Turns out that doctors blog for the same reasons as lawyers blog – to share expertise, build relationships, make connections with patients (clients with lawyers) and correct the misinformation online.

From a piece in The Medical Bag, an online resource for health care professionals:

Blogging has become a powerful tool for physicians to share their expertise, build better relationships with their patients, and make connections online. Many also turn to blogging as a way to combat the deluge of online medical misinformation.

With the Internet having turned into a giant billboard of professionals attempting to grab attention and web traffic, it’s refreshing to see doctors looking to make connections with people in a real and authentic fashion. Better yet, to help people where they are today — online.

As with the law, there’s a boat load of medical misinformation online. Comes from people shooting from the hip across social networks as well as web and SEO marketing companies, who with no medical expertise, kick out marginal content, like legal marketers, to get attention and web traffic.

Doctors need to blog to fight off the misinformation,  per Linda Girgis,  a board-certified family physician in South River, New  Jersey and a professor at Rutgers University Medical School, who blogs at Dr. Linda.

There’s so much health and medical information being written these days, and much of it is not being written by medical experts. It’s important that more doctors start blogging and sharing information so we can combat all the fake news and pseudoscience out there.

Like lawyers, blogging gets doctors outside their comfort zone. May be as simple as getting comfortable networking with people online or picking up new skills associated with blogging — assuming a doctor wants to get into the tech side of things.

From Patricia Salber, MD, a board-certified internist and emergency physician, who has been blogging at The Doctor Weighs since 2005:

I have had to gain many skills completely separate from medicine and medical writing in order to grow the business, [such as] HTML, WordPress, search engine optimization…and more. I am now doing technical things on the site that I never dreamed would be part of my day-to-day life, including troubleshooting complex technical issues and trying to learn a bit of web design. I have learned the joy of continuing to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and learn new skills far different from the ones acquired in medical training.

Medical blogging is not without its challenges, per Girgis. Time management and calendaring for blogging is one. And there are the trolls, that are better left ignored.

I write about many controversial topics and welcome debate and disagreement. But I have been shocked many times when people just come out hurling insults because they don’t like what I say. While it is tempting to reply back, often it is best just to ignore them and move on.

I am sure it’s a small minority of doctors who blog. The connections, relationships, helping people, sharing expertise, and making a difference are all there, but most doctors simply won’t feel comfortable giving of themselves online. Others won’t put in the time it takes.

It’s the same with lawyers.

From 28-year-old journalist, Mickey Djuric, last week on launching the community news site, Daily Jaw, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan last week:

I’m part of the generation that made Google popular. We made Twitter a news platform. We are the reason Facebook is succesful. So I feel confident in my ability to publish online.

As reported by CBC News, Djuric was a Moose Jaw Times Herald reporter who resigned in 2015 over the paper’s refusal to publish a video she had shot. The video showed a Saskatchewan MP using what she thought was vulgar language in describing a political candidate.

But Djuric felt an affinity for Moose Jaw and a desire to return “home,” especially with the closing of  the Moose Jaw Times-Herald which closed down after 128 years.

I have always felt a sense of responsibility toward this city to do good journalism, and that’s really what inspired me to come back.

Djuric sees small communities “under-served and under-reported” by journalism.

I’m hoping to change that. I’m hoping to bring more clarity when it comes to news, and what’s fact and what’s not.

Boy, Djuric sounds a lot like many young lawyers.

  • Grew up with the Internet and been part of the rise of social media while in college and law school.
  • A desire to return home.
  • A senses of responsibility to serve others.
  • A desire to escape the traditional.

One big way to serve others as a young lawyer is to start a niche focused law blog. Maybe it’s a focus on an area of the law with a community. Maybe it’s a more focused niche with a state or national focus.

Long time legal journalist and now editor=in-chief of LexBlog, Bob Ambrogi, regularly talks about the decline of legal reporting with coverage being but a fraction of what it was. Ambrogi sees law blogs as being the most vibrant form of legal reporting and commentary.

As I discussed yesrday with Greg Lambert, Chief Knowledge Services Officer for Jackson Walker, there are so many locales and subjects going unserved with regard to legal news and information. Places there is no blog on any number of areas of law.

Want to serve, fill a void and make difference? Find your passion and local and get after it blogging.

Unlike Djuric, as a lawyer you don’t have to worry about funding your jpournalism. Niche law blogging builds a name and relationships, the linchpins of developing business for good lawyers.

