I flipped through the Supreme Court sections I created on Flipboard and Zite yesterday. To my surprise I didn’t see any posts or articles emanating from blogs published by practicing lawyers. Even SCOTUSblog, co-founded by Tom Goldstein and Amy Howe, was absent. All of the stories were from the mainstream media or general sites drawing a much higher profile than law blogs.
It’s possible that because I am not engaging lawyers publishing on Supreme Court matters, I don’t get as rich a curated view as those engaging and networking on such matters would. But my hunch is that other lawyers got the same view by setting up a category (Zite) or search (Flipboard) for “Supreme Court.”
Rather than being critical of law blogs on the Supreme Court being absence from Zite and Flipboard, I look at this as an opportunity. Get law blogs into such curated environments, and practicing lawyers are sitting in parallel with the mainstream media. Of course, for the more sophisticated consumer of legal insight and commentary law blogs may already be viewed has offering more valuable insight than that coming from traditional media.
Independent law blogs may, of course, be viewed on their own and via other platforms than Flipboard and Zite such as RSS readers. But as social media advances, law blog content custom curated into mobile atmospheres where we’re already reading everything else (sports, business, technology, dining, travel etc) will be more and more important.
Getting this law blog content in Zite, Flipboard, and Facebook’s upcoming reader is going to take a few things.
- Begin with good law blog content. Lawyers need to be willing to take the time to blog — and blog well. Milk toast posts summarizing a decision adds nothing to the national discussion. Why should I care about the decision? How does it impact me? How do your views differ with what other commentators are saying in blogs, in print, and on TV. That’s blogging.
- You’ll need to be viewed as influential. Not as measured by courthouse discussion, but by social networks. Is your blog regularly cited? Is what you write and what you share (especially other’s content) shared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Do you get ‘out’ and engage other thought leaders via blogging and other social media? You can’t title your posts in your law firm’s name, you’ll need an author. In other words, socialize in a real and authentic way.
- We need to start pushing on the Zite’s and Flipboard’s of the world. Are they going to carry the water for mostly the mainstream media when it comes to matters like Supreme Court decisions? I don’t think that’s their intent. Flipboard and Zite, especially, include law blog content for other categories and subjects.
No doubt lawyers are blogging about Supreme Court decisions and their impact. On a quick look at LexBlog’s Network, LXBN, I counted 17 Supreme Court related posts from just today. And LXBN does not include non-LexBlog Network law blog posts.
Now we just need to get this content into powerful curated environments.