Sunday, August 24, 2008

Strategies for LinkedIn Group Limit Endgame

As lawyers who think of LinkedIn in terms of business development narrow down the groups to which they belong, they should consider the point raised by Bill Smith.

Bill Smith raises a good question by asking about how group membership results in being found in searches done by other members.

Membership in groups allows LinkedIn members to find members who are not direct connections in their "People Search" by keyword, and this may be a consideration as lawyers gradually leave enough LinkedIn groups to comply with the new group limit.

Simply put, is your membership in Law and Legal Open Networkers more about you meeting new desired contacts or is it about those contacts finding you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

LinkedIn Develops Application for IPhone

In addition to getting a no-frills LinkedIn member profile on the go, lawyers can interact with LinkedIn with this new application.

Daniel Toljaga explains that lawyers "can update your status messages on-the-go, e.g. “John Smith is reading Palluxo!” or whatever you feel like doing. Second, with the address book integration you can copy and migrate LinkedIn contacts to the contact list on your iPhone or iPod touch. And finally, you can save your search history and results to avoid unnecessary typing."

Mario Sundar of LinkedIn says "wow" and the most useful part of this application may be downloading connection contact information into the IPhone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

LinkedIn Lawyer Networking Group Transition

Once the initial stages of grief have passed, the transition of LinkedIn group ownership of the 100 lawyer networking groups in the My Link Law family has been like dealing with a nudge down a path already taken.

Even before the change in LinkedIn group policy, I often had great co-chairs in the groups - often experts in the area of the law matching the particular group.

Now, changing the ownership of many of these groups seems perfectly natural. Matching the leaders in their profession with a large network of potential candidates has created groups with great potential, and with the My Link Law website the opportunities for expedited group selection and cross-membership remain.

Now we only look to LinkedIn as to what type of interaction the LinkedIn interface will offer in the future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A LinkedIn Signature Box for Law Firm Information

Members can use LinkedIn to create a signature box
signature box that can be used on email that supports html.

Group Management? Group Ownership? What's Involved?

I enjoy getting group managers involved in my lawyer networking groups, as shared leadership of the group can have additional benefits.

Often I'm asked about what it really means to be a group manager. Generally, the commitment is very modest, and there is more information here.

"A Great LinkedIn Resource" Dallas Blue MyLinkWiki

Today's tweet "A Great LinkedIn Resource" (with this link) has been popular enough for reposting here.

Find a roundup of recent twitter activity including LinkedIn legal client referrals.

2,962 results found. Industry: Law Practice

If there was any doubt about the legal industry's involvement with LinkedIn, one can search "Companies" and look for "Law Practice."

This trend seems to match "word on the street" I often get about law companies' current practices regarding LinkedIn ... "yes we all got a memo today from headquarters asking us to get more involved with LinkedIn."

The LinkedIn Team on LinkedIn Group Limits and Restrictions

From: LinkedIn Team
Date: Mon, Aug 4, 2008
Subject: Changes to LinkedIn Groups

As an active member of LinkedIn Groups, we wanted to let you know about some changes we're putting in place in the coming weeks.

We are in the process of adding new functionality to enhance the experience of Groups, including the recent release of a searchable directory. We are also working with our development teams to bring new tools and widgets to this collaborative space throughout the rest of 2008.

We are also at this time making some changes to the user-created groups we host. These changes include adding a limit to the number of user-created groups any LinkedIn member may be part of at one time. Currently we are setting that limit at membership in 50 (fifty) user-created groups.

Please take the time before this limit goes into place on August 14, 2008, to choose which groups you would like to maintain. To remove yourself from a group, go to the My Groups page and click the word "Settings" next to the group you wish to leave. At the bottom of the settings page click the text "Leave this group."

We would appreciate it if you would please take this action within the next 10 days. If you would prefer, after 30 days we will automatically keep the first 50 groups that you joined and remove the rest.

If you would like assistance removing yourself from groups, or if you have any other questions, please contact us at or

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you, but we hope you will continue to find value in LinkedIn and especially enjoy the new functionality of LinkedIn Groups that is coming soon.

The LinkedIn team


Dear David A.,
This is a follow-up to the email we sent on 8/4/08 regarding upcoming changes to LinkedIn Groups. Please note that your action is required by 9/12/08.

