"RT @kcarruthers: who do you think has best use of social media by legal firm in Oz? /cc @mysocialpolicy @radhikar @ Rachael Falk (Telstra)"
Naturally, I responded by pointing toward @nortonrose_au. I was the Communications Manager for Norton Rose Australia from 2008-2010 and drove the firm's on-line activities.
But it got me thinking, unless you're in the legal industry you may not know who the largest law firms in Australia are.
So I thought I'd go back and look at what those firms have been doing since the concept first appeared on their collective radars last year (see The New Laywer and Lawyers Weekly stories).
For now, I've chosen to focus on Twitter.
Both the Australian Financial Review and The Australian publish twice yearly surveys of the largest firms in the country. Since the AFR's is behind a paywall and invisible to the Web, I'll use The Australian's and select the ten largest firms by revenue.
You'll find a list of these firms on Norton Rose Australia's page.
Of course, this is just a list of the firm's Twitter accounts, not those of their partners and lawyers. But I'd argue it's a good indicator of the partnerships' overall participation in Web 2.0.
And, as we know, Twitter is not all there is to social media. A more detailed comparison should also look at these firms' participation in other on-line communities (you can see Norton Rose's here).
It's also worth comparing the participation of Australian firms with those in the US and UK. But it's Saturday and we all have better things to do. But US author Adrian Dayton (@adriandayton) was in Australia and met with many of the large firms in March.
Why is this relevant?
It's stating the obvious to say that businesses' participation in social media will require input from their legal advisors. I'd argue that advice is more valuable if it's based on practical experience.
But, this is Web 2.0, you be the judge.