a little work. No lawyer would try and fake that. I was wrong.

Real blogging is far from dead though. There are plenty of good passionate lawyers who have something to offer. Real law blogging is too important not to encourage and grow.

From Greenfield:

The blawgosphere may not be vital, as it once was, but whether or not it’s dead is up to all of us. And if it’s dead, thought dies with it, and we’re left to the insipid twitter stars whose appeals to emotion will replace nuance, thought and serious debate. Don’t let that happen. All you have to do to prevent this catastrophe is to start thinking, start writing and stick with it.

Greenfield’s hit on something. We’re here for you if you want to start law blogging. Veteran law bloggers will not only help you blog, but get you known by sharing and referencing the thoughts you’re sharing in your blog. That’s what we do.

Veteran law bloggers welcome new bloggers in their field. It makes for a more vibrant discussion. Blogging is not a zero sum game.

Law bloggers take pride in the collective work of bloggers. As Ambrogi says, blogging is the most vibrant legal publishing taking place. Those of us out here want to grow law blogging.

Start a blawg (law blog), as Greenfield says, and engage with real lawyers about real things. Word will grow, so will your reputation and so will legal dialogue and publishing.

Christmas comes a few days early at LexBlog with the announcement that lawyer and leading legal journalist, Robert Ambrogi, is joining LexBlog as our publisher and editor-in-chief.

Bob is one of the better known legal journalists in the country. He served as editor-in-chief of the National Law Journal and was founding editor of Lawyers USA.

Bob’s blog, LawSites, may be the most widely followed and respected legal technology publication in the country. More than one entrepreneur has told me it was Bob’s coverage that made for the success of their comopany.

In addition to writing and speaking about the Internet, social media and legal technology for nearly 20 years, Bob is the author of multiple books about law and the net. He has also co-hosted the award-winning podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, at over twelve years, the longest-running legal podcast.

This Fall, Bob received the Yankee Quill Award, presented by the Academy of New England Journalists “to honor extraordinary newspaper men and women for their lifetime of achievement and distinction in New England journalism.” Among other things, they recognized Bob’s relentless commitment to the public’s right to know while serving as executive director of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association.

More important than all is the one constant I heard when sharing word of Bob’s joining LexBlog with business confidants. “Integrity. No one commands more respect than Bob.”

Bob’s a good friend. I have learned s lot from him, not only on blogging, journalism and technology, but more importantly what it means to be a blogger, journalist, lawyer and publisher. It’s not just the words you report. Integrity, professionalism, freedom of the press, hard work, passion and care come to mind.

I am excited to bring Bob to my colleagues on the LexBlog team where by leveraging innovative technology, he’ll help define a new model in legal publishing. Legal information, news and commentary from citizen journalists, blogging lawyers, for lawyers and members of the public. He’s as passionate about blogging as me, if not more.

Our blog network produces close to as any pieces a day as the New York Times. It’s time time to take that from a byproduct of a company with the most successful legal blogging solution to a force in legal publishing. No one is more capable of leading us all there than Bob.

I am excited to bring Bob to blogging lawyers, whether on the LexBlog network or not. He’ll be shining a light on you and your work as well as guiding you on the best practices in legal blogging.

Over a dozen years ago, when LexBlog was a door on two file cabinets under a hardware light in my garage, I emailed a rockstar in legal publishing and blogging. I asked if he had time to talk some day. To my delight, he did.

It was Bob. I don’t recall the details of our conversation, other than to remember that he was a good guy that I looked forward to learning from and getting to know.

Wow. Some times you get lucky.

Stay tuned to our open discussion at Donuts.LexBlog.com about how we’ll build this publishing arm of LexBlog — or for that matter, LexBlog itself.

A year ago today, marketer and author, Seth Godin shared that it’s never enough.

There are more people, better off, with more freedom, more agency and more power than at any other time in our history.

That’s not enough.

As we use technology and culture to create more health, more access and more dignity for more people, we keep reminding ourselves how inadequate it is in the face of the injustice and pain that remains.

That’s how we get better.

Better not for us, but better so as to serve others.

We must focus on the less fortunate and the oppressed not because the world isn’t getting better but because it is.

It’s our attention to those on the fringes that causes the world to get better.

I relayed to a business colleague in D.C. today that I was feeling the enjoyment of the Christmas season while sensing thr anxiety of wanting to do more in the coming year. I explained that my goals need to be more admirable as I get on in age. I have less time to make a dent.

Legal services remain more inaccessible to middle and lower income Americans than ever. At the same time there are more lawyers than ever looking for legal work.

