Friday, September 30, 2005

The Great Canadian Blog Survey

Well, I'm just a tad bit too late to tell you about this! I heard through Greater Toronto Area Bloggers that Aaron Braaten, as part of his masters thesis was conducting the Great Canadian Blog Survey. The sponsorship was being supported by Canadian Economist and Grandinite. They were looking to have bloggers and their readers fill out the survey by the end of September or once they received 2000 submissions. Well, I managed to fill it out this morning but I see it has now closed. I did post it over in my links blog so hopefully you did see it there.

I look forward to seeing the results of this survey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Intranet RoadMap


an intranet guide, portal and tutorial for those creating a corporate intranet or those wanting to improve an existing intranet.


This site is a full-service intranet resource offering such content as intranet links, intranet articles as well as the new intranet features being added regularly. Be sure to take advantage of these valuable intranet resources.

This site is brought to you by Intranet Road Map network specialists. Intranet Road Map is an independent network of intranet and e-business specialists that have helped organizations streamline their internal business processes, better communicate with constituents and improve revenue generation.

It looks most helpful. There is a full 400-page "Road Map" on the site covering many different topics, related articles, discussions on return on investment as a distinct section, glossary, lists of other helpful resources (called "websites") and a forum for discussion. Of course, there are consultancy services available through this site, but they really haven't made that the focus of the website. Very impressive.

I'm interested to know the quality of information, whether any of my colleagues have used this resource before. It looks to have been around since 1998, and is up to date, so there must be something to it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

BlawgThink 2005

Matthew Homan of LexThink and the [non]-billable hour is organizing a small conference for law bloggers to be held November 11 and 12, 2005 in Chicago. See his blog here for instructions on how to obtain more information. He sent me an invitation, and it does sound quite interesting. I may have time conflict issues, but am seriously thinking about it.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

From Reporters Without Borders:

Run for the Cure on Sunday, October 2nd

Each year I participate in the 5 km walk portion of the CIBC Run for the Cure. This year will be no exception!

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure is an extraordinary single-day experience that unites more than 170,000 Canadians in over 40 communities across the country. Together, we're raising millions of dollars to fund innovative and relevant breast cancer research, education, and awareness programs in the communities where you live. Last year, we raised $21 million.

I am running this year in honour of my dear friend and "workout buddy" Anne who has been battling breast cancer (and winning handily, I might add) since April. If you would like to support my walk, please visit my web profile. You make a secure donation by credit card, and then will receive a charitable receipt (useful only in Canada I expect!) by e-mail about 20 minutes later.

For any Toronto-based friends reading this, I invite you to join me in the walk and to do a little fundraising yourself!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Did You Receive an Invitation to Join?

People seem to be receiving letters once again from Metropolitan Executive and Professional Registry inviting them, as leaders in their industries, to join the Registry. I have been contacted by a couple of librarians (strangers to me) who were researching this company to see if they were on the up-and-up. They had found my earlier inquiries archived from the CALL listserv and wondered what my findings were back then. See: CALL-L Archives -- August 2002 (#47).

These were my conclusions at the time:

- while this may be a legitimate company, the usefulness of their product is negligible for the purposes of a lawyer wishing to market him/herself;

- the initial cost to sign up may be free or nominal, but then there are additional costs for purchasing things like press releases;

- only those who are in the registry have access to the registry. They state that this is for "privacy" purposes, but what good is listing yourself in a private directory if the purpose of signing up is for advertising?

- from the examples of press releases and mentions I found around on the web, those signed up for the registry were not necessarily the people to whom the lawyer would most want to market him/herself. It therefore seems to function more like a virtual, disparate private club than a useful directory.

To flesh this out a bit, here are examples of how people have used their listings to market themselves: (mentioned at least a couple times) (second to last item on page)

Finally, I should mention I was personally given the honour of an invitation to join the Registry myself a number of years ago. Back before I had done anything like sit on committees or be in any way considered a "leader" in my profession. That doesn't make you skeptical, does it?

Sept. 30. 2006 - at this time comments for this post are closed. I thank everyone for your comments. I encourage you to start your own blog or chat forum on this subject if additional discussion is desired. - Connie

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New! Google Blog

Yesterday Google officially launched Google Blog, a tool for searching blogs exclusively. See the press release: Find out what's happening with Blog Search.

Google Blog is available here (on Google) and here (on Google's blog application, Blogger). Google indexes all blogs publicly available for "pinging", not just Blogger-based blogs. You also have the option of using the search from the top bar on any Blogger blog, such as this blog currently. Give it a whirl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Thoughts from Laurie Anderson

Yesterday I went to see Laurie Anderson, performance artist extraordinaire, at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was part of the "Mavericks" series, talks with people having leading influences in the film world. Originally the series was for industry insiders only, but this year they opened the series up to the public. A description of the session is here.

We were first shown a short film called Hidden Inside Mountains that was produced for the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. It was originally shown on a five-foot story screen (or wall?) outside the "FrancReich" Pavilion (French/German pavilion) in a continuous loop. It showed various little clips or, as she called them, "stories" that didn't have a connecting narrative but which were quite lovely. With bits of text in Japanese and English, I thought of them as visual haiku.

After the viewing, she was then interviewed and finally there were questions from the audience. Laurie Anderson talked about the film, both what it was meant to do, and the intended audience, the challenges of a New Yorker creating something for a Japanese audience, challenges in translating phrases from English to Japanese since our concepts are very different, her work generally, her career, and then some more global viewpoints.

Some of the discussion that stuck with me:

  • she uses technology extensively, but believes we do not need "the latest version" or the "newest tool" to do good work. And just because we have these tools doesn't mean the final product is going to be good either. So many of us are held back because we think we need "the latest upgrade" and we wait for that to innovate;

  • anyone can create a big spectacle that just needs the push of a button. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. There are too many big spectacles now, so their meaning is becoming lost;

  • she is artist-in-residence for NASA. They thought she would be creating some big spectacle such as lighting up an image on the moon or some such thing. Instead she proposed to write a long poem....

