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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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« Denise Re: What directions do you expect legal blogging to take over the next few years? | Main | Denise Re: How, if it all, will blogging change the practice of law? »

May 3, 2005

Tom Re: What's More Important in the Future: RSS, Blogs, or Collaborations Among Bloggers?

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Posted by Tom Mighell

My answer: Yes. I largely agree with both Dennis and Denise on this, but I think it's almost impossible to answer this question -- they will all play an important role. Blogs will become even more mainstream for the casual reader, who I don't think will be ready for Blogging 2.0 by that time. Denise, I agree that the idea of blogging without syndication is silly, but syndication without blogging.......?? The power of the RSS feed is where we are headed -- just see what the folks at FeedBurner are doing. It's not all about blogs, and it doesn't have to be.

Weblogs (legal and not) began as solo activities -- individuals wanting to find their own particular voice on the Internet. The medium has evolved, however, to allow for and encourage collaboration between bloggers -- as Dennis intimates with his "virtual law firm," this has tremendous implications for the future.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Future of Legal Blogging Article


1. Denise Howell on May 4, 2005 3:35 AM writes...

>syndication without blogging.......??

Yeah, I know. With podcasting, I think this will be equally important for audio and video as it is for text, but as far as ranking goes, I think it's more important/powerful with blogging than without.

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2. Denise Howell on May 4, 2005 11:06 AM writes...

To elaborate a bit more: a law firm that decides it's not ready to jump into blogging might want instead to syndicate text, audio, and/or video out from its Web site. But it had better recognize that blogging already is a "long tail" activity, and "syndication only" would be even more so. Whatever you're pushing out with syndication needs to be subscription-worthy (and if it is, you should probably think about maximizing the bang for the buck by blogging it). If your feeds consist of nothing but self-aggrandizement (e.g., "recent victories"), you run the risk of failing even the generous "success" calculus I suggested in a previous answer. Also, firms considering going with syndication only will need to be ok with the fact their syndicated material might have a more visible Web presence in online aggregators than on the firm's site. (Blogging's not immune from this either, but a blog is more likely to have a fighting chance with search engine ranking than another kind of Web page or a bare feed.)

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3. Dennis on May 4, 2005 1:44 PM writes...

This, of course, raises the question of whether search engine ranking is something that matters at all. I've long been a contrarian on that issue because I think that your focus should be on target audience rather than search engine audience, unless the two, by chance, happen to intersect.

In my view, RSS could be used to create a new, welcomed channel to you clients and your audience, although a channel you must treat with the utmost care and respect (witness the seemingly interminable, but vital, debate about ads in feeds). In certain, but not all, cases, a blog or search engine strategy would simply not be relevant and would take your eyes off of what could be greater relationships and benefits you could achieve with RSS.

As Denise and Tom suggest, there are many, many ways to get this wrong, so it's probably not an approach for the faint of heart.

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