Archive for April, 2010

Social networking ethics preview

April 22, 2010

Tomorrow I will be talking to the Stanislaus County Bar Association on “Blogging and Other Social Networking.”  One of the gray areas is how state bar ethics rules come into play with social networking.  Early this week I posted about Robert Teuber’s comment about how social networking is just another venue where ethical issues can arise.

To that point, one of my suggestions for protecting yourself against claims that a visitor’s email inquiry establishes an attorney client relationship is to make sure that you have one email address listed for all your social networking profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and make sure that any inquiry gets routed through that account.   You probably already have a disclaimer included in emails you send out from that professional address so that can be used in this situations as well.

Why you need to manage your online reputation

April 21, 2010

A controversial new website, (Yelp for everyone) has emerged allowing anyone to rate anyone else anonymously.  When I give presentations, I argue that reputation management is one of the best arguments for social networking.  If someone does write something unflattering about you whether for real or extortion purposes, if you have plenty of fresh content about who you are and what you do, such content will have less weight than if you have done nothing online.

Social networking & attorney ethics – new venue

April 20, 2010

Robert Teuber, a tax and business attorney in Wisconsin recently gave a talk about attorney social networking and ethics.  He argues that social networking doesn’t create ethical dilemmas per se but that it does provide a new “venue” for such violations to occur.

I agree with that and will explain how that is the case in a talk I’m giving this Friday at the Stanislaus County Bar Association.

Supreme Court hears employee privacy case

April 20, 2010

A case involving a police officer right to privacy regarding the text messages on his pager has reached the Supreme Court and revealed some of the Justices fuzzy grasp of new fangled technology like pagers and email.

This case could produce a shift in the law and force employers to surrender some of their previously extensive rights over an employees communications on an employers telecommunications platform.

No time from blogging – really?

April 19, 2010

Kevin O’Keefe tackles the issue that lawyers frequently bring to him about not having the “time” to blog and he bluntly says its, “bunk.”  Like when someone says they can’t “afford” to purchase something what they are often saying is that its not a priority.  That’s fine.  Be honest with yourself and say that if you have the chance to go to that bar association mixer or spend an hour this week blogging, you’d rather go have a drink with your buddies and trade war stories.

Blogging is a risk.  There is no guarantee what, when and how it will produce business for you.  But it here are some of the upsides:

  • Gives you a voice to your clients and prospective clients that differentiates you from most other attorneys competing for the same clients.
  • Makes you more visible on the Internet for your area(s) of expertise.
  • Provides fuel for you a social networking campaign that allows you to disseminate your content across outlets like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the like.
  • Allows you to become a thought leader in your area of expertise, someone who people will call on to speak out on a topic.

Downside?  Maybe you will spend as Mr. O’Keefe says, 4-6 hours a month.  1 hour a week  or 20 minutes three days a week.  Not a enough time – really?

More employers adopting social media policies

April 17, 2010

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, 27% of employers have developed policies restricting what employees can say on their personal blogs.  Worse, for employees, according to this study by the ePolicy Institute, 2% of employers have terminated employees over what they have written in on their social networking pages.

Google search Saturday

April 17, 2010

Here are a couple cool new Google search features:

  • You can use Google updates to follow tweets on a subject in real time.  It feels like watching a telex maching (I’m dating myself!)
  • Using localized Google search, the auto-suggest function provides more granular information.  Thus as a Bay Area resident, my search on “Bart” will yield specialized transit information NOT Bart Simpson.

Facebook got me fired!

April 16, 2010

This article has a great list of things people posted to Facebook that got them fired.  To me, the most outrageous is the one where the prison guard posted about an assault on a prisoner and other guards chimed in with their support.  This got them all fired.

The articles goes on to discuss the need for companies to provide social networking policies but I will harp on my pet peeve which is that employees should receive basic training on the use and misuse of social networking   In the case of the guards, they may think that their Facebook conversation is as ephemeral and private as chatting around the water cooler.  A good training exercise would quickly show people how this isn’t the case.

Do people care about online privacy – or not?

April 16, 2010

Last month I posted about the fact that frequent Internet users had an 82% trust level using the web compared to 33% for those with less experience using the web.  Now there is another study which states that people age 18 to 24 have refused to share information with a company because they didn’t want to disclose such personal information.  This number climbs only marginally for older people.

So do people care about privacy or not?  Like polling on many issues, it depends on how you ask the question.

Friday Freebies: audio converter program

April 16, 2010

“Gold Audio Extractor is all you need to convert video of various formats to audio files! It is a user-friendly converter application that allows you to directly convert video of all popular formats into MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, etc.”