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Denise Howell Denise Howell
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Dennis M. Kennedy Dennis M. Kennedy
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Tom Mighell Tom Mighell
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Marty Schwimmer Marty Schwimmer
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Ernest Svenson Ernest Svenson
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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at dhowell@gmail.com.

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at tmighell@swbell.net.

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at marty@schwimmerlegal.com.

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at esvenson@gmail.com.
About this blog
Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
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May 25, 2006

Generations, Culture, And Corporate Communications

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Posted by Denise Howell

Our co-blogger Dennis Kennedy is quoted today in the New York Times: Interns? No Bloggers Need Apply. Dennis' interesting, and I'm sure far more nuanced, discussion with reporter Anna Bahney was distilled down to a truth about modern attitudes toward personal values and employment — "It's like, 'This is who I am. Consequences are what they are. I'll go work for someone who doesn't have a problem with it.'" Just as she missed the chance to round out her piece with more of Dennis' well-considered insights on this topic, the reporter missed the opportunity to tell the more accurate, important, and complicated story. Specifically, Ms. Bahney took the approach that the issue of individuals, their blogs, and their employers, is one of youth culture vs. Killjoy Lawyer III and co. E.g.:

[T]he line between what is public and what is private is increasingly fuzzy for young people comfortable with broadcasting nearly every aspect of their lives on the Web, posting pictures of their grandmother at graduation next to one of them eating whipped cream off a woman's belly. For them, shifting from a like-minded audience of peers to an intergenerational, hierarchical workplace can be jarring.

(Emphasis added.) While I appreciate the clever juxtaposition, and the point that there undeniably is a generation gap between the online mores of under-thirty-somethings and their elders, to suggest that boundary blurring of this sort is an issue unique to the young is to ignore at least the last six years of Web-enabled communications. And to note almost in passing that "some bloggers" say "[a] blog and a job don't necessarily have to clash," is to ignore at least three years worth (and counting) of seismic shift in corporate attitudes toward communications with the outside world. Yes, it's a slow change. But to suggest the change isn't happening — "No Bloggers Need Apply" — misses the boat, and here, I fear, resulted in an alarmist headline and a story that attempted to paint the varied picture of today's business attitudes and relationships with a two-color palette.

[Update:] Slashdotters weigh in.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL News | Blawgs | Blogging Policies | Copyright | Ethics and Technology | Intellectual Property and Technology Law | Open Source Lawyering | Practice of Law | Privacy | Technology


COMMENTS

1. madame l. on May 26, 2006 4:29 AM writes...

your slashdot link has an extra h in the http.

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2. Denise Howell on May 26, 2006 9:56 AM writes...

Very unSlashdot of me, thanks much.

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3. Mark Federman on May 26, 2006 6:05 PM writes...

A very unfortunate article, as it will likely embolden traditional corporations that are conceived and grounded in the concepts of 19th century control, rather than the types of diverse engagement and connections that are more consistent with the ubiquitously connected and pervasively proximate (UCaPP) world.

It will take time (that is, sufficient time for those who were socialized with an industrial age mentality to retire and die), but those who have never not known instant connections will eventually forge a new corporate ethos that respects transparent connections, and the concommitant behaviour they engender.

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4. Denise Howell on May 28, 2006 3:14 PM writes...

Thanks Mark, great comment, and nice to learn of your blog.

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