A couple of recommendations I would make for lawyers who are new to online professional networks are to concentrate on one or two networks and to comment on blogs by email.
As to concentrating, you will find that you can sign up for any number of professional networks and spend more time than is productive keeping track of all their emails, requests for connection, discussion forums, announcements, and other spin-offs. Much better to pick one or two networks and get to know them and their members. If you become familiar with a network, you might form a discussion group and keep it going. Once you know a network, you can get much more out of it than if you flit from network to network and never really get a handle on any of them (Sept. 22, 2008: professional online networks for lawyers, with 7 references.).
Regarding blog commentary, as I have concluded from hosting LawDepartmentManagementBlog.com for more than four years, I love it when a reader leaves a comment, but many of them are spam. And I am not sure how many readers look at comments, since they are of such variable quality.
It is much more useful to me, as a blogger, if readers email me their thoughts. That way they can write at more length and keep a record of their thoughts. Additionally, I can quickly write back to clarify a point or ask a question.
But the biggest benefit for a lawyer who responds to a blog post by email is that the blog host – that would be me – can then publish a post about the email, credit you for your brilliance, and give you more prominence. So, pass on comments but e-mail the author of a blog post. Why don’t you venture a comment right now and e-mail me?