Jukebox Hero: Why We Love Twitter

There are many reasons to love Twitter.  One reason is that we love to share, and we love to help others.  And we love to get credit for sharing and helping. After all, there are no “anonymous donors” on Twitter.

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Finding that great article, YouTube video, or funny picture is exciting enough, but when you get credit for sharing it and starting the viral spread of such amazing stuff in the Twitterverse, well it just feels good.

It’s the Jukebox Hero Theory of Social Media: I didn’t write the song that I just selected on the jukebox, but I’m damn proud when it comes on and people are singing along and thinking “Oh! I love that song!”

Well Twitter People, that song was my selection.  Of all the other songs I could have played, I chose that one. It’s awesome. I found it.  And I shared it with you.  You’re welcome.

By the way, there is no such thing as the Jukebox Hero Theory of Social Media – I just made it up.  But as it turns out, there is some research behind the concept of how helping people makes you feel good.  According to Allan Luks and Peggy Payne it’s called the Helper’s High, “a feeling of exhilaration and a burst of energy similar to that experienced after intense exercise, followed by a period of calmness and serenity.”  They discuss it in their book, The Healing Power of Doing Good.

So, why else do you Tweet?

You can buy that really cool t-shirt on Zazzle.  It’s not mine and I have no financial interest in it.  I just think it’s cool.  Plus I wanted to get credit for letting you all know about it.  Because it makes me feel good.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Does Anybody Know…? – a new website helps you get answers from your network.

aardvarkThere’s an impressive new website called Aardvark that helps you answer the question: “Does anybody know…?”  by tapping your online networks.  This is not a search engine.  The results are not a list of websites that may or may not get you the answers you need.  The results are from real people in real time.

So, how does it work?  Sign up at the Aardvark site [click here].  It requires that you have a Facebook [my page] account (other networks will be integrated in the future).  From the Aardvark site you can ask a question by simply typing your query into the box.  If you add your instant messaging (like Google Talk, AIM or Windows Live Messenger) and or email account information, you can ask questions via IM and email, too.  According to the site, “Aardvark first looks for a friend or friend-of-friend who can answer your question. If there are only a few people in your network, Aardvark will send your question to your very extended network (friends-of-friends-of-friends-of…) to make sure that you get an answer.”

So, how well does it work?  My first question was: “What’s the best Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan?”  Within moments, I received an answer from Sara: “Becco is really great, on 46th between 8th and 9th(?). possibly 9th and 10th. it’s a little pricy but if you want to eat in midtown that’s the norm.”  Not bad.

Then I asked, “Where is the best place to see the 2009 Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display in NYC?”  I happen to know that, this year, the barges from which the fireworks are launched will be along the Hudson River (not the East River, as in years past) and according to Macy’s, the best place to view the show is on the west side: 12th Avenue below 59th Street, so this was a bit of a test.   The first answer came from Ling: “bring a chair to sit on the FDR, or watch it from someone’s rooftop.”  That would have been good advice last year, but the FDR is on the east side of Manhattan.  The second answer came from Josh: “Battery Park is a good place, also top of the Empire State Building.”  Again, Battery Park — at the southern tip of Manhattan, was good viewing for last year’s show, but this year?  Not so much.

So, is Aardvark a failure?  Time will tell as the site matures, but so far, I don’t think so.  The site and integration with Facebook, email, and IM is great.   So, mechanically, it works – I can ask questions and get answers very quickly and efficiently.  The quality of the answers is another matter.  It seems that Aardvark may be better at getting opinion answers (best Italian restaurant?) than facts (where can I see the fireworks?).  Besides, there are some questions that are best left to Google (I could have–and did–easily found the relevant information about the prime fireworks viewing with a quick web search).

The thing that sets Aardvark apart from Internet search engines is the human touch.  Sometimes, that is a good thing, and sometimes, well, it’s not.  Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to asking and answering questions on this interesting new website. And I’m looking forward to exploring how this sort of approach can advance KM efforts. So, in the spirit of the human touch, please let me know what you think of Aardvark (feel free to sign up with this link: http://vark.com/s/hUnq) and leave a comment below.

