Friday, May 28, 2010

I Am Not Radical Enough

I don't take things far enough. I haven't pushed the envelope enough. You see me and you think "wow, she is doing a lot." But really, I'm not doing enough. 

I have not done enough to provoke you. I am just too middle-of-the-road-nice and likable.  I have not done enough to get you angry so that you leap out of your seat and feel compelled to act.

How do I know? What is my measure? It is because I do not hear from you. You are not engaged, you are not commenting. This blog is over 6 years old. At first I thought "oh, it is because librarians are shy about being online."  But I see plenty of librarians on Facebook and on Twitter and on listservs talking up a storm.  But on the blogs you fall silent.

Many ideas pass through this blog, and you think "ah yes, something new to learn." But, what do you really learn? Do you take any of this and use it?  

I have not done my job. I have not gone far enough. I have not provoked you. How can I change this?

Photo: Free Children of The Revolution Punk Girl With Fun Mohawk by Pink Sherbet Photography, original photography by D Sharon Pruitt, made available under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Martha Murphy on Media Mining the Internet

I first met Martha Murphy of the Fire Sciences Library at the Office of the Fire Marshal in one of my classes at the Professional Learning Centre (now the iSchool Institute) at the University of Toronto a few years ago.

Martha has been a leader in thinking creatively on how to use social media tools in both research and the dissemination of information to her stakeholders.  This recent presentation gives a good overview of some of the tools she is using. In it she discusses the use of these tools for:
  • mining information
  • building your personal image and reputation management
  • providing customer service
  • crisis communication
  • brand awareness

I suggest you also view the other presentations by Martha Murphy for additional ideas.

Update:  As proof that "great minds think alike" I noticed Wendy Reynolds posted a column on yesterday discussing another presentation she did as a panelist with Martha Murphy for Showcase Ontario. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New on - a Redesign and an Anniversary

If you haven't visited the blog lately, you must drop by!  Simon Fodden has led us in a fabulous makeover giving the site not only a new look but also new content. We now have a whole new distinguished cadre of columnists writing on justice issues, legal information, legal marketing, legal publishing, legal technology, outsourcing, and the practice of law. The re-development of Slaw was kindly assisted by a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

This has meant the rest of us daily bloggers have had to pull up our socks!  My latest two blog posts were inspired (no surprise to you, dear readers) by my latest foray into conferences and presentations:

A Tale of Two Conferences:  CALL 2010 and LSUC Solo and Small Firm (May 17, 2010)

Information Work Versus Knowledge Work (May 24, 2010)

I have to say, all the conference sessions I attended and people I have spoken with over the past few weeks have given me a lot to think about. And I am feeling inspired again about blogging. Hopefully that will be reflected both here and on Slaw.

And in case you missed it, we recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of Slaw with a little party captured in this video put together by Canadian Lawyer magazine:

Incidentally, that is me running around with the macbook in the video. I was connected to Steve Matthews in B.C. via Skype so that he could see and hear what was going on at the party. We did our best to all say a few words to Steve who is a vital part of Slaw.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Role of Web 2.0 in Legal Services via the Internet

Three weeks ago I spoke on a panel at the Legal IT 4.0 conference in Montreal. I spoke alongside Olivier Charbonneau of Concordia University and Michel Gamache of Heenan Blaikie in Montreal; we explored the role of Web 2.0 and whether it is becoming a threat to legal knowledge.

In my part of the presentation, I took on the idea that Richard Susskind put forward in his 2008 book The End of Lawyers? whether the work of lawyers will be replaced by non-lawyer people supported by sophisticated Web 2.0 systems.

Is Web 2.0 a Threat to Legal Knowledge? -- Legal Services via the Internet

View more presentations from Connie Crosby.

I have additional thoughts on the topic to share, but am going to save them for an upcoming post on In the meantime, I wanted to get this online to share with you. Please note most of the other presentations are available from the Publications page of the Legal IT conference.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CALL/ACBD/MichALL 2010 Presentation: Legal Research Free and Fast! - Web 2.0 Sources

This works well as a companion presentation to the panel talk I gave yesterday: online sources and search tools of the Web 2.0 variety in the legal industry. Grab your RSS feed and use it with some of the things you learned about in yesterday's session!

I only have a few minutes to post this, so hope to say a little more later on. These slides will also be posted to the CALL/ACBD/MichALL 2010 conference website once the dust settles.

Some additional sources mentioned by Catherine Sanders Reach in her talk yesterday:
I'm sure there are others out there--what are your search tools and tricks for social media searches?? Please share with us!

I thank MichALL for the opportunity to take part in this panel discussion!

Monday, May 10, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Facebook Privacy Settings How-to from David Lee King

Okay, I don't mean to make this blog all about Facebook, but a lot of people I know use Facebook and perhaps don't know about the recent privacy setting changes.

Every Tuesday the awesome David Lee King of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library puts together a video in a series he calls "Tech Tuesdays". This week he walks through the new privacy settings on Facebook. It is well worth following David's blog if you aren't already. I always find he is about a year or two ahead of me in anything I am doing, so a good person to watch on where things are heading for libraries and all things new media!