Allison Shields and I are grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we gotten to our book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers. A big thank you to everyone who has purchased the book.

I’m pleased to announce that the book is now available as an iBook in the iTunes store. The price of the iBook is $17.99, a nice discount from the price of the traditional paperback version.

Allison and I have also started a LinkedIn Group in connection with the book (and the upcoming Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers book that we anticipate being published in August) called “Social Networking for Lawyers. Please consider joining the group to continue the conversation about the use of LinkedIn by lawyers.

We have been (welcomely) surprised by the interest by law firms in using the book as part of their internal LinkedIn training efforts. If your firm might be interested in exploring that route, we can help you get in touch with ABA Publishing about volume discounts. And, if you are an ABA Law Practice Management Section member (and, if you read this blog, you should be), it looks like there’s still a great discount available on the paperback version for LPM members.

iBook link

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available *and as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

As you might already know, Allison Shields and I have written a new book called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers,” published by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section.

For Allison and me, the target date for the “official” launch of the book has always been ABA TECHSHOW, and, more specifically, the Meet the Authors session for the book tomorrow (March 29) at 10:00 at TECHSHOW. Unfortunately, I’m not able to join Allison for that session (at least I have a medical excuse for that), but I know that she will do a great fantastic job in introducing the book and answering questions.

The book grew out of the very successful “LinkedIn for Lawyers” webinar Allison, Michelle Golden and I presented last summer. Allison and I took on the book project and some highly-ambitious deadlines to get the book ready for publication at TECHSHOW. It was a great writing collaboration and we already have another book project in the works. Here’s a hint about the topic of that book.

Our LinkedIn book is part of the re-launch of the reasonably-priced “In One Hour” series of books the LPM Section has done in the past. My friend and longtime collaborator Tom Mighell helped successfully re-launch this line with his highly-praised “iPad in One Hour for Lawyers” book. Tom’s excellent (I’ve already read it) new “iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers” and Ben Schorr’s Microsoft OneNote in One Hour for Lawyers” are new books in the series, with more in the pipeline.

Allison and I noticed that when we speak about social media and LinkedIn to lawyers, we consistently hear lawyers saying that while they’ve joined LinkedIn, they really don’t use it or even know how to use it. Interesting, many of them also say that one of their clients invited them to join LinkedIn and connect. That’s an interesting disconnect, when you think about it.

Our book tries to show lawyers how to get started with LinkedIn (the social media platform most commonly used by lawyers and certainly the social media platform lawyers find most comfortable), how to use it better, and, most important, how to integrate LinkedIn with your real world networking efforts in effective ways. The focus is on the practical, with lots of color screen shots, step-by-step instructions and our best practical tips on using LinkedIn.

The book is 128 pages long, divided into two main sections. The core of the book (which you should be able to read in about an hour) is a series of ten “Lessons” designed to walk you through opening an account, putting together an effective profile, adding connections, participating in LinkedIn and monitoring what’s happening in your network. We pack a lot of information into the lessons and have been told that even long-time LinkedIn users have learned some new things to implement right away. You can also think of the Lessons section as something to have at your side while you use LinkedIn. The second section is a group of essays on “Advanced Topics” – ethics, apps, advanced search, 60 tips, resources and more.

The early reaction to the book has been great, as you will see from the comments on the order page. My daughter, Grace, who helped with proofreading and editing, also thought the book would be very valuable to people who aren’t lawyers.

We’d be happy if you would take a look at the book and consider buying a copy. There are some discounts available for the book at TECHSHOW. If you are attending TECHSHOW, please stop by Allison’s Meet the Author session.

I know that there will also be an iBook version, but I don’t have the details on its availability at the moment.

If you haven’t started using LinkedIn or feel that you are using LinkedIn only to a fraction of its potential, this book might be just what you need.

Allison and I have started a LinkedIn Group as a companion group for the book. It’s called “Social Networking for Lawyers.” Simply search for the name fo the Group when you log into LinkedIn. We welcome you to join the Group to discuss LinkedIn, the book and other issues, as well as to get a sense of how LinkedIn Groups work and might work for you.

