f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 20, 2004

Realism About Weblawgs from a Born Optimist

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:31 pm

A lot of webfolk have pointed to Carolyn Elefant’s excellent Legal Times articleIt’s a Blog World After All: If you’re seeking greater visibility, a Web log may be for you” (02-19-04).  I want to point out her frank assessment of weblogging as a marketing tool for lawyers:

While I’d like to say that starting a blog will magically bring hordes of clients to one’s doorstep overnight, I’d be grossly exaggerating. Moreover, I’d be guilty of purveying the same kind of myth sold to solos (and many other lawyers) back in the late 1990s to connive them into registering for pricey, but ultimately useless, Internet referral services or into investing in expensive flashy Web sites with little substance that prospective clients could not find anyway amidst the heaps of information online.


lawyer cellphone small flip . . buzzzz 

At the same time, blogs — unlike conventional Web sites — have much to offer solos seeking to build and market their practice. Blogs can serve as a “quick and dirty” Web site, help solos keep abreast of new developments, gain visibility on the Internet and notoriety in their respective fields, and make new contacts — all of which can help generate referrals from other attorneys and attract new clients. . . .  [T]hough blogs probably will not start the phone ringing in the way that advertising on TV or in the Yellow Pages might (at least depending on practice area), the initial time and cost investments are so minimal, that there’s really no risk in giving blogging a try.  

In getting to know Carolyn since I started this weblog, one thing is clear: she is a born optimist — especially when dealing with people or causes that mean the most to her.  That’s why Carolyn’s refusual to be a blind mouthpiece for the growing “buzz” on weblogs as client magnets is especially important. 


echo . .  lawyer cellphone small  Most “buzz” starts with people with a financial or emotional stake in the “next new thing,” and is then amplified in their own echo chambers.   Those who believe the buzz very often get stung.   As I’ve been opining here, no amount of cyber-smoke or number-mumbo-jumbo can cover up the fact that the jury is just starting to deliberate (and has almost no evidence to consider) on whether lawyers can effectively use weblogs to increase clientele and profits.  There are a lot of other good reasons to start weblogs, but income generation is not a realistic near-term goal for the vast majority of webloggers.  Thankyou, Carolyn, for your cautious approach.

  • Postscript of Note (02-21-04): Weblawg Vendor (and good guy) Kevin O’Keefe and I continue the debate on the marketing value of weblogs for lawyers in this thread, which also got its own post.
  • Also, things are heating up at Jerry Lawson’s place, with a set of cascading comments.

Thou Shalt Not Self-Aggrandize (Deceptively)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:38 pm

The New York Law Journal is reporting this afternoon that prominent New York attorney, Jonathan A. Weinstein, has been disbarred for “a pattern of deliberately false and deceptive conduct, including distortions of fact . . . undertaken for purposes of self-aggrandizement and in an arrogant and devious manner.”  (NYLJ, “Prominent NY Lawyer Disbarred,” by Daniel Wise, 02-20-04)

umpire See Matter of Jonathan A. Weinstein  (App.Div., 1st Dept, decided 02-19-04, 2004 NYSlipOp 01231), for the details of the conduct leading to disbarment of a member of a distinguished Queens legal and judicial family.

Hot News About Hot Cocoa

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:37 pm

coffee cup  more hot cocoa, please

Health Hint from haikuEsq: A Cornell University study recently found that a cup of cocoa has more than twice the antioxidants of a glass of red wine and three times more than a cup of green tea.   (infoAging.com, Cocoa’s Surprising Health Benefits, by Chang Y. Lee, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Food Sciences and Technology, Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY; and this pointer from SeniorJournal.com). 

Here are the numbers on antioxidant content:

  • Cup of Cocoa – 1200 mg.
  • Glass of red wine – 480 mg.
  • Cup of green tea – 330 mg.

If you’re wondering about convenient hot cocoa at the office, food chemist Yee says”I think that any premium commercial cocoa powder product would provide a nutritionally rich drink teeming with a relatively high amount of antioxidants. “

This very good news for we kids of every age (and especially tea-phobes like skepticalEsq).

Around the e&hEsq household, we use fat-free half-n-half for rich cocoa or coffee (with artificial sweeteners), to avoid worrying about clogged arteries or out-grown britches.  And, since we read Walter religiously, we never serve the stuff overheated.


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