I and my fellow 3Geeks, @gnawledge and @glambert, were talking about this after our Twitterview with @AlinWagnerLahmy. We all three realized that we had been engaging in social networking for nearly 20 years.
In fact, I distinctly remember back in 1992 spending an entire law school spring break on Prodigy.
Social networking isn't new. I t has been around since the very first introduction to the internet. Just like Alexander Graham Bell, the first sign of life on the internet was an communication between UCLA and Stanford computers in 1969. And that certainly was social--the internet was built in response to the threat of USSR dropping bombs onto the US. Not exactly friendly but certainly social.
Through the internet, I have met people from all around the world. As I like to say on my job, I have traveled "virtually" everywhere.
Currently, I have a core group of online friends that I have known via my personal blog for a number of years. Their demographic range is wide and their perspectives are unique. About the only thing we have in common is our love for reading, writing and learning.
And that, I think, is the key to a wonderful online relationships: a love for witticisms, repartee, the written word.
It was funny when Toby, Greg and I were in our twitterview with Alin. We each had our own laptops and were each responding to the questions she peppered on us. We are all three very fast typists. So I think, too, that is a necessary element.
I have a passion for social media. To folks that don't get it, I often say, "its like having pen pals."
But I think a better description is that each of my online relationships is a little window into another part of the world. I often wonder, while I am sitting here typing whether my friend @pretentiousgit is walking the London rain or @gibslong is hanging out at his favorite St. Louis coffee shop or whether Simona has settled on her Masters program at Berkley.
So don't have the mistaken idea that social media is going away. It has been here a lot longer than you may have realized. And you don't have to play on it. But if you want to fully engage in the legal profession's marketplace it is as important a channel as direct mail or mobile phones.
A whole generation has been raised with this stuff.