Why follow professional blogs?
- Print magazines often have months old news; blogs have minutes old news from some of the best legal minds in the country.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest legal, technology and specialty area news.
- Join the conversations in the comment sections of blog posts to network, ask questions and share your own expertise.
- Set up a free RSS reader to keep up with your favorite blogs.
I hear too many paralegals say they don’t utilize various types of social media because they don’t have time. I agree that checking in with a half dozen or so of your favorite blogs can be time-consuming if you’ve just saved them as favorites in your browser, and separately visit each site when you want updates.
Utilizing a RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed reader, such as Google Reader, is an incredible time saver for a busy professional. An RSS reader provides posts and articles from your favorite blogs and news sites as they are updated, in an easy web feed format. You select, add or “subscribe” to the web pages that you want to follow, and your RSS reader does the rest for you.
There are many RSS readers to choose from, but here’s a list of “Top 10 Free Windows RSS Feed Readers/News Aggregators” from About.com for a quick overview.
Find a free RSS reader that you like and start small, with a half dozen or so legal, technology and practice blogs (including at least one in your specialty area). If you’re understandably overwhelmed by the thousands of legal professional blogs currently available, ask for recommendations or check out the blog directories at ABA Journal or USLaw.com.
What’s in my RSS reader? Here's a sampling of the blogs I follow:
Now, what’s in your RSS reader?
Addendum: I wrote this post this weekend, but in a not unusual fit of insecurity, asked my husband, "The King of Technology", if it was a silly topic, "'cause you know, everybody knows what a RSS Reader is, right?"
I mean, I kind of got the impression from some of the blank looks I received during that part of my social media presentation that maybe everyone in the room had not discovered the wonders of their own RSS feed, but then I usually get a lot of blank looks when I'm singing the praises of social media.
My husband said, "It's great, they'll love it," but you know, he's married to me and somewhere in the vows it might've said he has to tell me I'm a genius once a day.
But when I saw this post from Social Media Law Student, "Google: The Mightier Gets Mighty," in my RSS reader today - with the following quote - I knew that I was singing the right tune:
Despite the plethora of law-related software, blogs, and newsfeeds that exist online, too many students and professionals have no clue what an RSS feed is or about its immense potential.
And this is how much I treasure my Google Reader: I love it so much and it keeps me so entertained, and up-to-date, that I gave up my 25-year subscription to People magazine. There were periods in my life when I ate Ramen noodles to keep that particular over-priced and sort of embarrassing print vice coming.
Really. 'Sides, it was old news by the time I received it, anyway.