You Can Never Be Too Popular – except on Twitter

[update] – this looks like a Twitter accident.

They say that you can never be too popular.  Twitter disagrees.  Prolific Tweeter, Connie Crosby, of Connie Crosby Blog, Slaw and Crosby Group Consulting fame has apparently been bounced from (but maybe now reinstated to) Twitter.  You can see some other people tweeting about it on Twitter.

We’re not sure what’s going on here, but some think, that she had too many Twitter followers.  Another Tweeter, reports that Connie “still has the account but the content is gone except for 1 tweet and 2 followers!”

Keep upto date on this — where else — on Twitter.

@conniecrosby – hope to see you Tweeting again soon.

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

LinkedIn adds Searchable Group Directory

Everyone’s favorite online business networking website, LinkedIn, has had groups for quite a while. They have also had a groups directory for a while – but it has never been searchable. Up until now (well, tomorrow really), the only ways to learn about interesting groups that you might want to join were word of mouth, or noticing a group badge on a someone’s profile.

LinkedIn announced that on Friday, July 11 (also known as Apple iPhone 3G Day), it will add a seachable group directory. Now you can run a search like “knowledge management” and you’ll find groups, including my favorite: [shamelss plug alert] “Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals.”

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

LinkedIn in Plain English

It was only a matter of time before the smart people at LinkedIn, the social business networking site, asked the smart people at Common Craft to help explain and promote their site. Below is Common Craft’s new video, “LinkedIn in Plain English.” And when you go check out LinkedIn, be sure to join the group called Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals. And, of course, who could forget the Facebook group of the same name?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzT3JVUGUzM&hl=en]

Here are Common Craft’s other Plain English videos I’ve covered.

And be sure to check out Doug Cornelius’ coverage of this story and the very interesting Martindale-Hubbell – LinkedIn integration. Kevin O’Keefe broke the news about Martindale and LinkedIn: read it here.

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

Social Networking is Dead

OK it’s not really dead. Actually, social networking is alive and well. And thriving.

The “networking” part is fine. It’s the “social” part that needs to be killed off–at least when discussing the idea to professionals who have no patience for the likes of MySpace and Facebook. Here’s the problem: those who are unfamiliar with the versatility and value of the features of social networking tend to be fixated with the word “social.”

Social, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, means “relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.” So, it’s not surprising that busy lawyers generally cringe when the hear about social networking. <sarcasm> There’s just no room in most law firms for pleasure </sarcasm>.

This idea prompted the Twitter question, “is it really “social networking” if you use social networks for business reasons? Should we simply call it networking?

Bloggertweeter Nicole Black agreed that it should just be “networking.” Bloggertweeter Doug Cornelius had some thoughts, too.

And what about LinkedIn? It’s a networking site, but it is geared toward business networking. Steve Matthews reported that the number of lawyers on LinkedIn has increased by 98,000 in the last two months. Kevin O’Keefe pointed out that LinkedIn site traffic (unique visitors per month) is way up and that all major law firms have profiles on LinkedIn.

Those who are unfamiliar with it tend to lump together LinkedIn with MySpace and Facebook, but the focus is different. Kevin refers to LinkedIn as a “professional social network.” I kind of like that concept, but I am not completely sold. My gut feeling is still to strike “social” – but really only when the discussion involves those who don’t get it. And just in case my readers aren’t familiar with their work, Nicole, Doug, Steve, and Kevin all get it.

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece called Social Networking Goes Professional, back in August 2007. It describes how some doctors use social networks to share ideas about solving medical problems. When doctors connect with each other online (at a site called Sermo) to seek advice on a tricky diagnosis, it seems to be “all business” to me. There are social networking platforms that target lawyers, too (see e.g., LawLink and Legal OnRamp – Doug has written a lot about them.) Some of these social networking sites are a step in the right direction, but they attract those who already “get it.” Any lawyer who would join one of these sites doesn’t need to be convinced of the value of social networking. [Tangent: doctors and lawyers have no problem with social networking on the golf course, why the aversion to social networking online?]

Those who don’t get it may point to this IBM commercial, which features a Generation Y slacker employee wasting time on a social networking site. His boss points out that his networking is much too “social” and not enough about “business.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCHKPYHuhA&hl=en]

I really like that commercial. The implication, of course, is that IBM can provide solutions that harness the power of social networking and put it to business use. My fear, however, is that some people will use it as ammunition in their crusade against using technology to connect people – just because they think that the technology might be misused by the likes of the slacker.

