Category Archives: slideshare

The Future of Twitter (maybe)

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90’s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at] or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl 🙂

The Interactive Intranet

With thanks to R. Todd Stephens of Atlanta, Georgia for tweeting about this presentation. Mr. Stephens is a perennial source of information and can be found on Twitter under the handle @rtodd.

how I manage these days

Ed. Note: I thought some of you might like to know what applications I use in the office these days and for what.  If you’re not interested then ignore this post. If you are interested or would like to suggest a better alternative, please have a look. – MMH

Internet-based collaboration platforms streamline communications, help keep everyone on the same page, reduce the cost of communications, boost productivity, etc. I currently use a series of simple, inexpensive systems that do the job at the right price ($0 is always the right price). Here they are (office tools)

37 Signals is legendary. They only invented the signature programming langugae that made Web 2.0 into … well, Web 2.0. Their productivity suite consists of a series of component pieces, any of which can be used alone, and all of which are free up through a certain amount of usage. Even then the charge is modest.  I currently keep contacts, manage my appointments, do my billing, and prepare and send invoices, all through web-based tools like these for about $12/mo.  


I also use (billing and time) (invoicing) (reminders) (micro-messages/SMS) (voice to text)


Of course there are many, many other choices – most of which are feature-rich and at least as attractive (if not more so) than the services listed above. One such alternative is lawyer-specific service Clio which I think will be a big winner.


How about you? What are you using to get things done?

meet your next Associate …


To: Partners, Professors, Deans, Members of the Legal Establishment

From: Your Future

Re: Your Next Associate or other Hire



First, congratulations are in order. You’ve managed a masterwork of social engineering, keeping law students and young lawyers under your collective thumbs for 200 years (give or take). No easy feat.



Second, kudos on using the time-honored pyramid-scheme/MLM techniques that pass for a business model in law firms around America. Even we in the Future didn’t think that Clients, Law Schools, Law Students, and the rest of the population could be fooled for that long. Just goes to show what we know.



Finally, we salute your never give-up, never-give-in, never-think-things-through attitude. Who says you need to change with the times? Let the times change with you, we say!



But just in case any of you actually becomes aware of this post (and why would you — you don’t need or care a fig about blogs), we thought we would introduce you to Charlie … he’s smart, agile, mobile, and demanding. Uh … maybe we spoke too soon about that ‘congratulations’ thing. We’ll get back to you on that.




Your Future

P.S. Send money. We don’t make nearly as much as you used to …