So, it was snowing in Houston today. My sister texted a photo full of snow at 6:30 am–a neighborhood once covered in Harvey now covered in snowflakes.

Just finished my analytics reports. Not sure how many of you use Google Analytics. It has changed a lot since I first started using it back in the good old days. Analytics is the favorite aspects of my job, probably because I like using Excel and running calculations.

Analytics are an important part of of monitoring a site to ensure that you are still on target and achieving your goals. Benchmarking–before and after shots prior to a launch–will help you better tell your success stories.

Google Analytics

I use GA to track web site and blog traffic, looking at visitors, sessions and pageviews over time. I’m able to tell what countries are viewing the site, what language they speak and even their age.

For social media, I usually prefer to go straight to the source. There are several tools that are available to help with this, like HootSuite, but I really do prefer digging through the data.

Why analytics?

Twitter analytics

Twitter Analytics, I think, does the best job of providing user analytics. Facebook comes in next, with LinkedIn next.

If you aren’t aware, Twitter provides every user with analytics on their account’s performance.

To access,  click on your Twitter profile pic and select analytics.

Twitter analytics top mentions

The Twitter Analytics landing page for your analytics page will display a monthly summary, in reverse chronological order, of your top tweet, follower, mention and media tweet. It also shows the total number of tweets, profile visits, followers, impressions and mentions for the month.

Twitter activity analytics

Behind sub pages include a full analysis of tweets, your account’s audience, events, conversion tracking and, soon, video analytics.
You can export all the metrics from your Twitter analytics, which provides a full list of all your tweets, the number of impressions, engagements and the engagement rate. You can download your Twitter data for a day, month, or a specific data range.

Twitter audience analytics

Your audience analytics will give you an idea of who is reading your tweets. I’m pleased to see that I am followed by whom I intended to be  followed: techie nerds, both male and female.
Analytics reports are like checking your pulse. You want to make sure your sites are still up and running.

How a football game and a hurricane played a part in baseball by @Lihsa

Forgive me, but I have to say this more for myself: my hometown team, the Houston Astros, are the 2017 World Series Champions.

I know, I know, if my sister’s reading this, she’ll tell you that I’m not much of a sports fan.

But this series. This season. This year. Incredible.

Watching the 2017 World Series on social media

I watched the game on Twitter. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do cable. I do Roku. And despite YouTube’s sponsorship by its YouTube TV, YouTube wasn’t really live-streaming the game. I did watch a few minutes of the game on YouTube Live through a Mexican TV channel. But I don’t speak Spanish very well, so I gave up after 10 minutes. And, frankly, my heart couldn’t handle the stress.

Instead, I followed the World Series’ Twitter Moment, which kept a live score of all the games. It was pretty slick—a top bar, just under the Twitter navigation, kept a live scoreboard. Tweets ran below it. And you should have seen the live stream—a river ran through it. I wasn’t scrolling, I was spinning through 100s of tweets per minute.

In fact, Ad Age reported that 62,000 tweets were generated at the final out of the seventh game. It was the most tweeted moment of the seven-game series. If you want to see all of the Twitter stats—sorry, Twitter isn’t giving up any hard data, just lists and posts—check out the Twitter blog.

World Series data usage

Details are still coming in on data usage in the respective team stadiums. Several sites solely dedicated to stadium communication networks have not yet posted the latest results. The Houston Chronicle did report that during Astros’ home games 3 and 4, fans at Minute Maid Park burned up 2 TB of mobile data on AT&T’s network.

2017 World Series, the Houston Astros, social media and data usage - @Lihsa - 3 Geeks

2017 LI Super Bowl network upgrades

Luckily this year, Houston made significant upgrades to its networks for February’s Super Bowl. In the past, Houston stadiums had abysmal coverage and way too many dead zones.

The Broadcast Bridge reported that, to prepare for the Super Bowl, T-Mobile permanently increased 4G LTE by nearly 20 times its previous strength. Sprint bumped up by 500 percent. ATT added 749 antennas and 549 cell towers. Verizon added 783 antennas. Plus, temporary boosters were added to the areas surrounding all 3 Houston arenas and conference centers. So the arenas were ready when Super Bowl LI broke the 37 TB wireless mark.