Details on the book and how to purchase it may be found here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

As you might already know, Allison Shields and I have written a new book called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers,” published by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section.

For Allison and me, the target date for the “official” launch of the book has always been ABA TECHSHOW, and, more specifically, the Meet the Authors session for the book tomorrow (March 29) at 10:00 at TECHSHOW. Unfortunately, I’m not able to join Allison for that session (at least I have a medical excuse for that), but I know that she will do a great fantastic job in introducing the book and answering questions.

The book grew out of the very successful “LinkedIn for Lawyers” webinar Allison, Michelle Golden and I presented last summer. Allison and I took on the book project and some highly-ambitious deadlines to get the book ready for publication at TECHSHOW. It was a great writing collaboration and we already have another book project in the works. Here’s a hint about the topic of that book.

Our LinkedIn book is part of the re-launch of the reasonably-priced “In One Hour” series of books the LPM Section has done in the past. My friend and longtime collaborator Tom Mighell helped successfully re-launch this line with his highly-praised “iPad in One Hour for Lawyers” book. Tom’s excellent (I’ve already read it) new “iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers” and Ben Schorr’s Microsoft OneNote in One Hour for Lawyers” are new books in the series, with more in the pipeline.

Allison and I noticed that when we speak about social media and LinkedIn to lawyers, we consistently hear lawyers saying that while they’ve joined LinkedIn, they really don’t use it or even know how to use it. Interesting, many of them also say that one of their clients invited them to join LinkedIn and connect. That’s an interesting disconnect, when you think about it.

Our book tries to show lawyers how to get started with LinkedIn (the social media platform most commonly used by lawyers and certainly the social media platform lawyers find most comfortable), how to use it better, and, most important, how to integrate LinkedIn with your real world networking efforts in effective ways. The focus is on the practical, with lots of color screen shots, step-by-step instructions and our best practical tips on using LinkedIn.

The book is 128 pages long, divided into two main sections. The core of the book (which you should be able to read in about an hour) is a series of ten “Lessons” designed to walk you through opening an account, putting together an effective profile, adding connections, participating in LinkedIn and monitoring what’s happening in your network. We pack a lot of information into the lessons and have been told that even long-time LinkedIn users have learned some new things to implement right away. You can also think of the Lessons section as something to have at your side while you use LinkedIn. The second section is a group of essays on “Advanced Topics” – ethics, apps, advanced search, 60 tips, resources and more.

The early reaction to the book has been great, as you will see from the comments on the order page. My daughter, Grace, who helped with proofreading and editing, also thought the book would be very valuable to people who aren’t lawyers.

We’d be happy if you would take a look at the book and consider buying a copy. There are some discounts available for the book at TECHSHOW. If you are attending TECHSHOW, please stop by Allison’s Meet the Author session.

I know that there will also be an iBook version, but I don’t have the details on its availability at the moment.

If you haven’t started using LinkedIn or feel that you are using LinkedIn only to a fraction of its potential, this book might be just what you need.

Allison and I have started a LinkedIn Group as a companion group for the book. It’s called “Social Networking for Lawyers.” Simply search for the name fo the Group when you log into LinkedIn. We welcome you to join the Group to discuss LinkedIn, the book and other issues, as well as to get a sense of how LinkedIn Groups work and might work for you.

Details on the book and how to purchase it may be found here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I wanted to post an update on recent episodes of the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal talk Network.

There have been some very good episodes lately, on some great topics, and I wanted to highlight them. It’s also a good time to remind you that you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and receive new episodes automatically.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to listen to these podcasts. Tom and I try to cover a lot of ground that is not specific to lawyers. Episode #73 is just one good example.

I also wanted to note that the show notes site for the podcast at TKMReport.com is back to life and will give you descriptions, resources mentioned in the episodes and more.

