Windows 7 for the Legal Profession – My New ABA Journal Tech Column

My latest technology column for the ABA Journal is out. It’s called “Lucky No. 7?” and it takes a practical look about how to think about moving to Windows 7. Or not.
I leave the work of writing an actual software review of Windows 7 to others. I’m more interested in helping people get prepared and make a good decision about what they will want to do.
One of the most interesting developments in legal technology over the past few years is the way law firms decided to stay with Windows XP and not upgrade to Windows Vista. Even though Vista was Microsoft’s most controversial operating system release, the refusal of most lawyers to move away from Windows XP has left them in the interesting positon of considering leap-frogging Windows Vista and moving directly to Windows 7. As the column points out, this “skip” upgrade is the most difficult one to make.
In the column, I outline my approach to moving to new operating systems. In a nutshell, I don’t like to upgrade the OS of computers I use on a regular basis – I definitely prefer to move to a new OS by buying a new computer with it pre-loaded. There are lots of good reasons for that, and that’s my best advice for moving to Windows 7.
I offer in the column some useful resources, tips and suggestions. My conclusion is that, probably sooner than later, you’ll be moving to WIndows 7, which really does seem to be having a smooth rollout, if you stay in the Windows world. This is especially true if you are in the market for a new computer.
The money quote:

My perspective on operating systems is that they are simply platforms for running what I really care about—applications. The more transparent and unobtrusive the operating system is, the better I like it. And Microsoft seems to have succeeded in making Windows a more transparent operating system than ever before.
Also, the release of Windows 7 has raised the question of whether we are seeing the last major desktop operating system release. As people use the Internet for more applications, as in “software as a service” or cloud computing, the browser becomes the most important software on a computer. And browsers run on any operating system. Meanwhile, smartphones have also become an important computing platform.

I actually wrote the column a few months ago, and I’m pleased that events since I wrote the article have more or less confirmed what I wrote at the time. I was a little nervous about that.
If you are thiniking about Windows 7 for yourself or your firm, I recommend that you check out my new column as a starting point. I can also recommend a podcast on WIndows 7 that Tom Mighell and I recorded a few months ago.
REMEMBER: It’s “By Request December” at DennisKennedy.Blog. I’ll be answering reader questions all month about legal technology, blogging, social media or whatever topics interest you. Send me your questions. I’ll be starting to answer them soon.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 Twitter: @collabtools
Listen to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network. Twitter: @tkmreport
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Looking Back: Legal Technology in 2009 – New Podcast

Note: Thanks for all of the interest in and feedback on the Blawggie Awards announced last night. Be sure to check out the blogs of the winners and runners-up.
Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Looking Back: Legal Technology in 2009” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Bill4Time. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – we’re very pleased with the growing numbers of downloads the podcast is getting.
Here’s the episode description:

In part one of a two-part series on legal technology trends, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look back at the most significant developments in 2009. While the economy might have been the dominant story in 2009, a number of other currents were moving in legal tech waters. From ediscovery to social media to cloud computing to collaboration, you’ll get an overview of where we’ve been and what where we’ve been suggests about where we are going.

Part 2 will be look forward to legal tech in 2010.
Tom and I touch on some of the main themes of our earlier podcasts, my 2009 legal technology trends article, and other experiences and observations in our look back at legal technology in 2009. It’s difficult not to say that the economy was the over-arching story of legal tech in 2009. We touch on the economy, e-discovery, the mobile platform, collaboration and client-driven technology. You need to understand where you’ve been to know where you are going.
In our audience questions segment (we always welcome your questions for any podcast), we answered questions about whether law firms might jump directly from Microsoft Office 2010 from Office 2003 and whether Open Office had a place in law offices.
We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom notes that Microsoft Office 2010 in now available in a free beta version and talks about his experience with it so far. I give an update on my recent practice of listening to podcasts at double speed.
Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are at here.
And try some of the back episodes as well.
Just a note about the experiment we want to try with a public “wave” for the show we’ve opened up in Google Wave. If interested in joining the wave, you can either ask us to add you or, assuming you are already a Wave user, search for it in Wave using “with: public” “Kennedy-Mighell Report”. Among other things, we’ll use it as a way to gather questions for our audience Q&A segments and also use it as an experiment in how Google Wave might be used.
THE PODCAST IS NOW ON TWITTER. You can now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 Twitter: @collabtools
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Dennis Kennedy’s 2009 Law-related Blogging Awards (The Blawggies)

