Do you think ghost-blogging by lawyers is misleading, unethical?

Do you think ghost-blogging by lawyers is misleading, unethical?

Here is a simple question for you on a Monday morning. It involves ghost blogging, the practice of some lawyers to post blog content on their own blog that was written by someone other than themselves.

 

My question arises from a few sources. It’s related to conversations I had at a Scottsdale conference last week. And it’s connected to an exchange that is evolving in a Linkedin group in which I participate.

Yes, I have my own opinions. But I’d like to hear from others and then we’ll chat more.

Lawyer-Word-Cloud

Keep up with what’s happening at the State Bar Annual Convention by following us on Twitter! Get short, timely messages (including photos, speaker presentations and more) from Arizona Attorney Magazine’s staff. If you, your firm or employer are active on Twitter, just insert the hashtag #azbarcon into all of your Convention tweets to allow them to be read and searched by fellow attendees and the entire legal community.

The Twitter links will take you to updates in our Convention Daily—news items and photos that will appear on the magazine blog, Facebook and Tumblr pages, and in our News Center:

For more detail, click on the image below for gigantification.

Twitter at Convention flier 2014

Westin 3 Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson

This is annual Convention week at the State Bar of Arizona. As always, a large selection of educational seminars (and fun activities) are packed into the three-day event held in Tucson at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.

More detail about the Convention is here.

Later today, and in the next few days, I’ll share what seminar chairs have told me are the most valuable parts of their educational offerings.

Over the years, Arizona Attorney Magazine staff have covered the heck out of the annual event, and this year will be the same.

As in the past, we will not print a once-a-day hard-copy “Convention Daily.” Instead, we will cover Convention news closer to real time, via the editor’s blog. We will use multiple channels to communicate what’s going on. But the surest way to be sure you see everything is to follow us on Twitter. My name in Twitter is @azatty. You can view all the evolving content here (or at http://twitter.com/azatty, to be specific). I will be tagging everything with the hashtag #azbarcon – so be sure to search for that.

Want to participate? Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Westin La Paloma, at 602-908-6991.

And always feel free to stroll up and say hello. I’ll be hiking all over the Westin to cover the goings-on. Or you may catch me at the Arizona Attorney table in the Exhibitor area. If you miss me there, leave your card or a note.

social media heart love

… but maybe it’s just me.

This Friday, I will join a fellow Bar communicator as we present a seminar on how association leaders can best deal with media—not news outlets, but all the other media that takes up our day: everything from press releases and websites to social media.

State Bar Chief Communications Officer Rick DeBruhl will cover legacy mainstream media channels. I’m the social media portion of the edutainment. Our shared title is “Dealing with the Media—From Mainstream to Social.”

And I’d like your help.

The audience will be attending the annual conference of the Arizona Society of Association Executives (you kind of knew they must have an association, didn’t you?). As they describe themselves:

“AzSAE is for all levels of management and all types of nonprofits, from chief executives to staff managers and from international trade associations to local philanthropic organizations.”

Have you spotted the challenge faced by the event’s speakers? The audience will range from folks who understand communications like the back of their hand, and those who oversee an association and may know little about the topic.

Hmmm. How granular to get? But if we remain general, we’re bound to annoy the more fluent parts of the audience who may be hoping for nuts-and-bolts takeaways.

So I wonder if you have a suggestion for our portion of the event. I’m nearly done with my presentation prep, but then it occurred to me that I should crowdsource a solution (why it took a social media maven so long to stumble on that notion is a mystery).

You may know little about associations (congratulations). But before you avert your gaze, I point out that many professionals, especially millennials, identify social media and websites as key channels through which they learn association news.

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

In addition,you certainly know which of the member organizations you belong to “get it right” and which routinely fail to meet your expectations.

So you may be uniquely qualified to help answer these questions:

  • What communications channels work best to “reach you” about association news?
  • What techniques or tools used by associations make you feel most “at home” in an association?
  • What association strategies leave you cold and make your association appear irrelevant?

