I came across a post on Lexblog which asks how many top US law firms are using blogs and feeds? I have spoken about using these technologies in modern law firms from time to time. A good example of where blogs and feeds can be meaningfully incorporated into any law firm’s site is as a replacement for their existing mechanism for publishing newsletters. All the major law firms publish a newsletter of some kind. These newsletters are either sent out by email or published as pdf documents on the firm’s website.
This method has certainly worked in the past and I am sure clients are accustomed to receiving their emails. There are, however, more flexible, effective and richer options available now in the form of blogs and feeds. These are very simply technologies that enable contributors to upload newsletter content easily and make that content available for subscription or publication by email. It is no longer a question of the availability of the technology to do this. The question is more why firms are not adopting these technologies and, in the process, helping to drive adoption of these technologies which, ultimately, help everyone communicate better?
One thought which comes to me now as I type this is that law firms are accustomed to being repositories of legal knowledge (this knowledge is our commodity) and this knowledge is often stored in silos (there are sometimes even silos within silos so only certain people have access to certain knowledge) which are not accessible to anyone who doesn’t have the right keys. The mentality that most bloggers share is contrary to this restricted access to knowledge and I wonder if this is why firms don’t adopt these technologies? Are they afraid of opening up and sharing more knowledge? I’m not sure. It is just a thought bouncing around in my head.