Archive for September, 2009

Legal dust-up over Twitter

September 22, 2009

Larry Bodine and Kevin O’Keefe get into it over Twitter’s value as an online social networking too (here and here).  My take is that they are fighting over the wrong thing; a tool rather than a process.

The question to ask is how to create an effective and efficient social networking strategy to enhance your business development efforts.  Secondarily the question is, does Twitter have a role to play in that strategy?  The answer is emphatically, yes.  That doesn’t mean if you have 100,000 followers you will make oodles of money representing those people.  However, the odds are good if you have that many followers, a few of them may contact you but your social networking strategy shouldn’t be focused on attracting a mass following.

Instead, your strategy should be focused on building your brand, expertise and visibility.  Social networking including Twitter is a great and cost effective way to do that.

Tip: utilize streaming capabilities embedded in most social networking sites.  These tools allow Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to stream your blog content so that your content gets disseminated in many places all at once including Twitter.

Facebook drops controversial ad service

September 21, 2009

Will other social networking sites with similar programs discontinue them as well?

“The settlement means Beacon will close and $9.5 million will go to a foundation to fight for online privacy and security. The company is obviously relieved it is all over.

‘We learned a great deal from the Beacon experience,’ said Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt. ‘For one, it was underscored how critical it is to provide extensive user control over how information is shared. We also learned how to effectively communicate changes that we make to the user experience.”


Training employees in using social networking

September 21, 2009

Here is a fine article discussing the approaches employers need to take with social networking policies.  The author, Christy Hubbard, of Lewis & Roca makes the point that in drafting these policies, employers need to strike the right balance; not being too lenient or restrictive. 

One point I would add is that employers should include a training component along with their social networking policy.  Employees have every incentive to utilize social networking appropriately because what they reveal about themselves and their employer will be out there for the world and future employers to see.  And recent studies show that more and more employers are using social networking for screening purposes.   The more employees understand how important appropriate use of social networking impact them, the more compliant they will be.

Employers at risk with LinkedIn recommendations

September 20, 2009

If an employee solicits a LinkedIn recommendation from someone in management who agrees to give him or her a glowing recommendation, this could pose problems if the employee is subsequently terminated for cause and sues.   Every employee should be counseled about the use of LinkedIn recommendations.

Blog insurance next?

September 18, 2009

A woman who writes a parenting blog announced that she bought media insurance to protect against getting sued for a “barbed” post.  She states, “You wouldn’t publish a newspaper without liability insurance, so you should take the same precautions with blogging, if you have any kind of audience or readership,” said Granju, 41, a Knoxville, Tennessee, resident.”

If this is true, its sad.  I understand purchasing insurance if blogging is connect to your livelihood but what about the millions of bloggers doing it for fun?  Are they going to be inhibited by the threat of lawsuits and shut down their blogs?


Florida Bar to vet using social networking sites

September 18, 2009

Recently I saw a statistic that nearly fifty percent of employers are using social networking to vet potential hires and now this practice is spreading to the professional realm.   More reason that people need to be trained in the appropriate use of social networking.  Is social networking credentialling coming next to continuing education programs?


Facebook skews female but males gaining

September 17, 2009

“Female Facebook users of all ages outnumber their male counterparts. But new male users flocked to the social network at a faster rate than females in almost every age group, tightening the site’s gender gap somewhat.

Inside Facebook reported that 57% of the site’s users, or about 45.4 million people, were women, compared with some 34.3 million who were men.”


Blogging not free for Florida lawyer

September 17, 2009

Because he got fined$1,200 by the State Bar folks in Florida for comments he made about a judge on his blog.


Who needs a social networking policy?

September 16, 2009

Everybody yet most companies don’t.   I’ve submitted an article to the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators on why a social networking policy is important for law firms but given the ease with which anyone can post anything to the Internet, it important for every institution to address these issues in a calm and deliberative manner rather than freaking out.

Brian Heidelberger addresses this issue in Ad Age, ” The 7 Biggest Legal Risks to Your Company When Using Social Media.”

Legal bloggers behaving badly

September 16, 2009

More on lawyers who get in trouble with blogging.   The ABA Journal outlines several instances where lawyers have blogged about clients, another lawyer, their experience as jurors and ended up in trouble.

I repeat what I said yesterday; don’t blog directly about your work.  Talk about that with your spouse not on Facebook, Twitter or your blog!

ABA Journal Article: