When I think about Best Practices and how social media can you personally, I think of a blogs.This is a snapshot from a few weeks ago of my blog, Compliance Building, where I collect information about compliance and business ethics.All the talk about becoming rich by blogging and marketing your practice never held any allure for me. I was looking for a way to organize the information I need to do my job, in a way that makes sense for me.To understand this approach, let’s step back in time.
This is my first blog post I ever made. Its on my old blog, KM Space, where I focused on knowledge management for lawyers. I discovered the use of a blog as a knowledge management tool. For me, blogging has always been about personal knowledge management. I put up posts to memorialize interesting things I find. I put up posts to help me focus my thoughts more coherently. Blogging is part of my learning process.There is this virtuous circle of writing about a topic, that makes you better understand it, learn about it and end up writing more about it.I know that blogging has helped me to better understand the substantive information that I need to do my job.
Case in point. Last year I switched jobs. I had a lot to learn.So I used a blog as a learning tool. I went from KM Space to Compliance Space.
But you wouldn’t be able to see it. Compliance Space was a private blog, hidden from the public eye. I was merely collecting notes. Much of it was law school basics.
I would take notes on seminal cases, statutes, and regulations. This was the first post at Compliance Space, reviewing Kay versus the United States, which is one of the few appellate decisions on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.Eventually, I built up my core understanding and starting moving to the new topics and discussions that were happening in the compliance field.
With that virtuous cycle of learning, I felt that I had enough insight that it was worth sharing with the public. I presented it to my compliance committee. Drafted a social media policy. And took it publicI decided to shift blogging platforms a little and take a deeper step into blogging. Since Compliance Space .com was already taken, I went with Compliance Building .com. The virtuous cycle continues. I want to publish a new post each day, which means learning something new each day.
The blog gives me the ability to organize the posts, by date, specific topics and tags. It also has a robust search feature.In the end it is about capturing the information I need to do my job and being able to find and reuse it.I dabble in Twitter, Facebook, Martindale Connected, Legal OnRamp and other social media sites. But the blog is the mothership. That is where I want the content to live. I am the biggest consumer of my blog’s material. That anyone reads the blog is a by-product. It’s not the core reason for doing it.
Google your name. Know what comes up. Do the same for variations of your name.Google Your company name. Know the results.
Do the same searches using Google News.Its just another tab on Google.
At the end of the search results, it allows you to create an email alert. So Google will tell you when your name pops up in the news.
That is for more mainstream publishers. But you Google offers the same service for blogs.
It will tell you when something pops up in blogs and send you an alert when it finds something.The first step is to know what people are saying about you.
My second take-away is to set up your own blog. There are several sites where you can be up and blogging in under five minutes. (that’s after four minutes of picking colors, images and layouts). You can focus on the content, not the technologyI’ve used Blogger, from Google, which works great. My first blog, KM Space was on Blogger. I used WordPress.com for Compliance Space. Both are free for the platform and hosting.
I’m a big fan of WordPress. You create an account with username, password and email address.
Then pick a domain name and title.You can set up the blog in seconds. This is all the information you have to submit. No company name, no address, no phone number.
Set the privacy so that the blog is only visible to people that you chose. It does not come up in Google search results. People can’t find it.
It they type in the exact web address, the get confronted with a login screen. You can do this away from prying eyes.
That leaves you free to explore the different color combinations and themes
Even more important you can focus on the posts, focus on the content. Use the blog as a tool to organize the information you need to do your job.You don’t need any technical skills.
Create profiles or join networks where you are most likely to build or grow the professional relationshipsLinkedIn and Martindale-Hubbell Connected ExamplesKey points:- Develop an online identity and manage your online reputation actively- Cultivate your identity – don’t leave it to random encounters- Have a point of view or value to contribute to the conversation- Participate slowly but regularly, and build over time -- "only fools rush in"- Create a steady drumbeat of credibility and value- Reciprocity matters – be a good online neighbor and help others- Everyone is “Google-able”
Legal industry is very risk adverse when it comes to experimenting with social media. This is understandable given the nature of the profession – the success and precedence of the past dictates the future in legal matters. You are a careful and measured profession.
