On December 31, 2006, I wrote a post on how Blog Monitoring is a Top Trend for 2007.  Today’s Des Moines Business Record cover story is Exhibit A.  The story recounts how smart companies are listening to bloggers and dealing quite effectively with negative publicity.  It seems Central Iowa blogger Tom Vander Well recounted on his blog about an unfortunate customer service experience he had with the Geek Squad, a subsidiary of Best Buy.  Needless to say, Tom didn’t have good things to say about Best Buy or the Geek Squad. 

So what happened next?

Geek Squad founder, Robert Stephens, emails Tom and tells him, "We shall not rest until your problem is addressed."  Now that is service!  But also very resourceful.  If Robert Stephens had not been monitoring RSS feeds that never could have happened. 

Why should lawyers care?  First, monitoring blogs and Web sites through RSS feeds give you INSTANT KNOWLEDGE.  Now you are able to know when someone has said something good or bad about your law firm, your competitors, your clients and legal developments.  Smart companies involved in litigation or disputes (i.e. Mediacom and Microsoft) are monitoring blogs and better understand how to deal with public opinion. 

But here is the best part (this is where YOU may earn a client for life and you don’t even need to be a geek).  You have the perfect opportunity to show that you CARE.  If something appears on the Web about your client or if there is something that interests or impacts them you have the opportunity to forward it to them in a record amount of time.  It is conceivable that you may know your client has been sued before the client knows.  Do you think that would help you to keep a client for life? 

You don’t need to blog – just start reading feeds.