Hurricane Harvey prepared Houston for digital congestion

Thank God, because Houston needed it for Harvey.

CNET reported that AT&T and Verizon ran the traps during Hurricane Preparedness Season, running drills and tests. Before Harvey made landfall, both communication networks reported “ready” for Harvey.

When cell towers did go down—a reported 5 percent were disabled—COWS were deployed. COWS are cell sites on wheels, which can be transported to damaged towers. Houstonians—more fortunate than its coastal neighbors—were able to maintain stable communication networks through out the hurricane.

Which brings us to the 2017 World Series

Three years after Sports Illustrated cover prediction and in an odd statistical coincidence, the Houston Astros won the seventh game of the series with a 5 – 1 victory, after the city fought back 51 inches of rain.

The Houston Astros, with one of the most diverse teams in the league, beat out New York and Los Angeles.

Houston showed why the fourth largest city in the US, down on the third coast, is the real force to be reckoned with. We are, after all, #HoustonStrong.

Sharing, clothes and looking the part of a lawyer by @Lihsa

I love social media. It’s a fascinating look into the minds of 2 billion people.

Admittedly, it can, at times, get pretty ugly in there. But then there are places of transcendence and valor; beauty and joy.

Social media is like wearing clothes: you can choose to wear a dirty t-shirt bearing a foul logo. Or you can choose to wear a Chanel evening gown. Your choice.

Being a lawyer and sharing on social media

Social media is the perfect democracy. Love it or hate it, it takes a lot of very, very bad behavior before you get banned.

I wouldn’t want to ever be in the position of @jack or @kevin and have to make a decision as to who gets kicked off of a social media site. What an ethical dilemma: do I have the right to shut somebody up on a forum that was built around the concept of free speech? Criminey; it’s all too darned close to playing god.

But I digress.

What not to post on social media

First, let’s talk about what not to post. I follow 3 rules:

  1. Is it kind?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it true?

Every time I talk about social media to lawyers, I remind them that as a lawyer, you are an officer of the court. Whether you like it or not, you are held to a higher standard. Even when you are off the clock. Where ever you go—to a party, to the grocery store, to the barbershop—you represent your client, your firm and the reputation of all lawyers. It can be a bit of a burden.

Of course, you have to bear in mind ethical rules. I would recommend reading the ABA (@ABAesq) article, 10 Tips for Avoiding Ethical Lapses when Using Social Media. Basically, don’t post anything that:

  1. breaches client (or would-be client) confidentiality
  2. breaks or creates attorney-client privilege 
  3. is false or misleading

So we’ve all learned to think before we share. Generally, I’d also advise that you stay away from any online controversy. It is too fraught with misinterpretation, misfires and can quickly turn ugly. Political statements are never going to add to any online conversation and run the risk of alienating friends and colleagues. I, personally, have never heard anyone say, “Yep, that incendiary post really got me to thinking. I’m going to change my entire position on the issue.” Never happens. So what’s the point?

I am not saying that you aren’t entitled to have an opinion and to speak your mind. But why put it on social media where it can come back to haunt you? It just isn’t worth it. I’ve found that sharing my opinions—especially online—isn’t that important. Opinions are like clothing; everybody wearing them.

What to post on social media

So what’s left? Rainbows and butterflies? Well, some days its seems that way. I remember there was a week where all I could post were pictures of Fiona the Hippo and the Gilmore Girls. Social media was not being very kind, necessary or true that week.

But that’s when I realized that it is my moral imperative to stand still in the social media storm and share. I never felt this more strongly than during Hurricane Harvey. I felt compelled to post and share on legal aid (@thehba), mayoral press conferences (@SylvesterTurner) and the flood district communique (@ReadyHarris). I certainly won’t sit here and say that I saved anyone’s life. But I do believe that I could do my part to quell the raucous rumors, distribute good information and push down the negativity.

Sometimes that’s all we can do: drown out the noise. And sometimes that takes the form of a cat post.

