By Kevin O'Keefe

Users become the vendors : Dave Winer tells us how to make money

It’s easier for users to be vendors than for vendors to be users Dave Winer is telling us this morning. Makes all the sense on the world.

Look at the vendors of publishing and business services products for the legal and professional service industry. We as users blogging on the net have a much better understanding of publishing and marketing on the Internet than the vendors. We’re not encumbered by not being able to see the obvious as is the case with the business people at LexisNexis, FindLaw, Martindale-Hubbell, BNA or ALM.

Dave gave us concrete examples. Dell was created out of a dorm room when Michael Dell as a user saw a better way to build and deliver PC’s. Bill Gates as a user saw the need for a new operating system.

We live in the age of creativity, says Winer. 10 years ago how would one learn about the weather in Seattle for the next 5 days when flying in for Gnomedex. How would you know the movies playing and times? How did we get live sports scores? We didn’t.

Today, expectations are increased and we are not dissapointed. Dave asked how could this happen when newspapers are shrinking? Incredible paradox.

We need to think of the possibilities and not be constrained by this is too hard or you are not supposed to be doing this or that. Dave got tremendous oushback when he started writing on the net. People said you’re not a writer, not a journalist. But how do you get better at writing without writing?

Engadget is a community discussing how to build better products. They know more as users how to build better products than the manufacturers. At some point they’ll go to the manufacturers and say this is the better product but we’re not going to wait 5 years till you build it. Dave believes manufacturers are going to become fulfillment houses for the users spec’ed requirements.

Best of all, Dave says what every lawyer and professional service blogger must realize. You do not sell advertising on your website to make money. Websites are ads for themselves. Presumably, those ads are then a promotion of the products or services we are creating.

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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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