6/12/09

The Value Sweet Spot

Jay Shepherd’s post on ‘associates as overhead’ got me thinking about associates and value. Jay closes his post with the comment, “They (clients) want to pay for value.” His main point is that law firms should bill by value and not by time keeper. This idea has merit, but as I have previously posted, clients are struggling to get from here (hourly) to there (value). In the meantime, I would be cautious about a blanket write-off of associates in the value column. My read on associates and value is that the dialogue tends to focus on first year associates who make $140-160k in salary. To support that rate of pay, they have commensurate billing rates. Commentaries on value-to-price (just given rates) for this type of work are generally not favorable. And these comments dominate the associate value dialogue. Turning this evaluation up-side-down – if I were in-house counsel, which lawyers would I want working on my matters? The quick response might be Partners, since they have the most experience. However, I would challenge that assumption. If it were me and my fees were in any way, shape or form connected to the billable hour (as most fees are these days), I would want senior associates doing as much of my work as possible. I would only want partners on high-level tasks, drawing more on their wealth of knowledge than their practice experience. Senior associates are in what I would call the Value Sweet Spot. They have a strong level of experience and mid-level billing rates. Of course, I would make adjustments to this approach for matters on the fringe - matters that are either very commodity level or highly technical. But those types of matters are more exceptions than the bulk of the legal work done at firms. The Moral of My Story: In-house counsel would be wise to drive work to the Value Sweet Spot. Senior associates fit nicely in this spot.

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6/11/09

Security Priorities for Law Firms

Bruce Schneier, the guru on security, posted on the differences in information security breaches by type of industry. Schneier is referencing a scientific study of security breaches. This study was looking to see if there were major differences in types of breaches by industry. Professional Services is one of the industries highlighted. Looking into the results of the study something struck me and it was not about the differences. The study utilized a negative conclusion approach, attempting to prove there were no differences and what actually struck me were the similarities. Schneier is always great about pointing out the obvious that is overlooked due to frenzy and fear. Most organizations spend their time and money on internet security reacting to media headlines about banks being hacked. However, these attacks are actually the lowest information loss concern for all industries. Here is where the similarities come in. The top breach concern is hardware loss (38%), then internal staff – malicious or not (35%) followed by internet attacks (22%). Logically, an organization should commit its security resources along these same lines. But fear and frenzy drive organizations to expend the bulk of their security effort on protecting against hackers. While at the Utah State Bar when I would present on security (and the duty of lawyers holding client data), invariable everyone figured installing a firewall was information security. Given the actual threats to law firm information, firms and lawyers would be better off prioritizing their security by: 1) encrypting their hardware (especially laptops), then 2) establishing and following good information policies and procedures for staff, and finally 3) getting on top of firewalls, virus protection, etc. By the way – The Professional Services industry did match the expected averages. Keep this in mind next time you worry about the security of client information in your possession.

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6/10/09

How To Find Upcoming Webinars Using Web 2.0 Search Tools

Yesterday, we pointed out a few freebie online presentation tools. Last week we talked about the "new way to conference" where you can find a lot of webinars or live video feed presentations. So, that got me thinking this morning about how many actual webinars are going on throughout the day, and how on earth would I be able to get that information. I could try to "Google" this information, or maybe sign up for some type of monitoring service that would let me know when events such as webinars were coming up. But, I've tried these types of things in the past, and found that they just don't work for me.
Then the lightbulb came on. If I really want to find some "real-time" information, especially on online presentations, then I really need to search Twitter to see what people are talking about right now. With Twitter Search, or my trusty TweetDeck Search Column -- plus, years of Boolean Search Knowledge under my belt, I set forth and came up with the following search string:
Basically it says this: Find me any tweets that say either Webinar or Webcast plus the the word Today or Tomorrow in the same tweet, then also have a Link to the presentation. Plug that into my TweetDeck for continuous updating throughout the day, and viola! You have immediate results that point you to webinars that are going on either today or tomorrow.
Seo for Small Business
Google Algorithms
Blogging 101
Panel on Health Reform
Some are going to be irrelevant to what you are interested in, but there are a few that pop out at me that I might have never have thought to attend (or never have know existed) before I ran this simple search. Just another way to leveraging the power of Web 2.0 resources to help you find new and interesting things.

