Around the Blawgosphere

Where do you get the best Twitter stats? | How an 'equal opportunity jerk' won a discrimination suit

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How does one find lawyers to follow on Twitter? Robert Ambrogi’s Lawsites has always sent people to LexTweet and Legal Birds. Though Ambrogi notices that “neither of these sites is up-to-date on Twitter ‘stats’—most notably, number of followers. The number of followers someone has on Twitter does not matter much in the real world, but it can be an indication of whether the person is worth following. Plus, both sites list lawyers by number of followers.”

Ambrogi has found a new directory that he also likes: Twtrland. It’s not a lawyer-only Twitter directory, but it has a “legal” category that you can search, and you can drill down to search legal tweeters by location, gender or skills. The site’s profile of each tweeter also includes a range of stats: the average number of retweets and replies the individual gets per 100 tweets; the five other tweeters that individual interacts with most; and the tweeter’s highest-ranked followers.

And “if you find a profile on Twtrland where the numbers appear to be out of date, that’s not a problem,” Ambrogi writes. “Every profile includes a ‘synchronize’ button that instantly updates the stats.”

‘Revenge management culture’ not actionable

“Equal-opportunity jerks may not be in violation of the anti-discrimination laws, but, boy, they sure do get sued a lot,” Molly DiBianca wrote at The Delaware Employment Law Blog. She noted a case in the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals filed by an Atlantic City police officer against the city. She alleged a senior officer made sexual advances toward her for years. Then, once he became her supervisor, “gave her a less desirable work schedule and singled her out for various minor policy violations.” She was eventually transferred and received a cut in pay.

She alleged it was because of her gender, “but she also repeatedly testified to what she called a ‘revenge management’ culture in the department,” according to the opinion (PDF). “That culture, she explained, meant that if you were not liked by a superior, regardless of gender, it was common for the superior to attempt to undermine your career.”

But that characterization did not fly with the 3rd Circuit, which DiBianca said ruled that “‘revenge’ is not unlawful, provided it is equally applied without regard to race, religion, gender, etc.”

Making the news

Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs was recently accepted into Google News.

There are advantages to this, O’Keefe writes. “One, my posts will show up in Google alerts, by email or RSS feeds, when people are monitoring words I reference. Two, people searching Google News will see my posts in the results. And three, my gut tells me having my posts in Google news buttresses my influence under Google authorship—that will influence general Google search results over time.”

A blogger first has to get into compliance with Google’s Publisher Guidelines, which stipulate both technical requirements and guidelines as far as content, O’Keefe wrote. Getting into compliance is no small thing, and there’s no guarantee your blog will be accepted. “Heck, it may have taken me almost 10 years of blogging,” he said.

O’Keefe provides a breakdown of requirements in his post, but leads off with one general caveat: “Lawyers and law firms should pay particular attention to the quality guidelines for Google News. Google is looking for journalistic content independent of any promotional or marketing copy. “

Blogger takes on Amazon

George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin, author of Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter, noted at the Volokh Conspiracy that he was alarmed to see that Amazon had raised the price of the Kindle edition of said book to $20.19 from $15.37. He had been trying unsuccessfully to discuss the issue with someone at Amazon, but was having no success. He reached out to his readers for help.

Within 24 hours, the price of the Kindle edition was back to $15.37, and Somin thanked a reader with an Amazon contact for intervening on his behalf in a follow-up post.

“In response to the many commenters and others who raised the issue, I should note that—long before this particular incident—I did all I could to urge the publisher to lower the price of the book on their end, as well,” Somin wrote. “For example, it was my idea to have an initial paperback edition of the book instead of just a hardcover (which would have been more expensive).”

Is this part of a trend of legal scholars looking out for their readers? Earlier this week, we noted how law professor-bloggers Eric Goldman and Rebecca Tushnet forsook publishers altogether and self-published an e-casebook for $10.

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