Social Media is Not Snake Oil

(as originally published by the National Law Journal on 01/26/2011)

In 1996, Clifford Stoll wrote a popular book entitled “Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway.” It was well received because it was contrarian, made us second-guess our assumptions about computers, and contained a warning for those looking to benefit from this new thing called the internet. In retrospect, Stoll was dead wrong. He suggested the internet would never be good for commerce; that people would always prefer playing card games face to face; and that the acoustics of a working typewriter were in many ways superior to a keyboard and word processing program. Read more

Adam Smith Economics Don’t Fly Online

The invisible hand is a powerful thing. According to Adam Smith it matches up willing buyers with willing sellers to create value enhancing exchanges. Each party benefits by looking to satisfy their own selfish desires. A simple concept and one that has driven the world economy for centuries. It doesn’t quite work online though, not how it used to, and I’ll explain why in a minute, but first a story.

About a month ago I was approached by an older entrepreneur that had a product to sell. He came to me and asked for help selling this product using “social media marketing.” Read more

Prepare to make yourself uncomfortable in 2011

I need to repent. I tell everybody to keep their blogs current, update regularly and to take ownership of their blogs. Between a death in my family, National Law Journal articles and the holidays it has been over a month since my last blog post. I’ve missed it, so I’m back- mostly because I have something I’d like to discuss.

Why is it so hard for lawyers to get out of their comfort zone? The answer seems obvious, your comfort zone is comfortable, it’s easy, you don’t ever have to rock the boat. So while we like to BE in our comfort zone, the prospect of staying their for a long period of time scares us. And frankly it should. We all want success in life, we all want to achieve our goals – but unfortunately many aren’t willing to pay the price or sacrifice their comfort to get there. Read more