Thursday, December 29, 2005

Biz360 & Feedster Launch Competitive Intelligence Tool "BlogView"

Feedster, my favourite feed reader, and Biz 360, a company that creates market intelligence solutions, are joining together to create a tool to be used to search through blogs and wikis to compile CI. Feedster will provide the access to the various feeds, and Biz 360 will provide the analysis aspect. Supposedly their new tool, "BlogView", will allow one to clear away all the replicated postings (especially from "splogs") and access the main postings from content-rich blogs. Primary users will be marketing departments and communication professionals.

See the press release: Biz360 Launches BlogView

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Youth Show Important Leadership in Speaking Out Against Violence

Shootings in Toronto this year have increased significantly, and it seems no one really has a solution. Politicians all talk about how they will "do something" to put an end to illegal guns on the street, but it turns into a political campaign point and there is little they really do or perhaps can do.

This week a senseless "shoot out" took place on a crowded downtown street as shoppers were attending Boxing Day sales. I have been amongst them on that same city block in past years, so this one really hit home, so to speak. A 15 year old girl was killed, and several more people injured.

The one group who have, in my estimation, really stood out during this tragic time are a group of youth who stepped forward by holding a press conference and speaking out against violence. They are courageous young people, showing true leadership and making a whole lot more sense in their suggestions for a solution than many of the politicians. Moreover, I think we cannot put an end to all of this until the youth of the city embrace the need for change and make their peers see the need for change, so their stepping forward is extremely important. I applaud them in their bold actions.

Here are some related items from Tuesday, December 27, 2005 to check out:

CTV News article: Youth group demands anti-violence action

Video: CTV Newsnet Live - Toronto youth issue 'plea for peace' (9:59 min)

Video: CTV Newsnet Live - Youth leaders take questions (7:41 min)

Toronto Star Removes Registration From Website

I saw reference in another article that the Toronto Star had recently removed registration from its website, the start of a new trend that is good news for readers and encourages bloggers to link to articles. I managed to hunt down this December 13, 2005 article: Toronto Star removes registration from

If you haven't looked at lately, you should. They have added links to blogs by columnists, a "podcast" section where some of their writers post one-off audio segments, they have RSS feeds for various types of news including headlines, and you can also register for alerts (probably the same as the RSS feeds, for those not yet using them).

They've got the right idea. I wish the Globe and Mail and National Post would follow suit with making articles more accessible! I have long felt requiring registration has alienated readers and discouraged people from citing their publications.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Canadian Law Blogs List

If you haven't seen it yet, do check out the Canadian Law Blogs List by Steve Matthews (Vancouver Law Librarian Blog). As far as I know, this is a definitive list. If you know of any other blogs that should be included, pass along the info to Steve (or, in a pinch, to me).

It's one of those things I wish I had thought of doing. Steve has received some well-deserved accolades for the compilation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Connie Crosby's New LLRX Column: The Tao of Law Librarianship

I am excited to announce my new column on LLRX, the electronic magazine on "Law and technology resources for legal professionals" created, edited and distributed by the inimitable Sabrina Pacifici. I've gone with the column title "The Tao of Law Librarianship" and this first article is called "Invite Your Librarian to a Client Event". More on the column title in a future post. 8-)

Thanks to Clare Lyons, Ines Freeman, Lenie Ott and Mary Saulig for allowing me to use their comments and names in this first article!

If you have ideas you would be interested in seeing me explore in future columns, please do pass them along. And of course I look forward to any comments about what I've written.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Celebrating Scottish Canadian and Chinese Canadian Culture and Politics

I was researching city counsellor blogs and came across this very, very interesting blog out of Vancouver:

GungHaggisFatChoy celebrating the intersection of Scottish Canadian and Chinese Canadian cultures. Notably, it is home of the upcoming Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner (being held Sunday January 22, 2006) and the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team.

The blog covers a range of local cultural and political events and issues. Lots on local issues surrounding the upcoming federal election. I bring it to your attention because it shows how a blog can create a real synergy between subject matters to create a bold, exuberant energy.

I can only imagine what their January 22nd celebration will be like, falling the night before the Canadian federal election!

Now Blogging! Wendy Reynolds @ KM Librarian

Wendy Reynolds, one of my fellow members on the executive committee of the Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL) has taken the bold step of setting up her own blog, called KM Librarian. She has a new position at the OSC, doing KM, and is now blogging about her evolution from librarian to Information Manager.

