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Blogs replacing websites : Trend forecast

October 16, 2005

B.L. Ochman, corporate blog strategist and sought-after corporate speaker, reports that Union Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, founded in 1988, has turned its Web site into a blog. B.L. is also going to take her Web site down and incorporating the important parts (portfolio, articles, services) into her blog.

In an explanation that describes the advantages of blogs in a nutshell, they said they thought about updating the thesis that was the heart of the site, but realized that since it is always evolving, the best thing to do is to ‘publish the conversation.’ And the best way to do that, they say, is with a blog.

A blog is just a simple type of website software, with a built-in searchable database. Nothing mysterious or complicated about it. In the hands of a good designer, a company’s visual identity and branding can be integrated into the blog design. The advantage is easy updating, easy RSS integration, the ability to add video and audio.

Part of LexBlog’s core service is to do exactly that, take a company’s visual identity and branding and incorporate it into the blog design. We’re blessed to to have some oh so talented design and development people. The ‘two Brians’ and Greg keep wowing me and our customers with their innovative design work.

A word of caution on B.L’s comment that “Very few companies can benefit from a static website any longer.” For solo and very small law firms and professional service providers, this may be true. A well designed blog not only provides content that keeps your target audience returning for more, but also provides information about the firm and its services.

But for a firm with multiple practice areas and a larger number of lawyers and professionals, a Web site is still needed. A blog is an educational magazine on a niche area published by the firm. It’s hard to do a high impact blog covering more than one topic, something needed if professionals in your firm practice in more than one practice area.

In the case of a larger firm, the need for a Website is pretty obvious. You still need that electronic brochure for your current and prospective clients. Plus a good blog tends to be more personal in nature. It’s hard to be personal when you list 50 lawyers or other professionals in the blog. When you loose that personal feel, you’re apt not to get as many calls from new clients. The blog will also look more like a promotional piece and loose its integrity as a reliable and trusted source for good information.