The reason I’m sick of it is because around 50% of the law blog items I’ve read in the last week or so have been about Twitter. Since Twitter is supposedly the wave of the future and law students are going to be practicing law in the future, I thought I’d mention it.
Twitter, for those of you who suck at technology, is “a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.”
Still don’t get it? Its like if every time you updated your Facebook status, your new status message was changed on Facebook like normal, but also texted to all of your Facebook friends’ phones, emailed to them, and/or added to their RSS feed.
There’s been a fairly heated debate (dramatically dubbed, “The Twitter Wars”) in the legal blogosphere about the importance of incorporating Twitter into one’s law practice. David Giacalone over at f/k/a fired a warning shot across the Twitter bow last week, essentially arguing that Twitter is a waste of time, a trend, and a distraction.
Giacalone’s missive apparently angered Kevin O’Keefe at Lex Blog, who immediately posted a reply which essentially called Giacalone ignorant and prejudiced and argued that Twitter was “adding a lot to many lawyers’ lives.” The argument for Twitter, according to Mr. O’Keefe, is that Twitter helps lawyers market themselves, obtain answers to questions, and enjoy the practice of law.
As a typical technology-craving millennial, I understand the basic appeal of sites like Twitter. It’s thrilling to discover new technologies and put them to use in your daily life. I’m not sure I can get with this one, though.
For one thing, I don’t know anybody who actually uses Twitter, and it’s been around for a while. I signed up for it to check it out and I don’t think, even if people I knew were on it, that I’d really want to hear a one sentence explanation of what they were doing. I highly doubt that I would respond to their questions, and I don’t see how it helps your marketing presence to have people that already know about you receive brief updates on your thoughts and activities.
New technologies can absolutely help lawyers succeed in practice, but I don’t think Twitter will live up to all of the law blog hype it’s been getting. Someday we may spend as much of our time tweeting as we do blogging or screwing around on Facebook, but that Twitter time is not now.
Maybe, like Giacalone, I’m ignorant, but I’m not prejudiced. If you’re a law student and you buy into the Twitter prophecy, or you’re already a member of the Twitter revolution, then I guess you’ve got your bases covered. If not, it definitely doesn’t hurt to get acquainted with Twitter in case it does blow up in the professional world. These "wars," however, are getting pretty tiresome. Give peace a chance.