Email lists v Twitter

I love this post on the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog which discusses whether Twitter has the potential to replace Listservs (email mailing lists). In it they describe some of the problems associated with using email lists, which include;

  • People conducting lazy research (using the list to request items that they could probably find themselves or could find at their local library)
  • There being too many people (if you send an email and you get 200 Out of Office responses you're not going to be posting too much in the future)
  • List bad apples - you know the person who always finds something to vent about at the most inopportune moment.

So can Twitter replace these services? Probably not, but it could be used in conjunction with any email lists you're currently on.

Want to test your geekiness?

Then check out "The 50 skills every geek should have" I failed this test scoring a measly 1 out of 50!

Web 2.0 resistance from Law Firms

Why are some Law Firms still not using Web 2.0 applications "behind their firewall"? and do you work at one of these firms? If so you might be interested in reading a summary of the Am Law Tech 2008 survey.

Penny Edwards from Headshift describes this as disappointing and I'm sure many people who are working with Web 2.0 applications on a daily basis will agree with this viewpoint. But why are so many law firms not yet doing Web 2.0? Mary Abraham has some thoughts on this subject in her post "Web 2.0 resistance in law firms" and I'm sure many others will as well.

Is it because as Mary says firms are looking at other areas rather then Web 2.0? or because the benefits of using Web 2.0 tools aren't clear or that there are too many issues associated with using these types of tools. What does everyone think?

Social Software - is it really worth the effort?

Two posts here from the Headshift Blog which discuss Social Media. The first is a short checklist of questions which organisations should review, at the end of which organisations will wonder why they are currently using Social Media.

The second is a much longer post which questions the true value and usefulness of Social Media and whether you can measure its Return on Investment (ROI) and whether you should bother! The author points to a couple of examples where organisations have looked at the benefits or Social Media and these are well worth reviewing.

Although it has no relevance to the post itself I enjoyed reading the following:

"As an aside, this also shows the value of simply commenting on other people's blogs as a way to raise your own profile, something I often advise people, and do myself when I can't think of something to blog"

I must do more of this!

How do Wikis and Blogs fit together?

I'm often asked by people when they should use a Wiki and when they should use a Blog. So when I saw this post from the Library Clips Blog I thought great, now I can just forward this explanation which I think provides a good summary, from the blog post:

"...wikis have perpetually re-edited pages, whereas blogs have a stream of date-based entries just like newspaper articles.

Wikipages can be seen as more definitive, whereas blog posts are about currency, opinion, etc…"

The post also describes how content from Blogs can eventually be incorporated in Wikipages, this is something that I know is of concern to many Knowledge Managers, especially if their companies already have well used Know How Portals/Systems:

"The cream of the blog conversations is then added to a wikipage as the important and relevant information (filtered, and applied to the corporate context)...

...The Blog will be vibrant, and make sea changes in real-time. The Wiki, as it matures, will serve as corporate knowledge and will not be as fickle as a the Blog. The Wiki will be authortative in nature, while the Blog will be highly agile. The Blog is personal and opinionated. The Wiki is agreed-uopn and corporate […] The Blog and the Wiki serve as successive refining processes for the unrefined ore in the intelligence repository"

It's a funny old world...

...would be a great title for a blog post and would tie in nicely with the title of this article (It's a web 2.0 world) from the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland so I'll think I run with it..geddit? Run with it...Running Librarian...

Anyway this is a useful if slightly basic, at least initially, look at how pervasive Web 2.0 technologies are the opportunities and risks it poses for anyone uses it. Once part the introduction to Web 2.0 technologies the article goes on to discuss some of the "pitfalls" associated with using Web 2.0 from disclosure of confidential information.

The oldest chestnut of them all is of course "lost employee productivity" the problem with this argument is that if people weren't looking at Facebook or MySpace or Twitter, they would be doing something else to waste time, be that having a cigarette break, having a chat with a colleague, playing a game online, you name it.

Thankfully the article also spends some time discussing the opportunities offered by Web 2.0 technologies, which includes, "the interaction offered by social networking sites" like Facebook and LinkedIn and "cost effective options for training of employees" overall quite a positive spin on the use of Web 2.0 technologies by Law Firms and as the author suggests, they are "Here to stay"