Is Facebook Worth the Time for Legal Professionals
I took the plunge and created a Facebook profile a few weeks ago. I am still trying to decide if it’s worth the time. I suspect many legal professionals, from large firm lawyers to CIOs are asking the same question.
My Web 2.0 / Social networking go-to-guy, Doug Cornelius (KM Space Blog, Goodwin Procter Bio), answered a question I posed on my Facebook Wall: “I am still trying to figure out the real value of Facebook.”
Reprinted here with his permission is our Facebook Wall to Wall dialogue. Meanwhile, the jury is still out for me.
Ron is still trying to figure out the real value of Facebook.
As with any communication tool, it grows rapidly in value as more and more of your connections communicate with the tool. “Less young” people like you and I have fewer people using the tool than much younger people.
I am polling my summer associates again. Last summer the vast majority checked into Facebook at least once a day
The challenge is finding the optimal way to communicate and digest information. Right now, we are in a situation where each new tool and technology creates another source, another place to check. At least for the “legacy” folks among us. At the moment, Facebook for me is an “extra,” not an “instead of.” Change is hard enough, but it’s even harder where the promise is “do even more work.” All that having been said, do you find it is substituting for any of your prior activities?
It is of limited value. I largely use it is a platform to tie onto other areas and, in turn, promote my brand. Most of my flow of updates and information in Facebook comes from other sources. My blog posts get pushed into my outgoing feed. I update my status using twitter, Dopple updates my trips.
It is the communication platform of Facebook that is so alluring. But frankly I spend just a few minutes a day checking my “friends” update feed to see what is going on. This is the most intra-Facebook activity I’ve had in a few months.
So you are saying that Facebook is a personalized aggregation site for other information, I think. That does make it intriguing. But let me be blunt: I am very interested in what you have to say on many topics, but why is your (or anyone’s) status and trips of interest. My friends accuse me of TMI (too much information) but given info overload, should we care exactly what our friends are doing at the moment or where they are?
Clearly there is lots of noise in all the status updates and trip descriptions and what your friends are having for dinner. You may not care about my trip updates, until you notice that one of them is Washington, D.C. or that I plan to be in South Dakota at the same time as you.
There is serendipity in the noise. It is fairly easy to filter the noise in Facebook. You can tune settings for feeds from of your friends. Less of her, more of him. I think of it as more of diversion than true value time. Check while commuting, while watching the red sox, etc
There’s a certain irony that we have to rely on this technology to identify circumstances to meet face-to-face. But for all the tech, might not we explicitly try to see each other more? Ok, all that said, given the world in which we live, I can see the value in serendipity. Though in the age of multiple of distractions – Facebook and Linkedin included – I feel like I have less and less time to actually spend with people – serendipity may strike but am I ready? I am now probably guilty of several rhetorical flaws in creating a circular argument
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