Martindale-Hubbell Connected

After this weekend’s interest in my post about Martindale-Hubbell listings and the comment made by M-H interests I thought M-H Connected warranted a bit of attention on my part.  I had this on my radar earlier in the year while it was still a closed network in beta form but it dropped off the screen before it was opened up to the wider community.

Even during my preparation for the Kentucky Law Update 2009 CLE session I have been presenting throughout the state of Kentucky, Connected wasn’t grabbing enough attention.  In the two presentations done thus far out of about 100-125 attendees per session only one person has responded affirmatively when asked if they are a member of M-H Connected.  Thus I don’t feel guilty about not having written about this specialized networking tool.

So this morning I decided to sign-up for an account and do a test run.  The Terms of Use I am happy to say make it very clear that practicing attorneys (which I am not one of) are held to Professional Rules of Conduct.  M-H reserves the right to monitor and prevent postings in the Interactive area and my account was not immediately confirmed.

All of these are positive things when using a tool in the world of law practice.  Since I am not an attorney and I don’t fit most of the ready-made registration categories, I am glad that M-H is manually verifying my right to participate in this closed community.

The closed community aspect of M-H Connected leaves me scratching my head.  Social media is about networking.  There are many tools that have already built strong participants without closing the community.

Martindale-Hubbell Connected very succinctly defines their purpose:

Expand participants professional network.

Get “just-in-time” trusted answers.

Demonstrate thought leadership.

Social NetworkingFor those who have been using social networking tools prior to 2009, this is a bit of a reinvention of the wheel.  Sure, Connected is for legal professionals, but Linked-In offers those same 3 solutions and allows for broader networking.  If legal professionals can only benefit from the advise of other legal professionals, that’s a problem.  I don’t believe any legal professional limits their networking to those of the same likeness, otherwise they have no growth opportunities either for business partnerships, potential clients, business solutions or intellectual engagement.

Now, that being said I don’t think M-H Connected is a bad idea.  In the world of information overload sometimes, it is an advantage to seek information in a focused, selected source. Legal professionals will certainly benefit from that selectiveness offered by M-H Connected.  However, if that’s the only social media tool they are using, they will find themselves as a distinct disadvantage when applying business strategy to the Web 2.0 world of interconnectedness.

Constance Ard September 21, 2009

One Response to Martindale-Hubbell Connected

  1. alin wagner-lahmy says:

    Hi Constance, it is good to see you joining Connected! The main differentiator between Connected and other networking sites is, as you pointed out, that it is centralizes around a very specific industry vertical. So if we compare online networking to a parallel ‘real life’ networking activity, such as conferences and events, while other ‘conferences’ are general and wide, the ‘Connected’ one is very much focused on a specific topic – legal world. Doesn’t mean you need to attend either/or, only that your expectations, experience and interaction will differ from place to place.

    More and more people see the value of being present on several networks, not only because it would be boring to ‘attend the same conference’ over and over again, but also because different networks serve different purposes, fosters different relationships, brings out different interactions and community qualities. Why limit yourself to just one? As you point out – different needs call for different actions and ‘places’.

    Connected is legally focused, and that’s not the only thing differentiating it from other networks – it is not just a network. It is a network that is layered on top of, and growing beside, huge repositories of legal content on For example, if someone writes a legal article that shows on (which is a hefty amount per month) it is piped into their Connected profile so you can connect with those who write on your topic of choice. The way the two sit together now may not be optimal but we’re working hard on making this integration stronger. Connected is not a ‘separate’ site – it is an extension of

    I do hope you enjoy Connected and am recommending a tour around Groups, where you can find hundreds of different groups to join, depending on interest and goals. Enjoy and do let me know if you have any questions, comments and/or suggestions.

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