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August 2008

Google’s Fascination with Digg

Some of you may know, Google has been considering a purchase of, the popular pligg site.

Google seems to be fascinated with a concept which Amazon learned long ago, end user ratings really do matter.  The Google algorithm currently provides search results based on the mysterious Google algorithm.  It is believed that Google may be looking at Digg in order to incorporate some of the rating system into its search results.  For instance, imagine being able to see Google search results based on how many “diggs” each search result has obtained.  Imagine also the social networking aspects of an integration of Digg into Google.  Not only will you be able to rate and comment on the search result, but you would be able to see other users ratings and comments of search results.  Instead of the “back-link” being the gold standard of “authority” on the web, the search results themselves could be graded. 

Personally, I think Google has a long way to go before it achieves its goal of serving up the best results within each vertical content area and keyword search terms.  Let’s face it, there’s a lot of junk returned on page one of Google.  Oftentimes, the best result has nothing to do with keyword density.  It may simply be the most authoritative commentary on the web about a particular issue.  Adding a social networking piece such as Digg to the search results seems to make good sense.

Blogging Basics: Starting Conversations and Building Relationships.

Leo Bottary over at the Client Service Insights blog has a great post on the importance of blogging.   He notes two key benefits, conversation and relationships. 

Yes, it's true. Once you start writing your blog, others who write blogs will find you and you will in turn visit their blogs, read what they have to say and contribute further to the conversation. That's how it works. It's how you grow and how the conversation grows. It's how you build relationships and why it's imperative for PR professionals to join the conversation. We ARE IN the relationship business!

We appreciate the inclusion of the Greatest American Lawyer Blog in Leo’s list of “must read” client service blogs.  We have added Leo’s site to our blawg roll.  Keep up the great work Leo!

Flat Fee Billing is NOT Like This Guy Kiteboarding!

I regularly hear other lawyers say that they are afraid to bill flat fee on most matters. Our lawyers bill most everything as a flat fee, some (but not all) litigation matter excepted.  Lawyers feel like they will loose control if they bill on a flat fee basis, much like this kitesurfer trying to launch as Tropical Storm Fay approaches ...

New Post | Post | The Greatest American Lawyer | Your Weblogs | TypePad

Do you want to know more about flat fee billing, keep reading ...

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Death of A Blogger: Bill Patry (of Google) Hangs Up His Keyboard

William Patry of the Patry Copyright Blog has been a prolific and well respected blogger on copyright issues for over four years. Today, he decided to stop blogging.  His loss will be felt across the blogosphere.

I have decided to end the blog, after doing around 800 postings over about 4 years.  I regret closing the blog and I owe readers an explanation. There are two reasons. 1. The Inability or Refusal to Accept the Blog for What it is: A Personal Blog. 2. The Current State of Copyright Law is too depressing.

Bill notes that his recent employment at Google as it's Senior Copyright Counsel makes it almost impossible for him to blog.  Despite his emphasis that the blog is a personal blog, and is no way endorsed by Google, newspapers and other bloggers always include his corporate designation in stories and blog posts about his blog posts (as I, alas, have done here). The reality is that bloggers who work for large publicly traded companies have additional challenges which most other bloggers don't.  Regardless of how many safeguards they put in place, people mix and match personal opinions with corporate positions.  it is worth noting that Google itself had no problem with Mr. Patry's blog.   

RSS Feeds Are Changing The Way Lawyers And Law Students Learn About The Law

Most people who spend any time on the internet know what an RSS feed is.

“RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel") contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays.”

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The Power of Iteration

Improvements in process in the technology age come by way of iteration. The guts of every company are a series of contemporaneous and non-synchronous intermittent processes.

In the industrial age, success was in many instances driven by perseverance. Iteration is now much more important than perseverance. Genius is now defined, not by how many hours you work or how many days in a row you can string together doing the same thing over and over again. Genius can happen in a second. Implementing a great idea requires process.

When I look back over the last 4 ½ years, I see the current iteration of things I started long ago. Things like blogs, dictation, extranets, virtual workers, flat fee billing based on defined deliverables, global practice areas, being completely digital, etc. Many of these items describe technology built on a process. Scanning documents happens in a certain way. Routing of digital dictation occurs in a certain way. Receipt of digital dictation has its series of steps. Blogging across various niche and general blogs has been one of my greatest joys. Being a content leader and thought leader is something in which I take pride. But, blogging is also a series of processes built on a model which constantly improves the process through the application of iteration.

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