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6/9/09

Three Free Online Presentation Tools

I just couldn't live up to my reputation as the "cheap geek" if I didn't share this with you. There are a couple of new presentation ("free" presentation) tools out there that I thought all of you might be interested in.
1. Adobe ConnectNow (http://www.acrobat.com)
Basically a free version of webEx.
Extremely slick presentation. Share program, desktop, etc.
You can use microphone to present, plus a built in chat feature.
It also has a phone number you can use, but it is not a toll-free number. So, you'd need a MagicJack to get around the toll charges! ;-)
2. Present.IO (http://present.io)
This is a resource from Drop.IO
Not as slick as Adobe, but still free!!
I think you can upload files, but cannot share your desktop (correct me if I'm wrong on this one).
Same as Adobe, it has a phone number you can call in to conference, but not toll-free
Plus, another freebie:
3. Authorstream now has a "Present Live" feature on presenting PowerPoint Presentations.
Simple and effective way of presenting PPTs.
Allows you to move through the presentation and lets everyone keep on the same page
You can embed the presentation into a webpage (say along side your UStream video presentation)
Problem that I found is that anyone can move the PPT to the next or previous slide. So, some 'crafty' geek (cough - Toby - cough) would be having fun moving things to the next slide when you're not ready.
Okay… that's my "free" resources that you can use for the day!! Big tip-o-the-hat to Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell for their mentioning of ConnectNow and Present.IO in there podcast on The Future of Search.

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6/4/09

Google Squared - Better Than Wolfram Alpha on Legal Searches?

We blogged about the release of Wolfram Alpha a couple of weeks back, and discussed how it was "cool" but not ready for legal research topics yet. Yesterday, Google Labs released its new semantic search tool called Google Squared to the public. I thought I'd test some of the same legal search terms that we tried with Wolfram Alpha, to see how G2 would do. My initial reaction is that G2 does a lot better than Wolfram Alpha, but probably still something you wouldn't want to hang your legal hat on.
Here are the terms, and you can click to see the results:
The first thing that popped out at me on these searches was the fact that the order in which you placed the words mattered. We had to change some of the order of the words within the search to get better results. Again, these results weren't the ultimate answers we were looking for, but at least we were able to get something back and we could then start manipulating our search from there. With Wolfram Alpha, we just could never get that far.
I also plugged in some other search terms that I found on the Law Libraries Ning site. Scott Frey asked Wolfram Alpha about "Justice of the US Supreme Court" and got information on Justice, Illinois, Supreme, Louisiana, and Court, Bern -- not exactly what Scott was looking for.
I tried the same search with G2 and got a much better result. It actually gave me names, pictures, dates of birth, and more on actual US Supreme Court Justices.
That is a much better result than what we were getting with Wolfram Alpha.
Semantic search engines, like Google Squared, still have a way to go before being used as a viable legal research tool. In fact, most researchers would say that the original Google is a better legal research tool than any of the new semantic resources.
Go out and give Google Squared a try with your legal (or non-legal) terms and let all of us know what you think of G2.

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6/2/09

I'm Diggin' the New Way to 'Conference'

I may be a little late to this party, but I'm truly, truly enjoying the trend in making conferences and specialized presentations available using real-time video feeds. In fact, just today I was able to watch two outstanding presentations -- all from the comfort of my office chair. The Berkman Center at Harvard University's Law School presented Lokman Tsui's "Beyond Objectivity: Global Voices and the Future of Journalism." At the same time, I was also monitoring the Computers Freedom & Privacy Conference 2009.
As much as I enjoyed (actually, as I'm writing this.. 'am enjoying') the presentations, it was actually the "process" of how these video conferences were being presented that really got the gears in my mind to churning. There were some subtle differences that I noticed between Berkman's proprietary and more established presentation model versus the UStream or Twazzup's generic model. In fact, I'm so excited about the potential of using online video streaming and mashup sites, that I'm going to see if I can get some of the organizations that I'm a member of to try this type of presentation in the near future.
Berkman Center Model:
The Berkman Center's method of presentation is an older and more established method of presenting video on the Web. I haven't talked with anyone at the Berkman Center on what they use for their video presentations, but it is pretty apparent they are using Macs and Quicktime on the backend. They also allow you to 'chat' via IRC (and if you know what IRC is, you probably also have a copy of Led Zepplin IV on real-to-real). And, for the true uber-techie... you can also jump into your Second Life character and interact with others watching the presentation.
The Berkman model is one that many of us have seen for years. Although they've included the IRC and Second Life methods of chatting with other online watchers, but overall this is the standard model we've known as online video feeds.
The UStream or Twazzup Model:
The 'newer' model of mashing up video and web 2.0 tools used by UStream is a method that really appeals to my idea of what an online presentation can be. You not only get the video and audio feed of the presentation, you also get some value added products from the others watching the feed, and a chance to chime in with your comments or questions. I specifically like the Twazzup model which combines the Twitter comments (via designated hash tag), additional 'keywords', data on the speakers, the popular links that people are adding to their tweets, and who are the people contributing the most to the conference twitter feed.
I've noticed that the CFP09 conference did an excellent job of making the audience go up to the mic to ask their questions, and also made a good effort to answer or comment on questions that came in via Twitter. One thing that I'd like to see from conferences use streaming video, is an additional window that shows the overhead information that is projected on the screen behind the speakers. UStream also places advertising from time to time at the bottom of the video feed.
I took a few screenshots of the Berkman and UStream presentations to show some of the esthetic differences. Also, take a look at a related post we did a few weeks ago on the dilution of message using these presentation methods.
The Berkman Presentation
The Berkman Presentation Video w/i PPT Presentation
The "Oblong" Table Discussion (note the blogging & twittering!)
The Questions *no mics for audience*
The Answers

