Tag: Social Media

21 Sep 10

My EVO apps:

  • Advanced Task Manager (gives ability to kill apps that give you problems)
  • Amazon Shopping App
  • Amazon Kindle for Android
  • Astro File Manager (like Explorer on a PC, lets you file through the file system)
  • Audible (audio books)
  • Batteryminder (I like that this shows me the percentage of battery remaining and gives me warnings if I’m getting low, also tracks what is using batter)
  • Barcode Scanner (Google Goggles is also popular)
  • Dolphin Browser HD
  • Pandora (free radio, personally I prefer this to Last.fm)
  • LogMeIn (paid, remote access to different types of computers, work and/or home, VERY nice program!!)
  • Scan2PDF (paid, might not be helpful to you, photograph a document and converts it to PDF to mail it/copy it)
  • NewsRob Pro (syncs with Google Reader for GREAT RSS integration and can push articles out to twitter/Facebook very easily and seamlessly)
  • Handcent (replaces native SMS/text messaging app, much nicer interface)
  • Foursquare (Location based checkin “game”/app)
  • TweetDeck Beta
  • Google Voice (if you use Google Voice this is the native integration app)
  • Switch Pro (helpful toggles for on/off of different settings)
  • Sound Manager (helpful to schedule your sounds to go off at a certain hour and back on at another hour)
  • Whrrl (Location based checkin “game”/app) (not available on the market, but beta is pretty open)

Filed under: Droid

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27 Jul 10

Just when I thought the Social Media “revolution” was actually revolutionizing the legal industry, we now have more and more people expressing their refusal to adopt due to the “permanence” of posts.

Two different occurrences recently reminded me that I needed to expand thought into this realm.  Occurrence 1: a legal administration group I’m involved in started “cautioning” its members (member to member forum, NOT the organization speaking) on the permanence of social media posts. Occurrence 2: a blog entry by the talented Nancy Myrland called “Should Law Firms Ban Use of Facebook at Work?”  Nancy shows a quick example of how to engage your entire firm in the marketing efforts of the firm by empowering the attorneys and staff to use social media with proper guidelines and examples.  I’ll talk about this idea (which I love) shortly.

For now, let’s focus back to the Permanence issue.  There’s no doubt that things posted online are now being indexed and saved in the archives for eternity, somewhere, by someone, not necessarily the original location you may have posted. For example, if you post “I had a great day at the ALA Conference in Boston” on Twitter, you should realize that Google reads and indexes everything on twitter.  So, what’s wrong with that tweet?  And what’s wrong with saying, “I just read a great blog entry by Nancy Myrland about law firms banning Facebook at work” with a link?  Who cares if it’s permanent?  Am I fearful that perhaps Nancy might someday be accused of something OUTLANDISH and by my “liking” her article therefore I’m associated with her?  That’s absurd.

Is this a control issue that we’re seeing?  I understand law firms, and corporations, feel the desire/need to control everything on the interwebs (cute/funny term for the internet), but what if you’re not saying things you’d be embarrassed to be permanent?  Personally, I think posting your complaints about the permanence of social media on a forum even more embarrassing, but that’s just me perhaps.

Here on my blog, there’s an option to automatically post one entry per week that is a compilation of all your tweets from the prior week.  I’m seriously considering turning on this feature!  It would make finding me and my likes/dislikes all that much easier simply by scrolling through my own blog. Granted, I am part of Gen X and usually find myself more similar to Gen Y (sometimes known as Millennials) in that I run my life completely transparently online and offline.  I WANT people to know and feel who I am, what my beliefs and ideas are.  I want to reach out to the world knowing that sometimes connecting to people online is just as powerful as connecting in person.  BE only one person.

I’ve heard of people creating separate Facebook or Twitter profiles for themselves so they have “one professional profile” and “one personal profile”.  If you can’t say something personal to your professional colleagues, then you likely shouldn’t be posting it online (or even saying it).  The old adage of “What goes around comes around” can certainly catch up with you.  Personally, I’d rather my actual written words catch up to me because I actually wrote them rather than the interpretation through four different people getting to someone from a spoken word.

Do I ever post things that I wish were not permanent?  Sort of.  What I mean by that is that some messages I post, if read SOLELY individually, could be taken as rude or disrespectful on my Twitter or Facebook.  However, I’m not ashamed of who I am.  I don’t post slurs about individuals or direct insults to people.  Sometimes I might call out a public figure or company to DO better in the world, but that’s who I am.  I try to live an example of customer service everyday, inside and outside my firm.  But by no means do I wish them to feel I’m just a “doing” robot.  I don’t just “do” whatever is asked of me, I also think.  I’m a human with emotions, thoughts, opinions, humor and frustration.  People connect to other humans, not to monotonous robots writing more blah emotionless words into opinions they feel they need to believe.

Free yourself from the shrinking world of political correctness and “lack of opinionness“.  Open your heart and mind to the world. Toughen your skin, allow people to judge you, don’t be embarrassed by who you are inside OR outside the office.  If you have something to be embarrassed about you should likely address why your embarrassed by that or why you continue to do it.

