Friday, April 29, 2011

Proof That Twitter Does Not Work For Marketing

Mark Herrmann writes the Inside Straight column at the Above The Law blog. He posed this question: "As measured by my readership numbers, do more tweets yield more page views?" His conclusion: No.

In his column he ran three articles as samples. Each article generated more than 12,000 page views via the blog. He then tweeted about each article. The results:

Three people tweeted about the first article. Zero people tweeted about the second article. Twelve people tweeted about the third article.

His conclusion: twitter is not driving traffic his way. Please click here to view Mark's original article.

Now of course the twitterati will say statistics mean nothing, traffic means nothing. That twitter must considered but one component of your overall social networking model. Yea, yea, yea... To that I say: Tweeting takes time. Every marketing activity can be measured. If the activity does not produce a measurable result on its own, it isn't worth the time. And I don't give a hoot of credibility to the idea of looking at the bigger picture. That argument does not hold water. If it works at all, it works as a standalone. If there is no measurable return as a stand alone, then it does not work as a component of a bigger social networking plan (let us not forget the old days of Yellow Pages where the sales people always said buying a bigger, more expensive ad will produce the results you are not getting from your current ad).

My opinion: Tweet for fun, but don't invest a significant amount of time tweeting for business.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Double Your Monitors with Windows 7

You have one monitor, and two applications open. You have two monitors, and four applications open. How can you have all of the applications open and equally viewable, i.e., how do you eliminate one application laying on top of another?

If you are running Windows 7, there is a utility called Snap that solves this problem for you. Simply click on one of the applications and drag it to the left or right edge of your screen. Shazam! It resizes to fit half the screen. Then drag the second app to the opposite edge of the screen. Shazam! It resizes to fit the opposite half of the screen. Then you are running both apps side by side, and you eliminate the need to go back and forth minimizing and maximizing the applications.

For users with multiple monitors the Snap dragging option can sometimes malfunction. Not to worry. There is a keyboard shortcut that solves the problem. Simply click on the field of one application, then click the Windows button and the right or left arrow. Shazam! The application moves to the right or left half of the screen. Do it for your other applications and you can be viewing four open applications simultaneously on your two monitors.

Snap is a great utility, and the ability to fully see multiple screens will dramatically increase your productivity. Good stuff!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Deposition App for iPad

Okay, it is getting to be a regular thing around here: Me finding a great tech review on Ted Brooks's Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg. I can't help it! He writes good stuff on timely topics, and he has technical insight that I don't possess; so I must lean on him! This time around it is Ted's review of Deponent, an iPad app for preparing and taking depositions.

As Ted describes it:
The Deponent App, developed by Majority Opinion, is an iPad app designed to help legal professionals draft questions to prepare for a deposition. You can select from over 150 questions organized by category, such as Admonitions or Expert Qualifications, arrange their order of presentation, and customize the text for your witnesses. Each question can also be linked to an exhibit. You can modify the included questions and categories as well as create your own.
Ted's review goes on to fully analyze the benefits and drawbacks of the app, and gives us some screen shots to consider. Seems to me that this app has a lot of potential. Click here to read Ted's original review.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HP Slate 500 Review

Ted Brooks publishes the Trial Technology Blog. A great site, that you should check out. Recently he posted his review of the HP Slate 500 tablet. According to Ted:

Although the iPad has a strong foothold in the tablet market, its shortcomings are well-documented. Simple things such as the lack of a USB port, inability to play Flash movies, less-than-desirable Microsoft Office file handling, and a general sense of incompatibility in an otherwise PC-dominant world, may be what other tablets need to get into the game.

According to Ted all of these deficiencies are overcome in the Slate 500. There are also many other features that distinguish the Slate from the iPad. The article is worth a read if you are considering an alternative to the iPad.

Please click here to read Ted's original post.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Webinars

Six or seven years ago I offered free family law consultations over the internet. I had an account with GoToMeeting.com. The guest would log in to the presentation via GoToMeeting so that he or she could watch the Powerpoint slide show that I had created. At the same time the guests would call in to a conference call phone number provided by GoToMeeting. Then I could interact in real time with the guests over the phone.

I advertised these webinars aggressively on our website. I spent A LOT of time creating a very informative Powerpoint show. And, the webinar was free. There was only one problem. No one showed up! That's not true. In the six months that I offered the consultations I had four guests. None of them ended up hiring me. I pulled the plug on the project. The first reason being the lack of an audience. The second reason was the high cost of the GoToMeeting subscription. Something like $495 per year at the time.

One of the problems could have been the newness of the idea. I believe I was the first family law lawyer in the country at that time to offer live consultations over the internet. GoToMeeting was a brand new technology, and consumers may not have been comfortable with it. Plus, there was no actual face time. Skype didn't have video yet, nor did GoToMeeting. I think the fact that the viewers could not see my face compromised the effectiveness of the experience.