RECENT EPISODES (#69 – #75)

#75. Search Plus Your Legal World

Google’s new “Search Plus Your World” represents a new direction in Internet search where social elements become part of our search results. Bringing our social media world into search results indicates both the growing importance of social media and the need to find new ways to get relevant results. Can we make use of what our friends and connections find on the web to get us better search results? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look at Search Plus Your World, whether bringing social into search might help us, and whether this approach might work for you. Podcast here

#74. Ultrabook Benefits for Attorneys

The big story at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was “ultrabooks.” This new category of computer stole the thunder, at least for a few days, from tablet computers. Should lawyers be considering ultrabooks in 2012? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look at the new world of ultrabooks, whether tablet computers like the iPad are taking over the computer market, and what it all means for traditional notebook computers and desktop PCs. Podcast here

#73. Making Collaboration Tools Work in 2012

People are collaborating more than ever before. There are more collaboration tools and technologies than ever before. Yet, the actual adoption of collaboration tools seems to lag behind the wish to use collaboration tools. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the gap between tools and people in collaboration, the common challenges faced when implementing collaboration tools, especially ones used by lawyers, and their best recommendations for improving the adoption of collaboration tools and technologies in 2012. Podcast here

#72. Pardon the Legal Technology Interruption 2011

What kind of year was 2011 for legal tech? What were the big developments and trends that you need to know? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell pay tribute to ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and adopt its format for a fast-paced and fun discussion of what transpired in legal technology in 2011. Podcast here

#71. Who Moved My Social Media Cheese?

Many social media users have been surprised recently by changes to the design and user interface of the web pages and apps they have been accustomed to using with these services. These changes have been happening for quite a while, but this round of revision seems to have created a backlash from longtime users. Are these kinds of changes fair or foul? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss recent interface modifications by Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others, the response to these changes and the rollout of the changes, and the implications for users as rely more and more on cloud services. Podcast here

#70. 2012 Technology Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for gift-giving. And the season for technology gift lists. The latest technology is always a great present – especially for lawyers. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell roll out their own technology gift guide for lawyers, give some of their favorite buying tips, and give you plenty of suggestions for your own wish list! Podcast here

#69. Will Video Kill the Lawyer Star?

Forty-eight hours of video is added to YouTube every minute. Second graders make professional-quality movies using inexpensive cameras and standard software. It’s no surprise that lawyers are tentatively beginning to think about using video in connection with their practices. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the growing use of video by lawyers, survey the tools for creating and distributing videos, and share some observations and tips about lawyers jumping into the world of video. Podcast here

If you haven’t listened to the podcast before or haven’t listened for a while, give one or more of these a listen and then subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

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Here’s a great conference for anyone interested in marketing a law firm or a law practice. The ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 will take place on November 8 & 9 in Philadelphia.

The Conference is called titled “Reputation, Referrals, Rankings,” and has a great agenda of timely topics, including:

Tuesday, November 8

  • Keynote #1: Lie to Me! “Emotion Management” of Your Marketing Will Invite Trust, Not Contempt
  • ROI: Examining the Return on Investment for Business Development Spending
  • The Business of You – Surviving and Thriving in Big Law
  • Luncheon: Effects of Rankings & Ratings on the Legal Profession
  • An Ethics Guide to Lawyer Marketing
  • The Power of Video in Lawyer Marketing
  • Golden Gavel Awards Ceremony and Reception

Wednesday, November 9

  • Keynote #2: “In Search of…Lawyers” How the Internet Has Changed Everything
  • Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift? (I’ll be Joining Tom Mighell and Tim Stanley on this panel)
  • Associate Business Development Training
  • Luncheon: 10×10 – 10 Topics, 10 Presenters, 10 Minutes Each. (It’s like speed dating, but better)

The best news is that there is still time to register and some seats still available. It’d be great to see you there.

For more information, see the conference website here (conference brochure).

Also, there’s also still time to register for the replay on November 3 of the very popular LinkeIn for Lawyers webinar Allison Shields, Michelle Golden and I presented in August. Details are available on the ALI-ABA website.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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The American Bar Association’s Law Student Division is holding what looks to be a great conference this Saturday at the St. Louis University School of Law. I got the chance to volunteer to speak – and I couldn’t resist. In these difficult economic times, I feel it’s important to do what I can to help law students. People helped me while I was in law school, and it’s always been important for me to do what I can.

Details on the event are here. It looks like registration is closed, but I’d guess they might be able to find a place for for you if ask.

The sessions look really good and address important issues for law students.

