Facebook Fridays

I love this Press Release from U.S Company Serena, I wonder how much it will catch on in the UK, Social Networking saturdays anyone?

...and finally Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Online Information 2007

Yes I was there and speaking and yes it has only taken me 3 weeks to add the Slides to Slideshare and nab the code to embed it, but here they are...at last, enjoy and Merrry Christmas!

A quick guide to Second Life

The iLibrarian has posted what looks like a really useful guide to Second Life on her blog.

Who are LNB keeping Company with?

Nick Holmes has posted today on Lexis Nexis Butterworth's first foray into Web 2.0 proper. Company Law Forum aims to provide a forum for Legal and "business community to share insights and discuss company law-related issues"

I've had a fairly detailed look at Company Law Forum and for a first attempt it is okay but not great. I have several issues, firstly I'm not sure what the site is trying to be, is it a Blog, a Forum, a collection of Know-How, a Wiki? Secondly some of the functionality has good intentions but fails, like the RSS feed which is available from the left hand corner of the screen, what is this for? the site, the page you are looking at, individual discussions? LNB need to add some clarity around these.

Finally and my biggest concern is how many contributions they will have from the Legal and Business community. LNB are in a difficult position because Elsevier (part of Reed Elsevier) have some fantastic Web 2.0/Collaborative sites like 2Collab this is used extensively by researchers and physicians who are already working together. The legal sector isn't the same unfortunately, law firms for the most part work independently rather then collaboratively so encouraging a fee-earner/lawyer to post content/their knowledge on this site may be an uphill struggle. Having said that I think LNB's intentions are great and should be encouraged, the million dollar question is can they and other legal publishers find a Web 2.0 solution/application that can be applied effectively in the Legal sector?

Social Networking sites are like buses...

...you know you wait for one and then not one, not two, not three but four come along at the same time. What are you supposed to do then? well hopefully this post on the Social Media Today blog will help you decide which Social Networking site to join.

Thumbs up or thumbs down...

An interesting article here in the Intranet Journal in the article the author makes some "fearless" predictions about sites like Flick, Facebook and Youtube by giving them a Thumbs up or Thumbs down, not hugely scientific but great fun nevertheless.

Web 2.0 and Time Management

Anne Welsh (Chambers Librarian at 18 Red Lion Court) has produced an excellent Presentation, which she delivered at Online earlier this week, on how Web 2.0 Applications can be used as Time Management tools.

I love the idea of Semi-automated blog posts and using the brillant Commoncraft videos for training purposes. Anne's blog is well worth adding to your feed subscriptions.

News feeds...finally

I've just checked what's in the works for Facebook and finally they have announced that they are looking at News Feed stories from your groups, from Facebook;

"News Feed stories about your groups.

News Feed will start showing stories that keep you aware of the activity going on in your groups."

I have to admit enjoying being part of different groups but in reality the group functionality on Facebook is pretty poor, for a social networking site this is one area where it really lets itself down. The addition of News feed stories for groups which I hope will include information like new items posted, new messages, new photos, new members (for group administrators at least) will add hugely to what could be a really useful area of the site. On the downside you could be inundated by News Feeds from groups you belong to if the group has 1000's of members. Hopefully Facebook will include an option or a preference to not receive News Feeds from specific groups.

Social Media Slideshows

Two slideshows here that caught my eye, thanks to Lo-fi Librarian for the first one;

UKeiG Top Search Tips

The UK eInformation Group has listed some "Top Search tips" on its Blog. These tips were provided by participants at the ‘Google and Beyond’ workshop they held recently.

Blogs in plain English

Another great video from the guys at Commoncraft

Happy Blogday!

My blog is a year old today, happy Blogday to me!

Library Best Practices Wiki

This looks like it could be a really useful resource!

The Law Library as Business

Nina Platt over at the Strategic Librarian has written an interesting post on how increasingly Law Libraries are being thought of as businesses in their own right.

The last paragraph sums up an article that is well worth reading:

"Many law firms today do not look to their Librarians for this type of planning. Often the Librarian is involved at the last minute to provide research support. This is unfortunate as engaging Librarians in planning, even if the need for research hasn't been identified, will improve outcome. It's been said, information is power. A firm that expects the Library to operate as a business entity, will realize the value it can provide"

Bact to Basics - Social Bookmarking

If you're looking for an introduction to Social Bookmarking, look no further then this article in IWR.

One-stop-shops stay strong

This is the title of an interesting piece in the latest edition of Information World Review. The article follows up a previous piece on the Financial Times introducing changes to its online subscription model.

