Tag Archives: blogging

The Podcast Grows…

My Collaborative Law and ADR podcast has grown a second episode and I have to admit to being very pleased with how it is going.

The hits for the first show were very good and the feedback was excellent, such as

  • You’re naturals. Can’t wait for the next edition
  • Great clarity. A nice human touch to professional matters
  • Really enjoyed it.
  • A great first show!

The tech I am using is very straightforward – conference calls on Skype recorded using the excellent Pamela.org Skype recording tool and then podcasted using Pamela’s in-built facilities and blubrry’s podcast plug-in on my www.collaborativelaw.tv wordpress based website.

If you are interested in starting a podcast then try this arrangement.

I haven’t yet nailed the full RSS issues but I’ll get that sorted.

If you need to download in the meantime then use this link

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Client Centered Practice? Try Social Media.

Social media enables us as lawyers to make it easier for clients to understand us and work with us.

I was at an excellent meeting last night with 9 other motivated and energetic collaborative lawyers.

Our purpose was to consider what client centered practice, within collaborative law and family law generally would look like.  This was a discussion that Woody Mosten, a leading collaborative practitioner began back in February.

Various aspects were discussed – better aligning the first interview process, broader consideration of the changing legal market place and ABS and the like.

I was advocating social media as a means of client centering.

I had suggested that we look to communications and adult learning theory.  Part of this suggests that we need to have “warmed up” the listener, let’s say our client, so that they are ready to hear the advice that we might have for them before we first meet with them.  We give them a context, or as De Bono might say, an array, in which they can easily place us and what we have to say to them.

How do we reach clients before we meet them?  Website, yes, Yellow Pages (increasingly few I would hope) but what about our blogs, our LinkedIn accounts, our personable and professional Twitter account?

When we use social media in this way, we throw out indicators as to what we are about, what and how we practice.  The result is that clients, to a modest degree, already have some idea of who they are working with.

An example.

The other day I was meeting with an excellent training company.  I wanted to know a bit about the chief exec who I was due to meet with, and so I went to my social media circles.

I was pointed towards a book that this man had written.  What was more, the first 60 pages or so were on Google books.

I read what this man had been able to get out there and was really excited. The connections between us were obvious.

As a result I was very relaxed about the meeting.  I was able to ask him questions about his book and about stories that he had written within it.

We were able to progress to a level of mutual interest and shared connections very quickly indeed, probably within two minutes.

There will be some who tut tut and want to stay behind the impermeable membrane of the conventional company website.  And that’s fine.

But to be truly client centered, give the client a chance to know who they are meeting and working with.

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Filed under An End To Silo Thinking, Law, Lawyers and Social Media, The Changing Legal Market

New Website – Social Media Training For Lawyers

Click to link through to Social Media Training For Lawyers

I have recently had several enquiries to provide social media training for lawyers.  This in part follows on from my conference presentations at Oxford University a few weeks ago, and also as a result of my own social media activity.

It felt right to establish a web presence to support those requests and the point of this post is to show how simple that was.

Step One. Get a specific web address.

I went to www.123-reg.com to find a suitable web address. www.socialmediatrainingforlawyers.co.uk was available at cost £5.99 plus VAT for 2 years.  I bought it.

The web address is pretty long but it says exactly what I want it to say, and what I think lawyers and law firms who need social media training will be searching for.

I did not pay for hosting as I can forward the web address to a blog that I set up on www.wordpress.com, namely www.socialmediatrainingforlawyers.wordpress.com, obviously.

I could have just used the WordPress address but having the full bespoke web address enables me to use socialmediatrainingforlawyers.co.uk as a professional (if rather long) email address.

Step Two.  Prepare the WordPress blog

WordPress is very powerful and with a little bit of familiarisation time (and the book WordPress For Dummies is good enough) you can prepare good, if not dazzling, blog sites that meet all the functionality of a website that could otherwise cost hundreds of pounds.

WordPress is free.

Create a contact page, about, and load up a few blog entries explaining what you are offering, and giving examples.  Don’t forget to register your blog with Google, Yahoo and Bing verification services – instructions are on WordPress under the tools button on the dashboard.

Step Three. Direct email address into existing email account such as Gmail.

Step Four. Promote new website by writing about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and existing blogs, er, like this one.

Time spent? 2 hours.  Cost? £5.99 plus VAT

Opinions and feedback?  Well, you tell me…

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

Making Stupid Comments Online

I was kindly referred to as a lawyer “doing great things with social media” in a blog post today.  Just to prove that flattery gets you everywhere, I’ll gladly link through to Bryony Thomas’  Clear Thought consultancy blog about managing negative feedback.  Click the image below.