Like Djuric, put immediate return (in her case it’s advertising) on the backburner to focus on building a brand.

I think it’s important for me first to develop who we are as a brand and that we will stand for good journalism, that our journalism will be straight-up honest and it will not be fluffy,

You’ll not be a journalist reporting daily, but you will be making the law more accessible to people by posting to your blog two to four times a month.

Djuric believes we’re going to see more independent journalism models popping up in Canada. I believe we’re going to see a lot of niche law blogs popping up across Canada and the U.S. – my guess is Ambrogi would agree.

Nellie Bowles penned a wonderful piece in the The New York Times this week on ‘Report for America,’ a non-profit organization, modeled after AmeriCorps, aiming to install 1,000 journalists in understaffed newsrooms by 2022.

Molly Born, one of the first selected for the program who covers the coal fields for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, told Bowles,

I felt like I needed to give something back to a place that has given a lot to me, and journalism is the way for me to do that.

It’s important to have reporters based in parts of America where some people feel misunderstood. It just helps us get a greater understanding of who we are and who our neighbors are.

Bowles report on the plight of journalists sounds earily similar to the plight of small law in communities across our country – even blogging lawyers.

Historically, reporters would start their careers at small publications and move on to progressively larger ones. These days, young journalists tend to find work right out of college — but the jobs they end up with often don’t require them to take time talking to story subjects face to face or learning about different communities.

“Maybe they have done that Brooklyn thing, where you spend a year or two in a cubicle working for a blog,” Charles Sennott [co-founder of Report for America, who covered wars and insurgencies in more than a dozen countries as the Jerusalem-based Middle East bureau chief for The Boston Globe], 55, said. “But that’s not the same as being on the ground doing the real work, knocking on a door and walking into someone’s kitchen.”

In 1990, daily and weekly newspaper publishers employed about 455,000 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By January 2016, that number had fallen to 173,000.

How many lawyers are getting first hand experience, eye to eye, with a client? Many lawyers feel trapped doing work for other lawyers, never having having client interaction.

Other lawyers know no better than kicking out or buying content as a way to “market” themsleves. These lawyers have no clue what blogging really is nor how blogging works to build trust, a name and a book of business.

Law blogs penned by small firm lawyers addressing the needs of individuals and small businesses could be much the same as Report America.

Less than 20% of the people in this country have meaningful access to the law. Crushing student loans drive law grads to large law, less demand for small town law, tech driven efficiencies driving down prices and alternative online legal services are only making matters worse – for both people needing a lawyer and for lawyers who’d like to help them.

Leading legal ethics lawyer, Will Hornsby, and himself a champion for access to legal services wrote almost 20 years ago about personal plight areas of the law. By personal plight, Hornsby meant areas of the law in which an individual or small business person needed a lawyer right now.

Personal plight includes bankruptcy, workers compensation, divorce, employment, criminal, real estate, personal injury, immigration, disability, social security, estate planning and more.

Blog (law) for America in the form of blogging lawyers covering personal plight areas of law for two or three hundred communities could be quite a force.

Blogs by local lawyers not only provide meaningful information, but establish trust – something lawyers sorely lack when it comes to individuals and small businesses.

Unlike corp members in Report America, lawyers don’t need a stipend or grant of  $40,000 for two years. Lawyers have a revenue model – it’s called getting paid for the legal services you render.  Law blogs generate work.

In addition to generating revenue, law grads get first hand experience talking with clients face to face – across the kitchen table, if you will.

Blog (law) for America is a win-win. Individuals and small business people get access to localized law from a local attorney who cares about their city or town and who knows the nuances of the law being applied locally. These folks learn to trust a local lawyer who enjoys what they do and whom earns an okay living.

Lawyers who want to, do real law, person to person, and earn a living doing so.

“The internet is not ruined just because there are a few assholes on it.”

This from author, journalism professor, media consultant and long time blogger, Jeff Jarvis,  discussing the positive things he is seeing with the open Internet, digital journalism, Internet advertising and social media platforms.

…[L]et’s please remember that the internet is not ruined just because there are a few assholes on it. This, too, is why I insist on not seeing the net as a medium. It is Times Square. On Times Square, you can find pickpockets and bad Elmos and idiots, to be sure. But you also find many more nice tourists from Missoula and Mexico City and New Yorkers trying to dodge them on their way to work.

