Business Edge for Individual Artists Presentation

I’ll be one of the speakers tomorrow (Monday) evening at a St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts workshop called “Business Edge for Individual Artists.” The focus of the workshop is websites for artists and the program looks great.

Here is the program description:

Business Edge for Individual Artists

WEBSITE CLINIC

Monday, Nov. 1, 2010 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

What makes a successful site? Jeff Hirsch and Travis Estes (Graphic Panacea) will present a checklist. Then Attorneys JulieAnn Broyles (Ascension Health) and Dennis Kennedy (MasterCard Worldwide) will offer practical tips for artists of all disciplines. After the presentations, you’ll have an opportunity to spend 15 minutes getting one-on-one feedback on your site. Consultations will be scheduled in person that evening and may not be available if you do not register in advance. Co-sponsored by AIGA and Art St. Louis.

$10 in advance; $15 at the door.

The workshop will be held in the Regional Arts Commission’s building, 6128 Delmar, across from the Pageant. Here is a link to program registration form.

Julie and I plan to give a lot of practical tips in our presentation.

See you there?

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Mapping Your Return to Useful Websites – Podcast

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Mapping Your Return to Useful Websites” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#40) description:

Internet search is only half of the equation. Many times, you simply want to return to a site you had previously found. Managing bookmarks and favorites has long been a less-than-satisfying experience. Why is this simple concept so difficult in practice? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss recent developments in bookmark management, different approaches and tools you might try, and directions, like social bookmarking, in which we might be headed.

I’ve been looking, unsuccessfully, for a great bookmarking solution ever since I started using browsers a zillion years ago. In many ways, my first website was an attempt to make my bookmarks (or, as they are known in the Internet Explorer world, “favorites”) portable and accessible from anywhere.

I’ve had partial successes from time to time, but lately I find that bookmark management has become more difficult and more complicated than ever.

In this episode, Tom and I look at the current difficulties and possible solutions, the methods we each have tried and now use, and tentatively suggest some directions that look promising.

I’ve been surprised recently by several people who asked me about what social bookmarking tool I use. I’ve tried quite a few and failed at all of them. Tom and I have tried several just in connection with sharing links for our podcast and we’ve gradually drifted away from each of them.

Despite my pessimistic attitude, Tom and I dove right in to the topic and covered a lot of ground.

We highlighted three developments that have had a big impact on bookmark management: (1) Using multiple browsers or changing browsers, (2) Xmarks and the risks of online bookmark management tools, and (3) perhaps most important, the growing use of social media and mobile devices to share links.

In many ways, we’re rushing into the usual walls – volume overwhelming management tools, silos, folder management, dead links – and adding the complication of multiple sources, multiple devices and multiple browsers.

In an interesting way, we’re moving back to early web concepts – trusted resources, curation, lists of links, and link blogs. And it all relates to personal knowledge management concepts.

In our “stuff Tom and I have been talking about” segment, we discuss Jim Hammond’s recent post A Complete Guide to Dealing with e-Junk, which is both a good example of a blog post that serves as a curated list of useful links and a great resource on the topic of disposing of outdated technology.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom likes a blog post called “Top 10 Cloud COmputing Blogs to Read. I recommend a great podcast interview of Donald Tapscott on his new book Macrowikinomics with Leo Laporte as the interviewer.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Announcing a Meetup / Tweetup in Washington, DC

Announcing The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast Listener Appreciation Meetup / Tweetup

There’s nothing like a blogger meetup.

I read a great blog post wrap-up about the BlogHer Food conference by my grade school and high school classmate, and now food blogger, “The Italian Dish.” The post reminded me how much fun it is when bloggers get together. And, believe it or not, that’s true even when it’s lawyer bloggers getting together.

So, I wanted to see about doing a meetup, tweetup or similar event. And I saw an opportunity to put together one next week in Washington, DC at the time of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section’s Fall Meeting (October 20 – 22). It’s actually a great time to be in DC because there are two other interesting law practice management and social media seminars happening at the same time as the LPM Section meeting. The first is the College of Law Practice Management’s 2010 Futures Conference and Symposium (PDF brochure). The second is MyLegal.com’s “The Case for Social Media” seminar (info here). For clarification, I won’t be speaking at or attending either event (duty calls). There should be a good concentration of interesting people for a meetup in DC.

As I tried to figure out a way to do a meetup, who to invite and how to organize, I settled on the idea of doing it nominally as a listener appreciation event for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast.

I emailed Tom Mighell to enlist his help and he really liked the idea, too. He liked it even better when I agreed (1) not to anthromorphize our podcast, as I sometimes do, and say that our podcast was actually throwing this event, (2) to do the “planning” for the event, and (3) to write this email to publicize the meetup.

Here’s my plan: We tell you the time and place and assume that the event will be a gathering of the right people at the right place at the right time. In other words, I’m taking an unconference approach to this.

Here are the details:

Date: October 22, 2010 (Friday)
Time: Officially, maybe 7:00-ish PM, but really whenever two or more people show up.

