Sunday, December 23, 2007

My First Podcasting Attempt!

Just a quick note before I head out for a bit of short Christmas break--I have now posted my first podcasting bit over at the Podcamp Toronto blog (Episode #3). Sean McGaughey (ductapeguy) did the difficult bit, recording and editing. I did the show notes and posted it. Enjoy! Podcamp Toronto Podcast #3 - Introducing Connie Crosby: Unsuspect Podcaster Wannabe

Also, check out Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation Episode #83 - The Yuletide Log Festivus Miracle Edition . I haven't listened to it yet, but looks like he picked up my comment from the streets of Toronto yesterday.

Cheers!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cool New Happenings in the Podcast World

I make note of some of the cool new happenings from the podcast world:

  • It is the Canadian Podcast Buffet's 2nd anniversary! Not familiar with the Buffet? It is a regular update of the comings and goings of the Canadian podcaster community hosted by Bob Goyetche and Mark Blevis. Congratulation, guys!!
  • Speaking of which, the guys at the Buffet have started the shiny new Podcasting Wiki which is meant to help new podcasters learn how to podcast. The idea for the wiki came out of the recent Podcamp Ottawa. They are looking for input to the wiki from the podcaster community. Great job, folks!! I know *I'll* be using the new site.
  • The second Podcamp Toronto has been set for February 23-24, 2008. I enjoyed it so much last time, I have signed up as an organizer! I know, call me crazy. But I really want to learn how these "camp" events are put together. If you have any questions about Podcamp, let me know. And hopefully I will see you there! At last year's Podcamp Toronto, Jim Milles and I did a presentation on "What to Podcast". The video of that talk is here and the PDF presentation is here.
  • And speaking of Jim Milles, he and Kristina Lively have started my new favourite "couple cast" called The Shadow and James Show. They met in Second Life (where their names are James and Shadow respectively) and have now moved in together in real life. I love that, in their show, I get to hear about their day to day lives as well as adventures. They talk a lot about food, movies, music, and cats. Among other things! Congratulations on the new show Jim and Kristina. :-)
  • And did you know that there is actually a talk show for librarians on the web? Greg Schwartz hosts Uncontrolled Vocabulary every Wednesday evening at 10 p.m. ET. People in the library community make note of articles or blog posts to discuss by tagging them with "unvocab" in the social bookmarking site del.icio.us . Greg then selects from the articles, using them as jumping-off points for discussion. The show is held in Talk Shoe and people dial in to talk "on the air". You can listen or participate in the call live, or listen to it later as it is recorded. This is a great way to keep up with issues generally surrounding the library industry. If you go back a few months ago you will even hear me in a past episode!
  • If you don't want to dig around quite that much, you can also hear me on recent episode 78 of Six Pixels of Separation, the podcast from Montreal-based marketing agency Twist Image. I had called in with an audio comment, and host Mitch Joel aired it and also talked about me. Very exciting!
Well, my effort to infiltrate the podcasting community without actually doing any podcasting continues. LOL! To be honest, I have about 3 or 4 shows in my brain itching to come out. One of these days I will pick up the microphone, I promise. Then there will be no holding me back!

Namaste,
Connie

Friday, December 07, 2007

Daily Bread Food Bank - Law Firm Challenge


10000 maniacs:bread & circuses
Original photograph by
visualpanic.
Some rights reserved under a
Creative Commons licence.

Last year I reported on the 2006 Daily Bread Food Bank Law Firm Challenge, and a lot of people have been finding this blog in an effort to locate the page for the 2007 Challenge.

The Challenge is indeed running again, but I don't believe they have created a law firm-specific launch page for the event. Too bad, since seeing running totals for each firm really helped to drive the donation competition last year!

To find your firm and donate, go to the Holiday Challenge page and click on Click here to see if your group is registered .

I encourage you to give generously to this very worthy cause! Some details about the Daily Bread Food Bank and the Law Firm Challenge --

About the Daily Bread Food Bank
The Daily Bread Food Bank is Toronto's leader in the fight against hunger. Each month, they serve over 75,000 people in the GTA through their network of 160 member agencies and over 190 food relief programs. Member agencies run neighbourhood food banks where people come to access food hampers, as well as meal programs where people can access prepared meals such as soups or casseroles.

Law Firm Challenge
For the past several years, the articling students at Blakes have been coordinating the Law Firm Challenge in an effort to help raise money and food at this critical time of the year. The Challenge will be two-fold: a per capita competition, and an overall cumulative competition. Donations of food will be assigned a monetary value for the purposed of the challenge. MacLeod Dixon won in the donations per capita category last year, raising $208.10 per member of the firm, while McCarthy Tetrault won in the overall funds raised category, with a total of $28,610.60 in donations.


Update:
2009 Update
Slaw.ca - Holiday Law Firm Challenge: Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank (2009)

Canadian Law Blogs List by Steve Matthews

My buddy Steve Matthews has done it again! He is always coming up with very focussed, important ideas. He has taken the Canadian Law Blogs List which first saw light of day as a blog post a few years ago, and has given it a brand new home with its own domain. Brilliant!

You can now find it at http://www.lawblogs.ca .

And don't forget to visit his legal publisher new book titles feed site, http://www.legalpubs.ca .

I can't help but wonder what else he has up his sleeve....(if I hear of anything else I will let you know!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Professional Learning Centre - New Social Networking Courses?

Hi folks! I regret not having more energy to blog these past several days. One distraction has been my course at the Professional Learning Centre at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto -- Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning It has been quite popular, to the point where I haven't even really had to promote it here on the blog.

The idea for the course came from Rebecca Jones who I ran into back in the spring en route to the Computers in Libraries conference. She envisioned a course wherein we play with a number of the "Web 2.0" tools in the morning, and then discuss the implications in the afternoon. You never know when opportunity will knock, my friends!

I took the ball and ran with it, creating a fun but intense survey course in which we set up a blog, wiki, feed aggregator account and social bookmarking account. We discuss uses of each and obstacles people would face in setting these up for use at their organizations. I also give a tour of some of the other tools including MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, LibraryThing and Second Life (I throw in some other tools depending upon the interests of the group).

We have run this class about 7 or 8 times since August, including a few times in Ottawa. I am just in the process of planning some additional dates for the spring. Thanks so much to everyone who has attended, for your enthusiasm, thoughfulness, and participation. Every class has been completely different, with a different mix of participant backgrounds and interests. You have kept me on my toes!!

The question is, where do we go from here? Eva Kupidura who coordinates the program has challenged me to add more courses to the roster. But what? Advanced questions in the class seem to centre around RSS feeds as well as wikis. Possibly a full course just on wikis would be a great next step. But what would be the issues we cover?

Please--what additional courses would you like to see me develop? What topics should they include? Would a full day in-person format work again, or something else?

Leave a comment here, or email me directly at conniecrosby at gmail.com . Thanks for your help!

Connie

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Roundup (Nov. 9/07): You Don't Expect to See Folk You Know

I don't always have time to post every day, so my first attempt writing about things I have been looking at went very well last week. So, I am back to share more! This week I was in Ottawa for a couple of days teaching my Social Networking Tools course for the Professional Learning Centre at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto (here is a link to the Toronto description). It was my first time teaching at the University of Ottawa facility so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Once we got a few to-be-expected first day kinks worked out, I had a fabulous time meeting and working with the librarians in Ottawa. They were all so positive and welcoming!