Time passes, and technology improves. In a recent blog article Larry Bodine reintroduces the idea of webinars as a lawyer marketing tool. According to Bodine, "More law firms are offering Web seminars as a way to reach a large number of people because no one – neither the presenters nor the attendees – is required to travel to see the program." He offers seven reasons why webinars are good:
  1. You'll get new files from clients without needing to leave the office.
  2. Prospective clients -- whom you could not otherwise reach -- will call you after they have seen your slides and heard you speak.
  3. Eliminate the expense and hassle of travel.
  4. Save your valuable time. You will focus on your presentation, not the room setup.
  5. You'll expand your geographic footprint and reach clients and potential clients across a wide area.
  6. Online seminars position you as being tech-savvy.
  7. You'll get a list of email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers of all the attendees for follow-up contact.
It is an interesting read, and a fresh look at a not new technique. Please click here to read Larry's original article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Day In The Life Of An iPad Lawyer

Josh Barrett has written a fun article about a day in his lawyer life with his iPad. For example:

3:00 p.m. Work Remotely. Rather than drive back across town to the office, I settle in for a few more hours of work at the local coffee shop (thanks, free Wi-Fi). With my headphones on and Pandora running in the background, I get a bunch of stuff done:

  • I use Documents To Go Premium to review and revise a slew of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in their native formats.
  • An e-mail from an associate has a memorandum and supporting research in separate PDF attachments. The tabbed viewing in iAnnotate allows me to have all of them open at once and quickly switch among them. I make a few notes using the annotation tools, knowing that my marks will display perfectly in the desktop version of Acrobat. I pull up some related statutes in Fastcase and consult a relevant treatise on Westlaw via the Web.
  • I draft some correspondence in PlainText, sending it off to my assistant for formatting as I work. PlainText’s integration with the shortcuts I’ve set up in TextExpander Touch saves me many keystrokes—expanding a few characters into frequently used words, phrases, sentences or even paragraphs.
  • I use Keynote to assemble slides for an upcoming client presentation, referring to an outline I made previously in Outliner. Keynote’s output is superb and the iPad’s touch interface is a natural for this design type work. Since the iPad connects easily to a projector, the laptop will stay back at the office for this presentation.
  • An e-mail from one of my partners contains one of his famous mindmaps. I use iThoughts HD to open, edit and send it back to him.
  • I use Web tools like 37signals’ Highrise and Backpack to manage my client development and to-do items. These tools work great in the iPad version of Safari or in apps like Satchel.
Please click here to take a look at the entire article for more real world iPad tips.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Consumer Reports Rates The Tablets

Consumer Reports has come out with its ranking of the top 5 tablet computers. At the top of the list is the Apple iPad 2, followed by the original iPad, the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and then everything else. CNNMoney.com has a nice article summarizing the rankings, please click here to take a look.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Dropbox Review

Attorney Justin Kahn offers up a concise and practical review of the Dropbox app for iPad on the iPad Notebook blog.

According to Justin:

As an iPad user, one of the things that may slow you down is a cable. You may feel like you have documents on your computer that you NEED to have on your iPad. To get them on the iPad, you think you need to sync with iTunes with the white wire.

Enter Dropbox. Dropbox is a method via software to sync folders and files via the cloud in a relatively easy way. Let’s say you have a file on your desktop you are working on and want to continue working on it at lunch via your iPad. Without a cable or emailing yourself the document, it can become complicated.

I use Dropbox, and love it. To learn more about the app please click here to read Justin's original post.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

The Value of Spending Time at the Courthouse

I confess to being a courthouse junkie. I love the energy of the courthouse. I love the formality and ritual of trials. I love the opportunity to network with other lawyers, and to observe them in action. For me a big part of being a lawyer is being at court.

Lee Rosen shares my thinking. At his Divorce Discourse blog he makes a case for getting to the courthouse. Here are his top ten reasons for getting to court early.

1. You can talk to other family law attorneys, build your relationships, and generate referrals of conflicts, mediations, etc....

2. You can hang out with the judges in chambers...

3. You can get to know the clerks and bailiffs...

4. You can get comfortable with the setting...

5. You can talk to your clients and help them get comfortable...

6. You can meet other lawyers from other practice areas...

7. You can answer questions for people in the hall...

8. You can review your notes and think about your case...

9. You can avoid being smushed in the elevator with smelly criminal defendants...

10. You can ask questions of other lawyers, listen to their conversations, and learn a thing or two...

Lee elaborates on each of these points in his article. Please click here to read the original piece.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

USB Connections

It is amazing how much stuff I have plugged in to my computer. There is my internet phone. My webcam. Speakers. Multiple monitors. Wi-fi. A ...