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Dear Jeanne,
There does seem to be a double standard in how the data is used. On one hand, a prominent Grand Rapids Atty promotes "links" (basically advertising) her webpage (through her firm) connecting through AAML to a title "Facebook 'em". I have noted that in my own case, my ex had posted pics of my kids on FB. Her atty had accused me of stalking her. I laughed it off as nothing but an intimidation tactic, as I was "pro se" in this case. Was she really going before the court claiming "stalking" while having to admit that she never spent the time reading FB's every changing policies and security measures? It lies in the individual, and most people don't even read the manual of there new $50,000 car. I use many SN sites, I am careful and have been a power user for many years, and that does not guarantee total protection. Oversight must be virtually non-existent and the people who cry "privacy rights" simply give it away for free. There are no need for implants, bugs and tracking. We have social networking!

Tim, thanks for sharing. Your comments made me reflect and I should moderate what I said. I should have said that Twitter, FB and LI don't work for me. The reason is that I already have what you describe in your comment and what my son calls "Google Juice." In other words, because I have been blogging since June 2005 and have made it a point to post frequently (at least 3 times/week), I don't need the boost that could come from using social media in the manner that you recommend.

For example, when I checked a search query that brought someone to this blog on April 5, 2010 (Michigan 100 mile rule) my website ranked No 2, and my blog ranked No 5 and No 7 out of 5,480,000 returns in Google!

For folks who haven't blogged as long as I have, using social media as you suggest might be just the thing for giving a boost to rankings, not only of their blog, but also their website(s).

Thanks for sharing, Tim. I look forward to your seminar materials, although I may just happen to be in Ann Arbor on January 11th to catch it live. Jeanne

Interesting post. I've taken the opposite track. I do have a FB "fanpage" as well as linked in, twitter, and half a dozen other (more legally specialized) accounts. For the most part, all of these revolve around my law blog carried by the Oakland Press. My target audience is: client prospects, primarily, with a strong secondary audience of attorneys and judges. One of the things I like about the different accounts is that they are an excellent way to distribute my blog posts and overall newsfeed. In my humble opinion, such posts on a variety of sites enhances one's "search engine optimization". If you're looking for clients, you need to get picked-up by the search engines. In order to get picked-up by the search engines, you've got to post frequent, relevant content. In so doing, we all benefit.

Sometimes, I think the readers of the ABA Journal are the types that wave wands and expect things to happen around them in their (large) law firms. The senior partner demands: "Get us to the top of that Internet search result; NOW." Neither FB, LI or Twitter (I hate that name) are going to do it for you. As you point out in your article, it's the networking and genuine sharing of fresh content that does it. Information flies around the world now, passing through our professional circles, at the speed of light. Ideas now instantaneously disseminated and digested worldwide. It used to take months, even years, for professional information to percolate.

Of note: I will be presenting on this subject for ICLE in Ann Arbor on January 18, 2011. The seminar is sponsored by the Law Practice Management section of the SBM and titled: "How to Start a Law Practice". An interesting topic given these tough times. Your blog, website, and professional model will be features Jeanne; keep up the great work.

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