You will have to excuse the play on words, but Linklaters are the next firm to start using Social Media tools with the release of an in-house Wiki called Linkpedia "Linklaters staff will be able to add photos, text and weblinks to Linkpedia themselves and will also be able to comment on entries that have been posted by their peers. The content, however, will all be firm-related."

[Hat Tip - Scott Vine at Information Overlord]

LNB (UK) a "Nightmare"

This is the attention grabbing headline of an article in Excited Utterances. The article specifically talks about how there is a perception that LNB are "dragging" their feet when it comes to integrating their content with customers intranets or portal products to provide federated searches.

Melanie Farquharson who chaired the recent Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession conference, is quoted as saying "no longer does the lawyer need to know their way around a large number of sources and applications. Pockets of information that have previously been a black hole somewhere in the firm can now be opened up – and joined up in a coherent way. Furthermore, time-consuming processes, such as the maintenance of expertise databases, can be made more efficient – not necessarily to exclude human intervention, but to give that intervention a head start"

The question is, are LNB are dragging their feet? I think if we were to draw direct comparisons between the amount of information LNB maintain (millions of items) and the amount PLC maintain then we might begin to see some of the reasons. However this is a growing area and LNB need to provide flexible, adaptive and most importantly cost effective solutions which work both for the end-user (fee-earner) and for them.

Blogging articles from the Blog Herald

The Blog Herald which I have recently discovered has two interesting articles. The first of these is "Are you a social blogger or a hermit blogger" asks whether you connect with other bloggers by commenting on their blogs, reading what they have written or joining "Blogging Forums"

I think I do quite well in this area but as the article suggests sometimes you can get caught up in what you are writing without realising there is an awful lot of other blogging going on.

The second article asks whether your blog is a "Conversation or Answer" Blog that is do you provide answers to technical questions and therefore don't engage in conversations as such or does your Blog provide a forum for conversations. Looking back over my recent posts my Blog appears to have been an "Answer" blog, but I am keen to encourage conversation and surely users commenting on your posts is a measure of how successful or not your Blog is?

Is Facebook finished?

Unless you have been walking around with your eyes closed for the last few days you wont have missed the news that the "phenomenon" that is Facebook faces closure.

According to this report this is a long running dispute between one of the original founders of Facebook (Mark Zuckerburg) and some of his now ex-college friends who claim that Mark copied code from their website and created Facebook.

Watch this space!

Legal Publishing in the 21st Century

The American Association of Law Librarians Tech Services committee have added a report of this session at the AALL Conference to their blog.

A fuller report will be available in the September edition to TSLL.

Growing social media projects from the ground up

This is the title of a presentation delivered by Lee Bryant of Headshift and Ruth Ward of Allen & Overy at the 2007 Perfect Information Conference in Bath.

The presentation raises some interesting questions, in particular what is the role of Information Professionals in a world where users are creating, publishing and managing their own information? The answer is that Information Professionals already understand the issues and have the skills to make these tools available to their users. I have a blog post about this in draft form at the moment so watch this space.

Blog Friends

This looks like a great little application for Facebook. Blog Friends essentially enables you to read posts from your friends Blogs on Facebook.


Vufind is a new online tool which has been "designed and developed for libraries by libraries"

The ultimate goal of VuFind (according to the website) is for "users to search and browse through all of your library's resources by replacing the traditional OPAC"

[Hat Tip - Peter Scott]

Facebook frenzy

The whole world seems to be talking about Facebook! Because it's so great, well yes and no. Social Media Today has published several posts on the Facebook phenomenon Facebook and the Law is worth reading just to know that possible employers are using Facebook as a means to "check you out"

Dennis Howlett again from Social Media Today talks about how Facebook is becoming more Business "orientated" with the development of sites like Sampa and Google Reader which can be integrated with Facebook.