Congratulations on all counts, Wendy! I look forward to reading about your excellent adventures.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Got My Big Hair On, and I'm Ready to Party!

A big tradition in Toronto law firms is to hold big, fancy parties at year end called the "Season Party" or "Festive Party". Much money is spent on food, wine, venues, and glamourous outfits (at least, for the women). This year I opted for something relaxed-but-dressy already in my closet, but spent a little time on my hair, fingers and toes (yes, I've opted for open toe shoes).

I came back to the office from lunch and had a lot of amusing smiles. I'm in jeans and a sweater, but I have the big "whoop-de-do!" party hair. My hairdresser Roland really out-did himself--it's all flippy and fun. It will be difficult not to have a good time with this hair. If this goes well, perhaps next year I will splurge on someone to do the makeup. One of these days I really will be the "complete package"! 8-)


Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - Election 2006 - Community Blogs

CTV has a number of bloggers talking about the election campaign over at - Election 2006 - Community Blog. My favourite articling student blogger, Jason Cherniak, is one of the invited bloggers espousing the Liberal view. See Cherniak on CTV.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Canadian Association of Law Libraries - 2006 Annual Conference

2006 CALL/ACBD Annual Conference - the website is now up! I am just checking out the draft program (looks great!). Hotel rooms are now available for booking, plus they have made space for a conference blog. Can't wait!


Monday, December 12, 2005

Project Gutenberg Fears No Google

Wall Street Journal has this free feature: Project Gutenberg Fears No Google (December 10, 2005), an interview with Michael Hart who created Project Gutenberg, a book digitization project that was started in 1971. Thanks to for the tip.

Law Via the Internet 2005

Law Via the Internet 2005, a Pacific Rim/Australian conference, was held November 17 to 19, 2005 in Vanuatu. A number of speakers from Canada took part including Janine Miller, Karl Charbonneau, Marc-Andre Morissette, Daniel Poulin, Eric Pare, Ivan Mokanov and Pierre-Paul Lemyre. Jim Milles of the University of Buffalo Law School was also a speaker.

Currently there is just pre-conference information on the website plus the final programme (although it is still listed as "draft programme", it is the final one).

It would be nice if they could post some of the papers or presentations that came out of this! Papers from past years of this conference reside in this AustLII database so presumably they will eventually be added here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Jeff's KM blog: Notes from KM World 05

Some nice key ideas and quotes from various speakers: Jeff's KM blog: Notes from KM World 05.

This particularly captured my imagination:

Watching vs. searching/RSS readers (Darlene Fichter) – The new trend will to get notification of information sent to you as it is being produced. RSS readers get information that’s coming out now vs. Google searches that historical content.

Rather than telling lawyers and articling students that we are going to show them how to use RSS, we should tell them we are going to show them how to monitor what is being added to the web as soon as it is posted so they can have the latest information before anyone else. A sexier spin, n'est-ce pas?

KM: Looking for a Name

Kaye Vivian in her blog Dove Lane wrote the thoughtful post KM: Looking for a Name as an overview of her impressions from KM World. She observes that the underlying theme seemed to be "KM is dead, long live KM" and she argues that the industry needs a new name to carry it forward.

Twenty-Five Years Later : We Still Need to Give Peace a Chance

Twenty-five years have gone by since the death of John Lennon. It is hard to believe, and yet so much has happened since then in the world. I wonder what he would think of us now? I was a teenager at the time of his death. While the Beatles were the voice of the generation that came before mine, my generation still very much idolized John, Paul, George and Ringo. John Lennon was more than just a musician--he was a leader, trying to lead us all to peace. His murder was therefore especially poignant. It has, however, raised him to mythical status in a way that has affected the hearts and minds of many people in our culture. A chill runs down my spine every time I visit Strawberry Fields, a spot in New York City's Central Park dedicated to his memory. Definitely a place for quiet contemplation and communing with humanity.

KM World and Intranets 2005: Cool Tools for Collaborative Teams (Panel)

KM World and Intranets 2005
Cool Tools for Collaborative Teams
Panel discussion
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Connie's note: I thought all speakers were very interesting, but Bob Pierce's talk was exceptional. It is worth reading down to the bottom in these notes!


