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Twitter for me and other lawyers?

Twitter for lawyersTwitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.

I viewed it as a ‘my cat just rolled over, isn’t that cool’ thing that would never be used by lawyers, at least in any effective way. I registered at Twitter, received messages saying someone was ‘following me at Twitter,’ but never did anything with Twitter – especially to even think of following someone else. People who know me know the last thing I need is another thing that will easily distract me. Twitter looked like attention deficit disorder on steroids.

But Internet legal marketing expert, Steve Matthews, mentioned Twitter being of value in his presentation at the Pacific Legal Technology Conference this week. Then Shel Israel, another person I have a lot of respect for, acknowledged this morning that after a month he loves Twitter.

I am probably using it more than Facebook these days. While Facebook has been a remarkably enjoyable tool for business, Twitter’s concrete benefits remain less clear to me……

But Twitter seems to be the most intimate of social media–and the most social. I personally know most of the people I follow, and I know a good deal about the people I have not yet met face-to-face. I get to know about their lives. I watch the dynamics of my social network as it bops around the tangible world. It helps us stay current and close.

I’m a regular user of web tools that I originally thought worthless (IM is just one). I may give Twitter a try If nothing more than to respond to client questions about Twitter. But if Shel is right that I can follow people in my network and get to know them better through Twitter and possibly share ideas we’re working on, there could be real value.

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