Recent Microblog Posts – February 25, 2009

DennisKennedy.Microblog is a supplement to this blog that can be found on Twitter at @dkennedyblog. I invite you to become a follower. An explanation of the microblog can be found here.
Here are posts from the microblog for the last week or so to give you a flavor of what expect:

Frederic Lardinois has stats on search engine inquiries getting longer – http://bit.ly/Yctyn – do you notice Google giving poorer results?
Adam Thierer on just how far the Internet has come since 1996 – http://bit.ly/NKQZ3 – makes me feel a little nostalgic
Ed Yourdon’s updated presentation on using Twitter in the enterprise – http://bit.ly/XTX1I
Eric Mack on using Twitter as a tool for personal knowledge management – http://bit.ly/1av4SV
Larry (@rocketmatter) Port explains cloud computing to lawyers – http://bit.ly/kLqID – a couple of quotes from me.
Tamar Weinberg on how to present while people are twittering – http://bit.ly/rDgsl – essential skills for today’s presentations [Note: actual post by Olivia Mitchell]
Rob Paterson on a transformational plan for public radio and television – http://bit.ly/15slE7 – Do these ideas apply in other settings?
How are things made? Evolving Excellence’s Factory Tour of the Week will show you – http://bit.ly/A76w6 Fascinating.
Doug Cornelius on ways webinars fail – http://bit.ly/jCTQb
A brand new way for lawyers to analyze contracts and other documents? http://bit.ly/sKS2E I’ve used on articles, but an interesting idea [Note: I got some questions about what I meant by this. My idea would be to use a tag cloud for a document to get a quick overview of key points and concepts in a document.]
More details on my #TECHSHOW presentations – http://bit.ly/lv55T #collaboration
Dave Taylor explains Twitter hashtags – http://bit.ly/S4YRh – try #collaboration, #techshow and #gas at http://search.twitter.com
The FASTforward Blog Guide to Twitter – http://bit.ly/j8IOJ
Want to understand cloud computing? Great explanation at http://bit.ly/TBTIN

Let me know what you think about the microblog idea.
Also, Tom and I have started to do some regular posting at the Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration blog. I invite you to check it out and add it to your RSS reader.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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By Request: Any Open Source Apps to Create Legal Pleadings and Documents?

As part of blawgiversary week at DennisKennedy.Blog, I’ve invited readers to send me their questions and I’ll try to answer each of them with a “By Request” post.
Not surprisingly, real life has intruded on my plan, so I’m running behind. However, keep sending your questions in and I’ll see how many I can answer this week.
Here’s the next question:
By Request: Any Open Source apps I can use on Ubuntu to create legal pleadings and documents?”
As longtime readers know, I’m a big fan of Open Source applications and the whole Open Source concept. However, I don’t use any flavor of Linux, Ubuntu or otherwise, so I don’t have an answer based on my own experience., although I have two suggestions for you.
If you are looking for Open Source software, I generally suggest checking Sourceforge to see what specific applications might be available. In this case, however, I’d suggest starting with something much simpler – Open Office. OpenOffice is an Open Source competitor to Microsoft Office. It’s available in a Linux version. I’d check into its capabilities and see if can do what you want it to do. Check some of the OpenOffice resources and forums to see if there are other suggestions. I just did a quick search and found some interesting comments on the topic here.
I’m also thinking that your question also shows some of the reasons Software as a Service (SaaS), or hosted applications, has become such an intriguing alternative. In SaaS, you are able to access the functionality of full-featured applications over the web using only a browser. On Ubuntu, you’d need only run a browser (such as Firefox) and find a hosted service that provides the functionality you need. For example, if you wanted to use document assembly to automate your forms and document creation, you could sign up for a doc assembly service like that from Exari and you be able to do what you want to do in a platform-independent environment.
Those would be my best two ideas. I invite readers to leave comments with other thoughts and recommendations.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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By Request: What Will It Take to Get Howard onto Facebook?

As part of blawgiversary week at DennisKennedy.Blog, I’ve invited readers to send me their questions and I’ll try to answer each of them with a “By Request” post.

