Technically, my posts of the week are tweets. Specifically, the Twitter-driven call to arms and online mobilization in defense of social media for legal marketing. The issue involved is the ABA’s announcement in its Issues Paper Concerning Lawyers’ Use of Internet Based Client Development Tools memo of its intention to promulgate new standards affecting:
- Online social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter)
- Facebook and Linkedin profiles
- Pay per click advertising
- Gathering information through networking websites
- Discussion forums
- JD Supra document uploads
- Lawyer websites
- Use of case histories on law firm websites
I’m not sure who first sounded the alarm, but I’ll credit Heather Morse because hers was the first #LMA hashtag tweet on the subject (and I know, like and trust her ). Heather’s message was retweeted over the next few days by, among others, Nicole Carrubba, Auctorilaw, Jesse Wilkins, Nancy Myrland, Lindsay Griffith, Gail Lamarche, Deb Cochran, Melanie Green , Rebecca Wissler and The Great Jakes.
The social media buzz on the topic picked up so much volume and momentum that it inspired the Voldemort-cum-Andy-Rooney of legal blogging (who I never mention by name or link to) to puke his trademark self-righteous bile on it in his “22,500 Tears” post.
I applaud and commend the clarion calls for thoughtful attention and advocacy on the issue, but I also net out with Adrian Dayton on the “silver lining” of this kerfuffle:
“Thousands of lawyers are waiting in the wings afraid to use social media because they aren’t sure how to use the tools – and there is such little guidance from state bar associations and the ABA that many are simply staying away.
“It is about time the ABA took look at online marketing and helped provide some assurances to so many attorneys that look to these governing bodies for advice. As lawyers it is our responsibility to let the ABA know our opinions on the topic. The ABA is accepting comments until December 15, 2010 to guide them in their decisions – feel free to make your voice heard.”