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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Marketing Is A Conversation

David Giacalone spotted Kevin O'Keefe's new service for lawyers, lexBlog, and called him on it. The good: lexBlog wants to help legal professionals get blogging. The questionable: the service goes beyond the nuts and bolts of putting together a weblog, and offers, in its Plus and Premium services, to provide "Content, Content, Content" written by its "staff of lawyer editors."

In good Cluetrain tradition, David has framed the issues, Kevin has responded, and lots of folks are chiming in in the comments. I'm all for employing talented people to blog on your behalf (in good Gonzo Marketing/Renaissance guild tradition), but I think this fact should be acknowledged. Hiring a staff of ghost bloggers to capitalize on the benefits of weblogging with none of the nasty effort (or authenticity) strikes me as a little like counting cards in Vegas: you might win a few hands, but the consequences are likely to be dire.

[Update, 4/16] I'm happy to say the conversation continued in my comments, where Kevin clarified that weblog material purchased from lexBlog appearing on its clients' sites will be identified as such, so it won't be anonymous ghostwriting but more like "value add." That's great, as is Kevin's likely well-founded hope that once his clients experience blogging for themselves their garrulous nature will take its course.

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