Not surprisingly, real life has intruded on my plan, so I’m running behind. However, keep sending your questions in and I’ll see how many I can answer this weekend.
Here’s the next question:
“What Will It Take to Get Howard onto Facebook?”
OK. One of the risks in doing “By Request” is that people will ask questions that are too “insider” or don’t have application to my general audience. That said, I’ll still take a stab at this one.
Although on the surface, this might seem to be a question about one of my high school classmates, there are really two different, and increasingly important, questions hidden within this question, and I’ll answer those.
The two questions are: 1. How do you convince an adult, professional person (let’s say a lawyer) that it actually makes any sense at all to sign up for Facebook? And 2. Has it become obligatory for all of us to have an active Facebook account as part of our Internet presence?
Let’s take the second question first.
I’ve been on Facebook for a while. I did so as an experiment at the time bloggers and others first looked to Facebook as a possible platform for business networking. It’s still an experiment for me, and I have mixed conclusions about it. In fact, Tom Mighell and I did a podcast about a year-and-a-half ago about the ways lawyers might use Facebook. I’m not sure that my opinions in that podcast have changed in many meaningful ways since then.
My biggest difficulty with Facebook is that it is an additional silo for me – one more destination that isn’t among the first tier of Internet places I frequent. So, I’m not actually “on Facebook” that much, especially since I have an RSS feed for friends updates on Facebook.
That said, I’m gradually reaching the conclusion that having a Facebook page has become almost like having an email address. It’s one of the basic building blocks of an Internet presence, and it’s striking how often now I hear adults talking about having a Facebook page. The “killer app,” if you will, is using Facebook to reconnect with high schools, college and childhood friends.
The key word to keep in mind with a Facebook account is judgment, judgment and judgment, especially if you expect to have colleagues, clients or potential clients with any kind of access to your Facebook presence. Equally important is trying to make sure that your Facebook friends are friends who exercise good judgment as well, especially about you. In simplest terms, there are privacy settings on Facebook and you need to know what they are and how to use them.
Let me say it again: use good judgment.
Question #2. How do you convince someone who is reluctant or dubious that they need to be on Facebook?
I personally think that you can’t, but you can point to the path that will help someone make their own decisions.
In many ways, Facebook reminds me of the earliest days of Internet email in law firms. As I’ve said in several of my presentations, it wasn’t clients that led lawyers to use email; it was the children of law firm partners in college who wanted to communicate with them that moved lawyers to use Internet email. I see a similar pattern with parents today.
I probably cannot convince anyone of overwhelming benefits or “need” to get on Facebook, but I can point them to the ability to connect or reconnect with family, friends, high school classmates, fellow bloogers, legal technology experts, and the like. If there is a sufficient “hook,” people will try Facebook.
There are a lot of issues lawyers who use Facebook need to think through carefully (and I’m planning to write about that in the near future), but, in general, it will be the ability to connect personally with an important group of people that will motivate people to try Facebook.
Finally, what about the Howard question? What will it take?
I thought we were going to get him quite a while ago. When Mike got on Facebook, I thought we had him. When both Eric and Elaine were on, I thought we had him. When Howard IMed me that he was actually working on setting up an account, I almost believed him. I recently thought that Roger would be the tipping point. I doubt that this blog post will get him over the hump, but I’m an optimist. And I know that one day soon, we’ll see him and maybe even you on Facebook.
But remember the word “judgment” if you go there.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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By Request: Are You Aware of Any SharePoint Training Programs for Lawyers?

As part of blawgiversary week at DennisKennedy.Blog, I’ve invited readers to send me their questions and I’ll try to answer each of them with a “By Request” post.

