Reblogged from Legal Web Watch March 2015.
I’ve been looking at two new social media platforms designed for lawyers: Mootis (“specifically tailored for what is a vast legal services marketplace that extends far beyond the Bar”) and Passle (“enables Partners and senior professionals to create and share insights on developments within their field”). I’ve registered on both services and hacked about a bit, as well as reading up their about pages and some reviews. So, extensive research!
Mootis is a sort of souped up version of Twitter+LinkedIn with some added legal feeds and other features. My problem with it is I don’t get its USP. What is it trying to help me do?
Its advertised primary key feature is that “Moots can exceed 140 characters (up to 500 words) – enabling users to express their opinion with more authority, weight and substance.” That’s of course a reference to Twitter’s limit of 140 characters per tweet. That limit is restrictive, but it’s not a bug, it’s a feature! That’s why Twitter is so popular with many of us; it encourages rapid sharing, quickfire exchanges etc. So sure, if you don’t want that, you go somewhere else. … Mootis maybe?
Founder Bill Braithwaite QC of Exchange Chambers in Manchester says, “we feel the world of legal services is large enough to warrant its own, bespoke platform”. Surely the question is does the world of legal services, need or want a bespoke platform?
History is littered with the bones of legal networks that failed to find traction on the web. The very successful (pre-internet) LINK failed to make the transition. There was LIX too, though my memory is short on that one. The internet spoiled it for them, because on the net anybody could connect with anybody and link to anything. Neverthless, intrepid innovators tried to establish communities of lawyers on the web. Remember Law City anyone? Not even Google does.
Although the many legal portal sites of different flavours that grew up could be regarded in some senses as communities, lawyers started taking up social networking only in 2008 and the big three – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (not so much for professional purposes) – have made the running since then. Even Google, with all its influence, is calling it a day with its Google+ social network (though, importantly, popular aspects of it will be further developed).
I don’t want Silicon Valley to take all the spoils and there is plenty of scope for home grown social media applications for lawyers; I will give Mootis a go and I wish it well, but it does need to find some focus.
Passle is a blogging platform that makes it easy for experts to share their insights online. Say Passle, “It’s been proven that firms regularly producing knowledge pieces generate more traffic, and leads, than those that don’t. Passle facilitates this process by providing busy experts with the tools to share their expertise with the world in a time-efficient manner.”
With a few clicks you can grab an excerpt from an article you are reading, write a comment or longer analysis, and post it, complete with accompanying image from the original and with selected tweets about the same source shown alongside.
Your Passle is discoverable by other Passle users, who can follow you and repost your passles, and it can be embedded on your own website.
There is a substantial annual per user subscription, but if it suits you and gets your experts generating content and hence business as Passle claim, it should be worth it.