By Kevin O'Keefe

Lawyers Can Learn From Beginnings of Blogging

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There’s a lesson to be learned by lawyers from blogging’s beginnings. It’s in not over complicating things.

Blog is an abbreviation of the term, “weblog,” a website where people logged their browsing activity on the web. Almost in a diary like fashion.

Publishers of weblogs logged their activity. Where they want, the url, what they saw and offered their take.

Posts were displayed in reverse chronological order so that the most recent posts appeared first – at the top of the web page.

A social or networking aspect arose in a few ways.

First, publishers of a weblog cited the source of their post, often another weblog, and the publisher of the that site. Through technology called a “trackback,” weblog publishers, becoming known as bloggers, received a notice on their blog that they had been cited (linked to).

Second, bloggers kept a folder for vanity feeds, in their RSS readers. Doing so, bloggers could see who cited/linked to them and their blog.

Third, comments to a blog post, something now found primarily social media, were left on a blog.

And fourth, bloggers often had a “blogroll” in a side column of their blog site, listing, and linking to, blogs in which the blogger had an interest. Generally, blogs on the same subject.

It’s also important to note that the emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the democratization of web publishing. Perhaps, publishing in general.

Until then, web publishers needed someone with HTML and web development experience to post to the web. File Transfer Protocol was used to publish content to the web.

As a blogging lawyer focused on a niche, you should take from blogging’s beginnings the power of logging what you are seeing – what you area reading.

Publish what you are reading in block quotes, citing and linking to the source and the name of the publisher/blogger/journalist/reporter.

Offer the reason you are logging/sharing what you read, and maybe, your quick take. Need not be long.

You will develop a following as a bit of an Associated Press on your niche. Who else will be following and covering things like you – on a national, international, state or local scale.

You’ll be building a network by citing others.

Publishing’s been democratized. Take advantage of it – but don’t overcomplicate it.

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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