Time & Reasons v Emerging Technologies

Kathryn Greenhill of the Librarians Matter Blog has put together a very interesting presentation called "...but I don't have time and THEY don't get it": Finding time and reasons for emerging technologies As Kathryn says in her blog post, the presentation address two key concerns Information Professionals have (1) The time to research all the cool stuff that is happening (2) If they do is anybody actually going to be interested.

This is a really interesting presentation, but don't just take my word for it, check it out yourself!

Social Software...the basics

This is definitely my kind of post, short, simple but very effective! In it the author asks three questions, which all lead to the same answer - Why wouldn't you want to use Social Software.

[Hat Tip - Elusa The Knowledge Management Blog]

Portal to Progress

An interesting article here in the latest issue of Legal Week which discusses whether Law Firms are missing out on Business growth because of a "reluctance" to use Web 2.0/Social Media technologies" on the whole this is a very positive article which demonstrates (with practical examples) how Social Media can be used by a Law Firm for both business growth and as a means to encourage collaboration amongst fee-earners.

Some highlights from the article:

"One way in which innovation and know-how can be boosted dramatically is via the use of a wiki — which functions like a cross between a constantly evolving brainstorm, a research team and a library. Fleeting corporate and individual insights can be trapped and expanded. This cuts down on emails and meetings, while increasing the natural momentum of collaboration. Wikis can be wholly internal affairs or they can be used to develop common knowledge sets with suppliers and collaborators"

"The holy grail of any consultancy — or legal ‘sale’ — is to engage clients in progressive discussion of their issues so that an instruction becomes more or less inevitable. As a fully interactive technique for engaging your clients’ attention, a good blog offers considerable potential"

"Web 2.0 also offers strong potential for widening and sustaining circles of actual or imagined ‘friends’, business contacts, recruits or otherwise interested parties. Unofficial Facebook groups for employees of major firms have already arisen spontaneously, producing new linkages and challenging orthodox brand boundaries."

Twittering with a difference

A few weeks ago someone told me about Yammer, this is a microblogging service, similar to Twitter but with a difference. This application is organised around a company so when you sign up with your email address only people at the same company who have the same type of email address can see what you are saying...brilliant and yet so simple.

If you've used Twiter and start using Yammer you'll notice that much of the functionality is the same, so you can still "follow" people and reply to people directly. Yammer looks like a really great tool and I'll definitely be investigating how we can use it effectively. In the meantime I'll be reviewing all the blog posts about it:

Information Technology (IT) for Information Professionals

Earlier this week I attended this course, which was organised by the Commercial Legal and Scientific Sub-Group of CILIP. The course is one of three being organised by CLSIG over the course of the next few months as part of their "Professional Development Club"

The course was held at Macfarlanes, so I shouldn't have really been surprised when most of the attendees turned out to be from Law Firms. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed by the course, the presenter certainly new about IT Infrastructure and it was interesting to see how requests people make to view web pages are actually carried out but I didn't feel he really addressed how we as Information Professionals should be dealing with/talking to our I.T Departments which can be a big issue for many Information Professionals.

Slides from this seminar are available on Slideshare here.

Web 2.0 - Where are we going?

An interesting if at time somewhat abstract presentation here from Martin De Saulles of Brighton University. In it he discusses how the Information Profession is currently using Web 2.0 and where we might be heading. The full blog post is available on the Information Matters blog here.

Links and connections...

...or how to make Web 2.0 work in a law firm environment is the title of a really interesting article in the latest edition of the Legal Technology Journal, not available online unfortunately. In it Damien Behan who is IT Director at Brodies discusses his experience of making Web 2.0 work in law firms.

I met Damien earlier this year at an Enterprise 2.0, where he came in for some stick not fairly in my mind because conference attendees thought he was there to slate the use of Web 2.0 within the commercial sector. This wasn't the case at all, although he had (and I hope he wont mind me saying this) some reservations about certain applications like Facebook being used by the business.

So it is interesting although not unexpected to see him writing a very positive article on how Social Media can be used within Law Firms especially the use of Blogs and Wikis by Brodies.

Presentation tips and tricks

I'm preparing a couple of presentations at the moment and rather conveniently I was sent the details of a couple of useful looking guides, which I'm now sharing with you all!

The first Everything You Need to Know About Presentations from Forrest Gump discusses how when thinking about putting together a presentation you shold be prepared to be a little bit different...a bit like Forrest Gump. I'm not sure there is actually anything ground breaking or rule breaking in this article but I liked some of the ideas and will certainly try to use some of them in future.

The second article by Gary Reynolds is called Empty Space and Slide Design and looks at how empty (or white) space can be used in Presentations to make them clearer and visually make more of an impact. The example slides at the bottom of the article are well worth looking at for before and after examples.

Web 2.0: Hype or help?

This is the title of an article in the Autumn 2008 edition of the Public Library Journal in it the author looks at how Social Networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Youtube) can promote Library Services to a wider audience. A really interesting article which is well worth reading.

Are you wired or tired?

Information Overload is an age old problem, which occassionally people have another stab at addressing. The i-Librarian has very kindly highlighted an interesting article published in the latest edition of Ariadne

In the article the author suggests ten techniques for managing "the overload". These are listed as:

  • General Organisational Techniques
  • Filtering Information Received
  • RSS Overload Techniques
  • Interruptive Technology Overload Techniques
  • Phone Overload Techniques
  • Email Overload Techniques
  • Print Media Overload Techniques
  • Multimedia Overload Techniques
  • Social Network Overload Techniques
  • Time and Stress Management

This is actually a really useful article for dealing with a problematic subject so hurry up and read it so you can become wired rather then tired!

Intranet evolution

I love the visual way Richard Dennison at the Inside Out Blog has shown how his Intranet has evolved, simple but very effective.

Are you multi-faceted?

I've just finished reading an interesting article in IWR Horizons (not available online unfortunately) written by Julia Hordle of Intelligent Resources. In it she describes the skills required by todays information professionals if they really want to make their way in our profession. Some highlights from the article:

"Today, expectations are high. Professional support staff are expected to be fluent in the use of an array of communications tools; email alerts, newsletters, RSS feeds, blogs wikis and web publishing"

This is all good but then there are some downsides to investing/experimenting with Social Media and Web 2.0 technologies:

"There is tremendous scope for reputational enhancement (as well as damage) and for the development of loose communities of interest"

This is so true, sometimes the use of new technologies can be fantastic and provide you with opportunites that would otherwise not be available, but it is important to understand how visible using these technologies can make you and that balance is important between using these tools for business and personal reasons.