May-June 2013

Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/133212

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Page 28 of 49

In May 1998, I set up an "online diary" on my website to keep readers apprised of legislative developments surrounding the H-1B nonimmigrant visa debate. I wasn't familiar with the term "blog" because it wasn't coined until six months later, but the page was the first legal blog on the Internet and I happily claim to be the first lawyer blogger. The H-1B legislation diary was extremely popular and, in one day alone, received more than 50,000 hits as people were scouring the web looking for any information on that subject. If you're interested in seeing that page, go to the Wayback Machine and see our site as it looked in December 1998. My firm, Siskind Susser, P.C., now has several blogs that cover a variety of subjects. I write for Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy. I also write blogs on several narrow immigration subjects, such as health care immigration, EB-5 visas, I-9s, and E-Verify. Today, there are dozens of immigration law blogs. A few of my favorites include: • Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government • AILA Leadership Blog • ImmigrationProf Blog • America's Voice Blog • Joel Stewart's Labor Certification Blog • Bender's Immigration Bulletin • Reid F. Trautz, Director of AILA's Practice and Professionalism Center, has an excellent blog called "Reid My Blog." Why Blog? If you're considering blogging, there are several good reasons to invest the time and effort. Among the advantages: • It is an extremely effective way to market a niche practice; • Blogs are an easy way to promote firm developments; For more social media tips, see the Technology page from AILA's Practice and Professionalism Center. • Blog tools are typically located on third-party websites and new software is usually not required; • Content for a blog can be generated quickly, so if you don't have the time to write long articles, a blog can be a nice alternative; • Search engines love blogs, and posts on a blog are frequently picked up by search engines within hours; • Blogs are great for recycling content, such as articles, PowerPoint presentations, video and audio files, etc.; • Blogs are a nice way to interact with clients and potential clients since you can allow comments to your posts; and • It is easy to collaborate with others so that multiple people can contribute content to the blog rather than everything going through one person. Why Not Blog? While I typically evangelize on the benefits of blogging, other marketing tools might fare better. Here are some of the minuses: • A blog can easily become stale without regular attention. There is no accepted frequency for posting, but at least a couple of posts per month should be the goal; • A blog is not a substitute for other marketing endeavors, such as writing books and articles; • It can be tough to monitor your firm's content on a blog since it is so easy and quick to post. Be sure you and your colleagues know how to use the software properly; • The informal nature of a blog might not complement your firm's image fit; and M AY/ J UNE 2013 ILLUSTRATION BY BRADLEY AMBURN Lawyer Blogs 29

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