ABA nothing.but.net Column Ends 15-Year Run

Thanks for the memories.

I always enjoyed reading Burgess Allison’s Technology Update (TU) column and considered him a mentor. His column ran for 17 years (1983-2000).

It was Burgess who recruited me to be a columnist for Law Practice magazine (then called Law Practice Management magazine) at a time when the magazine had only had one columnist: him. And I don’t think I’m putting words in his mouth when I say that Burgess viewed my nothing.but.net column as the successor to his Technology Update. He even picked the name! Nobody can live up to Burgess Allison’s legacy, but I enjoyed the challenge.

But everything has a beginning, middle, and end. Today, after a 15-year run, I am announcing the end of my ABA nothing.but.net column. The column started when most people had not heard of the Internet. Now most people have heard of the Internet. And there are plenty of other tech writers to fill in the gaps. I enjoyed writing the column and will keep writing. Just not this column in this publication.

Thanks for the memories.


Erik J. Heels is not a new media guru. Neither are you. On Twitter he is @ErikJHeels.

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17 Replies to “ABA nothing.but.net Column Ends 15-Year Run”

  1. Goodbye and Thanks to ABA Fans of my nothing.but.net Column

    Greetings,

    Today my ABA nothing.net.column http://erikjheels.com/?cat=19 ended after 15 years http://erikjheels.com/?p=1941.

    The ABA, like all organizations, is imperfect. Membership is decreasing, opportunities for monetizing web content have been squandered, content has been deleted or hidden behind a pay wall (such as the “Technology Update” column by my de facto mentor Burgess Allison, who lobbied for my column – and named it – 15 years ago). I tried to be catalyst for change from within the organization. It was not always an easy job http://erikjheels.com/?p=599, but I cared enough to keep trying every year. My writing has been called provocative and irreverent. If my efforts ever offended you, I apologize. That was never my intent. I, too, am imperfect.

    So thank you for your support through the years. It was comments from individual readers like you on my blog that kept me going.

    I don’t know what the future holds. Of course I will keep writing about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll on my blog. And maybe again for the ABA someday.

    Thanks again, and see you on the Net!

    Regards,
    Erik

  2. Your column is one of the best reasons for me to read my copy.

    Keep us up to date where we can read your future articles!

  3. Erik – thanks are appreciated, and definitely mutual. Now that I’m back at my computer I wanted to write a few more comments on this.

    I owe much of my early success to you. It was you who got me invited to my first TechShow. You co-authored that first column for the ABA w/me (in Student Lawyer), you who graciously offered to jointly share the column that the ABA asked you to write for Student Lawyer. Later, after you inherited Burgess’s column, you asked me to join you (again!) and shared that byline with me for years.

    You got me my first job out of law school, then my second. You showed me that it’s hard to know what you’re thinking until you try to write it out, and that it’s important to say what needs to be said, not necessarily what others want to hear.

    We’ve had our differences, and that (as it should) makes the friendship and respect that much stronger and resilient.

    I am proud to know that I was a catalyst for you developing your blog (over a fair amount of skepticism, as I recall). And I’ve watched in awe as you’ve embraced another medium (Twitter) and demonstrated how valuable a marketing vehicle it can be.

    Sorry to lay it on so thick: but your contributions deserve admiration, and you’re far better off without the upcoming deadlines. I don’t expect that this will result in anything but more time to focus on running your practice and further exploring the media that have proven so valuable to your practice.

    Which means we’ll all see more, not less, of you. Which is most certainly a Good Thing.

    Thanks for everything, buddy.

  4. Here’s the complete list of articles, features, and columns @ErikJHeels wrote for the ABA Law Practice Management Section from 1994-2008.