Click image to go to blog

I was greatly disheartened yesterday by a stupid comment made on a discussion I was having in a LinkedIn group.

I was happy to leave the comment online rather than fan his flames.  It was only his reputation that was going up in smoke after all.

I figured that a fellow lawyer who had got as far as finding his way into LinkedIn groups might just  “get it” regarding social media.

What might he have got?

  • That you don’t post about masturbation and ejaculation on a professional message board talking about professional conduct and best practice- where your own frikking colleagues are going to read it
  • That if you missed that first point, your comment remains in perpetuity for all to see and makes you look a bit of a dick
  • That social media, as Jonny Ball might have once said “Can be man’s best friend, but it can also be his worst enemy.”

Unfortunately, my companion in that discussion was saved from eternal embarrassment by the LinkedIn group moderator removing the comment.

So, Mr I-Do-Not-Get-It, if you are reading this, I would like to thank you.  I have got several training sessions coming up exploring how we lawyers can use social media effectively and responsibly, in a way which is in keeping with our professional ethics and responsibilities – your bizarre outburst will provide an excellent case study.

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

Scratching the surface of WordPress

Last Friday I presented one of my conflict dynamics workshop to a Local Education Authority in South Wales.  It was very well received with a very participative crowd.

I have since broken down the participants notes into small “Blog post” size chunks and posted them on WordPress, with password access so that the delegates can re-engage with the material and debate it amongst themselves and with me.

This led me to think what a flexible, beautiful beast WordPress is.

There must be other ways we could use WordPress for our legal work, beyind the obvious blogging.  Networking events could maybe get their own blog with downloadable guest list.  The guests could receive emailed passwords to drive them to the blog and from there to our websites, LinkedIn, YouTube accounts and the like.

WordPress can easily host video from the event, or other resources.

How do you use WordPress, beyond simple blogging?

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

How Microsoft Used Community to Manage Reputation and Drive New Business

Live tweeted from Hit Me Social Media Event re Mel Carson from Microsoft Advertising Live at Hit Me Social Media Event

So Microsoft invest in social media and advertising… are we surprised?

What surprises me and many is how far Microsoft have come in turning around their previous incarnation.  They are increasingly acceptable and, crucially, responsive.

Mel Carson works for the Microsoft Advertising Community.  He enabled the TV program “The Monastery” to recruit their potential monks by positioning the program within search enquiries.

Try Bing ing Social Media White paper for a bit more on their approach which he calls “Learn and earn”.  He seems to suggest that Microsoft have an interdependent relationship with their advertising and search clients – we learn from them as we work with them

A brave question from Mel – “What is the first thing that comes into your head when someone mentions Microsoft?”, alluding to my opening point I suspect.  But the point he is making is that Microsoft Advertising is a specific part of Microsoft.  It evolved out of a negative reaction to earlier advertising efforts on the part of Microsoft.

That reaction was to establish a community and forum – a responsive approach which steps into, faces up to that conflict and criticism. That was back in 2006, and the feedback they invited (and received) was then distributed to other departments.  This feedback has enabled Microsoft to identify changes and possible improvements.

Now, of course, that means more response, more profit for Microsoft and, says Mel, for their advertising clients.

But, the community saves cost as well.  On the forum, Microsoft can rely on contributing experts, not paid by Microsoft, to help other users.

People get recognition if they answer questions and contribute and so they raise their own social capital or profile.

So, an interesting example of an organisation using community to turn its profile around and respond to users.

Is there a role for forums on law firm websites?  We’ll fret about regulation and negligence but I suspect that is not insurmountable.

The biggest worry might be the demonstration that we, as the lawyers, are not the exclusive domain of knowledge any longer, but it really is time that we came to terms with that…

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Filed under An End To Silo Thinking, General Technology

Increasing Support for Android the iPhone Alternative

I have always had a fiercely independent attitude. It is the legacy of too much indie music as a student and a Carter USM haircut.

As a result I railed against the ubiquitous iPhone and signed up for the Android revolution. Android is a mobile phone standard created by Google.   

There is quite a bit of geekdebate as to which is better, iPhone or Android. It is like the C64 vs Spectrum playground arguments of the mid ’80s.

Actually that analogy doesn’t really work. The open standardization of Android makes it more like the neglected MSX competitor. Only MSXes were crappy. And nobody had one or at least they never admitted to it if they did.

Android though has already established itself as a credible threat to the iPhone empire. I am pleased to report also that application developers are increasingly developing Android versions of their apps now.

For example, my best friend WordPress, have now provided an excellent blogging app that has enabled me to effortlessy ramble this post on my HTC Hero mobile while on the bus to work.

So if you cannot bring yourself to join the Apple masses sign up for the Android revolution instead.

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Filed under General Technology