Resources for Blawgers

A blog is a Web site that is made up of posts that are arranged chronologically, and are archived by date and category. A blawg is a blog focused on the law.

To blawg, you need blogging software, hosting, ideas and the ability to type.

Software and Hosting

To start a blog, you can select from a range of cost and service options:

  • free software and hosting,
  • free software you can host,
  • low-cost hosted solutions; and
  • higher end professional services, which include design, training and support.

Free Software and Hosting

Several providers offer free blogging software and hosting. Of these, we recommend both Blogger.com and WordPress.com.

Blogger
http://www.blogger.com
Google's Blogger has a lot to offer, and after a short term lull, new features are starting to show up regularly. You can select from a number of blog templates or you can create your own look-and-feel (or copy one from the many blogger template sites). You can even use the software to create youf blog and then host it elsewhere, if you want to use your own domain name or remove the Google credits at the top of the page.

Examples:

BizzBangBuzz - by Anthony Cerminaro (hosted by Google)
http://bizzbangbuzz.blogspot.com/

LawSites - Bob Ambrogi (published to his server)
http://www.legaline.com/lawsites.html

WordPress.com
http://www.wordpress.com
WordPress offers a number of good looking free templates (see Tim's WordPress sample blog. You can upgrade your account for a small one time fee if you want to use your own template (or one you found at the many free template Websites).

Besides Blogger and WordPress, LiveJournal also offers free blog hosting. You may be able to obtain free blog hosting from some schools, such as Harvard Law's Berkman Center. (See, Tim's Law and YouTube Blog). Finally, community sites such as MySpace and GoingOn also provide free blogs.

Low Cost Software and Hosting

While the free services above are good, there are some low cost solutions that offer some additional features that one might also want to check out. TypePad is the one we recommend.

TypePad
http://www.typepad.com

TypePad offers a number of different levels, ranging in price from $4.95 - 14.95 per month in price for their basic service and $89.95 - $124.95 per month for their business class service. Most law firm bloggers will be fine with the TypePad's basic service, and we recommend getting at least the mid/Plus Level ($8.95 per month) so you can run your blog on your own domain.

Examples:

Legal Blog Watch - Carolyn Elefant & Robert Ambrogi
http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com

Larry Bodine's LawMarketing Blog
http://blog.larrybodine.com

Little Sheba the Hug Pug - Justia's Puppy
http://www.hugpug.com

Other low cost solutions include LivingDot (inexpensive blog hosting for media, business and individuals), Squarespace (used by LexThink) at $7 - $17 per month. Companies such as GoDaddy, Hostway and others offer blog hosting and software.



Higher End Hosting and Software Services

A number of Web marketing companies, including Justia, offer a full range of design, training and support services for bloggers. In the legal Web development arena, most firms that develop Web sites also develop blogs.

Two service providers we are most familiar with are: Justia (us) and LexBlog.

Justia Law Firm Blog Design
http://blogs.justia.com

Sample Justia developed blogs include Michael Hassen's Class Action Defense blog, John Mesirow's Legal Juice Blog and Levin & Perconti's Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog.


LexBlog Law Firm Blog Design
http://www.lexblog.com

Sample LexBlog developed blogs include Stark & Stark's New Jersey Law Blog, David Swanner's South Carolina Trial Law Blog and Davis Wright and Tremaine's Privacy and Security Law Blog.



Blog Software

If you are hosting your own blog, you will need some blog software. While there are many alternatives, the two we recommend are WordPress (free) and MovableType (per user license).

WordPress
http://www.wordpress.org Cost is... free.

MovableType
http://www.movabletype.org Cost is $149.95 and up for a commercial license



Blawgging Idea Resources

There are number of good places to get ideas for blogging. We give a few below (we will be greatly adding to this list).

Blawg Review
http://www.blawgreview.com
The Blawg Review as a blawg of the week review and other blawg community news.

Blawg.com - Bill Gratsch
http://www.blawg.com
The leading directory of blawgs on the Internet. Includes blog categorization, featured feeds and Blawg's Blog. Contains all of the great materials on the old Blawg.org site with a nice new design. From Bill Gratsch.

Bloggers Rights - Electronic Frontier Foundation
http://www.eff.org/bloggers/
Includes a Legal Guide for Bloggers, as well as other useful legal information about blogging.

Justia's Legal SEO & Marketing Blog - Ken Chan & Tim Stanley
http://onward.justia.com
Has a blog category, as well as information on other facets of online legal marketing.

LawSites - Bob Ambrogi
LawSites
Covers the online legal community in great detail.

Law Firm Blogging - Nathan Burke
http://www.lawfirmblogging.com
Lots of practical information about blogging for lawyers.

Legal Blog Watch - Carolyn Elefant & Robert Ambrogi
http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com
Covers the blogging community with information, news and commentary.

LexBlog's Real Lawyers Have Blogs - Kevin O'Keefe
http://kevin.lexblog.com
LexBlog's CEO Kevin O'Keefe provides information and ideas to the blawging community.

Or check out a Justia BlawgSearch.com category or one of the other blawg directories and read what people are writing about in your area of law.