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Blogging to break the silo effect

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Bob Ambrogi and I have been talking this week about getting people, companies and organizations to blog as way of communicating, collaborating and advancing solutions in their industry as a whole..

Bob, who just joined LexBlog as editor-in-chief and Publisher, is in Seattle all week. In meetings and in discussions over a pint, breaking the silo effect (as I’ll call it) regularly comes up – one, as a problem that should be solved and two, a problem that blogging and LexBlog can help solve.

Take legal technology companies, which Bob writes about everyday at his blog, LawSites. How many legal tech entrepreneurs and company founders blog so as to share what they are working on? Hardly any.

If they’re blogging as a company, they have a marketing focused blog on their website with posts focused on a new product, a conference they are speaking at or attending or other news that’s often more befitting of a press release. The blog posts are often written by someone with no expertise in the technology being advanced by the company.

There’s no blogging on what software or technology they are working with to develop solutions, the challenges they are facing in development and how they overcame the challenges.

There is no blogging of what and who they are following so as to share what they are learning. There is no offering their take on what they are seeing in the field, the opportunities they see with technology and where they see things headed.

Some might think no sane person would share their thinking, what their company is developing and how things are going. The fear being that someone is going to copy you – the secret is out.

But what company is going to stop what they are doing and say we need to start doing what Acme Legal Tech said they are doing in a blog post. Any company that’s that misguided is the last company you need to worry about.

Blogging in an open fashion grows a network. Bloggers, company leaders, technologists, followers, conference attendees who engage you.

When 10, 50 or 100 people do this, you start to move ideas and solutions exponentially faster. Does anyone really believe the fastest way to advance technology is to raise capital, fail inside your silo after two years or get bought out by a large company whose interests may be adverse to the advancement of technology.

Blogging leaves a record of thought and advancement for the benefit of those who follow along.

Blogging will not only break the silo in legal technology, there’s many other places in the law.

Law school deans are struggling big time. How do we attract students? What’s an innovative curriculum? Should technology be taught, and if so, what, who and by whom? How do we get our grads employed? What are law firms looking for? What will law firms and in-house counsel be looking for in grads two and three years from now? Is what we’re doing any different than other law schools?

But how many Deans collaborate by listening, sharing and engaging through the Internet? Hardly any. I am sure there are some deans blogging in an engaging (versus artcle writing) fashion? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

So much is being lost for law students, professors, law school employees and alumni by law school deans not advancing discussion, collaboration and practices. But yet law school deans are acting in silos and ignoring the Internet.

Sure, there are conferences for law school professors and deans. There’s one this week in California. There’s other dialogue one to one and otherwise.

That’s all good, but it’s much like someone saying I’ve got the horse out in the stable behind the house when there’s a car out front that does 70. There’s nothing that compares with blogging when it comes to networking, collaboration, learning and advancing ideas.

The list goes on.

Think of the underfunded legal services corporation with 800 offices across the country. Challenges galore with necessity being the mother of invention in spades. Technology being developed at the state and local level to bring access to legal services.

Yet there’s no rapid fire listening, sharing, collaborating and advancing solutions (technology or otherwise) in a common fashion. So many people who could be better served. Again, blogging by legal services’ people and technologist is largely absent.

The Internet works for learning, sharing and the advancement of ideas and solutions when leaders get of their silos. The vehicle for getting outside the silos is blogging.

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