Photo: Tut99 on Flickr

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Social Media For Lawyers Meetup Group Talks Twitter in NYC

If you’re in the legal profession, are interested in social media, and are in or near New York City this week, you should join the Social Media for Lawyers Meetup Group for a discussion about Twitter.

The Meetup, called The If’s, Why’s and How’s of Using Twitter, will be this Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 7:30 PM.  The location is still TBD, but will be somewhere in NYC.

As super-Tweeter and group organizer, Alin Wagner-Lahmy (@alinwagnerlahmy) puts it on the Meetup page:

Let’s gather to talk about how Twitter can be used to:

* Promote
* Network
* Learn
* and more

without it taking control over our lives.

As a meet-up, the purpose is to meet face to face. Those who cannot physically attend a NY venue and wish to attend are invited to attend via Twitter.

Location details to be confirmed soon (somewhere in NY City).

$5 fee for those attending f2f to cover location and drinks. If you plan attending through Twitter please still let us know by RSVPing.

Event Hasgtag: #SM4Law

So, please join in the conversation; and tell them you heard about it here.

You can follow LawyerKM on Twitter here.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms


Best Practices for Social Networking for Lawyers – Web 2.0

I attended LegalTech New York and took some notes from Tuesday, February 3, 2009.   I was reluctant to call this “social networking” but the name persists.  They may be a little rough, so please forgive any typos.

From the conference: Web 2.0: Best Practices for Online Networking Exhibit

  • Opportunities in online networking for attorneys
  • Re-energize the traditional, valuable art of networking with tightened budgets, time and resources
  • Growth areas, benefits and challenges of online networking
  • Best practices on selecting a network
  • Gaining the strategic advantage of an online network

Moderator:
Robert Ambrogi, Journalist

Panelists:
John Lipsey, Vice President, Corporate Counsel Services, LexisNexis
Vanessa DiMauro, CEO & President, Leader Networks
Eugene M. Weitz, Corporate Counsel, Alcatel-Lucent
Olivier Antoine, Counsel, Crowell & Moring

My friend and fellow KM guy, David Hobbie,  is also blogging this session on Caselines.

My notes form the session:

Not surprisingly, this session on packed.

Among business people, online networking and social media (SM) is a source of fear.

One survey said 15% of people in the legal industry are members of some sort of social networking (SN).  Another survey says that 59% of lawyers are members of some sort of SN.

Vanessa DiMauro finds that web 2.0 stuff is still new, but maturing.  SM is no longer about tools, but how to apply them and measure them and determine ROI.

John Lipsey – Martindale Hubbell is looking to transform from what it was (print-based lawyer listings) to what it will become (a more useful way for lawyers to fulfill their business needs). The new product is Martindale Hubbell Connected (MHC).  He likes the term “professional networking” rather than SN – me too. They have done a lot of research to figure out what lawyers want and need.

The MHC does not allow anonymous users – it authenticates so that the members have confidence that they know who they are communicating with.  The advantage that MH has is a HUGE database of information on lawyers that they can use to make and enhance connections.  They want to integrate into existing workflow.  This could include the connectors that InterAction (another LexisNexis product) has with LinkedIn.  [makes sense to me]

Olivier Antoine is a practicing attorney who gave his perspective about the value of SN.  It provides value to clients so that you can provide information about who knows who.

Eugene M. Weitz mentioned how he has 2 Blackberrys because he has a professional network and a social network.  He maintains these separately intentionally.  He wants to keep them separate.

The networks allow in house counsel to connect with those who they want to – among in-house counsel, for example.  They can discuss things that are important to them and collaborate within that group.

Bob Ambrogi questioned how Weitz is able to maintain two separate networks.  The investment in time is very difficult to justify.

[side note: while blogging this, I’m also watching Twitter, which is on fire with the #LTNY.  Doug Cornelius just wondered–on Twitter– when MH Connected will be launched.  Mary Abraham, who was in the room, passed along the question and go the answer: Q1 this year.]

DiMauro says there are different social norms that come along with SN – much of the communication is transparent, so you need to be careful.

