I have suggested that law firms should provide RSS [really simple syndication] feeds for their alerts and updates. This way, clients can pick and choose what they want to read, eliminate excess e-mail, and help reduce information overload. Yesterday, a Canadian law firm announced that its updates are available via RSS. 

Vancouver-based Clark Wilson yesterday announced that the firm “is now offering topical RSS Feeds for our firm’s publications. By using RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) feeds, those with interests in specific legal subject matters will receive immediate notification as soon as alerts and articles that match their interests are posted on our website.” (List of feeds here.)

Steven Matthews, Knowledge Services Director of the firm, explains in a blog post at Slaw (a co-operative weblog about Canadian legal research and IT, etc.) more of the background on this. Among other benefits, the firm will be able to track hits – how many print publications or e-mailed alerts provide this automatic feedback?

Law firms have many options to “touch” clients digitally: blogs, RSS feeds, Webinars, streaming video, and podcasts. It surprises me that more firms are not opting to experiment with these. Given that firms already generate a lot of content, the marginal cost to distribute in channels other than print and e-mail that might be more appealing to many readers (including clients and prospects) is relatively low.

Update (8/25): Spotted on Larry Bodine’s Legal Marketing Blog, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr is offering RSS feeds for content on its web site.

Update (8/22): From an 8/22/05 press release: “Stark & Stark announced today that it has made available fifteen separate RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds specific to various firm practice areas through its New Jersey Law Blog. The addition of these customized feeds allows subscribers to receive instant notification of new developments in area(s) of law most important to them. Links to these newly available feeds can be located within the ‘Blogs’ section of Stark & Stark’s website.”