Here, then, is what I would have blogged about if I had had more time this week--

  • When you turn on the TV in the morning you don't expect to see folk you know. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see Mitch Joel on Canada AM talking about personal image on the internet Monday morning. Click here for the video from the CTV website. His visit coincides with the release of Microsoft's new Windows Live ID. Microsoft pulled him in as a third party expert in their press release, and he was quickly asked to discuss the concept of personal image by everyone. Most recently I ran into Mitch at Podcamp Boston where he gave a kick-off talk on building your personal brand. They couldn't have picked a better expert!

  • Speaking of which, check out the Podcamp Boston 2.0 music video put together by Mark Blevis. Look closely and you will see yours truly more than once or twice. You can also see Famous Librarian Andrea Mercado running around in the green t-shirt. She's a real spitfire! It was great to finally meet her after the Boston podcasters have been telling me for the past year I had to meet the "other" librarian in the group.

  • women 2.0 Canada - earlier this year at the mesh conference I discovered Beverly Crandon and Ana Gervasio, two lively entrepreneurial women in a big tech world, were helping to start up a Canadian version of women 2.0 based in Silicon Valley. The Canadian group have recently started up a blog and have become active running events in Ottawa. Unfortunately my visit to Ottawa this week did not coincide with a get-together, but I hope to participate sometime in the future. I have been added to their blogroll which was a nice surprise! I have reciprocated by linking to this blog and hope to get more involved in the future.
  • The new OCLC report Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World - a copy of this new report came to me a couple of weeks ago. I only had a chance to crack the binding this week, and am slowly making my way through the report. It is quite substantive but actually quite a quick read. It talks about use of the Internet by the general public and by librarians, and talks about issues and opportunities for libraries with social networking tools. I hope to share some of the findings and my thoughts later on after I have absorbed a little more. But I encourage you to start reading it yourself--some great, useful information here. You can read electronically or print from the OCLC website, or order a hard copy.
  • Canada Post has opened a city in Second Life called Maple Grove. I wrote at more length about it on SLAW on Monday. The odd thing is no announcement or link was made on the Canada Post website. I asked around a few of my friends "in the know" about Second Life, and they didn't know who had put it together for them (i.e. who had done the scripting and animation a.k.a. created the buildings). I had a tour around. It is interesting, but mostly people stop in briefly to have a look around and then move on. There is not yet enough there to keep you there.
  • Some very interesting statistics about Facebook were discussed by Mitch Joel in Six Pixels of Separation, podcast #74 from last week. He also wrote about it in his Oct. 26th blog post Facebook Facts That Will Blow Your Marketing Mind . I hope to write a bit more about that in a future post, but if you are curious as to why Facebook is gaining prominence in both the tech and marketing world, you have to check it out.

There you have it! Some new things for you to think about, too. Have a great weekend!!

Namaste,
Connie

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Friday Roundup - Are We Living in the Future or What?

So many cool things are happening, it is hard to keep up with them all! Here is what has caught my attention this week:




  • Steve Matthews has put together a sample site pulling together those Canadian legal publisher new title feeds over at legalpubs.ca. For information on how he did it, read the About page. Steve is looking for feedback on how to make it better. We are discussing at least one issue over on the About page (comments at the bottom). Please weigh in on what you would like to see!


  • Joel Alleyne waxes poetic about the book Everything is Miscellaneous over at SLAW under the guise of his new column Extreme KM.
    At first glance, many of the things that David proposes seem like heresy; but dig deep, and you will find there is much of substance in the way he sees things. This is an excellent book. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it. It will challenge your thinking about what is possible as we move KM forward.


  • Inspired by Joel's write-up, Ted Tjaden read the book immediately and posted a response, also on SLAW. He agrees it is a "must-read" book. I am hereby adding it to my list!


  • A new pay-by-cell phone trial has been launched in Canada. A video was released yesterday to CNW with spokesdiva Anne Koski talking about RBC's new program with VISA. Instead of putting a chip into a card and using the card to make a payment, they are putting the chip into a cell phone so you can use that to make payment. There is a demo of it toward the end of the video. Are we living in the future or what?


  • My friends Shadow and James have started up a new "couple cast" (podcast with a couple talking) called, oddly enough, The Shadow and James Show. James has lots of podcasting experience and so it is exciting to see them working together on this project for fun. They are using their Second Life names for this show (SL is where they met!) so I'm not sure if they want me to reveal their real names.


  • Wayne MacPhail has always done things a little differently. First he was in the news business, then he jumped to podcasting (well, there may have been a few transitional steps in there), he became a Second Life expert, then a social media guru over at TheRealNews.com. Now, just for kicks, he finally starts up his own blog. Called Interstitial Packrating he has a few bits and bobs here and there, still working on finding a voice I think. I'm hoping at some point he will explain the blog title and it will all fall into place. Wayne is very smart, creative and versatile. Welcome to the blogosphere (finally) Wayne!


  • News came out this week that a blogger won a lawsuit down in the U.S. against a company claiming defamation, privacy invasion, and trademark violations. Thanks to Fix Your Thinking blog for picking up the story. This is good news for those who have been affected by cyberbullies.




It is fantastic to see so many friends pushing forward with projects. Great work, everyone!

Comment "Captcha" is Now On

This blog has unfortunately been hit by a spammer or spambot posting every hour to various old posts. I have turned the "captcha" feature on to stop it. I am not in favour of using captcha typically and hope this is just a temporary measure until the spambot goes away.

Thanks for your patience!

Cheers,
Connie

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NE2007: Libraries Without Borders: Presentations Now Posted

Presentations have now been posted to the NE2007: Libraries Without Borders -- Proceedings page. More to come! The audio files created also still need to be posted--we are working on that but didn't want to slow down posting the other content.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Cheers,
Connie

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Take-Away Thoughts from Law Via the Internet

I put together some of my take-away learnings and thoughts from last week's Law Via the Internet conference over at SLAW.

The question which I didn't include was, how can librarians get more involved in making the law accessible to the public? There is the obvious link to law librarians, but I couldn't help but think we also have to consider those librarians who work directly with the public, the public librarians. How are they helping the public to access the law, and what do they need to make this happen? How can they become part of the process?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2: David Maister

David Maister shared his experiences on business blogging and podcasting, and answered questions from the audience.

Switched his blogging model to congenial host - "I have this question and what do the rest of you think?"

Blog posting - we all want to be relatively regular with our schedule. Horrible temptation to say you are just going to put something up without the quality; you are best to avoid this trap if you want to build a destination place. Be prepared to post less frequently.

Article: "Do you really want relationships?" (article from new book); even if you despise people, you still have to earn their trust. It is not about how good you are, but whether they believe you are going to look after them.

Friendship skills: some people naturally have friendship skills.

His wife's podcast: Startcooking.com - she is a good dinner host, natural conversationalist.

If you want to make a lot of money, once you get business you want to make sure you get all their follow-up business and have them tell their friends.

What you want: if someone asks your customers if they should hire you, you want them saying unequivocally yes.

Stop talking about you. You don't get any of my business by talking to you. Getting new clients is like dating - you go out and do something nice once, twice, if you don't get a response, you move on.

Clients who ask him if they should get into podcasting. Particularly lawyers, they are very concerned whether they should get into this area. It is proving very very hard to get them to do it. The smaller practitioners who do not have benefit of big brand name are doing it smartly. When you get into larger firms and you have to get 26 of your partners to sign off, it becomes harder to do.