Not surprisingly, real life has intruded on my plan, so I’m running behind. However, keep sending your questions in and I’ll see how many I can answer this weekend.
Here’s the next question:
“Are you aware of any tailor-made programs being offered as CLE programs, or simply in-house training presentations for Sharepoint use in-house or in the small/large (legal) office setting?”
My short answer is “no,” but I did some checking into this question.
When it comes to SharePoint questions, my “go to” person is my friend Randy Holloway at Microsoft, who, among other things, has written a book on SharePoint, SharePoint 2007 and Office Development Expert Solutions (Programmer to Programmer).
Randy pointed me to Microsoft’s online training for SharePoint Server 2007 as a good place to start. It has a set of 21 twenty to thirty minute sessions on a variety of topics.
For legal-specific SharePoint seminars, I’d consider attending the annual ILTA conference or seeing what local or regional ILTA programs might be scheduled on the topic of SharePoint.
I’m curious about whether readers have other suggestions for SharePoint seminars, online or live, or other ways to learn about SharePoint for law firms and legal departments. If you have suggestions, leave a comment.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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By Request: Can You Give Us More Details on Your Presentations at TECHSHOW?

As part of blawgiversary week at DennisKennedy.Blog, I’ve invited readers to send me their questions and I’ll try to answer each of them with a “By Request” post.
Today’s question was: “Can you give us more details on your presentations at TECHSHOW?”
While I like the new design of the ABA TECHSHOW 2009 site, I haven’t found a way to see in one place a list of presentations by speaker with descriptions of the sessions, so I’m sympathetic to this question.
I’ll be co-presenting at three sessions on Friday, April 3. All are about collaboration tools and technologies.
1. Building Bridges: Collaboration Tools Corporate Clients Will Love, with Joel Alleyne. (10:30 – 11:30)
Here’s the official description:

There is no room for inefficiency or insecurity during information exchange between client and law firm. Save your clients money and provide a unique experience by mastering the wealth of collaboration tools available to work with clients, co-counsel, and even opposing counsel. Extranets, webinars, SharePoint, online project management, online video conferencing and many more tools provide alternatives to voice and email communication. Come learn about the different options, both synchronous and asynchronous, to share information and collaborate on work product with these effective new technologies.

In this session, I’m expecting to focus on client-focused collaboration tools and strategies, with an emphasis on some fresh approaches to one of my longtime favorite themes – client-driven technologies.
2. Smart Ways to Work Together: Collaboration Tools and Technologies for Lawyers, with Tom Mighell. (12:30 – 1:30)
Here’s the official description:

Cut out the phone tag and down time while getting more work done with your colleagues. Learn what new or ripening technologies are available, how to select the right tool for the job, and practical tips for using collaboration tools in common settings, including ethical issues and other considerations. Shared calendars and documents, meeting managers, IM, wikis, video conferencing – it’s all waiting to boost your productivity, and much of it is FREE!

This presentation will, of course, be based on our book, but Tom and I have decided to take a modified “60 Collaboration Tips in 60 Minutes” approach to this session to maximize the amount of practical information we deliver and to provide useful info to all attendees regardless of their levels of experience or expertise with collaboration tools.
3. Collaboration Tools for Lawyers, with Tom Mighell (2:30 – 3:30)
Here’s the official description:

The authors of Collaboration Tools & Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together will lead this roundtable discussion, which will cover all the many technologies, both general and legal-specific, that lawyers can use to work together more effectively. Come hear what works for others, and share what has worked for you.

In this session, Tom and I want to focus on what the audience wants to learn. We are planning to use an “unconference” approach (probably some modified Open Space and LexThink techniques) to make the session as interactive as possible and to help share the experience and expertise of everyone in the room. It was great to see Bob Ambrogi’s blog post today with his very favorable response to his recent experience with “unconference” approaches. Here are some of my thoughts on unconferences.
In addition to the presentations, I expect to put in some volunteer time as a “conference concierge” at the entrance station, and expect that Tom and I will co-host one of the dinner outings.
If you still haven’t made a decision about attending TECHSHOW this year, now is the time to make up your mind. There’s a $200 early bird discount available until the end of February. If you join the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section (and you should if you read this blog and are an ABA member), you will be eligible for a discount as well. If someone else from your organization is also wanting to go, multiple attendee pricing is also available. Lots of good deals for a great legal technology conference. Hope to see you there.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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