The UStream or Twazzup Model
Video Feed
Twitter Search w/Trending Words
Real-Time Tweets
Speaker Info (I'm not sure this really works!)
Links that people are Tweeting
Twitter Contributors
Questions from the Audience (notice the mic!)
Ads!! (Hey, UStream has to make money, right?)

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6/1/09

Twttrlist Anyone?


NOTE: Guest Blogger, Laura Walters joins us one more time to give her review of Twttrlist. Laura's joined us before with her "Who Washed My Briefs" posting.

So, reading Seth Godin’s blog recently I came across a new Twttrlist tool via Squidoo. Having used a Squidoo lens site while writing my MBA dissertation on Virtual Worlds, I was familiar with the site and the technology to some extent and curious as to how this would work with building a more permanent list of favorite Tweets.

I asked the Geeks for a review – and walked right in to another guest blog spot. Fortunately, this app is pretty user friendly, so even a part-time Geek like myself could figure it out and set up a simple demo in about 30 minutes. I opted to use a Geek test subject and create a quick list of some of my favorite Tweets from, or about, @glambert.

To make things more interesting, the Twttrlist folks are in the process of giving away some Kindles to promote their app. http://www.squidoo.com/twttrlist-win-a-kindle

On with the review. The concept is simple enough: do a search on a Twitter name, hashtag topic, or keyword of your choice. From the search results, Add the Tweets you want to file in the permanent list, which should appear under My List. When you are done adding Tweets, click Done Adding (one thing I like about Squidoo is their sense of humor about editing tools and functionality - I was loading the page to make some edits and it said, “Drum roll please…”).

One immediate drawback I noticed, it looks like you are only allowed to search back about a week on the initial list creation (once your lens is created, you can add older Tweets, but this isn’t explained anywhere on the creation site).

After you have your list, you must allow the app to access your Twitter account. After this, you are prompted to select a category for your list (somewhat limited here – the closest category they had to Law was Business), and add keywords about the list. The keywords seem picky – or there’s a hang up when you go to create your list – as it seems to only accept one keyword. To make matters worse, it will use your keyword to create your lens title. “Best of ______ on Twitter”. I initially used “law” as the keyword and then had to go in and change the title once my lens was created.

Obviously, you must have a Squidoo account (lensmaster) or create one to set up a Twttrlist, but there is no charge for this.

Once your lens is created, you can edit it to add additional Tweets to the list, bio info about yourself, photos, and so on. You can also add your own Tweet feed at the bottom of the list – or create a “best of” list of your feeds for promo. You can add tags to make your lens easier to find in searches.

And here you have it…the best of (some of) glambert! http://www.squidoo.com/bestofglambertontwitter


Laura Walters is the Director of Practice Group Management at Foster Pepper PLLC in Seattle, WA. Laura has spent more than 15 years specializing in change management, business development, and competitive intelligence for both law firms and corporations.

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5/29/09

"Must Read" Blog Posts for 2009 (So, far...)