In most advisory business they are not about scale. He probably earns more profit per partner than the big 4 accounting firms. But how do you get in the flow of the best business?

Before you are in the market, are you putting out into the marketing place something that makes people say you are creating smart stuff? That is why he writes books. You can't get people to be interested in you, that you will do something fabulous, until you start putting something out there for them to see. It is unclear which is the best medium; do it all, the blog, the podcast, the book; it doesn't cost him much to turn articles on his blog into a business book. The business book becomes his glossy business card.

E.g. got invited to give a speech at the conference, handed books out to everyone in the audience. One CEO told him the next day he had been reading the book and would he come to speak to his board? Not guaranteed work, but it may lead into something.

Business audiences are busy: is your writing easily digestible for them? His work goes through quite a number of drafts.

It is not the top executives on the web reading his blog. But it is their staff reading his work; these people pass his ideas up. He therefore is writing it as "ammunition" to support those people.

He believes that, despite all his business degrees, business is not that complicated. Management writing is just re-writing Dale Carnegie.

The ability to help enter the audience's mind, help them see things - that is a difficult skill.

Podcamp Boston 2: Social Media for Business with Isabel Hilborn

Isabel Hilborn

Social media: media where the users create the content themselves.

People who are not doing this want to know why people would spend time on this.

Social Media Motivator: Hosts
- cost savings/profit
- timeliness
- suitability
- trust, legitimacy and attention - get more sales if there are bad comments about your comment along with good rather than just good comments - seems more authentic

What can Social Media address?
- professionals - networking, sale,s self-promotion, job search, industry expertise
- enterprise internal - KM, project management
- enterprise external
- marketing

Saturday, October 27, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2: PodCamp Retrospective and Prospective

20 podcamps world-wide in the past year. Why has it spread so far and so fast?

Current challenges:

- what size works best?
- does venue or location matter?
- wiki is not always user friendly?
- scheduling/tracking deadlines
- how do you manage volunteer staff?

How do you expand it out so that you don't have the same 12 people going to every one like Grateful Dead followers.

Today: about 550 people out of 1339 people registered. When you do not get those people out, how do you plan for T-shirts, food, sponsors, advertisers?

Does it need to be called something a little more inclusive?

Other unconferences and new media conferences are charging...

Whitney Hoffman did Podcamp Philly sponsorship like Lego - built out essential sponsorship first, and then sponsorship for non-essentials after.

BarCamp model was originally chosen because it is easy. But what do you do with the scalability, the second year?

What is Podcamp?

- opportunity to learn
- conference anyone can put on
- involving the community
- showing people they can create content, can share content on the web
- people are here because it is their hobby, it is not an industry; people are here to share with people who have a similar love

Sponsorships - not want to be calling the same people all the time; also, need a certain critical mass before people are interested; as podcamp becomes split up and more local, you may only need 1 or 2 sponsors; it has to be funded somehow; the idea of sponsorship by a company equals commitment to this community; even if organizations cannot give money, let them get involved e.g. in-kind sponsorships.

Send them comments about what you think podcamp is and what it should be: podcampboston@gmail.com

Discuss on the forums - linked from the blog

There will also be a survey (Survey Monkey)

PodCamp Boston 2: Smart Plan, Sexy 'Cast with Andrea Mercado

She specializes in library technology planning. Podcasts sessions with authors, interviews, etc. Has a blog LibraryTechtonics

- what do people use to subscribe to podcasts?

iTunes, Miro (can be used for videos and podcasts)

- go and listen to as many podcasts; watch as many vidcasts in your area as you can as research to see what is already being done. Gives you a starting point for areas you might be more knowledgeable in, what length to run them for, learn from their successes

- what is a successful 'cast really varies for the area you are in

- is there something of interest to your planning process

- is your niche already full? In that case, offer to be guest host, help with the 'cast that already exists in your niche

Have there been any recent instant rockstars? Not really - easy for everyone to do it, so harder to stand out. 'Cast like RocketBook went instantly viral because it was new. Now it is about creating a niche for yourself.

Considerations: how much do you have to spend on budget, equipment, time?

At the beginning you may just record and put it out raw, but over time you will want to spend more time editing, making it more polished.

Whatever you are recording, it is to your benefit to be wearing headphones so you can hear what it sounds like-- you can adjust levels as you record. Will save yourself production time. Headsets with microphones don't cost that much. Recording software such as castblaster can cost like $50. Or Audacity is free - allows you to do downloading, editing, exporting into MP3 etc.

Can host onto your own site all in one place, or distribute to other sites;

Don't let your podcast be an "abandoned baby" on Talkshoe...

You don't need to have a five-year plan, but set yourself goals, motivations. Keep it simple in the beginning.

Ask others doing what you want to do--ask them questions about what they are doing.

What is your goal with your podcast?

You need to do some homework, do some up-front work which will likely make it more sustainable;

Plan for time to add liner notes, show notes - please put notes in for people, times when each speaker starts (for example).

PodCamp Boston 2: Personal Branding - the Power of Conversations with Mitch Joel

PodCamp Boston
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Mitch Joel
Building Your Personal Brand: The Power of Conversations

You need to be passionate about everything you do! How many hours a day do you spend working? Podcasting? Most of us do it to get out of our work. He wants us to bring this passion to our work.

Works during the day with fairly big brands on how to hold conversations. You can translate all of this into being more effective in our personal lives.

Why is personal branding important?

Be a better husband, wife, family member. Be a better community member. Make more money in our work.

Words account for only 7% of communication. Your personal brand is screaming so loud you can hardly hear what you are saying. Your personal brand already is! How you dress, what you do, what you do for a living, who you connect with.

A brand is a bunch of emotional things that we connect to. E.g. establishing the Apple brand. How do you establish a brand? You have to figure out the differentiater.

Why is personal branding so easy? Because we are all so different.

Internal conversation - leads to business and marketing. First:

Find the real you.


If you are interverted, connect more to people like you. Most people have never heard of him, and yet he speaks to lots of people because he is connecting with people like him.

Have you tried to write out your own story? Write that story and connect to that story--it will show what makes you truly unique. You need to have your story out, try your story out on people you trust. So often people have a different idea of you than you have of yourself.

The power of a great internal conversation. Companies have internal conversations, too. Harley-Davidson does not actually sell motorcycles. They sell a lifestyle, the open road, "the ability of a 43 accountant to dress in black leather, drive through small towns and have people be afraid of them." (Harley-Davidson executive)

What are your values, your goals, your beliefs? How many of your shows are the mental tattoos on people's minds? When your show comes out, you want them to want to listen to it right away. If someone listens to your show they connect with you.

Elevator pitch - 30 seconds to explain what you do. Four simple steps to make your pitch work.

1. State very clearly what you do.
2. Very short.
3. Has to roll off your tongue, sound natural, as if you just came up with it.
4. It has got to be memorable.

Elevators are a euphemism for life.

Be the one who stands out, make sure you are the one people remember. For your personal brand to really explode, you have to listen. Podcasters tend to have verbal diarrhea; you have to listen, listen to your listeners.

ALWAYS talk to strangers. Get out there, you can build hundreds of people in your audience just by talking to the people here at this conference. He is going to spend time people he doesn't know. He is not going to be one of those people talking to just the two only people you know. It's all about who you know. It's also about who knows you.

