Law Review: #Twitteratigate ! A response to The Lawyer list of top legal tweeters….

I am not a fan of ludicrous lists of top tweeters, top bloggers blah blah blah. Invariably (Inevitably – for no-one can know all the tweeters or bloggers?) they are inaccurate or, if subjective, based on whim.  The Lawyer published a list of ‘Top Legal Tweeters’ written by fellow blogger David Allen Green last week.  It was inaccurate and, rightly, Brian Inkster has taken David Allen Green to task – not simply for failing to note that Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom but also for getting his facts wrong on the top legal tweeters in England as well.

Brian Inkster of The Time Blawg puts the fact into fact and then puts the boots in… both of them!

The Lawyer excludes Scotland and top Twegals from UK Legal Twitter list! #Twitteratigate2

Scotland no more

No Scots Law Twegals (legals who tweet) amongst those unless we include @Charonqc who whilst now living in London hails originally from the north side of Hadrian’s Wall

Once bitten, twice shy – Not The Lawyer!

The Lawyer has, in the past, published law firm Twitter lists produced by PR agencies/marketers that were less than credible. I have already looked at these on The Time Blawg in ‘Law Firm Twitteratigate – The Whole Story’ #Twitteratigate and ‘UK Law Firms with Klout – A Clearer Picture’ #Kloutgate. In the latter of those two posts I commented that “one would have thought that The Lawyer would have learned a lesson from Law Firm Twitteratigate”. Clearly not, as they are now actually creating such stories themselves! #Twitteratigate2

Will we someday actually see a well researched, comprehensive and objective look at the state of legal tweeting in the UK?

For my part – I do hope no-one has the time to waste on  research on tweeting…. I prefer to tweet.  I cannot imagine that David Allen Green intended to exclude anyone – but there is more to twitter than meets anyone’s eye….Perhaps best to stick with ‘evidence based factual analysis’ ?

I do agree, however, with Brian Inkster’s response to my tweet pouring friendly scorn on these meedja lists:  He tweeted that it is important for legal newspapers not to mislead.  Indeed.  For the avoidance of doubt – I do not blame anyone for this… twitter is just a social meedja tool and supposed to be fun… and David’s article was done in that context.. as, I am sure, is Brian’s!

We must not take twitter or ourselves on twitter too seriously… that would be an error!

23 thoughts on “Law Review: #Twitteratigate ! A response to The Lawyer list of top legal tweeters….

  1. Remember a world when we didn’t yearn quite so much for social validation? We just got on with it, best foot forward stuff. People need validation hence the creation of measures but in a world of content measure becomes less relevant. Content is highly subjective. In a content rich world who or what wrote it is less important when compared to ‘it makes sense’ or ‘I liked that.’

    Arguably these huge follow networks are massively inefficient and, I suspect, heavily weighted towards people with little or no legal inclination. I also think that they are probably lazy follows, a legacy from the early adoption days maybe.

    Inefficient because, as Brian raises, there is the Dunbar 150.

    I think we still have some way to go on the ego aspect aspect of social media (and I don’t exclude myself) as we learn, develop and evolve. The fawning and adoration will fade away when people work out what they want and how to share it. People seen as relevant today will become irrelevant if they do not continue to add value or become stale.

    There is only one network, our own, and we shape it how we see fit, increasing, decreasing, adding and subtracting to get the most value we can find. What drives that shaping is value…how much do you value your network?

  2. I value twitter as a social medium. I have met many interesting people – virtually and face to face.

    I have blogged for nearly 10 years.. on WordPress since 2006. I value those who care to read and those who have time to comment – because I can learn about different ideas and perspectives.

    That is one of the reasons I spend so much time podcasting – it gives me pleasure to blog and podcast and if others enjoy – so much the better!.

    I can’t really be bothered with building lists. I tend to follow more people now on twitter – because there are more lawyers and other people with interests which attract my attention.

    I got rid of about 1500 spambots from my twitter account some time back to reduce my follower count… but… it is a tiresome task!

    I really do not like so called ‘Top 10’ lists…

    Who cares? I can’t believe that many do?

  3. It is what you want it to be Mike. We have all gone through the “I know better” process, ultimately it achieves little. You do what you want with what you want…I am just a bit obsessive about efficiency, but that’s me 😉

  4. Jon… I think you have nailed it…. Wise words.

    Above all… twitter, for me, is about information and pleasure…and amusement!

    I know more law and life now than in the days when I was running law schools and teaching… that is a plus!

  5. Agree, it’s all about value, receiving it and equally sharing it.

    I think it’s a powerful tool if used wisely, I am surprised lawyers don’t use it more.

    The big thing it can do is give you instant access to people doing interesting things, tap into their world fast. You can decide to just listen or engage, ask, challenge even. A solo can plug into a rich tech developer in seconds and they can both share and learn. All the pretence of status and hierarchy are removed.

  6. Since when has some kind of competitiveness come into either blogging or twittering? We do it mainly because we enjoy it. List are invidious as well as not comprehensive and can only reflect the view of the list writer anyway. Another writer – a different list !

  7. Obiter J – Amen to that

    We blog because we wish to. I refuse all awards… even real life sensible awards which I have been offered.

    There are some superb bloggers out there who do not tweet….. long may that continue.

  8. “All the pretence of status and hierarchy are removed” – very wise words, as I think are all the above comments. Lists are boring and irrelevant. Twitter can help you connect with people you would never have met otherwise. Why fence it off into cliques? Don’t know why The Lawyer fell for this nonsense.