Last December we had a great response when I asked some of my closest Twitter Friends to help me compile a list of blog posts that they thought were "must reads". I've decided to compile another list of "must reads" for the first half of 2009 using the same idea. I've gone back to my Twitter mates to ask them to submit some of the blogs that they either wrote or read that they believe others would also enjoy reading. Although most of the posts are things that got a lot of traffic when they were originally published, my favorites in this list are the "hidden gems." Those are the posts that didn't get a lot of traffic the first time around, but someone felt that everyone should have a second look at the post because they feel there is something relevant in them that didn't get caught the first time around.
WARNING: This list is LONG! Back in December I was probably following about 800+ people on Twitter. This time around, I'm up around 2400+ and found that 85% are still active (meaning posting a least a few times a month.) In order for this list to remain about the same size as the December list, I'm capping it to about 150 "legal topic" posts this time (although, we've stretched the term "legal" in some of these posts).
In doing this, I'm integrating an unique math formula:
(T + Q(dm)) / ∑(150) = OL T = Length of Time You've Followed Me on Twitter
Q(dm) = Quickness of Your Direct Message Back to me
∑(150) = First 150 Direct Messages
OL = On the List!!
In other words, I went from my oldest to newest followers and sent a Direct Message via Twitter to them in that order. When I got to 150, I stopped. I'll probably follow up at a later date with any that came in after the 150 mark. In December, we'll do this all over again and list the best of '09 part two!
Just like before, the list is in order from oldest to newest blog post. There were a few non-2009 posts that people liked. I placed those at the bottom of the list so that we could see the 2009 posts first. Surprisingly, there were no blog posts was only one post (Bill Marler's Obama Eats a Burger) that got recognized twice (which did happen a few times on the previous list.) However, there was one blog that got a lot of people mentioning individual posts. Jordan Furlong of Law21.ca is Mr. Popular when it comes to writing good blog posts!
I'm linking to the blog post and noting the Twitter name of the person that suggested the post. If you're not following the person on Twitter, you should! Hey, if they are following me, and I'm following them, they must be okay!!
Drum-roll please.... I now present the first half of 2009's Must Read Blog Posts as submitted by the best folks on Twitter:
  1. Overcapacity? What Overcapacity? Chuck Newton Rides the Third Wave January 1, 2009 Submitted by @chucknewton
  2. How I began my Solo Practice Ohio Employment, Labor and Worker's Compensation Law January 1, 2009 Submitted by @cjcochranjr
  3. An Unusual Criminal Proceeding With A Question About Eye Witness Testimony Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP Blog January 1, 2009 Submitted by @bschuelke
  4. Cultivating a Writing Habit ChrisBrogan January 4, 2009 Submitted by @kathryncobb
  5. WHAT’S IN A NAME CHANGE? Myrland Marketing Minutes - Plan To Grow January 5, 2009 Submitted by @nancymyrland
  6. Back to First Principles for Knowledge Management Dr Fuzzy's Weblog January 5, 2009 Submitted by @pennyedwards
  7. The Single Secret to Making 2009 Your Best Year Ever Zenhabits - Simple Productivity January 5, 2009 Submitted by @ElizabethPW
  8. Trends that will affect enterprise collaboration anecdote - Putting stories to work January 7, 2009 Submitted by @jkhogan
  9. “Marketing Me” with a Plan and a Purpose The Legal Watercooler January 11, 2009 Submitted by @heathermilligan
  10. PR’s Impact on the Professional Services Sales Cycle Earned Relevance January 12, 2009 Submitted by @3rddeadline
  11. Crimes Against Hypertext SitePoint January 13, 2009 Submitted by @kbladow
  12. Do you value your social capital? HeadShift Blog January 14, 2009 Submitted by @pennyedwards
  13. 5 Web Folk I Admire - Something I don’t do easily Enquiring Mimes January 16, 2009 Submitted by @wckdgfy
  14. Legal Billing - Differences between Germany and the US (Part 1) Saskia's Spin January 18, 2009 Submitted by @sioslo
  15. Do the benefits of using Twitter include better writing for lawyers? No. The Complex Litigator January 19, 2009 Submitted by @hsleviant
