Letter to a New Attorney on Web 2.0
(image from EdTechPost : note on graph: it doesn't have to be like this. Twitter is a tool that can be used strategically as part of your marketing plan for a long, long time and it constantly gets better as the people who do these things build applications and as twitter adds new features; this is completely accurate about the start-up however)
Dear New Web 2.0 Attorney Inhabitant,
Welcome to the Island! Here are a few of its founding principles and folkways:
- the natives are friendly networkers who want to share their interests; their friends; their colleagues; their knowledge; and, their experience with you;
- you may inhabit any part of the Island and as much of it as you wish; there are no borders here;
- no one is interested in your bio here; they want to get to know who you really are; if they're sufficiently interested in that (because you're engaging, friendly, helpful and authentic) they'll eventually get around to asking you what you do for a living (most of them will have intuited it from your interests, however, and won't need to ask);
- your primary purpose on the Island is to be of service to others;
- play nice;
- the Island doesn't require you to do anything - you may visit it and its inhabitants whenever you please; it is not your demanding, insistent, annoying, taxing "in" box; it is not email;
- the island boasts educational institutions (law blogs, for instance, and at least one legal University - Solo Practice U); bar associations (Commercial Arbitrators and Mediators and Patent and Intellectual Property Practitioners); exhibit halls (I've set up a booth to sell my book here); help desks staffed by professionals and CEO's (at LinkedIn here); playgrounds (Facebook, depending upon how you choose to use it); and, a lovely river right outside of town that you can wander over to watch, in which to fish for information, or, onto which you can launch a boat of any type, size or design - twitter).
Here are some helpful hints if you want to visit the Island's river - Twitter.
- UNLOCK YOUR DOOR. Nothing says "I'm not interested in you" like a velvet rope. Twitter, like all of web 2.0 is fanatically democratic. If you get people in your network you don't want there (the Thai girls who want your sex-trade biz) you can simply block them.
- to get started on twitter, amble on over to the twitter boat house of someone you trust and respect; follow everyone they follow unless they're following more than 500 people, in which case follow the people on their twitter "lists" (my list of must follow legal and other people is here).
- just watch the river for awhile. Then retweet something someone says that interests you; the rest will follow.
- remember who you are on this river - an attorney who specializes in employment law, for instance - and "tweet" consistently with your identity, remembering that you can and should socialize; provide value 90% of the time (linking, retweeting) and promote yourself 5% of the time (MAX).
- don't wait to understand twitter-river before downloading tweetdeck. Use it. It's free. It's easy.
- Lawyers who tweet can be found at Kevin O'Keefe's "LexTweet." LexBlog lawyers like myself are gathered together at LexTweet here.
Remember what Malcolm Gladwell said in the Tipping Point.
Your first degree connections (you/me) will bring you the least amount of new business because you already know them and have presumably maximized their value to you (that sounds harsh; it's not, but if I added heart, this post would be way, way too long).
Your most distant connections bring you the most work because you may be the only lawyer they know. Although the people I know (lots of lawyers) might be good for your business, the people who know the people I know and the people who know them will ultimately be of the most value to you.
Rock 'n roll & welcome to Web 2.0.
Looking forward to seeing you on the Island.