Monday, October 05, 2009

It's Complicated

I don't want to bump L'Alex's great post, but the fine folks at the Samuelson Clinic are putting on a conference on "Social Networks: Friends or Foes? Confronting Online Legal and Ethical Issues in the Age of Social Networking." Looks like David Lat will be a panelist. And you can find more info at the website.

Just for my $0.02, I think there are ups and downs. For the time being, I think we're simply experiencing the downs, e.g., yapping about clients, providing way, way too much information for public consumption*, ruining relationships, ruining the English language**, etc. But as technology evolves (see, e.g., Google Wave), I think we'll see some notable changes in the profession, namely long-distance collaboration. Though the speed with which this takes hold will probably depend on breaking the Microsoft Word stranglehold on e-filing and redlining.

*I really don't understand how people post SO MUCH about themselves on facebook. It's nuts. I can find someone's birthday, phone numbers, address, how many of their friends are single, how drunk they got during spring break, and which [Insert TV Show Character] they are according to a horribly designed quiz. Just weird.

** For a contrary view, see this story about research by a Stanford lit professor concluding that Stanford undergrads do not use "LoLz" and "u r a h8er" in online communication.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...



All you posters r h8rs!

10/06/2009 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/06/2009 9:30 AM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

Hmm, I wonder what political campaigns will be like in 30 years... mudslinging based on a candidates' old tweets that "healthcare sux", pictures in Halloween pimp costumes, emo facebook statuses, etc. I can't wait.

10/06/2009 11:01 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Interesting point. I can already imagine the negative political ads:

[Cue black and white, unflattering photo of candidate Y and deep voiced narrator]

"Candidate Y took the Facebook 'Which Philosopher Are You Quiz.'

[Facebook logo at the top of the screen and below it a banner reading "Which Philosopher Are You?"]

And the result was Socrates.

[This pic]

Do we really want the philosophy of an inquisitive pedophile and convicted felon? This ad is paid for by The John Locke Political Action Committee."

10/06/2009 11:16 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Social networks have already started to play a role in campaigns. Anyone remember the Obama staffer in a classic drunk Facebook photo cupping the boob of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton?

Aside from facebook and myspace, the ease of access to anything politicians/pundits have ever said, even just publicly, has forced them to dine on their words much more regularly. Jon Stewart has been fine-tuning this practice for years.

10/06/2009 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facebook played a role in the congressional race to replace Hilda Solis (who became Secretary of Labor). A young Stanford grad ran for the Dem nomination (Emanuel Pleitez) and one of his opponents sent out mailers with one of Pleitez's facebook photos (him and a bunch of Stanford women at a frat party--fully clothed, but drinks in hand) as a smear. Something like "Do you want THIS GUY as your Congressman?"

They both lost.

10/07/2009 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 10:06AM-


10/07/2009 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, 2:42, i'ma let you finish but 10:06 had one of the best comments of all time.

10/07/2009 4:17 PM  

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