great conversations: m. al’ afghani – the concept

ed. note: below is the continuation of this conversation i had with mohamad mova al’ afghani in which we discussed the website i developed in association with attorney, entrepreneur, programmer kreig mitchell (“k” in this post).

mohamad:

the business model of the website is simple: users post content for others to download, such as:

  • documents: pleadings, letters, briefs, memoranda, research
  • presentations: power-point, flash, PDF
  • media: videos, photographs
  • applications: applets or widgets

authors and items receive user ratings. highly rated authors and items are featured more prominently. revenue would be generated through

  • e-commerce: host site would take a fair % of the value of each transaction
  • advertising: start simply by deploying ads then work up to sponsorship
  • subscriptions: as mentioned above
  • licensing: application could be licensed for use within an enterprise

mazyar,

i have lots of ideas too. one that pops up for now is a social networking site for lawyers. so it appears that the site you propose would not only collect, share, and sell documents, but serve as a recruiting and outsourcing tool for those who do not wish to be tied to a firm? that represents expansion from the previous idea, and such expansion generally delays implementation. but i still find the idea compelling.

mohamad:

i recommend that you not focus on the social networking aspects of the concept. our profession is not ready for true online social networking, even though that would be a boon to the 70% of lawyers who work alone or in small, often isolated, offices. instead of social networking, the internet is driving 2 simultaneous effects in our profession:

  • the long-tail: making it cheaper and easier to compete
  • consolidation: allowing firms to grow bigger, faster

lawyer-only social networks like lawbby.com are not gaining traction and represent nothing new. the point is to create a genuine community. findlaw was on this track but never found its voice; they were trying to create community in 1999 when the world just wanted portals. their customers (lawyers) could not even conceive of what was to come.

mazyar:

what would attract these people in signing up and giving away their docs? you can give the answer in your blog, and I will reply it in my blog if you like.

and the answer to that question is …

3 responses to “great conversations: m. al’ afghani – the concept

  1. Pingback: doing stuff vs. talking about stuff « practice management blog

  2. Pingback: what is docstoc.com? « practice management blog

  3. Pingback: document sharing as gateway to Law 2.o? « practice management blog

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