Throughout the pandemic, online platforms for video have experienced a major uptick in use. From YouTube to TikTok and more, users around the world are creating and consuming video content at a rapid pace. Should lawyers be riding this wave? Dennis and Tom talk about the potential audiences legal professionals could reach, different video formats to consider, and the pros and cons for several of the more popular platforms. In their second segment, they discuss their efforts to do home office updates over the past year and share some of their favorite items for remote work.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and Colonial Surety Company.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Will We All Be Video Stars?
B Segment: Biggest Changes to our Home Offices
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Will We All Be Video Stars? — Exploring the COVID-Era Video Surge
Intro: Web 2.0 innovation, trend, collaboration. Got the world turning as fast as it can. Hear how technology can help legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to episode 275 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: First of all, we’d like to thank Colonial Surety Company Bonds and Insurance for bringing you this podcast. Whatever court bonds you need, get a quote and purchase it online at colonialsurety.com/podcast.
Tom Mighell: And we’d also like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted pre-screened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: And of course we want to mention that the second edition of our book The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies is available on Amazon. Everyone agrees that collaboration is essential in today’s world but now more than ever before knowing the right tools will make all the difference. And as I like to say at the start of all our podcasts in 2020, what a difference another week or two makes and the big changes just keep rolling along, In our last episode, we took a deep dive into the organization building block of our second brain project and we recommend that you if you’re interested in that, take a listen to all the second brain episodes.
In this episode, we wondered if all the video that we are now seeing means it is time for our listeners to think about becoming video stars. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be discussing whether we’ve moved into a new era of DIY video production and distribution. In our second segment, we’re going to share what we’ve learned from almost a year of upgrading and improving our home offices and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over, but first up, is this a bonafide do-it-yourself era of video and should we all be joining in? I think that’s the question we want to ask today. If there’s one thing that’s having a moment in this pandemic, it’s video. There are a lot of things having a moment, but video is certainly one of them. Zoom as we’re recording this Zoom is just reporting a 367% increase in revenue for the third quarter and good webcams and good lighting are still hard to come by online. And it’s not just beatings, it’s youtubers and tick-tockers and online courses are getting millions of followers just by shooting video and we have to ask could it really be that simple? So we thought we’d talk about the video craze and what might be in it for lawyers. Dennis, what got you thinking about this topic?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, a couple of things. So one is I’ve produced a ton of video content over this year. I was looking back and there’s 50 or 60 hours of videos of my classes and each class is essentially a hundred-minute video production. Three major online courses that are video, webcast, online presentations, short videos there are intros and explainers and in some ways it’s been surprisingly not too difficult, although we kind of caught me on a day where I’ve spent the whole day doing video editing and I may revise the not so difficult thing because I think that video editing as opposed to just the creation of the raw video is a bit more complicated and time consuming than I would hope, but it’s sort of that ease of creation and the number of outlets that I think have started to make video really interesting.
Tom Mighell: I’ve been interested in video for longer than this pandemic has been going on and one of the things that I went into 2020 being really interested and starting to think about doing and that just hasn’t really worked out for me is I’ve been watching all kinds of productivity experts talk about tools and systems and do video demonstrations and things like that and I really enjoy watching that and I really enjoy teaching people about those types of things. Collaboration tools, other kinds of tools. I’d like to do the same thing. I think that’s kind of what has gotten me interested in doing more video stuff, but I will tell you and as we get into this subject a little bit more, I think it’s hard.
I think that to be successful at this type of thing, I may come off being the old grumpy man on this episode because i think that breaking into and doing video successfully is not easy. There I said it and we’ll talk about that more on what I mean by that.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah and I’m not going to disagree because I think the editing thing — if I look back Tom when we first started the podcast and we were producing it ourselves and editing ourselves and it’s just — it takes a lot and if you don’t do it on a regular basis and have the right tools and the right equipment, it’s hard work and you forget these things and you’re thinking, “oh, this is going to be super easy to do and today I was in iMovie and I’m going like, well, it seems like I should just delete this stuff but there’s terms like trimming and splitting and cropping and they all have very specific meanings and it’s easy to forget what those are even if you’ve done that once as opposed to if you’re doing on a regular basis.
So we’ll talk about TikTok and some of these other things where you’re kind of editing on the fly that I think become interesting in this context because if you try to do long form video, I think that that really does become a lot of work. But I was doing — I kind of rely on you always for stats time, but I did look at some of the stats on Youtube, Instagram and TikTok which were kind of a little harder to come by than I expected, but it is worth knowing that 500 hours of new video is uploaded to Youtube every minute. That’s 30,000 hours of video per hour on Youtube. So there are a lot of people creating video and the newer platforms are in the same way. I mean, it’s a little bit harder for me to find stats but there’s a lot happening there with a lot of creators TikTok especially.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, what’s interesting Dennis, is that you pulled the exact same statistic about Youtube that I had pulled about the 500 hours of video per minute, but let’s switch that around because that’s 500 being uploaded by video creators. The statistics are that over one billion hours are being watched per day. So for every hour that’s up there, there are many eyeballs watching those things constantly. A billion hours per day is just amazing. When we talk about TikTok, TikTok has really I think people who listen to the show who know me personally may know that I’m a fan of the Amazing Race and a couple of years ago there were a number of social media influencers who were contestants and below their name it would instead of showing what their profession was, it would just show the number of followers they had and they all have like five million followers and seven million followers and 10 million followers. And this past week, a TikTok celebrity personality just gained her 100 millionth follower, which I don’t — I mean nobody has. Those are numbers that are crazy and I’ll talk a little bit about how I personally don’t understand how there’s 100 million people following her because the stuff she does is really in my opinion silly and inane and not very serious or interesting in any way.
But even relatively unknown people even — I talk about the productivity channels that I’m interested in. They have 10, 20, 30, 40,000 followers and are regularly getting lots and lots of views doing things. So no matter what platform you’re choosing to do it, this is part of what we talked about before. The 1,000 true fans can really be the 50 000 true fans or the 100 million true fans. It’s possible to get an audience doing some of these things on some of these platforms.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think that the potential audience is out there and with COVID putting the kibosh on commuting for a lot of people, that people are turning to videos and it’s clearly not to go all boomer on people but it is kind of like a younger generation thing that really relies on video and the shorter videos especially and so it’s just a form of communication that really makes sense for a lot of people, which is the reason I started to think about. It’s to say well, how would you kind of go into that platform and reach new audiences through video when in my case and I think your case as well, Tom, it’s like well, we started out by writing and then it was a big leap to do podcasting and audio and then video just seemed like too much.
Like how can you do that and then this year with Zoom you say to do a long form video, I can just get on Zoom, hit the record and like whether it’s a class, whether it’s a presentation whatever, I have it and I have the recording. I can do a little simple editing to kind of trim the front end of it and the back end of it and I’m all set and I have something I can put up onto Youtube or whatever I want to do with it and as you know Tom, it’s if you know pretty much the right price for me which is free on all of this stuff.
I mean, you do run into a few things that you need to think about, but like today, I learned that if you didn’t have a verified Youtube account, you couldn’t put up, you can’t put up a video more than 15 minutes long. So there’s two solutions that it’s pretty straightforward to get a verified account or the other thing is you just split your videos into chunks that are are less than 15 minutes.
So there’s this kind of ease of doing it and I think it’s like one of those things where you go like well, actually the long form is kind of really easy and that made me start to think about the shorter form and what’s happening there. So I don’t know Tom, what maybe your reactions to the ability to create and whether — and I know you’ve been interested in video for a long time and you were just involved in doing what I’ll call a music video that was kind of professionally done. So do you see this difference between what you might do long form and short form?
Tom Mighell: Well, let me get that comment out of the way real quick and say that the music video was actually a video that we did for the charity show that our bar association puts on here in Dallas every year since we weren’t able to have a live show in front of people. We all did kind of a Zoom version of a video where we recorded ourselves singing a song and we hired a company to put it all together, which was about as professional as it got. But I will tell you for that three minutes of video, it took me four hours to record it because I had to find the right location, I had to find the right place, I had to get everything set up, I had to make sure that the camera was set up, I had to practice a while to make sure I got it right. I did about maybe 20 takes before I had it perfectly the way that I wanted to do it. Just that three-minute video was really challenging for me and I’m going to get into a little bit more detail about why I think you are right that it is fairly straightforward to be able to take a long form video and do a minor editing to it and post it immediately to a platform. The bigger question I will have is, is that is that what people will be interested in watching? Because when I watch what other people are producing these days, they are producing — it depends on what you mean by long form because short form, let’s talk about TikTok for a minute and maybe not just TikTok but anybody who’s doing what we would call stories and every app out there, every social media app has some type of stories.
Instagram has stories. Facebook has stories. I think LinkedIn has stories now too. I think you can do little tiny videos of things. I think TikTok does it better than anybody. They have the biggest following but what it winds up being is it winds up being fairly short videos that you can basically do anything for and you talk about editing that on the fly. I’ve seen some incredibly well put together 20 second videos where teenagers have — there’s one where he has turned into five different superheroes within a 20-second span and part of them are animated and he’s been able to splice animation in there. So I don’t know that that’s doing it on the fly. That feels like a professional production doing that.
But I will say that when we’re going to talk about these different platforms, the short form is what we’re seeing most of these social media platforms do. I think there’s a value to these short form tools. We’ll talk about them in a little bit, but I don’t know exactly what you mean by long form. I mean, a presentation for lawyers is an hour long sometimes. I find that the most successful videos that I watch on Youtube are 15, 20 minutes. They’re not very long. They don’t spend a lot of time getting into it. They are engaging, they’re quick but they don’t spend a lot of time compared to what I would see lawyers droning on and on and on for an hour on a boring CLE topic.
That’s kind of where I want to make sure that people understand that when we think about long form, you may have to rethink your idea of what long form means to be effective in video online.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah and I think that there is the — like you said, for me long form is probably anything longer than seven minutes and then probably I also kind of characterize it as something that’s kind of live or live like where the cameras are rolling. So it could be conversations, presentations, those sorts of things. Typically when you’re thinking about doing an online course, you’d be looking at three to seven minute videos that constituted a lesson and then you’d have a series of lessons. But because of the attention span and how difficult it is to kind of keep people focused on what’s essentially a talking head.
I saw a great presentation the other day in the form of a webcast where it was clearly shot with two cameras very really high-quality video. One from the side, one from the front. And they just alternated the cuts and they also put in videos and other things pretty seamlessly and I could see how much work that was, but compared to just turning the video on yourself and doing something, it’s a ton, ton more work. I think we’re sort of in this early phase like we were with podcast time where you can kind of get away with a video that’s not as professional and maybe that comes from back in the old days of America’s Funniest Home Videos and stuff where was kind of a little bit more tolerant of video quality that’s amateurish if it’s shorter.
So long form like I said, it’s kind of like keep the cameras rolling, but I think those really short forms. So TikTok is 60 seconds or less. And I think we once did a podcast time where we talked about Vine if you remember that like six second videos and people could tell a story in six seconds. It’s amazing and it’s like an amazing talent to be able to do that. And so there’s actually a lot that you can you could tell in 60 seconds and where you start to say, wow. How much can I tell in 60 seconds rather than 60 minutes and can I convey complex legal topics or even standard legal topics that people would need to know in 60 seconds or less. And it’s kind of a really interesting challenge and probably the way we’re headed.
Tom Mighell: I was always amazed that Vine was able to — that people who used Vine were able to convey that much within six seconds and I think that if you look at TikTok these days, people can convey a whole lot within a very short period of time. I will say though that the types of stories that I see more often tend to be very frivolous. There’s lots of young teenagers who are dancing and just doing dancing moves and not being particularly good at the dancing, but they are doing it and maybe it’s part of COVID quarantine and that’s what they have to do. So I’m intrigued and interested that there might be a place for lawyers with the short form but let’s save that for when we talk about the platforms.
So maybe let’s dive in a little bit more into the platforms themselves and what we think is valuable and maybe not so valuable for lawyers to think about. Dennis, well, actually let me start. I’ll kick it off and talk about — we’ll talk about the ones that are more of the long-form video that we’re talking about and for those two we’re going to talk primarily about Youtube and Vimeo. So Youtube is the one that everybody knows. It’s the 800 pound gorilla and the whole thing it has the biggest reach. I view that that’s one of its advantages. The other advantage that Dennis mentioned free there are versions that you can use to not get ads, but you’re paying as a viewer not as a recorder to be verified. You didn’t have to pay any money to be verified right, Dennis? You didn’t have to pay anything for that.
Dennis Kennedy: No. So it’s just like a multi-factor type thing where they confirmed I was who I was.
Tom Mighell: Yep. You just have to show who you are and then they’ll let you do that. So it’s free and then Google’s business analytics. So the analytics that you get on the videos I think are going to be unparalleled. Of course, that comes along with taking and getting a lot of information about you, which may be a disadvantage to using Youtube.
Vimeo is a smaller platform. You may not have heard of it. You may have seen videos that have been recorded on Vimeo. I would say that it’s a smaller community. There are a smaller number of people who use it. My understanding is the privacy options there are better. Where Google is not going to give you a lot of privacy at all, Vimeo is going to be better about it. There are no ads on Vimeo videos. I understand that the video quality might be better. The difference though is is that to get certain features or to get analytics, you have to pay. You have to be a premium user and you have to pay their different levels of subscription. So unlike Youtube, there is a price to using those tools.
Dennis, so for me, Youtube is still where I would want to be just because of the reach, but I can definitely see why someone would want to use Vimeo. I don’t know how you feel about those two and how they fall down for you.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think that I’ve gravitated to Youtube. I gave some thought to Vimeo because of closed captioning, but I think that Youtube allows for some closed captioning. It just may be easier on Vimeo and obviously these are moving targets on a lot of these things because you get improvements all the time. So that’s something to keep in mind. So in Youtube I’ll create videos to go onto my network’s platform for courses and then with Youtube I can make a video public and I can have a channel and you present yourself. You’re sort of findable by the whole Youtube audience. But for pay courses then obviously you want to do something that they have a functionality called unlisted which basically then allows you to use Youtube for the hosting of your video for your course without people being able to watch it for free. So I like that. So you’re just going to have to kind of look and you can do both clearly.
It’s just that I can tell you from today that it takes a while to upload and configure and tag and do all the things that you need to do with longer form videos because you’re working with very big files. So that’s something to keep in mind. So that’s my thought there. The other places we talked about are as you said this sort of everything that allows you to do stories. So I would say definitely people consider Instagram to be a very significant video platform. So if you’re already using Instagram for other purposes, then I would say shorter form videos you might put onto Instagram as well and then TikTok has it was originally 15-second limit and you can do 60 seconds now. So there’s this part of me when I think about that and I see how big the audiences are on both platforms and I guess with the change in administration, the concern about TikTok being banned in the U.S. probably has gone away. It’s something you might want to think about, but there will be a lot of unhappy people if TikTok is banned and that’s because of Chinese ownership/interest/server locations are what is the concern of the day on that.
So, I think very interesting and maybe you do different uh platforms for different things that you do, but it started to make me think that the 60-second video is going to be the unit to use because it can be used in so many different places.
Tom Mighell: I don’t think TikTok was ever in danger of being banned. I think that instead of being banned and this may still happen, is that TikTok was going to be purchased by a U.S company or at least partnered with it. I think it was going to be Oracle. Was it Oracle and Walmart that were partnering to do things? So it’s about having a place not in China that stores the videos and so I don’t think that was ever going to happen. I think that TikTok is incredibly intriguing as are all of the video places that do short form videos. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, they all have stories out there and they all allegedly have audiences for all of those.
To me, TikTok is intriguing because of the sheer number of people who use TikTok but both the challenge and the promise of a tool like TikTok is the demographic.
The huge demographic on TikTok is 25 and under. There’s not a lot of people over the age of 25 who are using TikTok on a regular basis, let alone know what TikTok is. Now, is that an ideal place for an innovative enterprising lawyer to start teaching young adults about the legal system and about the importance of having a will or the importance of if you’re getting ready to get married here in a few years what to be thinking about? I think that there are incredible opportunities in short form. It may be a while before you find an audience just because it hasn’t gotten to that point yet or at least I don’t see lawyers using it in that way yet, but I am incredibly intrigued by the possibilities of using it for that purpose.
Now, let me add a couple of other things to the mix. We’ve talked about Youtube and Vimeo as being a place to put recorded video. We talked about stories. What we haven’t talked about is live video. We haven’t talked about live streaming and live streaming is another option for video for you. And so I would say that one of the tools to look at and pay attention to over the coming year is going to be Twitch. Twitch is originally designed as a live streaming service for gamers. You can go online and watch people play games all the time and they make lots of money with people just watching them play games and it’s insane. You may have seen before the election that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got online and played a game called Among Us. She played a video game online and 450,000 people showed up to watch her play a video game. I say that not to talk about politics but to say that a celebrity can go online and draw that kind of crowd, just think about what you could do if you wanted to get online and say I want to talk for 30 minutes about this recent case that I heard today. Youtube has a live version. You can live stream on Youtube if you want to do it live rather than do the recording and then that that video is automatically stored as part of one of your videos. So those are two I think also very interesting options.
I think that Twitch is going to be moving away from gaming and moving more into other areas in the near future and I think that’s very interesting from a live streaming standpoint. Obviously, Zoom, Dennis talks about Zoom video. Microsoft teams now has the ability to host and record video events and so they would be live video. Right now, you can have up to 10,000 people in a conference with just a regular Microsoft teams plan. In certain circumstances you can get up to a 100,000 people for a live event. It provides you with registration, with analytics. If you wanted to hold an online conference and have all of it filmed and recorded in teams, you could do that in a fairly straightforward way. I’ve seen several conferences and teams and they work really really well. So other options for trying video, I think they all kind of depend on what use you want to make of the video.
Dennis Kennedy: One of the things for me is what’s changed so much is that if you thought about doing video in the past like where you would store it, how you would store it, how big the files were, all those sorts of things were daunting and were discouraging to you and now there’s all these platforms. So the thing is like trying to choose which thing that you want and then you know, Tom, all through this year, we’ve kind of talked about video presence and equipment, lighting, audio in earlier episodes which I’d recommend. So you have all of those things and then I think that of course rolls us back to our usual question which is why should you do video or you should think about it I think, but why and what would you as they always say what are you hiring video to do for you? So what is the job to be done and I think you pointed to some really cool ideas, Tom that if you’re a lawyer, that this can get you to audiences maybe in places they already are, but in this very desirable easy to consume thing that people like, which is the short videos and that can be educational. They can be funny. You can, I don’t know that you could kind of do some dance video to a legal concept, but if it’s 60 seconds, you might be able to get away with something.
So, I think there’s that that you need to think about. Audience, what you can do, can you do content, is this a medium that makes sense to you.
All those things out there and then I would say the thing that comes up a lot, Tom is just when you’re trying to do video, you’re saying like, oh, do I need a studio, do I have to do all these things and you’re putting all the stuff together and then you realize that you have this tough question, which is that the talent for your videos is you and so people sometimes say I have a face for radio and that can be a hurdle. You know, watching yourself on video is — can be difficult and I hope it’s true that video makes you look 10 or 15 pounds heavier because if not, I need to be losing some weight here soon. So I think there are all of those things where you say, oh, my God, do I look like that? Do I need acting lessons? Those sorts of things. So that’s some of the things I think about that can be hurdles for lawyers who want to get into this. And Tom, you’ve done acting and musicals and things like that, so some of these things are easier for you, but none of it is easy when you’re seeing yourself up on the screen.
Tom Mighell: I don’t think any of it’s easy period. I think that I might feel more comfortable starting it out because I’ve had experience doing whatever level of acting I’ve been doing, but I would not ever say that any of this is easy. So I guess, we’re running out of time in this segment so maybe let’s talk about Dennis, why you’re so bullish on this and kind of some ideas that you might have and then I’ll kind of react to that and give you, tell you whether I’m bullish or bearish or how I’m feeling about this whole thing and then let’s wrap it up.
Dennis Kennedy: I told you before the show, I was a lot more bullish before I spent the day doing editing some videos and which is difficult and I think it’s like one of those things that if you do it on a regular basis it’s a skill that you can learn fairly easily, but it takes a lot of computer power. There’s concepts that are sort of foreign to you, things don’t work quite the way you want and it can make your computer fairly sluggish. So there are some things there that give me hesitation and where the solution might be that you just find somebody who you create the raw video and somebody edits it for you, which I think is a very reasonable approach to take. So I’m bullish because people are not going to be commuting for a while and I mean, a lot of people aren’t going to be commuting for a while. There’s going to be a lot more work from home and people like the short videos and they also like I think you do like webcasts and other things where there’s high information content. So I think this is this new medium that is going to really rise up in both value and the audience that’s happening at the younger level. I think it’s just going to filter up and I think we’re just going to see a lot more videos so that’s what’s attractive to me and I guess like for me, I see courses, I see short videos, I do video tips. I have this idea of doing is my TikTok experiment. I have a 57 tips for my innovation book and just doing like whatever it would be, 15, 20-second TikTok video of each of those 57 tips and then making those available. So there’s a lot of things you can think about that you could experiment with in the video form and just dip your toes in and see if it’s like all of these things. Social media, any kind of content production whether it’s the one that fits you and that’s the real test.
I wasn’t sure, I never thought video would be the thing that interests me, but I said when I look back and I say if you look at my classes, I’ve created probably 60 hours of video just in classes so far this year.
Tom Mighell: For me like in most things, I’ve kind of fall down on both sides of this issue. So I’m feeling both bullish and bearish about all of this. I am bullish for the reasons that you say. I think of all media right now, video really has the best potential. It’s the most accessible, it’s the thing that I am sorry to all of us who have blogs but if I look over at somebody, not that I’m seeing lots of people on mass transit or on a plane or anything these days, but if I look over at somebody looking at their phone and I ask them what are they doing, they’re not saying, oh, I’m reading this great blog post.
I never hear that. They always say, I’m watching a video. I mean, it tends to be the most accessible and it’s something that people are doing and I think that it is a huge way of communicating today.
I am bearish because the bar for quality has already been set so high here. Like you mentioned, double cameras. I see some videos where they’re shooting b-roll, where they’re shooting different stuff on their videos where the audio quality is fantastic, the lighting and the bouquet that they saw is just amazing stuff where they sound professional because they sit there and they edit it so tightly that it never looks like they ever quit talking. It looks like a single take that’s been edited so professionally even though there might be 20 or 30 different stops and splits because it is hard to do all of that. I worry that I become a perfectionist that needs to get to that level to do it, but that’s not going to stop me. I’m still interested in doing it. I still am interested in talking mostly about collaboration tools and productivity tools and teaching people how to use technology using video. That’s really where my interest lies.
In our second segment, we’ll talk more about why I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I intend to try it out and see what’s going on. I don’t think that my bearishness is going to prevent me and I don’t think it should prevent you, any of you out there listening because I think that there’s too many opportunities out there whether it’s a 20-second TikTok video or an online course that you put on for potential clients.
Dennis Kennedy: All right. Before we move on to our next segment. Let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy. Many of us have spent most of 2020 working from a home office and if you’re like us, you’ve been doing it a lot of fussing around to get your own office set up just the way you want. So we thought it’d be a good time to look at our own home offices and share what has seem to work best for us. Tom, you probably made more home office upgrades than anybody I know. What’s working best for you these days?
Tom Mighell: Well, I’m assuming by that you mean that since I’ve been working at home for 12 years, I’ve had practice at it. So I’m guessing that that’s what that means and to be fair, I’ve made some changes over time, but I would say that I am making more changes now in reaction to video, in reaction to how I am having meetings, in reaction to how I am having to work from home because I am not traveling as often as I use to.
So whatever my work from home, my home office is looking like is a direct reaction to what’s been going on this year and really it takes up I would say three major things. One is the desk. I have right now a very solid massive old dark wood desk that has big cabinets next to. That there’s matching bookcases, there’s a matching file cabinet. It takes up a lot of space in the room. It is very nice and professional looking and I hate it. It’s just so out of date for me and I want to get rid of it immediately. I’ve been wanting a standing desk for a long time, but I want a nice good quality standing desk. I don’t want one that looks like it belongs in an office and everybody gets one. I want kind one that would be suitable for a home office. So I’ve ordered a custom desk that is now in the third month of waiting for it because they are not in the right parts, but it’s going to be I think going to be kind of the focus of how I’m going to change the office up. I’m going to have — put different things on the walls.
I’m going to have a different viewpoint from where I am right now and I will be able to do videos in a much better way once that desk comes in. My best purchase so far because the desk doesn’t count because I don’t have it, has been that 39-inch monitor that we talked about on a previous episode. Having that much real estate and doing that much has been just amazing. I love it. I love it. If you have the opportunity to get a large monitor. I say way better than double monitors. It is so nice.
My second best purchase is the webcam that we’re using right now. I’m using the Logitech Brio. It’s a 4k camera. I can tell the difference when I look at other people’s videos versus my videos. It takes I think incredibly crisp, clear video. It’s a great camera. Good luck finding it. It’s been like everything else, it’s been hard for people to find it these days. Hopefully, they’ll get that back in stock. Those are the three best things I think I’ve done for my home office this year. Dennis, what about you?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I’ve covered the opposite of you in a couple of ways. So I just have sort of like a table is my desk and I’m trying to keep things fairly lean. My best purchase was your recommendation. So I went with the big monitor, which was a move from a 12-inch MacBook, which has made a significant difference. And I also agree with you that the home office almost everything is being driven by video. It’s like I have a note that I need to rethink the lighting in the workspace I have. Looking at the background, do I need if you could find a green screen, maybe a green screen is part of that. So those are the things I look and I say I got microphones, microphone stands. I have all these things. I have a tripod for a camera because I’m using a digital camera in some cases when I do video. That’s what I see is kind of like it’s geared to — I almost think of it not as a home office but as this video studio that I’ll be working out of in a funny sort of way. So what’s on the wall, those sorts of things and I also want some whiteboard, you know the ability to whiteboard as well. But even then when you set up the home office and you say I want to have a whiteboard and I want to do these things and you say, well, but if I’m shooting a video here, then I have to either cover this stuff up or do a green screen or do something with the background so it’s not included. So it is interesting time to your point that the video drives so much so much, but that’s what I’m seeing that’s working and even on the standing desk which I have stayed away from, I had one when I was at Mastercard, just didn’t like it at all. But I would think about it because it would allow me to do video while I was standing instead of sitting in a chair. So it’s funny how everything just comes back to video, but definitely trying for a much leaner approach than I’ve ever had before and I don’t know how successful I’ve been on that.
It’s time for parting shots that one tip website or observation. You can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So in the past couple of podcasts, we’ve talked about the app called Readwise as kind of a game changer in terms of taking any highlights that you make in your Amazon Kindle books, in your Instapaper, Pocket articles and syncing them to your note taking tools or just syncing them so you have them available. Well, they just had a massive, massive, massive upgrade and it’s amazing that for eight bucks a month you get as much stuff as you get. They’ve totally redesigned all their apps. They’re still doing the export integrations. They’re integrating all of your highlights — excuse me, exporting all your highlights to either notion which we’re going to talk about in an upcoming podcast, Evernote and Rome research which we talked about on the previous podcast. They have new sources that you can highlight from. We talked, I’ve talked about Kindle and Instapaper and Pocket. You can now highlight pdfs, just a regular pdf file and it will take those and sync them up. If you use Google Play books, if you use Feedly as your feed reader, it will sync highlights that you make in Feedly articles. The Air podcast app that we talked about before the one for grabbing content or clips of podcasts, you can clip them and save those highlights to Readwise and also Scribd. Dennis talks about scribed or Scribd whatever it is.
The tool for looking at magazines and things like that, other articles and books. You can do that as well. They have a public API which means it’s going to start connecting with more and more tools. I’m just going to stop there. There’s so many other things that they have that are available. It’s really a great tool. I can’t recommend it enough. Readwise.io just eight bucks a month for the premium plan. It’s really great.
Dennis Kennedy: And I also have the premium plan. So I’m a fan as well. I can’t wait to start using it on a more systematic basis. So my parting shot as usual goes back to cool tools. One of our favorite sites with all its recommendations for cool tools. So they do a weekly newsletter called Recommendo which we’ve recommended for a long time as well, but recently they did this thing this is kind of cool and something I’ve kind of wanted because it saves a step for me. So they’ve created the Recommendo Amazon Storefront and so some of the things that they’ve recommended they just put all together in one kind of storefront sort of like a long scrolling page on Amazon so you can just look through it and find the things you want. Perfect here in gift giving season and all those great recommendations they made, you can kind of scroll through them and immediately order them or put them on your wish list on Amazon. So super convenient service and it did make me wonder whether that’s something that I might want to do as well once I kind of figure out what it is that they’ve done. It looks like it requires a little bit more Amazon engagement that I have at the moment and maybe a little bit more complex than I thought, but very interesting and because during this gift giving season, great resource, but it is dangerous. I found a couple things that I felt I had to buy.
Tom Mighell: I always find at least one good thing out of every Recommendo episode if not more. And so that wraps it up for this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode on the Legal Talk Network’s page for this show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast and iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives of all of our previous episodes along with transcripts. If you’d like to get in touch with us, reach out to us on LinkedIn. We’re getting ready to have our year-end show where we talk about the best of the year in legal technology. If you have a topic you think we should discuss or have a question, please leave us a voicemail and we’re going to have a special guest and we’d love to talk about anything you want us to talk about. That number is 720-441-6820. So until the next podcast, I’m tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an internet focus. If you like what you heard today, please rate us on Apple podcasts and we’ll see you next time for another episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
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