Let’s bring some perspective to the media narrative about the net today. Please go take a look at your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram feeds or any Google search. I bet you will not find them infested with nazis and Russians and trolls, oh, my. I will bet you still find, on the whole, decent people like you and me. I fear that if we get carried away by moral panic we will end up not with a bustling Times Square of an internet but with China or Singapore or Iran as the model for a controlled digital future.

Too many lawyers, law professors, legal technology entrepreneurs, access to justice leaders and other legal professionals stay away from social media and even blogging because of their belief that the Internet is overrun with noise and crazies.

Very few law schools incorporate social learning into their teaching as a means of getting students to learn, collaborate and network across social media channels. Law professors and deans, who shy away from the net out of ignorance, don’t see the potential.

A business colleague stays away from social media, in part, because of the Russians meddling in our election and businesses possibly violating people’s privacy.

A consultant who helps law firms build a more profitable and efficient practice through the use of technology questioned my second guessing the majority of law firms’ failure to use social media strategically, wanting empirical evidence that social media could be worthwhile for lawyers.

I am not against social media but I do think it tends to be an echo chamber where those who do use it talk a lot about it to others who use it, while most of my atty friends & clients see it as the time suck it can be.

I suppose it could be a time suck to hang out with and engage those discussing only the subject of social media. But ask any appellate lawyer, general counsel or legal entrepreneur using social media to learn, network and grow business if that’s who they’re hanging out with.

Things are far from perfect on the Internet, per Jarvis, and it’s going to take an effort to solve some of its challenges.

First let’s be clear: No one — not platforms, not ad agencies and networks, not brands, not media companies, not government, not users — can stand back and say that disinformation, hate, and incivility are someone else’s problem to solve.

But I’m with Jarvis, “The net is good.”

Good for lawyers, legal journalists, access to justice leaders, legal technology entrepreneurs, law students and legal association leaders.

Staying away from the Internet because you see a few asses on it is dumb.

I am not sure that an editorial calendar is helpful for a law blog. In many cases an editorial calendar can even be counterproductive

Many medium and large firms are using using editorial calendars for law blogs with multiple contributors, often with blogs published by a practice or industry group. More and more I am hearing speakers and “blogging experts” suggest that firms use editorial calendars, especially firms new to blogging.

The idea behind an editorial calendar is to get lawyers to blog regularly, to make sure that a law blog doesn’t go dark, for lack of a blog post. Many hands makes light work appears to be philosophy. “How could we ever lack for blog posts with ten contributors sharing the load?’

Editorial calendars are also used to make sure various subjects are covered. By assigning particular lawyers to subjects “needed” to be covered, there’s the necessary coverage and no overlap.

With law blogs published by one lawyer, an editorial calendar is not an issue. The lawyer blogs or they don’t, though some lawyers schedule particular days and times for blogging.

Editorial calendars sound good in concept, but how much fun is it for the “editorial calendar coordinator” to chase down lawyers  for their posts?  How much fun is it to get chased down on Friday for a blog post do on Monday?

Here’s some points to consider before enacting blog calendars.

  • Blogging works when it’s fun. Blogging may not be fun for everyone. Let those who enjoy blogging run with it. If they publish five posts to everyone else’s, that’s fine. Editorial calendars and committees can take the fun out of blogging before you even get started.
  • Blogging is about passion. Blogging lawyers should cover subjects they’re passionate about, not subjects assigned to them. Read passion to mean areas of law or subjects lawyer is excited to learn, excited to network in and excited to be known in. Passion is evident to readers, who will become followers — and passion begets more posts.
  • Readers don’t generally “come” to a blog looking for content or content covering the lay of the land on a subject. That’s for a book, the definitive resource on a subject, which your blog is not. Blog posts can “come out” when they’re published, whatever day or time that may be. Blog posts can cover those things bloggers are interested in, without having to cover everything. “Hot” subjects will naturally draw lawyers’ attention and their blog posts.
  • Blogging can be best viewed as a form of networking, versus writing content alone. Follow what your target audience of bloggers, reporters, association leaders, business colleagues and even clients and prospective clients are saying or writing. Share and reference what they are saying or writing and let readers know why you shared it or what your take is. Firms struggle to get their blog and bloggers known when the best way to market a blog is to blog about what others are saying or writing.
  • Listening via a news aggregator like Feedly, Twitter or another source for news or legal updates is important for blogging. By nature we all listen to various subjects. We’ll naturally want to blog about what we read or listen to. Let it happen.
  • Effective blogging and social media are acquired skills for individual lawyers, and even a firm. I advise many firms that a major success is at the end of one year having one or two lawyers who know how to blog and use social media for successful business development. Empowering individual bloggers to blog with passion and to become a little bit of a star in the their own right as a result generates blog champions, viral positives for the firm’s effort to get other lawyers blogging and using social media successfully.