Plug into other people, not just your computer. Connect into people, and you will get people thinking about you.

He wants us to attend THREE social networking events in the next week. Turn to the person behind you and sit down to have coffee with that person later. If I can understand what you need, I can help you get it. Help people with their goals. You can do this by connecting people online.

"Would you like to sit next to you at dinner?" - The Economist (ad)

Your ability to give and give and not care if you get anything back in return...give abundantly, give of your time, be part of the community. Don't expect to get anything back.

Mentoring is important. Mentors can be family, friends, community, business. A lot of us are his mentors. Everyone in this room is now your mentor. You need to rely on this community. The one to many conversation.

First time in the history of the planet you now have the ability to personally have a one-to-many conversation because of the web. We now have connectivity. You've got to be connected. Everyday people can now go about our day-to-day lives to truly effect change in the world.

You can go wherever you want, and you try to find people like you. The internet - what other media allows you to find people? What other media allows you to have this conversation? Six degrees of separation/six pixels of separation - people are now intrinsically connected. How does our personal brand help you to connect with people?"

"Your brand isn't what you say it is. It's what Google says it is." - Chris Anderson (author of The Long Tail)

Forbidden - woman on the west coast has over 1.4 million friends on myspace.com

LinkedIn - power of using the channels to build your connections.

***Just remember stuff lingers forever on the web.****

6 points:

- establish yourself as an expert - don't just podcast but blog, write articles, speak.
- Be seen and known as a leader.
- Be known as an innovator.
- Separate yourself from the competition. Book: Blue Ocean Strategy
- Gain professional statute
- Build your image e.g. Bono is constantly building his image- how he look is as important as what he says.

What is your personal nametag going to say??

The rules have not changed. Make friends, tell the truth, do your homework.

In Boston for Podcamp!

I am currently in Boston for Podcamp. This is conference 3 of 3 in 1 1/2 weeks!!! I am completely excited to be here. I don't have to organize or speak, just focus on connecting with people and learning. Well, I am always learning. But you know what I mean. ;-)

I attended the Social Media Breakfast this morning organized by Bryan Person and kindly sponsored by CMAccess. It was a good way to connect with a few people I know and meet a few new ones (about 50-60 people attended) before heading into the larger 1200+ delegate unconference.

I haven't yet loaded my blogging from the last conference but am going to go ahead and start live blogging as I have time. Forgive the order...will try to make sense of all of this later with some personal thoughts.

Cheers!
Connie

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In Montreal at Law Via the Internet

Bonjour. Maintenant je suis a Montreal pour le 8e conférence internationale Internet pour le droit.

Hello. I am in Montreal for the 8th International Conference Law Via The Internet.

I travelled from Toronto yesterday on the fabulous VIA Rail. I enjoyed the trip, especially having wireless Internet connectivity to allow me to catch up on a few things and stay connected. I arrived refreshed, not stressed as a I might have been travelling by plane or car.

Last night I joined other speakers at a reception hosted by LexUM, producers of CANLII, in their offices. I was one of the first to arrived and was greeted by staff members and our conference organizer Daniel Poulin. I was surprised to learn some of the people there knew who I am, having followed my little thoughts and adventures here on this blog. That was exciting and flattering. Eric Pare gave me a tour of the office. I was surprised at how large it is, how many staff they have (around 40 people!). Apparently the DJ and caterer were not usual features, but I suppose you can't have everything. ;-)

As people arrived I managed to meet some new people and see familiar ones. One special guest was The Honourable Mr. Justice Bastarache who is the Honorary Conference Chair. There were people from all over the world present making for a very interesting social event.

This morning I arrived to find a formal conference room: seats set up in school room style (narrow tables in front of the chairs, the tables with table cloths). Again people from around the world, many wearing headphones for the simultaneous translation, and the speakers on at a formal table up on a platform at front. It felt very much like the UN I thought, except there was an official photographer working the room. I don't recall seeing official photographers at the UN.

The morning was spent with official opening remarks, and then discussions of developing countries and how access to law is key to helping in their development. This afternoon took a different tack with discussion of doctrine or secondary legal materials. We started with four full presentations by panelists in the first session, and then in the session I participated in we had one full paper and then some roundtable commentary. I provided some commentary, although time was limited and I didn't get as much control of the microphone as perhaps I would have liked. Still, being my first time on a panel at this conference I was among some very esteemed people and was fortunate to have been invited and receive the exposure.

Now tomorrow I can relax and be a regular delegate, perhaps have time to do some further blogging. This is a little chatty, but I will hopefully have something more substantive for you to hang your hat on after this.

And--who knows?--perhaps I will start blogging en francais!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Canadian Intellectual Property Review - New Issue Forthcoming

The last issue of the Canadian Intellectual Property Review (CIPR) published by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada is Vol. 22, No. 1 dated November 2005. I just contacted them and learned there has not been another issue yet. They are expecting to put out Vol. 23, No. 1 at the end of 2007. If you carry this title you might wish to make note.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Phishing Scam

This morning I received a supposed update on a employment harrassment complaint regarding one of the associations I have been involved with. The text of the email (with link modified so it does not work):

To: Connie Crosby,

This is an automated email that confirms the registration of harassment complaint #number : 711-755-7517 filed by Maria Jones on September 29/2007 against [association].

While Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not resolve individual consumer problems, this harassment complaint can lead to law enforcement action.

You can download and print a copy of this complaint to keep for your personal records here .

Employer Liability for Harassment

The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If the supervisor's harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: 1) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

The employer will be liable for harassment by non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises), if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

When investigating allegations of harassment, the EEOC looks at the entire record: including the nature of the conduct, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination of whether harassment is severe or pervasive enough to be illegal is made on a case-by-case basis.

Our staff will keep you updated regarding the status of our investigation.
To check the status of your complaint access:
http://damianbaecker.de/.bbb/complaint.php?id=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
General manager: Baker Sanders
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have modified this notice to remove the name of the association and to change the link. This notice on the *real* EEOC website indicates this is a phishing scam. If you click on the link you could download a Trojan horse (i.e. a computer virus). For more information read the Oct. 19/07 notice on the EEOC website.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Down, Two to Go!

Well, it's all over but the shootin'. I can't believe the Northeast regional conference NE2007: Libraries Without Borders has come and gone! A little anti-climactic now as we pull together the final bits and pieces, making sure we don't miss anyone or anything that needs follow-up.

It was such a pleasure to take part in this event. It was a heck of a lot of work, but I actually had lots and lots of thanks from so many individuals who seemed to be having a fantastic time learning, meeting new people, and being challenged by new ideas.

I am feeling pretty run-down now that it is all over. I spent yesterday trying to recuperate, but there is a long way to go. Meanwhile, off to Montreal on Wednesday in my quest to do 3 conferences in less than 2 weeks. I'm hopeful I will be able to blog more about upcoming events.

Cheers,
Connie

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Third Tuesday Toronto - Darren Barefoot on Building Pyramids for Good



Our speaker last night at Third Tuesday Toronto was Darren Barefoot talking about building pyramids for good - using pyramid schemes and web strategies (such as memes and other viral marketing) to effect change in society and otherwise do good.

He talked a lot about earning "Stacies", a concept he developed to help measure good done for people, the environment, and society. He describes the Stacies concept here in his Gnomedex talk. Much of the content of tonight's talk is here also since it was adapted from his talk at Gnomedex called "1100 Stacies."

