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Newsweek reports on the A-list of bloggers

December 12, 2004

Newsweek discusses the A-list of bloggers in its upcoming issue. Surprise, I didn’t make it.

Again we have another major publication writing with amazement that these ‘blogging folks’ can attract a huge readership without anyone hiring them, appointing them or providing them any sort of support.

The point to take away is that people committed to producing content on a niche topic can, as Newsweek says, become a ‘virtual brand.’ If I’m a lawyer – I’ll take being a brand name, virtual or otherwise. Heck, with the Internet being the ‘go to’ place for information, I’d rather be a virtual brand on the net than a brand in the offline world.

Newsweek’s A-list

  • Dave Winer (Scripting News), an early proponent who just completed a yearlong stint organizing a blog community at Harvard?whose reputation preceded them into the blogosphere.
  • Linux Journal editor Doc Searls, a long-respected tech observer whose well-read blog has made him a virtual brand. Dan Gillmor, whose “We the Media” book is the blogging manifesto.
  • Robert Scoble (Scobleizer), an unknown when his blog items were first picked up by the early bloggers who said “Within two weeks I was invited to Steve Wozniak’s Super Bowl party.” (Wozniak co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs)

How to break into an A-list? (even if just for your legal niche and locale)

Lawyers need not break break onto the A-list of the whole blogosphere. Doing so for your legal niche and/or your locale will garner some good marketing results. Here’s what Newsweek found was needed.

  • You have to post frequently to stay on folk’s radar.
  • You have to link prodigiously to other blogs, increasing your profile and increasing the chances for inbound links.
  • You must hold strong opinions about what you’re writing about?passion is required in a good blog.

Lawyers need not take the time of the Scobleizer. Scoble told Newsweek he spends two hours daily writing his Weblog and three more hours reading hundreds of other blogs in search of fresh ideas and nifty software innovations. “I want to be the first guy to spot the smart new guy or a cool new Windows app,” he says. Note, I believe he is getting paid by Microsoft to do this these days.

What are the rewards of the A-List?

As usual, Newsweek takes a slam at bloggers because they do not make money directly. They quote Searls: “If you’re into blogs to make money, you’re into it for the wrong reasons. Do you ask your back porch what its business plan is?”

But Newsweek hits the nail on the head in reporting some bloggers report better jobs, more lucrative consulting and speaking gigs. If I am lawyer I want better clients, better paying cases and more speaking – that sounds like the holy grail.

Best of all, that holy grail can be achieved in a short time. “People come out of nowhere and get discovered,” Scoble told Newsweek. “Suddenly they have 4,000 readers a day.”

Heck, I don’t feel so bad. I came out of no where to get nearly 600 a readers a day by last week. That’s okay – there’s not nearly as many of you law marketing groupies as political and tech groupies reading blogs.

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