I'm just back from Montreal where I had the pleasure to speak at the Association of Legal Administrators Annual Meeting on Monday afternoon. As promised, here are the PowerPoint slides from my session. "Blogs: The Hot New Technology for Communication and Information."
I thought that the session was very well attended and was pleased to learn that it was the session of the day. There were some great questions from the audience members, which included none other than Nathan W. Burke from lawfirmblogging.com Larry Bodine of Larry Bodine's Professional Services Marketing Blog.
In a post on his blog, Larry picked up on something that I said in the session: "Blogger is being overrun with spam blogs and readers avoid it." That sounds a bit more controversial than I meant it to be. While it is true that "splogs" (machine generated spam blogs) account for 9% of all new blogs created, and that most of these take advantage of Blogger because it is free, I didn't mean to imply that Blogger was "bad."
Before I explain, I'd like to make the distinction between blogs that both use the Blogger "software" AND are hosted by Blogger (look for "blogspot" in the URL) versus those that only use the Blogger "software" while being hosted elsewhere. As Bob Ambrogi points out in a comment to Larry's post, the latter is not problematic. My concerns about Blogger apply to those hosted by Blogger using the blogspot domain. I apologize that I didn't make that clear.
I simply meant that blogs hosted by Blogger have a harder time establishing credibility than those that don't. The fact is that some readers are put off by the blogspot url either because they have been scared off by too many Blogger "splogs" or, more likely, they believe that "if this blogger was serious, they would have shelled out a few bucks on their blog." Valid or not - there it is.
Are they some very popular, professional blogs that are hosted by Blogger? Yes. But, I still contend that if you created one today, you'd have a more difficult time being taken seriously than if you hosted it elsewhere. Why take that chance when there are other relatively inexpensive (or free in the case of WordPress), more respected alternatives?
How's that for a long-winded explanation?
ALA members who are interested in learning more, I invite you to participate in the post-conference forum about blogs and their place in the firm. You ask questions and I'll (try) to answer them.