Some related links:

His personal site: www.darrenbarefoot.com
His work site: http://www.capulet.com
He developed this Second Life parody page: Get a First Life
A meme for doing good: www.nothingbutnets.net
GiveMeaning - Created by a friend of his--create your own fundraising campaign - 1200 active projects; 700 projects completed

Random, related notes:

Tools to do this - reducing in complexity; becoming easier to use

Another example of a meme on the web: PostSecret - secrets submitted anonymously; started just as a Blogger blog

Easy to create a social community on Facebook or Ning.

Free the net.ca - free wifi in Vancouver - friends of his
Vancouver.freethenet.ca

Building pyramid schemes of good:

Need authentic story to tell. The Web enables micro donations to charities. People like him with tech skills can help enable others to collect donations.

Discussion following question from audience: the future of the internet will be a virtual world--like Second Life but easier for everyone to use. World of Warcraft have numbers of active users way beyond SL. We have been dreaming of having a virtual world for a long time. Currently marketing in SL is a waste of money; however a great way to hold meetings without the travel that harms the environment.

Question about donating micro increments of time towards a charitable project e.g. Kiva - micro loans to people - the people are vetted. Viral nature doesn't necessarily continue. How do you make this sustainable.

He suggests editing a Wikipedia article. Get your kids to write, monitor, edit a Wikipedia article--helps teach them critical thinking. Also a powerful social media. Plants seeds which grow.

He also is writing an ebook called Getting to First Base: Social Media Marketing Strategies and Tactics. Being sold in November. http://www.capulet.com/ebook. Register before end of month - $29 ($59 after).

Incidentally, Darren also blogged about Blog Action Day covering the same topic as I did over at SLAW, the challenge of being environmentally friendly while pursuing travel. He has a few ideas on reducing travel which I will give some thought to.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hello Seneca College!

Lots of folk from Seneca have been checking out this blog this week. I hope y'all find something useful here. Please drop me a comment or an email!

Cheers,
Connie

Blog Action Today - for the Environment

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day. It's all about harnessing thousands of blogs to bring the environmental issue to the foreground. The environment is always very much top-of-mind for me. I have always taken it very much to heart, ever since my elementary school teachers were talking about the "ecosystem" and why it was important not to pollute.

I had already composed my weekly piece for SLAW on carbon off-setting. It was written, in the can, ready to be published. Then I discovered today is actually Blog Action Day. How cool is that?

In addtion to thinking about the impact of travel on the environment, I am always concerned about the reams of paper we dispose of when we throw out old books or update loose leaf services. I remember when I first started loose leaf filing (so many years ago now) I lobbied my office tower to start paper recycling. Still not an ideal solution (it would be better not to have materials to throw out in the first place) but much better than putting it all into landfill.

I also think about the coffee cups from Tim's or Starbucks or whereever. Millions of coffee cups every day. I recently read an article about a woman who makes coffee cup cosies to personalize the cups and help keep the drinks hotter. What the heck? Can't all this be accomplished with a personal mug that can be reused?!? I try very hard to bring a personal mug with me (a fashionable one, at that) and have that refilled.

Aside from travel, my biggest challenge is all the food containers in the food court at lunch. I long ago gave up the admirable goal of bringing my own food for lunch. I did it for years and years and was finally sick of anything I was making. The lure of the food court was just too strong. I am very careful about what I eat and select my food court menu cautiously. Unfortunately I use just far too many disposables at lunch. For a short while I brought my own containers and utensils, but that quickly fell by the wayside. I wonder if anyone has a suggestion for a solution in this regard? I used to hunt out the places that reused real plates and cutlery, but except for high-end "expense account" restaurants in the downtown core, this is now all but non-existent. Other ideas??

What are you doing to help the environment??

Where's Connie? or, Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown

LOL! As if things weren't dizzying enough, a number of projects I have been working towards will be taking flight these next few weeks. Here is what I have on board:

Oct. 15 - Third Tuesday Toronto

The folk at Thornley Fallis are doing it again, bringing in a stellar speaker to the PR social media community. This month it is not taking place actually on Tuesday, but we will forgive them that. Speaker will be Darren Barefoot. My first time out at Third Tuesday I plunked myself at a table of marketers who were truly puzzled as to why a law librarian was in their midst - until I started talking about blogging and creating a brand through strategic web presence. This is still something many PR/marketing folk are trying to get their heads around. That is precisely why Joseph Thornley and his friends have developed this speaker series. It has been so popular it now takes place not only in Ottawa and Toronto, but also in Vancouver.

Oct. 17 - 20 - 4th Northeast Regional Law Libraries Meeting ("NE2007"): Libraries Without Borders 2 - Toronto

After 3 1/2 years of planning, 9 chapters of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Toronto Association of Law Libraries hosting, we are finally doing it! Scores of delegates, vendors and speakers will be flocking to the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre to explore what law librarianship and the legal industry looks like today and will be in the future. It has been my distinct privilege to co-chair this conference with some amazingly smart, insightful and energetic colleagues. I can't wait for everyone to get here finally and to enjoy the moment!! If you have hesitated about buying a ticket for the program, or would like just to come out for the banquet, it is not too late. Contact me directly to register.

Oct 25- 26 - 8th International Law Via the Internet - Montreal

I will be participating as a panelist in "New doctrines, new channels" along with Darrel Pink of CANLII and Peter Martin of Cornell University. Our moderator will be Daniel Poulin of Lexum. I have a lot to say on this one and am still working on gathering my thoughts and web examples.

Oct 27 - 28 - PodCamp Boston

In one short year Boston has become the mecca for podcasters and other new social media types. Ever since the original PodCamp, originated in Boston, this concept has spread world-wide. Last February at PodComp Toronto I met PodCamp originators Chris Brogan and Chris Penn and have since been heavily influenced by their ideas on social media strategy and community building. I have also connected with quite a few people in this area and look forward to reconnecting with them and meeting others.

Nov. 7 - Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning - Ottawa

I will be teaching this popular one-day workshop again, this time in Ottawa. One day has already filled. Sign up now while there is still room! This is a nice introductory survey to applications such as blogs, wikis, RSS feed readers and other popular social networking tools. If you have any questions about the course, feel free to email me directly conniecrosby (at) gmail.com.

Nov. 23 & 29 - Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning - Toronto

Back by popular demand, we have slated this course twice more in Toronto. We held it three times over the summer and it was a sell-out with a waiting list every time. Sign up now to avoid disappointment!

~ * ~ * ~
My favourite part about taking part in events such as these is connecting with people. I learn so much from others and take away so much of their energy and positive spirit. I hope if you are at any of these events that you will be sure to say hello to me!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Steve Matthews on Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Who are thought leaders, and how are they developed? Is blogging a route to being a thought leader, and how does one take the next step after blogging to truly become an influencial voice?

Today's new Web Law Connected column on SLAW by Steve Matthews, "Thought Leadership - A Long Term Investment" talks specifically about this, and how it relates to the legal professional. He says:

The concept of Thought Leadership is hardly new, of course. Lawyers have become experts off-line in their fields for years. There are, however, a number of characteristics that are unique to the online space. First of all, the barrier to entry has definitely been lowered. While web technology has been limited to those with programming expertise in the past, newer software technologies - such as blogs and social networks - have leveled the playing field for exposing one’s professional knowledge & expertise. Second, the number of participants in these online conversations is not limited. Those with a willingness to get in there and participate will benefit from the increased exposure. And lastly, the web is a mix of both those that innovate ideas, and those who diligently spread the word.

