A Non-Attendee’s Guide to “Attending” ABA TECHSHOW 2012

As I’ve mentioned, my recent bout with a blood clot in my leg is preventing me from attending ABA TECHSHOW 2012, my favorite legal tech conference of the year, later this week. That made me think about ways to “attend” TECHSHOW without actually being there. In fact, Tom Mighell and I talked a bit about this idea in our latest podcast called “Turning TECHSHOW Topics into Technology Agenda.”

The great thing about blogs, social media and especially Twitter these days is that you really can keep up with what’s happening at conferences that interest you. TECHSHOW generates a lot of traffic along these lines, so it’s a great place to see how social media works in connection with a conference.

Blogs. There is a concept known as “live blogging” where bloggers take notes during sessions and post them on their blogs after each session they attend. Some bloggers do an excellent job of this, which I admire, because I simply can’t do this. Watch the blogs of your favorite legal tech bloggers to see what they post. I find that the best blog source for legal tech conferences is JoAnna Forshee’s daily summary posts at the InsideLegal blog. She has already posted “ABA TECHSHOW 2012: What You Need to Know.”

Twitter. TECHSHOW can really help you understand what Twitter is and how it might or might not be useful to you. If you haven’t used Twitter Search much yet, TECHSHOW is a great time to try it. You can search on “TECHSHOW” or the official “#abatechshow.” The latter is what is known as a hashtag. Anyone posting from TECHSHOW can include this hashtag in his or her tweet and everyone can easily find all TECHSHOW-related posts. You might see tweets summarizing key points from sessions and other info from the conference. At TECHSHOW, the volume of tweets can be high and repetitive, but you can get a good feel for what is happening at the conference and capture a fair amount of information content from the show. You can also follow the tweets of certain speakers or attendees. I always enjoy Gwynne Monahan’s high-volume tweets as @econwriter5 and Tom Mighell’s helpful tweets at @tommighell. You’ll be able to identify other quality tweeters to follow by monitoring the Twitter search results.

Other Social Media. Of course, what you will get depends on the connections you have in LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but these platforms can also bring you information from the conference.

Handouts. Tom also pointed out on the podcast that you can also purchase the TECHSHOW conference materials. TECHSHOW has always successfully encouraged speakers to submit quality handout materials.

Participation. Using social media, you can do more than just monitor the conference. You can actually participate in discussions on Twitter, comment on blog posts and the like. You can also invite people to connect on LinkedIn, friend people on Facebook and follow new people on Twitter.

Frankly, all of this is not really the same as being there, but it’s the next best thing and it’s getting better. I’m so disappointed I can’t in person, but I’m happy I have so many ways to be part of TECHSHOW virtually.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

An Attendee’s Guide to ABA TECHSHOW 2012

ABA TECHSHOW runs from Thursday to Saturday this week. It’s my favorite legal technology conference, although I might be a bit biased because I was on the TECHSHOW Board for a few years.

Unfortunately, as some readers already know, I’m not going to be able to attend this year because I’m in the process of recovering from a blood clot in my leg. I’m feeling better, but not enough. That’s very disappointing to me because I was scheduled to speak at two sessions, the book Allison Shields and I wrote, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, will debut at TECHSHOW, and I’ll miss see all of my friends in the legal technology world.

As I thought about this development, I decided that I’d write a blog post that was a little bit about what I’d do if I were at TECHSHOW and a little bit about what I’d recommend others do while at TECHSHOW.

My first recommendation would be to read Peter Bregman’s great Harvard Business Review article about attending conferences called “How to Attend a Conference as Yourself.”

The secret to attending TECHSHOW is to realize that it’s a great gathering of lawyers who want to use technology in their practices. In many firms, these lawyers can’t find other lawyers with the same interests and passion about technology. At TECHSHOW, lawyers often say that they didn’t realize that there were so many lawyers like them.

The best thing you can do is to introduce yourself to and talk to others at TECHSHOW – attendees, speaker, vendors. Especially speakers. TECHSHOW speakers enjoy talking to attendees about technology. See the speaker ribbon on an ID badge as an inviting to say hello, not as a barrier.

Pre-conference.

There’s a smartphone app for TECHSHOW. Download and install it in preparation. I’d also go over the agenda and identify the sessions you want to attend. TECHSHOW has always focused on education. It’s a conference where it makes sense to attend as many educational sessions as you can. The speakers always have a practical focus. Arrive at TECHSHOW with your list of the sessions you want to attend. Also, it’s OK to slip out of a session if it’s not what you want and move over to another session. The sessions are close to each other in location.

Wednesday Afternoon.

If you arrive on Wednesday, get yourself registered and get your name badge right away on Wednesday afternoon. Wear the badge so others know that you are attending TECHSHOW and introduce yourself to other attendees.

Wednesday Evening.

I’d recommend trying to get into the LexThink .1 event. It’ll be a fast, thought-provoking and fun session of twelve 6-minute presentations. Matt Homann and JoAnna Forshee know how to put on a great show. And it’s free. Make it your mission to talk to as many new people as you can.

