Dec 22, 2011

Watch Out: A Deluge of Legal Blogs is Approaching

26 Comments · Posted by Robert Ambrogi in General

Better start building that ark, because a deluge of new blogs will soon flood the legal profession. At least, that seems to be the conclusion of a just-released survey of social media in the legal sector conducted by LexisNexis and Vizibility. Just take a moment to ponder this graphic, which is just a snip from a gi-normous infographic that was created to illustrate the survey results:

It asks law firms what social media services they plan to use in their marketing. Note the responses for blogging: Of AmLaw 100 firms, 93.8% have or plan to have blogs. Of AmLaw 200 firms, 94.7%. Move on down the list and the percentage for every size firm is greater than 75%. Among 1-5 lawyer firms — which make up the majority of firms in the U.S., 87.8% have or plan to have blogs.

In short, roughly nine out of every 10 law firms will be blogging — some might have multiple blogs. Someone on Quora estimates that there are 50,000 law firms in the U.S. That means we could soon expect to see as many as 45,000 legal blogs, maybe more.

That’s good news for Kevin O’Keefe, who is in the business of building blogs for law firms. He’s probably putting a down payment on a new boat right about now.

But what’s it mean for the rest of us — those who already have blogs and those who regularly read blogs?

Well, on one hand, I suspect it’s much ado about nothing. Despite their best-laid plans, I doubt all the firms that say they’ll launch blogs really will. And of those that do launch blogs, no doubt a good number will be abandoned or ignored, as seems to happen with many blogs.

On the other hand, I have no doubt that many new legal blogs will continue to launch and that a fair number of them will be worth reading. The more the merrier, I say. Like cream, good blogs rise to the top. Even if we have a flood of blogs, there will be those that stand out and those that do not.

For readers of blogs, there is a coming feast of abundance. For writers of blogs, the game is on to produce quality, thoughtful posts that will keep your blog from drowning.

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26 comments

  • Jay Pinkert · December 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    A sensible take on the survey. Thanks.

    My sense of exercises like this is that they reflect aspirations more than reality. Sort of like asking if you plan to lose weight, be more productive, work less and spend more time with family next year. Feels good saying it.

    The stats I find more interesting/incredible are 1) nearly half plan to use video (an even more nettlesome and expensive enterprise than blogging) and 2) fully one third plan to use QR codes (a consumer marketing gimmick already losing favor).

    A companion question on budgets/headcount impact associated with each of these categories might have created some real news.

    An important category that’s missing from the survey is non-blog content marketing (e.g. JD Supra, SlideShare

    Reply

  • Brian Rogers · December 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Bob: I agree both that more is merrier and that the cream rises to the top. I’d certainly like to see more quality contracts blogs.

    Brian

    Reply

  • Author comment by Jon Hyman · December 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    More good content = a good thing. But, I bet that out of the 83% that say they will launch a blog, 23% will follow through, and 3% will still be regularly publishing 12 months after launch.

    Reply

  • shg · December 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    “The more the merrier.” Wow! What a really cool phrase. Did you make that up, Bob? It’s really good. You should think about patenting it. No, really, it’s a keeper.

    Of course, the down side to “the more the merrier” is “the more, the less likely anyone is going to bother sifting through the morass of crap and just say a pox on the blawgosphere.” But then, what do I know? I never came up a cool phrase like “the more the merrier.”

    Reply

  • Author comment by Brian Cuban · December 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Of that 3 percent regularly putting out content, half of those will be regurgitating legal news rather than actually “blogging”

    Reply

  • Author comment by Adrian T Dayton · December 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Great post Bob.

    I disagree with this SHG gentlemen that more blogs means sifting through more crap, the good content will shine while the poorly crafted content will be ignored. Just like it has in the past.

    I think “More the Merrier” is the perfect phrase, because as we double, triple or quadruple the amount of content being created, the consumers of the content will benefit. Bloggers will be creating a wikipedia of legal information and that should be a benefit to society.

    Reply

  • Brian Tannebaum · December 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    More blogs is fine with me, as long as they don’t have the stench of being created and counseled by unemployed lawyers selling social media advice to lawyers. Right Adrian?

    Reply

    • shg · December 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Adrian has completely changed my mind. I now believe in rainbows and unicorns. Ooh. Pretty colors.

      Reply

      • Author comment by Robert Ambrogi · December 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

        It’s a holiday miracle!

        Reply

  • Author comment by Kevin OKeefe · December 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the commentary Bob. Agree with Greenfield’s Tweet that it’s ‘Solid Gold Ambrogi.’

    We are going to see a lot of new law blogs. But some blogs are going to come and go and other law blogs are going to offer little value. As I shared your post with my team this AM, I told them it will be to us team to elevate the quality of blogging in the law and not champion lawyers who have been turned on the blogging by marketers as an easy way to generate new work.

    Have a great Christmas with your family.

    Reply

  • Dan Jaffe · December 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks Bob. I would agree with Scott Greenfield’s comment above if the technology to separate the signal from the noise was not evolving faster than the proliferation of crap. Those who follow the example of Greenfield’s blog with their own voice, and pay attention to Kevin’s teachings will benefit as the technology and audience get smarter regardless of how many lawyers jump into blogging.

    Reply

    • Stephen · December 24, 2011 at 8:33 am

      I think you have to be very optimistic to think that we’re getting more able to highlight gems in the rough faster than we are able to churn out rubbish. The technology to separate the signal from noise is the same that it’s always been — reading the stuff.

      Reply

  • Neil J. Squillante · December 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I don’t see any news here. It’s no different from 93.8% of AmLaw 100 firms (which by the way doesn’t make any sense — it should be 93% or 94%) planning to launch a web site in 1996 or a brochure in 1975 (I might be off by a decade or two on the brochure — before my time). As for Bob’s concern, even 500,000 legal blogs would be a drop in the bucket compared to what Demand Media and its content farm ilk publish on a daily basis.

    Adrian Dayton writes insightful columns for BigLaw (and for National Law Journal too and earlier in his career for Above the Law). Brian Tannebaum (who is following in Adrian’s footsteps as an Above the Law columnist) has an unhealthy obsession with Adrian. I could understand one or two or five diatribes. But it’s getting ridiculous. Brian, enough with all the negs. Just muster up the courage to ask Adrian out on a date (though I hear he’s happily married — to a girl).

    Reply

    • Brian Tannebaum · January 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Neil,

      Aren’t you the same marketing scum that asked me to post something on my blog about having won some worthless award from you? I asked a few people about you and, well, didn’t get real good feedback. Adrian is a liar. He’s an admitted liar. I don’t like liars. Apparently, you do. That’s ok, with you.

      Reply

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  • Arizona attorney · December 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I’ve run into too many blogs that dont have educational content and by that I mean the people writing the blogs arent coming from a knowledgeable approach. This even goes for legal blogs as well with certain laws in effect and so on. I know there arent many legal blog sites out there now but soon they will increase.

    Reply

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