Over at the Business of Knowing, Helen Nicol talks about how Facebook isn't as innocent as it seems. I agree with most of Helen's post, but there is an element of seriousness beginning to creep into Facebook as discussed in this post. Finally if you are struggling with the dilemma of whether you should sign up to Facebook or not read this article for the Pros and Cons.

Couldn't make it to the SCL Web 2.0 Conference?

No need to worry you can just listen to all the presentations (over 6 hours) here

[Hat Tip - Scott Vine at Information Overlord]

Corporate Librarian replaced by a Web Application!

This is a bit old (April) but the headline caught my eye. The article is essentially about how the creation and administration of taxonomies is being done less by Librarians and more by automated processes or by fee-earners/users of the taxonomy a kind of "bottom up approach"

The author argues that "Taxonomy is what research librarians used to do -- and professionals who manage documents for corporations still do -- organizing and categorizing reference material. And today those meticulous creatures are running scared, because of the Web 2.0 development known as tagging."

Running scared that's me, not over this though. I'm quite excited by the thought that I wont have to administer taxonomies and the power that folksonomies have in enabling users to access information they know exists and that they have tagged and of course people wont ever completely agree on what something should be tagged so there will always be a place for us Librarians.

Happy birthday bloggers!

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal it is 10 years since Blogs were born! Happy Birthday everyone.

Frightened by Facebook?

Two stories this week about Facebook have caught my eye. The first from the Metro is how University chiefs have been "spying" on students through Facebook. Essentially students have been publishing pictures of themselves on Facebook "celebrating" results.

Univestity chiefs believe some celebrations go too far and are trying to identify "culprits" by searching Facebook. The story was also reported in the Times and the Daily Telegraph. The other story was published on and tells that tale of a journalist who was forced to hand over the contents of his contacts list to his former employer after he left that company.

The story goes on to say that "If a social networking site is used to hold any information which relates to your employment, if that information is prepared in the course of your employment you are dealing with company property" a message for us all?

Create your own Web 2.0 Start up

Neil Stewart over at Library etc has a funny post about creating your own Web 2.0 startup

How come I never think up these websites? I guess I'm just not very creative...

Podcasting Toolbox

If your thinking about or currently Podcasting and would like to know more then the list of resources on this site is an excellent starting point.

Legal Outsourcing and Enterprise 2.0

Not one but two articles in this months Library & Information Update which will be of interest to Corporate/Law Librarians.

In the first Kate Stanfield talks about the impact outsourcing is likely to have on Law Librarians. There is a handy table of useful definitions as well. Kate's article touches on a report from the American Association of Law Librarians published in March. This report called Legal Reference from Mumbai looked at whether Law Libraians job would be the next outsourced service. See my previous post on this subject for more information on this report.

The second article is a report of a meeting organised by the City Information Group on the 13th of June the meeting was a discussion of the impact Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 tools are having.

A wikied vision for the future

IPKat reports on a meeting that took place on Wednesday between "legal practitioners, academics and information managers" during which they discussed the creation of an IP Law Wiki. This would work on 4 levels;

  • At its core would be primary and secondary legislative materials - statutes, subordinate legislation, directives, regulations and international treaties
  • These core materials would be accompanied by links and/or references to legal judgments and office decisions relevant to them
  • A third tier would consist of links and/or references to articles, case notes and other published materials with bearing on the first two levels;
  • Individual comments would also be accommodated, this allowing for the possibility of developing discussion.

This is a huge underaking and I wish the team behind it the best of luck. IMPACT the Blog run by the IP Team at Freeth Cartwright writes about the potential impact for the traditional providers of these services (Lexis Nexis Butterworths and PLC)

"These services could find themselves struggling to achieve the same quality of information, available as quickly, as that which could be managed by multiple law firms working together."

However the IMPACT Blog also goes on to say that there will always be a demand for these services as the Law Firms contributing to the Wiki are unlikely to have access to the latest law reports or court judgments.

Something to monitor closely!

