Friday 26 February 2010

FREE internet business model

My last blog post on the future of small IP firms elicited a few comments about whether or not it is a good idea to provide FREE offerings. Mark Bower linked us to his article on the question of how solicitors and law firms should compete with the availability of free legal information on the web.

The Facebooks, Googles and Twitters of this world may well be able to provide a solution first, and then work out how to make money from it, but can lawyers emulate such a business model? Remember that the very essence of what we as lawyers sell is information itself!

Well for the reasons explained on my blog here I decided to make the new style contract template product we had developed on SEO contracts available for free.

One of the main benefits of making our SEO Contract in Context available for free to a wider audience is what we will learn from feedback. This will help us to improve and enhance both this free SEO product (which is already being revised for an upgrade for release before 23 March) and the other products that are in the pipeline. So if any readers of this blog have any thoughts or comments, they will be gratefully received. You can either leave them here, or on our blog, or send them in on the feedback form of the product page.


  1. Shireen

    Four initial comments:

    1. What does "SEO" mean? You seem to assume that the reader is familiar with the jargon. It became clear from looking at the footer to the agreement.
    2. Although the link worked, it was not immediately obvious how to find the agreement again once you are on the website and have moved to another page.
    3. By leaving in metadata about Stefano's authorship of the document, it encourages the reader to find out more about Stefano. Did you intend the reader to focus on this particular individual's skills and experience?
    4. I would have preferred a more structured approach to the drafting, with numbered clauses and sub-clauses, plenty of headings to clauses, etc. But I appreciate that not everyone takes this view.

  2. Mark,
    Thank you for commenting.
    1. Have now added reference to SEO meaning Search Engine Optimisation and generally made it clearer on the page why SEO is relevant to everyone who is hoping to promote themselves online.
    2. Feedback appreciated. Will get navigation etc sorted.
    3. Stefano's name appears only because he was the last person who saved the document as part of uploading it. He was not an author of the the precedent.
    4. Sure. It is a matter of preference, and I rather like an informal letter approach

  3. Interesting to see you experimenting with this Shireen. Best of luck!

  4. I think you might need to look at defining confidential information properly.