Sure, it is silly and may seem a bit goody-two-shoes. But that post did its job: it shoved someone else’s nasty comment down.

So pick a few things that you like: horses, cars, boat racing, history, art. And talk it up. Sprinkle in a few posts about a colleague’s speaking engagement. Talk about an organization’s good work. Genuinely fan-girl (or fan-boy) on one of your heroes. And every once in a while, talk about your own events and articles.

You may think sharing is too personal and that it can expose you to criticism or make you look less professional. Meh. We are all living in this world. All of us have run into neighbors and colleagues at the grocery store. They’ve seen us with the pizza and ice cream in our carts. 

All we can do is own it and be sure that we’re wearing a clean shirt.

I had the honor and pleasure of sitting between Mary Abraham and John Gillies at the ARK KM Conference in New York City over the last two days.  Mary and John are two of the most prolific and talented live tweeters on the planet. They attend conferences and tweet nearly every word coming from the speaker micro-seconds after they have been spoken.  In the last few years, I have gotten an education in KM through twitter by following the tweets of Mary and John and countless others.  I have been able to attend many conferences across the planet that I could never have afforded to attend in person, by simply following the Twitter hashtag associated with the conference.  It was a real treat to see Mary and John in action.  Although, having participated remotely so often, I discovered I have developed a kind of Twitter myopia. I sat in the room and listened to some really terrific presentations, but I didn’t believe a word they said until I read it in a tweet.

On the first day of the conference, I was seated at a table with Mary on my left, John on my right, and David Hobbie (a prolific tweeter in his own right) on the other side of John.  I tweeted the following and David and Mary responded.

Let this be a lesson to lazy kids everywhere:  If you’re going to mooch off the hard work of others, never ever brag about it!

A few notes about this Tweet Stream:

I have edited the stream quite a bit.  I flipped it, it is now in chronological order from top to bottom. I removed a lot of redundancies.  I removed all straight retweets that added nothing to the original or simply said “Agreed” or “Interesting”. Where I kept a retweet, I removed the original quoted text and indented the retweet beneath the tweet it was referring to.  I removed the conference hashtag, except where it was used in reference to the conference itself, or if the hashtag was being commented upon.  I kept the back and forth peripheral conversations only when, in my opinion, it added something to the content being presented.  Needless to say, I cut a lot and I was probably inconsistent throughout, so don’t hold me to anything I just said.  I think what remains is a pretty good set of notes from a terrific group of note takers and some really wonderful presentations. 

I have copied the Title, Description, and Presenters from the Agenda and entered them into the Tweet Stream in the appropriate places.

Our own Toby Brown gave the Keynote on Wednesday, but this stream picks up after his keynote with the first Client Panel.  Toby’s ongoing series of blog posts “The Economics of Law and the Future of Legal KM” is a distillation of the Keynote he gave on day one. 

The conference began with a mutiny of sorts.  After Toby’s keynote the official hashtag of the conference was announced as #ARKKM2012.  We pick up our stream, already in progress…

UPDATE: David reminds me in the comments that he and Mary were live blogging summaries of many of the ARK KM presentations on their respective blogs:   

When I saw this tweet from Jason Wilson about the Legal Marketing Associations Technology conference hashtag #LMATech being hijacked, I had a pretty good idea who a couple of the folks were that were doing the hijacking. If any of you ever follow the discussion of Social Media, Marketing and Law Firms, there are those on the Marketing side… and there are those on the “I Call BS” side. Needless to say, they don’t get along very well.

Whenever you have a conference, and you promote a hashtag on Twitter to promote the conference, you take a risk of someone coming in and using that hashtag for unintended reasons. Usually when we talk about “hijacking” hashtags, you think about what happened to MacDonald’s earlier this year. That is a case where people put up false testimonies to embarrass the organization running the hashtag campaign. In the #LMATech situation, that’s not really what happened. Instead, you have a different type of hashtag situation that looks very similar to having a heckler (or hecklers) in the audience. Think of Micheal Richards’ meltdown during his stand-up routine back in 2006. I think that some on the Marketer side are coming close to taking the meltdown approach… one which feels good now, but when reviewed by the public will not put them in the best of light. (By the way, Michael Richards hasn’t done any live shows since his meltdown, and he talks about it with Jerry Seinfeld.)