Not necessarily lawyers for which corporate or large law is the goal. But lawyers who would like to do work for consumers and small business people, if it was possible to get the work.

My LexBlog team has done incredible work over the last couple years to scale a design and publishing platform that offers more and costs less than ever before. It seems we’re on the verge of doing something quite disruptive.

But what will it mean if we don’t use our technology, in part, to improve access to legal services while at the same time help lawyers.

Almost twenty years, Will Hornsby, staff counsel for the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, authored a piece (PDF) on “Improving the Delivery of Affordable Legal Services Through the Internet: A Blueprint for the Shift to a Digital Paradigm.” I ran across his work while doing research over the weekend.

With detailed analysis, including legal web sites and technology of the day, Hornsby showed us how the net could be harnessed to make legal services and meaningful legal information available to moderate income people.

Reading and outlining the 31 page piece (example sites and footnotes included), I became terribly inspired. One that action was necessary and two, that LexBlog’s technology could help make legal services more accessible.

Hornsby argued that the Internet had the potential to make client development more efficient (lower cost, less time comittment) for lawyers representing consumers and small business people. Maybe even client development founded on reputation, relationships and trust.

Efficient client development — as well as meaningful legal information for people — is where LexBlog can play.

As we head into next year, we’ll “keep reminding ourselves how inadequate [technology] is in the face of the injustice and pain that remains.”

Law blogging has come a long way in the last fifteen years. Not all of it for the good.

Real lawyers engaging on real subjects in an authentic fashion, for many lawyers and law firms, has gone the way of content marketing sold as a billboard for eyeballs by web development companies.

Rather than contributing to the discussion on the law and making a sincere effort to make the law more digestible for average folks, we have lawyers buying content from marketers to slap on a website with the only goal being search engine traffic.

My friend, Scott Greenfield, a New York criminal defense lawyer and long time blogger at Simple Justice, is right that blogging takes effort and desire.

Most people just don’t have the chops or interest in doing it. Some suck at it. Some aren’t nearly as fascinating as they think they are.

Furthermore, law blogging takes being authentic, having a face, being real. In the absence of being real and putting in the effort, lawyers “buy content from Bangalore or walk away,” as Greenfield puts it.

He’s right. Talking with legal journalist and long time law blogger, Bob Ambrogi, last week, he asked me what I thought the number one reason was for lawyers to stop blogging. Without a doubt, it’s because the lawyers don’t know what blogging is, or if they do, they won’t do it.

A month or two ago, I announced donuts.lexblog.com, a blog where my team and I can share open, honest and authentic thoughts on what we’re learning and thinking. God knows a LexBlog website with slick phrases, pictures, colors, testimonials and the like doesn’t do a thing to let lawyers and law firms know who we are and what we stand for.

I’d hope lawyers trying cases, guiding companies and handling the affairs of the wealthy to the downtrodden would want more. Maybe a company whose story is told, personally, on an ongoing basis about what the people working there are reading, learning, thinking and doing.

Greenfield’s correct that I haven’t given up on telling lawyers about the virtues of blogging. Engaging in niche focused discussions so as to get known and build relationships is just too darn good when it comes to being a real lawyer. Making a good living by virtue of who you are, versus the color of your website and the words we bought, is the stuff we went to law school for.

Add to this that real blogging lawyers make the law and lawyers more accessible.

Any lawyer who’s tried cases knows that jurors aren’t dumb. Give them some straight talk and good information from witnesses they can trust. You may stumble and be unpolished at times, so long as you’re honest, sincere and authentic. They’ll figure it out, despite the glitz and glamour thrown at them by the lawyers hiding the truth.

Blogging lawyers who share what they’re reading and offer their take on a regular basis give consumers, business people, other lawyers and the media a view inside niche areas of the law. A view these folks don’t get from a book or mainstream media. They sure as heck don’t get a glimpse of the law from some words sold to a lawyer.

Lawyers become accessible when people trust them. Give people this window into who they can trust as a lawyer and they’ll be more likely to reach out to a lawyer. Real blogging does this.

I don’t know, maybe I am just giving myself a “you can do it” talk before I take to the streets to to convince more lawyers to do some real blogging. But I will take the bone that Greenfield threw me.

I hope Kevin’s onto something. I suspect people will tire of cute and insipid quips and will return to the days when actual thought and illuminating commentary were available online. It’s time for a fourth wave of blogging where real lawyers write about real stuff for real. But it won’t be all donuts.

I can run hit the streets with this “fourth wave of blogging,” Scott. Stayed tuned in 2018.