What we must understand–and communicate–is the idea that it’s not the platform, but the way that you use it. For example, I started using Facebook (which was originally exclusively for college students) to connect with fellow legal KM folks for business networking. (I’ve slowly expanded my use of it to connect “socially,” as well.) There are several KM and technology groups on Facebook – for legal and other fields (see a short list below).

So, when trying to promote the features and benefits of social networking in your law firm or other organization, is it a good idea to dispense with the “social” and just focus on “networking?” Or maybe call it “business networking” or “online networking.” Please discuss in the comments.

Facebook Groups (please feel free to add more in the comments):

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

Help Me Help You: Social Media in Your Law Firm | Knowledge Management

Common Crafts new video, Social Media in Plain English, really emphasizes how a lot of this new-fangled social technology (esp. tagging, commenting, and voting) is really nothing new, and nothing to be afraid of. It’s just a twist on the old way (and often better and more effective way) to do things. It’s not appropriate for every aspect of the way lawyers work, but it can be helpful in many respects. (post continued below video)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpIOClX1jPE&hl=en]

(See other LawyerKM Common Craft stuff here)

Allowing comments on model documents in your precedent repository (or DMS – see e.g., Interwoven) can add a perspective–and value–that the author or the KM staff or your PSLs did not initially recognize. For example, you may have added a particular sample because it is a good example of a certain kind of brief related to a particular industry. And that’s the way the KM staff described it in the “official” description in your KM system. But a non-KM user (i.e., a practicing lawyer) may think that it’s a good example not because of the industry to which it is related, but because of the nature of the litigants (e.g., limited liability company vs. professional corporation) – a piece of meta data that’s not likely to be part of your official taxonomy.

As we all have come to accept, meta data is important to the ability to locate the information we need. But don’t forget about user-created meta data (tags, comments, votes, etc.). KM folks may think we know what’s important to the lawyers we support (and much of the time, we do), but those lawyers know what’s important to them. So, why not allow them to help us learn? Sort of “Help me help you…” but I suspect that your lawyers won’t be begging you with as much desperation as Tom begs Cuba.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-oHuogx6_Y&hl=en]

So, don’t be afraid. Maybe we should call it “Business Media” instead of “Social Media.”

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

Attorney 2.0 – Generation Y in Your Law Firm

Ready or not, there is a new generation of lawyers headed your way. Since “two point zero” is all the buzz these days, we can call this group “Attorney 2.0,” if you like. But before the whole “two point zero” craze, there was the “Generation __” craze. It started with Generation X (attribute whatever characteristics you like), the term that increased in popularity in the 1990s.

Then came Generation Y, those born between 1983 and 1997 (some define Gen Y as “current 13 to 30 year-olds”). However you define them, some Gen Y’ers are now young adults and some of those young adults are lawyers – and they are working at your law firm. Right now.

“So what?” you may ask. Here’s the thing: Generation Y is different because they grew up on the Web. In a ReadWriteWeb piece called Why Gen Y is Going to Change the Web, Sarah Perez discusses some of these imminent changes. As Perez puts it, Gen Y is “the most digitally active generation yet, having been born plugged in.” Here is the key take-away for those legal KM folks among us:

Work Tools Need to Mirror Web Tools: Gen Y will drive adoption of “Enterprise 2.0” products and services. Gen Y in the workplace will not just want, but expect their company to provide them with tools that mirror those they use in their personal lives. If socializing on Facebook helps them get a sale, then they’re not going to understand why they can’t use it at work. For more buckled down companies, if workers aren’t provided with the tools they want, they’re going to be savvy enough to go around I.T.’s back and get their own.

* Check out the SlideShare presentation, The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 @ Work, below.

For all of us struggling over the issue of whether knowledge management is about technology or culture, well, when talking about Gen Y lawyers, the answer is “yes.” In other words, for the Attorney 2.0 set, technology is their culture. Sharing, collaboration, social networking, tagging, and voting (and all of that other web 2.0 / enterprise 2.0 stuff) is their culture. [See Doug Cornelius’ post about his survey of summer associates’ use of social networking websites]. These lawyers grew up on the Web. They are accustomed to changes; rapid changes. They roll with it and look forward to it. They are not “change averse” like the generations before them.

