Thursday, January 04, 2007

Web Widgets & the Law

Business 2.0 Editor Erick Schonfeld has a nice post that introduces the concept of Web Widgets and why they will be important in 2007 (& in the future). If you want a short concise explanation, link on over.

The idea behind these Widgets, is that web companies (often of the 2.0 variety) will offer the ability to plug content (eg. a Youtube video) into another website's pages (think, a blog, Netvibes, or myspace page). And the big issue, or concern, is that these web companies won't get credit under the traditional form of web metrics - the page impression - for their offerings. This has caused guys like Steve Rubel to highlight the issue, calling for the death of the pageview.

Why is this of concern to the legal community? Well first, it's a wider issue than you think. Everyone evaluates websites on pageviews, visitors, & unique visitors. If those metrics goes away, how do we equate online success? Law firm websites will still draw page views, but will they matter as much? Probably better to think 'leads' or 'new clients' anyway, but few firms seem ready to track that kind of data. I'm not sure how fast the widgetization of the law will progress, but I can see how things are certainly going in that direction.

Law firms who aren't integrating RSS in 2007 may just want to re-think things. Syndicating a firm's content and allowing it to be widgetized via a Feed Aggregator, or another blog or website, is going to become a necessity. Making your ideas & thoughts easily available, especially to the media, and other business professionals is going to be the way of the future. Your current network of business partners & contacts are not only going to be endorsing you verbally, but they may also have blogs, and become redistribution partners of your content too!

I'd expect the offerings of companies like Feedburner to become more sophisticated, and help law firms with the concepts of corporate widgets and more advanced syndication, but the first step is to RSS-ify your content. Time to get thee to a blog or CMS! Happy new year. :-)


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