Now you might think this is an odd place to have me speak, given that I’ve often been sharply critical of a variety of high tech marketing techniques, so I’ll explain why I’m doing this.
The lead sponsor is a personal injury group blog called Injury Board that is, to put it mildly, severely under-utilized by it’s participants. It is rare to see any of the postings in that area appear in a Blawg Review or, in fact, linked up to any other external blog. It might happen, but I don’t generally see it. There seems to be little interaction with the outside blogging world.
A quick view of sample blog postings shows the following:
- This one is about a local car accident, which has little importance to anyone else in the world except those involved. Why do you think it was written?
- This one is about “where to put your hands on the steering wheel”and has the words “personal injury” linked to a lawsuit finance company with a pitch for their services at the end;
- This one has a list of train accidents along with a call to action to contact the firm at the end.
Some of this stuff parallels the points I made when I jokingly offered my blog up for sale on April Fool’s Day 2009, with a list of worst blogging practices.
My feeling is that such blatant advertising in the form of blog postings is bad for the profession and bad for personal injury attorneys in particular. It’s already tough to find an impartial jury that isn’t tainted by lawyer-haters, and this kind of stuff just makes it worse. It is, to me, not just the digital equivalent of the bad TV commercial, but worse: When lawyers target particular accidents and individuals I believe that they cross the line into solicitation. (See Attorney Solicitation 2.0 — Is It Ethical?)
So I’m heading down to Tampa to deliver a message that some in the crowd probably won’t like, but which I think is important to deliver. But it isn’t just me that thinks it’s important, for so too does Tom Young, one of the co-founders of Injury Board and the person that invited me to speak. It’s a credit to Young that he’s asked me to come, knowing full well that my opinions may be deeply at odds with the conduct of some of the bloggers at Injury Board.