Someone truly web-savvy can leverage an online presence into a higher profile and name as an expert. The trick is learning how to accomplish this by using and experimenting with the new media tools.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Check Out All the New Features at SLAW.ca

If you haven't had a look at the SLAW blog website in a while, now is the time to check back in. SLAW is the co-operative Canadian legal research and technology blog. The site was recently relaunched with a whole new look. It is worth exploring.

My favourite new feature is the group of regular columns by a number of experts from different parts of the legal industry. This week was the launch of the Extreme Lib column by my esteemed colleague Susan Duke. The first installment is "All the M's in Information." For all columns to date, click on this link.

As for the regular blog fare, I find after a slow summer, the contributors have bounced right back with a new high quality level of blogging.

The coolest new feature is the SLAW Twitter feed - http://www.twitter.com/slaw_dot_ca. For those of us on Twitter, it gives us new blog post titles as they are posted. For me this is brilliant because I read Twitter more often than my RSS feeds in my feed reader.

There are lots of other neat things happening over at SLAW which are frankly difficult to describe. I encourage you to have a look for yourself!

Monday, October 08, 2007

What To Do With Those Publisher New Title RSS Feeds

Today on SLAW I have posted an update about RSS feeds for new titles by Canadian legal publishers. Five major Canadian legal publishers have now created RSS feeds for their new titles! Exciting news indeed.

In the post I discuss what this means, including:
  • anyone who has the responsibility of ordering books can now pull together all these feeds into one continuous feed, and watch for new book titles of interest from one place instead of several (such as websites, email messages about individual books, newsletters, direct mail marketing, catalogues, and publisher rep visits);
  • individuals can set up filters to sort out just those titles of interest;
  • titles filtered for specific topics could be reposted to intranet pages that cover those topic areas;
  • the law librarian associations could create some of these filtered feeds for their members, so not everyone has to reinvent the wheel;
  • Canada continues as the top country for legal publisher RSS feeds (I still have to verify this one);
  • the publishers, once they learn what an RSS feed and how to put them into place, will think of other interesting uses for this technology.
One thing I didn't describe is how I am using the new titles feed in my own work. Pressure has been on to be as efficient with administrative work as possible. I'm sure your library is much the same. I now have all the feeds in my aggregator (I am using Google Reader currently to read feeds). I am still working on the method, but my intention is to read all the feeds together as one feed on a regular basis, about once a week. As I see titles of interest, I then forward them using the email feature to my co-worker who will do the book ordering via email, whether forwarding the individual email or batching them into a weekly order. Another option for some of the publishers is to order through their websites if they have a shopping cart feature. Then it is a matter of inputting the order into our Orders database.

Our intention is to have the orders then appear in the catalogue for our user group so they can see what new books are coming in. It is all part of an effort to buy publications and get them on the shelf as soon as they are available.

Someone who is really keen might use a filter to sort the new title feeds by subject, and re-feed to a subject-oriented intranet page. A feature could be built to allow the target audience (lawyers, articling students) to easily request the library purchase a new title. I'm not sure off-hand how that would be done, but there must be a way to do it quite easily. (If you figure out how, please let us know!)

How will you use the new title feeds? If you have an interesting use, please let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Heather Robinson Speaks on KM Next Week

Heather Robinson, Head of Information Services at Bevan Brittan LLP in the UK and a prominent speaker on knowledge management, will be in town next week. Notably, she will be speaking Wednesday afternoon at the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto on "Knowledge Management and the Law."

Below is the full description taken from the FIS website . This session is open to whoever would like to attend. Invitations are being extended to both Faculty of Information Studies and Faculty of Law Students. This is being held in Room 728 at FIS, 140 St. George St., Toronto.

Knowledge Management and the Law
Wednesday, October 10 2007, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Join us for a presentation and discussion featuring Heather Robinson, Head of Information Services at Bevan Brittan LLP (Bristol, London and Birmingham). Heather Robinson, author of the U.K. Law Society's practice management handbook chapter on knowledge management, frequent speaker at international knowledgemanagement conferences, visiting lecturer at the University of Bristol's MSc programme in Information and Library Management, has spent the last 18 years managing legal knowledge after starting her career with the British Library.

This interactive session will include discussion of:

  • the potential of legal knowledge management techniques and principles for improving access to justice and facilitating the delivery of legal services to the public

  • emerging careers in legal knowledge management for law graduates
    and information studies graduates

  • application of knowledge management techniques to improve efficiency, quality control and risk management in private law firms, legal departments and public sector agencies

  • knowledge management and continuing education.This event will be of particular interest to faculty and students in law, education, information studies, knowledge media studies and to lawyers, librarians and educators.


Brought to you by:Faculty of Information Studies ... KMDI ... KM for Lawyers ... Faculty of Law



Thanks to John Loosemore for organizing this talk. I look forward to meeting Heather when she is here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sexier than a Librarian - Anyone Boycotting?

Since I wrote last week about one person's call to boycott because of the "Sexier than a librarian" slogan, I've had people asking me how my boycott is going. Just wanted to point out I never said I would be following any boycott myself. I was actually asking what all of *you* thought about it. I don't actually know of any boycott taking place. And I don't feel quite so strongly as to need to take a stand one way or another.

Guess I was just playing devil's advocate, stirring up trouble.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NE2007: Libraries Without Borders 2 - less than a month away!

I can't believe NE2007: Libraries Without Borders 2 is less than a month away! I am both in awe that we are so close, and yet can't wait for it to get here so we can see everyone come together!

There is still room if you haven't registered--don't delay! Big, Fat, Hairy Registration info.

Don't forget to stay current with our blog http://librarieswithoutborders.wordpress.com and contribute to the wiki http://librarieswithoutborders.pbwiki.com .

I have to tell you, I have been teaching librarians how to use wikis through my continuing ed course at U of T, and everyone is so surprised at how easy setting up a whole wiki is. So, editing a page or two should be a piece of cake, right? But if you have any questions, please do let me know.

See you in Toronto!

Cheers!
Connie

SLAW Column: Portals Revisited by Joel Alleyne

SLAW blog now features a regular column in the right sidebar of the column website. In the current column, Portals Revisited Joel Alleyne examines the basic principles concerning portals that were de rigueur eight years ago, and explains how these principles hold or have progressed today.

This is a terrific feature on SLAW. I look forward to seeing what future columnists have in store for us!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Carnival of the Infosciences #79 at Libraryola

Carnival of the Infosciences #79 was posted earlier today over at the Libraryola blog by Chris Zammarelli. He's done a fantastic round-up of the latest thinking and issues in librarianship, including lots of discussion and consideration of the new social networking tools. I haven't yet read through it all yet, but this is definitely a must-read issue.

It seems that now the summer is winding down, people are being introspective and have a good, long look at themselves, the profession, and where we are all going. This is great stuff--I haven't seen quite this much deep thinking about librarianship in a very long time, to be honest.

Yahoo! Mash

I have posted a basic write-up of the new Yahoo! social network tool Mash over at SLAW, including a link to a screen cast demo of the new tool from UK law blogger Lo-Fi Librarian.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FIS, U of T: Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning

Tomorrow will be my third time teaching the new FIS course Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning. Each time I teach it, it gets that much better.

