Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Martindale Hubbell's Cheezy Non-Blog

Terrible. Horrible. Make them stop. Please!

Oh where to start... No blogroll, no trackbacks, required login to post a comment, no photos, no 'about page', no categories, and no blogger profiles. On the plus side, they do have a nice link to the company's history, plus all those great 'Products and Services' pages!

If this was anyone else, I might accuse them of linkbaiting. It's kind of like rubber necking on a bad traffic accident. You shouldn't look, and you regret it afterwards, but it's human nature and difficult to resist.

Worst corporate blog ever? Go look and honestly tell me you're thinking any different.



Blogger Sami said...

Hi Steve,

I understand your point of view and would love to talk to you off/online to get input on how we could improve.

We just launched the blog and we're working on continuous improvements over the coming weeks and months.

My email is sami.hero@lexisnexis.com and AOL handle samihero.

best regards,

Sami Hero / LexisNexis

1:35 PM  
Blogger Steve Matthews said...

Thanks for the comment Sami. And as sharp tongued as my post was, full marks to you for listening to the blogosphere for feedback.

But rather than taking it offline, how about addressing it on your blog? Open & transparent right?

I think my critiques are pretty straightforward. Most of these issues wouldn't exist had MH used any of the out-of-the-box standard blog software. Did you guys seek any help in the process? I just don't understand the non-social vanilla approach.

I've subscribed to your feed (which should be full text & have a title, BTW), and will watch for your response!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin OKeefe said...

This is the problem a company LexisNexis has entering blogs. They don't have a clue what they are doing and whomever is advising them on to how to blog and enter into discussion on the Internet is doing a poor job advising or does not know what they are doing either.

Martindale-Hubbell launches blogs and for the reasons Steve mentions and more, it's very poorly done. At MH's blog they say they want to be transparent and now when they are blogged about, they say 'forget the transparency, we only meant that for PR.' Let's take serious discussions offline.

MH launched blogs for lawyers at lawyers.com a year ago. They sucked. Their answer in early 2007? We just launched them and we will be making continuous improvements over 2007 - the same that's being said here. What did MH do? Nothing.

MH does not get the Internet and I don't think ever has. The MH name has saved the directory so far, but this type of foolishness by a company which asks law firms to part with huge sums of money because MH understands the Internet has got to stop.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

I thought I did write "on" or "offline". I find it easier to chat on IM or live to get the good back and forth dialog going and to be able to clarify comments.

In any case, we're working on many of the technical things you mentioned and will be enhancing the MH blog over time.

We really wanted to get out there and get the communications going and solicit feedback on our direction so the initial focus was more on the content.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Jesse Newland said...

Feed Validator Results: http://www.martindale.com/rss/services/BlogsRSS.ashx

Why am I not surprised? ;)

2:52 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

Hi Jesse,

The feed worked really well with my reader (Illumio from Tacit) but I did ask our dev team to look into it and work on the technical quality on the feed.

As you probably know (I do after 20 years in software business and writing code) there is no such thing as bug free or perfect code...

Keep on looking and giving us feedback!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Jesse Newland said...

While it's true there's no such thing as 'perfect code', it's a no brainer to validate all RSS feeds produced by a blog - not doing so is risking that a large percentage of people that attempt to subscribe to it may not get updates as intended.

RSS is a well documented standard - the link I provided should give your dev team plenty to go on. Good luck!

3:11 PM  

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