Whitney M. Tidmarsh, VP, Solutions Marketing, EMC Software
Tim Kapp, Principal, BayHill Group
Stacey Johnson, President, Zen Consulting
Bob Pierce, Interwise

Whitney M. Tidmarsh, VP, Solutions Marketing, EMC Software
Bausch & Lomb
case study

Business problem for new product development:
- global teams without global tools
- lack of information accessibility
- no accountability
- missing project timelines
- no standardization in development process

New product development process:
- collaborative tools were key, but also needed secure environment as well

- 15+ people
- Many meetings, travel
- Many shared documents via email

With eRoom
- substantial ROI
- cut down on meetings – cut 1 meeting per week x 15 people X $150/hr x 4 weeks = huge saving per month
- = $76 K
- = $1 million of opportunity revenue

Tim Kapp, Partners and Co-founder

Management consultants, working to turn around companies

Why do collaboration tools fail? He has tried many tools in the marketplace, and many have failed.

Case study: Intercontinental Hotels (then known as Six Continental chain)
- after 9/11 lost revenues
- chain faced de-merger from its parent company.
- Threat of hostile takeover

- 20 distributed and mobile consultants
- 80 senior executives
- 8 teams on four continents
- Email-dependent organization
- 1 traditional document management tool
o Web-based
o 2 days train-the-trainer sessions for all consultants
o Strict compliance rules

- team created 3000 distinct documents in 6 months
o wasted money
o wasted time
o expensive risk mitigation
o high cost of coordination
- things spiraled out of control; people stopped using and went back to their original solution (email)
- full adoption was a pipe dream
- if you have 90% people adopting a product, you may have as little as 12% success – if an influential person drops out of the system, others will use it less, system drops down in usefulness (a cycle of failure). In this case the system failed in only 7 days.

Critical success factors
- has to be easy to use
- control duplication and silo effect
- support disconnected users
- don’t change the user’s behaviour
- embrace non-adopters:
o “round trip” documents – send it out to non-users, and have it come back again
o Allow participation purely by email

NextPage 2: document collaboration service

- ties together all document-based collaboration
- brings awareness to ad-hoc users
- provides real-time view of document status
- works on and offline
- doesn’t require an IT infrastructure
- has a version map that shows what has happened to various versions of a document (cool) – lawyers really like this to see who has changed things in their documents

NextPage 2 in Action with BayHill Group

- Small public company acquiring a private company
- 2 consultants
- 3 law firms
- 50+ supporting documents and presentions
- Result is 300 page SEC filing

How does NextPage benefit them?
- full participation without full adoption
- no more time spent “untangling” document versions
- familiar with their own tools (email)
- no more training users or setting up servesr
- can work anywhere, online or offline

Stacey Johnson, President, Zen Consulting

[Presentation slides posted on the conference wiki - 8 pages PDF]

Boutique consultancy specializing in efficient custom solutions.

Case study
- global handset manufacturer based in Finland [can you guess who this might be?]
- new organization created
- worldwide (virtual)
- clean slate, nothing to go by
- software developers, so everything published was very technical; very specific audience
- 3 months to develop new website
- Reduce errors, speed up the time the content was published
- Hire a global team representative of the target audience to test final website

Focus on functionality - Collaboration solution must allow for:
- centralized document management
- workflow automation – wanted a calendar showing project
- automated reporting
- template & tool library
- real-time chat, document sharing, and knowledge sharing

Best practices
- presence management – someone available to them 24 hours a day
- security – key that content was secure, not available to competitors
- integration of key tools and functions
- buy-in methods – found unique ways to collaborate with other teams that weren’t happy with their involvement – some process diagrams showing how content authors got bigger bonuses the more they collaborated
- change management
- automation – make changes based on the system

Lessons learned – factors to consider
(full 90-minute presentation is posted on the conference wiki)
1. How will success be measured?
2. how will team members interact?
3. how will interaction occur?
4. where will team members be located?
5. how will the team access the virtual environment?
6. what existing systems will support virtual teams?
7. how will individuals be held accountable?
8. what tools are already in place to support day-to-day tasks?
9. how will projects be executed?
10. what will be done to support the culture change?