Will Gen Y lawyers tag legal documents in your DMS? You bet. Will they comment on a blog post or contribute to a wiki? Definitely. Will they subscribe to RSS feeds? Absolutely. Will all of this replace the monthly litigation department meeting where people share knowledge and collaborate face-to-face? Of course not.

Generation Y lawyers organize their digital lives with the tools of the web (Delicious, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Reader, Newsvine, Netvibes, etc.). They will want to do the same at work because it will help them be more productive. Isn’t that one of the goals of knowledge management?

For the Attorney 2.0 Generation, this is not innovation: it’s a no brainer.

[slideshare id=396865&doc=genyweb20-1210364558509716-8&w=425]

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

Blog Buddies | Knowledge Management

Robert Scoble wrote a nice piece in Fast Company about “how to get good PR for yourself in the blogosphere.” It’s called Meet the Press. He notes how Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, went from relative obscurity to a “media darling” in about a year’s time by — among other things — making real-life connections with bloggers.

A good tip from Scoble: use Upcoming.org to see where other bloggers have indicated they are going. Scoble is using Upcoming.org to “watch” the Enterprise Search Summit and Blogger Social ’08 (and a lot of other stuff). If nothing else, you may find something interesting to do (I was “reminded” that the Five Boro Bike Tour is coming up in May and I learned that a band I like is apparently back together and will be playing in NYC in June). A friend [no blog reference] recently reminded me of another resource for this type of thing: MeetUp.com.

I like Scoble’s ideas and I like Ferriss’ book. I recommend that anyone interested in knowledge management, efficiency, productivity, or just making the most out of your waking hours [and your sleeping hours], give the book a read. (It’s not necessarily about working only 4 hours a week). Need some incentive? Check out Ferriss’ blog.

And if you’ve got a blogging strategy, Scoble would like to hear about it. He invites readers to email him about it at scoble@fastcompany.com and “he’ll post the best ideas at” Scobleizer.com. Looking forward to that.

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

Twitter and Follow | Knowledge Management

twitter common

Another great Common Craft video (see below). This one is about Twitter.

I like Twitter (see the link to follow LawyerKM on Twitter on the right –>>). But I’m getting a little inundated with information these days, and Twitter isn’t helping. Neither is following people like Robert Scoble, the self-proclaimed “tech geek videoblogger” and prolific twitterer (or is it tweeter?). More than 11,000 people follow Scoble on Twitter.

I like following him as a Google Reader friend because he essentially vets content for me. Well, not directly, but you get the idea: I read the stuff that he has shared because if he thinks it’s interesting enough to share, then it probably is interesting enough for me to read. (See RSS Overload is the New Black to see how Scoble rips through 600 RSS feeds in a flash with Google Reader).

And for me, “following” is the killer app of Twitter. Socially, it may be interesting to learn that a friend is shopping for a new sweater or is exhausted from a six-mile run, but in a law firm – we can take the “following” concept to a business level. Whether it’s blogs, micro-blogs, instant messages, or tagged / favorite documents, if my boss thinks it’s important, I should too. If certain information flows to (or from) smart, important people (like the senior partners in my law firm), I want to catch that flow, too.

Give young attorneys a way (other than email blasts) to capture information flows and follow senior attorneys so that they can benefit from what these smart, important people are consuming (or generating).

And by the way – if you, too, feel inundated, check out one way to get a lot of content in one space: the LawyerKM Netvibes Universe.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o]

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

Social Network Aggregation (Pull yourself together with Netvibes) | Knowledge Management

“What is Ginger?” you may ask. It’s the new and improved release of Netvibes (the last release was called Coriander – there’s a spice theme going on here).

ginger

What is Netvibes? It’s an “ajax-based personalized [internet] start page much like Pageflakes, My Yahoo!, iGoogle, and Microsoft Live.” (see Wikipedia) It lets you bring in customized widgets and all types of other feeds or streams of information – everything from RSS news feeds to various web applications. The new release embraces social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Last night, I tweeted from Ginger. I know that doesn’t sound good.

The Netvibes folks probably say it best: it’s a

“dashboard that’s updated live directly from all your favorite Web services (email, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, widgets) and media content (blogs, podcasts, video). Everything you enjoy on the Web, available at a glance, all in one place — spend less time surfing and logging in from site to site and more time enjoying your web, your way.”