In it the author finds that news aggregators like Factiva and LexisNexis are still on top when it comes to providing news stories, this is despite moves by the FT and also the New York Times to make their content freely available. There is obviously some relectuance by Information Professional to use sites that offer free content with, yet issues remain with the products that are available;

"One info pro at a European bank is highly critical of LexisNexis, describing it as slow, badly indexed and cumbersome: “The partners hated it.” He thinks a major flaw in the site is its geographic index, which starts with Antarctica. “Where is there any business activity there?” he asks. Many highlight the speed of Factiva and its good design."

Just do it!

This is the title of Lynne Brindley's plenary session at the recent Umbrella Conference. In it Lynne talks about the challenges facing the profession and changes that Web 2.0 brings.

Selling Law Librarianship..

...I'm really not sure what to make of this article which is published in the November edition of the AALL Spectrum.

Firstly I wouldn't trust the person on the front cover to sell me anything, then there are some of the suggestions for building a set of skills for making you more effective. Some of these are very good (I'll come on to these later) but some are just bizzare and I'd love to see a Law Librarian do them, lets start with Personal Development Skills:

"Always smile when you answer the phone. You can sense the positive energy over the phone lines" - H0w? wouldn't your jaw lock after a while and can you really speak whilst smiling?

"Keep a mirror near the phone. Check you reactions and keep tabks on your expressions during phone interactions" - I'm wondering where I should put this mirror? on the ceiling, on the phone itself, under the desk, in my pocket? Isn't it also rude to check yourself out whilst speaking to someone?

Then there are some very practical suggestions for promoting and providing services to Clients, including;

"Communicate one application of service a week"

"Target about 10 attorneys (fee-earners) at a time for a small campaign"

"Find a champion within a practice group to introduce a Library service"

All in all an interesting article which is worth reading, although if you are like me you will need some time to recover your composure before finishing it.

Nominate Your Favourites!

LIS News has launched its "Must read LIS Blogs for 2008" from the LIS News site:

"What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there? Think of it this way: "I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short."

So what's keeping you get nominating!

Can publishers adapt to Social Media?

This is an interesting post on the Agency Next Blog, in it the author dicusses how Reed Business Information (a part of Reed Elsevier, parent company of Lexis Nexis Butterworths) have developed a series of feeds and a blog on a site called Reed Construction Data.

Certainly not the most exciting subject in the world but it is a start and the blog ticks all the right boxes in terms of one content with one failing...

"On the blog we're talking about here, there's no way to leave a comment. Mr. Haughey links to nothing in any of the six posts I read on page one of one. So if you or I think Mr. Haughey is right or wrong about something, or we want to further the conversation, we're back talking to ourselves the way we used to when newspapers were popular and we took issue with some content."


...not something you use to wrap Cod and Chips in but a new Newspaper Search Engine which is currently in Beta mode. This isn't just a really good Search Engine but because of the addition of RSS Feeds and Google Toolbar plugins a really great site.

What's a legal search?

Nick Holmes has posted a review of two new Legal Search engines. They are Westlaw's WebPlus and Law.com's Quest.

A conference butterfly...

...so life is going to be very busy for me over the next 6 weeks. Firstly I'm talking at the Career Development Group Student Conference at City University, on a Saturday, talk about dedication.

Then I'm talking at Online Information 2007 on what Legal Publishers are doing with Web 2.0. What does this all mean, well most of my time is taken up struggling with PowerPoint and writing notes so blog posts may be scarce.

Also the title of this post sounded a lot better in my head...

B is for BIALL

Yet another plug for a blog I might have a small hand in adminstering. This time it is the BIALL Blog which has had a revamp. If you don't already read the BIALL Blog, why not? If you do hope you enjoy the new look.

Thanks to Jennifer over at Enquiring Minds Want to Know for the work she put in over the weekend, now that is dedication!

Social Space and Social Networks inside the Law Firm

A short post here on the KM Space Blog on how to create a more social environment for fee-earners. The author posts that the downside of having more information via fee-earners desktops means there is less interaction and networking on a face-to-face basis. The author then makes some interesting suggestions on how to improve this;

"Better Coffee Stations. Most attorneys live on coffee. Starbucks seems to attract people getting work done at their tables. Put a table in the kitchen and make it a better place to mingle and run into each other."

I'm pleased to be able to say that our Library already has a coffee machine and a very relaxed feel to it which leads to it being used regularly by fee-earners for meetings and informal discussions.

RSS for us!

