April 20, 2008

Web 2.0 Meets the Lawyers

Social Media sites do one thing: They get people together so they can share the things that matter to them. And the people form groups of friends or networks based upon common interests. It is a fascinating venture in that the site is all user-generated material. The user essentially does all the work. The site simply is the meeting spot. Some add advertising as a way to generate money. Some sites, like Mixx and StumbleUpon, are ad free. How they do this, I have no idea. I know not everything on the internet is about money.

Then I found this little gem of a site called SueEasy. You, as a litigant, can scroll down through the list of class action law suits. If you don't find one, you can add yours. Or if it is a case involving just you in a civil or criminal issue, you can click on whatever speciality you need. Then, a lawyer gets in contact with you. No searching yellow pages. No asking strangers. No google searches.
In a way, this is a branch off from the social media sites. The user, or litigant, finds someone (lawyer in this case) or group (class action suit) that they wish to join. A friendship or partnership is established. Each party gets something they want from the site.
At once, I am disturbed by this and yet, a part of me finds this ingenious. Yes, there will be some ethical issues. But these will be policed by the users, both the litigants and lawyers, themselves, as well as the site administrators. Just like in any social media site. They have an image to uphold. And they certainly don't want to end up being a class action lawsuit on their own site!

This brings me to the big picture part of this: What other services can use Web 2.0 in their business model?

I can see this being used in a teacher/student environment. There is some application of this in the real estate arena. They simply don't have a formal version like this. And certainly nothing that crosses company lines.
I keep thinking there is a money-making idea with this. It is a matter of finding the right market for this.


Dubber said...

I feel like I should respond, but you said all the good stuff. So, "what Scott said."

Scott Johnson said...

I guess I wasn't writing this just to get a response from a law student. Merely musing over a highly unique use of social networking. I more wonder if there are other businesses or services could build something like this.

I did think of how this could impact educational uses. Students could find teachers; and maybe even stronger, more accomplished educators.
Actors and producers have done this kind of gathering talent for a performance since, I guess, whenever organized performances began. Could they create such a portal that could allow for better selection of cast and production staff.

Who else could benefit from this process? And most importantly, how can I (and you, too, of course!) break into this and make money?!?