Improved Web 2.0 Participation

7 March 2010

An interesting blog post from Jon Bloor at Peninsulawyer on 'Law Web 2.0?' made us wonder at Inksters whether we could be doing more to make a participatory website.

Jon Bloor points out that a criticism often levelled at a number of law firm websites is that they are "flat", "brochure ware" and most crushingly of all... "so Web 1.0". To Jon the core of the concept should be the move from "information" sites to "participation". Jon points out that some lawyers and (to a lesser extent) law firms have proved enthusiastic users of Web 2.0 social media tools for business development, but asks how many law firms have actually embraced Web 2.0 in their own web sites? Looking deeper than this, Jon wonders to what extent is it even possible for a law firm site to make this "information to participation" shift?

At Inksters we have of course embraced Web 2.0 social media tools for business development: being the first law firm in Scotland to Twitter and now having 6 dedicated Twitter streams. We were also the first law firm in Scotland with a dedicated YouTube Channel. However, these developments occurred after the launch of Inksters new websites. Those new websites did of course incorporate participatory elements seldom seen in law firm websites:

But have we done enough to incorporate our Web 2.0 activities within our websites? We did embed our various Twitter streams within the website as part of our News section at Our News on Twitter and Scots Law Twitter. Videos were already contained within the website at Inksters TV but our YouTube Channel was perhaps not so obvious. So with a nudge from Jon Bloor (whom we must thank) we have updated Inksters' Home Page to include an embedded YouTube video (the 'Secrets of Success' film on Inksters made by the Telegraph Business Club) and also embedded revolving Tweets from Inksters Twitter Stream.

Jon Bloor also made us think about our News pages. He states that "the expeditionary force in the Web 2.0 infiltration was the blog, which has found its way into a number of sites (although in many cases what is termed a "blog" is more of a re-badged news feed which lacks the comment facilities to give it real Web 2.0 credentials)". Our Blog at InkstersGive did, of course, allow comments in this way. We don't call it a blog at but we do have Our News and Scots Legal News. Neither allowed (until today that is) " the comment facilities to give it real Web 2.0 credentials". This News Item (or should we now be calling it a blog post?) does contain a facility for our readers to comment - see below. We plan to introduce this to all future news items on this website and look forward to seeing how this develops.

Jon Bloor also mentions social sharing and bookmarking buttons being uncommon on law firm websites and not having managed to track down a site with the Tweetmeme button and counter to allow articles to be easily re-tweeted. We were already using a social sharing and bookmarking button at the Inksters Give Blog but not on this website. We had not considered the Tweetmeme button. You will note that both now appear on this page and will do so on future news items, thanks again to Jon.

Jon makes some other suggestions. We will be considering those also. Watch this space as they say! In the meantime we hope you like the improvements that we have now made to and please let us know  what you think by adding a comment below.

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