We regret to inform you that you have exceeded the limit of the number of groups you are allowed to be a member of. The limit, which applies to all users, is fifty (50) groups per user. We apologize that these limits were not in place earlier, but with upcoming enhancements to Groups, we are forced to put in these limits without exception. We're confident that these improvements to Groups, intended to spur communication and collaboration, will make the product more useful to you on a day-to-day basis.

We need to ask you to please get below the limit of 50 by leaving some of your groups. We have added a quick "Leave Group" link to the My Groups page for each of your groups. If you need assistance because you are significantly above 50 groups, customer support may be able to help streamline the process. Please email for more information. Since this is a timely issue, we will prioritize any email with "Help Removing Groups" in the title until the deadline of 9/12/08.

If you do not take the required action by the deadline, we will automatically limit your membership to the first 50 groups you joined. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you, but unfortunately we are unable able to maintain the current level of groups.

The LinkedIn Team

Lawyer Social Networking "Not Just a Craze"

Tom Kane writes in Legal Marketing Blog that participating in social online media like LinkedIn may now be what it means to "be online."

Using LinkedIn for Voir Dire

R. David Donoghue of DLA Piper writes about "The Power and Danger of Using Social Networking Sites for Voir Dire" and reports that:

"It is no surprise that lawyers, either alone or assisted by jury consultants, research juror backgrounds, and use their research during voir dire and to inform their trial presentations, in particular opening and closing arguments.

Scratching the LinkedIn Surface

Lateral Attorney Report notes that "people are just beginning to mine the opportunities" of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn = Yellow Book + Relationships & Recommendations

Venture Beat focuses on how the Recommendation feature can be used when lawyer shopping: "If you are searching for an attorney, for example, no point going to the phone book. You can click on the “services” tab at LinkedIn, then select “attorney” and see if anyone in your network as recommended an attorney in the field you’re looking" to find.

According to Mashable Social Networking News, LinkedIn has been the new Yellow Pages since 2006.

Mark Brooks adds that "trust follows the channels of social networks."

Should You Send Viewers to LinkedIn and Away from Your "Money Page?"

Duo Consulting reexamines the question "Should you put a link to LinkedIn on a biography page of a law firm website?"

Another example of how the benefits in using LinkedIn outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Getting More out of

Arizona Attorney Marketing writes "I recommend that all of my clients join ... I know a lawyer who picked up a case after just 5 days of being on Linkedin."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Martindale-Hubbell, LinkedIn and Online Networking reports they have added LinkedIn connections within the attorney and law firm profiles, and that they are very excited to be working with LinkedIn.

Larry Bodine provides additional details and analysis on the collaboration.

Legal Watercooler includes a great conversation on the topic.

A Story of Capital Invested Wisely in LinkedIn

Placing Bets on Online Social Networking: A Story of Capital Invested Wisely in LinkedIn
By Renée Barrett

Strategically navigated, social networking can be an invaluable business development tool with limitless potential. But you have to give as well as get to grow your capital on these sites.

Skypecast Interview - Practicing Attorney: David Barrett and his use of LinkedIn

Practicing Attorney: David Barrett and his use of LinkedIn "The Skypecast Interview."

Linked Intelligence on Linkedin Lawyers

Linked Intelligence on Lawyers using Linkedin.

Robert Ambrogi's LawSites Notes The LinkedIn Lawyer

Boston lawyer media writer Robert J. Ambrogi covers this new and intriguing website opening and asks if a large lawyer network touches our inner child.

The LinkedIn and Twittering Lawyer

Law Librarian Blog provides a nice collection of recent news on the LinkedIn lawyering and Twitter lawyer marketing including news about The LinkedIn Lawyer.

Family Lawyer Reputation Damaged with False LinkedIn Profile

Today a after a quick look at my home page, a profile in my "people search" box (set to "lawyer") had a description that caught my eye -

"First Name Last Name"
Dishonest Lawyer at Unethical and Unprofessional Lawyer

I was unpleasantly surprised to read the profile -


This web page was established to show that "First Name Last Name" is a dishonest and unethical lawyer. She is under investigation by the State Bar for violations of the rules of ethics. "First Name Last Name" has lied in court documents and lied to a judge in court.

This web page was not created by "First Name Last Name", obviously.

Everything in this web page is true and correct. This web page was not established with the evil intent or malice. It is intended to be a public service to all.

I contacted the lawyer on the profile, as her photo and real name were used, and a link was provided to her law firm website.

She told me that the person who she believed put up the profile was a person who using this false profile as part of an ongoing campaign of online libel and harassment.

