Gini Dietrich

Facebook Question: Bloggers Who Blawg

By: Gini Dietrich | February 24, 2011 | 

It’s Facebook question of the week time! This week’s question comes from Mark Robins, the CEO of LawyerLocate in Canada (I love my Canadians!).

He asks, “Lawyers who blog and use the term “blawg,” are they elitist and do they risk alienating the public they are trying to reach?”

I answer his question in the video (if you’re reading this in your Reader, you can click here and watch).

This weekend, I will be in Toronto for PodCamp! I’m on a panel with Danny Brown and Eden Spodek AND I’m doing a live Inside PR recording with my co-hosts, Martin Waxman and Joe Thornley. I told you I love my Canadians!

If you have a question for us, or want to pick my brain, go leave us a note on our Facebook wall! Hope to see you in Toronto!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • LisaThorell

    Is it just me — or there’s no sound on this video?

  • @LisaThorell Not just you. @ginidietrich there’s no sound on the video.

  • Rosenlaw

    To be fair, there’s no sound on my blawg either.

  • MarkCRobins

    Cough ,Cough sure just my luck I get to be the question of the week and no sound!!!
    GINI!?!?!?!!? LOL

  • bdorman264

    Or doggers who dawg………….I’m trying to read your lips………….I was ready to blame it on my cheap laptop, I see others are having audio difficulty.

  • ginidietrich

    OMG! I’m in a meeting and can’t figure out what’s going on?! It totally worked when I published. I am so sorry! I’ll figure it out in a couple of hours.

  • MarkCRobins

    Yes and there is no sound at YouTube either , nor on my iPhone4 or my associates Blackberry! umm conspiracy?

  • bdorman264

    @ginidietrich That’s ok, I dubbed over it; kind of like an interpreter saying something totally opposite of what the person is really saying. It’s actually pretty hilarious………………..just kidding.

    Don’t let this be your stress of the day; no big deal ’cause you know ‘we’ll be back’………

  • The goal of any writing is to paint an apprpriate image in the reader’s mind. The use of jargon does not accomplish this at all. In this case, it even appears to be an attempt by the writers/users of the term to deliberately separate by declaring how very kewl they are.

    Practices like this need to be stopped in the name of effective communication. What does the reader need/want? How can you get that across as effectively as possible? Poetic use of small words to form intimate images is far more effective than any jargon can hope to be.

  • Starr

    Agree and hate it. Unfortunately the ABA Journal calls us blawgs even when we don’t.

  • @Starr Doesn’t ABAJ have a top 100 blawg list, or something like that?

  • I think we should ALL start blawgging instead of blogging. It sounds so superior. Conjures up visions of a shrimp cocktail in one hand and a 5-carat diamond on the other.

  • Starr

    @Shonali exactly. as if lawyers don’t already have enough reputation management issues…that’s why they need communicators on staff or retainer 😉

  • MarkCRobins

    Gini thanks for your written answer , but again I think that even from a PR perspective it still does not ring right.
    After all do these Law firms and Lawyers not want to get clients to see them as professionals?
    more and more today “bloggers” are being viewed as today’s Writers, journalists etc!
    I am thinking that Lawyers would want to be part of that Larger group.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    The term “blawg” orginated because lawyers were so late to the social media game that legal bloggers occupied an outsider niche. In that sense, the term was useful shorthand in publicizing a nascent trend within the profession.

    But as the practice (and hype) of blogging has grown in legal marketing, practitioners recognize that they have more to gain by dropping the “blawgger” label and identifying with the mainstream of social media. Although it pops up from time to time to sound cheeky, you don’t find legal bloggers regularly using “blawg” or its variants.

    My sense is that its use is vestigial, confined to certain use cases, like the ABA lists/awards.

  • ginidietrich

    I had to re-record, but there is sound now!

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali I’m with you. I would love the diamond!

  • Rosenlaw

    I think #blawg makes a nice tag for Twitter and helps people differentiate law blogs from other blogs in a search. I don’t use the term generally–not because it’s elitist but because it’s trite.

    I do love Arrested Development’s Bob Lobb Law Blawg. (Say it out loud.)

  • ginidietrich

    @MarkCRobins I think it’s clever, but it definitely is elitist and most likely alienates some people. I know some of the bloggers who use the term and they’re definitely in that club.

  • ginidietrich

    @Rosenlaw LOL! I totally did just say it out loud. Anyone who quotes Arrested Development is A-OK in my book!

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer Yeah – it doesn’t make sense that the rest of us use blog. What makes you guys so special?! 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @Starr You still read Spin Sucks?! YAY!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid So you don’t like the play on words?! I can’t decide. I’m trying to remove my feelings about the couple of bloggers I know who use the term (they ARE elitist) and decide how I feel about it.

  • Starr

    @ginidietrich Of course. Read before I worked with you and still do after. That reminds me I need to call PK ASAP. May be in the city tomorrow & have her girl scout cookies ready for delivery…make sure you’re in the office before they’re all gone!

  • @ginidietrich A play on words is one thing. I use the word “daze” ffor “days” when the passage of time marks a separation, and I use “nooze”” for “news” to describe the irrelevant stuff. Feel free to find that annoying, ‘natch, but the play on words is designed to construct an image.

    This is a spearator, distinguishing lawyers from the rest of the world, and is very different. A play on words, by itself, may or may not be annoying but a spelling designed specifically to separate is probably elitist, yes.

  • ginidietrich

    @Starr I want girl scout cookies!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid Very, very well said!

  • Starr

    @ginidietrich Megan can still sell thru 3/20 but they come in about a week later. And out here they are $4/box, not $5 like in the city! Email me what you want.

  • OMG I wish I was in Toronto this week. Podcamp sounds fabulous ! Would be great if someone could video the live InsidePR and add that to the feed too. Podcasters Emporium do this from time to time and it’s a great way of connecting and building an audience.

  • bdorman264

    @ginidietrich Much better, but I was kinda likin’ the Japanese Godzilla version where the words weren’t matching your lips……….

  • @Starr … instead of telling communication people what NOT to say, eh? :p

  • @ginidietrich Thanks! There are at least two uses for language. One is communication, another is establishing identity. I wrote a long time ago about how hte latter compares to my dog barking at the mailman as a way of establishing territory:

    I think it stands as an example for the situation here as well.

  • EdenSpodek
  • EdenSpodek

    Connie Crosby blogs at, an award-winning Canadian group blog by and for the legal community. You should ask what she thinks about “blawg” when you meet her at PodCamp Toronto. Looking forward to meeting you in real life tomorrow.

  • So what does that make Desperate Dawg? 🙂

    Great panels this weekend, miss, and really bummed we couldn’t hang out afterward. Next time, Chicago. 🙂

  • @jonbuscall Hi Jon,

    They get live-streamed, and then you can access the video archives later from the Podcamp site. 🙂

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  • Great!!!!

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