Larry Bodine, despite being an early sceptic, blogs that LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s legal community, Martindale Connected, is continuing to grow.

Back on March 31, Martindale Connected launched with 3,000 members and a headwind of skepticism.  Despite this, the online social network has crested over 12,000 members in just 4 months. I joined myself, made a few connections and am experimenting by starting some discussions.

LexisNexis has its PR machine cranked up touting the successes of Connected. Maybe for reason, maybe Bodine’s caught up in it, I don’t know. I’d like to know what you as members of our legal profession see.

  • Have you heard of Connected? Do you know what it is?
  • Are you or members of your law firm registered as members of Connected?
  • If so, are you or your firm members regular users of Connected?
  • If you are not using Connected, is it in your plans?
  • If you’re an in-house counsel, are you using Connected? Do you have plans to?

When it comes to networking through the net, I’m of record that the open net where you control your presence and can engage your target audience as you want is the way to go. Others believe legal professionals need a closed community keeping members of the public out.

Not sure how the later makes sense, even in the case of engaging in-house counsel. Lawyers looking to enhance their reputation as thought leaders are going to spend their time where it generates the highest ROI.

A public interface through blogging, an effective use of LinkedIn, Twitter, and maybe even Facebook gets a lawyer out where they are seen by clients, prospective clients, referral sources, reporters, conference coordinators, bloggers, and publishers.

I’m not sure how a closed community matches that. And even if the closed community has some value, do lawyers have time to do both?

What do you think? Do you see the value in Martindale Connected?