There was much discussion about networks of trusted people – this reminded me of the really nice ILTA online networking community that is used to connect and ask questions without the threat of vendors reading of contributing

Weitz stressed the need to maintain client confidentialities when participating in online networking communities.   Even asking a simple question or asking for a recommendation can disclose certain information that shouldn’t be disclosed.

Weitz says that this is no different than the type of communication by lawyers – only the vehicle has changed.  The bottom line is that lawyers haveto be as careful with SN sites as they are with all communications – and is some cases, more careful.

DiMauro noted that many other industries have adopted SM and SN.  The legal industry — which has been a late comer and fearful of it — can learn from these other industries.

An audience member asked about the value of LinkedIn.  Oliver gave an example about how he could see that five people from a company he pitched had looked at his profile after the pitch.  There is no other way to get that type of information.  Bob Ambrogi noted that LinkedIn is at least an online directory of business people on the web – the way Martindale Hubbell used to be.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

What is Twitter and How Can I Use It?

I attended LegalTech New York and took some notes from Monday, February 2, 2009.   They may be a little rough, so please forgive any typos.

From the conference: What is Twitter and How Can I Use It?

  • What is Twitter and why should ‘I’ use it?
  • At the end of the day is Twitter the “ultimate time waster” or a “great tool”?
  • From ‘huh?” to “a ha!” – one lawyer’s journey into the Twitterverse. — alternative title “How I learned to stop worrying and love to Tweet!”
  • Time to Tweet? How to use Twitter without losing time to Twitter.
  • Lawyers, Twitter and Client Development
  • How lawyers are using Twitter for sharing and camaraderie among each other

Bob Ambrogi introduced the panel.

Moderator: Monica Bay, Editor-in-Chief, Law Technology News, incisivemedia

Panelists:
Matthew Homann, Founder, LexThink LLC
Kevin O’Keefe, Chief Executive Officer, Lex Blog
Chris Winfield, President, 10e20

My notes of the presentation:

There are already several lawyers and a handful of law firms using Twitter. Chris Winfield polled the audience to see who is on Twitter – quite a few.  Maybe 30-50%

Twitter is about the conversation – it’s not to do “old fashioned” marketing and just slam your message down someone’s throat.   But, as I’ve said, I believe that it can be used to publish marketing-type updates.   Not that it should be used exclusively for that, but it is one possible use.

Chris went through all the basics about how to use it, including search, hash tags, etc.

Chris actually tweeted as he prepared for his presentation and asked people to tell him what Twitter is.  He got many responses and displayed them to demonstrate the way people use it and the value  they find.

Went over Twitter tools:
– search.twitter.com
– TweetDeck
– twitterFon
– EasyTweets – for easy Twitter marketing

Described ways to use Twitter as a lawyer
– learn
– build relationships
– make connections

Matt Homann

Many people in the audience were tweeting the presentation using #LTNY to indicate “Legal Tech New York”

Why do people use it?

– it’s a Kool-Aid application – once you use it and get it, you can’t stop talking about it.
– Matt gets his news from Twitter – through featured and trending topics.  It often has news that does not make it to the mainstream media.  And Twitter users often break news much more quickly than mainstream media.

Twitter is like a river – you can’t see it all at once.   And don’t feel overwhelmed if you miss something – you’re not supposed to see it all.  But, you can always search for key words and find what people have said after the fact.

It is a way to initiate a relationship – the best thing that you can do is make the connection and then follow up with a phone call or some other “real” in-person conversation.

Kevin O’Keefe

Kevin was a Twitter skeptic, but after using it for a few months he was converted.  He gave a concrete example of how he made a customer contact through a Twitter conversation about baseball.

Social Media is more important than search engine optimization.
Kevin — like Guy Kawasaki — would rather go without his cell phone for a week than to go without Twitter for a week.

The Twitter small talk leads to real conversations and relationships.

I had a chance to chat (really, a real conversation – face to face) and he mentioned that he knows of some practicing lawyers who have landed clients through Twitter.
LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Law Firms on Twitter – An Update

Back in August 2008 I wondered “Is the AmLaw 100 on Twitter?” The answer was a resounding “no.”  There were a couple of “exceptions.”  Skadden had an account, but it  seemed to be simply parked, with no updates.  It’s still there, still with no updates, but now has 25 followers (including LawyerKM).  It also appeared, back then, that Orrick had an account, but based on the updates, it was clearly “brand jacked” as Steve Matthews put it, in the comments on that post.  The Orrick Twitter account still appears to be controlled by someone other than the firm, but it now has 49 followers, and two new/different updates, which are less offensive than the previous updates.

