4 PerspectivesNovember 25, 2009
I don’t stray off topic often, but occasionally I do — with a warning. This is one of those rare occasions where we won’t talk about negotiation, mediation or settlement strategy; feel free to scroll to the next post if that’s why you’re here.
This month InsideCounsel magazine published an article from the always interesting Mike Evers with a title that — for some reason — caught my eye: Using Web 2.0 to Advance Your Career. Although Mike admittedly says some nice things about Settlement Perspectives, he also gives us a rare recruiter’s-eye view of why in-house counsel might want to join the online conversation.
Why Manage Your Digital Footprint?
With the popularity of Legal OnRamp and LinkedIn and more, the opportunities to manage your digital footprint expand every day. But many in-house lawyers aren’t convinced. Isn’t there safety in anonymity? Mike’s response is simple and direct:
For readers with privacy concerns, get over it. Embrace the fact that your professional life is public.
And Mike is right. I did an Internet search for a fellow in-house lawyer the other day and found only one hit. Unfortunately, it was the court’s opinion in a case where he was a witness. I sifted through the opinion and ultimately determined that he has nothing to hide, but it took time — time that would have been better spent reading his profile, articles he’d written, and other content he created.
While online anonymity might not be a choice any more, Mike gives us a few reasons to want to manage our online presence:
The point here is that Web 2.0 presents seemingly limitless opportunities to offer value, demonstrate expertise and cut across barriers that make new connections. In short, you are no longer bound by the four corners of a traditional resume or directory listing.
Managing Your Digital Footprint — Where Do You Start?
I wrote about my experience with Settlement Perspectives over a year ago in Come on in, the Water’s Fine, and I’m still happy I took the plunge. But you don’t have to start a blog to manage your digital footprint. As Mike explains, a simple first step is to get comfortable with LinkedIn, which LawyerCasting has made easier with LinkedIn for Lawyers 101. Next, you’ll want to find a place where you can add your thoughts and expertise — perhaps a comment on the ACC’s blog, In-House ACCess, Patrick J. Lamb’s In Search of Perfect Client Service, or Rees Morrison’s Law Department Management Blog.
But there’s more.
Your Online Image — Get It Right with Mitch Joel’s 8 Easy Steps
Until last week Web 2.0 was a matter of happenstance to most of us. We got an invitation to Plaxo and filled it out, and we joined a LinkedIn group or two. But last week I listened to Mich Joel’s audiobook Six Pixels of Separation, which highlights how any of us can proactively manage our online footprint. While I can’t recommend the book highly enough, Mitch gives us a taste in How to Build Your Digital Footprint in 8 Easy Steps, posted earlier this year at Six Pixels of Separation – The Blog.
Mitch starts with “Create a Strategy,” because “your overall strategy . . . will become your lighthouse,” and he follows with 7 more steps any of us can track — steps that will become crucial as we all venture further into the online world we already inhabit.
So set your strategy, manage your online presence, and have fun. You’ll be glad you did.