Sunday, October 11, 2009

Social Media & Seminars: Don’t Get Drunk & Talk/Tweet

Recently one of the senior partners at the firm where I work handed me a copy of Carolina Paralegal News, and said, “You and I are both in Lawyers Weekly." (CPN is an insert in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly). Of course, he’s in there talking about heavy stuff like healthcare reform, and I’m yakking it up about social media in a well-written article by Diana Smith, “Getting caught in the social ‘Web’”.

I’d forgotten that I’d had a lengthy chat with Diana the month before. Poor Diana. When anyone asks me why paralegals should use social media, I start talking 90 miles per minute, and maybe by the end of the conversation, Diana had heard more than she ever wanted to know about the subject.

Having also forgotten exactly what I said, I was kind of tickled to see this quote from me in a really big Ariel font (my fave):

There’s a big world out there, and it’s gone virtual. The days of sitting in your office and knowing just three paralegals are over. Now you can go to paralegals all over the country for resources and support.

Amen, sistah.

So I’m thinking I didn’t actually embarrass myself until I read the closing quote of the article, again by me:

The biggest disadvantage is if you do not use your social media profiles like a professional. Basically you use them the same way you would as if you were networking in person at a seminar.

It’s your virtual networking self. It’s the same person that’s appropriately dressed and civil and who’s not going to stand up and talk drunkenly at a seminar.

Okay, maybe I did embarrass myself, or just went a little over-the-top with that alcohol reference to make a point. I’ve never been drunk or overly medicated during a seminar, although some of the welcoming and closing conference parties I attended were likely a complete blast if I could just remember them.

And as I get ready to go “lay the social media word on the herd” at the Los Angeles Paralegal Association’s 33rd Annual Fall Conference “Powering Up for the Future” next week, I am going to take the advice of a good paralegal friend of mine who said, “If you are speaking early in the morning, don’t go out drinking with the girls the night before and only get three hours of sleep. You will be very, very sorry. You will be lucky if you can find the podium or remember your own name.” Not that she was speaking from personal experience or anything.

So with that in mind, don’t drink and tweet. Also, see Huma Rashid’s brilliant guest post over at Social Media Law Student which essentially says, “Don’t drive and tweet.” (Like I could, because to be honest, I can only text fast enough to send my teenager “ok” or “y” (for “yes”) responses and those take me, like, an hour.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! You made excellent points about social media use. For a while in the spring, when I discovered all the other law students on Twitter (and became friends with them and traded outlines with them, etc) I started using Twitter more as a social tool than a social networking tool. I'm sure that got me removed from the more conspicuous Tweetdeck group columns of several attorneys I also follow. :-P I'm back to using it more appropriately, like I used to, and I couldn't agree more with your message in the article.

    And thanks for linking my SMLS post. :-D I absolutely love that place! I signed on as a contributor in August, and it's always my goal to post more, but darn it if real life doesn't get in the way sometimes. :-P


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