Monday, May 10, 2010

CALL 2010 Presentation: Media Monitoring and Current Awareness - the New Tools

I was one of three panelists today in a CALL2010 (Canadian Association of Law Libraries annual conference) session entitled Media Monitoring and Current Awareness: Tools in the Information Explosion. I explored some newer tools that people should develop some familiarity with including some features of Google Reader, Yahoo! Pipes, widgets, the semantic web, and mobile tools.

I will share my slides via the CALL conference website, but in the meantime am sharing them here so everyone can grab the links and start exploring! A couple of "goofs" in this set of slides: you have a slide towards the end which is actually my notes which was not in the live presentation. That's okay since the notes seem coherent and put things into context. The other is the list of sources says (1/2) and there is no second page--I ended up putting the two pages of sources together on one. Will correct this for the CALL website version!

I neglected to explain how I have actually USED Yahoo! Pipes myself. I helped one of the law firm libraries set up practice group pages, and in addition to links to pertinent websites and legislation for each group, I located a number of good sources in each area that had feeds and consolidated them with Pipes, then used the Pipes badge to post the resulting headlines onto their practice group intranet pages. I aimed for key, reliable sources that produced about 5 or 10 new headlines a day when put together. So, some of the Pipes created had 5 feeds, others had a dozen feeds.

When speaking at the LegalIT conference 2 weeks ago in Montreal, I heard additional good things that Michel Gamache at Heenan Blaikie is doing. I hope his presentation gets posted to the LegalIT website soon so you can see what he has done (and I hope he doesn't mind me mentioning him personally!). He's doing a lot of good things with respect to delivery of information in his firm. The tool Dapper mentioned in my presentation is courtesy of Michel.

I also mention in my talk about mobile current awareness--thanks to Wendy Reynolds for reminding me of this great resource yesterday!

One great question from Mary (which I wish she had asked publicly) was the question of copyright in using all these RSS feeds. The quick answer is, if a feed is made available publicly, then the assumption is you can use it unless otherwise stated on the website. In the case of search results from Google tools, Google likes to be credited as a source of the feed; in this case I usually put a credit note on a webpage beside any widget or feeds I set up using a Google tools such as Google Alerts or Google News. Of course, Google itself isn't exactly a primary source but more of a conduit or consolidator of sources. If anyone has additional thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them!

There is also the question of setting up other tools to monitor sites and create RSS feeds from pages that do not have explicit feeds--what is the copyright covering use of feeds in this way? I don't know the answer and welcome your thoughts on this.

Being here at CALL and hearing all the excitement around many of the new tools makes me realize I have been learning a lot but not sharing what I know! I am coming away with a new resolve to blog more often in this space.

Tomorrow I am on a panel talking about "fast and free" legal research sources and will again share. It is a nice tie-in with my talk from today.


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