The hashtag hecklers on the other hand, aren’t exactly coming to this with clean hands either. They are not doing anything illegal in their heckling, and in fact, they feel as though they are actually giving the LMATech conference a dissenting view from what is being tweeted from the conference. Ken, from Popehat, lays out a number of arguments about the risks that LMA takes when opening up a hashtag, and that he and others are simply dissenters voicing their honest opinion about what they think about what’s coming out of the LMATech conference. However, it is heckling, and not just dissent that is being voiced by those calling BS on the LMA. It’s pretty clear that the dissent is out to discredit the message and the messengers, and when it becomes personal like that, it takes on a mudslinging effect that suddenly gets very nasty. It gives those of us outside the argument something that amounts to entertainment, but not really anything of real value comes out of these types of arguments.

Here’s my advice to LMA on how to handle the situation. First, accept the fact that there are those out there that simply don’t believe in the message you are giving. Don’t take it personally, every organization that puts on a conference and promotes a message will have its dissenters. Second, if I wasn’t surprised that this happened, then you shouldn’t have been caught off guard either. Next time, have a better plan in place on how to address a situation like this. You’re Marketing people, after all, you handle bad press all the time, it’s just that this time, it’s directed at you and not your firm. Third, either ignore the heckling, appease the hecklers, or put the ball in the heckler’s court. Invite one or more of them to a conference to speak to the group and have them tell you, as a professional, and an adult, to lay out all the issues that they have with what you are preaching. It seems that at least one person is willing to talk to the group.

Hecklers are going to continue to be out there, telling you that you are awful. Granted, you would think that respected lawyers would find more adult ways to discuss the topic, but I don’t see that happening. The worst thing you can do is overreact. If you watch the interview with Michael Richards, he admits that he completely screwed up the situation by overreacting. Go check out the video (around the 14:00 mark) and listen to how taking something too personally has eaten away at Richards. Take his advice, acknowledge that there are those that are going to heckle you, let it roll off your back, and then go home and work on your material some more.

I’m going to make this post, short and sweet. If you have a social media account that represents your company’s (or law firm’s) brand… safeguard it like it is important. Because it is.

For the second time in a few days, a company’s Twitter account posted inappropriate content under the company’s brand name. The reason this happened is actually quite simple, and we’ve all seen it happen on much smaller scales. The person responsible for the “Company Twitter” account simply forgot that he or she was logged in to that account and fired off a personal message thinking that they were on their own account. The result was most likely that both of these folks no longer have to worry about the confusion, because they have lost their jobs.

There are a few simple guidelines that every company needs to put into practice to make sure this doesn’t happen:

  • The People Part: Train Your People and keep the number of employees that have access to these accounts to an absolute minimum. Set up strict rules, and make sure they understand the top two rules of social media when it comes to representing your brand:
    Rule 1: Don’t post anything stupid
  • The Technology Part: If someone is going to post on behalf of your company’s brand, set up a computer that where the only thing that computer is used for is updating social media sites related to your brand. Under no circumstances, ever, should anyone log into a personal account on those computers, and if necessary, set up scripts to block employees from logging out of the company account, or set up monitoring software to alert you if they log in to any account other than the company account. Do not mix personal and company accounts (which can happen very easily if you use things like HootSuite or TweetDeck that allow for multiple log ins at the same time.)
When it comes to social media, your brand is only as valuable as the weakest link in your chain. Kitchen Aid and StubHub learned the hard way that allowing their social media representatives to mix business and personal accounts on the same computer costs them dearly, and made them scramble to shore up the damage caused. If you are in charge of your company’s social media brand, take advantage of Kitchen Aid’s and StubHub’s errors to prevent your employees from breaking any of the top two rules of social media and your brand.

