(ACC Docket — September)
Much to the chagrin of those who know me well, I am a creature of habit. I sit on the same side in church; the same car and even seat on the commuter train. It upsets me if someone sits in “my seat.” Yes, I know it’s not really mine, but I am in my comfort zone. If I take a different commuter train, then I have to adjust to new conductors and new passengers. It’s almost like being in a new city. But, we all know how comforting yet constricting routine can be.
I cut my professional teeth in the print world of communication. Translated, that means I know what a pica pole is. I also know that a wax machine is not only for cleaning up your eyebrows and I am pretty good with X-Acto knives. I worked on my college newspaper before PageMaker or Quark even hit the design scene. Even so, I have embraced the online world and new technologies; however, I am usually not a first adopter unless it is effective. So, imagine how uncomfortable I was when two ACC colleagues introduced me to microblogging via Twitter. I had a LinkedIn profile that I had to complete since it was going to be posted on my Twitter page. I set up my Twitter account, @eicdocket, in February 2009, and have completely embraced the concept of social media. My LinkedIn account is used at least five times a week. But you won’t catch me on other sites — I only have so much time.
Twitter gives me access to topics and people I normally would not know about or communicate with. Since Twitter only allows 140 character, it forces me to write succinctly — a trait all of us should strive for. It serves as a communication tool for my employer when we launch a new magazine issue, blog post or news event. Yes, I even use it for personal observations, comments or thoughts; I use my best judgment to make sure I don’t take it too far. However, this isn’t always the case online, and employers are grappling with how to deal with social media because it’s not going away.
This month’s ACC Docket cover story, “Are You Building a House of Cards? Social Networking in the Office” asks if you have a clear social media policy for your clients because “what happens in Vegas,” doesn’t always stay there. And, if you need more on social media, then read “Identifying the Legal Issues Lurking Behind Walls and Tweets” and “Social Media Game Plan: IP and Marketing Law Playbook.”
If your multinational company is not familiar with US-style discovery, make sure you read “Tips and Traps in Conducting Discovery of Foreign Corporations.” “Building Blocks for Corporate Ethics” is an excellent refresh of your knowledge in this area. Protecting your customers’ privacy should always be a priority, so “A Balancing Act: Protecting Customer Interests and Privacy Online” helps in-house counsel strike a balance between the two. Further, neither in-house nor outside counsel should miss “Evidence Preservation Warfare: Ediscovery Lessons Learned from AMD v. Intel.” Written by AMD’s legal team, this piece provides excellent points to remember as you preserve data within your company.
Make sure you always read our columnists. We knew their work was award-winning even before publishing peers told us so. Infusing humor, perspective and knowledge in 700 words or less is never easy. Try doing it in 140 character or less. See you on Twitter.