Thanks! I’ll report back about how our insights were received.

Crowdfunding may work, or could be like finding a pig in a poke.

Crowdfunding may work, or could be like finding a pig in a poke.

Money? On social media? Where?

Tomorrow morning about this time, I’ll face a roomful of association leaders, each eager to hear how their organizations can finally—finally!—make some revenue off this social media thing we’ll all convinced them is worthwhile.

What can go wrong?

The annual meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives (“NABE,” an ABA affiliate) meets in San Francisco this week. I plan to have an Irish coffee at the famed Buena Vista Cafe, sit down with two other talented presenters, and face the challenging questions.

Among us, we have more decades of communications experience than I’d like to admit, and we’re all social media advocates. But when it comes to increasing revenue via social media, we’ll be discussing a topic that is still in serious flux.

For instance, how much do you want your bar association to be increasing non-dues revenue via online channels? Maybe you have no opinion. But maybe the last thing you want is to be “sold” via yet another medium.

Below you’ll see an image of our panel description in the program brochure. And you can click here to read our handout of other resources.

NABE program description on monetizing social mediaOn Thursday morning, after a Kickstarter expert explains that tool, I will discuss challenges bar associations face in monetizing. My three-part presentation is divided into:

  1. Why many people like the idea of monetizing (even when they don’t quite understand it);
  2. What are the many possible missteps inherent in trying to make money online; and
  3. Why, despite my negativity, there may be hope after all to increase revenue.
word_on_the_street-monetize

Word on the street: “Monetize”

In my talk, I get to touch upon:

  • Spiderman
  • Veronica Mars
  • Law students
  • Herd mentality
  • The A-Team
  • Venice Beach
  • CLE
  • Spilled watermelons
  • The Bill of Rights Monument
  • Al Pacino
  • Subway trains
  • The Bar Foundation

Curious, right? Kind of feel bad you can’t be there, eh?

I may report back about what we covered, and how it was received. If you see big honking pop-up ads cluttering my blog in the coming month, you’ll know our message did not get through.

Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa 1

Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, site of the annual State Bar of Arizona Convention, June 19-21, 2013.

This is annual Convention week at the State Bar of Arizona. As always, a dizzying array of educational seminars (and fun activities) are packed into the three-day event held in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

More detail about the Convention is here.

Over the years, Arizona Attorney Magazine staff have covered the heck out of the annual event, and this year will be the same. In a later post, I’ll detail some of the tools I lug about to do just that.

As in the past, we will not print a once-a-day hard-copy “Convention Daily.” Instead, we will cover Convention news closer to real time. We will use multiple channels to communicate what’s going on. But the surest way to be sure you see everything is to follow us on Twitter. My name in Twitter is @azatty. You can view all the evolving content here (or at https://twitter.com/azatty, to be specific). I will be tagging everything with the hashtag #azbarcon – so be sure to search for that.

Want to participate? Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Biltmore, at 602-908-6991.

And always feel free to stroll up and say hello. I’ll be hiking all over the Biltmore to cover the goings-on. Or you may catch me at the Arizona Attorney table in the Exhibitor area. If you miss me there, leave your card or a note.

The State Bar’s electronic newsletter dedicated to technology items has just come out in its winter 2013 issue. As I’ve mentioned before, this quarterly news source provides a wide variety of headlines on topics that may affect your law practice.

State Bar of Arizona eLegal Technology NewsletterAmong the stories is a lead item on addressing the digital accounts of the dead.

If you’re interested in the topic, you should turn to the current Arizona Attorney, where Rex Anderson writes on digital assets in estates.

And while you’re at it, do you like how we transformed this month’s Facebook profile picture for Arizona Attorney? The image is below (click to make it bigger and look closely). (We like to change the image every month depending on our cover story.)