    01. 11/02/1994, http://erikjheels.com/?p=12, Why Lawyers Should Get On The Internet
    02. 10/01/1996, http://erikjheels.com/?p=29, Law-Related Indices On The Internet
    03. 11/01/1996, http://erikjheels.com/?p=32, Consumer-Oriented Legal Web Sites
    04. 01/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=36, Desktop References On The Internet
    05. 03/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=41, Choosing The Perfect Domain Name
    06. 04/02/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=46, The Internet’s Major Search Engines’ And Directories’ Dirty Little Secret
    07. 05/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=48, Book Review: Innumeracy
    08. 05/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=49, The Truth About Stats And Dogs (Or Why Most Surveys Are Wrong)
    09. 07/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=52, The More Things Change (Or How The Internet Is Like Maine)
    10. 09/03/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=62, Internet News Sources And The Internet’s ‘Community’ Effects
    11. 10/02/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=69, Unified Messaging – Voicemail, Faxes, And More In Your E-mail Inbox
    12. 11/01/1997, http://erikjheels.com/?p=73, Choosing A Web Hosting Company
    13. 01/02/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=83, Designing Good Internet Experiences
    14. 03/01/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=89, How To Cope With E-mail Overload
    15. 04/03/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=93, A Few Of My Favorite Links (Or Heels’s Hotlist)
    16. 05/01/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=95, The Best Law Firm Web Sites And More
    17. 07/01/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=104, The Best New Net-Related Products
    18. 09/01/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=112, Internet Phone Service: Not Ready For Prime Time
    19. 10/02/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=114, The Nature, Content, And Marketing Savvy Of 100 Pieces Of Unsolicited E-mail (aka Spam)
    20. 11/01/1998, http://erikjheels.com/?p=115, You Can Get There From Here: ‘Home’ Shopping On The Internet
    21. 01/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=119, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – The Next Big Thing
    22. 03/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=124, Internet Quality Of Life
    23. 04/02/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=128, What’s New With Bill (Gates) And Bill (Clinton)
    24. 05/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=129, Spies R Us – A Search For Information (And Misinformation) On The Internet
    25. 07/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=130, Death On The Internet (Or What Would Orwell Do?)
    26. 09/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=131, Wear Sunscreen
    27. 10/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=132, Nonlegal Careers
    28. 11/01/1999, http://erikjheels.com/?p=134, Anatomy Of A Web Site Crash
    29. 01/01/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=135, Free Stuff On The Internet
    30. 03/01/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=138, Testing Your Web Site Inside And Out
    31. 03/02/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=139, The Hottest Law Firm Web Sites
    32. 05/01/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=140, Using Directories To Publicize Your Site
    33. 10/01/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=142, Book Review: The Cluetrain Manifesto
    34. 10/01/2000, http://erikjheels.com/?p=143, Business Is A Conversation (Or Clueful Lawyers)
    35. 01/01/2001, http://erikjheels.com/?p=144, Content Syndication Catches On
    36. 04/01/2001, http://erikjheels.com/?p=145, Seven Ways To Think Different About Billing
    37. 07/01/2001, http://erikjheels.com/?p=148, Up-To-Speed CLE
    38. 10/01/2001, http://erikjheels.com/?p=149, Simplifying Life On The Net
    39. 01/01/2002, http://erikjheels.com/?p=155, Less Is More – Pulling The Plug On Redundant Internet Stuff
    40. 03/01/2002, http://erikjheels.com/?p=157, Spy Software
    41. 05/01/2002, http://erikjheels.com/?p=167, Search Engine And E-Newsletter Optimization
    42. 09/01/2002, http://erikjheels.com/?p=174, Combating Spam
    43. 11/01/2002, http://erikjheels.com/?p=176, Web Publishing Software
    44. 03/01/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=182, Changing Computers Before You Have To
    45. 03/02/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=183, Firewalls Briefing
    46. 05/01/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=192, Zen And The Art Of Data Restoration
    47. 09/01/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=229, Fire Your Website, Hire A Weblog
    48. 11/01/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=232, Fun With File Servers
    49. 11/01/2003, http://erikjheels.com/?p=233, How And Why To Try Open Source Software
    50. 03/01/2004, http://erikjheels.com/?p=246, My Big Fast Geek Server
    51. 05/01/2004, http://erikjheels.com/?p=431, Wires And The Wireless LANs That Propel Them – A Fair And Balanced Look At WiFi
    52. 07/01/2004, http://erikjheels.com/?p=446, Dual-Drive Technology Spotting
    53. 09/01/2004, http://erikjheels.com/?p=453, Everything You Know About Website Design Is Right
    54. 11/01/2004, http://erikjheels.com/?p=465, I Want My P2P
    55. 03/01/2005, http://erikjheels.com/?p=468, Taking Computing Seriously (Or How The Red Sox Won The World Series)
    56. 06/01/2005, http://erikjheels.com/?p=473, Spring Cleaning (Or How To Install Your Own Desktop Search Engine)
    57. 09/01/2005, http://erikjheels.com/?p=477, The Dark (Gray) Age Of Music On The Internet
    58. 12/01/2005, http://erikjheels.com/?p=503, P4P Search Engine Marketing Works
    59. 03/01/2006, http://erikjheels.com/?p=524, A-to-Z Information Technology Audit
    60. 06/01/2006, http://erikjheels.com/?p=576, Crazy Direct Mail Guy
    61. 07/01/2006, http://erikjheels.com/?p=580, Can The Spam
    62. 10/28/2006, http://erikjheels.com/?p=599, Steal This Article: It May Be My Last
    63. 01/02/2007, http://erikjheels.com/?p=663, Don’t Fear The Technology
    64. 04/02/2007, http://erikjheels.com/?p=697, LinkedIn Doesn’t Suck
    65. 07/01/2007, http://erikjheels.com/?p=777, The Brand Wars Are Coming, The Brand Wars Are Coming!
    66. 10/01/2007, http://erikjheels.com/?p=890, How To Backup Your PCs and Macs
    67. 04/01/2008, http://erikjheels.com/?p=995, Gmail, Toast, and Frogs
    68. 12/01/2008, http://erikjheels.com/?p=1069, Top 10 Google Products You Should Try