Moreover, the legal profession is currently critical of both social media as a tool and critical of those who are breaking tradition by using social media. More-so than many other profession’s use of social media, the environment of adoption is tapping into the fear, uncertainty and doubt factor. Change is difficult, and being a change agent can be a unique role initially.
But the path is well worn by others before you. There is strong and useful adoption of social media in many industries and around the world. Historic campaign have been built on effective uses of social media, doctors are meeting virtually to review cases, identify overlooked drug side effects online to inform the FDA, Business leaders are using social media in gated communities for strategy both within large enterprises and across the c-suite and Law enforcement and government officials are also deploying professional networks to fight crime faster and more efficiently by sharing subject matter expertise across the US and abroad.
Professional use of social media and peer-peer collaboration is here to stay. When professional networks work, they accelerate a business process or make an aspect of work easier or better. There is vast opportunity for counsel to refine their best practice applications of professional networks to better serve their professional needs; from document sharing and knowledge management, to networking and information sharing across different legal matters. The tools are easier than ever and some powerful professional networks are finally emerging in the legal industry to bring the promise into reality. Size, scale and truly well thought out features are there for your taking so you can have a seat at the social media table.
Social Media Best Practices
Social Media Risks and Rewards<br />September 21, 2009<br />Social Media Best Practices<br />
Panelists<br />Moderator: John Lipsey, Vice President Corporate Counsel Services, Martindale-Hubbell Connected, Lexis Nexis<br />Doug Cornelius, Chief Compliance Officer, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC. <br />Vanessa DiMauro, CEO, Leader Networks <br />Dan Goldman, Legal Counsel, Mayo Clinic<br />Eugene Weitz, former corporate counsel, Alcatel-Lucent<br />
2008<br />2008<br />2008<br />2009<br />2009<br />2009<br />Counsel’s Use of Online Social Networks Is Expanding Rapidly<br /><ul><li>Both corporate and private practice lawyers are significantly more likely to report being a member of an online social network this year as compared to last
Approximately three-quarters of counsel now report being a member of such a network
Corporate Counsel engaging in a variety of social media activities professionally, with more than half reporting membership in a professional online community<br /><ul><li>Reading and adding comments to articles or blogs, listening to podcasts, and membership in public social networks are also common
Social bookmarking, microblogging, and online collaboration are less commonly reported among this group</li></ul>% Engage In<br />N<br />CC: 710<br />6<br />Question: What type of social media activities do you engage in professionally? Select all that apply<br />
While Lawyers See the Benefits of Online Networking, Corporate and Private Practice Lawyers View Those Benefits Differently<br /><ul><li>Corporate counsel identify ease of exchange of information and experiences between peers as the top advantage of an online legal professional network.
