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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

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She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

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:

  1. the natives are friendly networkers who want to share their interests; their friends; their colleagues; their knowledge; and, their experience with you;
  2. you may inhabit any part of the Island and as much of it as you wish; there are no borders here;
  3. 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);
  4. your primary purpose on the Island is to be of service to others;
  5. play nice;
  6. 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;
  7. 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.  

  1. 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.  
  2. 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).
  3. just watch the river for awhile.  Then retweet something someone says that interests you; the rest will follow.
  4. 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).
  5. don't wait to understand twitter-river before downloading tweetdeck.  Use it.  It's free.  It's easy.
  6. 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.



Comments (8)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Larry Rose - November 23, 2009 9:11 AM

Nice post. What do you mean by "unlocking the door"? Are you suggesting having no controls on who follows you (other than blocking individuals whom you wish to exclude)?

And why Tweetdeck?



Christopher G. Hill - November 23, 2009 9:21 AM

Great post Vickie. I agree, you need to dive into the river and get your feet wet. We can always pull you onto the island if you feel like you'll drown.

Vickie Pynchon - November 23, 2009 11:44 AM

Thanks for dropping by Larry and Christopher.

Larry -- Twitter allows you to set up an application that requires people to seek your permission to follow you. I call that "locking the door" to the visits of your neighbors. I personally have found an open door policy is best. If people don't behave in my twitter house (mixing my metaphors) then I politely ask them to leave - usually by blocking them: this is usually done only to spammers and there aren't that many of them).

Christopher!! good advice on getting one's feet wet. So far, only my husband has had to drag me out of twitter river, primarily to cook dinner or, at a minimum, recognize his presence in my life with at least as much and a better quality of attention as I'm paying to my tweeps!

Larry Rose - November 23, 2009 11:59 AM

Thanks, Vickie. I'll leave the door unlocked and see what happens!

But why do you suggest using Tweetdeck? How is it better than the native Twitter interface?


Christopher G. Hill - November 23, 2009 4:17 PM

Hard to do sometimes. However, I try and keep evenings and weekends to a minimum. My kids keep me so busy that this is not a huge issue.

Timothy R. Hughes - November 23, 2009 4:39 PM

Great advice across the board Vickie. I have been struggling to figure out the time balance and substance v. conversation v. promotion balance (I am betting I am violating the 5% rule, but I think I am not spamming please tell me if it is too much!).

One thing is for sure - I have found that jumping into this river has led me to some great interactions with folks like yu and Chris Hill!

Christopher G. Hill - November 24, 2009 9:09 AM

You're doing fine Tim! Twitter is great (addictive) but great

Vickie Pynchon - November 24, 2009 10:42 AM


As to tweetdeck, I use it because it allows me to see all of my columns (@vpynchon & DMs) at the same time; because it's easy to "@" more than one person at a time; because it's easy to RT; and because I can send from more than one account at a time.



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