Sure, have a blog leader or editor. Let them make it fun through lunches, dinners or drinks out for the blogging team. Share what you’re discovering in your blogging, not just by subjects covered but as far as successful blogging and social media use. What’s working? Who’s citing you? Who are you meeting? How are you using social media?

Maybe that blog leader or editor arises naturally. Maybe they’re the one to whom blogging comes naturally. Maybe they’re the own who’s generating business. Maybe they’re the youngest lawyer in the group who is becoming a rising star for the firm.

English writer, Gilbert Chesterton said “I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.” I guess I feel the same way about a blog committee with an editorial calendar.

However long it takes to say what you have to say. No more. No less.

Everywhere I talk these days I am asked what’s the proper length for a law blog post. I give this answer everytime.

I fear the question arises out of a lot misinformation on law blogging flying around.

This afternoon I read Good2bSocial’s Joe Balestrino’s post on how to generate leads (I’d call it business) from your law blog in which he called out the importance of long form blog posts.

Does the number of words matter? Yes, it does, especially if you want to see your post on the first page of search engines. During the infancy of blogging, it was enough to create a 300-word post and you could expect it to rank high on search engines. But those days are gone because of today’s tight competition.

Thousands of blogs are created each day and that means marketers need to be a little more creative in producing content for their business’s blog. High-quality, long-form content with more than 1,000 words tends to rank higher in search engines compared to posts with fewer words.

Generating business, or even attention, is not dependent on the length a law blog.

The best way to build visibility and a reputation through blogging is blogging on a niche and referencing the existing discussion taking place in that niche.

You can pen 1,500 word blog posts and never get heard, never get cited, never build a name band and never generate any work. Now identify the influencers in your niche and start to talk in your blog about what they are discussing, giving them the appropriate attribute and you’ll get seen, get cited and grow a reputation.

Blogging is a conversation, it’s not about content. Listen first to the influencers and engage in that conversation. That’s why law blogging is often referred to as networking through the Internet – as opposed to writting content.

Think of a room where all the leading bloggers, reporters and other leaders in your niche are gathered discussing matters, offering their take and sharing insight. You’re across the street with lengthy wonderful content hoping someone sees you. It’s not going to happen. You need to get in that room and listen, engage and provide your take.

Get in that room and no matter the length of what you share and the insight you offer, you’ll get seen, grow a reputation and grow relationships. You’ll generate work.

Get focused on a real tight niche and you’ll become an intelligent agent, a must have have publication. Rather than AI in genreral, how about AI and the law in pharmaceuticals or AI and the law in race cars.

There are lawyers in this country who have done quick blog summaries on cases they have cherry picked from a federal circuit court or district court on a particular niche. They got known and generated work — and still do.

If it takes 1,000 words to share and express yourself in a blog post, have at it. If it takes 300 words, that’s okay to.

The magic to generating business from law blogging does not lie in the length of your blog posts.

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.

Sounds crazy that lawyers beginning to use the Internet would be viewed as a legal tech trend for 2018.

But that’s what Keith Lee, a Birmingam attorney and editor of Associate’s Mind shared with Clio in their survey of “Top Law Firm Technology Trends to Watch for in 2018.”

As Lee sees it, the biggest risk for lawyers in 2018 is the demand for legal services is not growing, it’s shrinking.

Combine that with the trend I said was a threat last year (non-lawyer legal services) and that means there are more people competing for a pie that isn’t growing. Below average lawyers are going to be squeezed out.

Jordan Couch (@jordanlcouch) of Palace Law agrees.

As clients demand the same services for less money, lawyers will have to find new ways to increase volume if they are to maintain the same workload and profits.

Reiterating his prediction from last year, Lee sees the internet as the biggest opportunity for solos and small firms to prevent from being squeezed out.