Bob Pierce, Director, Product Marketing, Interwise –

Introducting enterwise-wide conferencing

Cool trends in live collaboration
- moving from usage-based service to enterprise application, like email
- shifts from events-centred model of collaboration to user-centred model
- go behind the firewall for unmatched security
- increasing embrace of VoIP for audio, levering converged IP networks
- fixed price, unlimited use models
o set conferencing free
o cuts cost in half while increasing adoption
- “externalization” of collaboration
o Outsourcers, regulators, customers, partners, consortia
- Meetings as content
o Record, transcribe, manage

Case study: UK Dept. of Trade Industry (DTI) & their development of “Knowledge Transfer Networks”
- development of knowledge exchange to increase innovation performance
- create virtual environment to find partners, leverage investors, etc.
- lots of different networking groups need to come together to make this work, exchange complex information and ideas
- 1000 companies participating in just this network

What did they create and how did they do it?
- portal, personalized to your interest
- a number of tools: Vignette, Autonomy, Vivissimo, Stratagem (sp?), Interwise
- place to share documents
- once the meeting is over, process the recording of the meeting using Autonomy turning speech into text that is a searchable archive
o allows you to jump into the text at the point where the piece of info you want is being discussed, and to listen to that part of the meeting (cool!)
o runs in almost real time – transcribing may happen in 64 minutes; or send in batches during the meeting so that it is almost simultaneous, so that it is ready at the end of the meeting.

What’s Cool
- new level of collaboration on a massive scale
- collaboration on everyone’s desktop at a unique address
- real interaction around complex problems, not just PowerPoint
- no more scrambling to find event ID
- no more per-minute charges
- record meetings and make them searchable
o jump information of interest to you
o turns it into a persistent knowledge asset
- cutting conference and collaboration costs in half

Q & A - All Panelists

No one mentioned Sharepoint. Is Sharepoint “not cool” as a collaborative tool?
- more of a toolkit than an out-of-box collaborative tool. That may change; mostly “for the masses” rather than for businesses.

Is Groove cool?
- Groove was cool. Cool graphics, but doesn’t fit in to the way people are doing business. When the novelty factor wore off, people went back to their previous solutions.
- Works best for one big project, not for a number of smaller projects. Creates a lot of icons on the desktop.

- too important to leave just to the software; however, technology can really show who has touched what and track changes
- critical; leave it to corporate policy

Blogs and wikis here to stay, or just a flash in the pan?
- blogs definitely here to stay;
- a return to pre-1950s type of marketing when people built real relationships rather than broadcast marketing
- Google using wikis extensively internally
- Blogs and wikis a natural evolution for people to work together; will probably see a continuing evolution
- Key thing for change management to use these types of systems to allow everyone to participate and give their opinions, especially at lower levels
- Asynchronous; can take output of meeting and put it into a blog or wiki and allow it to be searched by others later – new thing that is coming

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Knowledge sharing cultures - Intel slide

Screen shot: results of Intel survey re: obstacles to KM participation charted by job function.

Okay, I really just took this shot because of the attractive colours. 8-)

KM World and Intranets 2005: Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture

KM World and Intranets 2005
Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

John Gillies, Knowledge Manager, McCarthy Tetrault, Toronto
Luke Koons, Information & KM, Intel
Lisa Sokol, Technical Director, KM, General Dynamics

John Gillies, Knowledge Manager, McCarthy Tetrault, Toronto

Presentation notes by John S. Gillies - 9 pages PDF, including extensive bibliography and web links

750 lawyers, 8 offices; largest law firm in Canada.

He gave a profile as to how a Canadian law firm is structured, corporate culture, and persona of average lawyer. Notably:
- aging experts
- associates – high attrition rate

Barriers most likely to encounter before KM project "birth":
- lawyers tend to be visual learners; they need to see something in order to understand it; good to provide prototypes for them to look at
- risk aversion
- dominant importance of the billable hour. This is a real roadblock since the billable hour is the primary focus; something like KM is non-billable time and is outside of their focus
- disincentives to using “efficiency tools” as a result – would rather draft something from scratch for 10 hours instead of pulling from KM system and using in 2 hours [need to create an alternative reward system for using KM]
- tend to work in “silos”

Barriers most likely to encounter after "birth":
- need to restructure ways of practice – teams that did not work together before may be working together
- focus on questions that previously did not require resolution
- unrealistic expectations

Questions a law firm needs to answer:
- How do you reward lawyers for using the KM system?
- How do you bill back clients for work that took you 3 minutes? Or that varies from one practice group to another

Barriers likely to be encountered throughout the lifecycle:
- different law practiced in different groups = different needs
- personal insecurity re: having the quality of one’s work product judged by peers
- fear of drop-off in internal referrals
- different knowledge tools are needed for lawyers for different levels of expertise
- ... [I missed a point or two]

Landscape changes – need to adapt to changing paths

From Q & A:

- How do you get lawyers to participate in the KM system?
o They have 7 lawyers dedicated to KM across the firm; they actively go out and interview the partners to obtain their content after they have created it. Associates are sent messages to send out info.