Filed under: Blogging,Legal,Social Media,Twitter

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20 May 10

Recently, attorneys Kristin Anger and Sofia Mabee from my firm, Summit Law Group, did a presentation here in Washington about the “Legal Ramifications of Social Media”.  Much of this information stemmed from a presentation by another Summit Law Group attorney, Bruce Schroeder, at a public employer conference in New Orleans, LA in April 2010.

DISCLAIMER: This document is intended to be a general guide of employment issues and risks for employers to keep in mind.  Please do not use this guide assuming this is legal advice.  Your company’s individual circumstances should be discussed with your employment attorney.

Legal Ramifications of Social Media

Filed under: Social Media

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10 May 10

Most of the top line social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter) all have a very easy way to display a customized URL to go directly to your page without having all the weird characters that you normally see.

As for Twitter, the URL is automatically shortened and customized.  So, mine for example is http://twitter.com/RL_Wood.  My pointers with Twitter are:

  1. Make your user as SHORT as possible.  Although “TheRampantTechnologyGroup” might best explain who you are, it makes “retweeting” (other circulating your information) quite difficult with only 140 characters to work with.  Remember and underscore IS a character and can help a lot.
  2. When you consider a Twitter handle, remember the handle is case sensitive.  So use case to your advantage!  If your handle was @robertespinozaesq, it might be more easily read if you wrote @RobertEspinozaEsq

With regard to Facebook, it’s quite simple to choose a URL that makes it easier for you to direct people to to your FB page.

  1. First off, login to your Facebook page.
  2. Next, go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ Here is where you’ll set your one0-chance only page name (can not updated it later on) (my direct link is http://www.facebook.com/LegalAdmin)
  3. Once you’ve chosen a name, if you go back to the http://www.facebook.com/username/ You’ll have to option of giving names to your “fan pages” (recently renamed just “Pages”).  These names are helpful for groups you’ve created like mine http://www.facebook.com/PugetSoundALA and http://www.facebook.com/QLawWA

Now on to LinkedIN.  Customizing the URL to your page is even easier than the other two.

  1. Once you’ve logged in you’ll see a tab/button at the top that says “Profile”, click on it.  Here you should see your profile.
  2. Just a few lines down from your picture you’ll see your “Public Profile” and it shows a link.  Likely you can’t really comprehend what the link is saying because of the strange characters and slashes.  Note the “Edit” button on the right of the URL!!
  3. Click on Edit and type in your new URL path!  Mine for example is http://www.linkedIN.com/in/legaladmin

Hope that helps!  By following these few tips it’ll make sharing your social networks in social settings MUCH easier.  Consider putting your LinkedIN and/or Twitter handle on your business card now that you’ve made it simple for your business partners to get to!

Filed under: Social Media,Twitter

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25 Oct 09

First off, I believe this book is well intentioned for corporate folks who have large organizations begging them to understand what this “whole social media thing” is all about.  It’s very appealing to this audience for a few reasons.  1) The methodical approach to much of the first 2/3 of the book are getting folks to understand the statistical value of target markets relating to technology, referred to as “Technographics”.  This approach could be very helpful to folks who need statistics to prove anything to someone else.  2) Lots of large companies are used in the Case Study examples.  Again, I believe this approach gives anyone who works in what they believe is a “stodgy corporate environment” hope that their organization too can overcome the fears of innovation.

My biggest concern about this book is that it really seems more as a sales pitch for consulting company where the authors work, Forrester Research.  This really puts me off, but alas, there were lots of gems gleaned in these pages.

This book couldn’t be further opposite of “Trust Agents” if it tried.  They only really have one thing in common and that is “people connect to people”.  I repeat, “People connect to People!”

Although I like the idea that they have a winning step by step approach for entering the Groundswell (the large uprising of customers voicing opinions and blogs about you online where you have no control), but I also worry that issuing a step by step approach to a crowd who are likely reading this book because they don’t know where to start, is like telling someone how to build a watch when they ask for the time.

The one missing message of this book was “just try it”.  Especially if you are in a much smaller environment (and I’ll bet you are) than the examples of companies given in the book.  In the legal administrator ranks we have a term called “Paralysis by Analysis” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.  People and companies will continue to put off the inevitable by over analyzing the circumstances or waiting for one more example of what can go wrong.

I don’t believe this book gives you everything you need to start a complex groundswell engagement if you’re a large company, but after all now you know that Forrester Research has the capacity and technical skills to help you over analyze the situation of your customer base and determine exactly what direction you need to go in.

I found it absurd to state things like, “This solution only cost the company $280,000 to start and maintenance is only $25,000 per month.”  Statements like that help me fully understand that Forrester is targeting much larger fish than me or my firm!  LOL

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the book, but just having finished Trust Agents (a very feel-good and personal book), the writing style and approach from a corporate formula approach just hit me wrong.