I’ll be part of a panel on practical networking in the afternoon. I see this as a Q & A session. I want to cover both social networking and regular networking. I’ll also be part of a lunch session called “Lunch with Experience” where I’ll share my observations about legal careers and answer questions.

It sounds like fun for me and I expect to learn a lot in addition to sharing some of what I know and have observed over my legal career. If you read this blog and are there, introduce yourself and say hello.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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Since Tom Mighell and I haven’t gotten much chance over the last year or so to write together, we jumped at the chance to write an article on “non-marketing” uses of social media for lawyers for the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine. Then we realized that volunteering to write an article is far easier than finding the time to actually write it.

The result, however, is an article we really liked and one we’ve gotten some great feedback on. It’s called “Not Your Marketer’s Social Media: Ten Ways Lawyers Can Benefit from Non-Marketing Uses of Social Media.

The article grew out of our podcast called “Using Social Media for Non-Marketing” and expands on some of the ideas in the podcast and adds a few new things. The main idea is that lawyers can benefit from social media in many different ways and that the over-attention on using social media for marketing to potential clients has a limiting effect on ways that lawyers think they might use social media. The article is an attempt to “think different” about social media – in practical ways that match your own personality and approach – and to go back to the basics on social media. Then, see what evolves from uses that best fit your own approach and comfort.

We’ll also be talking about some of these ideas as part of a panel with Tim Stanley of Justia called “Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift” at the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 on November 9 in Philadelphia. The Conference should be great and I encourage you attend (registration info here – early bird discount and chance to win iPad 2 until October 3). Please say hello if you attend our session.

Check out the new article and let us know what you think about it.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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If you are involved in the use of social media by and for non-profit organizations or just generally interested in legal issues arising out of the use of social media, and you will be in St. Louis on the afternoon of March 10, I have a panel presentation for you.

Here are the details:

Online Communities for Your Nonprofit: Legal Aspects of Social Media

March 10 – 3:00PM – 4:30PM

A panel of information technology attorneys from the St. Louis Corporate Counsel Association Pro Bono Committee will discuss the potential benefits of social media for nonprofits and provide an understanding of the legal issues and risks involved. They will suggest ways to create a successful online community without unhappy surprises.

Call 314-539-0357 to reserve your seat.

Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108 (314) 367-4120)

The panelists for the presentation will be JulieAnn Broyles (Ascension Healthcare), Elizabeth Cox, Peter Salsich and me.

We’re planning to do lots of Q & A and try to cover what’s on our audience’s minds. Bring your questions. We hope to see you there.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter at @dkennedyblog. Follow me at @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Mapping Your Return to Useful Websites” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#40) description:

Internet search is only half of the equation. Many times, you simply want to return to a site you had previously found. Managing bookmarks and favorites has long been a less-than-satisfying experience. Why is this simple concept so difficult in practice? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss recent developments in bookmark management, different approaches and tools you might try, and directions, like social bookmarking, in which we might be headed.

I’ve been looking, unsuccessfully, for a great bookmarking solution ever since I started using browsers a zillion years ago. In many ways, my first website was an attempt to make my bookmarks (or, as they are known in the Internet Explorer world, “favorites”) portable and accessible from anywhere.

I’ve had partial successes from time to time, but lately I find that bookmark management has become more difficult and more complicated than ever.

In this episode, Tom and I look at the current difficulties and possible solutions, the methods we each have tried and now use, and tentatively suggest some directions that look promising.

I’ve been surprised recently by several people who asked me about what social bookmarking tool I use. I’ve tried quite a few and failed at all of them. Tom and I have tried several just in connection with sharing links for our podcast and we’ve gradually drifted away from each of them.

Despite my pessimistic attitude, Tom and I dove right in to the topic and covered a lot of ground.

We highlighted three developments that have had a big impact on bookmark management: (1) Using multiple browsers or changing browsers, (2) Xmarks and the risks of online bookmark management tools, and (3) perhaps most important, the growing use of social media and mobile devices to share links.

In many ways, we’re rushing into the usual walls – volume overwhelming management tools, silos, folder management, dead links – and adding the complication of multiple sources, multiple devices and multiple browsers.

