Forbes released its annual top 50 most powerful people on Social Media today. Don’t expect to see any celebrities in their list. The focus of their criteria is that the person has to be creating their own content and that content needs to be about social media. Hayden Shaughnessy’s article “Who Are the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 2013?” also includes a link for you to rate your own “Pull.”
What would the end of the year and the start of a new one be without the seemingly never-ending lists of the top stories from the previous year. There was a lot of jockeying for position among the major players last year. Jolie O’Dell provides a list of the top ten rivalries in “Social Media Fight Club! Top Tiffs from 2012.” While the focus here is not overtly legal in most cases, the article does help to paint a picture of how the social media landscape is looking going into 2013.
Given the new laws passed recently in numerous states such as New York, New Jersey, California, South Carolina, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Massachusetts, it is more important than ever to have a clear social media policy in place in your organization. The policy must, of course, be compliant with the law and serve the best interests of company and employees alike. Elizabeth M Ebanks provides some excellent advice in her article “Have No Fear: 5 Steps to Implementing an Effective Social Media Policy.”
There may still be loopholes for private employers to institute social media policies that limit their employees’ right to freedom of speech. Koch Industries current social media policy raises a number of questions about what a private company can or can’t do legally. Brendan Fischer’s article “Koch Social Media Policy May Be Unlawful; Employers Still Have Broad Leeway to Limit Employee Speech” points out several disturbing developments.
This is a subject that most people don’t want to contemplate, but it’s definitely something you should be thinking about. Who controls your posts on Facebook and Twitter after you die? As of right now, it is the social media site itself. The sites are the ones who set the policy, but a push for new federal regulations may change that. This could be an issue of particular concern when it comes to issues of intellectual property. What about any material that might be copyrighted? It’s not just a matter of personal information that may be stored online; there may also be valuable intellectual property stored there. ScienceDaily’s article “Federal Law Needed to Safeguard ‘Digital Afterlives’, Expert Argues” draws on the article “Facebook’s Afterlife” by Jason Mazzone.
Governor Jerry Brown very appropriately tweeted that he had signed the social media privacy bills. He later followed up with a press release. The Los Angeles Times online version carried the story “Gov. Jerry Brown Tweets That He Signed Social Media Privacy Bills.”
Law firms can use social media to gain client insight, to maintain competitive analysis, to gauge their own online presence, and to gain insight into trends and changes in practice and industry. Client and competitive information are the focus of larger firms while smaller firms and sole practitioners tend to focus on information about the practice of law. The wealth of information available makes the use of listening platforms particularly helpful for law firms. Mark Hinkle explains how “Listening Platforms Provide Competitive Intelligence for Law Firms.”
As the school year really starts to heat up in law schools across the country, here’s an article that recommends one more subject: embracing social media. Menachem Wecker’s article, “Law Students Should Embrace Social Media, Study Suggests,” outlines the reasons that law students should be plugged in. Students should be using social media platforms to control their online professional reputation and be prepared to build client relationships through them. Law schools themselves may be slower to embrace these practices.
Thinking about applying to law school? Social media can help or hurt your chances of getting in. Shawn P. O’Connor provides some useful tips in “Use Social Media to Get Into Law School.”
Ever wonder what makes a social media lawyer different from any other lawyer? “What the Heck Does a Social Media Lawyer Do Anyway?” gives a thorough overview to the major issues that a social media lawyer might be involved in. It’s not surprising that in a fast-paced and ever changing environment like social media, a social media lawyer can expect a great deal of variety to come their way.