#legalitshow anyone?

By Nick Holmes on February 4, 2009
5 comments
Filed under Twitter

Those like me who are experimenting with Twitter Search should find this post by Steven Feldman of interest. He describes how the hashtag #uksnow evolved from a simple hashtag to one which, with the addition of postcode and snowfall parameters (eg #uksnow SW14 2/10), provided a crowdsourced realtime report of snowfall throughout the UK, which was then mapped by Ben Marsh and others.

For those not yet familiar with the term, a hashtag is a tag prefixed with the # sign used in a Twitter post (or other messaging service), which is intended to aid searching tweets on a particular topic. As the hashtag spreads virally through use by others an increasing stream of on topic tweets is produced when searching for the tag. At its peak #uksnow hit the number 2 position for “trending” search terms on Twitter.

Another hashtag of immediate interest is #ltny, coined for the Legal Tech Show New York. This tag was particularly active during the first afternoon’s session on “What is Twitter and How Do I Use It?”

You could try following #legalitshow but I have slim hopes of this taking off!

5 comments

Nick – Re the #legalitshow

it won’t take off for the following reasons:

(a) UK Bloggers, the main users of Twitter, tend to use / abuse Twitter for their own chat and occasionally to promote blog posts.

(b) UK lawyers are not avid users of blogs or Twitter (There are, in fact, very few UK lawyers on twitter

(c) Uk lawyers are behind the curve generally when it comes to blogs, twitter and other social media – perhaps because they have not embraced IT with much enthusiasm compared to US, canadian and other lawyers?

(d) UK lawyers are too busy making money or worrying about their jobs to be bothered with blogs et al.

I think that UK lawyers are missing a lot by not engaging with the blog world (Twitter is less important for hard content) because there is a wealth of excellent knowledge and information out there on the blawgosphere, UK – particularly from the States, and in Canada, Australia etc of relevance and value to UK lawyers.

Their loss? Yes.

You and others do their best to promote blogs and inform – but if UK lawyers want to continue to read out of date news in Trade journals or continue to fill their minds with who is doing deals with whom… and keep there noses firmly to the insular grindstone of UK legal work – you can’t really force them to do otherwise.

Very few of my friends at the Bar or in legal academia even know what a blog is, let alone Twitter. I find it astonishing that legal academics, in the main, are completely unaware of the blog world and the value (to their students at the very least) of the content in the many excellent legal blogs out there.

What can be done? Very little, I suspect. I’m not that impressed by the insularity of the academic world on this. They bleat about not being able to publish to advance their careers (because of the diminishing number of legal publishers), yet are not prepared (as some do to great effect) to lift their eyes off their limited horizon and actually self publish or, perhaps, form a collective blog and work with other academics of a like mind in the same field. Conflict of Laws and IPKat come to mind as excellent examples of collaboration and authoritative peer reviewed legal analysis.

Legal education, I fear, to go slightly off point, is becoming more and more of a factory for the profession – and some universities appear to be joining the “Let’s dumb it down and process the meat school of thought.

There we are. I have not advanced the cause of human knowledge one iota by this comment – but I feel better and it is now time for coffee.

by Charon QC on 5 February 2009 at 8:13 am. #

Twitter is interesting me and more but I am in a minority just as discussed by the Charon’s comment (probably the best comment to a blog post I have ever read I have to say).

by sterling on 7 February 2009 at 10:07 am. #

Dear Nick, are you a Twitter or FriendFeed user?
We had already several (minor) issues with copyright, and intellectual property questions in the life science informatics area. Would be nice to know, if a lawyer could look at them?

Beside, I am really interested how all this social web thing works within companies, which relies on intellectual property protection, e.g. Pharma? Would be curious to see what is known about this topic ?

by Nick on 8 February 2009 at 1:44 pm. #

Charon’s comment about UK lawyers being “behind the curve” on social media is interesting. A search on Twitter (for example) clearly shows this is true, but my view is that this creates an opportunity for those of us who do see the potential… the question being whether take-up over here is going to eventually match that in the US or whether UK lawyers and firms just don’t see it as an appropriate “business forum” (which will be their loss as many of their clients certainly will).

#uksnow is a good example of how useful Twitter can be – at 5am last Monday when trying to decide whether to head down to London for a meeting it was pretty much the only source of any sensible information (Network Fail website down, Rail Enquiries hotline constantly engaged etc. etc.)

Unfortunately I suspect that most UK law firms will see Twitter (if at all) in the same way as many of them see blogs – as another channel to pump out the usual “Deals completed, awards won, legal updates” stuff for a few months before deciding that it hasn’t worked and dropping it, but I guess time will tell.

by @beej777 on 11 February 2009 at 1:44 pm. #

Hi,
We are going to be using the hashtag #LITS over the course of the show and in the run-up to the event, simply because it gives us a vital 5 more characters to put useful content in!

by Mark Bower (Connectegrity) on 8 February 2010 at 10:20 am. #