By Kevin O'Keefe

Wall Sreeet Journal RSS feeds signal quick adoption of blogs & RSS for large law firms

The Wall Street Journal joined the growing number of publishers distributing their stories via RSS so as Bill Gates says “You get the information you want, when you want it.” The significance of this development for law firms is that your clients are going to start to find out what RSS is and how to use it as a time saver.

The public’s acceptance rate of RSS and blog technology is becoming faster than that of the Web’s acceptance rate. Law firms relying on email and Web sites, alone, as means to update clients as opposed to seizing the power of RSS do so at their own peril. The firm’s target audience whether it be referring lawyers, current clients, the media or the public at large will just get their legal updates elsewhere.

Readers of The Wall Street Journal can now subscribe for separate RSS feeds in the following categories:

  • What’s News – U.S.
  • What’s News – Europe
  • What’s News – Asia
  • What’s News – Technology
  • US Business
  • Market News
  • Opinion – Review & Outlook
  • Personal Technology/Walt Mossberg

Headline feeds are available to all users, but full stories are available only to subscribers of the Online Journal.

Feeds and the entire text will be available to the public from the free sections of the Journal:

  • CareerJournal
  • RealEstateJournal
  • StartupJournal
  • CollegeJournal
  • OpinionJournal

Law firms were not the first to have Web sites. News media, like The Wall Street Journal, and other companies selling products led the way. But law firms jumped on quickly. From 1996 and 1997 when the media jumped onto the net, it only took law firms a couple or three years to be all over the Internet with their own Web sites.

Law firm adoption of blogs, and the RSS technology they offer to feed legal updates, alerts and analysis to a law firm’s target audience, is going to happen much faster than the 2 to 3 years it took for law firm Web sites. Five reasons:

  1. People, law firm clients included, adapt to new technology much faster today than 8 years ago.
  2. Law firms already have the content in hand to be published on blogs and distributed via RSS – it’s in email newsletters, client alerts and/or on their Web sites, unlike the case when Web sites demanded law firms produce new content.
  3. Blogs, unlike their predecessor database driven Web sites, are very inexpensive – $200/month for a professional design, hosting, marketing and support with no upfront cost.
  4. Blogs can be published without any html coding experience and with less than an hour’s training.
  5. Blogs will get the law firms content indexed and optimized for the search engines – law firm Web sites have failed miserably on that front.

Bottom line for law marketing professionals, get ready to understand blogs and RSS. The majority of law firms will be using RSS via blogs within the next year. The good thing is, it is very easy.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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