Kevin O'Keefe, of Real Lawyers Have Blogs, put together his thoughts on what are the best social internet places for a lawyer or law firm to spend their resources: Lawyers and Social Media - It the Big Three. Kevin picks Blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn.
As usual, I agree with Kevin.
Every professional should have a profile on LinkedIn. Lawyers may rely on their law firm website, but lawyers do not stay at the same law firm for their entire career any more. I was at The Firm for 13 years, but everyone else I keep in touch with from law school had moved to a new place. I was the last person who was still at the same place. LinkedIn is great at keeping track of your job history. LinkedIn is the place to answer the question: How Ddo I know you? When I am planning to meet someone I always run a Google search and a LinkedIn search.
I have found this blog to be a wonderful networking tool. I have created and maintain many relationships through this blog. There is no better way to stay connected, develop your expertise and showcase your abilities than through a blog. It has been tough for me to give up on this blog since moving from knowledge management to compliance. (And obviously unsuccessful.) Compliance Space will come out of the dark in the near future. Although most of you will not be interested in it.
Twitter has exploded as a idea tool. As with most people, I was skeptical of what to do with a 140 character messaging system. But the open design has produced remarkable results for me.The micro-blogging aspect allows me communicate with people in a quick and easy way. Bigger thoughts end up in the blog. Lots of the background communication happens in Twitter.
I also use Twitter for research. Several times a day I search for "compliance", "FCPA", "CFIUS," "Ethics", and lots of other compliance terms. These tweets connect me with people, news, thoughts, thought-leaders and a plethora of information that helps me with my new role as Chief Compliance Officer.
One of the challenges of taking the new position, in this new area was the great network I had developed in the knowledge management and enterprise 2.0 areas. LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter are helping me to rapidly build a new network in the compliance area.
Facebook is great aggregator of information. I use it largely by having Facebook applications pull posts from blogs, my twitter updates and other sources rather than using Facebook as the primary creation point.
Unlike Kevin, I am still trying out new social internet sites. I still think Legal OnRamp has a bright future. Martindale-Hubble Connected has huge information repository that could create an incredibly powerful tool.
I try others to see what may develop. Eighteen months ago, I thought LinkedIn was boring and would not amount to much. I was wrong. It took a while for Twitter to catch on. I jump on others just to grab my name and to see what may happen. Usually I just waste 10 minutes to create profile (unfortunately, much longer for ABA's LegallyMinded), see who else is there and explore the feature set. I have long list of bookmarks for dead social internet sites.
As with Kevin, I spend the vast majority of my time with the big three. You should too.