Lo-fi Librarian (amongst others) is on a crusade to encourage UK Legal Publishers to start using RSS Feeds for their marketing material. I'd like to see them start using RSS for a lot more than just marketing materials but this would be a good place to start.

In my eyes this is a win win situation for the Legal publishers so am surprised they haven't done it already. If you'd like to see UK Legal Publishers using RSS Feeds, then support the crusade by joining the Facebook Group.

Information Law for Information Professionals

Now this sounds like a course I could do with going on. My understandning of Copyright, Data Protection and Information Law isn't great. We cant be good at everything I suppose!

Customising news RSS alerts

A great tip here from Karen Blakeman at Tales from the Terminal Room. The question is whether you can customise an RSS feed from an online newspaper so that it only returns results matching terms you enter. The answer is YES!

Top tips for new Librarians

This is a nice little list from Nina Platt at the Strategic Librarian for any Librarians who are just starting a new job that involves work with fee-earners although the tips apply to any Library settting.

To infinity and Web 3.0

The Times is certainly churning out the articles this week on Web 2.0 and now Web 3.0 which according to this article is just around the corner.

Of all the quotes in the article my favourite is "Now we're about to enter the third decade - Web 3.0 - which is about making the web much smarter." According to the article an example of a Web 3.0 technology is "natural-language search", this allows search engines to answer questions like "Can I park on a double yellow line?" In a legal context I think this has a wide application and Westlaw have already developed a "natural language search" for the new Westlaw platform.
What do I have to say about Web 3.0...bring it on!

The end of the page turner?

Another day, another aricle about how e-books are going to see the demise of printed publications. This time the article is published in the independent and presents the views of those who currently publish in a digital format and those who don't.

The article also has the details of a great sounding Blog, called Print is dead now what could the subject of the Blog be?

Web 2.0 = new internet, new etiquette and new law?

This is a great article which discusses some of the legal issues surrounding Web 2.0.

The article initially discusses how social networking sites like Facebook have meant we have had to develop "new rules or etiqutte" when using them and questions like "is it wrong to spy on your ex's Facebook page?" and "when does an unanswered friend request turn into a hint that you are not wanted as a friend?" are interesting examples of how quickly we have had to change and develop our internet usage.

The article goes on to question whether we need new laws to govern the changing internet landscape, currently the answer appears to be no, but I will let you judge for yourselves.

Thanks to Gareth at Gareths Law Library Blog for alterting me to this.


Just spotted this site on one of the Blogs I read. From the site:

"CaseCheck is the best way for you to keep up to date with the law and business of law. Building upon the success of the Intersettle Scottish Courts Newsletter, CaseChecktm delivers web 2.0 functionality absolutely free!" They go on to say:

"CaseChecktm is a legal service for the 21st Century. Instead of price driven exclusivity we want everyone to have access to clearly structured legal information."

Nick Holmes at Binary Law has also spotted Casecheck. It looks like it could be useful.

Life online is just fine

This isn't quite the title of the article from Law.com but almost, in it the author initially describes how "the migration of legal research to the Internet sparked predictions that law librarians would gradually become extinct" but in fact the exact opposite has happened.

The author interviews Sybil Turner, a Research Librarian at Arnall Golden Gregory's, she describes her job as "wrangling information" and "digging through" stuff, that's online rather then onsite. Definitely worth a read.


Do you wake up every morning filled with dread about the Friend requests you will have received or the invites you will have to ignore?

If so you could be suffering from
Socialnetworkitis , in this post the author argues that "social-network services tend to be clunky media destinations, requiring too much intention, focused navigation and maintenance."

I'm not sure I agree with everything the author has to say, he is certainly right about there not being enough time to look at everything, but isn't that where being selective about what you do and using tools to help you use Social Networks come into play? For instance I use
Twitter, but I never actually use Twitter I always post to Twitter via Facebook.

What is encouraging about this post, is that the author believes social networks are developing and may one day present a cure to Socialnetworkitis.

Halsbury's Awards 2007

I'll be attending the Halsbury's Awards at Inner Temple tonight, so if any readers or fellow bloggers are going I'll see you there.


The Running Librarian is the work of James Mullan Information Officer at a larger than life Law Firm. Previously called LI Issues or LIG Issues dependant on who you speak to, The Running Librarian is a blog firmly focused on the use of Web 2.0 technologies by Law Firm Libraries. I will also continue to write about:

  • Social networking tools
  • Legal and legal library stuff
  • Legal Publishing
  • The weird and wonderful side of Law Librarianship

You can get in touch with me via Facebook or Twitter.

