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ABA Launches Networking Site

The American Bar Association has jumped on the social-networking bandwagon with a networking site of its own, Legally Minded. The ABA hopes to separate its site from the professional-networking pack by combining the best features of the top social networking sites with substantive legal information from the ABA's library. "We set out to do something different," Fred Faulkner, the ABA’s manager of interactive services in Chicago, told the ABA Journal. "We looked at a lot of the professional and social networks, and the gap we found was that there truly wasn't a good site that was a cross between professional and personal networking. We’re filling that gap by offering the best features of sites like LinkedIn and Facebook and adding a bunch of content from the ABA and other high-quality content sources."

One difference between Legally Minded and other lawyer-networking sites such as Legal OnRamp and Martindale-Hubbell Connected is that it is not just for lawyers, but for any legal professional including paralegals, law librarians and law students. A notable feature, in keeping with the recent trend at the ABA, is that you need not be an ABA member to join and registration is free. Here is more about the site from the ABA Journal piece:

"LegallyMinded also has an interactive people map that puts you in the center," Faulkner says. "All the people whose interests closely align with yours will appear near you so that you can identify them and begin building relationships."

If you’re a student looking for a mentor, you can hover your cursor over the icons of people near yours and read their profiles to determine whether they’ve expressed an interest in mentoring. If so, you can send an in-network message to begin a discussion.

Users can also launch a blog, establish groups, contribute to group discussion boards and share files. The site offers a job board, career center and content resources. And wikis—where participants can add, remove and sometimes edit content—are also included.

I would tell you more myself except that some quirk is preventing me from logging in today. I registered and received an e-mail confirming my registration, but it rejects my log-in attempts. Faulkner was quick to respond to my e-mail and as of this writing is attempting to diagnose and remedy the problem.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 2, 2008 at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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