I just accepted a request from ALM to join a LinkedIn Group they started for LegalTech West Coast that’s coming up in Los Angeles in June.

Good show and conference. Good idea to set up a LinkedIn group for people interested in LegalTech, whether attending or not, to engage and share relevant insight.

Maybe questions about the types of exhibitors and presenters. Perhaps discussion about the size and type of audience LegalTech West Coast draws.

Though there was some legitimate items posted to the discussion, much of what was shared was done for the purpose of grabbing face time. People posting announcements of webinars or just linking to other content on the net, without any comment of their own.

I founded and run the Legal Blogging Group on LinkedIn to enable lawyers, other legal professionals, and those serving the profession to engage in discussion about legal blogging and other social media. Also serves as good place to network through engagement.

I let the group know last week that I was being deluged with ‘spam posts’ to the discussions. I moderate all the submissions so that members are not hit with what I consider junk.

The spam is not coming from faceless people and companies in East Bejesus. It’s coming from otherwise decent people working for or who own good companies. It comes in the form of “See this article I am sharing, it has nothing to do with legal blogging or social media — and here’s my face and a link to my profile.”

Better or worse spam, I am not sure which, is the constant “Here’s another post from my blog or article I wrote, do not expect me to contribute to the group in any other way, I am just here to draw attention to myself and get traffic.” I am sure in many cases the person is not even posting the items for themselves, having someone else post to 9 or 10 LinkedIn groups listed on a checklist.

Aren’t we better than this as a profession? Did we go to college and law school to do repetitive irrelevant posting on something that would come to be known as the Internet in an effort to draw cheap attention to ourselves and our companies? Doesn’t being a lawyer or serving members of the legal profession require a higher level of dignity and respect?

I started engaging with people on Compuserv, Prodigy, and AOL back in the mid 90’s. I loved the real and authentic engagement on the message boards between myself, as a practicing lawyer, and real people with real problems. I felt I was making a difference.

I would have never have thought of announcing what I did or what I could do to help people on those message boards. It would have been unprofessional and unseemly. The reputation I was building through this online engagement would have been sullied. No one else thought of attention grabbing there either.

Let’s keep LinkedIn and the LinkedIn groups the community they can be and ought to be among our legal profession, the people we serve, and the people who serve the legal profession. There is so much to be gained through engagement where the focus is on helping each other.

Cheap attention grabbing only damages your reputation.

Image courtesy of Flickr by kenfagerdotcom.