Social websites: What Is It, What Does It Perform, and Why You Should Care

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In case you are like many people, you look at the youth of today typing nonstop on their smartphone keyboards and wonder, “what do they have to express that is so important and to who?! ” Then, with a Scrooge-like “harrumph”, you discount the entirety of social media along with a wave of your hands, brush off the instantaneous global connection and the entire digital regarding the 21st Century. Fine going… you just put your company or law practice driving others.

OK, so you aren’t required to jump into social media and post what you are doing at the most minute to the world. Nevertheless, you should at least understand what it’s all about so you can use it if you need to or know how it is employed in litigation.

As a thing of an aside, this article is, by natural means, not intended to provide legal services or to form an attorney-client relationship with the reader; it is just meant to provide general information concerning the important topic of social websites and their impact on the modern organization and legal practice.

What on earth is Social Media?

By the summertime of 2012, Americans put in something like 120 billion short minutes a month on social media, upwards from 88 billion 12 months earlier. That accounts for well over 30% of all time spent across the internet. Over 600 million men and women now use Facebook, and more, compared to half of all Americans involved in some form of social media account.

Likewise, mobile usage is up immensely with the reduced cost and growth of smartphones. Typically, the usage is up, and you visualize it all around you and hear about the idea regularly. Thus, it’s here to stay for a great deal, better or worse.

OK, so you know you can’t ignore this again, but you’re still not necessarily convinced that you need or use it and wonder exactly what it is. To break this information along succinctly, it can be lumped straight into two general groups, (1) websites that host user-created content, like photos, video, and text postings, along with (2) sites that repeat that content and provide superior internet visibility.

In the initial category, there are some more commonly employed or “older” sites, which suggests more than five years old, for instance, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter, to name a few, and a few arguably less well-known or even “newer” sites like Pinterest, Ezine, Delicious, Squidoo, Slideshare, and About. Me. Likewise, there are old sites within the second category, like Twitter (yes, it also replicates content), Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck and more recent ones such as Sharehaulic, Reddit, and StumbleUpon.

What Does Social networking Do? I mean, What Are The Benefits And Uses?

Okay, now you understand what social media is, you’re likely wondering exactly how it can benefit you. A fascinating phenomenon of social media is that credibility and visibility have merged. When many people accept what an acting professional or actress, for example, states on social media or these people act in a certain way, it demonstrates that those who are visible through social networking have instant credibility using the masses that they attract. This is a strange world where a store’s profits can increase just because of a reality TV show star’s social media postings raving about the store. Still, it is the globe in which we now live and the world that you must understand since it impacts your business and clients.

Other benefits tend to be networking, instantaneous communication, and the sharing of information, knowledge, and documents. I fulfilled a pipe smoker in Okazaki, japan, not long ago on Facebook. We corresponded, and I sent him some sort of corncob pipe and some smoking cigarettes. He has since become the Chief executive of the Pipe Club involving Japan. How amazing is it?! OK, I cheated a little bit because I lived in Okazaki, japan, as a Rotary Exchange Scholar and speak Japanese; nevertheless, without social media, we wouldn’t have been able to connect and build some sort of friendship quickly along the planet.

When I was typically in the Army and stationed throughout South Korea, I almost needed an act involving Congress to get a phone range to call back to the Claims. Now, I can Skype IP telefoni with my old Armed service buddy who was the Government Judge there and have some sort of real-time video and word conversation with him. This technology is available to people, so why not use it? With the choice of my opposition, My spouse and I Skyped my client in mediation not long ago, which saved my client a tremendous sum of money on airfare and resort charges. That is just one method to use social media to reduce expenses in lawsuits and advantage clients.

So Why Should You Treatment – Social Media In Going to court

Now, getting to the heart of the matter, you understand social media, you utilize or are at least willing to give it a try, so how do you integrate it into litigation, or how does this factor in? First, you may already know that the Florida Rules of Municipal Procedure added e-discovery elements on September 1; Electronic data, such as e-mails, are now discoverable within civil lawsuits in Sarasota.

While at present, there is much more Federal case law on the topic, a recent Virginia Condition Court decision sanctioned a lawyer for over $500 000 for allowing his client to get rid of posts and photos through social media sites that were relevant to the situation. The worst part could be that the direction to do so came not really from the attorney but from the paralegal; however, the Courtroom found that the attorney realized of it and allowed the item. While that may be an extreme scenario, the day is not far off when you may have Florida decisions down those lines.

Let me position a hypothetical to underscore the impact of social media on litigation and e-discovery. Let’s take a client who advances a personal injury claim in addition to asserting that he or she can no longer pick up, bend, or whatever. In that case, during the litigation, tom or even a friend of that man posts photos of them water skiing and having a great time inside the hot tub near the slopes. Those pics will make your client pleased when you are defending the case. If you are prosecuting the case, many people probably won’t. As you can see, understanding web 2 . 0 and how to ethically obtain people’s posts are now relevant in addition to an essential part of the practice connected with the law in Florida.

With obtaining electronic data, like these posts, in a court action, parties and their counsel must act in advance to keep this data through such mechanisms as Litigation Maintain Notices. Florida attorneys also need to be aware of and advise their particular clients of the liabilities regarding failure to preserve ESI, whether it be requested or, in some cases, certainly not. For further information on this, you are invited to view the two featured video clips on e-discovery on the website of my site.


In conclusion, Florida attorneys and business people can now find the money to ignore social media. When you may not desire to tell the planet what you think of a movie you merely saw through such content, you at least must understand the basics of social media, and it can impact a lawsuit when you are involved or may afterwards be involved.

As businesses, specifically, gravitate to storing each of their data electronically, and men and women increasingly live in the electronic digital world of social media, you can will no longer ignore social media. It is not as complicated as you likely considered, and once you try it, you can develop more comfort with it and may come to embrace it.

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