Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who is Canada's Most Influential Woman in Social Media?

Well, I've resisted blogging about this up until now, but my excitement has gotten the better of me. A short while ago Canadian marketer Dave Forde started putting together a list of most influential Canadian women in social media. I was nominated to the list (a fantastic honour!) and then Dave opened it up for voting. The vote is open until 11:59 pm ET December 31, 2008 (i.e. just before the stroke of midnight tomorrow night!).

I encourage you to head on over to Dave's post to check out who else is in the running to be Canada's next top social media diva! Lots of my friends and women I admire are there--it is quite a list. Vote for your favourite. Hey, and if you happen to want to vote for me, fantastic.

By the way, you do not have to be Canadian to vote. In fact, the further afield you are, the more widespread the influence is proven I suspect. ;-)

On a related note, after opening this up, Dave also started up a contest for Canada's most influential men in social media. You can vote on that one, too.


Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Blawggies - Law-related Blogging Awards Announced

I recently told you about the upcoming 2008 Clawbies. Well, yesterday Dennis Kennedy released his 2008 Law-related Blogging Awards, i.e. the Blawggies (I love these names!).

Not only was Slaw (the cooperative Canadian law blog I help author) named the "Best Overall Law-Related Blog" (wow!), but also he posted Canadian law-related blogs as the best overall category, with special mention to Canadian law librarian bloggers. Nice. There is definitely a Canadian flavour to the full list. Here is the full list, but I encourage you to read his explanations and check out the runners-up:


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog - SLAW

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog - Evan Brown's Internet Cases

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog - Bruce MacEwen's Adam Smith, Esq.

4. Best Legal Blog Category - Canadian Law-related Blogs

5. Best Legal Blog Digest - Stark County Law Library Weblog

6. Best Blawg About Legal Blawgging - Kevin O'Keefe's Real Lawyers Have Blogs

7. Best Legal Podcast - Tie: This Week in Law and Bob Ambrogi's and Craig Williams' Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast

8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Legal Blog Award - Chuck Newton Rides the Third Wave

9. Best Law Professor Blog - Jim Maule's Mauled Again

10. Best New Law-related Blog - Jordan Furlong's Law 21

11. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog - Futurelawyer

12. Most Important Trend in Law-related Blogging - Microblogging

Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to Dennis Kennedy for putting these awards together again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Facebook Feature: Embed Videos onto Other Sites

Below is a video I recorded with my macbook directly into Facebook. I noticed a new feature that allows the video to be "embedded" (or posted) onto another site, so I am trying it out. Details below the video on how I did it.

I took the embed code and put it into the HTML editor here on Blogger. It is supposed to also honour any security settings I have on facebook. I marked this video so that 'everyone' can see it. I am curious to know if you can/cannot see it. Can you?

Original size above; increased size (with HTML tweaking) below.

Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 CLawBies - Nominations Now Open for the Canadian Law Blog Awards

Steve Matthews of Stem Legal is again running his Canadian Law Blog Awards (a.k.a. the CLawBies). He is, however, changing things up by asking us, his readers, to nominate our favourite Canadian law blogs. From his post:

2008 Nominations

Between now and Friday December 27th, you may nominate a Canadian authored legal blog in one of two possible ways.

  1. Simply email your favourite blog (yes, you can nominate your own) with some of your finest 2008 posts or any other notable highlights to Steve Matthews at steve@stemlegal.com.
  2. Or method number two, and this is much more fun … write a blog post about three other Canadian law blogs you currently read and tell us why those blogs are important to you. Now, here’s the bonus: in doing so, you are expected to be a humble Canadian and tell us NOTHING about your own blog. In return, your blog will receive a thorough review, as will your suggested peers, AND you get a chance to plug a fellow Canadian blogger!

    Noted: No, we’re not voting like the ABA… but linking out to fellow Canadian legal bloggers adds to our infrastructure, and let’s us share audiences. That way, the process helps everyone, and the award is simply a final recognition.

My nominations

Oh, who to nominate? It's a tough one!! Here's my stab at it--

  • Law is Cool - this blog has gone far beyond being simply a student blog, and has become an essential part of the Canadian law blog fabric over the past year. It is a must-read!
  • Precedent: The New Rule of Law and Style - this blog, which is now also a magazine for young lawyers, consistently has Canadian legal news before other sources. This blog gets big style points from me for a streamlined, simple but sophisticated "look-and-feel". It's no wonder the ABA Journal included it in its recent "Blawg 100" list.
  • Slaw.ca - it may be a bit of a conflict including this one in the list, but even if I didn't contribute to Slaw, I would be a huge fan (and am a huge fan). It was also included in the ABA Journal "Blawg 100" list. There is a continual stream of essential reading and provocative posts. Slaw stepped things up in the past year by adding a number of new contributors, and has had some excellent columns. I should start highlighting some of my favourite content from the past year for those of you who may have missed some of it.
Runners up

There are so many others I would have liked to nominate!! Here are just a few--

  • Law Firm Web Strategy blog - Yes, Steve Matthews' own blog is on my must-read list. I am always learning something new from Steve. I find his focus extremely inspirational--I am not so nearly focused either in my blogs or in my real life interests. Still, it is something to strive for! Steve is extremely smart and is generous in sharing his thinking with all of us both on this blog and over on Slaw.
  • Thoughtful Legal Management by Dave Bilinsky - Dave is very thoughtful in his posts. I love his synthesis of thought and his style on this blog.
  • Halo Secretarial Blog - I had never really thought about virtual legal assistants until I met one in the blogosphere! Laurie Mapp uses her business blog to talk about social media, work efficiency, and how virtual legal assistants are playing an increasing role. I like that her blog strikes a perfect balance between a personal and a professional tone. She has recently launched a new look--love the new green!
  • All About Information - Dan Michaluk has done a great job of putting together a consistent, focussed blog on access to information and protection of confidential business information. He is one of the few out there talking specifically about case law, and is a great model for what could be done in other subject areas.
  • Library Boy - Michel-Adrien Sheppard is a master of pulling together key resources on timely subjects. If you are doing legal research on "hot" topics, you should check his blog first.
There are so many more! But, I will leave this here and invite you to nominate your picks either via your own blog, or by emailing Steve. Don't forget, the deadline is Friday, December 27th!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy Movember!

Movember - Sponsor Me

Only a day late--November was "Movember". The Canadian campaign raised $550,000 in November 2007. Your Canadian donation goes to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada.

Friday, November 21, 2008

JD Supra Launches Facebook App

When I was in California for the Internet Librarian conference in October, I was fortunate to also head to San Francisco and meet with some of the folks from legal documents sharing service JD Supra. They hinted that some new developments were just around the corner, and I'm pleased to announce that they have now released a Facebook application. So cool!

I haven't had a chance to try it out myself yet, but Steve Matthews has done a write-up with screen shots over at his Law Firm Web Strategy blog. I can't wait to try it out--it gives me the opportunity to post a feed of the documents I have loaded in JD Supra (screen shot of Steve's feed):

as well as have my JD Supra profile reposted (again I have snagged Steve's):

I can't wait to try it out over the weekend! If you are in a law firm, are a lawyer, or work with a law-related organization, I encourage you to have a look at JD Supra. It is a way to share your expertise with others and raise your profile at the same time in a very Web 2.0 way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Innovation in Tough Economic Times

This Thursday I will be facilitating a roundtable discussion at the next Toronto Girl Geek Dinners. I have been attending meetings of this group for about a year, and have found them to be very collegial. It is a fantastic group of interesting women from a range of industries. The group also encourages younger members by having a number of students sponsored for the evening.

Usually we have a speaker, but the group has gotten so comfortable with one another that we thought an opportunity for us to talk with one another would be a nice change of pace. Inspiration for the discussion:

The ability to do sustained innovation is the one competitive edge left. Innovation is the driver of performance, growth and stock market valuation." - Bruce Nussbaum, 10 Worst Innovation Mistakes in A Recession (Business Week)

The details:

Toronto Girl Geek Dinner #9
November 20, 2008
Hot House Cafe at 7:00 p.m.
Sign up on the wiki

The 9th Toronto Girl Geek Dinner, sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, will feature a discussion about how we, as leaders in our respective areas of technology, can continue to innovate during tough economic times.

Some of the topics we will cover include taking smart risks, using a downturn as a catalyst for innovation, finding a solid strategy, and the opportunities for people inside organizations and for entrepreneurs.

To wrap up our Toronto Girl Geek Dinners for 2008, PricewaterhouseCoopers has graciously agreed to pick up the tab for everyone's dinner. We all thank them for their generosity are thrilled to have them on-board and participating in our event!

Monday, November 10, 2008

If the Matrix was on Windows

For anyone who is a fan of The Matrix, this one's for you from College Humor. Very well done with some new classic lines--

More on Ubuntu.

Hat tip to Kevin Lim for the link.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New Business Books - Don Tapscott and Shel Holtz

This week I learned about three new business books that have just been released that you should know about. I have one in my hot little hands, and the others two I have ordered from my favourite business bookstore, Books for Business.

Monday night I attended the book launch party for Don Tapscott's latest offering, Grown Up Digital. Long-time readers of this blog will know I "crashed" his last book launch for Wikinomics almost two years ago. This time around I didn't have to resort to such drastic measures since invitations were going around Facebook. (As an aside, when I search for "Tapscott" on my blog, I discover how deep this fandom really goes).

This book is a follow-up to his previous book Growing Up Digital. The premise is that those currently between the ages of 11 and 30 (the "Net Generation") have new ways of thinking and interacting. This is going to have an impact on society, so it is in the interest of all of us to understand this change. After all, this age group was the differentiating factor in getting Obama elected U.S. president last night. Tapscott and his team interviewed almost 10,000 people in putting this book together. I was fortunate to be able to purchase a copy and have him sign it, so have started working my way through it already. For more information, see the website grownupdigital.com.

Tuesday night I attended a special Toronto Third Tuesday dinner for corporate communications celeb Shel Holtz. He was in town to speak at a conference, and a group of us were privileged to have him tell us about the work he did on his new book Tactical Transparency that he wrote with John C. Havens. He explained that companies are reluctant to embrace transparency because they believe this means giving away their business secrets. On the contrary, he explained there are areas that do need to stay confidential such as client information, business intelligence, personal information and health information, and that keeping these confidential is very different than acting in a transparent way.

You can find more information on the tacticaltransparency.com website. I am particularly impressed they have shared the audio of the interviews they conducted with 50 business executives for the book at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/transparency. I'm looking forward to reading and listening through all that and sharing my thoughts over on Connections, my Crosby Group blog.

Finally, during his talk Shel also mentioned another book coming out from his publisher Jossey-Bass that sounds of interest, The Credible Company: Communicating with a Skeptical Workforce by Roger D'Aprix. Essentially it looks to be about internal communication during difficult times of change. On the one hand I wonder if there are ever any times of change that are not difficult, but on the other hand acknowledge that we are coming into particularly difficult times. A book like this that can help show management the way to working with staff to ease the stress at a time when morale may be low is particularly well-timed.

What new business titles are you excited about? Please share with us!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Community Divas Episode 6: Adele McAlear on Video

Anyone who saw my presentation about audio & video tools for Internet Librarian 2008, or who has been interested in the discussion via seesmic going on in this blog, will also be interested in the discussion Eden Spodek and I had recently with Adele McAlear of McAlear Marketing. Adele fleshes out a number of things, including the business model of some of these tools, the fantastic new functionality that Phreadz will afford us once out of private beta (couldn't resist that alliteration!), and how these tools might be used for community building by groups such as the YMCA and public libraries. Don't miss Episode 6 of Community Divas!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Internet Librarian 2008 - Closing Keynote with Liz Lawley

I didn't blog Liz Lawley's talk, but she moved through a number of "tangibles" that librarians should be aware of, many of them in the form of new technologies, gadgets, and hands-on tech and craft projects. I grabbed an excerpt of her talk in video for you:

Internet Librarian 2008: Liz Lawley closing keynoteTalking about the tangible of today's society.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Internet Librarian 2008 - Day 3 Afternoon

I am in one of the last sessions for this year's Internet Librarian conference. I took the opportunity to introduce you to the people I am sitting with waiting for the session by Steven Cohen. I also captured a little video from Steven's talk.

This is Steven Cohen on Google Reader. I haven't listened to it yet for sound quality, but his best line was at the very end. This is from his presentation What's Hot With RSS.

Internet Librarian 2008: Defining & Measuring Social Media Success

Jeff Wisniewski

How do you measure? Is 2 comments a week good, bad?

Why be social?
  • marketing yourself without doing traditional marketing
  • Google page rank improves the more social you are; critical for libraries
  • most of the people using social media, vast majority are anxious to interact with you and your organization online. There is a delicate balancing act, you need to take care to not interject yourself into someone's personal social space. People appreciate brands being in available online and authentic e.g. Zappos.
  • Facebook is the social glue for those coming to university for the first time - see: http://www.physorg.com/news143200776.html - there is a lot of potential here for us to do interesting stuff
Developing a social media plan:
  • listen - is there a conversation online about your library? What is the nature of it? If there isn't a converation, that is okay
  • prepare - define a strategy: goals, pick a platform (or two), the right platform depends on your goals - Sun Microsystems has a great presentation on picking a platform: http://www.slideshare.net/lordorica/social-media-at-sun-microsystems
  • engage - start blogging, leaving comments on blogs, responding, uploading photos to Flickr, etc.
  • measure - this is the hard part! Traditional measurement (ROI) doesn't work very well.
Why measure?

Need to measure success to sell our ideas. What are your goals? What are we getting out of this activity?

What you are not measuring:
  • friendship
  • happiness
  • karma
  • enlightenment
  • girl power!
Need to measure a combination of both the quantitative and qualitative.

Behavior - quantitative:
  • number of blog posts - Boyd's Conversation Index - measures relative success of blog posts and comments + trackbacks - should be greater than 1 - otherwise you may be investing more than you are getting back for your library
  • will depend on your goals e.g. if you add photos to Flickr to increase traffic to your native digital photo collection, don't just look at stats on Flickr but also look to see what kind of traffic was referred from Flickr to your site.
Experience - listening to what people are experience. - "the experience metric" - stars, scars or neutral?

  • monitoring search engine results - focus on Google - Google is search engine used by everyone BUT ALSO they take into account social media results - the only one where they show up with great regularity.
  • technorati - which blogs are linking to your blogs; are they in your target audience? - for blogs and feeds - authority score & qualitative
  • delicious - is your content bookmark-worthy? How many people have bookmarked it? Comments posted?
  • check conversations on twitter - Seattle Public Library has great results on Twitter
  • create Google alerts - e.g. "university of pittsburgh" library and Pitt library - choose "comprehensive" - get results from news, blogs, web, video and groups

Ottawa Course - Social Networking Tools: Hands on learning

I am teaching my Social Networking Tools survey course in Ottawa again. The school tells me that the November 17th class is now full, but there are spots remaining in the Tuesday, November 18th class. Please don't wait to sign up!

For details about the class and registering, please see the Professional Learning Centre course description.


Internet Librarian 2008 - Connie's Day 2 Wrap-up

In this seesmic video I give a wrap-up of Day 2, talking about my new inspiration to get out and use easy web-based video to tell people's stories.

Internet Librarian - Connie's Day 2 Wrap-upConnie talks about being newly inspired at Internet Librarian. Check out http://www.shanachietour.com for more info.

For more details about the Shanachie Tour see http://www.shanachietour.com/.

I no sooner posted this, then I had a response from Kathryn Greenhill based in Australia who saw my video discussion just as she was about to head off to a meeting. She created a response video:

Re: Internet Librarian - Connie's Day 2 Wrap-upYes - we should be using video more - I'm with you

and here is my response to that which I think furthers the discussion on improving our new literacies:

Re: Internet Librarian - Connie's Day 2 Wrap-upResponding to Kathryn Greenhill's video about the challenge of interviewing people spontaneously with video.

I hope that someone else will find us on seesmic and continue the conversation!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internet Librarian - Stephen Abram on Enterprise Trends

Enterprise Trends: Beyond the Simple Intranet

This presentation will be posted to Stephen Abram's blog http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/.

Connie's note: These are notes from Stephen's talk. Any errors or omissions are mine.

You need to be ahead of the curve.

The opportunity finally exists to use social software inside the organization. We can finally use some of this social software to lift ourselves up.

We can't wait for everyone to change at once. You've got to keep up. Anyone who doesn't use the Internet is looking to be unemployed; if you don't have a Facebook account you are looking to be irrelevant. However, it takes a while for things to filter through and people to adapt.

If information isn't in text, how are you accessing it?

Stephen Abram on Enterprise TrendsAt the Internet Librarian 2008 conference in Monterey, CA. Stephen Abram speaking on world trends in learning. il2008

We see a fundamental shift in how questions are asked and answered. People will ask questions on Facebook and MySpace. Open Social, G3 phone coming out today - if everybody's stuff is on their phone e.g. geotagging - customize a search and customize search engine rankings. You can change the search engine rankings of your organizations based on geographic location e.g. Obama campaign money spent on localized search engine rankings - political searches show up different results in different neighbourhoods. Does democracy start to become at risk?

What is not advertising-based search engine ranking? Us!

Some of us are coming to the realization that we are not creating information just for us - we are doing the work for others who work differently than us.

Enterprises exist because people need to work together. Need to work to coming to the same conclusions when you are working together.

Circles of trust inside organizations - we see this exactly replicated in social software such as Facebook - you have your inner circle of friends who you trust.

He is having to re-discover people from his past; his children will never lose their friends because of the new tools.

What does social networking look like inside the organization? Librarians retiring after 40 years of work, doing excellent local research. The first thing we do when they retire is wipe their computers clean, as if all their bookmarks and tools they have developed are not still useful.

Why do we exist in enterprise? To have conversations. That is what social networking tools are now all about. What is happening with these tools that is similar to inside the organization?

  • The power of formal versus informal language
  • The sharing economy - sharing the insights is most valuable - how do we add people's notes - context is what helps you understand where the friction is - inside a company you can codify the context, which you might not want to do outside the organization e.g. are there different strategies you use to appeal to a female-dominated market compared to a male-dominated market?
Using wikis is no longer an innovation; however, depends on organization - may look like an innovation if you haven't done it yet. You have to leave the laggards behind. When we go into our organizations, you don't have to have everyone on instant messaging for example.

The new Web 2.0 era distribution models remain largely untapped. How can we change the corporate culture to collaborate more. Take something like mapping the human genome - they sat it in social space and communicated with each other - was supposed to take 50 years, was done in just a few.

We are seeing a fundamental shift in having to adapt to how our clients learn - lawyers learn differently than surgeons do. You don't want your surgeon arriving for surgery saying "it's okay, I read the article last night." Surgeons learn as auto mechanics do.

Most librarians not good with visual interfaces. Show us a satellite system and we are not as comfortable as with text.

Does your intranet move up to the space so that you can share objects/documents, collaborate, put into groups. How does it relate to others? What actions can you take?

How can you be where your users are, and then move to the next space.

If you are a news librarian and not in LinkedIn, you are looking to be irrelevant. He gets a lot of interviews from being on LinkedIn.

Get good at the cloud - cloud applications - core applications online - Zoho, zotero, Google Docs - they give it to you for free and be willing to take your ads. They already know what you think and they will will serve up ads and search results based on your behaviour. As a Word-based profession, we need to get better at Internet and intranet behaviours.

The kindle is not about being an ebook reader, it is about being a device. The iPhone is not about being a phone. The U.S. is 5-7 years behind the rest of the world. The U.S. is going to hit it very hard and very fast.

Changing to a mainly mobile focus - how are we going to adapt? Thinking at Yale - what is library going to look like in a mobile environment - Joe Murphy, Yale Science Libraries.

Second Life is not going to survive - it will be something else - but we go in to figure out how we are going to relate to each other - their real life behaviours are moving into Second Life.

Private Enterprise social networking - search for "White label social networking" on his blog.

How do you make yourself discoverable? How do you make others in your organization discoverable? How do you tell people what you are good at?

Browser plug-ins - have you built a plug-in so you can show people how? Change the browser at the top so that it can become the standard. Why won't we have our search engines search those services that we actually subscribe to, rather than everything? Right now we have "meat hacker" search engines. You can build search toolbars to search the best stuff.

Presence management - Twitter, Meebo, IM, Skype - convention management now uses Twitter

It is all about play - you play with the stuff to learn about it; you can't put a committee to learn the 2.0 stuff.

SLA has a commitment to helping people to learn via 23 things. Build a petting zoo. Make your intranet a sandbox.

Added note: Carol over at Teching Around with Web 2.0 managed to record the list of ten social networking sites that have influenced the U.S. election.

Internet Librarian 2008 - My Presentation on Instant Audio & Video

I have posted my presentation from this afternoon, Instant Audio & Video: Tools Igniting the Digital World to my Crosby Group Consulting Connection blog. I've also posted some bonus demo videos. Enjoy!

If you are looking for presentations by other speakers, many are being collectively posted to the IL2008 event on Slideshare.net.

I missed most of today's sessions, but I did make sure to attend the keynote this morning by Howard Rheingold, Berkeley & Stanford professor and the world's leading thinker/professor/teacher regarding online communities. I took notes and attempted a few photos--will try to get those up here shortly. I did take down one quote from him during the keynote which I included in one of my slides in my presentation.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Connie Crosby - Upcoming Events

Here is where you can catch me the next few weeks:

Internet Librarian - Monterey, California
Monday, October 20, 2008
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Instant Audio & Video: Tools Igniting the Digital World
  • Connie Crosby, Principal, Crosby Consulting Group

No time to learn how to podcast or make videos? Seesmic, Utterli, ooVoo, BlogTV, Qik, and Talkshoe are just a few of the new audio and video tools letting people create their own instant web content with a small learning curve. Some are meant for short, quick thoughts by individuals on the go, others for longer conversations among a group connected to the web. Compare these exciting new tools and discuss their roles in community building and collaboration.

Internet Librarian - Monterey, California
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Law Library 2.0
  • Camille Reynolds MLS, Director, Research & Information Services, Nossaman LLP
  • Liana Juliano, Technical & Electronic Services Librarian, Nossaman LLP Vice President/President Elect American Indian Library Association
  • Connie Crosby, Principal, Crosby Consulting Group
  • Jaye Lapachet, Manager of Library Services, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP

How do you introduce 2.0 technologies into the law firm library? Law firms are notoriously slow in adopting new technologies and are often steeped in the traditional. In the first presentation, learn how creative law librarians spearheaded a project to create a firm intranet in a culture that doesn’t embrace technology or sharing easily. Working with several other departments the speakers bridged the gap between many different user groups with competing ideas and helped lead the change through collaboration as they introduced the law firm to new technologies. They share how they used focus groups, marketing, and involved key users to “sell” the intranet, first to management, then to staff; what tools were used to create buy-in; and the strategies that were involved, as well as experiences with an internal wiki as a project management tool for the intranet and a way to introduce library staff to 2.0 technologies in a user-friendly format that spawned other uses, including collaboration, policy development, resource sharing, training, and more. Drawing from her experience as a law firm library director, Crosby provides additional examples and describes where law libraries are headed next.

Sustainability Camp - Toronto, Ontario
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Using social networking tools to promote community [tentative title]
"Community Divas" Eden Spodek & Connie Crosby

Ottawa, Ontario
November 17 or 18, 2008 - 2 full-day classes available
Social Networking Tools - Hands on Learning
Professional Learning Centre, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Connie Crosby, Instructor
-->the Monday, November 17th class is either full or almost full. We have added a second date

Friday, October 17, 2008

Internet Librarian International 2008 - Can't be there in person?

This year's Internet Librarian International looks, as usual, excellent. I found this perhaps a little late--a widget with rolling photos and tweets (via Twitter) from conference participants to make me feel a little more like I am there:

Thanks also to Åke Nygren for sharing his presentation on the build-it-yourself social network site Ning, itself built on a Ning site: http://2008ningthings.ning.com/forum. (Use the menu at the top of the page to explore the rest of the site.).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Connie Crosby is Now Podcasting - Community Divas

This summer my friend Eden Spodek, a communications specialist known for her blog Bargainista.ca and one of my fellow Podcamp Toronto organizers, and I dared each other to start podcasting. What better way to fulfill that dare than to create that podcast together?!

Thus Community Divas was born! Our goal is to interview leaders in a wide range of communities, and talk about issues in building online communities. While our focus to start is online communities since that is where our personal interests lie, we will broaden our content out over time to talk about "face to face" communities as well.

In our first four episodes, we interviewed Jay Moonah, one of the driving forces behind Podcamp Toronto and a social media strategist, Saul Colt, the Smartest Man in the World! and the Director of Magic at Freshbooks, and Daniele Rossi, web designer, graphic artist and podcaster talks about how podcasting his Stuttering is Cool podcast has helped him accept his own stuttering.

Eden and I are just finding our sea legs with the podcast, figuring out both the technical side and finding our voice in the recordings, but what truly stands out is the discussion from our interview guests. My hope is that our discussions will be of interest to a wide audience--including both those interested in libraries and in social media/social networking.

You can catch us (among other places) directly from our blog communitydivas.com or, if you have an iPod or other MP3 player, on iTunes. If you are into it, we have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a FriendFeed Room. To send us feedback, please post a comment on the blog or email us at communitydivas@gmail.com . At some point we will get a comment line in place if you want to leave an audio/phone comment.

If you haven't tried listening to a podcast before, why not give it a try?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Product Recalls and Taking Corporate Responsibility

Wherever I turn today, I am running into news about recalls:

  • news that the horrific tainted milk scandal in China, where almost 53,000 children are sick and 13,000 are currently in hospital, has now led to a second recall in Canada. On Sunday there was a recall of Nissin Cha Cha Dessert and yesterday Ottawa recalled certain types of Mr. Brown 3-in-1 instant coffee. See the Globe & Mail story (Sept. 24/08).
  • Steve Matthews has made note that Stem Legal client Hissey Kientz LLP has launched a new website, Digitek Recall Help, that tracks the latest information regarding the recall of the heart medication Digitek, generically known as Digoxin. The site documents the related side effects, toxicity problems, lawsuits, and the latest news. It will function as an ongoing information gateway, updated regularly by the firm's Digitek practice group.
  • Apple has recalled USB adapters for recharging iPhones. As someone who recently opted for an iPhone to stay in touch with clients instead of a Blackberry, I was quite surprised today to receive a text message from Rogers about the recall. Apparently there is a small chance that the prongs in the adapter can break off in an electrical outlet, creating a shock hazard.
The main reason for recalls is public health and safety, so it is important to get word out on them. I was surprised at this method by Rogers (text message) to get the message out, but it is a quick, inexpensive way to reach the iPhone consumer quickly. In contrast, I heard on the news (but can't find a good source) there have been complaints about children getting sick from the milk products in China going back to 2006, and it is only as it reaches crisis proportions is there any real acknowledgment in the media.

Companies can no longer sweep problems under the carpet and hope they will go away. Word of mouth spreads too quickly with our Internet-based social networks such as blogs and Facebook; one small problem and soon a firestorm can erupt that can cause bad feelings about a company and a drop in sales.

In Canada we recently saw another recall, that of Maple Leaf Foods as potentially carrying Listeria bacteria. I was impressed with how quickly Maple Leaf responded, took ownership of the problem, recalled products as necessary, and inspected and cleaned their premises. In today's society it is no longer acceptable to sit on a problem of this magnitude while a plan is put together over a few weeks. Immediate response is necessary, and Maple Leaf handled themselves very well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update: recruiting with social networks & a new law KM online group

Hi folks! Here are a few of my recent blog posts you might be interested in:
  • On my business blog Connection I shared some of the resources I used and some of the websites we looked at during a workshop I taught last week on recruiting using Facebook and other social networks.
  • I also released a copy of the workbook I created for the course under Creative Commons. I wanted those who attended the workshop to be able to share with their colleagues back at the office, and also to share with others who might be thinking of using social networking tools in these ways. This sort of thing does not stay static, so I am hoping others can build and improve on what I have done.
  • Over on Slaw I made note of the group Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals being pulled together online by Patrick DeDomenico of Debevoise Plimpton LLP in NYC. I hope you will join us in one or all of those conversations!
Life on the entrepreneurial side has been hectic but quite enjoyable. I have to say, I don't miss having to prepare a budget as I did the last 10 years as a law firm library manager. I am thinking about my colleagues in the firms compiling and churning through the numbers, finding where the savings might be, and how they might accommodate the rising prices and cost of new products. That is definitely something I sympathize with them on, and don't miss. Still, I get to think about bookkeeping and cash flow instead. A whole new wonderful adventure!

Take care,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kick-start your Monday with the Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library

WARNING: this song will get stuck in your head. You are warned!!

This video is by Michael Porter and David Lee King, created for Michael's upcoming presentation to the Library and Information Technology Association (or LITA, a branch of the American Library Association). The full story of how this came to be is on Michael's blog Libraryman, and David Lee King talks about how it was recorded on his blog. The full lyrics and credits for the video are here.

My favourite part of the lyrics:
To prepare our libraries we must be informed, explore lots
and have fun learning how to evolve.
Learn about things like gaming, social software and being
just where our users are: that brings us HUGE Wows.
Look at open-source software and the creative commons,
look at netfilx and itunes and learn how
We can take competition, turn it into fruition:
It is also great to see lots of faces familiar to me from the library community around the world included in the video. Great job!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Six Random Things

Every once in a while a meme goes around the blogging world, and sometimes I play along while other times I don't. Just depends on the mood I'm in.

This weekend I was at a Niagara Podcasting & Social Media Meetup, and saw my podcasting friend Daniele Rossi. It was great to see Daniele, and now he tells me he has tagged me in the "six random things" meme. I am in a generous mood (could it be all that wine-tasting?) so without further ado, here we go:

1. I was once a late-night DJ on CFRU.
2. I am a pescetarian.
3. I got my very first iPod only this May. It a little Shuffle handed out as shwag by one of the vendors at a conference.
4. I only have podcasts on my Shuffle. I have not downloaded any music to it.
5. I am naturally blonde. The recent brunette thing is a dye job.
6. I belong to a book club that has been running for over 13 years.

Okay, that probably was "too much information!" I am tagging the following bloggers: Keith Burtis, Rob Golbeck, Kathryn Greenhill, Meg Kribble, Infobunny, and Kristina Lively. If memes aren't your thing, though, I won't be offended. ;-)


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Connie Crosby's Day Off, or How Twitter Decided We Needed a Break

Funny things happen when I go off-line for any length of time. In the case of this weekend, I signed off mid-afternoon Friday to head for a workout and then meet a family member who was arriving in town to visit for the long weekend. While out I tried to send a message to my Twitter followers via my cell phone, but it didn't work as expected so I sent the "tweet" a second time. I had no idea anything had actually gone wrong until I logged back in the next morning.

It turns out my account had been deactivated sometime after I left the house Friday afternoon. Apparently about eight legitimate accounts were accidentally deactivated in Twitter's attempt to clean out spammy accounts, and mine was one of them. Ironically, I had been actively taking part in the discussion on the Twitter blog regarding their spam-fighting efforts, and we had warned them to take care in how they went about these efforts.

The first I noticed the trouble was in reading an email from Steve Matthews saying to let him know if I needed any help getting my account reinstated. I also had a message from Eden Spodek asking what happened. Uh oh. I had a look at my account, and all messages but my very last tweet were gone. All my 1500+ followers, too. The followers especially represented hours and hours of searching and selection over 18 months.

Looking more closely, I discovered several conversations in the blogosphere and on Twitter asking what had happened to me, and people contacting Twitter on my behalf. Blog posts were written. Private messages were sent to Twitter pleading to reinstate me. Meanwhile, I had been completely oblivious.

It was all so Ferris Bueller! In the movie, while Ferris has a fun day skipping school, all the kids in his school think he is home on his death bed. The kids start rallying and raising funds on his behalf. He has a great day and is completely oblivious to their efforts.

I was so amazed at what everyone had done for me--there is so much love and support from my friends on Twitter! Friendships I have developed both on and off Twitter which have been reinforced there are very real. Never was this so apparent to me as this weekend. These people really have my back when I'm not looking!

Here is just part of the discussion out there:

From Dave Delaney:
Help! My Twitter account has been suspended for no reason! (Aug. 1/08)
Suspended From Twitter Day 2: an update in as many characters as I like... (Aug. 2/08)
News from Twitter HQ on account suspensions ( Aug. 2/08)
My Twitter fiasco so far, for your listening pleasure (Aug. 2/08)
5 Reasons Why I Hate Twitter (Aug. 3/08)

From LawyerKM:
You Can Never Be Too Popular - except on Twitter (Aug. 2/08)

From P.F. Anderson, Emerging Technologies Librarian blog:
Twitter Banned Who???? (Aug. 2/08)
Twitter "Banning", Day 2 Report: Social Media Troubleshooting (Aug. 3/08)

From Dave Fleet:
Four Lessons from Twitter's Spam/Customer-Busting Episode (Aug. 4/08)

Twitter Customer Service Support:
Account Deleted/Banned with No Reasoning

There are also discussions floating around on Twitter, FriendFeed and Plurk. And of course you can't see all of the wonderful personal messages that have been sent to me in support. Wow!

I was fairly philosophical about the whole thing. This is the video comment I posted to Dave Delaney's blog last night:

Some things I have learned over my 20+ years online:
  • nothing is permanent - online communities do not last forever; people move away, drift out, tools are constantly changing or having glitches. You still need some contact with people outside the electronic forums to be connected with the world.
  • don't take technology glitches personally - those of us who live in the electronic world know that things go wrong when you least expect it, or when you are most inconvenienced by it. We have to take this in our stride, and make as many back up plans for the key information as we can.
  • if you and your friends are active in certain online discussions now, you will likely be active in online discussions in the future. Just because one tool (such as Twitter) goes away, there will be others taking its place. I have been in online discussions since long before the web as we know it today.
  • online tools keep evolving. I highly doubt Facebook and Twitter will be such go-to places in 5 years' time. There will be something else.
On the point of making contingency plans, Dave Delaney discusses it in his response to my video:

The good news is Crystal at Twitter has been in direct contact with me also and Jason has been trouble-shooting in the help forum. Apparently they have been working all day to get my account @conniecrosby back on its feet. It is partially there. In the meantime, I have started collecting some of my followers and tweeting from my business account @crosbygroup. Feel free to follow me at either. I am also active on FriendFeed as conniecrosby, and have had the identi.ca account conniecrosby for a while although have not explored that yet. In Facebook I am (slightly) more private, not following quite as many people.

I can't tell you how much all the out-pouring of concern has meant to me! I appreciate all those who looked out for me, and hope to be back in full force soon.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Use That iPod! Latest Podcasts with Connie Crosby

Okay, I had the date wrong for the Law Librarians podcast in my last post. As recompense I have put together links to a few other recent podcast episodes that, coincidentally, I have been involved in:

Uncontrolled Vocabulary, Episode 52 - Uncontrolled Tech Support
Summary: group phone-in show discussing recent library news. I prefer to call this episode "Two People in Costumes With a Puppet" instead--you will have to listen to find out why!
Host: Greg Schwartz
Date: July 30, 2008

On the Log, Episode 29 - Look it Up
Summary: I am interviewed about the future of libraries. Recorded for a non-librarian audience. I discover a new verbal tick (can you pick it up?)
Host: John Meadows
Date: July 26, 2008

Discovr, Episode 6, Branding Yourself Online
Summary: Eden Spodek, Tommy Vallier and I talk personal branding at length with "teenage tech enthusiast" Michael Mistretta.
Host: Michael Mistretta
Date: June 19, 2008

Video StudentGuy - Episode 100 - Podcasters Across Borders
Summary: In June I attended a small conference in Kingston, Ontario called Podcasters Across Borders. It was the third year for the conference, and my second year attending. Paul interviews some of the presenters and includes comments from a number of the attendees, including me.
Host: Paul Lyzun
Date: July 17, 2008

I haven't listened to all of these yet myself! I think the On the Log interview in particular turned out well.

More podcast fun:
  • at the CALL conference in May one of the vendors gave out iPod Shuffles to attendees. Rather than listen to music, I immediately loaded it with library and business-related podcasts. I'm thinking of putting together a round-up of these and maybe some info on how to load your iPods with podcasts. Is that of interest?
  • Sneak preview: Eden Spodek, one of my fellow organizers at Podcamp Toronto 2008, digital communications specialist, and the woman behind the Bargainista blog, and I are working to put together a regular podcast focusing on community and social networking tools. If all goes well we should be recording our first episode this weekend and having something out soon. Stay tuned!
  • Looking for even more fun on podcasts and podcasting?? You MUST check out Canadian Podcast Buffet, the weekly roundup of podcasting news in Canada. Hosts Bob Goyetche and Mark Blevis are currently on a summer break, but they are posting recordings from the Podcasters Across Borders conference which they organize. I encourage you to take the time this August to explore the archives!

Law Librarian Podcast - Margie Maes is Next Week's Guest

Law library podcast The Law Librarian is set to continue recording next Friday, August 8th at 3 pm CST. The show is hosted by Richard Leiter and Brian Striman.

Today's guest is Margie Maes (some readers may know her as Margie Axtmann), Executive Director of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, a committee of AALL. Margie is also an active CALL member; I first met her on a CALL Vendor Liaison Committee panel a number of years ago when she was serving on AALL's equivalent committee, CRIV.

Somehow I missed the recording of Episode 2 - Jim Milles was the guest. It looks like The Law Librarian is gearing up for regular broadcast, with shows scheduled the next few Fridays in August.

If you miss the live broadcast, it will be available for listening from the website afterward. I don't see it in iTunes--if someone finds it there, please let us know.

Date correction: I had the date wrong. Note it is actually next Friday, August 8th. Corrected above.

[Also posted over at Slaw.]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Does an Earthquake Do to a Library?

Today's news that a moderate earthquake shook California quickly spread through the social networks (well, a 5.8 earthquake isn't moderate in my books!) It was only a matter of time before some video surfaced. I was excited to see that the first footage I saw was of the damage in a library. I had never thought about what the after-effects of a little quake would be on a library--

This is from Daynah, taken when she happened to be taking video and photos at the Science Library at UC Riverside.

I am relieved to see no one was hurt, although I'm glad I don't have to do the clean up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Twebinars - Are Webinars Using Twitter Going Too Far?

Anyone who follows my blogging probably knows I'm a bit of a Twitter fanatic. Still, I'm not sure about Twebinars, the new webinar series using Twitter.

The current Twebinar series is being sponsored by social media monitoring company Radian6 who, incidentally, are based in Fredericton, New Brunswick (I think that's so cool!). The series is being hosted by my favourite social media community specialist, Boston-based Chris Brogan.

But the idea of following a program along on the web and then chatting with fellow participants using Twitter leaves me wondering--how useful will the Twitter discussion part be? It is not like all participants will be following one another, and if I'm even more chatty then usual (and I'm pretty chatty!) will my Twitter followers not taking the Twebinar be completely annoyed? I know why they did it this way-because it helps raise awareness of the series amongst the "early adopters" on Twitter, and I'm sure it is hoped this will therefore raise awareness of Radian6 among them and their network. I don't have a problem with that.

I'm interested in seeing how all of this works. I missed the first in the series but am going to catch the second tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 pm ET. It's called Who Really Owns Your Brand? You can read more about it here and if you would like to join me you can register for free here.

The third in the series is The Importance of Listening on Tuesday, August 19, 2 pm ET.

Regardless of whether the Twitter part works or not, Chris Brogan is always entertaining, informative and inspiring, so it will definitely be worth your while.

Slaw Update

Do you read Slaw, the Canadian co-operative law blog? We're now three years old! I try not to re-post from one blog to the other, but as a result I suspect not everyone reading here knows I post over there as well. I hope to start regularly posting references to Slaw just to help keep track. Here are my posts (so far) for July:

It's interesting to see them altogether. I have even more of a Web 2.0 slant on things than I thought!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Law Library and Legal Vendor Relationships

Over on Slaw today Simon Chester posted excerpts from an article on Law.com by Alvin Podboy called Legal Information Needs a Little Kedging. The subject of library and vendor relations is close to my heart, and I have worked on both TALL and CALL committees over time to help improve relations. I had not heard of the sailing term "kedging" before, but it seems to me quite appropos in this context--I encourage you to read the full article.

The post on Slaw got me a little worked up and I posted the following (too long!) comment:

[rant on]

I firmly believe law librarians and legal vendors should be working in partnership, to
understand one another and work to each other's mutual benefit.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries' Vendor Liaison Committee and similar liaison committees in our local associations work closely with the vendors to build good relations. It is through these good relationships that we can address issues and work to the benefit of both.

Case in point is the CALL VLC subcommittee on loose leafs that explored--sometimes in pain-staking detail--issues surrounding loose leaf services. The result is the CALL- VLC code of good practices for loose-leaf publications. Both librarians and vendor representatives participated, were open and forth-coming during the process, and as a result we managed to reach a consensus.

I really hope that we build on the good work done by the association committees and abolish the unfortunate attitude some still hold that vendors are somehow the "evil empire". Without vendors and publishers helping in the creation and supply of our books and other information, we simply would not have libraries.

Librarians can work, on an individual or organizational level, with their vendor representatives to guide them towards products and services they would find most helpful. If they find something objectionable, they need to find diplomatic ways to explain their positions and help the vendor or publisher understand the concern. Having good day-to-day relationships with the vendor reps goes a long way in helping with this.