- Any controls looking at quality of content?
o No. That would mean another layer of expertise. They rely on the contributors to ensure the content is correct and complete.

- Rewards given for using and contributing to KM?
o No specific rewards, but it is now affecting associates’ evaluations.

Luke Koons, Director, Information & KM, Intel Corporation (this was his previous title; he has been promoted)

Intel environment:
- more than 124,000 employees & contractors
- 294 intel sites in 70 countries
- 26 intel data centres
- Supply chain management
- Cultural factors
o Intel 2.0: high volume manufacturing, results orientation, meritocracy, business group autonomy)
o Intel 2.0 ended last year
o Intel 3.0: platforms, cross-production collaboration, knowledge sharing, end users
- Their KM initiative started in Intel 2.0, has to adapt to 3.0

Things are changing in Intel 3.0:
- try to optimize things (i.e. optimize their end product the way clients are actually using them)
- groups that didn’t have to collaborate before now need to work with each other
- focus on end users

Fitting KM into existing corporate strategy is how they are focusing, rather than changing the culture

What is the primary barrier to sharing knowledge?
- see his tables – broken down by age group of users; by job function
- people not rewarded for sharing knowledge
- don’t have the right KM tools
- don’t have the right KM processes in place
- people are not rewarded for using best known methods (BKMs)
- existing KM tools are too complicated

Lessons and Opportunities
- management practices that reflect the corporate culture are vital for effective KM sharing
- find ways to lower the “cost” of adopting and using KM tools. E.g.
o dynamic expertise profiling
o user-centred design and embedded training
o intergrated tools
o federated search – needs simple interface
o segment customer base and learn what they want through “grass roots” observation

From Q & A:

- How do you protect your content?
o It is a concern. Early ideas may not be protected in their system, but security is applied at a later stage.

- Rewards given for using the KM system?
o Reduces the hassle factor.

Lisa Sokol, Glenn Yeaw & Stephen Sickels – General Dynamics

Speaker: Lisa Sokol, Technical Director, KM, General Dynamics,

Customers – U.S. military

Do not use KM for everything – there has to be a reason

Most successful at creating a sharing culture is when people don’t sit together; difficult for them to connect otherwise.

A great collaboration system requires these stages:
- Define
- Design
- Integrate
- Adopt
- Sustain

How do you get there?
- Buying the right tools DOES NOT guarantee success
- Buying the wrong tools MAY guarantee failure
- Your organization must support collaboration

Challenges associated with virtual collaboration:
- cultural – who owns data? Who owns knowledge?
- Managerial – moving to a flatter, distributed organization
- …

Used technology to allow people to create their own parts of the KM system from a larger model; allow people to “vote” as to which parts they like or don’t like. They can use this to determine which are the best parts of the model.

From Q & A:

- How do you control versions of models?
o Each person has control over his/her own versions of the models
o On Windows system.

- Rewards given for using KM?:
o Used to take 2 days to get someone injured out of Iraq; now it takes 2 hours using their KM system.

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) [OCLC Report]

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) [OCLC - OCLC Reports]

I haven't had a look at this report yet, but it does not bode well for libraries. I need to take a closer look at it to see whether it is talking specifically about public libraries, or generally about all libraries. From what I hear, it is apparent most people are ignoring library websites and starting their searches directly on the web (i.e. Google). The "Library" brand is connected primarily with books, not electronic information or websites.

Here is a "what if" question: what if we knew what types of search terms our people are searching with and, using SEO, we planted our own web pages in the search results so they would come up? This idea was suggested to me by someone else--if we have our own articles or blog postings that consistently come up when those people are searching, perhaps they would realize we are the experts and contact us directly? Another reason to blog....