Don’t Just Repeat Others; Write Original Content

(photo from the_amanda)
How often do you see the same content on blogs? Something happens, and every blogger with a keyboard writes up a post about it. But they’re all the same!

Look at Google’s launch of themes for your personalized homepage. How many posts filled your RSS reader with the exact same “news”? I saw at least 10 that all said “you can put a theme on your homepage.” The blogosphere has been crazily buzzing about this.

Please don’t think …

Blog Power – Search for Law Firm and Find ME

Many lawyers and law firms wonder why they should care about blogs. I’ll tell you why.

Blogs have power.

Blogs are frequently-updated, dynamic information sources. Bloggers have reader bases to influence. Blogs get traffic. We rank in search engines, right there with your firm.

(click to enlarge)
Here’s a great example. I wrote a post two days ago. It was about the profit sharing letters Winstead keeps sending me. Ironically, the same day …

Easy Ways to Stikkit to Your Computer

If you haven’t yet heard of stikkit, you’re missing out. In short, this is an online repository for digital sticky notes. But it’s also much more than that.

Stikkit actually thinks for you. When you type in certain things, stikkit understands what you mean and can do the appropriate actions with your note. You can make tasks, contacts (or “peeps”), calendar items, bookmarks, and more! For a great introduction to this service, check out Merlin’s awesome stikkit demo.

The …

Sidebar – Change Your Wallpaper to Refresh and Inspire

This is my first “sidebar” post. These will be posts that don’t fit the blog’s theme, but are fun and light. We all need a little levity, right?

Here’s a fun and refreshing activity for any computer user: change your wallpaper. You probably sit in front of that monitor at least 8 hours a day. Why not vary it up?!

I’ve got a list to share of free wallpaper directories. Browse through and find something you like!

Desktopography – I’m listing this first, since it’s incredibly amazing. It’s an …

No Offer from Summer Firm (Winstead), but Eligible for Profit Sharing?!

As some of you readers might know, I was headed down the big firm track last year (2L summer), but I didn’t get offers from my summer firms. It seemed to be financial reasons on their part, but whatever. I’ve got a great job now, working for a fantastic non-profit. I’m pumped!

Even though I didn’t get an offer from Winstead, I am apparently eligible for their retirement and profit sharing plan. Here is part of a letter I just received from them. This is the THIRD profit sharing …

Control Your Computer and Dictate with Windows Vista Speech

One of the coolest features of Windows Vista is the speech recognition software. It’s actually usable!

Do anything with only your voice

Vista lets you easily control your entire computer, with nothing but your voice. You can control windows, open/close programs, dictate text, and even browse the web. It’s quite powerful.

Dictation – When your cursor is somewhere that accepts text (like Microsoft Word), you can simply speak. The words are then typed into the program.

Commands – The program recognizes a variety of special commands to manipulate the cursor, windows, and other things on your computer. You can …

Twitter Provides Stream of Consciousness “Blogging”

Many people (who aren’t bloggers) see blogging as a stream of consciousness, personal journal type of communication. In fact, many bloggers write merely to journal their thoughts, keep up with friends, and similar reasons.

However, there are a myriad of other reasons to blog, particularly for business and to earn money. Mainstream society is finally realizing that blogs are reputable and effective means of marketing and conducting online business. The focus of blogs has thus changed.

Where does Twitter fit into this? In my opinion, it’s filling the stream of consciousness blogging niche. As …

LexisNexis Took me to Lunch and Gave me a Toy!

One thing I’m definitely going to miss about law school is being bribed by LexisNexis and Westlaw. For those of you who don’t know, both these companies continually throw free things at law students, hoping that we will primarily use their research system when we start practicing. It’s a great arrangement!

Our school had a really good Lexis presentation yesterday, by one of the Virginia law firm representatives. She highlighted some of the different practice tools Lexis has, and how they can be useful down the road.

The best part of attending …

Get Anonymous Law Firm Associate Feedback

There’s an interesting article posted over at the [non]billable hour by Matt Homann. The focus of this post is on The Gorb, which is an online reputation monitoring service (reviewed by TechCrunch).

Matt questions whether law firms would be willing to get anonymous feedback from their clients. While that’s an interesting thought, my take on this is to use it for getting associate feedback.

How many of you Big Law associates actually get to …

16 Easy Tips for Better IM Etiquette

Have you ever been merrily working along, only to be IM’d with a two-paragraph question, totally unrelated to your current project? Perhaps someone IM’d you a cryptic message and then signed off, so you cannot ask for clarification.

These are perfect instances for some IMiquette lessons. Here’s Andrew’s 16 rules for IM etiquette.

1. Read status messages. Nothing is more annoying than to have your status as “Do Not Disturb,” only to be IM’d about a low priority project. Respect a person’s status!

2. Use status messages. If everyone would respect status messages, more people would use them …

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