Starting again

Welcome back, though that may not be quite the right phrase, to Lawslot.

Some 12 months ago, struggling to find time to post to both Enough Said and Lawslot, to say nothing of my original blog, Dartmoor Letters, I decided to close Lawslot. I moved its posts to Enough Said: George Wilkinson’s Blog, and determined to concentrate on that blog.

So much for good intentions. There have been two difficulties. First, Enough Said has lost focus. It is something and nothing. It has certainly been a handy escape valve for some of my grumpier thoughts, mainly political, but these sit ill with what I had always intended to be considered posts on law firm strategy and management. If your blog is a window into your world, then reading mine I am clearly the Grinch.

Secondly, I discovered Twitter, and the joy of the Twitterverse: 140 characters, immediate, and the opportunity (still to be taken forward properly) of engagement with others who share my interests and concerns.

So as Twitter took  over, my posts on Enough Said all but stopped. Work is an excuse (of sorts), but not much of one. I was also concerned with the ‘image’ thing. Having decided that I would stop blogging anonymously, I was, and remain, concerned to keep the blog as professional as possible. Ranting about some of my least favourite politicians is good for the blood pressure but, as on of my partners commented, what if clients read my blog?

Then some two months ago I read an excellent post, A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub than Twitter by Joel Postman in Social Media Today. I also revisited two posts I had bookmarked, Doug Cornelius on Why I Blog in Compliance Building, and John Naughton’s What no comments in Memex 1.1, the first blog I ever read and followed. At the time I was preparing my presentation on Client take on for a Risk Management Conference at which I had been asked to speak, and one of the key issues I was thinking about was that asked by Bill Knight in a PLC article some years ago: what do you ‘when your client wants to do something which is legal, but [which] in your view [is] highly questionable’. I posted about this in Professional unease last year.

And I decided, a slightly early New Year’s resolution, that I would revive Lawslot, as Lawslot Redux – but concentrate on legal ethics and the world in which I practice. There is, in many ways, overkill on law firms and social media, and there are a number of brilliant blogs on law firm strategy and management that I read, but with which I could not compete: Bruce MacEwen’s Adam Smith, Esq., Rob Millard’s The Adventure of Strategy, and Jordan Furlong’s Law 21. Certainly there are also blogs on legal ethics, but this is something that I have spent much of my professional career thinking about, and, when asked, speaking about – and it is time to start writing about them. I will continue both Enough Said and Dartmoor Letters (I have some stunning early Winter photos of Dartmoor) but the professional blog will be this one (again).

Where this blog will go I am still not sure: but stick with it and see.

Another legal minefield (says who?)

Read Lawyers bringing blogging under control in the FT. I am not convinced (as a lawyer who blogs). Even so, it’s a good article in Digital Business Web 2.0 Strategy section. I didn’t like the closing quote from “Dave” (an anonymous blogger.

“You might think twice about sending a legal letter if you know it will be published [apparently TechCrunch publishes all its legal communications]. Lawyers have no choice but to use legal language, and that always reads so badly.”

We don’t always (and shouldn’t).

Catching up

One result of an over-busy week is catching up with posts, mine and others. Time runs away with me and it is only on a Sunday morning that I pause long enough to catch my breath. Among a whole raft of interesting press reports, feeds and posts, I really liked John Naughton’s post What – no comments? on 10 February on Memex 1.1. One of the questions my family asks me is why I blog, and whether anyone reads what I post (the answer, courtesy of WordPress’ Dashboard gizmo, is very few). John Naughton’s second reason for not allowing comments on his blog is:

“Secondly, although it’s nice to have readers (and I have no idea how many there are, because I’ve never done any kind of tracking) and I’m glad that people find this stuff worth reading and linking to, fundamentally I keep a blog for myself. I started blogging in 1998, and for the first three years or so, my blog was private. It was a personal notebook in which I kept stuff that I thought was noteworthy or useful. Because it had a search engine, it meant I could always cheat my poor memory by retrieving stuff instantly. (This, incidentally, is what started Tim Berners-Lee on the path that led to the invention of the Web.) I knew that if I had blogged about something I would always be able to find it again. This philosophy survived the switch to public blogging which took place, I think, sometime after 9/11. It’s just now that my personal notebook is publicly available to anyone who wants it.”

I go along with that.