The harasser has falsely used the lawyer's name in order to get people to receive the connection, which is invasive of privacy and fraud. Further this harasser is defaming this lawyer with false information that there are State Bar investigations of her.

We are currently working with LinkedIn to have the profile removed.

Linkedin Learning Center - Attorneys

LinkedIn provides a nice summary for a few ways attorneys can use LinkedIn here in their "LinkedIn Learning Center."

This learning center may not be exhaustive, but it contains useful information for beginners.

Uproar About New LinkedIn Group Policy

The LinkedIn member uproar in response to the new group membership policy (see below) has been widespread, and reviewed widely. I frequently see twits and status updates complaining about the new policy.

As a LinkedIn member previously holding memberships in over 1300 groups, I can feel the pain expressed and well explained by Gary Pool as members are now working to comply with the new policy requirements by the deadline of September 15th. Gary's post is very informative and is a nice use of screen shots.

Chicago area estate planning attorney Laura McFarland-Taylor, Manager of the Estate Planning Lawyer Network group on LinkedIn, asks "why does LinkedIn want to limit the number of groups that you can join to 50? Will less popular groups be eliminated? Is the next step to limit the number of people you can connect with?"

Attorney McFarland-Taylor continues, "I’ve “met” a lot of interesting people through my various groups and I hated having to make the decision of which groups to leave. I created one group and manage another and I am not going to make an effort to create new groups, though I see a need in some areas, particularly in trademark and copyright law. I am definitely not spending as much time on LinkedIn – there’s no point spending time looking through people’s profiles for interesting groups or through the group directory since I can’t join additional groups."

Jason Alba blogs that he saw a huge storm brewing early. Despite the heavy handed way the policy was carried out, Alba believes "that more Group love is to come. It has to come, if you ask me, because Groups are far from functional. It’s funny to me that this has caused such a stir, considering there currently isn’t much value in joining Groups."

He of 27,000 LinkedIn connections - Super-networker Marc Freedman won the support of many when he articulated the recent outrage of many LinkedIn members with a long history of involvement on LinkedIn on

Marc notes that

"Respectfully this action by LinkedIn continues a long history of “improvements” that:
> remove features
> have no user input
> come with no information. There is no FAQ or forums for questions on this change.
> are poorly planned. We won’t provide your more info and you have a week to make changes or else.
> penalize innocent members
> show no respect to legitimate users’ time and energy by not grandfathering changes ..."

he continues and offers an alternative,

"I know of no established company, none as large as LinkedIn, and certainly none that are Web 2.0 and live and die based on user support that act in such a purely anti-user way.

It’s reasonable to:
> respond to user complaints
> set up a user-moderated forum for abuse
> improve your technology to set up a group application process and provide tools to group owners to facilitate better group management and reduce inappropriate memberships.

It’s poor practice to use the blunt instrument of limits that hurts users who have done nothing wrong."

Freedman further explains,

"... My world is no longer defined by real-world groups in my little town. It now includes my metro area, my country, the planet, and purely online communities. If I have an interest in 18th century coastal Chinese architecture or a specific product or web site, the Internet now enables me to find a group with like minded people. Just like this very site at

And many groups have several legitimate subgroups. My college has general, graduation year, and area of interest groups. Major cities have dozens of business and networking groups. I have literally hundreds of areas of interest.

There are dozens of legitimate career and job organizations, each of which offers me different programs, networkers, features, locations, discipline concentrations, etc. and so each gives me unique value."

There has been some defense of LinkedIn and even kudos to how LinkedIn has handled their response to the criticism. LinkedIn Director of Marketing Robert Leathern responds that "groups-related functionality is going to be an important part of LinkedIn's future."

Although The LinkedIn Lawyer is not pleased in a way, I have found the new policy to be an opportunity for improving my networking relationship with group members. The new policy has created the unanticipated networking activity of having to find a qualified member to pass along ownership of one or more of my 100 lawyer networking groups. Careful critics - it is really these human interactions, anticipated or not, created as a result of whatever website configurations there are that bring LinkedIn off of the laptop and into our real professional lives.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Interview

David and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly discuss common questions lawyers have about LinkedIn here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Join Me on Facebook

David A. Barrett's Facebook profile

Facebook is a social networking website that has slight differences from LinkedIn.

I enjoy interacting with my LinkedIn connections on Facebook and getting to know them better and in a different way.