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/)]

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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.