There’s also an opening reception. I wouldn’t miss it.

Then take advantage of any opportunity to hang out with other attendees after the event in the hotel. A key point: you can’t really network from your hotel room.

Thursday.

Especially if you are a first-time attendee, but everyone should see TECHSHOW chair Reid Trautz’s intro address first thing in the morning. Reid is a great speaker and he’ll help you map our the highlights of TECHSHOW.

Then, make it your goal to wear yourself out by attending as many sessions as you can, visiting the exhibit floor and meeting as many people as you can. People are very welcoming at TECHSHOW. Find an empty seat at a table at lunch and invite yourself.

Also, take advantage of the Conference Concierge booth, Adrian Linares’s great contribution to the TECHSHOW. The Conference Concierge booth sits at the entrance to TECHSHOW is staffed by speakers and TECHSHOW Board members with the goal of answering all your questions. From directions to sessions and restrooms to signing up for Taste of TECHSHOW dinners to answering tech questions, this booth is the place for information. You’ll often find the speakers you want to meet at the booth helping out. It’s a great place to talk to speakers you’d like to meet. I always found the booth so much fun that I worked it even at times I hadn’t volunteered for.

If you’ve done your pre-work, you will have identified the sessions you want to attend and vendors you want to visit. I’ll recommend especially the two sessions I’ll be missing in action as a speaker. First, Allison Shields at 10:30 in the Meet the Authors session for our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers. Allison is so knowledgeable on LinkedIn and she’s planning to answer questions about how lawyers can best use LinkedIn. Then, at 2:00, check out the session called Coffee Shop Office: The Ethics of Mobile Computing, where Sharon Nelson and Tom Mighell will be speaking on the vital topic of mobile security. I’ve seen the slides and the session should be excellent.

End up your first full day with the traditional opening reception.

Did I really say end your day? Not at all. One of the great thing at TECHSHOW is the Taste of TECHSHOW dinners. Arranged by topic, these dinners allow about ten people to sign up for dinners at nearby restaurants hosted by topic experts. Some are already sold out, so check out what’s available online. You can also sign up at the Conference Concierge desk. Here’s a little-known tip: there are usually some last-minute cancellations, so check at the Concierge booth to see if a spot will open up for you. Also, watch for places other attendees are hanging out in the hotel in the evening and join in.

Friday.

Get up early and dive right in. Repeat the overloaded schedule from Thursday (get your money’s worth). I’ll recommend what would have been my other session at 3:30 called Running Your Practice Entirely in the Cloud: From Start Up to a Large Virtual Firm, with Chad Burton and Catherine Sanders Reach. Again, I know what will be presented and it should be a great session.

Make sure you spend time on Friday visiting all the vendors whose products you want to learn more about.

End the day with the Beer and Bloggers event, another Taste of TECHSHOW dinner or have dinner with new friends you’ve met. My motto: If there’s an event on the schedule, try to attend it.

Extend your evening by finding where people are hanging out at the hotel. You can learn a lot in these evening conversations.

Saturday.

It’s the good kind of tired, believe me. The Saturday sessions are usually excellent. I especially recommend Jim Calloway’s plenary session on the future of law practice. TECHSHOW closes with the traditional 60 Sites in 60 Minutes session.

Follow-up.

Whether you use LinkedIn, email or phone, make sure you stay in contact with the new friends you made. Most importantly, if you are not already a member of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section, give very serious thought to joining the Section.

As I like to say, technology is more about people than it is about technology. Nothing proves my point more than TECHSHOW. I’m so disappointed I won’t be able to attend, but I hope this guide helps you get the greatest benefit from your experience.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

By Request: Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW This Year?

Note: As part of my ninth blawgiversary celebration, I’m answering reader questions. You may submit your questions by leaving a comment to this post, sending me an email (denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com) or contacting me through my social media outlets.

First up:

Will you be speaking at ABA TECHSHOW this year? What will you be speaking on?

The ABA TECHSHOW has long been the legal technology conference I enjoy the most and the one I try to go to every year.

I’m please that I was invited to speak at TECHSHOW this year, and am greatly looking forward to doing so.

My speaking agenda:

Thursday, March 29, 2:00 PM – Coffee Shop Office: The Ethics of Mobile Computing (with Sharon Nelson)

Practicing anywhere at any time is no longer just a dream. From SmartPhones, laptops, and tablets, to the use of cloud-based tools; from Wi-Fi hot spots to remote access services, wireless technology is changing the paradigm of modern legal practice. But that new freedom requires heightened security practices to meet ethical standards. Our techno-ethics experts walk through best practices for taking your office on the road.

Friday, March 30, 3:30 PM – Running Your Practice Entirely in the Cloud: From Start Up to a Large Virtual Firm (with Chad Burton)

Setting up a viable cloud-based or virtual practice requires many careful steps — there are many ethics dangers along the way. Learn how to do just that with our speakers, as they show how every aspect of the law office can be put it in the cloud regardless of firm status, i.e. start up vs. existing practice, or firm size. See specific examples of how to share documents, client information and more – all in the cloud!”

