It’s been a week since our last LexBlog Q & A. So when we finally had a free minute today to add another interview to the ongoing series, we pulled out the big guns.
Our guest? Robert Scoble, well-known technology guru and co-author (with Shel Israel, who we interviewed back in January) of the book Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the way Businesses Talk with Customers. Robert, who writes the blog Scobleizer, currently works his "real job" with the tech magazine Fast Company, serving as managing director for their companion site Fast Company.TV.
Though a busy man, Robert recently took the time to answer an e-mail interview on blogs, lawyers and how he sees the two interacting. Check it out after the jump.
1. Rob La Gatta: In today’s market, do you think there is any potential for vertical communities built around lawyer blogs and the content they’re producing? Why or why not?
Robert Scoble: Absolutely, and not just for lawyers either. Why? Well, let’s say I am looking for a lawyer. How would I find one?
- Play "Yellow Pages roulette" and pick one of the ads in the Yellow Pages.
- Ask my friends.
- Go to Google and search for one.
Most of your smartest, richest, most educated people will use Google. So, how do you get found in Google? Well, if you understand how Google works, it rewards companies and people who:
- Pour a lot of content into the site.
- Get a lot of links from other places, especially ones with influential inbound links themselves.
What’s the best way to get both of these done? A blog, of course. So, if you’re a lawyer and you want to be found on Google, it makes total sense to regularly update a blog and teach people about your field.
2. Rob La Gatta: If a company was interested in using video as a marketing tool, how would you suggest they go about doing so in a way that had some value? Any major do’s or don’ts?
One show I’d watch for some insight into how to use video to build an offline business is Wine Library TV. That’s done by Gary Vaynerchuk, who owns a wine store in New Jersey that sells $50 million of wine every year. He is already seeing a big impact on his business from his video blog, which now is getting 60,000 viewers per episode. He told me a story of how people now drive thousands of miles to see his store and take pictures with him.
3. Rob La Gatta: Why do you think many companies outside of the tech world haven’t started blogs to engage in conversation with the general public?
Many businesspeople don’t hang out online everyday and don’t see the waves of people who are now using Google instead of traditional media to find businesses.
3a. Rob La Gatta: Do you expect that this will ultimately be a necessity for companies looking to succeed?
Robert Scoble: Absolutely. It already is incredibly stupid if you are in business and you haven’t spent a lot of time figuring out how to get found in search engines.
4. Rob La Gatta: What about for the law: does the premise of Naked Conversations also apply to lawyers? Why or why not?
Absolutely. It applies to all businesses…at least businesses that need to grow by having new customers find them.
If you don’t care about finding new customers, or if you think that ads in newspapers, on TV, or in the Yellow Pages are going to serve you well, then maybe. I think that’s an incredibly stupid way to look at business, though. Most of the smartest, richest, most educated people are online and will only look for you online. They’ll go to your competition if you don’t have a way to be found (which, to me, is a blog).
5. Rob La Gatta: What do you see as the single most personally rewarding aspect of blogging?
Building relationships with great people in the world. Without blogs I’d never have met Kevin or Rob, for instance, who put together this blog.
Interested in hearing more? Recent LexBlog Q & A posts:
- John Bolch, UK-based family lawyer and author of the blog Family Lore [4.1.08]
- Stuart Buck, attorney with Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC and author of the blog The Buck Stops Here [3.27.08]
- Monica Bay, editor-in-chief of Law Technology News and author of the blog The Common Scold [3.26.08]
- Mary Flood, reporter for the Houston Chronicle and author of the blog Legal Trade [3.24.08]
- Hugh Hewitt, executive editor of TownHall.com and author of the blog at HughHewitt.com [3.18.08]
Or, see our full list of legal blog interviews.