Note: A few weeks ago I saw that the law library at the law firm of Bryan Cave had a Twitter account and was actively tweeting. The concept of a large law firm tweeting isn’t that unusual, but the idea of a library within the firm publicly tweeting did sound a little foreign to me. So, I contacted the two librarians behind the Twitter account and asked if they would guest-post here on 3 Geeks and let us know what the goals were for having a Twitter account, who follows them and who do they follow. Karen Lasnick (Santa Monica, CA office) and Joan Thomas (Kansas City, MO office) took me up on the offer and explained their reasoning for creating the @BryanCaveLib account. My thanks to Karen and Joan for sharing their experiences with us.

Tweeting At The Cave

Joan Thomas and I started our Twitter feed @BryanCaveLib last year. I was interested because I had just personally started Tweeting and wanted to jump on the Library Twitter bandwagon. Our first Library tweet was on September 8, 2011: “Welcome to the Bryan Cave Library and Research Services Twitter. We would love to have you follow us as we Tweet all things legal and more!” Now 365 tweets and retweets later, I find that I enjoy Twitter even more than Angry Birds.

Our goals?
One of them is to establish a presence where our attorneys are. We follow 108 twitter accounts including several Bryan Cave LLP accounts and individual Bryan Cave attorneys. We often retweet (RT) tweets from the people we follow. This helps develop a rapport by sharing good information while giving credit for the good stuff we read in our stream. A little more than one third of our tweets are RT’s.

Who follows us?
All kinds of people: attorneys, including our own (several of our practice groups also Tweet) and others outside of the firm, legal publications, social media gurus, individuals who find us interesting and the occasional misguided soul trying to tell us we have won a free iPad. We have 93 followers as of this writing.

Who do we follow?
The same kind of people that follow us: whatever or whoever strikes us as interesting or relevant. Some of our tweets come from our own personal Twitter feeds that we think our followers would enjoy. So far, we have not duplicated each other’s Tweets!

We recently started marketing @BryanCaveLib. Every three weeks, our research librarians compile our newsletter, “in the KNOW”, which is distributed firmwide. We added this blurb at the beginning of each issue to market @BryanCaveLib: Bryan Cave Library & Research Services is now on Twitter. We tweet about general research and legal news. Follow @BryanCaveLib ! We also have a “Follow us on Twitter” link on eCave2, the firm’s intranet. Our email signature’s marketing tagline for this month is @BryanCaveLib . We noticed that these small marketing efforts have increased our in-house followers.

Twitter is a subtle way to develop relationships with attorneys by giving us an opportunity to casually interact with attorneys from all of our offices. Our Bryan Cave followers are starting to visit us when they happen to be in the Kansas City or Santa Monica offices. Joan and I communicate more with each other via Twitter. We often tweet at each other over the weekend or way too late at night. Twitter is proving to be worth the small amount of time we devote to it. We encourage other law firm libraries to start tweeting. You may discover that it can help build relationships with your attorneys and co-workers!

If you’re an academic with twenty-six peer-reviewed articles sitting out there, what’s the next thing you want to do? If you are creative, you turn that into a potential twenty-seventh paper by doing an experiment on them. At least that’s what Melissa Terras from the London School of Economics and Science (LSE) did. Terras wanted to see how others would react to those open-access academic articles located on the University College of London’s (UCL) Discovery platform if she did follow-up blog posts and tweets about them. She wrote about her results in the LSE Impact of Social Science Blog, and it appears that the additional blogging and tweets made a significant difference in the number of downloads of her research.
(note: hat-tip to bespacific blog for finding the article.)

Terras didn’t do what most of us think of when it comes to promoting previous work on Blogs or Twitter (a.k.a. “blatant marketing”), instead she filled in the pieces of the research that didn’t make it into the original publications by giving the background details of what went into the process. Instead of just tweeting “go read my paper Digital Curiosities: Resource Creation Via Amateur Digitisation,” she actually wrote a blog post where she talked about the issues surrounding why she wrote the paper and injected her personality into the blog post (which is usually lacking in those peer-reviewed academic papers.) The results were pretty good and Terras could see that there was value in taking these additional steps. After her first post and tweet about the article, she monitored the downloads to see what happened next.

