As you know, I’m part of a team working to create something new – Martindale-Hubbell Connected, a professional network for lawyers that draws on the depth and power of Martindale’s existing base of global lawyer information.
About half of all lawyers use networking sites such as LinkedIn. The market clearly believes this form of networking is here to stay in the legal industry, as evidenced by results from Leader Networks’ survey this year (“Why online networking matters to attorneys”). Yet some have questioned whether Martindale-Hubbell is the right organization to lead the way down this road.
Martindale-Hubbell has a leg up on other professional networking efforts for lawyers – it already has the network, in the form of profiles of over one million legal professionals in the US and elsewhere. In the print era, the value of the Martindale directory was its ubiquity – lawyers knew it was the place to find any attorney, and knew they would find detailed information with a consistent structure. Web 1.0 made that ubiquity less valuable, because a lawyer’s own web site became an effective substitute for the Martindale listing as the preferred way to be “found” online. By linking those profiles to a Web 2.0 network, the ubiquity is once again valuable for its instant access to myriad cross-connections between people.
Read his full analysis, “How to Build a Professional Network: First, Find a Million People.” (PDF)