Law Tech News Editor Defends Mac Article

Monica_bayMonica Bay, the Editor-in-Chief of Law Technology News, defends my article criticizing the PowerMac G5 I bought, and had a bad experience with.  See her blog, The Common Scold.

Monica is a frequent international speaker on legal technology, electronic publishing, news media and legal career issues. She also writes for Corporate Counsel magazine, the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management, and the U.K.-based Legal IT, among others. As a legal technology analyst, she had been quoted in The New York Times; ZDNet's Sm@rtPartner magazine, and even Southwest Airlines' Spirit magazine.

Here are some excerpts:

Controversy and healthy discussion are both great -- but what is not great is when the dialogue becomes ugly and hateful. Bodine didn't just receive the expected thoughtful responses, he got calls in the middle of the night, and anonymous, obscenity-laced messages that unquestionably qualify as hate mail. We're not talking movie-language here, we're talking raw rage -- flat out scary hate. (I saw some of them.) 

Everybody: Get a grip. Bodine is not Bin Laden's lieutenant, he doesn't have sex with Bill (Gates or Clinton), he doesn't poison puppies, he's not personally plotting to destroy modern democracy and he doesn't torch Antartica's glaciers to increase global warming.

He bought a Mac, and he had a bad experience with it. He's a legitimate member of our legal community (saying he doesn't practice law so he shouldn't have a voice is just plain silly). He wrote about his bad experience. That doesn't make him Oliver (Stone or North) or even Benedict Arnold. Nor am I irresponsible for publishing the article. The whole PURPOSE of Tech Counsel is one person's experience with tech.

Did Bodine make errors in his article? Yes -- He put the wrong purchase date (the correct date was July, 2005, not May, 2006) and he used the incorrect name for Entourage. As a Mac user, perhaps I should have caught the Entourage mistake. (But I actually use Outlook on my Mac.) Honest mistakes are inevitable in journalism under deadline.

Was he a first-time Mac user, unfamiliar with Apple protocols, and weaned on all-things-Redmond? Absolutely. Was he impatient? No doubt.

Guess what -- there are a lot of Larry Bodines in the world, trying out a new product for the first time. And getting frustrated. Just take a look at the latest ABA Tech Survey, AmLaw Tech Survey, or ILTA Tech Survey.

Was Bodine's article valuable? Yes. Without question. Not everybody has success with a new technology. Not everybody is "under-the-hood." It's OK to show someone who is unhappy as well as all the success stories. Not everybody who buys a Mac or a PC is going to memorize the manual and/or intuitively know how to use absolutely every feature. Bodine's pain is shared by any of us who try to fire up any technology we are dealing with for the first time.

But Mac zealots: You do your cause a lot of good if you turn down the flames, and keep the discussion honorable and cool. Hate isn't welcome in Law Technology News.

Read here entire post online.

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