Posted By Cliff Tuttle | August 25, 2010
Welcome to a “twitterview” (interview conducted live on Twitter) featuring Lance Godard, host of the blog 22 Tweets (@22Twts). Mr. Godard was interviewed by Cliff Tuttle of Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk (PittsburghLegal) on August 24, 2010 to celebrate its 500th post.
The text of the live twitterview has been slightly edited to make it more readable to those not familiar with Twitter and to cover up a few technical gaffes committed by the inexperienced interviewer.
PittsburghLegal Lance, how long have you been interviewing lawyers on 22 Tweets?
22twts Thanks for the interview, Cliff! I started interviewing lawyers for 22 Tweets a year and a half ago, in March 2009.
PittsburghLegal How do you describe 22 Tweets to people you meet at a cocktail party?
22twts Live interviews of lawyers. On Twitter. In 22 questions.
PittsburghLegal Why did you decide to use the medium of Twitter?
22twts I’d heard a lot about it & wanted to see how people, especially lawyers, were using it. I found it very interesting.
PittsburghLegal Of course, you’ve been advising lawyers on marketing for a long time, tell us about that.
PittsburghLegal So, was 22 Tweets an outgrowth of your consulting practice, or something new?
22twts: It was something new. I was just starting on my own, and thought Twitter was a powerful comms tool for lawyers.
So I wanted to explore that, not just tell lawyers about Twitter & why, but create a forum for them to use it.
PittsburghLegal What do you look for in selecting a potential interviewee? How do you find them?
22twts I look for lawyers who are engaged on Twitter, who aren’t afraid to be both lawyers and human.
PittsburghLegal: How much (or little) do you know about the interviewees before you select them?
22twts I research them, look at their practices, what they’ve done, at the narratives they’ve created about themselves.
PittsburghLegal: What do you tell every new interviewee before the interview?
22twts: That the interview is their chance to tell their story. And to limit their answers to one tweet if they can
PittsburghLegal Tell us about an interview that was really fun to do.
PittsburghLegal: Interviewing live on Twitter involves risks. Has anyone ever made blunders that he/she regretted?
22twts: No, everyone is generally well prepared. The questions are fairly similar across interviews so usually no surprises.
PittsburghLegal: Do you ever correct gaffes on either side in the final published interview?
22twts: No. I generally don’t edit the text when posting interviews to 22Tweets.com. Not even when I forget a question.
PittsburghLegal: How often do answers surprise you?
22twts: Answers don’t surprise me much but sometimes I’m surprised at how much I like the people after just a few questions.
PittsburghLegal: How often do you go completely off script?
22twts: No, I never go off script. Often I wish I could go deeper into particular topic, but the format doesn’t allow it.
I just sit back & enjoy it. I believe everyone has a great story; when I can help them tell it I’ve done my job
Plus, I hope the interviews will prompt others to engage the interviewees directly, so unanswered questions are OK.
PittsburghLegal What do you do to keep the conversation from growing stale over time?
22twts That’s never a problem. Every interviewee is different, even if the questions I ask are similar, so it’s always new.
PittsburghLegal Do interviewees ever request a question? If so, do you ask it?
22twts I don’t think anyone has requested a specific question, but if they did I would prob ask it. W/in reason of course.
PittsburghLegal Do interviewees ever tell you that they wish you had or hadn’t asked a certain question?
22twts No, that’s never happened. People certainly may have thought that, but no one has said it.
PittsburghLegal What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
22twts: Prob not too different from today. The future will be diff, absolutely, but will likely take a generation to change.
PittsburghLegal What do you do when you’re not working?
22twts Spend time with my family, cycle, yoga, cook, eat, try to keep from checking my Blackberry every few minutes.
PittsburghLegal What would you do if you weren’t a marketing consultant?
22twts Probably teach. Was on my way to a PhD in Film Studies when I started working in a law firm & discovered paychecks.
PittsburghLegal How do you want to be remembered?
22twts As good father, a good husband, a good friend. Someone who helped others and maybe even made a difference.
PittsburghLegal Is there another project like 22 Tweets on the horizon?
PittsburghLegal Last question: what advice can you give to lawyers who are unhappy in their present job or practice area?
22twts You chose to be a lawyer for a reason. Find that passion. Nurture it. You’ll be happier (and prob more successful).
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