We've had some wonderfully diverse groups out thus far. Notably a lot of public libraries seem to be exploring the Web 2.0 social networking spaces.

We are in the process of booking this class to be held in Ottawa, hopefully in November. Unfortunately I have too many conferences happening in October to run it sooner.

I am excited about teaching it in Ottawa! Please keep an eye on the FIS website for news.

Are there related courses you would like to see? Please either let me know, or let Eva Kupidura at the Professional Learning Centre know. She'd love your input.

Backbone Magazine on Networking + Tips for Staying Safe on the Internet

The latest issue of Backbone Magazine has an article on networking called Your next big prospect is at LinkedIn or Facebook by Danny Bradbury.

In addition to LinkedIn and Facebook, the article talks about an up-and-coming networking tool which I hadn't heard of before, Visible Path. Will have to check into it. (Note it is accidentally called Visual Path at least once in the article which threw me off on a wild goose chase).

This article points out dangers of social networking tools from the business point of view. These include:

-not being able to separate clients and contacts one from the other. It is all just one big "pot" of contacts and they all can see each other;
- because of the overlap in social and business uses, those using something like Facebook early in life for fun may have those party photos come back to haunt them when they are job hunting
- many people using social networking tools are a little more open with details of their lives. Someone could go from site to site and gather a complete profile.
- it allows people to be found a easily recruited.

One tip for anyone concerned about compiling information about them and using it nefariously: think about what key information someone would need to locate your home, your family members, or to commit identity theft. Make a mental note to never reveal those pieces of information in public forums or to strangers online. For me this includes not talking about family members, not revealing family members' names, not talking specifically about where I live, and to not post my birthday on Facebook. There are times I have been tempted to post little comments on Twitter that might reveal some of this information, but have held myself back from doing so.

I am curious what other tips people have for staying safe on the 'Net?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sexier Than a Librarian? (How Can That Be?!?)

Steven Cohen over at Library Stuff has been tracking photos of the ad campaign for Sony Reader. The catch-line is "Sexier Than a Librarian." Flickr denizen ATIS547 is calling for a boycott of the Reader. Do you agree?

See: blog post, blog post, blog post.

Incidentally, I can't find the new reader on the Canadian Sony website. Not sure if I should complain....

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Have Your Registered Yet?? NE2007 - Libraries Without Borders 2, Toronto, Oct. 17-20, 2007

Have you registered yet for the 4th Northeast Regional Law Libraries Meeting (NE2007)?? Time is running out!

Our theme is Libraries Without Borders 2, and it is gearing up to be THE outstanding learning, networking, must-attend event for 2007. Just a few of the many highlights:

  • A grand opening reception at the Legislative Building at Queen's Park. This is home to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and an impressive building built in 1893, surrounded by park and University of Toronto campus.
  • Keynote by Michael Ignatieff, internationally renowned academic, journalist, commentator, intellectual, and specialist in human rights and international affairs.
  • Challenging sessions on the law library profession, roles and responsibilities as well as substantive legal research topics with an international, "cross-border" twist.
  • Plenary session on the future of legal information and law publishing called Pipe Dream to Pipeline. We have invited some of the industry leaders to look into their crystal balls and tell us what they see.
  • Outstanding speakers Claire Germain, Gayle Lynn-Nelson, Sabrina Pacifici, Vicki Whitmell, Molly Brownfield, Diane Goldstein, Steven Lastres, Donna Purvis, and many, many more!
  • Something we call the TALL Tower Tours, tour of some of the stellar law firm libraries from our host association, the Toronto Association of Law Libraries.
  • Closing banquet--time to catch up with friends, old and new, and enjoy fine food and great music!
I am pleased to be co-chairing this fantastic event. This is the joint regional meeting of nine chapters of the American Association of Law Libraries plus the Toronto Association of Law Libraries.

Key web spaces:
This is the must-attend event of 2007. Will I be seeing you there??

Podcamp Boston 2 - October 26 to 28, 2007

Podcamp was started last year in Boston, and the second Podcamp Boston is taking place at the end of October. I participated in Podcamp Toronto in February (February!) and it was a pure BLAST. I met a lot of people with whom I have kept in contact via social media (blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook) and they have been a fantastic inspiration to me. I have just signed up for the free registration. Now I have to work on hotel and transportation.

You do NOT need to be a podcaster to attend a PodCamp. If you’re interested in podcasting, blogging, social networking and social media, if you’re a podsafe musician (or want to be), or just someone curious about podcasting and new media, then please join us — and bring a friend or colleague.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Know What I Did This Summer

....and what a summer it has been! No doubt you have expected me to have been in vacation mode, with my blogging taking a back seat to summer sun. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Summer 2007 has been unusual in that I have not slowed down as I usually do to enjoy the season. I have been pushing through on a number of projects. I now finally get to report back on a few of them:
  • First and foremost has been the 4th Northeast Regional Law Libraries Meeting ("NE2007") being held in Toronto October 17 - 20, 2007, which I have been co-chairing along with Steve Weiter from Rochester, NY. Our conference title and theme is Libraries Without Borders II, playing off the last conference held in 1996. Working on this has been a bit like working on a large train. It took a little while to get going since we started working on it 3 1/2 years ago, but now it is full steam ahead! I am just trying to hold on and not get crushed. hahahaha!! We have a fantastic program lined up. I strongly urge you to have a look at the website http://www.librarieswithoutborders.net . News is being posted at our blog http://librarieswithoutborders.wordpress.com and we've created a wiki for participants to post and interact at http://librarieswithoutborders.pbwiki.com . I will be blogging more about this in future posts as I cajole you into attending. ;-)
  • I have been teaching a one-day social networking tools course at the Professional Learning Centre, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. The deal is I was supposed to promote it via this blog, but it filled up so fast I didn't even get a chance to tell you, dear readers, about it before it was full. Much to my surprise! We have run classes on August 9th and 23rd. The next one is slated for September 14th and I believe that one is now sold out as well. Wow! More about that later.
  • To be able to teach that course, I have been immersing myself in social networking tools such as Facebook, Google Reader and del.icio.us. If you have been in those spaces you may have seen me. I hope to have some links and observations to share with you as I go along. In some ways at least two of these have started to replace my link blogging over at Connie Crosby Links. This was not part of any sort of purposeful web strategy, but a natural progression. I still have to consider the implications for this blog site.
  • I have been participating in the ebb and flow of life and "microblogging" over on Twitter. If you would like to follow along my "tweets", please feel free to find me--I go by connieblogger. (Hint: if you want me to reciprocate and follow you on Twitter, you need to put something meaningful into your profile so that I recognize you or see something we have in common).
  • It has been a hectic summer at work. We have been re-evaluating our projects and services at the same time as welcoming articling students into our orientation program mid-summer. Not an easy feat!
My co-workers deserve a lot of credit, working with me and putting up with my periodic comings and goings as I take time off for teaching and meetings. I've done my best to be very present this summer during our changes. If anything has suffered, I would say it has probably been my blogging. Getting home in the evenings, I have barely had the energy to fire up the macbook much less think about putting two words coherently together.

Which reminds me, I have been also neglecting my column on LLRX.com. Owner/editor Sabrina Pacifici has not only been patient and understanding with my many excuses, but also been a strong personal support to me. I have at least a column or two buzzing in my brain after this summer of working and thinking, so I hope to rectify that shortly.