    • Same reason social media is touted and over played around the conference circuits Jon. It’s shiny, fashionable enabling justifiable discourse with ‘the third limb,’ our devices. Its all blown way out of proportion by shoe horning (false) value in as opposed to growing (real) value from within and then out.

  9. At the risk of being virtually stoned, what is wrong with a little old list? It’s a useful way for readers to find and connect with interesting tweeters, bloggers, lawyers, people…Does it matter that everyone’s list would be different? Can’t we have a list without it being a definitive list?

    It strikes me there is a lot of pointless competition between lists, perhaps more so than between tweeters or bloggers. Top tens can be superficial and uninformative, and we are all free to ignore them. However, just like a Blawg Review a list can also be a useful format and I think David’s recent list is a good example of a good use of it (but then I’m on it so I would say that). But it’s ultimately just a way of saying “here are some things I find interesting, you might do to”. Untwist your knickers gentlemen.

    Lucy “not quite in the top ten legal tweeters” Reed @familoo

  10. Flawgers are the root cause of “Top 10” lists. They thrive on their own irrelevancy. They have nothing to say and 140 characters and keywords to say it with. Social media marketing is premised on exploiting the vices of lawyers: sloth, greed, envy.

    Sloth: Far too many lawyers no longer want or need to devote the time or interest in building a professional reputation from the ground up. It is all about spontaneous lawyer combustion: SEO, Klout and Peer Index scores, Twitter follower counts, etc.

    Greed: Far too many lawyers entered into a profession for which they were ill-suited; treating the practice of law and clients as solely a means to an end.

    Envy: Some lawyers are, by their nature and circumstances, meta-competitive. They view the internet as the Leviathan and that we operate in an Hobbesian state of nature. They compete with each other (and as I understand it now with ABS in the UK,with supermarkets) for a limited supply of clients. The practice of law to them remains “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.

    In Canada, we are no less immune to this rank, ranking phenomenon.

    Exhibit “A”: The Lawyers Weekly article by Jordan Furlong and Warren Smith: The 24: Canada’s top legal social media influencers:

    Thankfully, I was excluded from consideration, otherwise; I would have parodied it mercilessly.

  11. David – I have lost interest completely in anything to do with twitter… twitterati….. or blawging competitions. I shall not be covering anything to do with such matters on my blog in future.

    I shall tweet for social pleasure… and I shall take the same line with blogging.

    I have no interest in lists, awards, self congratulatory activities of any kind.

    Time to go back to the good old days of blogging… and plough my own furrow….. if people wish to tweet with me or read my blog – great.

  12. David…apropos of your blog post cited above… a few questions / points:

    Forgive me for pointing out the bleeding obvious but even a casual glance at your article in the Lawyer points to a few possible contradictions in your post linked above..

    1. The header for the article in The Lawyer says…
    The UK’s Top Legal Tweeters in October 2011: A personal view

    You say “Nowhere did I say these were the top nine. That is why I did not tabulate them. It wasn’t intended to be a chart of any kind.”

    Yet… you then go on to say “The UK legal tweeters currently with the most followers turn out to be a mixed bunch.”

    It turns out that the names listed were not the UK tweeters currently with the most followers – as Brian Inkster pointed out – unless I misread Inkster’s post?

    It turns out that Brian Inkster’s data was more accurate than your own – as he found UK legal tweeters with significantly higher followers.

    2. When you say that you are not writing on behalf of The Lawyer… why is it that your post is tailed with the sign off…

    “David Allen Green (@davidallengreen!/DavidAllenGreen ) is media correspondent of The Lawyer”

    I accept that you state in the header that you are making a personal statement – but…had you not been the media correspondent of The Lawyer – would they have published?

    It really doesn’t matter that much to me – I could not care less how many followers people have – but I do think that this debate has become rather unpleasant and that was exemplified on twitter this morning.

    I have only one question. Is it necessary to be patronising and unpleasant to tweeters to succeed in law? Discuss.

    • In this wonderful age of digital that solves everything apparently could we not just reverse time, get out a marker pen and rename the whole bloody thing,

      “Twitter, this is what I think, could be right, could be wrong. Either way its a free to read point of view not a declaration of war.” by DAG.

      You know what I find really funny. Not the article, that’s just waffle. It’s the clear demo of how little many lawyers know about social media. You could not pay to watch this…comedy gold.

  13. 9.13pm

    “….I have lost interest completely in anything to do with twitter… twitterati….. or blawging competitions. I shall not be covering anything to do with such matters on my blog in future”.

    That lasted to 9.59pm 🙂

    Otherwise, nothing to add to my post.

  14. Jon – The Lawyer had already got out that marker pen: “a personal view” was only added by The Lawyer to the headline of the article after I published my post on The Time Blawg!

    I would pick up on Lucy’s point: Nothing wrong with tweeps publishing their own favourite lists. That is in effect their Follow Friday list: highlighting tweeps that they like and you might like to follow also. The section Lucy was in within David’s article clearly fell into that category. The first section, however, sought as I saw it (although David disagrees) to list the top Twegals based on follower numbers. This was to anyone reading the article, that did not know David’s apparent intentions, an objective fact based list rather than a subjective based one. Easy enough to get those facts fairly correct if you put your mind to it. The simple point is that if you are doing a subjective list make it clear that it is a list of your personal top Twegals (when you write it and not after the event).

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