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RSS and Blogs > Lawyers should heed buzz

In another report coming from DEMO 2004, a leading tech show & conference, tech industry leaders are raving about the business application of a blog and the syndication of content via RSS that flows from a blog. Lawyers are skeptics by nature and could say, based on the dotcom bust, that blogs are just another fad. But the fact is that in 1996 when the technology community was a buzz about the use of Web sites for marketing many a good lawyer did not know what the heck a Web site was and certainly saw no need to have one. Six years later 96% of law firms had Web sites. Read on to see what is reporting about blogs being the buzz today and the discussion that took place.

“I’m not surprised that syndication technologies like Atom and RSS are finally taking center stage at conferences. There’s an increasing amount of information out there, and without the right tools in hand, it’s near impossible to manage. News aggregators are finally maturing to the point where it’s okay to recommend them to people who just learned about Google last week,” said Chris Pirillo, who runs Lockernome’s RSS Resource, a site devoted to RSS information.

“There is a lot of interest here in blogging and content syndication at the conference; I think this is another indicator of the growth and widespread acceptance of this technology,” added Greg Reinacker, CEO of NewsGator, which makes the popular NewsGator blogging tool.

Reinacker participated on the Rise of Blog Nation blogging panel along with Buzz Bruggeman of ActiveWords, Microsoft’s technology evangelist Robert Scoble, Mena Trott of Six Apart, and John Patrick of Attitude LLC, who also acted as panel moderator.

Trott’s company, Six Apart, which makes the subscription-based TypePad blogging tool based on the company’s popular Movable Type blog engine, has just launched new integrated mobile blogging tools for the emerging “moblogging” trend. The tools enables users to easily post new content including pictures, audio and text to their Weblogs from their PDAs and cell phones.

“Just as wireless mobile devices let users check their email from any location, our moblogging software lets people post Weblog entries, audio and photos to their existing Weblogs from their mobile device, no matter where they are,” said Mena Trott, Six Apart’s CEO and co-founder.

Panel moderator, John Patrick said he thinks Moblogging is an important development, but not necessarily as important as regular blogging. “Thoughtful writing is more likely to take time at the desktop. For longer blog postings I want to use dual monitors, access Web pages to copy/paste links, spell check, etc. It’s not easy to do all that from a cell phone,” Patrick said. But Trott pointed out that “with TypePad’s moblogging features, the complexity is removed and people can add content to their Weblog as easily as if they were sitting at their desktop.”

I tend to agree that blogging is best done from the desktop but concede a lawyer’s observations are often from the road and away from their laptops. Moblogging could also work well for lawyers in private blogs where they are collaborating with clients and/or lawyers in their firm.

I attended those conferences, in California of course, in 1996 when the rage was about Marketing on the Internet via Web sites. While traditional Web sites may still have their purpose, blogs have tremendous advantages. Using the term blawg, coined by Attorney Denise Howell, we may have a blawgnation’ in just a couple years.

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