15 November, 2010
Filed UnderLegal Costs
There has been a long-running debate on the Law Society's LinkedIn Group on the question of “what do Solicitors Practices really have to tweet about”.
I have to admit that I have never really understood the whole Twitter concept, especially for a law firm (and this would include law costs draftsmen). There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, I share the traditional lawyer mindset and can't see the point in saying something in 140 characters or less if you could say it equally well in 5,000 words. Those readers who've seen me in court will know my advocacy style is not dissimilar.
Secondly, the size of a tweet is so small that it barely allows for commentary or analysis on any given subject much beyond: “This me like”.
I also can't begin to describe how banal most of things that are written on Twitter really are, including those by law firms and legal marketing consultants. Apologies if you tweet yourself and this is the kind of thing you write, but I just don't get it:
- “I'm just off to make a cup of coffee now”
- “My train is pulling into Reading station”
- “Great result for Arsenal at the weekend”
I don't even really see the point in tweets that say things like:
- “Great day in court today”
- “We've just secured an important new client”
This might just be me. When I worked in an office I never understood it when people would come over to my desk first thing on a Monday morning and ask if I had had a good weekend. Why should they care about my weekend? I certainly didn't care about theirs. If someone has done something genuinely interesting over the weekend then, by all means, share. But I never understood the desire for tedious small-talk. 99% of Twitter seems to fall into this category, only written by people you know on a personal level about as well as you know the photocopier repair man. Famous twitterer (or should that be twit?) Stephen Fry apparently follows over 53,000 people. I don't expect to meet that many people in my lifetime. Why would anyone want to know what 53,000 people have just had for breakfast?
However, I'm going to give Twitter a go for the following reason. I come across a large amount of legal costs related information in legal publications, on the internet, in other blogs, etc, much of it that I mean to comment on. Then, something else more pressing comes up and the moment passes. Surprising as it may seem, I have a busy costs practice and spend far too much of my spare time, as it is, writing the Legal Costs Blog.
I'm therefore going to use Twitter as a means to direct readers in the direction of further legal costs news and information. Some of this may be commented on in more detail on the Blog in due course, time allowing.
I realise that social media is also about interacting directly with readers, just not presenting information. I'm not convinced that I'll be very good at that part of the process (in large part because I'm not sure I'm going to be able to manage the technology).
On the other hand, my new Twitter account is already starting to pay dividends. Within a few minutes of setting up my account, and before writing my first tweet, I managed to acquire my first follower. This was a young lady whose profile says she is “single and just looking for cool guys near me”. She had obviously read my profile and realised what a catch I would be. Oh yes. Being a legal costs consultant makes me quite the ladies' man.
Sadly, just as quickly, she has stopped following me. This just goes to show the fickleness of costs groupies.
This is very much an experiment as to whether Twitter “works” (or at least works in the way I intend to use it). Let's see how it goes and apologies for the inevitable technical glitches.
So, here you are: @GWS_LAW