And Now for Some Shameless Self-Promotion

My commitment to you, my readers, has consistently been to provide you with fresh, original content at least once a week.  That’s not as often as some blogs.  But I have also avoided simply regurgitating content from other sources just to have something to post.  Rather, I want this to be a source of original and (hopefully) insightful content that you can put to use.  That’s why I don’t often post more than once a week–because writing that content takes time, and time is a very precious resource for a full-time attorney and father.

This is the first time it’s taken me until Friday to post fresh content for the week.  I’ve been traveling and otherwise really under the gun.  But my commitment to you remains.  So, with apologies, let me use this week’s post to catch you up on a few things I’ve done recently related to the subject matter of this blog.  I’ll be back next week with more original analysis.

Border Patrol Seeks Takedown of YouTube Video

In “Border Patrol in the Bushes,” a shaky, homemade video by Bisbee resident Alison McLeod, agents ride horses through the desert and walk a handcuffed man to their truck.

McLeod began filming the incident one day in August after noticing a helicopter and agents near her property. In the video, she approaches the agents and engages with them before being asked to leave the scene.

McLeod posted the video, which shows the faces of agents and one readable name tag, to YouTube. Within 12 hours, YouTube began notifying her of privacy complaints through email, giving her 48 hours to edit the video. When she did not, it was removed 10 days later.

So begins an October 30, 2011 article in the Arizona Daily Star.  Brenna Goth, who wrote the article, contacted me to comment on these events after reading my blog post on videotaping police officers, and she quotes me in her article.

“The Top Ten Risks to Your Clients in Social Media”

On October 18, 2011,  I gave a presentation with that title to the Women’s Bar Association, Oakland County Chapter.  I’ve spoken on this subject several times by now to various groups, but I was impressed with the depth of knowledge and savvy demonstrated by the questions that these attorneys asked.  It was a lively and interesting conversation.  Here’s the link to an article about the event in the Legal News.


Interview About Social Media

Earlier this week, I gave an interview to a local law-related publication about my blog and my social media practice.  I won’t scoop them by posting the whole interview before they do.  But here’s an excerpt of one question and answer that captures a point always lead off with in my presentations–that social media is not going away.

You have a full roster of speaking events lined up, all centered around the law of social media. Are you ever going to run out of topics?

Wassom:  Not likely!  For one thing, social media and related technologies are subjects that fascinate me, so I never tire of discussing them.  I’ve always been a techie, sci-fi kind of guy, so it’s a natural fit for me.  And it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll ever run out of audiences either, because professionals across the spectrum are starting to realize that these technologies aren’t a fad, and they’re not going to go away.  Instead, digital social media are the next evolution in how people communicate with each other, and that will have consequences both subtle and profound for how almost any type of business or other organization conducts itself going forward.

To drive that point home, I usually remind my audiences of a few key facts.  For example, most of the concepts behind what we now call “social media” are not new.  Online chat rooms, bulletin boards, and messaging have existed for decades.  It’s just the spread of mobile devices and high-speed internet connections that brought those mechanics to a critical mass of people and allowed them to become ubiquitous.  Also, we’re now at the point in history where Generation Y (roughly defined as those between ages 16 and 35) outnumber the Baby Boomer generation.  By some measures, up to 96% of Gen Y uses at least one form of social media.  We need to accept as a given that these technologies will be part of everything we do from here on out.

In addition, the technology itself–i.e., what we think of as “social media”–is developing so rapidly that there will always be something new to say about it.  It’s hard to even give a simple definition of what “social media” even is anymore.  Almost everything we do online has some social component to it anymore, from consumer reviews on Amazon to the chips in Nike shoes that can tell Facebook how far you just ran. One area that particularly excites me–and about which I’ve written and spoken on a lot lately–is a technology called “augmented reality,” which involves superimposing digital data on our physical surroundings.  (Picture the robot vision in “Terminator” or “Robocop,” or the yellow line on an NFL broadcast.)  Social media will be a primary way that people will begin to use this emerging technology.  Imagine looking at someone through your video phone and seeing that person’s Facebook profile floating the air above their head.  Or looking out in the distance to see markers floating above your friends’ houses.  Or letting you know when a compatible member of a dating website walks by.  The possibilities are endless, and I have a lot of fun exploring them on my blog and with audiences.

Video Presentation on the Doritos Marketing Complaint

Last weekend, I recorded and edited a 12-minute video presentation analyzing the complaint against Doritos that I recently blogged about, and its implications for the augmented reality industry.  I made it at the request of an AR Meetup later this month that I wasn’t able to appear at in person.  I’m really looking forward to the discussion that comes out of that presentation, and I’m also excited about using this method to “appear” at the meetings of other groups in the future.

Of course, none of these public appearances or interviews would be possible without folks like you, who keep tuning in to this blog.  So, thank you!  I’ll be back next week.