Social Media Portal interview with James Edwin Jackson II from Bloomberg BNA
Profiled - James Edwin Jackson II, Director of Publishing at Bloomberg BNA’s Legal & Business Division Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your role at Bloomberg BNA?James Edwin Jackson II (JEJ):
I'm the Director of Publishing at Bloomberg BNA’s Legal & Business Division. I work with various teams at Bloomberg BNA to coordinate and lead new product launches and enhancements to existing product offerings. SMP: Briefly, tell us about Bloomberg BNA (for those that don’t know), what is it and what does the organisation do?JEJ:
Bloomberg BNA is a leading source of legal, regulatory and business information for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance — the information that matters most to professionals. Bloomberg BNA’s authoritative coverage spans the full range of legal practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety. Bloomberg BNA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg.SMP: Who are your target audience and why?JEJ:
Our primary target audience includes attorneys, both at law firms and in corporations; law students; law librarians and researchers; compliance officers and risk managers; and the growing cadre of social media professionals. We offer products that are focused on more than 20 distinct legal practice areas including industry leading products in Labor and Employment, Tax, Intellectual Property, and Health. See http://www.bna.com/products-p4177/
for more detail. SMP: Tell us a little about the Social Media Law & Policy Report, what does it strive to do and how often will it be released?JEJ:
Social Media Law & Policy Report is a continually published information service providing commentary and analysis on legal issues related to social media, along with full text of primary source, agency documents, and practical policies and checklists – all in one place for one price. Bloomberg BNA has been reporting on social media for several years in some of our flagship publications like Daily Labor Report, Privacy & Security Law Report, Patent, Trademark and Copyright Daily and more.
But we surveyed customers and they expressed increasing interest in a product solely focused on this area. So we developed a Web-based product – Social Media Law & Policy Report – that includes continual reporting on legal developments in social media law, combined with practical guidance and primary source material on both the state and federal level. The Report will keep companies and their counsel current on how social media can affect them, their firms, and their clients before they find themselves dealing with a major problem. SMP: Why has Bloomberg BNA decided to create the report?JEJ:
It’s a fast growing segment of the law and we wanted to be in the forefront of the issues. One thing we have discovered is that many big law firms have social media practice groups now. So, like everything we do, it comes down to what our customers need. And it was very clear when we talked with customers that social media is a bit like the Wild West for them – it’s big and promising, but as yet undefined, unregulated, untamed. They had already come into contact with it, but in many cases had no idea where to go or what to do. Bits of information on the legal issues are all over the place; but we have brought it all together in one place, and corralled all the different aspects that companies need to be concerned about in this constantly expanding and rapidly changing area of law.SMP: Where are your sourcing expertise to create the report and what other services will accompany it?
The analyst managing the publication will draw on work product from an expanded team that has been covering this area for awhile. There are very few practice areas that social media does not touch, although there are some which are certainly affected more than others. In addition to news stories on changes in the law, the service will include the full text of state and federal cases, federal statutes, federal regulations, state statutes, state bar ethics opinions, policies and checklists, and a collection of documents and enforcement actions from key federal agencies struggling with social media issues. We’ll also start out with a blog and Twitter account tied in with the product – after all you can’t launch a product on social media without a social media component! SMP: Why will it be useful for target audiences?JEJ:
It’s the only product that reports out on social media legal issues across practice areas on a continual basis and includes all the full text of primary source, agency documents, and practical policies and checklists – all in one place for one price. SMP: How much does it cost receive the report?JEJ:
Pricing for this subscription service depends on the number of customers in a given organization that access the report. For more information, call 1-800-372-1033 or visit bna.com
.SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?JEJ:
There are not really many on this project – people send me social media law articles all the time and I feel like I have to read them all and that takes some time! In a way that’s one thing we’re going to do for our customers – take some of that enormous amount of content and distil it down, provide analysis, and put it all in one place where it won’t ever get lost.SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?JEJ:
Working on a project that is such a hot area – it’s fun to be involved with an area of the law where 90% of what’s going to happen has YET to happen. But we’re right on the verge...SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?JEJ:
The challenge is going to be keeping up with it all; the opportunity is to be the industry leader on this topic for years to come.SMP: What are the next moves for Bloomberg BNA in terms of social media?JEJ:
We will launch this product in late May and try to make sure it’s the best offering out there to serve the needs of our customers. One thing you learn quickly when associated with social media is that the need for adjustments is constant.SMP: What’s the next big step for social media and networks; why do businesses need to be tuned in to what impact law may have upon it and vice versa?JEJ:
It seems like everything associated with social media is a big step. Most people I know – including many attorneys – have a “company” social media horror story. Whether it is related to employment, privacy, trade secrets, or any one of a dozen other topics, it’s pretty amazing what’s going on out there. Personally I think the next big step is for law firms to start social media practice groups like some have done already – they are going to have an advantage when this area continues to develop and grow. SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout 2012?JEJ:
I think we just don’t know what is yet to come; it’s uncharted territory. As an example, Pinterest did not exist in 2009 – yet recently it surpassed LinkedIn in size. How will the Pinterest experience and use change the legal landscape and be different from Facebook or Twitter? Some of the geo-location usage proposed by other up-and-coming social media sites is also a ripe area for legal issues. It’s hard to pick a “most interesting” one!SMP: What are your top five predictions for social media throughout 2012?JEJ replies with:
SMP: What are your top five social media tips, particularly from a legal perspective?JEJ replies with:
- Major problems and liability issues related to geo-location embedded in social media platforms
- A quarter of the states will pass legislation in some way related to social media
- A five-fold increase in the number of cases brought as a result of social media interaction
- The proliferation and growth of positions like “Chief Social Media Officer” in the corporate setting
- Success and growth for Social Media Law & Policy Report
SMP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?JEJ:
- Be very careful what you say on any social media platform.
- If you are a large company, make sure you have resources dedicated to social media and that one of those resources is a good lawyer who is knowledgeable in the area.
- Don’t treat everything you read online about the legal aspects of social media as accurate – there’s some great free information out there, and there’s some other free stuff that’s just plain wrong!
- Realize that the things you thought were true three months ago about social media, and the legal implications surrounding them, have already changed.
- And – not strictly a legal issue – don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t say to somebody in person.
If you are reading this and thinking that social media does not affect you or your company, get ready for the train...it’s coming. If you are a law firm and want to provide your clients with services that extend to a variety of social media related issues - be prepared.SMP: Best way to contact you and Bloomberg BNA?
JEJ: I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn
and Twitter @jedwinjackson
– friend me, tweet me, link to me. It’s all good.
Now some questions for funSMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?JEJ:
Sushi for lunch - extra wasabi. I drank a lot of vitamin water with it.SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?JEJ:
I helped a buddy of mine recently pick out his first Smartphone. I’m a fan of tech gizmos so it was fun for me and he said it was a big help. There are a lot of choices out there. SMP: How many hours to you work a week?JEJ:
On average 40-50 hours a week – I like my job but I’m not a workaholic.SMP: If you weren’t working for Bloomberg BNA what would you be doing?JEJ:
Building houses. Based on the economy right now I’m glad I’m not, but I get a lot of home improvement stuff done and enjoy it a great deal. SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?JEJ:
I’d prefer to talk about my next holiday because I’m going on a cruise to Alaska in June. Although I’ve been to all 50 states I have never actually been on a cruise!SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?JEJ:
Have a V8 in the Bloomberg BNA pantry in Arlington, Va.SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?JEJ:
Teleportation for sure. I was a big comic collector when I was young and I’m a fan of sci-fi. I watched that show “Heroes” when it was on a few years ago and realized the guy who could teleport ultimately had it the best. Paris for breakfast, Philly for lunch, and Rome for dinner. Yes, I like food.
If you're interested in doing a Social Media Portal (SMP) interview, get in touch.