My friend and legal blogging veteran, Carolyn Elefant, wrote this morning that when she started blogging fourteen years ago, she saw blogging as democratizing publishing and marketing for solos and small law firms.

When I started MyShingle and up until recently, I viewed the web and blogs and social media as a way to level the playing field; to give solos and small firms a voice that they didn’t have in trade publications like the ABA Journal or ALM Media and a competitive presence that they couldn’t otherwise afford with pricey advertising or exclusionary ratings systems.

I jumped on the blogging train a year later with my own blog, and then LexBlog.

No question, blogging has changed. What began as lawyers offering insight and commentary, has turned for many law firms into pseudo blogging for marketing, as Scott Greenfield, responding to Elefant’s post, called it.

…[T]hey’ve never been sure if they actually worked. Many paid mopes and dopes to create fake news for self-promotion, often at the expense of their integrity (not that anyone gave a damn, as long as it could potentially earn them a quick buck).

I’m still bullish on blogging. Like Carolyn did fourteen years, I see blogging as the great equalizer for the little guy.

Armed with a dream, time, passion and a few bucks, a solo or small firm lawyer can become recognized as a leading lawyer in a locale or a niche. They can make a difference in the lives of the people they serve, will get to serve and the family they’re trying to support.

I feed off what I see out there. Like this from Des Moines attorney, Rush Nigut, who’s been blogging for years, who can’t see why anyone would doubt the power of blogging. This from Facebook today.

I am surprised the value of blogging and other social media would still be questioned at this point. For me, it has been the foundation that has helped me build a terrific practice. So wondering whether it is beneficial is rather absurd in my experience.

This last week some of the team and I looked at product direction for the coming year. Were we going to move from Blueberry Fritter to Maple Bar (LexBlog product development named after products at Top Pot Donuts) sooner than we had planned?

Or do we move forward with Blueberry Fritter, which along with features large law will like, which will make LexBlog even more attractive to solos, small firms and law schools.

We went with Blueberry Fritter. And when I came in this morning after reading Elefant’s and Greeenfield’s comments, I told our CTO, Josh Lynch, who laid out the advantages of Fritter, that we’re doubling down on blogging — and blogging for solo and small firms.

Can law blogging still make a difference for lawyers and our legal profession? Greenfield’s a little skeptical.

Is there any point to it all? Has it changed anything? Well, sure, to some extent, but hardly to the extent one might have hoped when it was all shiny and new. On the other hand, the legal profession, and society in general, seems worse off now then it was 14 years ago, or ten years ago. Stupider. Struggling harder. Buried deeper and deeper in extreme and irrational views and confirmation bias.

I’m more optimistic. Maybe I have to be, I’m in the business. But the idea that the average lawyer, without going through an intermediary or paying a lot of money, can publish in engaging way to meet people and build a name for themselves makes all the sense in world.