Finding Your Social Media Sea Legs

Article excerpt

He Said

Ironically, I was an early adopter of social media. Perhaps, I was even one of the earliest, given that I was working in the technology industry when LinkedIn was founded in 2002. So when invited by a co-worker, I took the plunge and "linked in." To what, though, I wasn't sure at the time.

Now entrenched in the legal industry, I find myself more than linked in, but still not sure what I'm doing. I'm on Twitter, but I don't tweet (I registered to track the activity of potentially rogue lawyers who had threatened to do so). I have a Facebook page, and as luck would have it, the May 3, 2010, glitch that made headlines fell on my birthday. Hence, the barrage of friendly "Happy Birthday" messages from "friends" near and far, and my responses thereto, were visible to those both inside and outside my network. I know this, having heard from a colleague that a former paramour (by no means my Friend) saw photos of my home and children posted to the page. Excellent.

Earlier this year, I abandoned my beloved Blackberry and purchased an iPhone. It's been much easier, almost too easy, to keep up with the various comings and goings of my friends as they do such interesting things as go through the drive-thru at Dunkin' Donuts, dread work on a Monday morning, or launch a campaign to become a fan of a TV show I've never even heard of (OK, I admit, I do know what DC Cupcakes is, having been mesmerized by a marathon of the show on a JetBlue flight a few weeks back.). But do I need to be a fan of it on Facebook?

I will, however, continue to embrace social networking, as I have witnessed firsthand its utility in the law firm. Having launched blogs, I've seen lawyers post clever and value-added content that has resulted in new business and media inquiries, and proven a critical prospect retention tool. I recently helped a lawyer use LinkedIn to re-engage with colleagues in Asia with whom he last spoke 20 years ago; he will meet with them in-person later this year to discuss ways in which we can work together.

Though keeping my seven-year-old out of the App Store on my iPhone (he seems to know when I change my password) has proven challenging, I will endeavor to find some time to send a tweet, do more than merely accept LinkedIn requests (perhaps even initiate some), and even find a TV show of my own to which I might become a fan. For now, I'm off to Dunkin' Donuts, and you won't hear about it anywhere but here. ?

She Said

I admit I was a late comer to the social media scene. I joined Facebook long after most of my friends had done so, and I was skeptical that there was any real value. …