She blogged about the article, then a couple days later started tweeting about the blog post. As you can see from the graph above, the results show a significant increase in downloads of her article. She then went on to test some other papers with the same process, and left one paper in the series out of the process… it’s pretty easy to see which one got left out.

Although she admits this isn’t exactly going viral, it does help in getting your work out in front of others. Terras’ advice is really two-fold and increasingly important for the academic community:

Ergo, if you want people to read your papers, make them open access, and let the community know (via blogs, twitter, etc) where to get them. Not rocket science. But worth spending time doing. Just dont develop a stats habit.

I’ve actually been thinking about how this relates to the legal community, especially in the large law firm environment that I live in. Try as I might, I can’t talk lawyers into stopping with those rigid and legalese “client alerts” that flood in-house counsel’s email boxes every time Congress passes a law, or the Supreme Court issues a ruling. However, could the approach that Terras did with her academic papers work with client alerts? Could a lawyer that wrote the client alert turn around and actually write a more personable blog post explaining the background of why he or she wrote the client alert (add in some personality, maybe a little humor??) and then tweet about it? Could the results be similar to what Terras discovered with her papers?

I’d love to run an experiment to see. So, if you’re an attorney and you are forced to write one of those lovely client alerts, how about guest posting here about what you wrote, and why you wrote it? Make sure you tell your Marketing Department first so we can get them to monitor the stats for how many downloads you get in the following days after the post and after the tweeting begins. If it works like Terras’ experiment, then maybe firms should rethink how they promote client alerts and start this three-phased process of client alerts, follow-up blog post, and Twitter.

Image [cc] fixedgear

As we say goodbye to 2011 and say hello to 2012, I’d like to take a moment to mention some of the things I’d rather not see make it into the new year (at least on my Twitter Feed.) Besides running into this poor sap that thought getting a Fail Whale tattoo is going to be something that will cool in 2012 (plus, that puppy looks infected to me), there are a few more things I’d like to see go into our collective pasts. So, if you are on Twitter, here’s a few things I’m begging you not to do next year:

  • Don’t make us feel bad for you by sending a tweet to Ashton Kucher, and honestly thinking that he will tweet you back
  • Don’t brag about becoming the “Mayor of Smith, Jones, and Williams law firm” (especially when you don’t even work at that law firm!)
  • Please don’t send anything that ends with the oft-used hashtag #fail
  • Don’t brag about your Klout score (if you have to tell people you have “klout” you probably don’t)
  • If you’re a celebrity with 100K followers, don’t call breastfeeding #nasty
  • Please stop the tweets that tweet about the value of tweeting
  • Find the backspace button and don’t tweet with more than 5 @mentions or 5 RT’s
  • For goodness sake, don’t send me a tweet that say “Follow Me… I’ll follow you back!” (come on… you’re better than that!!)
  • I know some of you love those “Inspirational Tweets” but post those on Facebook instead, okay??
  • Stop sending me tweets that say how sad you are to find out that I, @glambert, am not singer Adam Lambert (although, I am quite fashionable for a law librarian and have been known to break out in song.)
Being the “smart old guy” isn’t too bad, though.

Whew… I feel so much better getting those off my chest. I wanted to say anything that mentioned #election2012, but I have a feeling those are going to be unavoidable in the next 320 days or so.

Got some tweet-types you’d like to see go away in 2012? Put ’em in the comments. It’ll make you feel better.

Many of you have probably played Boardroom Bingo, Buzz-word Bingo, or maybe even Consultant-Speak Bingo… I thought I’d get your Friday started right with a friendly game of Twitter Bingo.

Take a look at the Bingo card below, and whip out your handy-dandy bingo marker (a dark highlighter will work, too) and mark off each box throughout the day when you see a tweet that matches the information in the box.

Shout out “BINGO!!” in the comments when you get 5-across, down or diagonal. Once that runs, we can play “postage stamp” or “four-corners.” I’m pretty sure that by the end of the day (maybe even before Noon) we’ll have someone with a completely blacked-out card!!

[Click on the Image to Print]