FaceBook for lawyers and law firmsWith a few folks I respect (Doc Searls, Rob Hyndman, an attorney, & Greg Storey) discounting the value of Facebook to them, I’ll add that I don’t see the value of lawyers spending time on Facebook for networking etc.

I’m registered at Facebook. I’ve played with it a little because of the buzz and all the invites I receive to be friends from others at Facebook. But with invites from people I don’t even know and tens of invites to join groups which I have no clue how to use, I just don’t get the value. And there’s little, if any, risk in LexBlog losing business in my not participating.

From Doc:

The ‘friend request’ list… is one I’ve whittled down from a much higher number. If I could gang-whittle them, I might be more interested, but the routine still involves declining to check off which of many different ways I met somebody (‘both owned the same dog’, ‘set up by a mutual ex-boss’ or whatever), and other time-sucks. Not to mention that the site takes many seconds to load, or to bring up email, or whatever. At least for me……

Anyway, life’s too short, and this list of stuff is too long. If you’re waiting for me to respond to a poke or an invitation,or a burp or any of that other stuff, don’t hold your breath. Or take offense. I’ve got, forgive me, better things to do.

From Rob:

I’ve read recently expressing dissatisfaction with the Facebook experience for one reason or another. I’m barely on Facebook any longer. Early adoption works both ways, I think. We’re going to see more of this. We did already, actually – in Bubble 1.0.

And in only the way Greg can make a point,

Now I find myself in new awkward territory with more and more requests by other business owners, peers, and professionals to become “friends” inside these same social sites and I don’t quite fully grok this new layer of “networking”. Does it really matter that I’ve posted a note on someone’s page? Are we missing out on some large contract because Airbag is on Virb but not MySpace? Should I cry myself to sleep because I’m not in someone’s top three, five, eight, whatever? Second Life sucks–oops, can I say that with my outside voice and not be an outcast?

My gut tells me that no, no one is really loosing business because they aren’t actively participating in some sudo electronic version of RL (in real life) but it makes for an Ok mind-numbed distraction.

Facebook is a force in our society. It has financial value as a company. Millions find Facebook an enjoyable way to pass time. That’s great.

But as a something lawyers need to participate in so as not to lose work, I don’t see it.

Update: As I write this, I am presenting at an ALM/National Law Journal webinar on lawyer marketing via ‘Web 2.0’ and social media tools. Carolyn Elefant, who’s done extraordinary things marketing herself as a solo attorney, and Mark Britton, CEO & cofounder of Avvo, an online lawyer directory, have both highlighted the merits of Facebook during their presentations. They’re also citing some lawyer successes with Facebook. More to come. Maybe I’ll be proved to be a Bozo again.;)

  • Kevin –
    Facebook is not quite there yet. Yet.
    Much like blogs, it gives you a flow of information about people you know (or want to know). I see it as a type of microblogging.
    Facebook also hold some potential as a recruiting tool. I did a survey showing the vast majority of our summer associates use Facebook every day. Maybe it is way to connect with them.

  • > Facebook is not quite there yet. Yet.
    It’s not? Someone should tell Balmer to cancel that check he wrote yesterday. Facebook is where ever they think they can make money and it’s there, today.