2011 was a banner year for Flawging.
For those who don’t know what a Flawg is; well, it isn’t a Blawg (or law blog).
Back in January of this year, I wrote a post called ” My Gift to the Social Media Law Marketers: The Flawg” where I offered the following definition:
Flawg”: noun. A legal blog without any substantive legal content that is created, monetized and promoted exclusively for profit. A Flawg will often contain posts about the latest legal tech gadgets, or the how to gain new clients through the awesome power of the internet, in the absence of anything remotely legal to discuss;
“Flawger”: noun: someone who flawgs. Usually, a non-lawyer/social media law marketer, (but also a disbarred/suspended/unemployed/underemployed/retired/or failed lawyer who quit) who writes blawg posts about how to write blawg posts, SEO, ROI, iPads, cloud computing, top ten lists, and enjoys attending law marketing conferences and twittering about using #hashtags.
Soon after, the elder statesman of the UK Blawgosphere, CharonQC (Mike Semple Piggot) took the idea one step beyond in his ‘Postcard from The Staterooms: Law blogs – but no *Flawging*?’ and wrote:
I’m not interested in the ‘Flawgs’ – blogs which merely highlight the brilliance of the law firm along the lines of *I was sorry to hear that Mount Etna killed thousands in Pompeii in AD 79 (substitute the latest disaster to taste) – meanwhile, if you need advice on conveyancing, personal injury or will drafting etc etc …contact us at…*
Brian Inkster continued the debate in his post: “I Blawg. You Flawg. Period?“
What then, does the Canadian Blawgosphere have to say about Flawging? What then, indeed.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
It seems that Canadian law bloggers are an indifferent lot. The harsh truth is that most of the Canadian law blogs, new and old, are not worth the time to read. There are exceptions, of course, including Erik Magraken, Dan Michaluk and his colleagues, Veronique Robert, Lee Akazaki and Chris Jaglowitz, to name a select few.
Those lawyers I have met in the past at Blawger Meet-ups held some promise, but many have clearly aligned themselves with a former “investigative consultant” turned law marketing expert , whose online predatory conduct resulted in him getting banned from various sex worker website forums and added to a national sex worker blacklist.
Despite my cautionary post, one long-time Canadian blawger deigned to wade into the ethical trenches, going so far as to heap fulsome, treacly praise on an admitted defamer and cyber-harasser as a “builder of Toronto’s burgeoning law blogger community” as part of his #Clawbies2011 Award nominations.
If a certain “corner of the internet” has its way, the Canadian Blawgosphere will become a self-contained Flawgosphere, replete with self-congratulatory, Happyspheric ™ (Mark W. Bennett) posts about iPaddery, Cloudy Computing With A Chance of Meatballery, etc. As another instant leading Canadian lawyer, who keeps asking “why can’t we just all get along” puts it:
Crowdsourcing complex legal questions discussing legal philosophy in a respectful and open exchange is a best case scenario for me because it would foster the greatest forms of creativity and collaboration, something we already see happening in the tech, communications and business sectors.
Yes, yes, it’s great to get along with everyone. Up With People!
I prefer the credo: Up Yours, People! If the Canadian Blawgosphere is to thrive and survive, it’s time that we all took a long look in the mirror and stopped turning a blind eye to blatantly discreditable marketing tactics and unethical practices.
The vast majority of lawyers are not independently wealthy; they too have families to feed and clothe and mortgages and bills to pay. Advertise all you want. Congratulate those who deserve the recognition. Just, please, please don’t start writing posts like this one: