Really interesting little spat going on over at Nick Holmes’s Binary Law blog about whether Martindale Hubbell’s 'Connected' social networking site for lawyers is any good/worth getting into/old before it’s even born, it seems.

I like Holmes’s blog, and I think he’s pointing to a fairly important issue in relation to social networking sites – lawyers don’t just ‘network’ (hateful little word) with lawyers. In fact, if they did, I reckon they’d be pretty rubbish lawyers.

It seems that, in building the Connected community, M-H had (almost) forgotten to pull in all those people who make lawyers’ lives work, such as marketers, HR people and the like, when, as Holmes says, ‘non-lawyer early adopters of legal networking should have been key to beta testing’. A rep from M-H has replied that the site is actually still ‘in beta’ so once more non-legals flock in from this summer, that prerequisite will be filled – but there’s always the danger here of being too ‘Google’ about this and staying in beta forever. You’ve got to launch ‘properly’ one day.

Either way, the idea of an online networking community for lawyers can’t be a bad idea, can it? Admittedly, getting M-H to do it is a bit like asking your dad to run your school disco – you know you’re not going to have as much fun as you like, now – but someone’s got to do it. I’m just surprised it took them so long.