That was almost six months ago.  This is now, and the new answer to that question “Is the AmLaw 100 on Twitter?” is: well, not really, but sort of.

Here’s what I found looking around Twitter:

  • Fulbright & Jaworski has apparently embraced Twitter.  It appears that the account was started in October 2008.  Since then the firm has acquired 106 followers and posted 53 updates.
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has 73 followers, 25 updates and has been tweeting since December 2008. [updated 2/1/09]
  • McDermott Will & Emery started tweeting in December 2008.  84 followers and 40 updates.
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges also started tweeting in October 2008.  It has 65 followers and has posted 61 updates.
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice gets the award for the best Twitter image (a bulldog) and slogan (“Innovators @ Law!”).  I also like their first update: “Launched the new Womble Carlyle Twitter page. Get current information on the legal issues facing your business. Friend us, we won’t bite.” With 92 followers and 86 updates, they have been tweeting since November 2008.

You’ll notice that the firms mostly post links back to their websites.  Not surprising – this is law firm marketing, after all.

There are several AmLaw 100 firms that have apparently claimed their accounts, but have done nothing with them.  This is a smart move if they are trying to avoid the fate of Orrick.  Here’s a list of firms and possibly their Twitter handles.  I say possibly because this is based on my research on Twitter – I have not contacted any firms to ask whether they have, in fact, claimed their Twitter accounts.  I didn’t include hyperlinks because, for the most part, there is nothing to see on the Twitter pages.  But the URLs, as listed, are valid.  If you see some that have one follower, it’s me.

  • Akin Gump – http://twitter.com/AkinGump
  • AlstonBird – http://twitter.com/AlstonBird
  • Arnold & Porter – http://twitter.com/arnoldporter
  • Baker & Hostetler http://twitter.com/BakerHostetler
  • Baker & McKenzie – http://twitter.com/bakermckenzie
  • Baker Botts – http://twitter.com/BakerBotts
  • Bryan Cave – http://twitter.com/BryanCave
  • Cleary Gottlieb – http://twitter.com/ClearyGottlieb
  • Davis Polk – http://twitter.com/DavisPolk
  • Debevoise & Plimpton – http://twitter.com/debevoise
  • Dickstein Shapiro – http://twitter.com/dickstein_llp
  • DLA Piper – http://twitter.com/DLAPiper
  • Fish & Richardson – http://twitter.com/FishRichardson
  • Foley & Lardner – http://twitter.com/FoleyLardner
  • Gibson, Dunn – http://twitter.com/GibsonDunn
  • Goodwin Procter – http://twitter.com/GoodwinProcter
  • Hogan & Hartson – http://twitter.com/HoganHartson
  • Holland & Knight – http://twitter.com/hollandknight
  • Howrey – http://twitter.com/howrey
  • Hunton & Williams – http://twitter.com/huntonwilliams
  • Jones Day – http://twitter.com/jonesday
  • Latham & Watkins – http://twitter.com/lathamwatkins
  • Dewey & LeBoeuf – http://twitter.com/deweyleboeuf
  • Mayer Brown – http://twitter.com/mayerbrown
  • Morgan Lewis & Bockius – http://twitter.com/morganlewis (has four followers and is following four others)
  • O’Melveny & Myers – http://twitter.com/omelveny
  • Patton Boggs – http://twitter.com/pattonboggs
  • Paul Hastings – http://twitter.com/paulhastings
  • Paul, Weiss – http://twitter.com/paulweiss (I think that this may be a person named Paul Weiss – probably not the firm)
  • Proskauer Rose – http://twitter.com/proskauerrose
  • Reed Smith – http://twitter.com/reedsmith (this is a “marketing guy” in Austin Texas – probably named… Reed Smith)
  • Ropes & Gray http://twitter.com/ropesgray
  • Schulte Roth – http://twitter.com/Schulte
  • Seyfarth Shaw – http://twitter.com/seyfarthshaw
  • Sidley Austin – http://twitter.com/sidleyaustin
  • Simpson Thacher – http://twitter.com/simpsonthacher
  • Sonnenschein – http://twitter.com/sonnenschein
  • Squire Sanders – http://twitter.com/squiresanders
  • Sutherland Asbill  – http://twitter.com/sutherland
  • Vinson & Elkins – http://twitter.com/vinsonelkins
  • White & Case – http://twitter.com/whitecase
  • WilmerHale – http://twitter.com/wilmerhale
  • Wilson Sonsini – http://twitter.com/wilsonsonsini
  • Winston & Strawn – http://twitter.com/winstonstrawn

