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Is Social Networking Working?

Law Technology News this week published the second half (free subscription required) of a two-part column I wrote on social and professional networking sites for lawyers. The first part surveyed "generic" sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, while this second part reviews sites that focus on networking among legal professionals. Of the legal networking sites I reviewed, I was most impressed with Legal OnRamp, writing that it "seemed to offer the most promise for productive networking." Since publishing that column, I also had an opportunity to review a beta version of a forthcoming legal-networking site, Martindale-Hubbell Connected, which, as I discussed on my LawSites blog, also appears promising.

Meanwhile, at Strategic Legal Technology, Ron Friedmann reveals that he recently took the plunge into Facebook but still wonders whether it is worth his time -- or any other legal professional's time. Using Facebook's "Walls," he put the question to Doug Cornelius, the Goodwin Procter lawyer who writes the blog KM Space. Their Wall to Wall messages formed a dialogue that Friedmann republishes on his blog.

From a professional perspective, Cornelius finds Facebook "of limited value," he writes. This is partly a factor of age -- "less young" lawyers find fewer people to connect with -- but also of functionality. And then there is all that distracting noise: updates about mundane aspects of the lives of everyone in your network. Still, says Cornelius, "there is serendipity in the noise" and one can learn to manage it. "I think of it as more of diversion than true value time. Check while commuting, while watching the red sox, etc."

In the event I've not already made this post sufficiently self-serving, let me add that Doug Cornelius and I will share the bill along with LegalOnramp CEO Paul Lippe at a New York Legal Marketing Association program on social networking Sept. 17. If you'll be around, consider attending.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 5, 2008 at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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