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LegalTech NY : Death of email, Authoritative Content, and being “In the Flow”

February 15, 2009

Tuesday was the peak of Social Media experience for Lawyers on LegalTech. What started as a buzz on Monday with Monica Bay’s session on Twitter , with Bob Ambrogi tweeting the questions to and from Twitter, peaked into online blogs and forum reports and discussions, that were layered on top of the live sessions.

The first Social Media session on Tuesday saw Mary Abraham and Lee Bryant covering 5 things to know about Web 2.0. Key message of session is that “Recession time is the best time to engage with web 2.0 technology as the tools are cheap and easy to use”, and let’s not forget the human factor – in tough times people need a place to share.

Mary and Lee offered myriad of tools to use:

Public feeds and flow – get your information

Bookmarking and tags – label your information

Blogs and networks – share your information

Group collaboration – create a knowledge hub

Personal tools – offer tools to organize information

Mary offered a palate of philosophical ideas to use when thinking about information absorption and management in Social Media realm: A beautiful idea coming from Information Management was “Being above the flow, or in the flow”. Lee sent me this link to read for anyone interested in this notion ,  relating to Wikis .

One interesting question from Audience was about Authoritative content – with so many people tweeting, linking, blogging – how do you identify the experts? There was no one specific answer to this interesting question,  and a very interesting discussion around lawyers, expertise and ego developed. My personal experience and opinion is drilling down to Trust – give everyone a chance, follow them for a sufficient amount of time to ‘validate’ their ‘theories’ – and then make your personal decision.

Another discussion revolved around ‘the death of email’. Lee approached this by categorizing the type of information we receive/send on emails and which tools we’ll be using for them:

  • Email – will be used for ‘formal’ communication to groups of people.
  • RSS will be used for lists
  • Micromessaging will be used for all quick questions and conversations that happen on email and that you don’t need.

The 5 principles to remember are:

  • Social Media – the time is now
  • Tools are inexpensive and easy to deploy
  • Focus on practice’s main pains
  • Lawyers are natural social networkers
  • Step towards low cost self service
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