Archive for April, 2010

Competitive intelligence using LinkedIn

April 30, 2010

Clearly LinkedIn is a major source for CI as you get prompt reminders of shifts in organization personnel and the like.  Now a new feature  makes LinkedIn and even more powerful competitive intelligence tool.

The new feature, “Follow Company” allows individuals to get notifications of people’s comings and goings, company announcements and the like. 

One drawback: it doesn’t appear you can follow a company on the “down-low” as LinkedIn allows anyone to see who is following the company.  So if you work for a competitor, its likely that the company is going to know that you are following them.

Chill use of LinkedIn?  If a company doesn’t want to publicly acknowledge comings and goings – either because it doesn’t want to announce lay-offs or maybe because a mass hiring will tip off competitors about a confidential expansion into a new market, I wonder if companies will start discouraging or even prohibiting their workers from updating their LinkIn profile?

Like with Facebook, LinkedIn may find that its need to create ever new features will invoke the law of unintended consequences.

Friday Freebie: batch convert word to PDF

April 30, 2010

“Simpo Word to PDF is your best Microsoft Office Word partner for creating professional and high-quality PDF documents from Word .DOC and .DOCX files.   It accurately keeps the layout, text, tables, images, etc. of the original word files, and even preserve hyperlinks in word documents. To save your time, it’s allowed to convert Word to PDF in batch with fast speed!”


More on privacy

April 29, 2010

After Senator Schumer and others requested the FTC step into the debate over Internet privacy what with the ongoing Facebook defaults for sharing private information, the agency has said it will be developing Internet privacy “framework.” 

Will it have any teeth?

Legal marketing finally comes to law schools

April 28, 2010

According to Larry Bodine, Fordham University becomes the first law school in the country to offer a legal marketing course.

I hope that there is also a law school in the country that exposes students taking Contracts Law to a real life contract.   I thought it was strange that we never examined one in the course and applied what we learned to analyzing one.   Maybe now that the real world isn’t so nice for new lawyers, things are changing.

Privacy, privacy, privacy

April 27, 2010

Privacy in the news:

  • New York Senator Schumer wants the FTC the come up with guidelines for social networking sites privacy settings after Facebook announced its plans to gather affinity data through its Open Graph Platform.
  • Blippy, a social networking site focused on members sharing information about consumer purchases reveals it allowed 8 users full credit card information to be found through Google search.  They have worked hard to clean up the mess but the damage as been done.

Question: are the benefits of sharing information on the Internet so great that it outweighs these pesky privacy concerns?  After all for the speed and convenience of the automobile, we accept 40,000 auto death a year.

Is Facebook right for lawyers?

April 26, 2010

In my recent talk on social networking for lawyers, I suggest that attorneys analyze whether Facebook is appropriate for their practice.  Here are some tips:

Is your practice primarily geared towards other lawyers or business professionals?  Then the recreational nature of Facebook isn’t a good fit

Do you practice family law or trusts and estates?  Then you might consider establishing a fan page but you need to invest time and effort into making sure that you offer content to the Facebook crowd that extends the value of your website.

If you decide Facebook is right for you, then utilize various plug-ins to enhance and extend your visitors’ experience.

More workers being fired for social media misuse

April 25, 2010

According to a Proofpoint survey, 8% of employers fired a worker for violating social networking policies in 2009, up from 4% in 2008.  The one group of workers who should be fired are those whose job performance have suffered because of their on-the-job use of Facebook etc. at the cost of their employment duties.  I believe that many of these employees would have been terminated for poor performance on other grounds anyway.

But those employees who were terminated because they said something inappropriate on a blog or Facebook and the like probably could have kept their jobs if the employers had a training component to their social networking policy implementations.   This isn’t just bad for the employees but also the employers who might have an excellent employee whose indiscretion possibly deprived the employer of a highly valuable employee.

I have said many times that I believe the training component is critical to an effective social networking policy because if workers understand that their future ability to get promoted or be hired for a new job relies on appropriate and positive use of social networking this will automatically reduce the number of social networking policy violations.  Workers will be educated, trained and invested in their own use of social networking to advance rather than hinder their careers.

Staying on top of Facebook privacy settings

April 24, 2010

Facebook has announced several new “features” to its sites.  One of them is the ability to click “Like” on external website which then publishes your preference to your Facebook profile as well as to your friends external news feeds as well.  This of course leaves a breadcrumb trail you might not wish to leave, identifying your interests, hobbies and opinions.

Don’t want to share this information?  Easy, don’t click “Like.”  For other “features” this article tells you their implications and ways to protect your privacy – such as you can.

Attorney bios should focus on benefits

April 23, 2010

Yesterday, Larry Bodine wrote an excellent post about how to make your website bio talk about how your client benefits from hiring you.  As he says,

A “feature” is what something has, like a car with four doors or a new improved formula. A “benefit” is what it does for clients: “This car has four doors to accommodate growing families.”

Attorneys focus more on their experience as its what they are comfortable with but clients only care about how that experience can benefit them in their specific situation.  Rather than force your potential client to figure out how this experience would or not help them, do that work for them.  Show them the benefits of the work you have done.

This philosophy should extend to the entire website.  Focus on what potential clients can get from visiting your site and ultimately hiring you for assistance.  Don’t make them work to figure that out.  Let them know how you have helped clients like them and then make it easy for them to contact you.

Friday Freebies: Free music library

April 23, 2010

“AllMySongs Database 1.3

AllMySongs Database is a music library for managing and cataloging music files and Audio CD. It supports MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV e.t.c music files formats. You can easily find any song from your music collection according to title, album, artist, genre e.t.c. or any complex conditions. Also, with AllMySongs Database powerful tools you can download automatically from internet album covers, artists photos, artists biography, Audio CD information.”

Link here: