Blog Post

The Revolution was, in fact, Tweeted. Malcolm Gladwell revisited.


You may recall that back in October, I wrote a blog post critiquing Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece entitled, “Why the revolution will not be tweeted.” I concluded by writing, “Despite what Malcolm Gladwell says – I’m absolutely convinced that the next revolution will, in fact, be tweeted.”

Turns out I was right. And it’s taken only 4 months for history to prove the social media curmudgeons like Gladwell wrong. The events of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya are spectacular examples of the transformative power of social media. (Check out PBS’s Frontline documentary on Egypt to learn the degree to which social media was instrumental to the success of the uprising.)

I also think that it’s important to revisit another theme of my October blog post: Social media is not a silver bullet. Alone, social media will not bring about a revolution. And, alone, it will not build your legal practice. It’s just another marketing tool to add to the list of things you are already doing (articles, speaking, email newsletter, networking).

Furthermore, consider how the “new media” can work hand in hand with the old. Jordan Furlong, the legal marketing expert, recently made this point in a fantastic blog post. Here’s a snippet:

“One of the most effective ways to get the attention of old media is through the strategic use of new media. Blogs, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are…extremely handy ways to establish your expertise with editors, reporters and news producers. And they come with the attractive feature of bring virtually free.”

Here’s my message (again) to social media curmudgeons: Social media is not a silver bullet. However, it can be revolutionary. Perhaps it's time you take another look.


3 comments... read them below or add one.
  1. Don’t worry about the curmudgeons. They’re always marginal, and will reliably lead the slouching march to LaBrea.

    -Mike O’Horo, Co-Founder at RainmakerVT
    [email protected]

  2. I love your “cranky attorney” routine. It’s something I deal with regularly with my professional service firms. But the clients who “get” social media are dreams.

    -Leah Swearingen, Swearingen Communications

  3. Twitter’s application and usefulness in marketing professional services is still very much a work in progress. Currently, approximately 36% of the adult population has Twitter accounts; of those, approximately 5% routinely log on to check their Tweets. Many law firms have web sites only because they seem to believe that maintaining a web site is required to give the firm some credibility, just like carrying a business card. But, when I first started to practice law some 35 years ago, there were a handful of elite white shoe law firms which did not allow their partners to use business cards. Like televisions, business cards obviously became de rigueur. Web sites followed. Then blogs. Is Twitter next? Probably.

    For a really interesting – in fact remarkable — use of Twitter in the marketing of legal services, see

    In the interim, I invite you to follow me on Twitter @jerrykowalski

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