  16. Forgiveness and Irony: What makes the West strong City Journal January 19, 2009 Submitted by @MarkH_Houston
  17. The Trouble With Carfax Louis M. Green, Attorney at Law January 23, 2009 Submitted by @louismgreen
  18. How to Get an E-Discovery Protocol Rolling Law.com LegalTechnology January 27, 2009 Submitted by @HaleyOdom
  19. Law Firms on Twitter - An Update LawyerKM January 31, 2009 Submitted by @LawyerKM
  20. Information alone is not valuable - targeted information is KM Librarian February 3, 2009 Submitted by @Linda_Moore
  21. Alternative Fee Arrangements Gain Traction LAWDABLE February 3, 2009 Submitted by @jeffrey_brandt
  22. Living Proof Home Office Lawyering Works Build a Solo Practice, LLC February 4, 2009 Submitted by @johnsirman
  23. The Octuplet Mess a fertile life February 4, 2009 Submitted by @surrogacylawyer
  24. B2B Social Media Marketing: Why should you start? Ad Your Comment Here February 5, 2009 Submitted by @just_kate
  25. Investigative Interviewing: Tips From an Ex-FBI Special Agent Forensic Accounting Today February 9, 2009 Submitted by @jemoore
  26. Evaluating websites exercise Ch-Ch-Ch Changing Librarian February 12, 2009 Submitted by @amylibrarian
  27. How to Build a Hellhole, Lesson I Pharmaceutical & Toxic Tort Defense February 13, 2009 Submitted by @debdobson
  28. We feel your pain.... HumanRacehorses February 13, 2009 Submitted by @HumanRacehorses
  29. What if Google billed by the hour? The Client Revolution February 13, 2009 Submitted by @glambert
  30. Twenty Theses for Government 2.0, Cluetrain Style Social Media Strategery February 15, 2009 Submitted by @CherylMcKinnon
  31. First 10 things you should do to your new BlackBerry The Legal Hokey-Pokey February 16, 2009 Submitted by @jeffrey_brandt
  32. Social Media “Teaches” Legal Marketers to Promote Themselves the Right Way Karasma Media by Kara Smith February 17, 2009 Submitted by @leahcdaniels
  33. 8 Step Cycle of Search Engine Optimization with Blogging gerry heidenreich February 18, 2009 Submitted by @gHeidenreich
  34. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to New York (Or: Pillsbury associates, brace yourselves.) Above The Law February 19, 2009 Submitted by @davidlat
  35. Non-Compete Enforcement Tips Smooth Transitions February 20, 2009 Submitted by @robradcliff
  36. Reality: The Enemy of Innovation? Creative Class February 20, 2009 Submitted by @pennyedwards
  37. An Interview with Amy Derby a/k/a/ The Law Firm Blogger Construction Law Musings - Richmond, VA February 20, 2009 Submitted by @constructionlaw
  38. With Scant Apologies to the Pay Apologists TheCorporateCounsel.net Blog February 24, 2009 Submitted by @brocromanek
  39. Court of Appeal gets out its blue pencil: Kwikset Corp. v. Superior Court (Benson) The UCL Practitioner March 2, 2009 Submitted by @hsleviant
  40. Wanted: Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Customs Law March 3, 2009 Submitted by @customslawblog
  41. Lawyer Up, Boys The Epicurean Dealmaker March 4, 2009 Submitted by @bigtkirk
  42. Wyeth v. Levine - First Real Thoughts Drug and Device Law March 4, 2009 Submitted by @ageorgialawyer
  43. Top 10 Ways To Get Fired By Your Lawyer BlawgIT March 4, 2009 Submitted by @BrettTrout
  44. Lawyers Should Consider Producing Their Own iPhone Apps Bentley Tolk's Marketing for Attorneys, Marketing for Law Firms, and Marketing for Lawyers March 5, 2009 Submitted by @bentleytolk
  45. What’s My Line? Above and Beyond KM March 6, 2009 Submitted by @HeatherColman
  46. Now that Mom's on Facebook... idealware March 9, 2009 Submitted by @kbladow
  47. This is Not a Drill Law21.ca March 10, 2009 Submitted by @ronfriedmann
  48. Decentralized and Personalized KM caselines March 11, 2009 Submitted by @KMHobbie
  49. A twitterable Twitter policy Gruntled Employees March 11, 2009 Submitted by @jeffrey_brandt
  50. The Virtues of Half-Assed Legal Work Corporate Tool March 12, 2009 Submitted by @joshuamking
  51. To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter for Lawyers The Legal Intelligencer Blog March 12, 2009 Submitted by @GinaRubel
  52. BARBARA FREDRICKSON AND SHARON SALZBERG ON "POSITIVITY" LAWSAGNA March 13, 2009 Submitted by @Lawsagna
  53. Microblogging Will Marginalize Corporate Email I'm Not Actually a Geek March 13, 2009 Submitted by @jeffrey_brandt
  54. How A Transformative Recession Affects Law Practice and Legal Education MauledAgain March 16, 2009 Submitted @jordan_law21
