The Email Inbox as a Communications Database

One of the challenges that every lawyer faces when they sit down at their desk in the morning is managing the various software applications running on their computer and the data and communications which run through their systems.  In order to survive the prospect of information overload, attorneys need to try and assemble their most important information, tasks and data in a single place.  While it is not likely possible to get everything under one application, the obvious storage area for everything an attorney needs day in and day out is the email inbox.

There are several challenges to manipulating information in the inbox, not the least of which is the fact that email now gets sent from a variety of different devices from the desktop, laptop, cell phone and iPad.  Whenever you’re away from your main computer, you should consider setting up your email to blindcopy yourself on every communication.  This means that everything that you send ends up in your inbox, even if it’s not in your primary “sent” folder.  


Don’t Focus Your Lawyer Marketing on the “Deal Hunter” Population

Law is a moving target.  So is legal marketing.  In an age of commoditized legal services, new business models for law, legal services on the internet, Legal Zoom, Trademarkia and so many others, lawyers sometimes may make the mistake of getting caught up in the “lowest price” game. 

There is a danger to focusing on the “deal hunter” niche of the market.  These are people who are always shopping around.  For them, price is the most important factor irrespective of quality.  These are not the prospective clients that any lawyer or their law firm should be trying to attract. 

Instead, focus on long-term relationships.  If a client is overly consumed by price, they may not be around for long anyway.  Even if you offer a lower price, they will push the next attorney to a slightly better discount.


Are Blogs Headed Towards the Graveyard?

Jeff Bullas over at the jeffbullas.com blog addresses the question of whether blogs are dying out and social media sites such as Facebook are taking over.  Bullas reports that blogs are not dying but instead evolving.  According to the “State of The blogosphere 2010" report published by Technorati, blogs are in a state of transition as the lines between blogs and social media sites disappear. As noted by Bullas, the Technorati report revealed several trends that are emerging in the blogosphere:

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Is Information Making People Stupid

Back in 1994, I had great hopes that the information age will bring us out of the intellectual dark ages and into the light.  I could have never imagined that people would simply ignore readily available information and bask in their own stupidity.  I don't think that information is making us stupid.  I think that people's bias and prejudice are so severe that they have no interest in it. 

One of the consequences of working in a profession such as law where there is virtually no innovation and little incentive to change is that technology has not even been powerful enough to show people the light. 


How Important Are You to Your Law firm?

The recent story of Steve Jobs stepping down from his CEO position at Apple got me thinking.  Universally, the stories being run talk about the importance of Steve Jobs to that company.  I wonder how many CEOs are considered as important to their company’s success as Steve Jobs?  My guess is that the answer is “not many.”

As Mr. Jobs steps down from his stewardship over one of the most successful company turnaround stories in history, it is a good time for each of us to ask ourselves:  “How important are we to our company?” I’ve always said that the proof of value for any employee is the impact their departure would have on the firm.  Our goal as employees should be to achieve the status of “invaluable” just like Steve Jobs. 


Google Ventures Is Among Investors for Online Legal Document Services

Google Ventures and others invest $18.5 million in the online legal document service called Rocket Lawyer.  Rocket Lawyer claims to be the “fastest growing online legal service,” according to Forbes, offering easy and affordable legal help to consumers.  Rocket Lawyer offers monthly and annual plans, as well as a per occurrence basis.

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Local Tragedy Causes Concern about Marina Safety

Michael Scott Knudson, 18, of Mancelona, Michigan died as a result of receiving an electric shock from stray voltage while swimming at the Duncan L. Clinch Marina in Traverse City, Michigan.

A preliminary investigation reports that the source of the stray voltage which caused the electric shock to Michael Knudson emanated from an electrical line carrying electrical power to a section of floating dock.  Evidently, the electrical line had a short circuit which for an unexplained reason did not trip the circuit breaker carrying power to the dock. 

Read more about the Traverse City marina accident here.


Internet’s First and Biggest Gripe Site Temporarily Removed from Google Search

As recently reported on Search Engine Land and Online PR Media, the editor and founder of the Infamous complaint site, RipOffReports.com, nearly needed a defibrillator when he learned that his website was no longer showing up in Google's search results. 

"…this is Ed Magedson, … I nearly had a heart attack when I learned that Ripoff Report was not being listed on Google search results."

Magedson initially thought that RipOff Report had been banned by Google or even hacked, but later learned that one of his webmasters had accidentally requested that the URL be removed through Google’s Webmaster Tool’s URL removal tool, a tool which allows website owners to remove content from showing up in search results.  Magedson was later relieved to learn that removal was temporary and easily fixed. 

Full Stories:

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