Place: Lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC (looks like there’s lobby seating and a lounge) – this is the meeting hotel for the ABA LPM meeting.

Who is invited:

1. Listeners (and potential listeners) to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast
2. Law-related bloggers (and non-law-related bloggers)
3. Law-related tweeters (and non-law-related tweeters)
4. People interested in law practice management, legal technology and the use of social media by the legal profession
5. Any reader of this blog post (of course)

If you want to help organize and publicize, please get in touch with Tom or me. We’ll also be putting up an invite page (probably Twtvite) for the event. Watch @denniskennedy or @tommighell on Twitter for details.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Social Media Presentations for Lawyers – My Approach

I gave a presentation recently on Social Media and Legal Ethics to a great audience at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. I’ve given a half-dozen presentations on this topic (often with Mike Downey covering the ethics part) over the last year – to Indiana lawyers, to law students, to young lawyers, to corporate counsel, to estate planning lawyers and to the staff at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

As I drove home after the presentation, I started thinking about lawyers and social media, the changes I’ve seen as I’ve presented on this topic, and how my approach to talking about this topic differs from much of what I’ve seen about how this topic is presented. I thought it might be fun to share my observations and reflections at this point.

1. Interest Level. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of hands that go up when I ask who in the audience is actually using social media services. My experience largely reflects what I’ve read and surveys show. Most lawyers using social networking or social media tools primarily use LinkedIn. Facebook has always come in second place, but the gap between LinkedIn use and Facebook use is decreasing rapidly. The growth in Facebook users in my informal surveys has been dramatic in the last year. Twitter usage lags well behind, and there seems to be more hesitancy and fear of Twitter usage than of any of the other tools. In part, that’s due to lack of understanding how Twitter works and what the potential benefits might be. Alas, there have usually only been one or two bloggers in my audiences. This might be an unpopular (and definitely unscientific) assessment, but my sense is that most of the individual lawyers who really want to do blogs have already tried it. I think firms are still looking at and trying blogs – that’s a good thing – and there are still opportunities to create new blogs that could be successful, but the energy and growth seems to be in other places. For example, if I were thinking about starting a blog in 2010, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t do something in Facebook rather than write a separate blog.

2. The Traditional Approach. When I present on this topic, I definitely do not take a traditional approach – more about what I do later. In fact, I tell my audiences that upfront. The traditional approach, and I’ve seen too much of it myself, goes like this: Social media is new, it’s scary, it’s risky, and it raises lots of questions for which we have no answers. In fact, the only thing the audience can possibly do to protect itself from the scary risks and dangers is to have a social media policy prepared by the law firm of the lawyer doing the speaking. If you think I’m joking, you should see how people nod their heads and laugh when I say exactly this during my presentation as I contrast what I’m about to do. By the way, this same approach was taken on the risks of blogging when blogging first started, and on websites before that, and email before that.

3. My Approach. I really think my approach is better, but I’m interested in your feedback, and I’m continuing to evolve what I do. My basic premise is that lawyers can spot issues and balance risks, but they need a solid understanding of how people use social media tools to do so. I spend most of the time in my presentations showing actual screenshots and explaining how and why people use these tools. The fact that I’ve been experimenting with many social media tools for a long time also helps. No matter how knowledgeable you might be, it undermines your credibility with an audience if it seems like you are new to using social media or, worse yet, that you don’t use it at all. I once attended a social media legal presentation where the presenter actually said, “I’m sure you all know more about using social media than I do.” I honestly don’t remember what he said after that because I tuned him out. What I’ve found is that once lawyers understand the basic use of the social media tools, they can spot the issues and risks very easily and will often point out issues and potential solutions that I hadn’t considered. By the way, this approach is comparable to how I presented about electronic discovery years ago.

4. A Framework. As I was writing a standard disclaimer to give at the beginning of one of my presentations, I wrote: “I’m Dennis Kennedy. I’m here today speaking personally and not on behalf of my employer or any other entity. And this presentation is for educational purposes, and should not be considered legal advice.” Hey, it’s a disclaimer. I was thinking about ways to either make it shorter or to jazz it up, when I saw that there were three components to that disclaimer – identity, role, purpose – and that getting those components right were an essential theme in social media. More important, confusion and lack of congruity in those three components causes most problems. The funny thing is that now I give that disclaimer as my opening, and I sometimes get some chuckles because it seems so like what lawyers do. Then I explain the three components and how they work, and it seems like I immediately get everyone’s attention and give them a framework for understanding the rest of the talk.

5. The Social Media Matrix. I don’t think lawyers make enough use of the matrix or quadrant charts most business people use regularly. I had this crazy idea last year that I wanted to create a one page chart that explained all of social media. Well, here’s my latest version and it seems to work for presentation purposes. Again, I want to give an audience a simple framework to help them understand the practical aspects and benefits of social media.