  55. “Reciprocal Link Cloaking”, SEO “Experts” and why you need to be very careful Avvo Blog March 16, 2009 Submitted by @ConradSaam
  56. Some Thoughts on Working from Home - One Year Later The Simple Dollar March 16, 2009 Submitted by @alisonlaw
  57. Blawg Review #203 Geeklawyer Blog March 16, 2009 Submitted by @montserratlj
  58. The Button-Down Mafia: How the Public Accounting Firms Run a Racket on Investors and Thrive While Their Clients Fail The Huffington Post March 16, 2009 Submitted by @retheauditors
  59. 5 website mistakes you can and should avoid Grow My Company March 17, 2009 Submitted by @ChristinePilch
  60. A World Without Fathers and Husbands Massachusetts Divorce & Wills Lawyer March 17, 2009 Submitted by @GabrielCheong
  61. Dan Ariely: Why People Cheat Mental Floss March 18, 2009 Submitted by @shucha
  62. Got My Pitchfork: Get Me a Job at AIG! TheCorporateCounsel.net Blog March 18, 2009 Submitted by @retheauditors
  63. 20 things law firms need to have in their social media guidelines. VMO - Virtual Marketing Officer March 19, 2009 Submitted by @jaynenavarre
  64. The C-TPAT Bait and Switch Customs Law March 19, 2009 Submitted by @customslawblog
  65. Graduating into a recession Law21.ca May 19, 2009 Submitted by @halosecretarial
  66. A Response to Lev Grossman’s “Quitting Twitter” Ad Your Comment Here March 22, 2009 Submitted by @just_kate
  67. The Sun, the Cave, Enterprise 2.0 and the "A-HA" Moment Candy and Aspirin March 22, 2009 Submitted by @CherylMcKinnon
  68. How To Solve The Legal Employment Crisis Law21.ca March 23, 2009 Submitted by @gerkmana
  69. Technology Strikes--Oblivious Attorneys Stunned Sui Generis -- A New York law blog March 23, 2009 Submitted by @nikiblack
  70. Joy Points The Nocturnal Gardener March 23, 2009 Submitted by @mary_siceloff
  71. Compliance and Recommendations on Social Networking Sites Compliance Building March 24, 2009 Submitted by @DougCornelius
  72. On Tactics Leading Geeks March 26, 2009 Submitted by @JennSteele
  73. Why I Do What I Do Hattiesburg Divorce Lawyer March 27, 2009 Submitted by @timothyevans
  74. Take the client and run Circumlocutions April 1, 2009 Submitted by @mglickman
  75. BigLaw Lawyers and Paralegals To Get Kindle 2 - Loaded with National Reporter Sets and US Code 3 Geeks and a Law Blog April 1, 2009 Submitted by @montserratlj
  76. A Reminder Of What Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect Nursing Homes Abuse Blog April 4, 2009 Submitted by @rosenfeld575
  77. Extranets for Law Firm and Client Collaboration – Moving Beyond Email Compliance Building April 5, 2009 Submitted by @DougCornelius
  78. State of the Enterprise Market: Slow and Unsteady Read Write Web April 6, 2009 Submitted by @ITSinsider
  79. Do You Use a Feed Reader? technola April 8, 2009 Submitted by @kbladow
  80. The Three Types of Collaboration Law21.ca April 9, 2009 Submitted by @halveramy
  81. Pricing Against the Market - How To 3 Geeks and a Law Blog April 9, 2009 Submitted by @gnawledge
  82. Free as in "Me" 43 Folders April 10, 2009 Submitted by @cyberlaw
  83. Contract Drafting for the 21st Century: A Conversation Between Ken Adams and Ron Friedmann Prism Legal April 12 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  84. Cloud computing requires savvy elegal April 13, 2009 Submitted by @DavidCanton
  85. Blawg Review #207 Law21.ca April 13, 2009 Submitted by @DougCornelius
  86. Open Letter to Law Firms: Control The Message Marketing Strategy and the Law April 14, 2009 Submitted by @jonlin98
  87. Knowledge Management, Bacteria Style Green Chameleon April 15, 2009 Submitted by @pennyedwards
  88. Lessons From the Domino’s Pizza Video: Part I Social Media North Carolina Law Life April 16, 2009 Submitted by @DonnaChmura
  89. The Worthlessness of American Legal Education The Legal Satyricon April 17, 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  90. Why Ask Why: Building Law Firm Web Sites 3 Geeks and a Law Blog April 17, 2009 Submitted by @sioslo
  91. The "Dirty Little Secret of Patents" is that Most are Worthless to Their Owners. Here is Why. IP Asset Maximizer Blog April 17, 2009 Submitted by @IPStrategist
  92. Does Web 2.0 Dilute a Presenter's Message? 3 Geeks and a Law Blog April 20, 2009 Submitted by @JennSteele
  93. Top rate of income tax could be 60%, not 50% The Baillieu Blog April 22, 2009 Submitted By @danversbaillieu