Welcome to the 2009 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, better known as the “Blawggies.” The Blawggies, which honor the best-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are now an annual pre-Christmas tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog. I’m very pleased that this sixth edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from nearly seven years of blogging and several more years before that of reading blogs voraciously.
Over the years, the reaction to the Blawggies has run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why isn’t mine included?” Actually, almost all of the reactions fall into the first category.
Seriously, though, I want to accomplish three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to the bloggers who write them.
2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.
3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and do their own awards posts. That has started to happen in the last year or two. When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital “B.”
So, the best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list. See, e.g., ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 or the Clawbies.
The Blawggie Criteria.
In general, I like to see blogs (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis. I read almost all blog posts in a newsreader, so the awards will reflect a bias toward blogs with full-text RSS feeds, as well as my many other biases and personal preferences, which are too numerous to list here.
It’s very important to remember that the awards also, necessarily, reflect the blawgs I actually read. That reflects my own interests and the focus on my own legal work. I read a lot of law-related blogs, but it’s still only a small fraction of the available blawgs. For example, I’m a transactional lawyer, so I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense or regulatory blogs. You get the idea. I also tend to focus more on law practice management and legal technology blogs than others might. Another reason to do your own list.
A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”
Among the historic documents of law-related blogging is a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” had on the question whether “Blawggies” should be spelled with one or two “gs.”As a result, I’m pretty confident of the correct spelling.
I tend to use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related” blogs. I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” (as opposed to “illegal blogs”?) to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover. You’ll also notice that the blogs I highlight fall more into the law practice category than the substantive law category.
The Twitter Factor.
Last year, I said, fairly presciently in my Blawggie post: “It’s easy to overstate the importance of Twitter as of right now, but the potential for the future is very intriguing. Even in the last month or so, you can see many of the law-related bloggers using microblogging as an alternative channel. Definitely the trend to watch.”
Many active bloggers actually tend to post more to Twitter than to their blogs. It’s definitely had an impact on the frequency of blog updates for many bloggers.
Executive Summary.
First, let’s do away with the suspense.
Here’s the “executive summary” of the award winners. I do encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices.
2009 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – SLAW
2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Tie: Steve Nipper’s The Invent Blog and Patrick Lamb’s In Search of Perfect Client Service
3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips
4. Best Legal Blog Category – Non-US Blawgs
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 – Bob Ambrogi’s and Craig Williams’ Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast
8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Legal Blog Award – Allison Shields’ Legal Ease Blog
9. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog
10. Best New Law-related Blog – Social Media Law Student
11. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology
12. Most Important Trend in Law-related Blogging – Tie: Group Blogs and Microblogging