Uber didn’t exist five years ago. Now it’s a multi-billion dollar company and has supplanted the word ‘taxi’ from the everyday lexicon. The internet is still the Wild West. Attorneys need to embrace it.

I don’t know that Lee is referring to individual lawyers reengineering the delivery of legal services the way Uber reengineered local travel, but Lee is pointing out the obvious — that being that the Internet is too valuable to waste.

And boy do most lawyers waste the opportunity to use the Internet. The Internet for lawyers, in their work, stops with email, legal research, cloud based business services and the limited use of social networks.

Lee and I met each other through blogging. I suspect the majority of people Lee knows, professionally and personally, he met through blogging and social media.

To Lee, myself and many legal professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders the use of the Internet comes naturally. It’s how we learn, how we engage others, how we get known and how we grow business.

Ask most lawyers about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for building a name as a leading lawyer, nurturing relationships and growing business. They haven’t a clue.

Ask yourself. Are you really using the Internet to prevent being squeezed out? If you don’t have enough good work, are you using the Internet to increase the volume of your work so as maintain the same workload and profits.

I am not referring to a refresh of a website and forking out money to get people to your website. A website that does little, if anything, to distinguish you from other lawyers.

I am referring to really using the Internet to take a step up in who you are and what you do and, as a result, to do some things for your family.

If someone told you that there was a powerful tool to grow legal business, it was relatively inexpensive and less than one percent of your competitors were using it, you’d be all over finding out more.

Well, it’s the Internet. And Lee is right, “The Internet is still the Wild West. Attorneys need to embrace it.”

Long time blogger and New York Criminal Defense Lawyer, Scott Greenfield, continues the fourth wave of law blogging discussion in his announcement that there won’t be a J-Dog Memorial Prize, awarded the last five years to the Best Criminal Law Blawg Post. The award is named after criminal attorney, Joel Rosenberg.

There have been occasional blawg posts from the elders of the crim law blawgosphere, but only a few, and only occasionally. It’s not that these aren’t good and worthwhile posts, but you already know their work, read their brilliance, and don’t need me or this contest to spread the word.

The J-Dog award need not be over.

Last month, Greenfield and I had lunch back in Oyster Bay and and agreed the time was ripe for a fourth wave of blogging. Real blogging by real lawyers, as opposed to lawyers and law firms throwing up “blogs” to grab attention and web traffic. Some even written for the lawyers by “ghost bloggers” and marketing companies.

The “blogs as advertising” approach used by so many lawyers opens the door for real lawyers to shine in their blogging.

{T]here is a huge opportunity here. There are still people whose brains desire more than an insipid twit filled with emotional angst. There are people who want to think, to engage with others who want to think, and there are few places to go to do so.

Don’t whine that no one will see you when you start blogging and that everything in the world has already been blogged about. Get over it.

Start a blawg. Let me know about it. Let others know about it. If you have the chops, word will spread. Keep it up. Engage with serious people about serious things. Recognize that there was a blawgosphere before you got here, but also know that old subjects and issues keep arising again. For people who didn’t see the ubiquitous discussions the first time, or second, or tenth time around, they’re brand new.

Law blogging is more important than most lawyers and marketers understand. With the decline of legal journalism and legal commentary moving online and away from traditional law reviews and journals, it’s blogs where much of the law gets reported and legal dialogue is advanced.

Veteran legal journalist and blogger, Bob Ambrogi, in his announcement that he’s joining LexBlog as editor-in-chief and publisher, made clear the importance of law blogs.

[T]here is one area of legal publishing in which coverage and analysis is increasing, in which key legal developments are regularly tracked, and where all of the content is free, no subscriptions required. It is a medium in which leading lawyers, academics, technologists, law librarians, consultants, vendors and other legal professionals are regularly contributing their insights and knowledge. It is, without doubt, the most vibrant area of legal publishing that exists.

I’m talking, of course, about blogging.

Sitting in my garage fourteen years ago, I ran across this blog thing. Wow, perfect for lawyers. Lawyers who are passionate about what they do, no matter whether a solo or a in a large law firm with a big marketing budget, could offer their commentary on the law.

Legal publishing had been democratized. Blogging lawyers could build a name for themselves in the same way the big name lawyers and scholars always have.

There was no way lawyers could turn blogs into advertisements beckoning a call or a chat in a pop-up chat window. Blogging took some thought, some passion and a little work. No lawyer would try and fake that. I was wrong.

