Good article by Rebekah Schilperoort in our West Seattle Herald today about how blogs create communities.

People have used blogs for various reasons like self-promotion and political gain. But the common characteristic remains the most basic human desire to connect with people and their experiences, said Kathy Gill, a senior lecturer at the University of Washington who specializes in the study of human-computer interaction.

‘Blogs are making it easier for people to create communities,’ said Gill. ‘They foster community and conversation by allowing readers to comment on postings, thus becoming an author in turn.’

Though the article’s focus is social and diary like blogs, lawyers representing consumers and small businesses should not lose sight of the opportunities to meet people in their communities through blogs.

While practicing law in a small town for 17 years, I saw lawyers take part in all sorts of community activities. Coop boards, church groups, non-profit boards, bank boards, youth sports boards, political campaigns. We did it all.

To some extent it was out of duty to serve, but in many cases it was to get known by others who would get to know us as a lawyer as well as a person. With good reason, we expected those we came in contact with through such activities would further influence others view of our role as a professional.

Odawni Palmer, quoted in the article said she reads blogs on a regular basis to get a glimpse into other people’s lives. “It’s interesting to know who people know, and what drives and inspires people.”

If I am a practicing lawyer I want people to know about me and what inspires me. Assuming I’m not a sob, I’m going to get some work.