I think it was mis-titled.  Should have been “Groundswell: How your Fortune 500 Company will be Transformed by Social Technologies

(This was my second Kindle book completed, but this one I started and finished on my new International Kindle 2! Much nicer to read on!)

Filed under: Management,Social Media,Twitter

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25 Oct 09

Trust Agents is written by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

First off, this was the first book I read “cover to cover” on my Kindle 1 (Kindle gifted to me by my good friend Devri Owen).   As for my Kindle experience, I think more time should have been spent by the publisher to ensure proper formatting of the Kindle version.  It appeared that much of the book was “centered” with the exception of some excerpts which had a significant left indent, leaving 1/3 of the left side of the page blank, which you couldn’t entirely understand why in the Kindle.

So, about the book and content.  I loved it.  But I’m heavily involved already in Social Media.  So, because of the amazing relationships I’ve already built using Social Media, I felt this book perfectly worded my experience.  Of course I’m going to love a book that expresses my own experience.  :)

The big thing about this book for me was simply explaining that it didn’t matter what online tool you were using (twitter, Facebook, etc.), this book is about connect with people using these tools.  It’s about building relationships and becoming a Trust Agent.

One of my favorite messages in the book refers to the “One of Us” mentality. “One of Us” refers to the group of social media fanatics which, if you operate by the methods explained in the book, you get to become “One of Us” and accepted into the inner circle.  Once in the inner circle, you have new social responsibilities.  Perhaps more importantly for this message was that instead of being seen as another corporate sales person you’re “One of Us” by contributing to the overall success of everyone participating.  You connect with people for the sake of helping them accomplish what they need, instead of just reaching out to accomplish the sales needs of your company.

What I loved most about the book was the writing style.  I love reading blogs because people talk like people and not like corporate types.  That’s how this book was written.  It’s written in a very casual blog style.  Writing in this style helps the reader personally identify with the writers.

I work in the legal field (Accounting Manager for Summit Law Group).  So, as you may not know, trying new things in the legal field is very suspect to those around you.  Especially when you operate by the “Trust Agent” standards of just meeting people, trying to connect with them, helping them out with things, all while not forcing your own business down their throat.  So, I am often asked how my social media involvement helps my firm (usually by those outside my firm).  I often have to explain that I love helping people connect with others.  I’ve met HUNDREDS of the people that I tweet with and those folks I consider good friends.  I know that if/when they need legal services they will contact me to see if I know of someone (inside my organization or other) who can help them with their issues.  They contact me for a few different reasons.  MOSTLY because I’ve built a “One of Us” relationship with them where they feel I’m a friend and can be trusted for such a reference.  Although I have hundreds of Social Media contacts, I have even MORE contacts in the local legal community and will work very hard to help them find the counsel they need to solve their issue.

If you are already using Twitter (in specific, although Chris and Julien avoid specifying the online tools), this book will help you enhance relationships on Twitter.  It’s excellent at reminding you that people connect with people, not businesses.  A business who is involved with Social Media will never be a trust agent (my words not theirs).  A business might be a source of information.  But people connect with people.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

If you have a Kindle, pick up this book here at Amazon.com or you can buy the hard-copy book also at Amazon.com

Filed under: Social Media

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13 Oct 09

Today Doctor of Blogging for Lawyers Kevin O’Keefe posts his newest blog entry “Companies and law firms blocking use of social media : Insanity is rampant“.  And even though the author of the statistics posts a correction to Kevin’s blog, the results are quite amazing!

You have to take a look!

Filed under: Blogging,Social Media,Twitter

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1 Sep 09

I feel pretty well connected into Social Media, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert… by anyone’s imagination!

However, I was talking with my good friends up a DerekMedia today, Derek Johnson & Andrew Dumont, about further developing Summit Law Group’s social media presence. This is a really tough topic for me since I’ve been doing it all up til now and I was curious about what an outside company might be able to offer insofar as changing up my own approach and “strategy” (if that’s what you can call my shot gun approach). Are there better and more practical methods that I’m not employing? LIKELY!

DerekMedia is likely a great solution for a firm like mine. First off, they are a customer and it always feels good to give business back to customers! Secondly, they have an edginess about them that I absolutely LOVE! They aren’t willing to sit idly by while the world revolves around them in the same old way it always has. They want to challenge the direction of the revolution!

Anyway, so the dilemma is: I’ve been doing all the Summit social media activity for a fair amount of time now getting things off the ground. And in the local legal community I am held in fairly high regard for innovation and approach on these issues. However, what is enough? When’s it time to say, “Yes I can, but should I? Is this the best use of my time and skill? Is there someone else who is more effective and/or efficient?” My ego says, “HELL NO! You rock!” But my intuition says, “Richard, relax. You can still ‘do’ it even if you out-house to Derek’s posse!”

Anyway, so now comes the discussion of ROI and budget and all that. But before I can touch that topic, I have to convince myself and develop convincing arguments that assistance is needed and desired.

Until next time, In-House or Out-House, help me decide! :)

Filed under: Management,Social Media

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