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Monday, October 10, 2011

Social Media Networking - Getting out of comfort zone

I’m a hard core techie guy with a passion for creating software. This was working great for me until I decided to start my own software business. Running a software business is more than just writing high quality software. There is a crucial component to be considered - Marketing.

In the past 4 or 5 years the marketing landscape has changed considerably. The latest trend is to use social media tools to network with potential clients. This is also referred to as social media marketing.

An introvert by nature, all the buzz about social media marketing was churning my stomach.  I’ve always stayed away from Facebooks and Twitters because I simply couldn’t understand  how sharing personal stuff would be beneficial to anyone including myself.  I realized quickly after starting my business that I was dead wrong. While I have a lot of experience in the legal IT space, I certainly lack experience in marketing and reaching out to others. Fortunately, I found great marketing tips from social media pioneers like Jason Fried, Peldi and Dharmesh Shah, to name a few.  They clearly outline ways to approach Social media marketing and explain the benefits of doing so.  Their success stories are highly motivating.

 I decided to start writing blogs and tweeting in order to share my knowledge with my users.  I know I have to embrace social media and inbound marketing principles or be left far behind.
Since this is one of my first few attempts at creative writing, I hope readers forgive me for my novice writing skills.

In my future posts, among other things, I will write about the theory and practice of using social media marketing for running a small business.

Legal IT - 5 ways to customize Microsoft Word

There are several ways to customize Word to make it more useful for law firms. We will highlight some of them in this blog without getting into the full details. I will get into the details of each of the customizations in future blog posts.
Ribbon Customizations - Microsoft has added new ways to customize ribbon in Word 2010. We will get into different ways of customizing the ribbon (via code and from the end user) in a separate blog post. Ribbon customization is one the most important steps in the Office rollout process.

Integration with 3rd party tools - It is possible to integrate Word 2010 with various 3rd party tools used within a law firm such as Document Management systems, Case management systems, Sharepoint, CRM systems, etc. Some of the 3rd tools that we have integrated with Word include Lexis Nexis Interaction and  OpenText DM.

Documentation automation and assembly - Word 2010 offers a range of tools that make document assembly simple and quick. Using Word automation for document assembly can significantly increase lawfirm productivity.

Creating custom templates - Custom templates have been around almost as long as Word has been around. You can create custom templates for your company letterhead, memo, fax and other mailing labels. Visit our website to learn more about custom template solutions.

Controlling external devices - One of the more interesting capabilities is the ability to access the native Windows API (This was possible even with VBA, however, .Net offers greater flexibility). An example of this capability is our PrintSmart product which controls any printer’s duplex and draft resolution capabilities by interacting with the Windows printer driver.

We would love to hear your feedback. Please let me know if you liked this and if there are other topics you would like covered.