Monday, February 13, 2006

The Trademark Blog, Google's Adsense & Sitemeter

I mentioned that yesterday I read Biz Stone's Who Let the Blogs Out? and saw a mention of Marty Schwimmer and The Trademark Blog. The book was really good and very exciting to someone like myself who writes a lot and would not mind writing a lot more on broader topics. I called Marty, who I knew from meeting at a couple of annual dinners for the Fordham International Law Journal and attending a CLE that he gave years ago at the New York New Media Association.

Marty didn't know who Biz Stone was or that he was in the book. I had already visited Marty's blog and got a sense of it. Short, interesting posts. It's clear he's having fun and not trying to impress anyone by showing off legal knowledge. He seems to keep his content a little racy by including pictures of Perfect 10 Models. Since I stole one of Marty's pictures in my last post, you'll have to search to find it. Marty recommended Mark Partridge's Guiding Rights blog, Susan Scafidi's Counterfeit Chic, and Kevin O'Keefe's Real Lawyers Have Blogs. Partridge's seems like a great inside baseball site for IP folks, Scafidi's is sexy and tantalizing with tons of fashion and intellectual stuff if you're hip on post-post-modernism-post-feminist breathless coverage of the latest fashion stuff. I'm hooked.

O'Keefe seems to be the real deal for any lawyer wanting to get moving on a blog and get a primo practice development tool up and running. Checkout his blogroll (the margin of his blog that lists other blogs) for a list of "real lawyers" and you'll find a lot of examples of what lawyers can do with blogs.

Schwimmer had lots to say - we both stuck on the phone way too long for a blog post to do him justice. He thinks the days of broad topics like The Trademark Blog may be done (I'm crushed, since I just launched a blog called Copyright Litigation on blogger). Marty noted that the blogs O'Keefe touts on his site are very specialized he thinks that the future will be blogs broken down by county and highly specialized practice area.

When I mentioned my Copyright Litigation blog (just launched this past weekend with one three-sentence post!), he told me that there is always room for sharing practical wisdom and specifically mentioned Arnie Herz's Legal Sanity. He said, and I agreed, that there are not enough lawyers sharing the tactics of Getting To Yes in general. Marty mentioned that when he put a practice tip on his blog, the traffic to him increased dramatically.

Marty warned against a few pitfalls. 1. Clear your activities with your law firm. Is your blog YOU or your FIRM. 2. if you speak, watch out that you are not creating conflicts with your clients. We both discussed a prominent blogger who proclaims how judges are WRONG. That can be dangerous. 3. the informality and immediacy of blogging can lead to sloppy thinking. 4. a blog that is not updated is a sign of someone who may underestimate the commitment involved in keeping a blog: not a good sign in a trusted legal advisor.

In terms of getting business, he said that his blog functioned more as an extended social network, that friendships formed, and that was where the real value was. He said that there was no question that it is an extremely cost-effective means of broadcasting your expertise, but that unsolicited inquiries were not a major component of the response, particularly since most of his clients are larger companies.

From my experience, Marty Schwimmer is a real trademark expert. The fact that people are writing books about his blog without him even knowing - is just a sign of how effective the medium can be. Unlike a certain (maybe) billionaire.


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