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WSLL @ Your Service October 2017

 

Promoting Your Blog - Carol Hassler

If you currently write a blog or are contemplating doing so, there are several things you can do to maximize visibility of your blog posts.

Search engines

Making your blog visible to search engines is vital, whether you use a hosted service like Blogger or blog software on your own web host. Depending on where you host your blog, search engine visibility (whether search engines like Google can visit and index your blog) is often controlled in the blog settings. If you're unsure, ask your blog host's technical support for help to make sure that search engines can visit your blog.

Create interesting, descriptive titles for your blog posts. Not only is a good title eye-catching, but one with descriptive words can sometimes factor in to how a search engine ranks your blog's results. (A good title or keywords aren't the ultimate predictor of search engine ranking, however. Be wary of any experts that try to make such promises!)

Directories and aggregators

While directories aren't used as frequently these days to discover websites, you may still wish to list your blog with a directory or professional organization that falls in line with your own mission for your blog. The American Bar Association's blawg directory and Justia's blawg search are two examples of websites that "collect" lists of legal blogs for researchers.

Justia's blawg search

Cross post to social media

While a blog technically is considered "social media" you can reuse blog content across your professional network. Did you write an article your Facebook followers might find useful? Share it!

Posting links to social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be great ways to share your blog content. You can use tools to automate sharing your blog, ranging from cross-platform management websites like Hootsuite to specialized tools built within individual social media sites.

When creating a blog post with shareability in mind, it's often a good idea to include an image in your post to pull attention to the link on busy social media feeds. Most social media platforms automatically scour your post for an image to use as a placeholder for the link. Be aware of copyright restrictions when using images, and only use images you have the right to use, or that are licensed for unrestricted commercial use.

Professional networking

Blogging can be a great way to strengthen professional ties. Target your shared posts to individuals or groups who may wish to read or engage with your blog post. Some professional organizations may encourage this type of sharing, or even have a forum set up. For example, the American Association of Law Libraries publishes an email newsletter rounding up blog posts and other interesting links from the week, and offers a way for readers to submit links as well.

Write widely

Networking never ends. If you're regularly writing great content for your own blog, why not extend your skills and contribute to other publications as well? Look for local, state, or national professional organizations, news sources, and magazines. Sources like jotwell.com or the Wisconsin State Bar's InsideTrack may accept articles on a variety of legal topics. Your blogging skills can be put to great use in another publication and often you'll be able to promote your own website or blog in an author bio.

Writing a blog can be a professionally and personally rewarding activity. When you're looking to promote your blog, remember that there is no single solution to increase readership. It can require time, patience, and communication to make sure you are reaching your widest audience.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Title! Female Genital Mutilation: Law and Practice, Zirman Samuel
Lexis, 2017
Call Number: K 3611.F45 S26 2017

If you see this book on our new books display, you might notice that the cover has hues of pink and purple and beautiful artwork, but the topic of female genital mutilation is quite ugly. This topic isn't widely talked about, but it's important for professionals to understand the laws around it.

Chapters include:

  • International Legal Framework
  • Criminal Offenses and Guidance for Police Authorities
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • Public Law Intervention and Safeguarding Responsibilities
  • Immigration and Asylum Issues

New Title! Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority, Robert A. Mikos
Wolters Kluwer, 2017
Call Number: KF 3891 .M2 M55 2017

This law school casebook covers the law governing marijuana. It also goes in depth behind policy rationales and outcomes produced by different approaches to regulating the drug. Finally, the legal authority to regulate the drug is discussed. Each section covers a different question in this emerging field of law. Notes and questions follow each section to promote discussion.

Questions the author delves into:

  • What are the criminal sanctions for supplying marijuana?
  • May users cultivate their own marijuana?
  • Are physicians willing and able to recommend marijuana?
  • What services may attorneys provide to marijuana users and suppliers?
  • May attorneys use or supply marijuana?
  • Can landlords ever be sanctioned for refusing to rent to marijuana users?
  • Can state officials stop the federal government from accessing information they collect about marijuana users or suppliers?

Bonus social media titles!

New Title! Social Media Law in a Nutshell, by Ryan Garcia
West Academic, 2017
Call Number: KF390.5.C6 G37 2017

To begin the conversation about what social media law is, Garcia explains the terminology -- hashtags, posting, sharing, responses and engagement. All these terms are part of our common language now and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are a few of the social media platforms people use every day. The first chapter outlines why social media matters and how it is different from just browsing the internet. Adding conversation and allowing people to interact with each other and the technology present various legal risks.

Chapters include:

  • Platform Terms and Conditions
  • Marketing and Promotions
  • Employment
  • Law of the Crowd
  • Content, Copyright, License
  • Privacy
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Litigation
  • Judges

Internet Publishing Perils and Practices: a Compass for Content in the Digital Domain by John P. Borger
ABA, 2013
Call Number: KF 2750.I59 2013

In this book on internet publishing, the author walks you through legal concepts from more traditional fields of law and how they are applied to websites, email, and other forms of social media. Websites reach a wide audience, so how do you determine which states laws apply in a particular situation? What is important to know about privacy law when publishing names and imagines of people to promote a product? Answers to these questions and more are covered in this book.

Chapters include:

  • Where Can a Lawsuit Be Brought Against You for Information Posted to Your Web Site, Blog, or Social Media Page?
  • Copying and Reposting Online Content
  • An Employer's Right to Monitor, Discipline, and Encourage Employees' Off-Duty Online Conduct

new book shelf
New Titles RSS Feed See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

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Tech Tip - Heidi Yelk

Searching Blogs

Blog content is perhaps one of the most easily overlooked sources of expert information on the internet. Highly skilled people - judges, attorneys, gardeners, marathoners - offer free, trustworthy information that may never show up on the first couple pages of a general search engine result list. As such, your research could miss useful information.

Using a blog search engine or narrowing your search to blog content only will help you discover content in the blogosphere. For law blogs (a.k.a. blawgs), the go-to search engine is Blawgsearch at Justia.com. Keyword search results can be sorted by relevance or date. For example "raw milk" sorted by most recent postings.

Google has merged their blog search into the news content area of the database. To restrict searches to blogs only, first search using Google. Then, click the "news" results under the search box. Then click "tools" and change the results from "all news" to "blogs." Other blog search engines include regator.com and BlogSearchEngine.

searching blogs

Whether you're looking to discover new content, research an issue or monitor a client's online reputation, it's worth your time to conduct searches specific to blog content.

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Library News - Kristina Martinez

Staff News

Please join us in welcoming Abby Hartenbower and Erin Augspurger to the David T. Prosser Jr. Library's circulation staff. Abby is currently a student at Madison Area Technical College and has worked at two public libraries. Erin has experience working at the Verona Public Library and has attended library school. Both Abby and Erin can be found at the circulation desk so stop by and say hello!

Abby Erin

Left: Abby Hartenbower. Right: Erin Augspurger

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October Snapshot

WI Board of Circuit Judges

1963 Wisconsin Board of Circuit Judges photo
Entrusted to the library by Vicky Coulter
, September 2017

We are accepting snapshots! Do you have a photo highlighting libraries, attractions or points of historical interest? Send your photo the editor at Kristina.martinez@wicourts.gov to be included in a future issue.

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