  94. Lawyer Twitter Practices: 29 Do’s and Don’ts slaw.ca April 25, 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  95. The Sky Is The Limit – Up Close & Personal With SkyGrid Advocate's Studio April 27, 2009 Submitted by @advocatesstudio
  96. Lockstep Compensation – Fair or Foul? Corcoran's Business of Law Blog April 28, 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  97. Online social networking at work Work Matters April 28, 2009 Submitted by @johnsirman
  98. Nine Legal Technology Trends for 2009 - The Year of Hunkering Down DennisKennedy.com April 29, 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  99. Enterprise 2.0 marketing score card: solid ‘C’ Pretzel Logic April 29, 2009 Submitted by @lehawes
  100. Managing how your friends experience your Facebook page Grow My Company April 30, 2009 Submitted by @ChristinePilch
  101. My Mom is on Twitter IT Pro Marketer April 30, 2009 Submitted by @Rex7
  102. A Sick Situation Domestic Disturbances April 30, 2009 Submitted by @molecule18
  103. The May 2009 Carnival of Trust Settle It Now - Negotiation Blog May 1, 2009 Submitted by @vpynchon
  104. Want to Be a Guest Blogger? technola May 4, 2009 Submitted by @kbladow
  105. Less Time on Twitter, More Time Exercising Law Firm and Attorney SEO and Internet Marketing May 5, 2009 Submitted by @george_murphy
  106. 5 Simple Ways to Use Linkedin to Market Your Firm The Nutmeg Lawyer May 5, 2009 Submitted by @brettowens
  107. The Great De-Leveraging Adam Smith, Esq. May 6, 2009 Submitted by @jordan_law21
  108. Using Social Media vs. Using a Social Media Strategy I am Jen and this is my Blog May 6, 2009 Submitted by @jenz036
  109. When Star Wars Geeks Marry This is What Happens just a guy thing May 6, 2009 Submitted by @JoshCamson
  110. On Human Sustainability reconnectwithsimmons. May 7, 2009 Submitted by @JennSteele
  111. Obama Eating A Burger - A "Teachable Moment" in Food Safety Marler Blog May 7, 2009 Submitted by @mary_siceloff & @bmarler
  112. Supreme Court's Plenary Docket--Part Two Balkinization May 8, 2009 Submitted by @Collinudell
  113. Blackberry Bold vs. iPhone Social Media Law Student May 7, 2009 Submitted by @Rex7
  114. David Armano - The Twitter 20 Interview on Visual Thinking and Social Business Convince & Convert May 7, 2009 Submitted by @elizabethsosnow
  115. Crowdsourcing – The Live Experiment 3 Geeks and a Law Blog May 7, 2009 Submitted by @glambert
  116. The Road Not Taken Above and Beyond KM May 8, 2009 Submitted by @HeatherColman
  117. The Twenty-First Century Mom Lawyer: A Life Without Seams MyShingle.com May 10, 2009 Submitted by @nikiblack
  118. HOW DAVID BEATS GOLIATH The New Yorker May 11, 2009 Submitted by @jasnwilsn
  119. FAQ: Is an Internet Contract Enforceable? E-Commerce law May 11, 2009 Submitted by @JonathanFrieden
  120. 10 Ways To Put Your Content In Front Of More People Smashing Magazine May 12, 2009 Submitted by @3rddeadline
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  136. 54 Tips For Writers, From Writers Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online May 24, 2009 Submitted by @Marelisa
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  138. Legal Information Organized by Subject: Announcing JD Supra Law Centers JD Scoop May 26, 2009 Submitted by @JDTwitt
  139. In Strauss, et al. v. Horton, as State Registrar of Vital Statistics, et al., the California Supreme Court denied original writs of mandate challenging Proposition 8 (constitutionally definining valid "marriage" as being between a man and a woman) The Complex Litigator May 26, 2009 Submitted by @hsleviant AND SOME GREATS FROM '08
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  142. How David beat Goliath Law21.ca August 26, 2008 Submitted by @jasnwilsn
  143. Sorry to Burst Your Bubble Lex Fortis September 18, 2008 Submitted by @lexfortis
  144. The Future of Law Firm Branding Law21.ca October 3, 2008 Submitted by @lsuttell
  145. Off Topic: SHIRLEY NAGEL may be the hottest woman alive!!! Gabe's Guide to the e-Discovery Universe November 2, 2008 Submitted by @GabeAcevedo
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  147. Off Topic: Blago, American Hero Gabe's Guide to the e-Discovery Universe December 10, 2008 Submitted by @GabeAcevedo
  148. December 16, 1773: Boston Tea Party RHAPSODYINBOOKS’S WEBLOG December 16, 2008 Submitted by @RKaiser
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  150. 2008: The Best and Worst of Legal Marketing Avvo blog December 30, 2008 Submitted by @ConradSaam

