Archive for February, 2010

Trusted for privacy: Facebook not in top 20

February 28, 2010

According to Ponemon Institute’s annual Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study, American Express is the most trusted company when come to handling privacy issues.  Facebook dropped from the top 20 list this year and Google which had dropped off, returned to the list in 2010.  However, after Google “Buzz” they may not stay there for long.

Lawyers, social media and disclaimers

February 27, 2010

Dana Schultz wrote this instructive handout on disclaimer issues for lawyers who are engaging in social networking.  I particularly think Dana’s analysis of the California rules of professional conduct as they relate to testimonials is extremely helpful. 

Dan explains that with LinkedIn you control whether a recommendation gets posted to your profile which would trigger the need for a disclaimer that this testimonial doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome in a client’s legal matter.  However, Avvo is different because the attorney can’t control what is said in such testimonials or even guarantee they will positive and so Dana would argue that CA Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400(E) doesn’t apply.

Top ten FTC complaints – Internet is prominent

February 26, 2010

This listing of the top FTC consumer complaints contains at least three categories of Internet-related issues.  The first and by far most common is identity theft which could happen without the Internet but is certainly aided and abetted by it.  Not only by all the activity that happens publicly but also that which happens behind firewalls that get breached all too easily.  The other two Internet related complaints are Internet services and Internet auctions.

Excellent examples of attorney social networking

February 26, 2010

Yesterday’s presentation to the Alameda County Bar Association’s attorneys was well attended and generate excellent discussion.  I also wanted to give a “shout out” to two excellent social networking attorneys who showcase what they do to make themselves visible by offering useful information and pertinent examples of the value they offer to clients, prospects and others.

Kudos to Dana Schultz and Kelly Savage Day!

Friday Freebie: Flash decompiler

February 26, 2010

“Sothink SWF Decompiler is a professional Flash decompiler. It can easily decompile SWF to FLA and FLEX projects. Not only supports AS3, this Flash decompiler also supports Flash 6/MX 2004/8/CS3/CS4 and FLEX. It extracts almost all Flash elements including shape, morph shapes, images, sounds, videos, frames, fonts, texts, buttons, sprites and ActionScript.

SWF Decompiler is fully compatible with Windows 7; search for all ActionScript is enabled.”

Here is the link

NJ: websites must police users’ content

February 25, 2010

I just heard about this New Jersey social networking bill (A3757) which provides penalties against social networking websites where users are harassing others with sexual offensive communications.  It was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly last year and  so far it appears to be alive and well in the legislative process.

Critics contend that it places considerable onus on websites to police their own users and could chill free speech.  On particular concern is its over broad definition of “social networking” which could include virtually all websites.

Law students using social media – but poorly

February 24, 2010

40% of law students report creating LinkedIn profiles but few of them follow-up with people they meet according to Ari Kaplan’s article in the National Law Journal.

Kaplan has spoken to hundreds of law students in the last eight months and found that many of them are lost as to how network professionally and that shows up in the fact that they rarely follow-up with people they meet at events.

Social networking to the rescue:  built into LinkedIn and other social networking tools is a way to unobtrusively follow-up with people.  When I exchange business cards at an event I ask the person if they have a LinkedIn profile which does a couple things – allows me to talk about social networking which is one of my marketing strengths and gives us both a topic to discuss.  If the person has a LinkedIn account, I let them know that I’ll follow-up with them on LinkedIn because I used it as a contact management tool.

Make sure you personalize your LinkedIn invitation.  Reference where you met the person and something you discussed, it can be LinkedIn, for example.  You can be more proactive and setup Google news search on people but that can be difficult if the person has a common name.  You don’t want to congratulate someone for a promotion that happened someone else with the same name.  LinkedIn sends activity summaries weekly and its good to check it to see if people have changed jobs or announced promotions and you can easily follow-up with them from within LinkedIn.

Email scam hit law firms

February 23, 2010

This is not a new scam but the target is new.  According to news reports, the prospective client emails a request for representation to the law firm and then sends a cashier’s check far exceeding the law firms typical retainer.  The firm wires the money back to the client only to then discover that the original cashier’s check was counterfeit.  So far, two firms have fallen for the scheme out of six attempts.

Lesson: don’t engage a client without at least a phone call first!

Google search coopts Twitter

February 22, 2010

This is like watching cars whiz by your front porch but on the Internet!  Amy Campbell points out Google’s new advance search which incorporates real time search results including  blogs and social media like Twitter.  Its particularly useful for fast breaking stories and its best to search on single words or short phrases to get the maximum thrill of seeing new search results pop up on your search results page without having to refresh.

Maryland prohibiting Twitter from courtrooms

February 22, 2010

After a flurry of jurors and parties engaging in courtroom tweeting and friending that risks turning trials into mistrials, a Maryland judicial panel plans to prohibit any communications devices from Maryland courtrooms.

Is this too broad a ban to pass Federal Constitutional muster?