Researching Social Media

May 5, 2010



Social media sites are getting a lot of coverage lately.  Avoiding liability in this realm involves maybe a little more than common sense.  Yesterday, we learned one law firm launched a practice group dedicated to social media.

A quick tip to get  research started in this area is to start broad and locate. Remember, when in transactional searching, locates are free. You can do as many as you need at no additional charge.

I would  start with a broad search like the one below. I ran it in three different databases to give you a sense of the sheer volume of material out there on this topic.
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Search: SOCIAL-MEDIA SOCIAL-NETWORK! BLOG BLOGGER BLOGGING MYSPACE FACEBOOK TWITTER /P PRIVATE PRIVATELY PRIVACY SECURE SECURED SECURITY

Database: TP-ALL (2788 Docs)
Database: ALLCASES (135 Docs)
Database: ALLNEWS (9513 Docs)
* Please note that without identifying duplicate documents, the ALLNEWS search would jump to more than 50,000 hits.

Now the average person is not going to have the time (or the patience) to go through 135 cases or secondary sources and articles whose numbers are in the thousands. Instead, use locates to narrow the searches to more manageable numbers. Locating by fields is a great way to narrow your result lists.

Try the following:

Locate: TI,PR(SOCIAL-MEDIA SOCIAL-NETWORK! BLOG BLOGGER BLOGGING MYSPACE FACEBOOK TWITTER /P PRIVATE PRIVATELY PRIVACY SECURE SECURED SECURITY)

Database: TP-ALL (101 Docs)
Database: ALLNEWS (382 Docs).

Another great way to reduce the size of your result lists, provide more relevant results, and save you time is to add additional terms to narrow the search or decrease your connectors.

Try:

Locate: (SOCIAL-MEDIA SOCIAL-NETWORK! BLOG BLOGGER BLOGGING MYSPACE FACEBOOK TWITTER /P PRIVATE PRIVATELY PRIVACY SECURE SECURED SECURITY /S EMPLOY! /S LIAB!)

Database: TP-ALL (24 Docs)
Database: ALLNEWS (17 Docs)

Locate: (SOCIAL-MEDIA SOCIAL-NETWORK! BLOG BLOGGER BLOGGING MYSPACE FACEBOOK TWITTER /P PRIVATE PRIVATELY PRIVACY SECURE SECURED SECURITY /S EMPLOY!)

Database: ALLCASES (14 Docs)[/print_this]