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5/27/09

The False Argument: Social Media tools are either Marketing "Wins" or "Losses"

I am not a Law Firm Marketer... I don't play one on TV (or via Social Media). I do, however, recognize a weak argument when I read one. There's a certain consultant out there that has raised the hackles of a lot of Twitter fans by writing that "Twitter Not Effective for Legal Marketing." Immediately, there were rebuttal blogs being posted.
I thought I'd chime in with my non-marketing, but still somewhat knowledgeable take on this whole thing, and how it shouldn't be painted with a broad brush.
I was discussing these arguments with a good friend and she said:
I'll tell ya, I'm pretty fed up with all of these law firm marketers (especially the consultants!) who are self-proclaimed social media "experts" but who contribute little value, if any, to the community and the conversation. My CMO asked me "I don't understand twitter, what's the ROI?" and I could only answer, "Just your time. You get what you put in." And I think that's exactly what some people get. Nothin. No, you cannot make a quick buck doing this stuff - blogging, twittering, etc - but you can establish yourself as an expert, you can learn and share information, and, yes, you can connect with your clients. Is it an overnight, magic-bullet? No. Does it still work? Absolutely.
Let's be honest -- Twitter can be a time suck, and can be ineffective as a marketing tool. But, so can anything else -- whether it is traditional marketing or a social media effort. How much time and money have firms spent on traditional marketing effort that got zero or little ROI?? Probably more times than we'd like to admit. But, we learn, we adjust, and we move on to the next project. Trying to argue that Social Media tools are either "Wins" or "Losses" just seems to me to be a false argument.
It reminds me of a joke I was told a long time ago about how sometimes it is easier for some consultants to tell you what they "know" rather than them taking the time to learn something new and then tell you what you "can do."

All of the athletes of a Division 1 University took a "History of the Bible" course in the Fall semester of their Senior year. The course was pretty simple and the professor never took roll. But more importantly, the only grade in the class was from the final exam and the prof always gave the same question on the final exam. "Explain why Moses was chosen to lead Israel out of slavery and give them God's Law."

Unfortunately for a group of athletes, the professor decided to change the final exam this semester. This time the question was "Critique Jesus' Sermon on the Mount."

One very creative athlete found a way around this dilemma by giving the following answer:

"Who am I to criticize the Lord?? Therefore, let me explain why Moses was chosen to lead Israel out of slavery and give them God's law...."

Social Media Tools (blogs, FaceBook, Nings, etc) can be a good addition to your overall marketing resource kit. However, it can also be a drain on your resources if you're not careful. Now insert that same argument for all of those Law Firm Alerts that your firm sends out. (And, read this little article about what your clients think of those alerts.) As the old saying goes - "If your only tool is a hammer, then all problems look like a nail." You just can't have one tool in your marketing tool belt. Or, as Lisa puts it, "holistic marketing." The trick is to find understand how all of your marketing resources can help you achieve your goals. And, if you can't tell me what your marketing goal is, then using Social Media tools effectively isn't your only problem. (paraphrasing Dave Lorenzo.)

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