The “Blog or Website” Question

Jeff “LawTechGuru” Beard has a good post on the increasingly-common question of whether to start with a blog or a website.
I know that the question is increasingly common because I was standing with Jeff when a couple of the people he mentions raised the question.
By the way, like Jeff, my current response is definitely a blog and, in most cases, hosted on TypePad. For the reasons Jeff mentions and others, starting with a blog and gradually building out standard “website” features makes the most sense if you are in the position where you are asking that question.
But I’m still surprised when someone with a law practice tells me that they have neither a website nor a blog.

How to Help Someone Use a Computer

From Roland Tanglao: Phil Agre’s How to Help Someone Use a Computer is a piece that I wish I could have written. Unfortunately, I break too many of these rules (although I sense that I’m doing so when I do) because I don’t have quite enough patience.
Phil’s points are so wise and on point that each of us should use them as a starting point when helping others learn to use a computer or any other tool, for that matter.
I especially agree with his point of getting down to eye-level rather than standing over someone’s shoulder.
A few of my favorites:
“Don’t take the keyboard. Let them do all the typing, even if it’s slower that way, and even if you have to point them to every key they need to type. That’s the only way they’re going to learn from the interaction.”
“Attend to the symbolism of the interaction. Try to squat down so your eyes are just below the level of theirs. When they’re looking at the computer, look at the computer. When they’re looking at you, look back at them.”
“Explain your thinking. Don’t make it mysterious. If something is true, show them how they can see it’s true. When you don’t know, say “I don’t know”. When you’re guessing, say “let’s try … because …”. Resist the temptation to appear all-knowing. Help them learn to think the problem through.”
“Take a long-term view. Who do users in this community get help from? If you focus on building that person’s skills, the skills will diffuse to everyone else.”

Steve Gillmor on Why Microsoft Needs RSS

Steve Gillmor’s Memo to Steve Ballmer sets out the case for RSS in an open letter to Micrososoft’s Steve Ballmer. It’s a great article to show people who don’t get the point of RSS.
Gillmor concludes:
“RSS may appear to be just a niche technology, a hippie miracle cure for everything from information overload to e-mail dysfunction. But I’d like to see the data on relapsing from RSS. Once you kick the browser, it’s very hard to go back to the old way of doing things. I look forward to hearing from you, perhaps via your own RSS feed. That’s one channel I look forward to subscribing to.”

Sites We Wish Had RSS Feeds

Amy Gahran has launched a project that there has been a crying need for – talking bloggers with great blogs into adding RSS feeds.
A huge thank you to Amy for this. Note that she includes a sample form letter for you to send to non-feed-sending bloggers.
I’m always frustrated to find a blog with excellent material, but no RSS feed, because I realize that the chances of me returning to the blog on my own on a regular basis are almost nil.
Help start an RSS feed today.

TECHSHOW Mini-Roundup

Well, I didn’t quite get my notes and thoughts on TECHSHOW pulled together today. Luckily, Jeff Beard and Bob Ambrogi have already posted some substantive coverage.
I plan to post a debriefing or two, but, man, did I have fun, and I learned a lot and met some great people.
Coming soon: There were a lot of comments about there being nothing all that new in legal tech. Au contraire. Unless I’m significantly behind the curve and everyone else is really up-to-date with what I saw (and, more importantly, the implications of what I saw and heard), there’s more innovation happening now than I’ve ever seen and the pace of change in law is going to accelerate more quickly than many will expect.
I’ve been saying for a while that one trend we’ll see is tech-savvy lawyers leaving large firms to start solo and small firm practices. Those who are thinking along those lines might want to step up their timetables.