So, now, back to our regularly scheduled program! Happy reading, and I hope to be a little more connected all of you going forward.

Cheers,
Connie

SLAW: Parliament Poised to Prorogue

I blogged earlier today over at SLAW about Canadian Parliament getting ready to prorogue.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

SLAW Being Re-Launched

Tonight as I write this, some strange and interesting things are happening over at SLAW. SLAW, for those of you who do not keep track of such things, is a co-operative Canadian web log on law and technology (and a whole lot of other things). I have been a core contributor since its inception. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this premier law blogging initiative.

Simon Fodden, our fearless leader, is launching a redesign of the site tonight. It is something he has been working on all summer. He has hinted at some of the changes, but the contributors really only know piecemeal what is to come. In an email message to the contributors tonight he said: "All should be well--nay, much better than well--by the morning." So we wait, watching features and strange images come and go on the site.

He also shared a German saying I hadn't encountered before which I quite like: "Now comes the moment when the monkey leaps into the water and risks his life."

I can't wait to see the new SLAW. Swim, little monkey, swim!!

UPDATE: Well, it appears the monkey has swum back to the shore. Simon reports that he had the change part-way done, but has more work to do. So, for now our beloved SLAW looks unchanged. But I'm sure he'll get there soon.

Carnival of the Infosciences #78 has been posted

The latest installment of the Carnival of the Infosciences has now been posted over at DIYLibrarian. This is a great summary of some of the key posts in the biblioblosphere from the past couple of weeks.

Annotated Ontario Mental Health Statutes - New Publisher

The Annotated Ontario Mental Health Statutes, 4th edition, by the Hon. Richard D. Schneider, is now being published by Irwin Law. This title was previously published by Thomson Carswell. If you had it on standing order, you may have missed the switch as previous editions are still being advertised on the Carswell website.

The author has two other books on mental health currently published by Irwin Law.

Monday, August 20, 2007

We are Librarians, hear us Social Network! Carnival of the Infosciences #77 Now Posted

Wow--we are trying to get interest back up for Carnival of the Infosciences and I must say Wow! the participation is splendid this time around. Even without my contributions, it is a very strong episode. Check it out over at Jessamyn West's blog librarian.net:

Carnival of the Infosciences #77
Now an improved feature, you can make submissions simply by tagging a blog post "carninfo" in del.icio.us and adding note about why you have selected the post, plus your name.

Of course, you can still submit using the groovy form that does half the work for you here.

DIYLibrarian is the next host. For more info and links to past Carnival posts, check out the Carnival of the Infosciences wiki.

We are Librarians, hear us Social Network!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Law Firm Web Strategy Blog

Congratulations to Steve Matthews, recently of Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver, who has started up his own consulting company, Stem Legal. He is specializing in web marketing for law firms, employing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) and his newly-described "wheel-and-hub"strategy. I think it quite telling that Clark Wilson have kept him on to continue driving business to them via the web.

If you do nothing else, I strongly suggest you have a look at his new blog, Law Firm Web Strategy Blog. Steve is very smart and he is revealing the tricks he is using behind the scenes. I have long followed Steve's thoughtful posts over at the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog and expect to be reading along and commenting frequently on this new blog. If I'm not mistaken, I believe this is the first Canadian blog devoted to at least one aspect of law firm management.

Again, congratulations Steve. I wish you the best with the new venture!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grey House Publishing Canada Now Owns Proquest Line from Micromedia Proquest

Grey House Publishing Canada now owns the titles formerly owned by Proquest (as in Micromedia Proquest). See the press release from November 2006.

Titles now owned by Grey House Publishing Canada (http://www.greyhouse.ca) include:

Associations Canada
Canadian Almanac & Directory
Financial Services Canada
Canadian Environmental Directory
Directory of Libraries in Canada
Canadian Government Directory

If you have received your 2007 edition standing order of these titles, then your account has successfully transferred over. If you haven't, you will want to contact them at (866) 433-4739

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Podcasters Across Borders - Taking Your Initiatives to the Next Level

Podcasters Across Borders
Kingston, June 24, 2007

Taking Your Initiatives to the Next Level
Terry Fallis, Kate Morgan and Ian Hull

Terry Fallis - Thornley Fallis
  • started Inside PR podcast (Joseph Thornley was already blogging)
  • doesn't script heavily; decides in advance what they want to talk about, but these are topics they have been talking about for a while
  • weekly show that comes out at the same time every week
  • familiar format, which they change up periodically
  • has done various things to promote the podcast; recently created a Facebook page
  • if you build it, people don't necessarily come. You have to promote it.
  • has had 25-30 speaking engagements to speak on social media even though he has only been podcasting for a year
Ian Hull - Hull & Hull LLP
  • no sales pitch behind why they did it
  • bought into Terry's model
  • one podcast for core group of lawyers who send them work - snippets they know will be helpful
  • co-hosts with his partner in his firm
  • other podcast for the general public for a broader audience
  • before podcasts came into their world - being a good colleague, giving back - law of the Internet: if you give something for free, it will come back to you ten-fold
  • did not want to add anything else to their day. They were doing it twice a week; it was becoming overwhelming. Changed to sell the idea to the other 15 lawyers in their firm, now they are all podcasting.
  • they don't want to just be on a treadmill keeping the business running; they want to do something interesting
  • a year ago, 14 listeners; now up around 100
  • trying to showcase their passion
  • getting 1200 hits on their blog in any given week; started blogging because they had to; all lawyers take turns blogging
  • subjects e.g. how to do a will challenge trial
  • Hull & Hull TV - new addition - public friendly area of their marketing
  • but they keep going back to the initial model of the podcast and keep building on it
  • now have a book - another "feed"
  • newsletter - sent out 4 times a year, often referred to in their podcast - taught to them by Terry Fallis; the podcast set up by Kate Morgan
  • plant the seeds: book, Tv - eventually they will get 2-3 new listeners to the podcast
  • in the field: they don't share - competitors are not going to tell people to listen to their podcast
  • originally sent out iPods to 150 people (no discount from Apple!) - most people gave them away - pre-loaded so that lawyers would not have to learn how to use iTunes, offered to re-load for them - some people have iTunes for personal, another for business
Kate Morgan - Podwise
  • started working with Hull & Hull LLP on marketing
  • started from scratch learning what podcasting is
  • can use it as a distribution channel to get out whatever information you want to distribute
  • need to be talking about something important to you
  • sharing legal knowledge, not legal advice, to other lawyers
  • conveys credibility - separates them from other lawyers who are not working in this space
  • leveraging this into more business, more speaking engagements
  • if you meet someone in an off-line context, you are more likely to listen to their podcast
  • if you are looking for legal advice, you are more likely to consult with someone you are familiar with
  • it all works together
  • they are looking to highlight their legal skills
  • all comments they get are very personal law-related comments from the public - people are desperate for this advice - a direct path to looking for real legal advice that people are willing to pay for - people are hungry for knowledge and advice
Terry Fallis also recently self-published a novel, The Best Laid Plans, which he put out as a podcast - started in January and finished in May. Half his listeners are from Podiobooks.com. A lot more listeners than he expected, some from outside Canada. Book will be coming out in print form in 6-8 weeks. Hopes the podcast will build a bigger audience for his novel. He started a Facebook group for it which he uses to communicate with the people who have been listening.