Write articles not blog entries

Well now this article by Jakob Nielsen has stirred up a lot of interest amongst bloggers. Jakob Nielsen who is an Internet usability guru writes that people should be writing articles on Websites in preference to writing blog posts.

Lo-fi Librarian amongst other has picked up the story. My own preference is for blog posts as demonstrated by the fact I post to several blogs on a regular basis. Writing to a blog is so immediate whereas writing a journal article or paper will often mean meeting deadlines, drafting multiple versions and not seeing the finished article for a considerable amount of time. Journal articles also don't allow for feedback or comments from the readership.

I find the ability to say I enjoyed reading a post or commenting on a post invaluable and find that often the comments can be more interesting then the posts as they can contain additional resources.


I'm really not sure about this, the European Commission has launched a site on Youtube which they describe as "Sharing the sights and sounds of Europe"...enjoy!

Social Networking explained

Another great video from the team at CommonCraft, this time they explain Social Networking.

CILIP and Second Life

As reported by Phil Bradley in his Blog CILIP have boldly stepped into the virtual world of Second Life with the opening of a virtual office. It doesn't open until the 19th of July so we will have to wait until then to see what they have to offer.

CILIP have followed up on this announcement with an article in the 13th of July edition of the Library & Information Gazette. This article discusses whether Second Life can add value to Library Services and explains some of the reasons behind CILIP creating a Second Life office. The benefits include:
  • Having an online presence 24/7
  • The PR/Promotional benefits
  • The ability to have business meetings
  • Recruitment
  • Business networking
The Umbrella Blog has more information and screenshots of the CILIP office in Second Life.
Meanwhile over at iLibrarian Judy O'Connell has written a post which attempts to define Second Life, as Judy so succinctly writes;
"By knowing more about this broader context, it becomes even easier to see and understand the potential of Second Life, and the pressing need for some of our libraries to ‘get into’ the metaverse."

EU Databases

The European Information Association have a new page on their website, whichincludes an introduction to using Tenders Electronic Daily, along with guides to finding proposed EU legislation using EUR-Lex, OEIL and PreLex.

Hat Tip - Peter Scott

10 Minute Blog Tips: Staying With It

This is the title of a short article in the Blog Herald on how to stay on top of your Blogging once your blog is well established and you have the added pressures of readers and subscribers. My favourite tip is;

  • Accept that you are only human. Do not add more pressure to your job than is necessary. Your life and real responsibilities come first, nobody is going to get hurt if you don’t post today.

Too true!

A hipper crowd of "shushers"

This is the title of an article in the New York Times Fashion section. I have mixed feelings about this article it's great that a group of Librarians have been highlighted like this but the title could have been a bit more original.

The article itself makes interesting reading especially when I started thinking about how many drink titles with my knowledge of Dewey I would be able to guess, practically none unless they were called 150 or 300 those are the only numbers I recall from my academic days.

Managing your online identities

Webworker has a useful article on three tools which can help manage your "online identity" The sites all look very useful and I'm pleased to say I have been approved by MyLifeBrand which although in alpha mode looks the most useful out of all of them. Now all I need is a tool to manage these tools.

A milestone

Just looked at the number of posts I have created and have realised I have reached a rather magical 150....happy 150 posts to me!

The end of Blogging?

This is the title of an article in the Blog Herald in it the author discusses whether Social Networking sites mean the end of Blogging as a communication tool. The author is very much in the no camp and I have to agree.

Social Networking sites are great at what they do and I have to admit to being hooked on Facebook, but as it stands at the moment they are not the medium for creating quality content, unless you were to throw a site like Pageflakes into the mix, but is this really a Social Networking site?

On the other hand I love blogging and the the world of Blogging (the Blogosphere) but there are an awful lot of Blogs that are started and then just die a death, there is also a lot of other content which I will describe as "dross" for want of a better word which gives Blogs a bad name and can be a barrier to their use.