Nearing the 1 week mark with biglawrefuge – Marketing + Feature development

Biglawrefuge … now with comments!

I recently (like last night at midnight) added the ability to post comments to users’ job postings or reviews on biglawrefuge.  I think this is a crucial part to growing any online community, and I hope that it helps spur on usage and keeps the biglawrefugees coming back.  Now our users can post anonymous comments or comments with their normal username.

Communities that are user-supported have always fascinated me.  They’re like living organisms that grow and become more healthy as more users contribute.  I’m sure there will be problems in the future with moderation, flagging comments for removal, etc., but I suppose I’ll have to deal with those issues as they arise.  It’s hard doing everything on my own and with a normal day job.  Yet, this is what I’m passionate about, so I hope that this is a useful feature for the users.

Marketing is another story.  In the past week, several of my old law school classmates have reached out to me to find out more about the website, congratulate me on the launch or to see how they can help.  Right now, I’m relying on word of mouth.  I’ve spent some time posting up messages on message boards, but that is only so effective.  And it’s not a tenable solution over the long run.  In every message I post, I offer to answer questions about myself or my background.  I realize that my background is unique in many respects, but I’m sure those will catch up to me at some point.  Oh well, those are good problems to have.

For those of you who are technically inclined, I’ll go into a post later on about my technology choices.  Unfortunately they’re not that interesting, but biglawrefuge does pose some interesting tidbits about anonymity, how to preserve users’ identities and how to make them feel comfortable with contributing their data.  It’s definitely a learning experience for myself as well, and I imagine that as the BLR community grows, I’ll grow with them.

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