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