Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wise Law Blog: Post #3500 - On Milestones, Law Blogging, the Marketing Classes and Vulgar Talking Yams


So, after all is said and done, this is blogpost number 3500 at Wise Law Blog.

It's not like I actually count these things, I hasten to add.

(I don't have that many fingers and toes)

The Blogger interface that hosts us, however, is benevolent enough to keep a running tally of post numbers, and I did happen to notice a week or so ago that we were getting very close to this milestone of sorts.

It feels like 3500 posts means something.  Or at least, that it should.

I've been at this blogging thing for quite a while now.  Pushing 12 years, to be approximately precise, going back to the early days when law blogging was significantly more issue-oriented, raucous and unapologetically opinionated.  In the intervening time, we've seen quite an evolution in social media as a whole, and in the ways lawyers and other professionals have used these remarkable tools to interact with our readers, clients and peers.

And in that same time, social media and law blogging came to be pushed, packaged, programmed and corporatized by the marketing, SEO and consulting classes. Much of the legal profession lapped up the bald message that blogging equals dollars, and the number of law blogs out there, if not the quality thereof, increased exponentially.

And readers gained a remarkable insight, one long known to judges: Some, but not all lawyers can write.

Law Sites' Robert Ambrogi, one of the original U.S. law bloggers, reported last month on an American Bar Association study of law firm blogging:
The number of law firms with blogs has plateaued, neither growing nor dropping for four years straight, according to the 2016 Legal Technology Survey Report recently published by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center.
The survey found that 26 percent of firms have blogs. That number has remained effectively unchanged for 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
The larger the firm, the more likely it is to have a blog. Among firms of 500 or more attorneys, 60 percent have blogs, and at firms of 100-499 attorneys, 52 percent have blogs. In contrast, just 12 percent of solos have blogs and 20 percent of firms of 2-9 attorneys have blogs.
However peaked or plateaued law blogging may be, it has at the very least demonstrated staying power.

But I must confess, it used to be a lot more interesting, back in the day, when law blogging wasn't quite so safe.

And now that America has elected a vulgar talking yam to be its next President, I'm not sure safe can continue to be good enough.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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