I felt a little bad about calling LawLink boring. Not because I said it was boring (it is), but because I did not give any advice for what would make it less boring. Since Steven Choi stumbled across this site, I might as well continue with my thoughts.
I found LawLink to be like an elevator pitch: “Let’s do LinkedIn just for lawyers.” As Steve Choi pointed out, there are only a few thousand members. It is shame that he did not give them a reason to come back after they joined.
Look at the ABA’s LawLink site: www.abanet.org/lawlink/. “Lawlink provides quick access to important legal information from the American Bar Association and other resources. Each site is selected and evaluated by a member of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center staff. ” Now that is information that I would come back for.
Look at the LawLink for New South Wales: http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/ There is information worth coming back for. (If I was in New South Wales)
Steven said that I should promote the blog in the LawLink classifieds. The classifieds look pathetic with most of them devoid of entries. I would be embarrassed to post something in there. Frankly, I found the existence of a dating section in the classifieds section to be repulsive for site that is targeted for professional relationships. Yes lawyers need love, but it seems to clash with the LawLink Mission:
• To help attorneys build professional relationships with other attorneys.
• To help attorneys leverage their existing professional relationships.
I would be interested if there were an aggregation of blawgs on the site. That would provide at least some substance.
LinkedIn provides a way for you to upload you contacts and see who in the network. It also matches other contacts in the network you may know based on college and law school attendance. LawLink does not provide a way to start that hunt for people you know.
To fair to LawLink, LinkedIn is also pretty boring. There is not much to do except see if anyone new has joined the network and answer questions.
I missed the early days of LinkedIn and Facebook, so I do not know how they got people to come back after their first look. I assume that there was some interesting information, cool feature or string of communication that caught their eye.
I think LawLink suffers from the blank wiki page syndrome. You can’t just put up a blank wiki and expect people to contribute. You can’t just put up an empty social site and expect people to be social (especially lawyers).
Steven says that LawLink will be rolling out new features. I am still waiting for something to catch my eye to get me to go back.