In an interesting way, we’re moving back to early web concepts – trusted resources, curation, lists of links, and link blogs. And it all relates to personal knowledge management concepts.

In our “stuff Tom and I have been talking about” segment, we discuss Jim Hammond’s recent post A Complete Guide to Dealing with e-Junk, which is both a good example of a blog post that serves as a curated list of useful links and a great resource on the topic of disposing of outdated technology.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom likes a blog post called “Top 10 Cloud COmputing Blogs to Read. I recommend a great podcast interview of Donald Tapscott on his new book Macrowikinomics with Leo Laporte as the interviewer.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

I gave a presentation recently on Social Media and Legal Ethics to a great audience at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. I’ve given a half-dozen presentations on this topic (often with Mike Downey covering the ethics part) over the last year – to Indiana lawyers, to law students, to young lawyers, to corporate counsel, to estate planning lawyers and to the staff at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

As I drove home after the presentation, I started thinking about lawyers and social media, the changes I’ve seen as I’ve presented on this topic, and how my approach to talking about this topic differs from much of what I’ve seen about how this topic is presented. I thought it might be fun to share my observations and reflections at this point.

1. Interest Level. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of hands that go up when I ask who in the audience is actually using social media services. My experience largely reflects what I’ve read and surveys show. Most lawyers using social networking or social media tools primarily use LinkedIn. Facebook has always come in second place, but the gap between LinkedIn use and Facebook use is decreasing rapidly. The growth in Facebook users in my informal surveys has been dramatic in the last year. Twitter usage lags well behind, and there seems to be more hesitancy and fear of Twitter usage than of any of the other tools. In part, that’s due to lack of understanding how Twitter works and what the potential benefits might be. Alas, there have usually only been one or two bloggers in my audiences. This might be an unpopular (and definitely unscientific) assessment, but my sense is that most of the individual lawyers who really want to do blogs have already tried it. I think firms are still looking at and trying blogs – that’s a good thing – and there are still opportunities to create new blogs that could be successful, but the energy and growth seems to be in other places. For example, if I were thinking about starting a blog in 2010, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t do something in Facebook rather than write a separate blog.

2. The Traditional Approach. When I present on this topic, I definitely do not take a traditional approach – more about what I do later. In fact, I tell my audiences that upfront. The traditional approach, and I’ve seen too much of it myself, goes like this: Social media is new, it’s scary, it’s risky, and it raises lots of questions for which we have no answers. In fact, the only thing the audience can possibly do to protect itself from the scary risks and dangers is to have a social media policy prepared by the law firm of the lawyer doing the speaking. If you think I’m joking, you should see how people nod their heads and laugh when I say exactly this during my presentation as I contrast what I’m about to do. By the way, this same approach was taken on the risks of blogging when blogging first started, and on websites before that, and email before that.

3. My Approach. I really think my approach is better, but I’m interested in your feedback, and I’m continuing to evolve what I do. My basic premise is that lawyers can spot issues and balance risks, but they need a solid understanding of how people use social media tools to do so. I spend most of the time in my presentations showing actual screenshots and explaining how and why people use these tools. The fact that I’ve been experimenting with many social media tools for a long time also helps. No matter how knowledgeable you might be, it undermines your credibility with an audience if it seems like you are new to using social media or, worse yet, that you don’t use it at all. I once attended a social media legal presentation where the presenter actually said, “I’m sure you all know more about using social media than I do.” I honestly don’t remember what he said after that because I tuned him out. What I’ve found is that once lawyers understand the basic use of the social media tools, they can spot the issues and risks very easily and will often point out issues and potential solutions that I hadn’t considered. By the way, this approach is comparable to how I presented about electronic discovery years ago.

4. A Framework. As I was writing a standard disclaimer to give at the beginning of one of my presentations, I wrote: “I’m Dennis Kennedy. I’m here today speaking personally and not on behalf of my employer or any other entity. And this presentation is for educational purposes, and should not be considered legal advice.” Hey, it’s a disclaimer. I was thinking about ways to either make it shorter or to jazz it up, when I saw that there were three components to that disclaimer – identity, role, purpose – and that getting those components right were an essential theme in social media. More important, confusion and lack of congruity in those three components causes most problems. The funny thing is that now I give that disclaimer as my opening, and I sometimes get some chuckles because it seems so like what lawyers do. Then I explain the three components and how they work, and it seems like I immediately get everyone’s attention and give them a framework for understanding the rest of the talk.