Real blogging is far from dead though. There are plenty of good passionate lawyers who have something to offer. Real law blogging is too important not to encourage and grow.

From Greenfield:

The blawgosphere may not be vital, as it once was, but whether or not it’s dead is up to all of us. And if it’s dead, thought dies with it, and we’re left to the insipid twitter stars whose appeals to emotion will replace nuance, thought and serious debate. Don’t let that happen. All you have to do to prevent this catastrophe is to start thinking, start writing and stick with it.

Greenfield’s hit on something. We’re here for you if you want to start law blogging. Veteran law bloggers will not only help you blog, but get you known by sharing and referencing the thoughts you’re sharing in your blog. That’s what we do.

Veteran law bloggers welcome new bloggers in their field. It makes for a more vibrant discussion. Blogging is not a zero sum game.

Law bloggers take pride in the collective work of bloggers. As Ambrogi says, blogging is the most vibrant legal publishing taking place. Those of us out here want to grow law blogging.

Start a blawg (law blog), as Greenfield says, and engage with real lawyers about real things. Word will grow, so will your reputation and so will legal dialogue and publishing.

Law blogging has come a long way in the last fifteen years. Not all of it for the good.

Real lawyers engaging on real subjects in an authentic fashion, for many lawyers and law firms, has gone the way of content marketing sold as a billboard for eyeballs by web development companies.

Rather than contributing to the discussion on the law and making a sincere effort to make the law more digestible for average folks, we have lawyers buying content from marketers to slap on a website with the only goal being search engine traffic.

My friend, Scott Greenfield, a New York criminal defense lawyer and long time blogger at Simple Justice, is right that blogging takes effort and desire.

Most people just don’t have the chops or interest in doing it. Some suck at it. Some aren’t nearly as fascinating as they think they are.

Furthermore, law blogging takes being authentic, having a face, being real. In the absence of being real and putting in the effort, lawyers “buy content from Bangalore or walk away,” as Greenfield puts it.

He’s right. Talking with legal journalist and long time law blogger, Bob Ambrogi, last week, he asked me what I thought the number one reason was for lawyers to stop blogging. Without a doubt, it’s because the lawyers don’t know what blogging is, or if they do, they won’t do it.

A month or two ago, I announced donuts.lexblog.com, a blog where my team and I can share open, honest and authentic thoughts on what we’re learning and thinking. God knows a LexBlog website with slick phrases, pictures, colors, testimonials and the like doesn’t do a thing to let lawyers and law firms know who we are and what we stand for.

I’d hope lawyers trying cases, guiding companies and handling the affairs of the wealthy to the downtrodden would want more. Maybe a company whose story is told, personally, on an ongoing basis about what the people working there are reading, learning, thinking and doing.

Greenfield’s correct that I haven’t given up on telling lawyers about the virtues of blogging. Engaging in niche focused discussions so as to get known and build relationships is just too darn good when it comes to being a real lawyer. Making a good living by virtue of who you are, versus the color of your website and the words we bought, is the stuff we went to law school for.

Add to this that real blogging lawyers make the law and lawyers more accessible.

Any lawyer who’s tried cases knows that jurors aren’t dumb. Give them some straight talk and good information from witnesses they can trust. You may stumble and be unpolished at times, so long as you’re honest, sincere and authentic. They’ll figure it out, despite the glitz and glamour thrown at them by the lawyers hiding the truth.

Blogging lawyers who share what they’re reading and offer their take on a regular basis give consumers, business people, other lawyers and the media a view inside niche areas of the law. A view these folks don’t get from a book or mainstream media. They sure as heck don’t get a glimpse of the law from some words sold to a lawyer.

Lawyers become accessible when people trust them. Give people this window into who they can trust as a lawyer and they’ll be more likely to reach out to a lawyer. Real blogging does this.

I don’t know, maybe I am just giving myself a “you can do it” talk before I take to the streets to to convince more lawyers to do some real blogging. But I will take the bone that Greenfield threw me.

I hope Kevin’s onto something. I suspect people will tire of cute and insipid quips and will return to the days when actual thought and illuminating commentary were available online. It’s time for a fourth wave of blogging where real lawyers write about real stuff for real. But it won’t be all donuts.

I can run hit the streets with this “fourth wave of blogging,” Scott. Stayed tuned in 2018.