It's all about play..the 2.0 way

Thanks to Anne Welsh at First Person Narrative for pointing out this useful looking presentation on how Library staff can use Web 2.0 technologies. As the title of the presentation indicates it's all about playing with the new Web 2.0 technologies and making staff responsible for their own learning.

What does innovation in Law Libraries mean?

The most recent edition of Legal Information Management (LIM) carried an article about innovation in Law Libraries. In it the author discussed how their Library was involved in the pitch process, preparing reports on the potential client and meeting the client at the initial pitch. It made me wonder; What does innovation in Law Libraries mean? Does it mean working with clients? certainly but not just at the pitch, the relationship should be one that is ongoing and built on by providing the client with information as they request it and increasingly providing information to clients on their own internal systems using technology like Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) which has made publishing information from websites and blogs much easier.

Innovation also means more than working with clients, so aside from this what else do Librarians or Law Librarians do that is “innovative”? My feeling is that innovation needs to be centred on things that we are experts at are excited about and which we know will make a difference, so (for myself) building blogs and social networks, working with clients on enquiries, creating taxonomies and tools for tagging material, creating imaginative training programs both online and offline and generally thinking about how I can use new technology to improve our procedures so we can work more efficiently with both our internal and external clients and provide a better “user experience”

Of course being innovative is only half the battle there are a number of barriers to innovation in Libraries. Stephen Abrams discusses these and more in a recent
post in the SirsiDynix OneSource newsletter. The Designing Better Libraries blog also has an excellent post on what innovation means.

One of the best?

Nick Holmes over at Binary Law has listed me as one of his top 6 Legal Information Blogs! I cant describe how much of a honour this is especially when you consider how well read Binary Law is.

Many thanks to Nick and to the editor of Blawg Review who started this meme.

Blogging and over-sharing

This is a thought provoking post, published on the Blog Herald. In it the author asks whether it is possible to "over share" on your Blog. The answer is a resounding yes as they link to a post which advises caution over how much personal information you share.

This is a difficult area as the Blog Herald suggests, people like personality, if we all wrote in the same style it would be a very boring world and blogging is about collaboration or including your readers, hence why comments are so valuable and should be encouraged, but there does need to be a balance between writing professionally and personally.

As an aside I'm currently thinking about changing the name of my blog to "The Running Librarian" one because I run and and two because I'm a Librarian, thats two pieces or personal information right there!

Social Bookmarking Terms Explained

For anyone new to Social Bookmarking and everything involved in it from why to how, here is a short little quiz on what all the terms really mean.

Law Librarian hotties - the winners!

Just click on the link you know you want to....

Will everything be online in 10 years?

This was the question posed by Deborah Ginsberg, electronic resources librarian at Chicago-Kent College of Law Library, at the AALL Annual Conference in New Orleans. In the article, in which she summarises the session she ran, Deborah looks specifically at the current use and future use of e-books.

Shameless plug!

Emily Allbon who I've spent many an hour deliberating the finer points of LORD with has recently relaunched the website she created for the Law Students at City University.

From the site itself "Lawbore is tailored to City students but we hope it will be useful to anyone with a legal interest. Our mission has always been to make as much of its content available for everyone freely as possible. Our directory aims to present resources selected for their quality rather than quantity, and to avoid presenting long meaningless lists of links."

The sites includes some very innovative use of technology the "How to Find your way around the Law Library" presentation is great and I really want my own avatar, although the prospect of my head talking randomly is slightly scary.

Completely unrelated but also a plug is the article that Jennifer Findlay has written in IMPACT on how she used a Wiki when compiling her portfolio for CILIP Chartership. The Career Development Group is a worthwhile group to join if you are new to Librarianship. Jennifer is the author of the blog Jennie Law

What are the FT really up to?

Lots of reports this week about the Financial Times expanding free access to content on FT.com a previously subscription only website. At the moment a limited amount of news content is available to all, under the new arrangements articles and data can be viewed up to 30 times a month before an individual is asked to subscribe.

30 isn't just a random number either, according to the press release which accompanied this news the FT have "carefully studied" how people come to the site.

What this move really means is that bloggers and news aggregators who will not have had access to material previously only available to subscribers now do, potentially widening the appeal and influence of the Financial Times. The move should also improve results for the Financial Times on search engines.

Facebook updates (2)

With the possibility that Facebook will be bought by Microsoft, Facebook have decided to make some small but significant changes to the application.

