Is Facebook good for a law firm?

There have been many stories in the press about Faceblocking: firms trying to block Facebook and concerned about its impact on productivity.

Firms are now starting to embrace Facebook and its ability to develop and nurture firm culture and communities of practice. In a prior post I noted many US law firms have formed groups in Facebook.

Myles Wearring published an article on news.com.au:
Is Facebook good for the workplace? Mr. Wearring notes that several companies are embracing the responsible use of Facebook.

Although Facebook lumps all of your connections as “friends.” I think there are three types of relationships: professional colleagues (inside and outside the enterprise), friends and family, and clients. The Facebook platform is really designed around the friends and family relationships. No surprise there. Facebook was designed and first deployed for college students.

Yes, there is a lot of junk on Facebook and lots of ways to waste time. I was so excited about the Patriots victory over the Chargers that I went into my Football Fan application in Facebook and added the offensive line of the Patriots as my favorite players. I “wasted” 5 minutes. But my network of friends can now see my excitement.

Facebook can be a platform to aggregate and display professional background and experience. I pull together my LinkedIn profile, my blog, my educational background, my professional background and lots of information about me a person onto my Facebook profile.

That helps people see me as a person. If one of my colleagues on Facebook runs into me, he knows he can ask about my recent trip to New Orleans or the Patriots win or the book I just finished reading. That is way more interesting than: “Are you busy?” or staring at that horrible news screen in the elevator.

All businesses, including law firms, are about relationships and the network of professional colleagues (inside and outside the enterprise), friends and family, and clients. Facebook is great way to develop, nurture and inform those relationships.

Facebook is great way for a lawyer to develop a personal brand. A lawyer could note her recent victories or transactions. Potential clients would be interested in your travels, personal interests and professional background. You can use Facebook as virtual resume for potential employers.

Thanks to Stephen Collins of AcidLabs for pointing out this story. He has been waging war against the Australian press for their negative coverage of Facebook.

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