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!


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: - 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:

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

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.


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:
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.


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:
His work site:
He developed this Second Life parody page: Get a First Life
A meme for doing good:
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 - free wifi in Vancouver - friends of his

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. 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!


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)

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

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 - 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.