  • You can now update your Facebook status with your Twitter updates (Tweets). According to the post which publicised this change you need to make one small change to your existing Twitter account. It's the great big link displayed on the Twitter application page that says "Want Twitter to update your Facebook status? Click here!"
  • Facebook is also developing Friend Groups and the ability to read email messages in digest form.

Will publishers bet on pixels?

For anyone who wants to ditch the traditional book format and read a book electronically the Telegraph online has published an article on the take up of e-books by publishers. Some interesting quotes in this piece:

"Publishing has to evolve or it will die,"The cyber generation spends the majority of its leisure and work time in front of screens and we need to find ways of taking books and author-led content to this audience."

All interesting stuff, but I don't really see this as being the end of the book as we know it. Individuals like reading books in different formats, sadly I used to once buy all my books in hardback until I realised how expensive it was becoming. Nowadays books can be bought in either hardback, paperback or audio formats and the addition of e-books is just going to widen consumer choices. This in my mind is a good thing.

"The notion of taking the reading experience online may reclaim some of that lost ground. Just as cinema did not kill theatre and TV did not kill cinema, it seems that e-reading is unlikely to kill the printed book. Each new piece of technology is another chance for self-expression"

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 ; Implications for Libraries

Not sure where I found this but having read through the article it's definitley worth looking at. From the article abstract:

"This article posits a definition and theory for "Library 2.0". It suggests that recent thinking describing the changing Web as "Web 2.0" will have substantial implications for libraries, and recognizes that while these implications keep very close to the history and mission of libraries, they still necessitate a new paradigm for librarianship. The paper applies the theory and definition to the practice of librarianship, specifically addressing how Web 2.0 technologies such as synchronous messaging and streaming media, blogs, wikis, social networks, tagging, RSS feeds, and mashups might intimate changes in how libraries provide access to their collections and user support for that access."


The 10 rules of Twitter

iLibrarian directs us to this post on Scobleizer I'm a bit of a newbie to Twitter so I don't think I'm breaking any of these "rules" at least not yet!

Librarian - why do you blog?

The answer is?...well a number of reasons although according to this survey, which was undertaken by Michael Stephens for his dissertation, there are 7 main reasons:

  • To share information or insight
  • To participate in a conversation or community
  • To archive information or experience
  • To enhance your professional development
  • To express your perspective or identity
  • To promote yourself or the profession
  • To have fun

I think I Blog for all the reasons listed above!

The "Hottest" Facebook Groups for Librarians

The iLibrarian has put together a list of the "hottest" (most popular) groups for Librarians on Facebook the full list is available here.

New "nice looking" resources

A couple of resources here that look useful.

and one final link for a Friday night, the Seven secrets of Highly successful bloggers as published by the Blog Herald.

Facebook - auto complete

In case you hadn't noticed already Facebook has added Auto-complete functionality to the Friend Search box. I'm enjoying using the new functionality as a short-cut when I want to look at Friends profiles.

Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us

iLibrarian and the Librarian in Black both have links to a really useful article on how Tagging can be used by Libraries. This is quite a "controversial" area for Libraries and Librarians as the author says "largely because adding keywords to resources lacks authority control"

An interesting article that should be read by all Library Management System administrators.

Law Firm Networks

Nick Holmes over at Binary Law has posted about the number of Law Firm Networks on Facebook. I'm mildly surprised that there only appear to be 4 networks for UK Law Firms. Although having read the Facebook help on "Networks" I can see why;

"You can suggest new high school, college, work, and regional networks from the bottom of our Suggestions page. Facebook regularly reviews these suggestions, and adds new networks when appropriate."

Does when appropriate mean, when enough people request the network? I suppose the other thing to remember is that there will be many Groups for UK Law Firms, a search for Clifford Chance for instance returned 27 Groups.

Programming for Librarians

The ilibrarian has a short post on the Top 10 Programming Concepts for Librarians, programming isn't something I have ever considered doing but with the massive growth of Web 2.0 technologies I think it's about time I learnt a bit more about them so it was with a strange sense of joy that I read this post.

Call me sad if you want.

Thinking about a new job?

Then you will definitely want to look at 10 Questions you might be asked about Web 2.0. Although these are aimed at Marketing Executives, they seem to me to be relevant to all.

A little thing called friendship

Apart from being a transport ship built in 1784, what does friendship really mean? I ask this because there have been a lot of reports recently in the National Press and the Blogosphere about how most Facebook and MySpace friends will be "false friends" or "nodding acquaintances", individuals that you would smile at on the street or on the train but are unlikely to talk to or know their name. According to a new report "EPSRC/ESRC funded project on technology and social networks" the typical user of a social networking site will have at least 150 friends listed (that's 95 friends more than me so I guess I must be below average).

