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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

Getting your content out there not good enough for law firms anymore

January 19, 2012

Content distribution for law firms “Content is still king, but now it has to share its crown, “writes Jenn Webb @JennWebb this morning on why getting your content out there is not enough anymore.

Webb cites Justo Hidalgo (@justohidalgo), co-founder of 24symbols, on why aggregation, curation, and discovery are more important than just distributing content.

Companies that take content and contribute added value for readers are generally better positioned to succeed. Specifically, I believe content aggregation is useful in the following contexts: Hubs — Why did The Huffington Post gain so much success? Why is Spotify increasing its number of users constantly? And why is Netflix in trouble? There are of course many reasons, but one is particularly clear: Users want hubs where they can find most, if not all, of the content they want. Content aggregation enables just that. While creating silos of information can be valuable in specific niche markets, it does not work in mass markets unless your brand recognition is immensely high. Value addition — Social recommendation is a typical yet good example of value addition to content, as is adding information about a title’s author and surrounding context. This meta-information can be manually or automatically added. I believe in the power of machine learning and data mining technologies applied to this area, along with human expertise. Discovery — While having thousands or millions of books complicates a search, it also creates an impressive opportunity: There are more relevant datasets to match recommendations and tastes as well as to facilitate serendipitous discovery.

The flip side of value for the ‘content company’ is the value given to you as a law firm. What are you getting?

When the web hit, it was all about law firm websites. Content focused on information about the law firm and its attorneys. Next came educational based content. What could we share as a law firm that showed the skill and expertise of our attorneys. Next came distribution of your content to increase the visibility of your law firm and its attorneys as well as search engine optimization so your content can be retrieved.

Distribution and visibility are not enough anymore. SEO alone is not enough anymore. There is too much dam content out there already. The last thing I want is for people and companies, who measure success by the number of people they’ve distributed content to, to push more content at me in order to gain visibility.

When I go to Google, I am often deluged with content of marginal value – especially when it comes to law firm content.

I want someone who is developing a network that curates and edits for the best and most relevant content for me. I want someone who is developing tools and mediums that enable me to discover relevant sources and people. I want someone who is developing a networked community that enables me to engage others through the content they share.

Do this and I am truly learning. Do this and I can build relationships and enhance my word of mouth reputation by networking.

That’s value to me. That’s the value you ought to be looking for as a law firm.

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