Day two of the New Media Expo (NMX) brought out the heavy hitters. Two of my favorite speakers from the day were Guy Kawasaki and Leo Laporte.
First up was Guy Kawaski. If you don’t know who Guy is, he is the former Chief Evangelist of Apple and author of several books including “What the Plus!” on using Google+. He was great. One thing that really struck me was when he discussed his reason for using social media. He uses things like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ as tools that provide him the opportunity to distribute his ideas and products.
In fact, he went so far as to say that “I have a wife and four kids, I don’t need anymore friends!” I can relate. As a husband and father of six kids sometimes the thought of constantly cultivating a bunch of new relationships can be very tiring. It made me evaluate why I use social media and whether I use it as a method of building online relationships or simply a tool for distributing my ideas.
I think when it comes to using social media for lawyers it leans towards a tool for distribution. Particularly if our writings or podcast is focused on potential clients. It may be another story if our blog is geared towards other lawyers.
This is not to say that we can’t build relationships through the use of social media, it is just saying that there are more complex layers (such as not wanting to give legal advice online) when it comes to lawyers and the types of interactions they can have with potential clients online.
To end the day, NMX brought in Leo Laporte of TWiT (This Week in Technology). Not only did Leo provide the Keynote address but he later MC’ed the 8th Annual Podcast Awards. Leo’s keynote address was focused on new media with an emphasis on podcasting.
One of the things that really hit home with me is when Leo compared traditional media with the new media of today and implored all the new media content creators should not try and mimic the old media platforms. For instance, a bloggers’ goal shouldn’t be to be exactly like a newspaper journalist; a podcaster doesn’t need to sound like a radio DJ to be beneficial to his listeners; and video producers shouldn’t be focused on becoming TV-lite.
I thought there are parallels with a law practice. Too many solo attorneys open shop with the goal in mind of creating a “mini-me” type law firm. They want to create the same type of law firm as the one they just left – only on a smaller scale.
The solo law practice is a totally different creature from the medium-to-large sized law firm. It needs to be managed – and marketed – a different way. The great thing about being a solo in this age is the wide range of mediums in which a single attorney can get his/her message out to a gigantic audience.
NMX has been great. The podcast awards were awesome. It was great to see categories that had world-wide corporations like ESPN competing with people who were literally creating a podcast in their basement. I highly encourage all lawyer content creators to check it out next year.