Yesterday, the Solo/Small Firm Practice section of the EPCBA presented "Social Networking: Getting Your Feet Wet." Thomasz Stasiuk, a local attorney and self-proclaimed "tech geek," and Ali Gerkman, Special Projects Program Attorney and Manager of Online Content and Development with CBA-CLE gave attorneys an overview/tutorial on Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Amongst the multitude of interesting and educational information that was shared by Thomasz and Ali, a few interesting points stood out for me.
An attorney asked about the ethical implications of blogging and creating a blog that was limited to 'legal information' rather than 'legal advice.' The local Bar Association, in all of its publications and social networking sites, makes sure to note that any information contained within the document is not legal advice or opinions. It's good practice to make sure when you are putting anything into the cyber world that you use a disclaimer. When blogging, many attorneys have told me that they consistently ask themselves, 'is this advice or information?' If its on the borderline, they don't post it. Make sure to cover your bases, and you'll have a successful, interesting, and (hopefully) client-producing blog.
Another item that I found interesting was the personal vs. professional Facebook account dilemma. Ali described the exact situation that most people are in ... you have a Facebook page for friends and family, fellow parishioners at your church, old friends you've recently connected with ...but you have been receiving friend requests from colleagues. To friend or not to friend...that is the question! At the El Paso County Bar, we have a Facebook page where individuals can 'Like' the Association. This is not only a useful tool for relaying information to members and friends of the association, but its the perfect way to impart information about your practice/firm to potential clients AND other attorneys...without friending them or having to maintain a separate Facebook page for colleagues.
Don't forget, there are MANY ways to stay involved with the EPCBA and the CBA through social networking. Check them out today as you get your feet wet in the world of social networking!
El Paso County Bar:
Colorado Bar Association: