Okay, here’s the scoop on the use of technology at the Louisiana Bar Convention in Destin, Florida. Basically every lawyer now carries a blackberry. They wear them on their hip or they keep them in their pockets, or sometimes they put them on the table where they can vibrate in an annoying way that lets everyone at the table know that the recipient is in constant communication with the Mother Ship.
Back at Rum Runners the free Wi-Fi has attracted a few lawyers. I ran into a lawyer I know who was using his laptop to try to get in touch with his office. I told him to go up to the second floor where the signal was better, and that seemed to work out. He told me that his room has an Ethernet jack but he couldn’t access the Internet from his room (my room has it too, but I didn’t bring a cable and now I don’t care because I’ve got it free only 30 yards from where I’m staying). I asked him how he knew about the Wi-Fi at Rum Runners and he said another lawyer had told him about it. I then asked him why he was ‘hip to the Wi-Fi thing’ and he said he has it at home but rarely uses it. His laptop ‘just came with Wi-Fi’ and so that’s why he became aware of it.
Obviously, Intel’s Centrino marketing campaign is only succesful up to a point; and then the automatic inclusion of Wi-Fi kicks in and makes it something that people are aware of. I predict in 5 years free Wi-Fi will be de riguer at all conferences, not just the technology-oriented ones.