As Doug at KM Space noted, this is about aggregating yourself (or your stuff) – and this type of thing can be used inside the enterprise. Ginger is yet another way to help you aggregate your stuff – to bring all of these streams into one place to access (and use) the various web applications via widgets.

The killer thing is that Ginger gives you a personal space and a public space – the public space is called your “universe” – and it’s there for all of your Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers (and anyone else you want) to see. There are also universes by companies and news providers, like Slate, USA Today, and others.

In addition to the private and public aspects of Ginger, you can see and “follow” friends’ activities.

I could go on and on, but your best bet: check it out here. Or see what Ars Technica had to say about it.

Here’s a link to the LawyerKM Netvibes Universe. It’s still in its infancy, but includes a feed of the LawyerKM blog, a KM blog search feed, the LawyerKM Twitter feed, and a wall on which you can write. I’m not crazy about the color, which I’ll likely change.

lkm uni

Please add LawyerKM as a friend. Use the Contacts tab at the top of the screen, search for “LawyerKM” and click the icon. On the following screen, click the “Add Friend” button.

lmk uni

Will I replace my iGoogle home page with Netvibes’ new Ginger? Not sure yet. But iGoogle, you’d better get in this game. You’ve been warned.

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

Social Networks, Blogs, Privacy, Mash-Ups, Virtual Worlds and Open Source

PLI presentation:
Here’s the agenda:
Day 1
9:00 Introduction (Peter Brown, Leonard T. Nuara)
9:15 The Newest Forms of Communication: Social Networks and Blogs (E. Judson Jennings, Lori Lesser)
  • What is the business model of social networks?
  • Who are the users and what are they saying?
  • What are the critical legal issues for social networks and blogs?
  • Are blogs and social network postings covered by fair use under copyright law?

10:15 Cutting Edge Litigation Issues (Paul R. Gupta, Peter J. Pizzi)

  • Litigation in the Web 2.0 world
  • Content owners turn to litigation
  • Social networks lead to litigation
  • Virtual worlds – “real” litigation

11:30 The Maturing of the Open Source Movement (Stephen J. Davidson)

  • Business and government turn to open source
  • Understanding the new open source license – GPLv3
  • Current open source litigation

1:45 Privacy and Data Breaches (Thomas M. Laudise, Marc J. Zwillinger)

  • Complying with state notification laws, a comprehensive strategy
  • Lessons learned from data breaches big and small
  • What your IT staff and your vendors don’t want to tell you when data goes missing
  • Secondary fallout from breaches: Dealing with vendors
    and banks
  • New risks created by new technologies and Web 2.0

3:00 Developing Corporate Policies for Information Security and Privacy: The In-House Perspective (Michael F. Cronin, Lynn A. Goldstein, Tracy Pulito)

  • Panel discussion by in-house counsel
  • Defining the duties of a Chief Privacy Officer
  • Only collect what you can protect – What data are you storing and where is it kept?
  • Are data breaches inevitable? Simple ways to eliminate common causes of data breaches

4:00 Ethical Issues Arising from Virtual Worlds, Social Networks and Blogs (Justin Brookman, Sean F. Kane)

  • What can you say on a personal or law firm sponsored blog?
  • Risks in using the internet to investigate potential employees or adversaries
  • Monitoring blogs of employees
  • What real-life ethical consequences arise from “virtual” legal or business activities?

Day Two

9:00 What You Need to Know About Virtual Worlds (Peter Brown, Leonard T. Nuara)

  • The purchase and sale of virtual property
  • Advertising and promotion in virtual worlds
  • Trademark and copyright infringement in virtual worlds

10:00 Resolving Disputes in Outsourcing Transactions (Kenneth A. Adler)

  • Analyzing and identifying the critical issues
  • Negotiating new contract provisions
  • Crisis points in outsourcing contracts and how to draft meaningful protections

11:15 Employee Mobility in a High-Technology World (Victoria Cundiff, Steve Fram)

  • How to maximize protection of trade secrets when employees leave
  • How hiring companies immunize themselves from trade secret claims
  • Using technology to protect trade secrets and detect misuse
  • Protecting trade secrets in a virtual workplace
  • Choice of law issues in a mobile environment

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