[rant off]

What do you think? How can we improve relations?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Slaw Post: Viacom Vying for Your YouTube User Records

Yesterday at the Slaw blog I wrote a summary of the Viacom v. Google order that came out, ordering Google to release YouTube user records to Viacom.

I'm in the middle of reading Joseph Jaffe's latest book Join the Conversation (disclosure: I have a review copy for the purposes of blogging about the book) and see he anticipated this controversy. In the context of companies having to earn the right to become part of an existing community, he writes:
The major media and the music and entertainment companies like Viacom and Disney just don't understand that the larger world does not revolve around them and their self-contained worlds (real or virtual) anymore. They see YouTube stealing their lunch and their logical gut reaction is (a) to sue and (b) to create a cheap imitation. Try as hard as they might, and no matter how much money they sink into the beast, what they will never have going for them is the intangible sense of belonging that is community. (page 215)
He hasn't written any response to the latest order, but I hope he does try his hand at it. Some people say there is no way this order will stand, that it will be appealed. But then, why is Google talking about giving anonymized records? Will they give Viacom what they are asking for in such a way that it will become onerous (and therefore teach them a lesson)?

We live in interesting times indeed...

Some quick related links:

Steve Matthews on Rogers' Canadan iPhone Pricing

I can't help but agree with Steve Matthews' assessment of the pricing situation for the to-be-released iPhone from Rogers.

It's frustrating. Since I gave my blackberry back when I left my law firm I'm been holding off getting any sort of PDA or smart phone to see what would happen. I'm frustrated that a 3-year contract is required for any kind of reasonable pricing, and even then unlimited data is not available. I would love to start using a live-streaming video service like Qik but it will just not be practical without unlimited data.

I feel this is holding our whole country back from keeping up with the rest of the world's mobile industries. This 1990s thinking ("let's see how much money we can get out of them") is still holding back wide adoption of mobile technology. If they would drop the pricing so many more of us would sign up immediately.

I'm inclined to hold off buying any of the shiny new toys from Rogers (iPhone, Blackberry Bold, or the Palm Centro I was really coveting) because of the pricing. As someone who wants to be on the leading edge of computing, I'm just not sure what else to turn to. My current 3-year cell phone contract with Bell is up and I'm equally frustrated with the service I've had with it. The phone itself is nice, but the pricing too expensive to use all the funky web and music features. And the voicemail interface has a lot to be desired.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quickscribe - B.C. Legislation service evaluated in White Paper by Crosby Group

One of my first efforts as Crosby Group has been evaluating the B.C. legislation tracking/research service Quickscribe. An excerpt of the press release is below. I hope you find this report useful, and would love to hear your comments! Feel free to post feedback here or email me at conniecosby@gmail.com.

Quickscribe: A Comparison and Evaluation Report (White Paper) Released

[June 26, 2008] A new white paper comparing British Columbia legislative tracking services was released today by Crosby Group Consulting. The report titled, Quickscribe: A Comparison and Evaluation Report, was commissioned by Stem Legal Web Enterprises Inc. to objectively identify key differences between Quickscribe Services Inc. and the BC government offering QP LegalEze. Key findings from the Crosby Group report identified a number of advantages for Quickscribe Services, including:
  • faster system updates than QP LegalEze;
  • more competitive pricing;
  • easier navigation for users;
  • superior ‘alert’ technology for updates; and
  • more accessible customer assistance
The report is being released today, with permission from Quickscribe Services, at the request of Steve Matthews, Stem’s Founder and President.
Downloading the report:

* A full copy of the report is available (39 pgs) at: http://www.crosbygroup.ca/pdf/whitepaperquickscribe.pdf
* An executive summary (12 pgs) of the findings are available at: http://www.crosbygroup.ca/pdf/executivesummaryquickscribe.pdf

Crosby Group Website Up!

I am pleased to announce my new business website for Crosby Group Consulting, http://www.crosbygroup.ca, is now up and running! I also have a new blog called "Connection" at http://www.crosbygroup.ca/blog which will focus on community, social networking tools, and management strategy. This won't take the place of this personal blog http://conniecrosby.blogspot.com which I definitely could not give up! (I know it has been a little sparse lately but I'll soon be updating it).

I look forward to answering any questions you have about the new business. Easiest way to contact me is still conniecrosby@gmail.com until I get the new business email addresses working (my next personal little challenge).


Monday, June 16, 2008

Sabrina Pacifici Wins SLA Innovations in Technology Award

I am currently in Seattle at the SLA conference. SLA awards were handed out last night, and as I reported over at Slaw, my colleague, mentor and good friend Sabrina Pacifici was honoured with the J.J. Kellar Innovations in Technology Award for her long-standing work as creator, founder and sole editor of law and technology blog beSpacific and e-zine LLRX.com. Very well deserved.

Congratulations, Sabrina!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Response to Wendy Reynolds on Slaw: Why Librarianship?

If you haven't already seen it, you should read Wendy Reynolds' article on Slaw, Why Librarianship? I am delighted Wendy has joined us on Slaw. You may recall she had a short-lived but brilliant blog on knowledge management a couple years ago.

In this recent article, she questions whether librarianship is still a viable career option for those just starting out, whether she would recommend her niece to pursue this avenue. I personally don't hesitate to recommend librarianship to smart, inquisitive people who are interested in information, research, people and technology. Certainly our society is now based so much on information and technology, I believe talented students graduating from library school--especially if they have business savvy--will be in demand. They may need to sell their skills in areas that are not traditional library arenas, but they do have skills that are needed in many industries.

For me the question is more along the lines of whether law librarianship in Canada specifically is still a viable career option for someone just starting out. Academic law libraries are generally looking for a law degree combined with the library degree. In Toronto law firms we are also seeing what may be a trend away from librarians managing the libraries and instead having KM directors with law degrees overseeing the libraries directly. If one is interested in spending a career doing legal reference and research, there is still plenty of demand. But I wonder if there is enough demand now for those at the management level? As more law firm managers and directors retire, will we see those currently at the intermediate level moved up?

I am not judging the current trends, but am closely watching to see what happens. What is your take?