Has the Age of the Legal Knowledgebase Finally Arrived?

An interesting post here from the Technologist the "Findlaw Technology Blog" in which the author argues that "...Web 2.0 technologies can increase the adoption of knowledge management systems, and thus the benefit to law firms, by integrating the systems with attorneys' everyday experiences"

Many law firms have implemented Knowledge Management systems, which have ultimately failed either through lack of use or because the main users are those individuals who are responsible for Knowledge Management systems! So what does Web 2.0 have to offer Law Firms? Well according to the post, quite a lot.

"There are three overarching factors that allow this generation of tools to break with the past:

  • Ease of use
  • Searchability
  • Integration with actual lawyering"

I'm not sure "Lawyering" is actually a word, but there you go! The post goes on to discuss in more detail why these concepts are both essential for a Knowledge Management tool and how Web 2.0 tools provide this functionality.

This is a really interesting post, with a slight health warning that it is written by an employee of PBWorks so PBWorks is mentioned once or twice in the post.

Thinking about a career in Legal Information?

Recently I had the great pleasure to work on a project with Emily Allbon of Lawbore and City University fame. Emily and I did a session ages ago for the CILIP Career Development Group for students who were looking at librarianship as a career.

So we teamed up to produce a "slideshow" which gives people a view of the work that goes on in academic and law firm Libraries. We've also pushed the importance of BIALL to the profession.

Please excuse my dodgy jokes and my "I knew from an early age" line...I really did...honestly!

Second wave adapaters - are you ready!?

Three posts here from of Headshift on Enterprise 2.0 and barriers to the adoption of Enterprise 2.0. The posts are:

Is RSS Dead?

Lee Bryant from Headshift has written a very interesting post about a subject very close to my and many other Law Librarians hearts - RSS. In the post Lee describes how many people within the Social Media/Web 2.0 industry have written RSS off citing Twitter as a replacement.

So the question Lee asks is "Is RSS really dead?" From the blog post:

"I am convinced that enterprise RSS is only just beginning it adoption curve, and it has tremendous value to offer both individuals and groups. Solving the information needs of an individual is pretty easy. Finding better ways to co-ordinate the activities of thousands of people is a lot more difficult, and flocking from new tool to new tool every six months is not an option. Weaning people off the Outlook or Blackberry inbox for actionable information and intelligence is widely recognised as an important need, but it will take time. RSS and similar syndication approaches will be a key part of that solution"

I'm pleased to see the Lee feels enterprise RSS is only just beginning to be adopted by organisations. I can't think of any Law Firm that currently uses RSS across the Enterprises both as a tool to wean people away from Outlook and Blackberries and as tool for providing information. There are certainly some good examples of Law Firms using RSS to provide information to their fee-earners around particular subjects, although this usually happens via an Intranet or Portal. The post goes on to look at how RSS could be used within an Enterprise and some of the problems vendors like Newsgator and Attensa are facing in terms of adoption.

I want my Web 2.0 and I want it now...

This, albeit with my small addition at the end is the title of an article in the April 2009 edition of the AALL Spectrum. The article looks in detail at the CS-SIS Web 2.0 Challenge which took place last year.

I wonder whether BIALL might think about doing something similar in the UK?

50 Best Blogs for Law Librarians

I'm absolutely delighted to have been included in the Online University Lowdown list of the 50 Best Blogs for Law Librarians. There are some fantastic blog listed here, which I would recommend people subscribe to if they don't already, they include:

Congratulations to everyone who is listed here and thanks to Connie Crosby for the link.

Making the case

This months edition of Inside Knowledge carries an interesting article* on the business case for and against the use of Social Software within an Enterprise. The article is an excerpt from the CMS Watch Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report and is a brief look at the "Hard" and "Soft Benefits" of using Social Software.

Hard actually means the financial gains from using Social Software, these include:

  • Reducing expenses
  • Increasing productivity
  • Increasing customer retention

Soft benefits, or those benefits that are more difficult to measure include:

  • Improving internal communication
  • Improving internal collaboration
  • Improving employee morale and retention and...
  • Improving agility(!) or how your company can adapt/respond to changes

This is a useful introduction to some of the benefits associated with using Social Media. Unfortunately the full report cost $1650.00 so I cant see my firm purchasing this!

*You will need a subscription to Inside Knowledge Magazine to read this article

How To Keep Up Without Having To Stay Up” Web 2.0 For The Solo Librarian

Last Tuesday I spoke to the BIALL Solos Group on the subject of surprise surprise Web 2.0 or rather Social Media. The webinar was predominatly about how Solo Librarians could use Social Media tools to keep up to date with developments in the Legal Sector.

