Peer to Peer

September 2009

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Page 9 of 91 10 Peer to Peer ASK CIO THE Twittering Toward Professional Nirvana L ike most it department heads (and, i'm sure, most of the rest of you), i find there's not enough time in my day. Getting through e-mail and meetings alone could easily account for a full-time job, to say nothing of writing memos, checking budgets, managing staff, planning strategy and handling the occasional crisis. If I can cross off one item on my to do list, I count the day as a resounding success. Given this time crunch, why I would invest my precious time in social networking? I'll let you in on a little secret: Social networking saves me time and energy. It virtually adds more hours to my day. HOw I ADD MORe HOuRS TO My DAy I use social networking similarly to how I use the ILTA E-Groups. The E-Groups allow me to stay in touch with my peers, know about the latest trends and get quick answers to my questions. Social networking allows me to stay in touch with colleagues and with others in the industry, including vendors and tech-savvy attorneys. Twitter allows me to have quick conversations with them, Facebook gives me a glimpse into their personal lives and LinkedIn gives me a brief professional history so that I know where they're coming from. Social networking surpasses any other medium for getting the latest news and legal trends. Links that people tweet show me how the legal landscape is changing, and I don't have to do any legwork on my own! I get great answers through social networking — especially with Twitter. Are the answers the in-depth technical answers I get from the ILTA E-Groups? No. I have the E-Groups for that. Twitter answers are quick (fewer than 140 characters) and off-the- cuff, but they are also often from industry leaders who have tremendous information to impart. I save far more than the time that I invest. Twitter might take a total of 30 minutes to two hours each day (most of which is done on my bus commute — please don't tweet and drive!), but by accessing the links that others have already found and posted, I easily save time that I would have spent doing the research myself. My SOCIAL NeTwORKING BeST PRACTICeS In order to be successful at both my job and social networking, I've had to set some boundaries. Here are my basic rules of social networking: • don't be stupid. Most social networking is very, very public. My gaffes are out there for the world to see and, unlike when I stick my foot in my mouth at an industry event, my online faux pas are saved on disk somewhere for posterity. Do I make mistakes? Yes. But I make fewer mistakes if I try not to be an idiot. Review before you send. • don't have time? don't do it. There are days I can't tweet or look at Facebook, and there are weeks when I cannot blog. There are days when I can't look at the ILTA E-Groups either. Social networking adds no value to me if I cannot justify my time investment. If my Exchange server is down, you won't find me online. • follow applicable policies and laws. If my firm's policy said not to tweet, you wouldn't find me on Twitter. Would I try to change the policy? Absolutely. Would I socially network "on the sly?" Absolutely not. Likewise, different states have different advertising laws or regulations. Do I even need to tell you to obey the law? • be aware. Social networking is both personal and professional. I need to watch my Facebook wall to make sure that the posts aren't too revealing. I have read some articles that recommended users should shut down their Facebook walls entirely, which I would do only if I didn't have time to monitor it. I've deleted inappropriate comments from

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