And . . . although it’s not on the schedule on the TECHSHOW website, I understand that Allison Shields and I will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” session for our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.

I’ve been working with my excellent co-speakers and believe we have great plans for these sessions – they should be jammed with lots of great practical information.

As usual, I’ll probably spend my spare time staffing the conference concierge desk and spending time visiting with as many people as I can. Be sure to come up and say hello if you attend TECHSHOW. Do I really have to say that if you are a regular reader of this blog, you should definitely attend TECHSHOW this year? TECHSHOW registration info is here. I noticed that the early registration discount window has been kept open for a few more days.

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

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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Recent Episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast

I wanted to post an update on recent episodes of the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal talk Network.

There have been some very good episodes lately, on some great topics, and I wanted to highlight them. It’s also a good time to remind you that you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and receive new episodes automatically.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to listen to these podcasts. Tom and I try to cover a lot of ground that is not specific to lawyers. Episode #73 is just one good example.

I also wanted to note that the show notes site for the podcast at TKMReport.com is back to life and will give you descriptions, resources mentioned in the episodes and more.

RECENT EPISODES (#69 – #75)

#75. Search Plus Your Legal World

Google’s new “Search Plus Your World” represents a new direction in Internet search where social elements become part of our search results. Bringing our social media world into search results indicates both the growing importance of social media and the need to find new ways to get relevant results. Can we make use of what our friends and connections find on the web to get us better search results? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look at Search Plus Your World, whether bringing social into search might help us, and whether this approach might work for you. Podcast here

#74. Ultrabook Benefits for Attorneys

The big story at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was “ultrabooks.” This new category of computer stole the thunder, at least for a few days, from tablet computers. Should lawyers be considering ultrabooks in 2012? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look at the new world of ultrabooks, whether tablet computers like the iPad are taking over the computer market, and what it all means for traditional notebook computers and desktop PCs. Podcast here

#73. Making Collaboration Tools Work in 2012

People are collaborating more than ever before. There are more collaboration tools and technologies than ever before. Yet, the actual adoption of collaboration tools seems to lag behind the wish to use collaboration tools. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the gap between tools and people in collaboration, the common challenges faced when implementing collaboration tools, especially ones used by lawyers, and their best recommendations for improving the adoption of collaboration tools and technologies in 2012. Podcast here

#72. Pardon the Legal Technology Interruption 2011

What kind of year was 2011 for legal tech? What were the big developments and trends that you need to know? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell pay tribute to ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and adopt its format for a fast-paced and fun discussion of what transpired in legal technology in 2011. Podcast here

#71. Who Moved My Social Media Cheese?

Many social media users have been surprised recently by changes to the design and user interface of the web pages and apps they have been accustomed to using with these services. These changes have been happening for quite a while, but this round of revision seems to have created a backlash from longtime users. Are these kinds of changes fair or foul? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss recent interface modifications by Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others, the response to these changes and the rollout of the changes, and the implications for users as rely more and more on cloud services. Podcast here

#70. 2012 Technology Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for gift-giving. And the season for technology gift lists. The latest technology is always a great present – especially for lawyers. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell roll out their own technology gift guide for lawyers, give some of their favorite buying tips, and give you plenty of suggestions for your own wish list! Podcast here

#69. Will Video Kill the Lawyer Star?

Forty-eight hours of video is added to YouTube every minute. Second graders make professional-quality movies using inexpensive cameras and standard software. It’s no surprise that lawyers are tentatively beginning to think about using video in connection with their practices. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the growing use of video by lawyers, survey the tools for creating and distributing videos, and share some observations and tips about lawyers jumping into the world of video. Podcast here

If you haven’t listened to the podcast before or haven’t listened for a while, give one or more of these a listen and then subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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

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

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

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My Infatuation with Solid State Drives

My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Solid State Drives Can Bring Magic to Your Computer.”

This column grew out of two things: how much I love the solid state drive in my MacBook Air (as you’ll be able to sense from the article) and a fascinating podcast with Scott Moulton on Solid State Drive Forensics. Solid state drives (SSDs) bring great benefits, but they are also at the frontier of computer forensics.

The article is meant to give an introductions and overview of SSDs and get people thinking about the role SSDs will be playing in our computing experience.

There’s some good discussion in the comments about a number of the issues SSDs raise, even though the remarkably crabby “Jojo the Magic Monkey” seems to think the article is “garbage.” That’s disappointing, of course, because I’m generally more successful with the magic monkey audience.

You’ll also see in the comments and if you do some price checking, that the article was written before flooding in Malaysia helped push the prices significantly higher than at the time I wrote the article. That’s a danger of writing on print publication schedules.

That said, I don’t think I’d buy a computer without an SSD again even at today’s higher costs – it’s made that much of a difference.

Check out the article here.

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

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

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

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