The Legal Blogging Group at LinkedIn is now 4,409 members strong. Here are the highlights from the past week.
 
An E-Discovery professional asks, "How far can you go in treading into … potentially controversial areas? Anyone have any guidelines" Answers ranged from "Often I consider how I would feel if the post was about me!" to "I think that lawyers can go further than you might think as long as it is clear that the post is written from their perspective, not that of the law firm." All members involved in the thread agreed with the following:
I would never put religious, political or controversial personal opinions on the blog I run for my employer. We have a specific focus and I stick with in. Note I said personal opinions. Some of the topics are by their nature controversial – such as regulating adult uses, smoke, nuisances – but that’s a different issue than controversial personal opinons. I’m not saying you have to pick bland subject matter. Some of the best blog entries cover hard, controversial topics. For my opinions, I have a personal blog (actually 2) and even there I never voice an opinion that is a personal attack. Other people are free to do it – but I think there is too much on the internet and I avoid it. I try to always remember that people I might want to comment on snarkily after reading articles are not just news items – they’re human beings.
 
Members got talking about privacy after a trademark and IP attorney shared a post on social media sites’ privacy settings. Many of the members who commented expressed relief at a California court’s ruling that postings to a user’s Facebook wall are considered private as long as the user has his privacy settings set so that only "friends" can see these postings. In the words of one member, "It’s logical – if I can protect my phone conversations and my mail and email why not my private comments, and even my tweets?"
 
In news, Robert J. Ambrogi’s article from Law and Technology News "<!– Legal Blogs Are Dead! Long Live Legal Blogs!" highlights 15 new blogs that "show the continuing vitality of the medium." I’m pleased to see that LexBlog clients Internet and E-commerce Law Blog and Government Contracts Legal Forum made the list!
 
Meredith Williams’ Social Media Policy Drafting: What are the Ethical Risks & Pitfalls? is handy for blogging lawyers who may find themselves tasked with drafting a social media policy for their firm (as one LexBlog client found himself a few months ago) or just want to make sure they’re doing the right thing. Williams breaks a daunting topic into bite-sized chunks, such as:

Do

  • Have any personal or professional social media site as desired.
  • Use appropriate disclaimers as needed.

Do Not

  • Use the organization’s name or email address on a personal site unless using the appropriate disclaimers.
  • Use the organization’s assets to update personal sites.

Great Jakes reports that The Law Firm Pedigree Bubble is Bursting, causing new opportunities to emerge for competent lawyers who may not have attended a top-rank law school. The article’s salient point?

So, how do you win clients in this new business landscape? It’s all about demonstrating value. It’s no longer enough to simply tell people that you’re a superstar. You need to demonstrate it. And this means writing compelling “thought leadership” content in which you give away your best ideas.

Finally, a legal marketing professional recommends that members of the group (and anyone else involved in blogging and social media) check out #blogchat on Twitter every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. CST. She outlines why she found it beneficial in her post Social Media BlogChat: a 60 Minutes for Bloggers.

Want to share your thoughts? Join the conversation at LinkedIn.