What is the value of Online Research?

This is the question asked by the Strategic Librarian in her most recent blog post. This is an interesting article which looks at the issues of recovering the cost of online research from both the Law Firm and Clients perspective.

This is a major issue for many Law Firms and the author (Nina Platt) doesn't provide any hard anf fast solutions but does say:

"There really has to be a better way to manage these costs. I don't have any brillant solutions to the problems I've outlined but I do think there are some things that law firms and their clients can do to reduce the frustration around this issue"

New articles from the Blog Herald

Two new articles from the Blog Herald which are well worth reading;

Don't be a sundial....

...December will once again see Online Information hit town and I for one will be there (speaking as it happens) but even before Online has started they will be announcing the winner of IWR (Information World Review) Information Professional of the Year 2007.

IWR has the full story here.

Bloglines BETA

Well the great news is that Bloglines have released a BETA version of the new Bloglines. The bad news is that the BETA version is only available on IE7 and I'm on IE6!

101 Blogging Resources

They have called them essential but I'm not sure I would use absolutely all of these resources.

Web 2.0 : A Library Technology Forecast

Are you ready for for Web 2.0/Library 2.0 and advanced Social Networks? This is one of the questions asked by Stephen Abram Vice President/Chief Strategist at the SIRSIDynix Institute.
This reads like a call to arms for Libraries and Librarians with Stephen arguing that "Libraries core skill is not delivering information" it is to "Improve the quality of the question and the user experience"

This is a very interesting if really long (113 slides) presentation.

Facebook rules for all of us

So most people will have heard of Facebook and some of us use it regularly, but have you ever stopped to think about how your use is perceived or even though it is great to have 287 friends how many of those people do you actually know?

This post on Social Media Today list 8 "rules" for using Facebook, very interesting.

Widget mania

The latest issue of VIP has two very informative articles, one is on the use of Widgets by Business Information Providers and the second is on whether Business Information Providers are profiting enough from Web 2.0.

The Widgets article is the most interesting with links to a number of useful looking sources:

Great for those people who need to access this information where it is most useful e.g. from their desktops, portals or intranet.

Is this the end for Westlaw and LexisNexis?

The big news from the U.S is that an "internet activist" well know for making public documents available...well publically is taking on the likes on Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Carl Malamud already has his site up and running and is steadily loading material. Unsurpisingly this development has caught the eye of a lot of bloggers including:

It will be interesting to see what happens with this. Unsurprisingly there have been a few comments on this subject with "supporters" for LexisNexis and Westlaw saying that they provide value added material in addition to the Court or Case Report itself e.g. judicial history and case comments.

Twitter guide

This looks like an excellent guide to using Twitter in Libraries.

What's the future of paid content?

Is the question asked by Evan VanDyk over at Slaw. This comes in response to the news that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are both considering providing free access to all their content.

An interesting move if it does happen and as suggested in the post "If both the Times and Journal abandon the idea of pay-to-read content, it is essentially dead for the time being on the Web."

The new football season

All eyes were on big screens on Saturday the 11th for the start of the new football season and quote of the day, possibly even quote of the season was in the Cardiff City v Stoke City match.

The reporter commenting on Cardiff City described them as…

…”disorganised as a failed Librarian”

The top answer in our survey is…

…Law Librarians like their jobs but are displeased with vendors this is the result of a survey carried out by Law.com. The associated article discusses the survey in some detail with “pet peeves” identified as online content providers, notably LexisNexis and Thomson (Westlaw) issues with online content providers included increases in fees well beyond the rate of inflation.

The article also discusses the changing roles of Law Librarians noting that there is a move from “traditional”activities like legal research towards being involved in Knowledge Management Projects and work with marketing teams. The article doesn’t really say anything new or contentious but it is well worth reading for the reassurance that Law Libraries in the U.S are facing the same kind of pressures in terms of budget and resources.

Finally Twittering

I'm beginning to see the light with Twitter , seemingly a lot of other people are too. It does take a bit of getting used to and there are still some pethates;

  • "People who Twitter in third person. Example: “JimBob is feeling lonely after his parapet left his side”
  • Not thinking about the stream, using Twitter stream to communicate a specific message to a specific person. Take it to email, punk. Example: “not sure jesse, mine seems to working fine. are you spelling it right?!!”
  • Overload. Seriously, we don’t need to know absolutely everything you’re thinking/feeling/doing. Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. Ask Scooby. Example: “I’m eating a piece of fudge.”
  • Running tally of your daily schedule. Example: “Good morning, Twitterland.” or Example: “I’m going to bed, see you tomorrow Tweety friends!!”

So if you do want to "follow me" my Twitter feed is here having said that I'm off on holiday so there wont be much in the way of traffic on here or on Twitter.

Adieu Bloggy readers ;-)

Is del.icio.us dan.gero.us?

