When law firms blog to the world, it’s marketing, really. Sheppard Mullin has some great blogs (and a sharp-as-hell web site). So does K&L Gates. Just Google “ediscovery” or “electronic discovery” and see how effective law firm blog marketing can be. (To read more about external law firm blogging, check out Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs)
But some firms are using blogs to communicate internally. We love the idea because (in theory) it can help cut down on mass emails that contain general, non-urgent information. Those periodic case law update emails are a good example. Blogs are also great because (unlike email) they create an automatic, searchable, taggable archive of content. So, if you need to find that blog post about that certain case law update from three months ago, you can search the blog rather than your Outlook folders (how many Outlook folders do you have?). You can also bring new members of a department up to speed more quickly — “Check the blog…” The result: a real KM tool – a place to store our collective knowledge for quick and easy retrieval. What’s better than that?
SharePoint, which is all the rage lately at Big Law for portal platforms, offers a blogging component. Other solutions include WordPress, Movabletype, and Community Server. There are others, of course, but for enterprise-class functionality, these seem to be the leaders. Let us know if you know of others.
Here is a good on-demand webinar called Enterprise 2.0 Using Social Media in the Workplace from SixApart (the people behind Moveabletype) and Forrester Research about internal blogging.
So, Big Law… do you blog (internally)?
We see it this way: In a few years, external blogs will be as common at law firms as law firm web sites are today. Internal blogs will be as common as email or electronic newsletters are today. While neither will likely soon replace their respective analogues, nobody is going to be asking: “what’s a blog?”
LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms