By Kevin O'Keefe

Essence of blogging

Technologist, entrepreneur, and early blogger, Dave Winer, today named educator and computer scientist, Philip Greenspun, his Blogger of the Year — 2012.

It wasn’t Greenspun’s being selected that drew my attention, it was Winer’s between the lines comments on the essence of blogging — at least from his standpoint.

In commenting on Greenspun today:

He was a blogger before there were blogs, writing his own web CMS so he could tell the stories of his photography, flying, his beautiful dog, teaching at MIT, and his startup. It was when he wrote about the startup that he caught my attention. I remember reading the story of the people, his mistakes with investors, what he learned. Oh man, this guy is a blogger, for sure!

As to why Greenspun received the blogger of the year over Nate Silver of the New York Times:

Amateur means it’s done for love, not money. Good blogging is amateur. But then so is everything good, pretty much. I don’t really care how much money you made writing that book or movie script. I care about what it evoked for me, what you said, what it proved.

And finally, Winer’s 2004 comments on Greenspun’s early blogging:

Anyway, I think we’re really onto something here. The people are doing their own press, and doing it damned well. Thanks to Philip Greenspun for showing us how it’s done, and thanks for the courage to state your case so clearly. Amateur journalism at its best.

Telling your story in a transparent way. Doing it for the love of it, not for the money. Evoking ‘something’ from your readers. Amateur journalism.

Certainly characteristics of a great blogger.

Blasphemy for a lawyer to blog for the love of it, not the money? Maybe not. Blog on what you love and your reputation, network, relationships will grow. From this you’ll both become a better lawyer and grow your business.

Blog on what you love and you won’t be complaining that blogging is too hard, that you can’t think of what to blog, and that blogging takes too much time.

Winer concludes his post today:

This is what I meant by the unedited voice of a person. That’s what a blog is. That’s all you have to do to be a blogger. But to be a great blogger, you must have something to say. That’s Greenspun, for sure.

Give it some thought. You can become a great blogger.

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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