For Musings’ second Guest Post Friday, Amy Derby of Law Firm Blogger fame has been kind enough to interview me for her guest post here at my corner of the blogosphere. Amy is a law blog consultant who helps small firms and solos learn to write better blogs and utilize the social web to network and brand. Based in Chicago, IL, she was previously a corporate bankruptcy paralegal at DLA Piper. Amy has been very helpful to me in getting Musings up and running and I recommend her highly to anyone starting a legal blog.
What inspired you to start your blog in December? Did you have any particular goals in mind or any kind of strategy? Or a certain message you wanted to convey?
I had been posting profiles, etc. on LinkedIn, JDSupra, and other business “networking” sites and not seeing much return. I had a Twitter account and was occasionally posting but found no followers until, at the urging of @copelandcasati (aka @greenmodernkits) I just started talking. I quickly found several folks to follow and things just took off.
I then started a Tumblog (if that the right word) and got it set up, and I still use it for links, etc. on construction topics that I find I need to make a quick comment upon. I realized that this was not enough to keep my name out there so I hit Blogger and started my Construction Law Musings blog. I scrambled around seeking followers, trying to get a foothold and with advice from several folks, including you and Anne Reed of the Deliberations blog, I finally found a theme and a reason aside from “I really should be out there.”
My inspiration for doing it? To have some fun and to allow me to get my thoughts out there to clients, lawyers and anyone else interested in a more condensed easy to read format than with a firm newsletter or an attempt to get published in a trade journal (though I have done that too). I quickly realized that Musings is the hub of my informational/marketing output and that having Musings actually saves me time because of the tools to link it to so many other sites and applications. Without Musings, I’d be trying to get the same information cut and pasted to a ton of different sites.
I hope my message is that I care about construction, have expertise in the area, and am a decent guy willing to get this information out there to help people whether they are clients or not.
You’ve told me you enjoy the more leisurely writing style of blogging – and it’s always refreshing to meet lawyers who understand that a blog post shouldn’t look like a Motion for Summary Judgment. Did the casual writing tone come naturally for you, or did you have to work at it?
The casual writing tone comes naturally (sometimes too naturally). I try to engage people on a personal level. I represent construction pros because I enjoy getting to know them and like representing people that I can talk to and enjoy their company.
You seem to really know how to strike up a conversation online and engage folks, both on your blog and on Twitter and LinkedIn etc, which is something I love to see. Did you have lawyer buddies who were blogging and using social media before you started, or have you been building your online network from the ground up?
Thanks Amy, I appreciate the compliment. I have been doing this from the ground up. I really had no idea how to start, I just knew that I needed to do it. I enjoy meeting people and this has been a great way to do that. I now have lawyer buddies that blog, but I met them because I got involved, and not the other way around.
One of my favorite things about Web 2.0 is the ability to connect with folks instantly and get to know them so much better and faster than I would any other way – aside from being trapped in trial prep with them for months on end, perhaps – especially with people I would have otherwise never have met. Have you made any of those fabulous connections that have made you think, “Yes! This online stuff is DEFINITELY worth it?”
I certainly have met many folks that I now consider friends and great resources of information, conversation and humor. I can’t possibly list them all, so I apologize in advance for leaving someone out. I have found a wealth of information and great people through Twitter and comments to Musings.
Do you have any favorite folks you’ve met online? Bloggers you would recommend? Twitterers to follow?
Aside from those that I talked about when answering your other questions, I have truly enjoyed meeting and interacting with @sharishapiro (Green Building Law Blog), @scottwolfejr (Scott Wolfe, of the Wolfe Law Group), @chrischeatham (Green Building Law Update), @advocatesstudio (Martha Sperry) (Advocate’s Studio), and many others that I would have to take days to list (how’s that for ending this like an Oscar acceptance speech?)