The report also found that only a few of these friends are "true friends". So what does this say about our use of Social Networking sites? In my mind two things. The total number of friends you have listed is usually dependant on how you are using the site for instance If I was using Facebook as a business networking tool that number might well be a lot higher. I can honestly say that I have met or know 98% of my Facebook friends, would I still consider them my friends or go out for beers with them if Facebook ceased to exist? Yes definitely.

Secondly Social Networking sites shouldn't be used as friend gathering tools, unfortunately human nature dictates that users will do this and the sites encourage you to gather more friends by making tools like Friend Finder and applications like Compare People and Superlatives available.

The whole friend request and friend functionality is I believe being looked at by Facebook, the friends listing would certainly benefit from the addition of categories like Work friends, Family, Bogging friends and so on. It is and will remain one of the biggest draws of Facebook and the opportunity to identify and socialise with friends or groups of like-minded individuals should be encouraged. So get out there and make some friends!

Building a social networking environment in your Library

In this article the author outlines 3 key steps for well...building a Social Networking environment within a Library.

How to stay afloat...Part 2

I discovered this list shortly after my orginal post on "How to stay afloat" looks useful.

Staying afloat in a flood

John J Meier who is based in the U.S writes about how to "Stay afloat" when dealing with the flood of new technology that just seems to keep on coming, he says;

"Librarians need to critically evaluate new technologies to determine if they are useful to professional needs. Whether you call them Web 2.0, emerging technologies, or social networking, the number of new digital tools available is mind-boggling"

Mind-boggling indeed! He finishes his article with a short glossary containing explanations of some of the most well used technologies.

Beyond Wikipedia - Wikis for Legal Professionals

This is the title of an interesting article published in the Wisconsin Law Journal, unfortunately there is currently only a reference to the article at the moment on the WisBlawg.

The "path of opportunity"

This is a useful article that has been published to the LISJobs.com site. In it the author discusses how having a dynamic career involves a mix of good luck, hard work, and an ability to position yourself smack in the middle of the "path of opportunity" -- "that spot where cool new things are happening"

The author highlights 4 key areas for development:

  • Making yourself more visible
  • Monitoring Your Environment
  • Being Prepared to Act
  • Taking the Initiative

Some of these areas for development seem fairly obvious but it's good to be reminded that this is what we should all be doing.

Changes to Facebook?

Headshift have blogged about some potential changes to Facebook which will affect the way Friends details are organised and could have an impact on privacy, an area that many people have an issue with on Facebook.

If the plans go ahead (it is very early stages and all speculation) Facebook would introduce the ability to sort or segment your friends by other networks then the existing ones for example "Family" or "Work colleagues" or "Golf Buddies", you get the idea. You could then allow these different "friends" to access different types of profile information (again all speculation) so you could have one profile for your family and another for your work colleagues.

Sounds great and certainly a development that will improve the overall functionality of Facebook.

Go Go Gadget....British Library

For anyone who searches the British Library (BL) Catalogue recently and also uses iGoogle, today is your lucky day! The BL have released a Gadget that you can add to iGoogle which allows you to search their collections. Enjoy!

[Hat Tip - Peter Scott]


I have to admire the name of this site, in case your wondering before you visit the site it's not a Library where people are lazy but a niche search engine that allows you to search for books that are 200 pages or less in size.

In the words of the site authors "you can find books on any topic without having to worry about high page counts. If it's over 200 pages, you won't even see it. Read all about anything, in less time, for (usually) less money. Search away"

This is also shockingly my 200th post!

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.


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 Outlaw.com 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.

Keeping up with Social Networking tools

Connie Crosby has published a very useful article on the latest batch of Social Networking tools to hit the market. Among these is Facebook which I have just started using, this site should come with a health warning because it can be addictive!

What are Social Tools?

A "mini" interview by David Gurteen of Lee Bryant. Lee is from Headshift.

Alternatives to Wikipedia

Are there any...well this article provides a link to the top 7 "alternatives"

Web 2.0 Resources

A couple of interesting looking sites here:

Recommind Round Table on Enterprise Search

So last week I attended a Recommind Round Table on Enterprise Search....no please come back its important. The Round Table event, which was hosted by Clifford Chance was an opportunity for publishers and Librarians to hammer out the issues raised by Enterprise Search and the opportunities it provided.

