Blogging democratizes publishingWonderful article this weekend in Soma Magazine (@SOMAmagazine) by Debra Winter on blogging, WordPress, and it’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt).

I came away more convinced than ever that blogging, now empowered by WordPress, is the perfect fit for lawyers wanting to achieve more.

From Winter:

The enticing format and ease of use have given this mini-army its own path to expression: free, uncomplicated, and fueled by their own imagination and initiative. The result is perhaps one of the best examples of a democracy in action. ……. WordPress has empowered the blogging generation with a force that has changed not only the way we read and report news, but also how we create and market ourselves.

No longer are lawyers beholden to legal publishers and large legal marketing companies to establish a strong and broad reputation. We no longer need to network through associations and events, alone, to establish relationships.

From Mullenweg:

[T]he quintessential American idea is equality of opportunity, the idea that there is a level playing field. It’s kind of amazing that you and I can use the same software that the New York Times does, and we are on the same internet. People can click a link and come to either of the sites just as easily. And that equality of opportunity changes the game. It’s not just the people who have the printing presses or millions of dollars to spend on software anymore; it’s anyone with an internet connection.

…… For me it’s all about the people, right? It’s about the creators, not necessarily what they’re creating, because WordPress is a very open platform. You can create anything. But we’ve always been sort of creator-focused, author-focused. You have words that you want to say, a story you want to tell, and a narrative you want to put into the world. That’s what really matters. So how can we get out of the way and be almost invisible and still do the things that will make your world just a little bit easier.

We’re not going back, David Vinjamuri (@dvinjamuri), a Forbes contributor who teaches branding and social media at NYU, told Winter:

Blogging—the ability to self-publish instantly and without intermediation on the web—has changed journalism irrevocably. Just fifteen years ago in order to report or comment on the news you needed to belong to an organization willing to edit, publish, and distribute your views. Blogging tore down the wall.

Vinjamuri nails the progression I have personally seen in my blogging over the last 10 years.

At first, bloggers were diarists and amateurs. Then new and unheard voices crept into the dialogue. Because of the way that Google assigned page ranks, well-linked and frequently updated blogs showed up high in searches, giving them prominence and exposure. It became clear that blog economics were different. Topics that wouldn’t support a paper or magazine were great fodder for blogs. Narrowly defined news and commentary succeeded. Bloggers went from being ignored to scorned, scorned to grudgingly accepted, then respected and finally co-opted and integrated. Most professional journalists and columnists now blog. Some bloggers cross over. And entire media platforms like The Huffington Post and Forbes Online are based in large part on the contributions of unpaid bloggers.

I just met with a lawyer from Switzerland this morning. She was in Seattle visiting relatives and wanted to discuss blogging on the LexBlog Network. She had seen me speak six years ago and been following this blog and LexBlog since.

No possible way I would have met her, or even been invited to speak at the conference at which she saw me, but for blogging. Blogging about blogging to boot.

As a lawyer, you have been handed a gift in blogging. You now have an opportunity to express your thoughts and insight in a way never before possible. Only imagination and initiative is holding you back from establishing yourself as a trusted and reliable authority.