Digital White Papers

Social Media WP

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TWITTER FOR LAWYERS: EMBRACING THE #S, @S AND RTS Twitter for Lawyers Embracing the #s, @s and RTs by Keith Ecker of Jaffe PR For the uninitiated, viewing a Twitter feed falls somewhere between reading computer code and deciphering the text messages of a teenager. There are a lot of hashtags, @ symbols and condensed phrases, all of which serve as a special kind of shorthand to optimize Twitter posts (aka tweets) and convey information-filled snippets in 140 characters or fewer, Twitter's self-imposed limit on string length. Lawyers traditionally have shied away from Twitter. Despite the fact the site claims nearly 555 million active registered users, there is a lack of clarity within the legal industry as to the social network's utility. Part of this is due to the complex syntax rules, but this is also due to some confusion around what Twitter is. Whereas LinkedIn has positioned itself as the social network for professionals and Facebook is the social network for friends, Twitter occupies a space all its own. Twitter doesn't look or function the same as its social network counterparts. There are no "walls" or "timelines" to post on. Instead there are feeds. And while you can restrict access to your feed by adjusting privacy settings, most choose to use Twitter to its fullest extent by keeping their profile public. This means that, unlike the other social networks, which function like gated communities, your tweets are tantamount to public proclamations. Having what you say exposed for mass public consumption seems risky, and lawyers are experts at avoiding risk.

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