Needless to say it was a very interesting meeting with Thomson/Sweet & Maxwell, PLC and Justis all represented. Issues of concern to publishers were:

  • Maintaining their competitive advantage
  • Maximising the value of content
  • Retaining control of content
  • Visibility of client usage
  • Costs
  • Whether the user experience is as good as it should be

Issues of concern for Librarians were:

  • Access where organisations might not subscribe to a suite of resources
  • Maintenance of resources
  • Ensuring users knew what the resources were that they were looking at
  • Integration with existing systems

From my own perspective we don't currently use Enterprise Search but the benefits are enormous, not just for the fee-earners who would have access to resources, quicker and seamlessly but also to the Knowledge Team and Professional Support Lawyers (PSL's). Currently we deeplink to a lot of resources but there isn't one place to search all our internal and external (paid for) resources so the ability to integrate these resources into our existing search facility using "Enterprise Search" would be a huge step forward.

If like me your not sure what Enterprise Search was (until recently at least) have a look at this article by Martin White but don't bother searching Wikipedia as they have a total of zero articles!

What's new on the Legal Web

Found on the law.com website some useful looking links including a new "vertical search" tool.

It's okay to be scared

This is the title of a post by Mark Chillingworth which is published in Information World Review. The post is a follow up to an event organised by the City Information Group which I blogged about in May.

If anyone attended this event and would like to comment I would love to hear from you.

How to use RSS

Two useful resources here which were posted on RSS4LIB:

  • RSS Basics and Beyond is the title of a presentation given by Ken Varnum at Ohio State Universit. I'm definitely going to start using some of the resources listed in this presentation.
  • RSS and education is a list of 15 things Academic institutions could potentially do with RSS.

Teaching Web Search Skills

The latest of issue of Freepint contains a review of Greg R. Notess latest book, full title"Teaching Web Search Skills: Techniques and Strategies of Top Trainers" among the links included with the article is one to the individual chapters of the Book and more resources...looks good.

101 Really useful websites

None of these have anything to do with Law Libraries, although some of them use Web 2.0 technologies. This is a list that was published by the Independent today. My first thoughts are...only 101.

Highlights from the list include;

Blogging from the Backroom 8 June 2007

Last friday I attended this event (which was run by the Cataloguing and Indexing Group). It was very interesting to see what others Libraries are doing with Blogs, RSS and Web 2.0 tools. Among the presenters were two Library Managers from the Home Office, their presentation was fascinating, especially the use of GMail to diseminate news.

I also had an interesting chats with Helen Nichol from the NHS Connecting for Health Team about how they were using blogs for collaboration and Caroline De Brún from the National Knowledge Service on their use of RSS Feeds on the National Library of Health My Library site.

Lawtel Precedents

Lawtel have announced the launch of a new precedent service, it is

Lawtel are also planning the launch of another precedent service called Commercial this appears to be content primarily from Practical Commercial Precedents. Prior to these two precdent services, Lawtel launched Commercial Property Precdents

No Blogging next week...

...I will be at the BIALL Conference in Sheffield, not only presenting one session but chairing another. I'm going to need a holiday soon!

Although you should never say never...so watch this space for posts LIVE! from the Conference.

If anyone who reads this blog is going I'll see you there!

Social Media articles in IWR

Information World Review has not one but two articles on Social Media in its most recent issue.

In the first article Ben Edwards, publisher Economist.com discusses social media on Economist.com

In the second Keely Flint, Lead Information Architect for BUPA talks about how they have used Social Bookmarking at BUPA.

Using a Wiki to write about Wikis

This is the rather intriguing title of an article in the most recent edition of the Journal of Electronic Publishing the abstract explains more:

"Academic writers are used to having their ideas encapsulated and enshrined in printed text (e.g., a journal article or a book), but publishing them in a wiki strips them of this protection. What happens when strangers change our writing? Since the traditional academic publishing paradigm has not caught up with the open-editing, peer-to-peer model, are we equipped to deal with the paradigm shift that wikis represent? These are issues we consider in this short piece"

It's quite an interesting article and has made me think about how I could collaborate more with other Law Librarians on the articles I write. Being able to put drafts on a Wiki and see the history of all edits, rather then a vague memory of having removed something is definitely a draw!

LexisNexis survey on the use of Web 2.0 and Knowledge Management

LexisNexis (U.S) have released the results of a survey about Information Professional use of Web 2.0 and Knowledge Management. There is a link here to the press release that accompanies they survey but unfortunately no link to the survey itself.