Social Media Matrix

6. Questions. I like using a lot of screenshots and showing what I actually do and telling about what I’ve done right and wrong. As people see and understand how these tools work, they want to ask questions. Often, I can see the light bulbs going on as people realize that they are only using LinkedIn in a small fraction of the ways they could or that Twitter could be extremely valuable even if they never tweet. As a speaker, it’s difficult not to take the questions as they arise and, at the same time, it’s easy to get into an open discussion with the audience. My presentation is structured in a way where I can go with the flow, but I can tell you that presenting on social media in a short time (say 25 minutes) is incredibly difficult and requires major editing work before and during your presentation.

7. Practical tips. It’s easy to get laughs talking about all the dumb things lawyers and others have already done while using social media. However, we’re all starting to hear the same stories over and over. I like to use instead some hands-on practical tips. In the last presentation, I took five minutes and used a series of screenshots to show exactly how to change your Facebook privacy settings, what settings I actually use and why, and some of the considerations to think about when making those decisions. I thought I won the audience over when I explained to them exactly how to block Farmville updates from their Facebook friends. You decide – would you rather hear about social media policies or learn how to block Farmville updates? Exactly.

8. Simplification. I actually take some time to explain Web 2.0 and the read/write web, in a non-technical way, because I think it helps people understand how social media works. But, I keep it simple. I also simplify my examples of social media, but also show people the range of social media tools (which seem to be growing all the time) rather than overload them with details on each. I always end by saying that people need to try a few tools, focus on one or two, and find what best fits you. In general, the social media tools that I like will not be the same ones other people like because I am a writer and a content producer. I agree with most of the lawyers I talk to – I don’t have any idea how they would use Twitter. Giving permission to the audience to try just one or two and that it’s OK if they feel something doesn’t work for them really seems to help them with the topic.

9. Action Steps. Social media policies are a good thing, and the speaker’s firm might even do a great job of preparing them, but a presentation that ends with a call to action to hire the speaker’s firm to prepare a policy is an infomercial rather than an educational presentation. All lawyers get this part of it. It doesn’t take any convincing, but they want to know the hows and not the whys. I actually don’t even talk about social media policies because it seems so obvious, but I do point people, in my handout, to useful resources on social media issues. That’s what I would want – guide me to where I can learn what I need to learn. I end with four practical action steps for people to try when they leave the presentation:

  • Pick one social media to try or to delve more deeply into (and gradually experiment until you find one that “fits”).
  • Create clean lines between personal and professional identities.
  • The learning process is always consume first (listen, learn, understand the community and the medium), then produce.
  • Monitor Twitter Search to get a sense of how people use Twitter.

10. What Can I Learn? I’ve learned new things every time I’ve presented on social media. There’s a lot that I don’t know, and there’s so much growth and change in social media that I’m not sure anyone can stay on top of it. By sharing what I know, I feel like I’m helping others explore and learn new things that maybe they’ll share with me. More than any other topic I’ve presented on, social media presentations really seem to lead to an exchange of ideas and opportunities for continued conversation.

11. The Secret of Social Media. I hope this doesn’t get me kicked out of the blogger guild, but I do reveal the true secret of blogging and social media in each of my presentations. It’s not about ROI and stuff like that, The secret is that it’s really fun and you meet the greatest people. And that’s enough – everything else is gravy.

In a way, I’m just thinking out loud and trying to capture some of these reflections. Hope you find them useful. Let me know.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Presumptuous Computing – Podcast

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Presumptuous Computing: But I Didn’t Ask for That” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#39) description:

You go to Google and find the new “instant search” feature has been turned on for you. You upgrade a program and find that all of your personalized settings have been reset to the program defaults. Facebook changes privacy settings. Twitter surprises you with a new interface. Why do technology companies seem to think that they can make these changes for us? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the idea of “presumptuous computing,” the rise and implications of this phenomenon, and what you can do to keep pace and protect yourself.

Three years ago, I wrote a blog post called “Presumptuous Computing – A Trend to Reverse,” in which I argued that too many software vendors were acting like they knew best about what we wanted and generally not acting like good guests on our computers. I had a whole laundy list of irritating examples, from Windows updates to iTunes.

Fast forward three years. While some things have gotten somewhat better (like Windows updates), there’s a whole new generation of programs and web-based services that annoyingly make changes to the user interface, default settings and other features without telling us, let alone giving us any choice.

Tom and I revisit the topic and our general annoyance with the practice and the attitude that “vendor knows best” that too often seems to underlie it. We cover a long list of examples – Google Instant, Google Buzz, Facebook privacy settings, iTunes. The trend simply hasn’t reversed.

We also talk about some practical ways to protect yourself and take better control of your our computer. As Tom says, “Read. Be Smart. Don’t Assume.”

In our Q&A segment, Tom and I answer a couple of questions about the the results from a couple of questions on the use of collaboration tools from the 2010 Inside Legal / ILTA Member Technology Purchasing Survey and specualte on trends in collaboration tools in law firms.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom likes two iPhone/iPad apps for marking up PDFs – Signit! and iAnnotate. I recommend Olivia Mitchell’s blog post The Seven Types fo Presentations to Avoid.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools