WHAT WORKS?

Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D., J.D., Etc.

The Law Firm of Michael Sean Quinn et

Quinn and Quinn

      1300 West Lynn Street, Suite 208

     Austin, Texas 78703

        (512) 296-2594

       (512) 344-9466 – Fax

           E-mail:  mquinn@msquinnlaw.com

I decided to enter the world of legal bloggery a little over two years ago. I have been limping along at its edge since then.  In “Quinn’s Commentaries on Lawyers and Lawyering,” I’ve had 16,700+ page views of 150 published pieces, one of them being twice as viewed as the next one down, and the rest of them trailing a bunch behind. (The one I have in Insurance Law is much smaller: 2800 page views for 100 posts. 

I am doing it more or less for the fun of it, for self-education, and from natural inclination. At the same time, I guess, I’ve had marketing in mind. The first three motivations have been immensely satisfying; the forth one, not so much.  Maybe its what I write about, maybe its the the length of some of my pieces, maybe it’s how I write.  

I should stop fretting about it. It too satisfying in other ways. (Of course, I still quaff under the number of hypos–No!No! “typos–I find. Then again I joke from time to time about being the world’s worsst proof reader. 

The electronic marketing weaknesses puzzles me, however.  I have never marketed anything in my entire life, except by being who I have always been publicly. [See the “Long Resume” attached to the website. www.michaelseanquinn.com] Almost every kind of biz activity has simply been handed to me. Well that’s not working any more.  I left a big firm long ago. Etc. So why should it not?  Besides new adventures are important. 

But we now live in the Age of the Internet, so NetTec  ought to solve all my problems of this nature. Bullshit, of course. See Evgeny Morozov’s TO SAVE EVERYTHING, CLICK HERE: THE FOLLY OF TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONISM.  A marvelous title, don’t you think?

I therefore consulted with a local priest on the matter, and she said that the Lord’s silence is an answer to something, and it often means that you are asking the wrong questions of Him. So I said, “Is He telling me that my marketing perplexities were my problem, and I was the one that needed to attend to them?” And then I said, “Is She telling me that she has more important things to worry about?” She, the priestess, said, “Maybe” and “Perhaps.” I don’t know what to make out of this really. After all, she’s only local. 

I have learned several things, however, and these are about what the population of most Internet browsers–note: not boozers–maybe most interested in, and here is the list so far: 

1. Interesting and unusual how-to pieces, e.g., leading questions as deposition question princes.  

2.  Essays denouncing lawyerly locutions, e.g., worn out vocabularies. 

3. Scandal and disbarment involving well known lawyers. Not so much judges, however. 

4. Legal ethics. Not graduate serious, however, since it induces “Glazed Over Eye Syndrome.” Whore as lawyer worked reasonably well, but the piece was too long. 

5. Maybe interesting legal difficulties of celebrities, the Rolling Stones, for example. 

Catchy and rhythmic titles don’t seem to hurt either, e.g., “Peg Legs, Eye Patches, Pirates, and Judges.

My law partner, who is also a Quinn, and someone other than a blood relative, suggests my sense of humor doesn’t go over well sometimes, that my prose is too wordy and complicated, that my blogs are too long, that I write on abstruse subjects, and that my pieces should be differently organized, and that I’m far too academic for the general population. I found all that most encouraging.  Some adventures require antecedent revolutions.

Another friend of mind, and hers for that matter, says “to hell with her primitive and uncreative views.” Well, maybe. The trouble is she is right too many time to do that. 

One thing I won’t do which some have suggested is that I write pieces with titles of the following form: 

  • “Seven Things You Need to Know In Order to Have Lots of Clients Who are Not Irritable Idiots.” [Instruction: “To be said in may fewer words.”], 
  • “Four Crucial Facts About the Proper Use of Happy Socks.”, 
  • “Why Boxer Male Underpants Make Lawyers of Both Sexes and Some Judges More Competent and Happier.” [Same instructions.]
  • (“Six and 3/4 Propositions You Must Assert in Dealing With a Crazy Boozed-Up Client Who Wants to. . . .” [Instruction: “Fewer words, No so Explicit.]

I WON’T DO IT!!

In any case, I am finding all this very confusing but provocative, both in good ways. I even asked another very successful and avid lawyer-blogger-poster the following questions:  

 “I have never marketed anything of any kind, including legal
services, for as long as I have lived, 70 years, and not legal services since I
have been practicing, 35 years. During much of my life, things have just been
handed to me—one of the seldom mentioned virtues of the large firm.
  I am now starting to market the variety of services already extant and to be found  on
the website, even given my primitive Net knowledge and cyber competence. I even
started two blogs a couple of years ago: “ Quinn’s Commentaries on Lawyers and
Lawyering” (16,700+ page views on 150 posts) and “Quinn’s Commentaries on Insurance Law”
(2500 page views on 100 posts).  Both of them. Pretty skimpy.

 “Now I’m there; arrived at the topic. Have you found your
electronic activities a productive form of marketing?  Has it been
economically efficient? Am I right to guess that the main expense of it is your
time in producing posts, etc.? Do you think that publishing LinkedIn Posts is
 better than worldwide bloggery? What are the best topics for attracting
readers?* Have you found good instructional reading sources?  (If
you think I am seeking advice on how to complete with you, put it out of your
mind. Your practice is much more diverse than anything I am seeking, and we
write very differently.)  [Those were the questions. Now we turn to the “footnotes” that were also included.

 *In the area of Insurance Law, nothing seems to
attract. In the area of Law and Lawyering potential readers seem to like
how-to stuff, e.g., deposition-taking** and vocabulary to avoid
using in written and oral argument, scandals involving lawyers, legal problems of the rich and
famous, and to a small extent legal ethics.  (Some old chapters I wrote
several years ago for a Bar handout book on legal ethics are getting a little ‘readership,’ if
that can be derived from page view numbers.)

 “**My most popular blog essay ever was on to use
leading questions in depositions and how to succeed in using question to which
you don’t care what the answer is.

“Kindly respond, when you get around to it. No hurry. The
wise*** know how to wait for wisdom to arrive.

***Now how arrogant might that have sounded?” 

I found his immediate response very helpful, believed it or not. He treated all the questions as one and said, “I don’t know?” We are also setting up further discussions 

Why did I find his immediate answer satisfying and helpful? The reason is simply. I learned I was not really alone, digital dinosaur that I am.   And I really realized–for the first time, though I have heard it said many times–that success in new ventures can result from experimental innovation. 

Like this blog maybe? Some more maybe? As you spend your nothing-else-to-do time looking round my blogs, check the “Aging Lawyers” marked.



Originally posted on 03/03/2015 @ 10:42 pm

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc. (530)

One of Texas's leading insurance scholars, Michael Sean Quinn is a past chair of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has a broad legal practice.

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