Keeping current can be hard to do

This is the title of an article on Law.com It's gratifying to see that Law Librarians across the atlantic have the same issues and problems when keeping up to date with technological and other developments. This post follows on nicely from a post on Enquiring minds want to know and my post on the same subject.

Web 2.0 - Mashing the future and the present

This is the title of an article in the April/May 2007 edition of Computers & Law. I don't often read Computers & Law because it is primarily aimed at Solicitors who work in IP/IT, however occassionally there is a real gem. This article briefly looks at how Web 2.0 is changing the way lawyers work and its use within Law Firms. One of my favourite quotes from the article is:

"Moreover, Web 2.0 impacts directly on legal practice - partly because of blogs, wikis and new ways to handle knowledge but mainly because of the attitudes and expectations of clients. You cannot afford to hear the client say, or see the look that says, 'you just don't get it'" The Society of Computers & Law are also running a conference at the end of June which looks interesting.

The Legal World under pressure

This is the title of an article in the May 2007 edition of Managing Information the article discusses how pressures and circumstances affecting the legal profession as a whole will impact on the way legal libraries and information management services operate.

These changes are broadly described as either being threats to the services we provide or opportunities, the impact of Web 2.0 is described as an opportunity and as having "greater and greater influence" There isn't anything new in the article as such (apart from a plug for the BIALL Conference) but it is worth reading if you subscribe for an understanding of how the legal world as a whole affects legal library services.

Starting and maintaining a blog

This is the title of a Steve Rubel post which is taken from an article written in last week USA Weekend. There tips all seem very sensible to me, they are:

  • Know your motive
  • Pick a platform
  • Just do it
  • Promote yourself
  • Play nice

I definitely also need to read "How not to run out of Blogging steam"

Will technology replace the research centre?

The City Information Group are running a panel discussion on Wednesday the 13th of June. The panel includes Euan Semple, Mike Angle CEO of Alacra and Mark Chillingworth editor of Information World Review.

The title of the discussion is:

Will technology replace the research centre? How will the corporate librarian's role evolve?

Oh how I wish I was free to attend this event, unfortunately I will be in leafy Sheffield at the BIALL Conference. If any corporate librarians are planning to attend, I'd love to hear what was discussed.

Keeping up to date

Seshat over at Enquiring minds want to know has raised the age old question of how to "Keep up to date" with developments in our profession. This is in response to a couple of posts including one at Library Revolution

I've been quite lucky in that I have been part of BIALL for the last 4 years attending their annual conference and being chair of a committee for the last two. This has allowed me to talk to people and hear about developments and issues affecting the profession in advance. Of course what it also meant was that occassionally I suffered from Information Overload. Thinking about this issue has made me realise that it is important to focus on one or two areas that you know are going to affect the way you are going to work whilst ensuring you keep an eye on the bigger picture. Sounds impossible doesn't it, but it is hugely important that as Information Professionals we know what other libraries are doing, what is likely to happen in the future (although no one can predict this) and what people are writing about. With the advance of Web 2.0 technologies like RSS it's something we should all be doing it, yet it still surprises me when people say Blog, what's that!?

A roundup of recent buy-ups and takeovers

Blimey it's been a busy old time recently in the world of corporate mergers and takeovers, so for those of you who aren't in the know this is what has happened:

  • Thomson Corporation sold Thomson Learning, then even before the contracts had been signed they swooped on Reuters the deal will make Thomson-Reuters one of the largest news and financial data providers, wahahahah....
  • Informa have also been on bit of a spending spree with their recent acquisition of Datamonitor for £502 million, this consolidates their previous acquisitions in 2005.

What's a mashup and why would you want one?

Great a presentation that finally explains what these are! I was getting some weird looks whenever I brought my potato masher into work.

This is an excellent presentation (albeit it quite long and for those of you with a nervous disposition a slightly scary picture on slide two) which highlights some of the best mashups that are available. I'm not sure about the subtitle though "Do the monster mash"

Thanks to Peter Godwin at Information Literacy meets Web 2.0 for spotting this.

Why you should love your public library!

Some Monday madness for you from Tame the Web : Libraries and Technology

Webbed feats

This is the title of an article in the Lawyer which looks at the use of "new technologies" like vodcasts, blogs and webinars by Law Firms. The article discusses how some firms prefer to visit clients face to face rather then provide access to these new technologies. I think there needs to be a balance, there is definitely a need to still talk to people face to face but you only have to look at the success of sites like Myspace and Youtube to realise that communication is becoming "less formal" and individuals and groups are working together in different and more exciting ways.