Rise in Tablets law firmsJohn Cook of Seattle’s Geekwire reported yesterday on the staggering growth in the tablet market.

U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2012 — spells out just how powerful of a force the tablet market is becoming in tech. Consider this: It took seven years for 40 million Americans to own a smartphone, a milestone that the tablet computers hit in less than two years.

Per comScore’s Mark Donovan:

The growth in this category is like nothing we’ve tracked to date. We are entering a new digital era, an era where people are connecting with content and with brands through multiple screens – through their PC, TV, smartphone, and media tablets, we call this the rise of the Digital Omnivore.

Last week in New York I was meeting with the Chief Marketing Officer of a major law firm. The firm had not begun to blog, but the CMO knew they needed to start. But it was clear she did not understand just why.

I pulled out my iPad (I had just bought a new one at the Central Station Apple Store) and walked her through how I used my tablet for professional development and business development.

I walked her through how I used the Mr. Reader app to monitor sources of information as well as subjects (company names, services, terms of art in the industry). I showed her how easy it was for me to share with others via social media and email the information I was reading directly from the app.

I showed her Zite and explained it was like a Pandora for content, delivering up curated content from blogs and mainstream media. I explained how I could tailor the information I received by pre-selected categories and telling Zite I wanted more of this and less of that.

I downloaded Flipboard and walked her through the eloquent way it displayed blogged content, tweeted content, and columns from the mainstream media. I showed her how she could do a search on Flipboard for LXBN and have the blogged content of over 7,000 lawyers on the LXBN Network presented eloquently to her.

It all clicked. She immediately knew why her firm’s thought leaders needed to blog and blog now. If they didn’t blog, their ideas and content wouldn’t be appearing in tablets in the format I just walked her through.

She got that the influencers and amplifiers (bloggers, reporters, association leaders) as well as he busiest people in the world, including executives and in-house counsel who hired her firm, would be using tablets and consuming news, information and commentary via the apps I had just walked her through.

iPads and other tablets are not toys and gimmicks on which to play games and watch Netflix, though they could be. Tablets are the future for the distribution and consumption of insight and commentary from and for law firms.