  5. Greetings Rick,

    Thanks for your warm comments. I have always believed that we make a good team! You are correct that we have not always agreed, but what fun is it to always agree?

    I have always been passionate about the things I agree with and things I disagree with.

    But what is life without passion? I say it is not living.

    When you care passionately about some thing or someone, you are taking a risk. Good things can happen, bad things can happen. But no risk, no reward.

    So I will continue to be passionate.

    Thank you, Rick, for your friendship through the years. For challenging my thinking when others did not dare. I have changed my thinking – on more than one occasion – based on your input.

    The feeling is mutual, my friend. Thanks for everything.

    Regards,
    Erik

  6. Obviously, we longtime readers will miss the column. Some of the topics have drifted to areas only tangentially related to legal technology, but I think that accurately reflects the varied interests of the practicing lawyer or legal professional who embraces and enjoys technology.

    Erik, as Rick points out, we’ll probably see what would have been your nothing.but.net content redirected to your blog so now our Twitter and RSS readers will have even more of you. Thanks for your contributions in the past, and I look forward to more in the future.

  7. You and I have been at this column biz for a long time. I published my first one in March 1995 and continue still. But even before I started, I considered you the guru of all things Internet. I still have a thumb-worn copy of your pioneering 1992 book, “The Legal List.” You’ve stayed several giant steps ahead of the curve ever since. No one is smarter or savvier about this stuff than you. This will be a loss to the magazine’s readers.

  8. Erik –

    I always flipped to nothing.but.net first. More often than I care to admit, it was the only thing I read in the magazine.

    I love your style and will read your writing no matter where you publish it. I’ve told you before – a few of your LPM columns have iconic status in my brain….right alongside a few of your blog posts. “My big fast geek server” is an all time fave of mine.

    You and your followers are the winners here. You’ll likely have more time to write, and we’ll likely be able to see more of your stuff on Twitter, the blog, and on other accessible sites.

    Keep up the great work.

    Regards,
    Matt

  9. I’m truly sorry to hear of this, Erik, especially knowing how much of your heart you put into these articles, as you do all your endeavors, paid or otherwise.

    And you know how very much I enjoyed working with you and Rick over the years on book projects and related things; I could always count on you for thought-provoking, cutting-edge content. And, damn, you guys made me laugh! Some of my favorite ABA memories were of hanging with you. Not only did I always come away smiling, but I always learned something new.

    So thanks, Erik, for all you’ve contributed. I’ll miss your column to be sure, but as long you’ve got other vehicles to share your musings, rest assured you’ll always have folks keeping up with what you have to say.

    –Bev

  10. I’ve read, enjoyed, and learned from just about every one of your columns, and am disappointed to hear that they will no longer be found in their usual location. You should do the unexpected and find a way to resurface — if not in the magazine, maybe in the e-zine. Or the ABA Journal. Or a publication of the Science/Tech section. We need you!

  11. Erik, I graduated from law school in 1994 and you were a rock star in my eyes for your thoughts on the impact of technology on our profession. You still are. The ABA has lost a tremendous asset, but thank goodness for this blog and Twitter – your voice will continue to be heard.

  12. Erik

    I know your readers benefited tremendously, as did the ABA; I hope you did as well. And if at all possible, stay on the scene so that those of us who enjoy reading your pieces and interacting with you can continue the conversation.

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