I may have missed some.  If so, please let me know.

It’s not just the AmLaw 100 on Twitter.  Here’s a list of other firms that I’ve encountered from comments on Twitter:

  • Deacons (Australia) – 140 followers, 120 updates.
  • Staton Law Firm (Huntersville, NC) – 73 followers, 28 updates.
  • Clements Law Firm (Charlotte, NC) – 66 followers, 2 updates.
  • Christensen Law Firm (Draper, UT) – 4 followers, 1 update.
  • Hinshaw (USA) – 32 followers, 0 updates.
  • Gowlings (Canada) – 66 followers, 24 updates.
  • Patel & Warren (Houston, TX) – 47 followers, 12 updates.
  • Jackson Walker (Texas) – 79 followers, 18 updates (has 13 other associated Twitter accounts, and check out their website, which has a prominent “Follow Jackson Walker on Twitter” link).
  • Simmons Cooper (Illinios) – 80 followers, 130 updates.
  • ShannonGracey (Texas) – 173 followers, 31 updates.

And for those firms that have not *yet* jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, here’s the good news:  You’re still in the Twittersphere.  You may not be tweeting, but others are tweeting about you.  For example, the ABA Journal has a Twitter account, has posted more than 4,400 updates, and has almost 1,000 followers.  The AmLawDaily also posts updates about firms.  It has 188 followers and has made over 350 updates.

Others are Tweeting about law firms, as well.  There is a huge community of lawyers and others in the legal profession on Twitter.  They post updates about firms big and small.  Unfortunately, these days, a lot of what they’re are saying has to do with law firm layoffs.  There’s even a Law Firm Layoff Tracker on the Lawshucks website that’s, sadly, a hot topic on Twitter.

The question remains: should law firms be on Twitter?  Some say no, but that lawyers at firms should be.  Maybe these are the Twitter purists.  Perhaps they think that Twitter should be all about the conversation and not about simple broadcasting and posting links.  My personal opinion is that Twitter conversations are great, but law firms should be on Twitter.  It is a marketing opportunity, just like a law blog.  It’s an opportunity to get a firm’s content in front of more eyes and drive more traffic to its website.  If a firm’s lawyers also use Twitter, then all the better.  Those lawyers can have Twitter conversations and build relationships.  But the two needn’t be mutually exclusive.  Firms might not engage in Twitter conversations, but neither do the many of the mainstream media outlets, like Fox News, CNN Breaking News, and New York Times.  Twitter–in its short life–has grown into more than just a place to chat.  It is a place to post news and information that others will chat about.

Being a mere mortal, and there being only so many hours in the day, I’m sure that I missed some law firms on Twitter.  If you know of others, please let me know by leaving a comment.  Thanks.

Finally, if you’re going to LegalTech NY this coming week, you won’t want to miss “What is Twitter And How Can I Use It?” – a panel discussion moderated by Monica Bay with panelists Matthew Homann, Kevin O’Keefe, and Chris Winfield.   It’s Monday Feb. 2, 2009 at 3:00 PM.  I’ll be there.   And feel free to DM me and say hello – http://twitter.com/lawyerkm- in person.

In the meanwhile, join the conversation about Twitter in the comments below.

  • Should law firms be on Twitter?  If so, how should they use it?

Update: Thanks to Bruce Carton for pointing out his great list of BigLaw Lawyers on Twitter.  He noted a few firms I missed (now updated above).

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

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