This was the first time I'd ever done a Webinar so I was quite surprised at how well it went. Members of the group could either listen in to just the audio or hear the audio and watch me move the slides live. All in all great fun and more importantly there were some interesting questions at the end. Also at least three Law Librarians have now signed up to Twitter after I talked about it.

Whistable 10k and Larkfield 10k

Two race reports here for the price of one! The first the Whistable 10k was my first race of the *new* running season so I didn't have great expectations in terms of my time. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I finished with a time of 46:21, which placed me 145th out of 572 runners. This is a really nice race, with many supporters and family's there, it is after all on the first summer Bank Holiday of the year. Slightly disconcertingly there were a large number of morris dancers present...I'm not entirely sure why they where...presumably to dance as they weren't running. All in all a great run albeit slightly down on my time from last year.

My latest race was the Larkfield 10k this took place in surprise surprise Larkfield this Sunday the 17th of May. Larkfield is a very nice piece of Kent lying as it does next to the Leybourne Country Park. In fact most of the run took place around the park, which was nice although I was tempted to stop for a hot dog at one point when the rain got really bad, yes it was absolutely hammering it down for practically all of the race. This made running at points quite difficult so I was pleasantly surprised to finish with a time of 45:38 a full 42 seconds quicker then the Whistable 10k, which is probably an easier course.

My next race is the Harvel5 a 5 mile race through well...Harvel!

How to..ReTweet

This is a great post I was made aware of recently which looks at how to ReTweet and be ReTweeted. To ReTweet is to basically forward a Twitter post that you have seen to your followers, thereby spreading information around the Twitterverse.

But how do you actually ReTweet a Tweet and perhaps more importantly create content on Twitter that is going to be ReTweeted? The post make several suggestions as follows:

  • Keep your ReTweet short
  • Read what you're sharing
  • Know your audience/followers

To get your Tweets ReTweeted:

  • Bulleted ListWrite good content
  • Include links
  • Remember your character count

Some useful suggestions here and a post that is well worth reading.

The 4P's of Social Media

I've read a lot of blog posts recently describing the 4P's of Social Media that is, Public, Private, Personal and Political. One of the issues I have is the blurry divide between what you do on Social Media sites that is personal and what is professional and more importantly how you manage these two aspects of your life.

A few people I know have multiple accounts for sites like Twitter and Facebook and use one for their private life and one for their professional life. I would find this very hard to manage, but can see why people would want to seperate these elements of their life. Several of my other friends simply don't use Twitter professionally, they only use it as somewhere to write about their personal life, this is fine but what happens when you want to post something professional? Do you not post it, or do you use other mediums?

Want to read more about the 4P's of Social Media, then I recommend the following blog posts:

Socialising in the workplace

A really interesting article here from Communicate Magazine which reports on the use of Twitter, Yammer and other Microblogging tools within organisations. Notably at the BBC and CAPGemini, which are two of the organisations whose use of Social Media tools is discussed.

Building blogs of success

My latest article called "Building blogs of success" (I couldn't think of a better title unfortunately) has just been published in Managing Partner Magazine. Although the article is available online you will need to be subscriber of Managing Partner Magazine to be able to read it.

From the introduction to the article "Blogs have proved to be hugely successful in the consumer world, and they are now rapidly being adopted by law firms alongside other Web 2.0 tools to manage knowledge. How can they be used to build relationships with current and existing clients?"

If you have access to Managing Partner Magazine do read it and let me know what you think!

CILIP Open Session on Web 2.0

Unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last few days, you cant help but have noticed that the CILIP Open Session on Web 2.0 took place. This was an open session on how CILIP should be using Web2 technologies to engage with both members and non-members in the LIS community.

The meeting was widely attended by both Council Members and CILIP Members with initial presentations by Phil Bradley and Brian Kelly both well known Web 2.0/Social Media users. Phil and Brian's presentations are available on Tom Roper's blog. Tom was also one of the official "Twitterers".

If you're interested in seeing all of the Tweets from the sesssion you can run a search on Twittersearch for the term clip2 or search hashtags for cilip2, although these searches will return results post the event. There is also a Twitterfeed transcript.

There is also a full report of the event on the CILIP Council Blog. Unforttunately I wasn't able to watch the hold debate "virtually" but from the searches I have run on Twitter Search and the number of posts I have seen sprung up on blogs it certainly looks like it was a lively discussion. The question is how will CILIP respond?