Blawg Review #48

Posted by Douglas Sorocco at March 13, 2006 09:16 AM

BE047625Blawg Review readers may be surprised to learn that hosts of the Review are actually required to play by a few rules.  There's the silly rule about the title of the actual post (no creativity allowed!), and then there's this:

"The host shall be at liberty to present the submission, or not, or make another presentation of the post as seems appropriate to the host for that Blawg Review, with unfettered discretion."

We're taking that rule to heart as we host this 48th Edition of Blawg Review.  "Unfettered discretion" - definitely words we like.

In a nutshell - we're sick of carnivals. 

Not all carnivals, mind you - just the long drawn out boring ones that really don't offer anything of value.  We think that several popular carnivals, including Blawg Review, have become bloated, link-whore-optimized versions of the original vision for what a carnival should be - an edited review of relevant blog posts presented in a manner that contributes to thought-provoking conversation. 

Does anyone actually click through all 100 links found in a typical carnival post?  Of course you don't.  If you are anything like us, you click through the first couple of links and then wander off to get more coffee, wax the car or perhaps even get some work done.  Nahh... waxing the car is way more important.  Who wants to read a bloated set of postings that really don't rise to being the cream of the crop... not us, and we think none of you want to either.

Remember the carnival experience of your youth?  Your parents only took you to the travelling extravaganza whenIStock_000000127707Small you were good.  If you went to the carnival every week as a kid... you were a carnie.  And if you were a carnie, I assure you that the carnival would lose some of it "specialness" - it wouldn't be about the lions, tigers and bears - nope, it would be about the whining children, the drunken sailors and the bearded lady who won't quit grabbing your behind.

So - we have decided a little Blawg Review coup is in order -- we are rebelling -- we are rethinking the format of the Blawg Review.  Instead of regurgitating a long string of links and quotes, we each picked one post that resonated - and it is this one post each that you will find here under the banner of Blawg Review.  Yes, we know this rethinking (and retinkering) raises the possibility that we'll never again be able to post to Blawg Review or even host it, but in the interest of all who follow the Review, it is a chance we're willing to take.

If you really want to read all the other items submitted - head on over to Blawgr, you'll find the links over there (along with a lot of other interesting discussions).

With that introduction, we'll get on with the here it is...Blawg Review, Rethink(IP) style...

Doug's Favorite Post:

Bruce MacEwen's blog, "Adam Smith, Esq.", should be the first thing every lawyer reads each morning!  Now, how is that for an opening statement - Bruce is going to have a hard time living up to that introduction, but I have no doubt that he will be able.

While Bruce does have a propensity to dwell on the inner workings of the monster firms out there, I am consistently able to pull pieces of useful information out of his posts that benefit my medium sized boutique firm.  Whether it is dealing with associates, hiring pressures or client service - Bruce never fails to provide relevant useful information that is brimming with insight.

I am not certain whether Bruce intends for his posts to be so relevant to our segment of the legal services industry, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he keeps us small fish in mind when hobnobbing with the legal illuminatti of the AmLaw 100.

This past week Bruce tackles the question of firm marketing efforts and comes to the conclusion that many of the efforts result in absolutely no return on investment.

"What Differentiates Our Firm Is..." [Nothing]  To badly paraphrase Bruce, does your marketing drive new sales or is it merely a “shiny mess of nothingness” — i.e. do your firm’s marketing activities sound like the following:

All the activities the reader cites contribute to "name recognition" for a law firm, but the actual "sale" (read: engagements to handle a piece of litigation, a corporate transaction, a tax problem, etc.) only occurs when the client has the precise need, i.e., is at the point of pain.   No one in the history of the world ever woke up and said, "What I need today is to buy myself a really good contract...."

Keep on keeping on Bruce!  I learn something new in every post!


Steve's Favorite Post:

Josh Cohen at the Multiple Mentality blog on "Obeying the law".

I've actually never see the "Multiple Mentality" blog before this weekend.  I'm not even sure it is a law blog...but of the posts I read (and I read every single one of them), other than the two snagged by Matt/Doug, this one made me go Hmm....  Not that there aren't some great posts in the other pile (found over at Blawgr), but this one struck me as very interesting.

I won't ruin the post for you, but it involves this video:

We don't often see the youth of America questioning the law in a constructive way.  Rather than just refusing to follow it, they  sought to prove its lunacy.  Bravo!  Bravo!


Matt's Favorite Post:

My criteria in reviewing posts this week was simple:  Did it make me think?  Truth be told...not many of the submissions did.  I should have known, though, that the submission from Blog Diva Denise Howell would fit the bill.

Denise revisited the familiar topic of the dangers, from an employers point-of-view, associated with employee blogging.  Sure there's the possibility of leaking confidential information and a host of other potential ills, but Denise takes a fresh angle on the problem, and goes out on a limb in the process.  Of all the various communication tools available to employees, Denise asserts that "blogging may actually be the least risky and most innocuous from a corporate risk management standpoint."

And she's got a convincing argument too.  Read it in all it's glory in this post at the Between Lawyers blog.

Thanks, Denise, for stepping out on the limb and making me think. 


So that is it folks!  Once again, if you want all the other links — head on over to Blawgr (archived link to the post).  Next weeks Blawg Review will be hosted by Jim Calloway over at the Law Practice Tips Blog.  It’s good to see another Okie taking the reins of Blawg Review next week — you never know, Jim might rethink the whole carnival format further – Okies have a way of doing that every now and then.

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Eh Nonymous Says:

March 13, 2006 11:17 AM

Might be nice to link directly to the post at Blawgr - - so that when other posts supercede it, people can still find those other, non-featured links. :)

david giacalone Says:

March 13, 2006 11:18 AM

I've had many of the same reservations about no-value-added carnivals that you've voiced above, guys. With my own hosting gig coming up on April 17, I will have to consider how to handle these issues. At this point, I've been thinking that I would spotlight a few especially good postings in a way that provokes interest and debate (as you have). That would make "Blawg Review" more like a "law review," which certainly tries to pick only the cream of submitted materials.

In deference to the more "egalitarian" history of "Blawg Review," however, I would present, for those who are into promiscuous "link love" and have lots of spare time, other submitted posts (within reason). As I've voiced previously, I would include the title given by the author, to help readers decide if they want to click through.

Non-value-added carnivals are sort of like long string-citations in briefs -- usually more annoying than enlightening.

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