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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Hootsuite, Ping.fm, bit.ly, tweetdeck, twitter, ning, linkedin, Facebook…..are you keeping up ?

I remember when taking all my vitamins was the most important thing to do every morning. It’s been only weeks since I made a commitment to blog everyday and start using all the social media platforms. Now I wake up to a torrent of tweets: 61 tweets, then 39 tweets, then 43 tweets…..in 1hour! The on to the blogs, blogs, blogs ad infinitum, to read, to make comments on, and then replies to 200+ emails!

It’s exhilarating to read about and meet hundreds of amazingly talented people. Although I can’t deny that some are just utterly crazy.

I can truly sympathize with anyone reading this and wondering if it’s all worth the time and effort? Many of us prefer to what is more commonly known as “lurking” in the background.  Sounds awful, doesn’t it?  But in the world of social media, we’re valued and evaluated by how much we’re contributing and participating in conversations. The most interesting aspect is that you don’t even need to make remarkably original contributions.  Many simply recycle everyone else’s content.

Some of the most industrious “recyclers” are busy “retweeting” up a storm on twitter.  They’re more like a AP mini-wire service of streaming content.  Up to 20 tweets in an hour of links to articles, blogs, videos….and highly subjective personal opinions.

These career “retweeters” are an enormous help in orienting myself during the morning on what’s going on, who’s saying what, where and when the next event or webinar is taking place. All of which was at one time the realm of traditional media. That reminds me of Ken Thompson’s Bioteams’ ants exchanging tiny bits of information at rapid speed for the good of the colony.  Oh, and as I wrote that, a tiny ant appeared on my monitor screen.  I wonder what it is thinking as it scurries along this screen about a million times bigger than itself.  Maybe it thinks the cursor is a predator.  Maybe it thinks it’s in an ant version of Cowboy stadium.

I feel as tiny as that ant every time I’m in the world of social media.  But like that tiny ant, I also have a billion fellow ants in the colony, all cooperating and collaborating freely – and some lurking!

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Yesterday, around lunch time, I took part in a twitter discussion on virtual law firms or organizations (VLOs) versus Big Law firms. It was hosted by Larry Bodine, one of the best known names in legal marketing since the late 90s. The twitter handle was  #MHVT.  It reminded me 90’s AOL chat rooms, where everyone is talking at the same time.  It is not easy to follow the threads as the tweets come fast and furious! But I was determined that #The Online Bar (our twitter handle) be present for anything to do with VLOs and big firms!

One participant of note was William Eilers who wrote in his blog about the discussion.  He does a good job of summarizing some of the themes covered.  What is clear from yesterday is that no one really knows what is going on. This reminds me of that story of the four blind men washing an elephant:  Each one thinks the elephant is either the trunk, or the tusks, or the tail, or the huge leathery chest!

Almost everyone in the discussion was focused on what they are seeing right now – a fabulously informative stream of present sense impression.  It was truly informative but it’s also what I meant in the title that most are still shooting at the bird. If you spend time and effort doing what’s already being done (aiming at the clay bird in skeet shooting) you will miss the bird – totally!  You have to aim ahead of the bird.

For example, one question that intrigued me from @lawbill was, “what is a firm?”  Most are earnestly trying to shoot at the bird, or trying to put wings on car so that it flies. You can’t fly into space in a car with wings and a rocket attached. You need to invent a totally new structure.  Same with a law firm, if you look at technology and where it’s going.  It’s overwhelming to consider the possibilities for what firms will look like in 5-10 years.

Maybe, what we were doing yesterday on twitter is one future of the firm.

Another possibility is what I call the “public law firm” (PLF).  A law firm, if you can still call it a firm, which is a meritocracy, totally open and without borders or jurisdiction.  I’ll talk more about this tomorrow.…

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