Facebook profile picture for Arizona Attorney Magazine March 2013

About a month ago, I wrote about a workshop on social media I will help lead. Thank you to those who provided their general insights about the topic.

cool new facebook features

But now, in a week, is when the rubber hits the social media road. And so I’m asking for your insight again, specifically on the topic of new(-ish) and advanced Facebook features that you appreciate.

That is the topic for which I’ve been tasked at the National Association of Bar Executives, and I am trying to winnow down a list of Facebook fan page features that I think bar associations should consider and maybe adopt.

Here are a few of the features I appreciate on Facebook business pages. Have you used any of them on your personal Facebook page? And would they add to your experience of bar pages?

  • Bigger Facebook profile photos
  • Improved SEO via updated Facebook URLs
  • Better using of the “About” box & “Info” tab
  • Use of “Like” boxes to increase inbound links
  • Incorporating your blog content into Facebook
  • Adding Google Analytics to your Facebook page
  • Posting (more) multimedia on your Facebook pageFacebook Like thumbs up

Of course, it’s possible there are Facebook features you love that have entirely omitted. Let me know what you think.

Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

social-media-word-cloudA headline for a blog post yesterday made me pause:

“Is Online Social Networking Worth My Time?”

Gulp. If The Lawyerist takes up the topic, and declares social media a waste of said time, won’t that provide conceptual cover to many lawyers who are seeking—desperately—permission to stop thinking about the topic? Instead, I suppose, those lawyers would like to return to practicing law the way it’s been done for a generation (whatever that means).

But then Lawyerist founder Sam Glover answered the question posed in a reasonable way:

“Sure, in the same way that email is worth your time. Online social networks are, like offline social networks, a way to stay in touch with family, friends, and acquaintances. If you use social networks — online or offline — for that purpose, they will be worth your time in the same way watching the Super Bowl with your college friends or having lunch with your rich aunt are worth your time.”

I’m beginning work on a social media presentation that I’ll deliver in Dallas in February. And as I ponder what to tell bar executives about the topic, it helps to keep in mind that social media is just another tool. And, as Sam says, it’s not a tool that does just one thing all the time. It can be used to sell—occasionally—but it also can inform, amuse and infuriate. Just like any relationship we have.

In print and online, we always must remember that our readers have many parts in their brains. The best social media—the best content provider—will help exercise multiple parts of those brains. And that is where a valued relationship is best developed.

social media icons

Next February, I’ll be part of a panel communicating all we know for a “Social Media Master Class.” At the moment, I’m feeling vaguely outclassed.

Sure, by February, I plan to have a vast knowledge to impart. But right now, I’d appreciate your insight on what you would expect if you passed by a hotel conference room and spotted the following sign:

“Social Media Advanced Class”

That, essentially, is what we’ll cover in our session.

We will be presenting at the ABA/NABE Midyear Meeting in Dallas, and our audience will be chock full of bar association executives and lawyers.

I didn’t write the copy for the program description, but I am looking for ways to meet its expectations. Here’s what it says:

“If you have not seen the very latest features for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other leading social media platforms, you may be living under a rock. Delve into the newest add-ons and enhancements that will bolster your messaging workflow while optimizing your Association’s exposure. Learn how to navigate unexpected (and sometimes unwelcome) redesigns of leading sites. Plus, get recommendations on the best shortcut tools like HootSuite to ease the pains of posting. Whether you’re a seasoned social media junkie or the new kid on the block, you’ll find something valuable to take away.”

social media "map" by Fred Cavazza

I love this social media “map” by Fred Cavazza.

Hmmm. We’d better bring our A game.

I figure one of the best ways to stretch your audience’s knowledge is to stretch your own. That’s why I’ve reached into a few new worlds this past month, to Quora and even Instagram. And I’ve also been examining the old standards (Facebook and Twitter) for what I think are best practices. But Pinterest hasn’t yet sucked me into its vortex.

Later today, I meet (via conference call) will the other panelists (from Ohio, San Francisco, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia). We’ll be strategizing the best way to communicate valuable content to attendees.

Your insights would be appreciated. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

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