Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Magic of Twitter

Late last night I was lucky enough to experience the magic of Twitter first-hand.  I wanted to get the word out about my new blog (or blawg as the trendy attorneys call’em) so I broadcast a Tweet to my followers... all 17 of them. 

Then something amazing happened: Prof. Runkel picked up my Tweet and proceeded to Re-Tweet (“RT”) my announcement.  That is, he broadcast my blog announcement to all of his followers.  Prof. Runkel runs LawMemo and has 1509 followers!  Then other Tweeters (presumably seeing Runkel’s RT) started to broadcast RTs of their own:

- Leonid Knyshov (wiseleo) – 1000 followers;

- Kristina Duncan (Krislegalista) – 341 followers; Law School Bound

- Daniel Alexander (dja2law) – 508 followers; Out-House General Counsel

Ignoring the inevitable overlap, that’s over 3350 people!  Employers, employees, and attorneys alike are drooling over the networking potential of Web 2.0. 

As with anything new, employers (and especially attorneys!) have some concerns.  I’m not trying to scare anyone but have you seen HR 1966?  This new piece of legislation will make it a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison for:

“using electronic means to support severe, repeated and hostile behavior,” “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”

Wow, watch what ya post I guess.  To assuage these concerns, Gruntled Employees has graciously provided a Twitter policy (and other web policies) for employers.  I see this as a growth area for lawyers (and employee handbooks) but generally agree with their minimalist approach.  A bit of caution is justified, but the results are undeniable.  See above, Twitter worked for me!

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