This is a rather odd post from one of the team at Cogenz a social bookmarking application. In it they reference another post "An introduction to Enterprise 2.0" which says;

"Marketing teams could use social bookmarks for competitive analysis to track what a competitor is doing; Sales could use it to learn and share information about targeted companies; knowledge workers could use the technology to track a particular subject such as Exchange Traded Funds or cell phones. What’s more, people can share these lists, and the data lives on even after an employee leaves the company."

I guess the point that is being made is that these links are then "public" and accessible by all, but then isn't most information on the Internet. The second question which is reiterated in a comment about the post is how many people, knowledge workers, marketing teams are actually doing this, probably very few.

Facebook is THE online hub for connected professionals

They must be referring to me in this article on the Social Media Today website. This is a useful introduction to Facebook which shows you how to get started if you have never used the site before.

This comes on the day that Facebook shows it has an ugly streak the London Paper picks up the story in a bit more detail here. This is a particularly inappropriate use of Facebook and Librarians may take this to heart, many of my colleagues in my previous workplace were subjected to some abuse so it is no laughing matter and is an element of Facebook that I hope will be discouraged.

[Hat Tip - Information Overlord]

Are you a "Librarian 2.0"

This is an interesting post which a lot of people have picked up on. In it David Lee King looks at whether people can be clearly called "Librarians 2.0" and argues that in fact there is a spectrum that ranges from the very traditional librarian to someone who uses Web 2.0 tools on a daily basis.

The spectrum is available here but I would read the post first. David has also just published a post on whether Library 2.0 is actually techie at all! All very interesting.

Law Libraries use and abuse

This isn't in fact the title of this article but my take on the subject matter of the article. The article which has a U.S bias poses some interesting questions about the current use of Law Libraries and the resources held within them by fee-earners (associates).

The most interesting question is whether the increased dependence of online legal research resources may be leading to a "myopic research strategy". The author of the article William P Atkins states, “in relying so heavily on a singular case found electronically, the researcher adopts a view ironically constrained by technology, its boundaries set by what a keyboard and mouse can deliver to us, not by the totality of information out there.”

In lamens terms are fee-earners missing information because they rely too heavily on using online information sources? I wonder if there is a question here for Law Librarians too, should we rely less on online sources then we currently do?

Flood Updates

Here is an example of a UK Council that's right UK using Social Media to provide information to its residents, in this case Cheltenham Borough Council which was underwater until a few days ago has created a blog to provide Flood Updates.

Great to see them doing this, shame about the circumstances.

Should Facebook be banned?

The whole world seems to be talking about it, so I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon. The question on everyones lips at the moment is "Should Facebook be banned" I don't mean globally of course I mean by organisations who consider it to be too much of a "distraction" or not "business critical"

There have been loads and I mean quite literally loads of posts about this subject, rummaging through them the following struck me as interesting.

Information Overlord has a post on Telstra (a communications company) banning their staff from using Facebook, very odd and as Scott says "Facebook is only a waste of time if people aren't doing the jobs they are paid to do" The Melcrum Blog has a post on whether it is right to Ban Facebook at work, they pick up on a piece in the Daily Telegraph and argue that banning Facebook from work is a very "shortsighted" view of the world.

Most posts about Facebook argue for it rather then against it and I have to agree with them that not allowing people to use Facebook is very shortsighted also surely Facebook is just part of a wider suite of tools that are distracting...I'm thinking MySpace, Blogging, The Web, the Water Cooler, The Tea room....

It's RSS but not as we know it.

Once in a while Freepint will produce an article which is a real cracker and this article published in the 26th of July issue is one of those.

The article which is written by Roddy MacLeod looks at how RSS has developed, how it is changing and being used to deliver a much wider range of information and what the future holds. A must read for anyone interested in RSS.

Riding the waves or treading water?

This is the title of the UKeIG Annual General Meeting which was held on the 13th June at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

The meeting report which is available on the UKeIG Website (but only to members) outlines the delivered sessions, they were;

  • Emerging IT Trends and tools (The influence of Web 2.0 and how we can use it)
  • Digital Natives v Digital immigrants (Younger users of Web/Electronic resources v Older users of Web/Electronic resources)
  • Information professionals : swimming upstream or going with the flow (Sue Hill from Sue Hill recruitiment on what Information Professionals need to be doing to take control of their careers)
  • Who is managing information? (Val Skelton from TFPL on whether Information Skills have changed in the last 20 years.
  • Information literacy in the age of amateurs (Peter Godwin, University of Bedfordshire, on how Higher Education is facing rapid changes in technology and consequently students behaviour)

If you have access to the UKeIG website this report is well worth reading.

Clerk & Lindsell on Torts

Following swiftly on from the addition of Chitty to the new Westlaw platform Westlaw have added Clerk & Lindselll on Torts to the growing number of commentary titles.