5. The Social Media Matrix. I don’t think lawyers make enough use of the matrix or quadrant charts most business people use regularly. I had this crazy idea last year that I wanted to create a one page chart that explained all of social media. Well, here’s my latest version and it seems to work for presentation purposes. Again, I want to give an audience a simple framework to help them understand the practical aspects and benefits of social media.

Social Media Matrix

6. Questions. I like using a lot of screenshots and showing what I actually do and telling about what I’ve done right and wrong. As people see and understand how these tools work, they want to ask questions. Often, I can see the light bulbs going on as people realize that they are only using LinkedIn in a small fraction of the ways they could or that Twitter could be extremely valuable even if they never tweet. As a speaker, it’s difficult not to take the questions as they arise and, at the same time, it’s easy to get into an open discussion with the audience. My presentation is structured in a way where I can go with the flow, but I can tell you that presenting on social media in a short time (say 25 minutes) is incredibly difficult and requires major editing work before and during your presentation.

7. Practical tips. It’s easy to get laughs talking about all the dumb things lawyers and others have already done while using social media. However, we’re all starting to hear the same stories over and over. I like to use instead some hands-on practical tips. In the last presentation, I took five minutes and used a series of screenshots to show exactly how to change your Facebook privacy settings, what settings I actually use and why, and some of the considerations to think about when making those decisions. I thought I won the audience over when I explained to them exactly how to block Farmville updates from their Facebook friends. You decide – would you rather hear about social media policies or learn how to block Farmville updates? Exactly.

8. Simplification. I actually take some time to explain Web 2.0 and the read/write web, in a non-technical way, because I think it helps people understand how social media works. But, I keep it simple. I also simplify my examples of social media, but also show people the range of social media tools (which seem to be growing all the time) rather than overload them with details on each. I always end by saying that people need to try a few tools, focus on one or two, and find what best fits you. In general, the social media tools that I like will not be the same ones other people like because I am a writer and a content producer. I agree with most of the lawyers I talk to – I don’t have any idea how they would use Twitter. Giving permission to the audience to try just one or two and that it’s OK if they feel something doesn’t work for them really seems to help them with the topic.

9. Action Steps. Social media policies are a good thing, and the speaker’s firm might even do a great job of preparing them, but a presentation that ends with a call to action to hire the speaker’s firm to prepare a policy is an infomercial rather than an educational presentation. All lawyers get this part of it. It doesn’t take any convincing, but they want to know the hows and not the whys. I actually don’t even talk about social media policies because it seems so obvious, but I do point people, in my handout, to useful resources on social media issues. That’s what I would want – guide me to where I can learn what I need to learn. I end with four practical action steps for people to try when they leave the presentation:

  • Pick one social media to try or to delve more deeply into (and gradually experiment until you find one that “fits”).
  • Create clean lines between personal and professional identities.
  • The learning process is always consume first (listen, learn, understand the community and the medium), then produce.
  • Monitor Twitter Search to get a sense of how people use Twitter.

10. What Can I Learn? I’ve learned new things every time I’ve presented on social media. There’s a lot that I don’t know, and there’s so much growth and change in social media that I’m not sure anyone can stay on top of it. By sharing what I know, I feel like I’m helping others explore and learn new things that maybe they’ll share with me. More than any other topic I’ve presented on, social media presentations really seem to lead to an exchange of ideas and opportunities for continued conversation.

11. The Secret of Social Media. I hope this doesn’t get me kicked out of the blogger guild, but I do reveal the true secret of blogging and social media in each of my presentations. It’s not about ROI and stuff like that, The secret is that it’s really fun and you meet the greatest people. And that’s enough – everything else is gravy.

In a way, I’m just thinking out loud and trying to capture some of these reflections. Hope you find them useful. Let me know.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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