Blogging for Mediators 101 -- How to Get Started
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR BLOGGING
We had a great writing seminar with the brilliant and energetic Lisa Klerman of U.S.C. Law School, SCMA President Jan Frankel Schau of Valley Mediation Services and the tireless Phyllis Pollack, Chair of SCMA's Practice Development Committee, at the Los Angeles County Bar Association last night.
All participants walked out of the seminar with a writing/blogging marketing plan and some of the groups exchanged business cards, agreeing to act as "marketing buddies" to achieve the goals set at last night's session.
The Basics to Set Up Your Blog
Several attendees asked me to provide the links to blogging resources that I mentioned last night so here they are:
Google's Blogger -- where you can set up a blog free in about half an hour no matter how technologically over-50 you are. There are other resources, like typepad, but I have no experience with them.
For broader instruction, Diane Levin at the On-Line Guide to Mediation and Tammy Lenski at Mediator Tech teach a four part blogging seminar that I attended just last month and which I highly recommend.
Feedblitz syndicates your blog, i.e., permits you to put an email subscription box in your blog's sidebar and allows your subscribers to choose a direct "feed." I have no idea how the RSS ("really simple syndication") feed works, but I use it myself and it's easy to set up at Feedblitz.
I am indebted to Diane Levin for turning me on to MorgueFile, where you can get free images courtesy of a benevolent conspiracy of photographers who offer their stunning photographs free of charge. Before Diane turned me on the this source, I used (and still use) istockphoto.com where most images cost a dollar. Flickr also provides free images.
Google Alerts will send you articles and blog posts on any topic you choose. Just put in a key term like "mediation," "negotiation," "insurance coverage," "family law," "health care industry," "community mediation," "restorative justice," "social psychology," etc. and google will deliver the web results to your email box. (See also Google Tracking for Client Awareness at Netlaw Blog -- remember, your clients are Just Not That Into You; they are, however, into themselves).
Have I said "God bless google" recently? God bless google, particularly for constructing a library of every book ever written still in existence today at books.google.com. The New Yorker article on this dizzyingly audacious endeavor, Google's Moon Shoot, is here.
WARNING!!! there are no 12-step groups for bloggers yet, but I can tell you that the words "blog" and "marriage" do not sit comfortably with one another. ("yes, honey, I am blogging.")
time out for a short lecture on blog humility from the gaping void -->>>
More ADR Blogs
If you read the blogs listed below you'll get a pretty good idea of how the blogosphere works.
Geoff Sharp's Mediation Video Blog (get out your webcams and posper)
Geoff Sharp's essential Guide to the Mediation Blogosphere
Diane Levin's (you begin to see where the BigBang of ADR Blogging occurred) World Directory of ADR Blogs -- highly recommended for those mediators who last night expressed an interest in connecting with mediators in other countries.
DianeLevinGeoffSharpDianeLevinGeoffShapDianeLevinGeoffSharp -- get the picture? ("yes we see")
that's why they call them the leaders of the pack . . . . vroom vroom vroom If this gives you a warm swell of teenage nostalgia, congratulations, you're successfully transitioning from the 20th to the 21st century by learning how to blog. If you run into problems, track down someone under 30 and say "help. We come from the past; we mean you no harm."
Blogs I'm responsible for:
The SoCal Mediation Association Blog -- we're seeking guest editors for this blog; a pain-free way to learn if blogging is for you.
And if you want to listen in on the Employment ADR class I'm teaching at the Straus Institute with long-time employment mediator extraordinaire Stefan Mason, go to Selected Issues in ADR: Employment Blog.
I've got to start my working day now. So that everyone can benefit from questions and answers in response to this post, please leave them as comments here & I'll respond when I'm bored with paperwork during the day.