  • there are ways to work around the system, around the commercially acceptable ways to do things. It is up to us to find those ways. We don't always have to buy into commercialism;

  • she is interested in understanding what "lures me into the future," what "tempts me" to reach her goals. In the case of using a reward system, being a donkey with a carrot on a stick, she found at one point that her "donkey died". In other words, she is not goal-oriented. She explores ideas and goes from one project to another, but doesn't have a set goal or plan for her own career. I love that idea or image of being "lured into the future". Even more challenging is how to lure others into the future where change exists? This particular idea got me thinking...

  • as an artist she is not attracted to the mainstream, but instead likes to explore what is at the fringe of society, the fringe of our culture.

All very interesting. I only wish they had shown the short film again at the end so we could use some of what we learned from her interview to better appreciate the film. If you get a chance, I encourage you to see one of her performances. She is always interesting, thought-provoking, and oft times quite funny.

E-Mail Note

I should let those of you attempting to e-mail me at know I am only picking up e-mail from that box sporadically at the moment. I gave my home laptop a drink of milk the other evening and for some reason it didn't like it. Go figure. I'm a little lost electronically at home without it. I haven't picked up my e-mail in a few days but will do so shortly.

As well, it has prevented me from voting for my favourite contestants on Rockstar INXS, but that's a separate issue...(ahem!)

That also explains my reduced posting schedule here in blogland. I can actually still surf around with the mousepad, but typing characters doesn't work so I'll have to have the keyboard replaced.

If you've sent me a message recently, I apologize for the delay in responding!


Government of Ontario News - now available for websites/intranets

The Government of Ontario now has both XML and RSS feeds for their news. From this page: News (Government of Ontario, Canada) you can learn how to add a feed to your corporate or personal website or intranet. They also link to information on creating your own feed aggregators using ASP, JSP, PHP and PERL.

Canada Law Book - Website Relaunch

Canada Law Book looks to have redesigned its website. I like that the first thing I immediately see is two search windows allowing me to search products by title, author or legal topic. The feature I usually use the most on any publisher website is the catalogue to look up products, much the same way I visit an or website to look for books I want to purchase. There are still a lot of links on the front page, but it isn't quite as "busy" as the previous version. My biggest criticism would be that a lot of valuable real estate has gone to the "masthead" which gives us the publisher name three times.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Health Canada Relaunches Website

On August 9th or thereabouts Health Canada relaunched its website. They have created quite a number of ways to access their information, an improved search engine, and overall better accessibility for this complex site. A tour of the new site is available here. I highly recommend the "Flash" version of the tour since it walks you through each new feature as you click on the links to the left.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Advertising Ploy Fools Librarian

News at 11!

Today I received a card in a nice high-quality envelope with my name and address typed in fancy letters. It was from a big-time U.S. publisher, and had the words "Invitation Enclosed..." It was set aside from the usual mail by my co-worker so I could have the personal pleasure of opening it. I got all excited at the possibility of a fancy lunch or at least a seminar showing off a new product. I opened up the envelope and, guess what? It was an "exclusive invitation" to "receive the premier issue" of a journal that I'm really not interested in. Rats. They must have heard I have an edict out to toss all direct mail advertising, and therefore devised this clever ruse to circumvent my otherwise air-tight procedures.

Foiled again! Or, should I say, fooled again. I will now have to become even more vigilant in my work to see fewer direct mail ads...

Storm Information Via the Web

There was an interesting article in yesterday's Globe and Mail: Internet Feeds Hunger for Storm Information by Caroline Alphonso and Eric Vanden Bussche (web version article, currently free). It discusses how people are using new web services, including recently-launched Google Earth, to determine specific information to answer their questions regarding whereabouts of their loved ones and the like following Hurricane Katrina. Another website identified as useful is the Katrina Information Map ( in which markers are placed on a map with links to neighbourhood information that may be of interest to people affected by the hurricane.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Linkblogs: The Latest Thing!

Recently Steve Matthews, to accompany his Vancouver Law Librarian Blog created a new "linkblog". That is, he created a blog for posting links to resources without putting any bumph around it. (Good word, "bumph". You can also spell it "bumf", but the ph seem to elevate it somewhat. But I digress!)

Anyway, here is the VLLB Linkblog and his explanation to go with it.

Well, Steve has a way of pulling me along with him (my presence in Slaw would be one example) and so far he hasn't led me astray. When he set up his linkblog, he sent me a challenge to do the same.

So without further ado, here is my linkblog: Connie Crosby Links. Took me all of 20 minutes to create, customize and start posting. Whew--I almost broke out in a sweat!

Do with it what you will. The feed should be set up, but I haven't tested it. I have put a convenient link to it from the sidebar in this main blog, and vice versa. Probably a good 2/3 of what I post here are really just links for my own future use, so I wonder what will come of my posting here. Perhaps more personal reflection? Maybe I will start that novel I've always dreamed about.... Who knows!


Clearing Customs in the Blink of an Eye

Canada Border Services Agency is developing ways to speed up customs and immigration clearance for the frequent traveller. For individual travellers, there is now: CANPASS Air. From the website:

Travellers flying into Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver international airports are now able to clear customs and immigration in the blink of an eye!

CANPASS Air facilitates efficient and secure entry in Canada for pre-approved, low-risk travellers. This program allows members to meet their border clearance obligations by simply looking into a camera that recognizes the iris of the eye as proof of identity. These travellers are identified quickly and securely. Security and the improved free flow of travellers are the cornerstones of the CANPASS Air program.