Counsel Continue to Be Optimistic That Online Networks Will Change the Business and Practice of Law in the Next Five Years<br /><ul><li> About one in five corporate and one in four private practice lawyers feel that there is a high likelihood this will happen
Only about one in six corporate and one in eight private practice lawyers consider this a low-likelihood event
Why I Tweet<br />Dan Goldman<br />www.twitter.com/@danielg280<br />
What is Twitter?<br />Broadcast texting: <br />140 characters<br />Can include links and pictures<br />Subscription model<br />“Follow” people to get their tweets<br />People who follow you get your tweets<br />
What is Twitter?<br />User community has evolved the platorm<br />Moved beyond “I’m going 2 the bthroom”<br />Way to interact with masses of people<br />transmit information exceptionally quickly<br />Iran protests<br />Michael Jackson death<br />Senator Kennedy’s death<br />
What is Twitter<br />Becoming a business tool<br />Channel for sharing professional news/information<br />HIPAA breach notification rules<br />Red flag rule postponement.<br />New Massachusetts privacy revisions<br />Professional Topic-based discussions<br /> Hashtags allow for themed discussions<br />Asynchronous (tweet when you like)<br />Real-time synchronous (tweetchats)<br />
What is Twitter<br />Professional networks forming on Twitter<br />HCSM (Healthcare social media)<br />HCHIT (Healthcare IT)<br />HCMKTG (Healthcare marketing)<br />
Why I like twitter<br />Low “startup cost”<br />Free<br />10 second setup<br />Requires virtually no “maintenance”<br />SASSoMe <br />Short Attention Span Social Media<br />Fun-size-candy-bar of SoMe: bite sized nuggets of content<br />Character limit forces prioritization and honing on details<br />
Why I like twitter<br />Pull vs. push: <br />There when I want it<br />doesn’t clog my inbox<br />I can drink in as much or as little as I want<br />
Why is Online Professional Networking Particularly Useful for In-House Counsel<br />Eugene Weitz<br />Social Media Risks and Rewards<br />September 21, 2009<br />
Globalization of Law Departments<br />Small and Large Law Departments are expected to be responsive in all time zones.<br />In larger Law Departments, Lawyers, colleagues and clients are all over the world.<br />Despite specializations lawyers are expected to know a little about a lot.<br />Social Media Risks and Rewards<br />41<br />
The Reach of a Law Department <br />While internal blogs and discussion boards enable internal discussion within Law Departments, Law Departments need to be in touch with the outside world.<br />Contact with current outside counsel can be the end point or one of a few critical points in formulating legal opinions on issues.<br />Online networking offers potentially deep contacts by profession, geography and areas of expertise.<br />
Why Network When In-House?<br />Leverage the expertise of in-house counsel outside your corporation. Access to specialists. Martindale Connected provides a gated community.<br />Interact with outside counsel beyond those you have retained. Results in best in class benchmarking.<br />
Professional versus Social Networking<br />Online networking can be different things to different lawyers.<br />Avoid rolodexing baseball card contacts.<br />After developing your stable of connections from your vertical career, networking becomes horizontal.<br />Don’t underestimate networking creativity.<br />Social Media Risks and Rewards<br />44<br />
20 Minute Social Media Game Plan <br />General Social Media Use<br />Spends 5 minutes a day scanning RSS feeds, blogs and emails<br />1 second to check reputation alert, topic or company key word alert<br />5 minutes to respond-- if need be -- to a blog post or social media entry<br />Send email to author of great article – invites to connect if she responds<br />Thought Leadership<br />Logs into your networks every few days for about 8-10 minutes (time block in your calendar)<br />Connects to 1-3 people every few visits<br />Writes a personalized email to 1-2 connections<br />Scans forums or blogs <br />Comments briefly on others blog entries or in a discussion thread<br />Answers any “Ask the Expert” questions, or ask yourself a question & answer it on occasion<br />Once or twice a month (at least) <br />Writes or co-writes a blog entry or substantive message<br />Twitters new blog post (optional)<br />Responds to comments (need be basis)<br />Submits an content piece or article<br />Invites clients, prospects, others to join the your network(s)<br />62<br />
THE LEGAL INDUSTRY IS RISK AVERSE TO PROCESS CHANGE<br />ACCORDING TO RESEARCH– COUNSEL STRUGGLE WITH THE DESIRE TO CONNECT WITH PEERS ONLINE AND A WAIT-AND-SEE ATTITUDE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA<br />
FEAR, UNCERTAINTY AND DOUBT CREATE BARRIERS TO COUNSEL’S ENTRY <br />INTO THE SOCIAL MEDIA ARENA<br />
BUT THE RESEARCH SHOWS THERE IS A DESIRE TO GET INVOLVED IN SOCIAL MEDIA: YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORK WITH YOUR PEERS IN PRIVATE COMMUNITIES<br />
THE PATH IS WELL WORN TO USING SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGICALLY;<br /><ul><li> ENTERPRISE