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October 23, 2008


Russell Thomas

Always good to see the commentary about social media. Thanks for participating in the discussion. I'm the Director of Media Relations for Womble Carlyle. We're a pretty large law firm, which makes administering PR and Media Relations a challenge. I do use Twitter in several ways. 1) listening. I listen or follow the coversations of others around subjects or topics relative to my attorneys' practice areas. Trademarks, Bio-pharma, lawsuits, etc. I then engage in online discussions through Twitter with those having those discussions. 2) I build relationships with key media people and outlets. Many of both are on Twitter. Our firm pays for a media relations service, which is one tool that keeps me up to date on reporters and media opportunities. Twitter is simply another tool that I use alongside the many other tools we have.

Sam Glover

Actually, I don't think I said Twitter clogs my inbox with time-wasting clutter. In fact, I use and love Twitter, and it has helped me forge very important connections.

There is no inbox to clog, just a Twitter homepage to check on every now and then.

There are, however, a lot of people posting time-wasting clutter on Twitter. I do not subscribe to those people's feeds.

Brian McDonough

Ah, Sam, you're right, I apologize. I inserted a note above to point people to your comment, which clears it right up. Thanks for stopping by and setting me straight.

And Russell, thanks. Marketing and Media Relations people are definitely in the vanguard on this stuff, appropriately, and it'll be interesting to see how quickly it evolves.

Kevin OKeefe

It's okay Brian. Lot's of lawyers thought email and websites were counter-productive. And before that most all lawyers agreed that phones would never be used by lawyers in productive ways.

Just spoke in Wisconsin to Solo and small firm practitioners. Talked with one lawyer out of law school 9 months who works alone. Does business work in Milwaukee for small businesses. Picked up 4 of the 15 good clients he does work for through Twitter.

Call him and tell him to stop using Twitter and go to work for large law firm as an associate where management will certainly agree with you Twitter is not worthwhile. Life will be great then.

You can practice without Twitter. We've done it for decades. Question is why would innovative lawyer looking to enhance his/her reputation and grow business practice without Twitter today.


I was fairly skeptical, but I think it's a good place to be exposed to people and connect with people or ideas that you are drawn to. The majority of people are forward thinking in some respect. There are a ton of journalists, entrepreneurs, and CEOs, etc. I don't know that Quinn Emanuel is going to bag bet the company litigation solely by being on twitter, but lawyers from that firm (and any other firm) will be exposed to people and ideas on twitter and probably make connections. Those connections will likely lead to business down the road.

Jay Fleischman

Absolutely agree with previous comments - Twitter expands your reach, and the people who hear your voice. Cut through the clutter and learn how to use social media effectively, and you will end up with a significantly larger circle of influence.

I've met a number of high-profile fellow consumer lawyers, interact with former and current clients, and have learned a fair amount from the people I follow.

Like any other tool, you need to learn how to use it wisely. Same goes for instant messaging, email, Facebook, blogging, and the like.

Remember when "they" said blogging was a waste of time and energy, and that blogs were useful only for the idle ramblings of teenage angst?

Chris Moander

Geographic search capability and the ability to witness local business development are two of the primary benefits of twitter. I completely disagree with the apparent (and very false) perception that twitter is full of teeny-boppers. Entrepreneurs and growing companies hopped on twitter to share and learn, not to gossip and fritter away time - Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin get it and they represent the more visible end of the spectrum? Twitter = one more tool for the attorney devoted to growing a modern firm through modern tools to help modern clients; to think otherwise is reminiscent of "the internet is a fad" thinking.

Chris Moander

A bit of further clarification - people on twitter are looking for lawyers who "get them." As I said, many are professionals and business owners. It just makes sense to use twitter if folks of that stripe are your target market (which is the case for me).

Brian McDonough

Innnnnteresting. I'm sold on the idea of the professional advantages of Twitter when you're aiming at "folks of that stripe," but what do y'all think of its future as a general business tool? I mean, every one of those people who scoffed at email is using it today, and most are BlackBerried to it 24/7. Whereas many people blog, and benefit professionally from it, but it's hardly a must-do thing.

How ubiquitous, how "must have," will Twitter be -- and how soon? Is it the ubiquitous email of tomorrow, or the useful-but-not-mandatory blogging of tomorrow?

John Harding

Learned of this post by reading someone else's blog (which, by the way, was blasting the criticism of twitter). Here is what I wrote:

I gotta be honest Kevin, I think in the long run that Cal Law reporter will be proven right and vindicated. I have a twitter account that I use very actively. I do it because everyone in the social networking world has me paranoid about not using it! It sort of reminds me of the Kings New Clothes -- everyone is afraid to question it! I am also reminded of the old Yellow Pages days, when everyone felt compelled to throw tons of money into phone book advertising. That myth has been broken, and I suspect many will eventually jump off the twitter ship. For now though I continue to tweet away. Not sure why, because I have never referred business to anyone I have come across on twitter, and I have received absolutely no professional/marketing return from my time on twitter. I guess I tweet because it is better to praise the King's new clothes than to question why he is naked....

Grant Griffiths

Twitter is a waste of time? I hope that those who are saying that don't might trying to play catch up. Twitter can be a complete waste time if you allow it. Just like email and the telephone can be a complete waste of time if you allow it. Blogging can too. And twitter is no more silly now then blogging was 4 years ago.

Like any good useful tool, they have their limits. Twitter is a tool you should be using as part of your social media toolbox. Your blog is how you promote your business or practice. Twitter is a tool to be used along side the blog.

What I have found is that who consider twitter to be silly are the same as those who use to find blogging to be silly. Yes, you can get along without a blog, twitter, LinkedIn and other social media tools. Just as you can get along without email. But why would you. Consumers are looking for those service providers who are innovative and progressive in how they provide services to the consumer. Should we use such tools? Why would you not want to be innovative? Most like for the same reasons print ads would never work for lawyers. And for the same reasons telephones and now email don't work either.


I'm a desperate soul left out in the Universe seeking an attorney who would be willing to devote some of his or her very expensive time for me and my issues, free of charge.I'm in this hated and criticized marketing business.As you can see by now both of our businesses are very similar and both of them can do us good and make us big bucks or go totally to waste and upset us or even make us go broke.It's all entirely up to you and me if at certain point we are willing to spend time on conversation without charging each other for services,that's all.That's were this Twitter comes along as a tool and you use it if you want to use it or toss it away if you choose to do it this way.I'm still waiting.


i'm a journalist about to do a story on the Twitter trio who invented twitter and typed in to see what professionals think of twitter.

i'm in the above 40+ category and like most above think most social networking is for the idle angst of young ones -but, that's just how most of it starts. never ends.

we live in the USA where any good idea gets quickly transposed from fun into business into making cash or how can i use this to help me make cash?

we'll see where the twitter winds blow...

Robin Smith

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Foreclosure Assistance

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