I encourage you to read more about the winning blogs (and why they were winners) and the runners-up. If you’d rather simply see if your blog is named on mentioned, simply use the “find on this page” feature in the edit menu of your browser. ;-)
1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – SLAW
SLAW is a repeat winner. It is a group blog written by a steadily growing list of the brightest minds in Canada on the subject of law practice management and other legal topics. Like last year, whenever I sat down and thought about what blawgs were candidates for this award, I always came back to SLAW. It can be very difficult to achieve continuity and continue to keep momentum and quality with a group blog (especially where contributors have their own individual blogs), but SLAW has continued to succeed. I like the steady stream of high-quality, useful posts on a variety of topics, often with practical advice you can use immediately. Simon Fodden is the SLAW administrator and there is a stated aim “to share knowledge, offer advice and instruction, and occasionally provoke.” Which they do.
Runner-up - Bruce MacEwen’s Adam Smith, Esq. provides the best analysis of the business and economic aspects of the practice of law you will find. Constantly thought-provoking, this blog is mandatory reading in these complicated economic times).
2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – Tie: Steve Nipper’s Invent Blog and Patrick Lamb’s In Search of Perfect Client Service
I named this award for Marty Schwimmer’s lifetime achievement with The Trademark Blog in setting an example of what you can do with a practice-specific blog and because, otherwise, he would win every year. His blawg still rocks. This category is always a difficult one for me because I don’t read a lot of practice-specific blogs and there are many great blawgs in that cover topics well outside my area of focus (that’s another it makes sense for you to do your own awards).
I chose the two winners this year because they illustrate how you can maintain great practice-specific blogs with names other than “ Blog” and how the best practice-specific blogs can go “off topic” with great results.
Steve Nipper’s Invent Blog covers patent law, with lots of great practical information, but he also covers topics in his local community, technology tips and other useful information. When you combine Steve’s efforts on his blog with his Twitter presence, you can see how the many ways you can use social media to create visibility and community. The one thing that always stands out in Steve’s efforts is a sense of helpfulness.
Patrick Lamb’s In Search of Perfect Client Service is a great example of a way to use a blawg as platform for thoughtful commentary and grow an audience for that material that also cannot help but conclude that this thoughtfulness and insight must also be part of your lawyering skills. Patrick is in the forefront of alternative billing and client-focused innovation in providing legal services and his blog will keep you on top of developments in those areas.
Runner-up – Matt Buchanan’s Buchanan Intellectual Property Office is the continuation and evolution of Matt’s Promote the Progress. I really like where Matt is going – he is one of the most insightful of all lawyer bloggers – but, as he reminded me recently, this is a blog-in-progress. I want to see where the progress takes us.
3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips Blog
Every now and then, a blogger will get in the “zone” and write a string of great posts, one after another. Jim had one of those stretches this year, where everything he posted was great. Jim is the Practice Management Advisor of the Oklahoma Bar, a popular author and speaker, and one of the most knowledgeable experts on law practice management you will ever find, especially in the solo and small firm space. His genuine helpfulness and willingness to teach always shine through in his blog.
Runner-up - Bruce MacEwen’s Adam Smith, Esq. could win this category every year and has long been one of the best law practice management blogs, with an audience of some of the biggest decision-makers in the legal profession. Bruce has a great talent for applying economic analysis to the business of the practice of law and writing about it in a compelling and engaging manner. The blog offers vital insights and perspective in these complex economic times.
4. Best Legal Blog Category – Non-US Law-related Blogs
There is a whole world of law-related blogs outside the US. If I could read a language other than English, I’m sure that I’d know even more about these than I do now. The United Kingdom blawgs got my attention this year, but, as many readers know, I really like the Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global and there’s no better place to start than in Canada.” The Clawbie Awards are a great starting point for Canadian law-related blogs, which cover a wide variety of law practice management, technology and knowledge management. It’s time to diversify the list of blogs you read and move outside the US.
Runner-up – For my money, you just can’t beat the law librarian blogs for great information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information.
5. Best Legal Blog Digest – Stark County Law Library Weblog
Another repeat winner. Some blogs that aggregate information from other legal blogs, digest posts from other legal blogs or highlight and point to posts on other legal blogs. You can effectively monitor the best posts from a number of blogs in one place. Nancy Stinson at the Stark County Law Library Weblog is my favorite example of this category. She makes excellent choices and it’s a great way to keep up with developments in the blawgosphere when you don’t have much time.
Runner-up - Legal Blog Watch. There was a momentous transition this year when Carolyn Elefant stepped away from the Legal Blog Watch, but they’ve done a good job of keeping momentum. Legal Blog Watch is another great place to find links and commentary on some of the best blawg posts of the day in one handy place.
6. Best Blawg About Legal Blawgging – Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs
The name of this category is an inside joke so I could make Kevin use the word “blawg,” which he hates, when he mentions that he won this award. As I said in 2008, “No one covers the world of legal blogging (and now related topics like Twitter and social networking) better than Kevin does. And no one today knows more about the practical aspects of legal blogging and what lawyers are doing in blogging than Kevin does. . . . If you want to learn how to start blogging and how to blog better, there’s no better place to start than Kevin’s blog.”
Runner-up – The vast majority of attention has been on lawyer’s using Twitter and other forms of social media than blogs this year. However, you can learn a lot about blogging simply by looking at and reading as many blogs as you can and noting what you like and dislike. For years, Tom Mighell’s Tom Mighell’s Inter Alia has offered a Blawg of the Day feature that both provides a service to the blawgging community and gives you a way to find lots of new blawgs. It also is a great way to spot trends and patterns and see what is happening in terms of design and content in new blogs.
7. Best Legal Podcast – Bob Ambrogi’s and Craig Williams’ Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast
Disclosure: Our podcast, The Kennedy-Mighell Report, is now produced by the Legal Talk Network and I’m an unabashed fan of the production team at LTN. That has no impact on my choice, but you might wish to factor that into account Interestingly, we’re at LTN in part because of an off-hand comment I made about re-starting our podcast in last year’s Blawggies post.
The winning podcast is Bob Ambrogi’s and Craig Williams’ Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast is, I believe, the longest-running regularly-scheduled legal podcast, with well over 100 episodes. The podcast does a great job of pulling in great guests on the leading topics of the day. The coverage is broad, which is both a plus and a minus, since an episode might stray outside your area of interest.
Runner-up – While I’m really likely where we are going with The Kennedy-Mighell Report, I’m not sure I have a clear runner-up this year. There are some good law-related podcasts out there, especially on the , but, even more so than blogs, your interest in legal podcasts will be directly proportional to what you are interested in. As a big podcast fan, let me just highlight a few good ones for you to sample – Denise Howell’s This Week in Law; The Digital Edge with Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway; Charon Podcast, and Adrian Dayton’s Weekly Voir Dire.
8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Legal Blog Award – Allison Shields’ Legal Ease Blog
I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best legal bloggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who is now blogging at Rhubarb Pie). This is my favorite of the Blawggies. In most years, I spend a lot of time making my decision, but I’ve known who the winner this year would be for a long time.
This year’s winner is one of last year’s runners-up, Allison Shields at the Legal Ease Blog. I said last year that “Allison has a practical, comfortable style, focused yet informal, that strikes me, after meeting her, as right in line with her speaking style – I enjoy her writing, no matter the topic.” Allison covers a number of areas- law practice management, legal marketing, legal technology. She is succinct, well-organized and fills her posts with a surprising amount of sage advice, often in a fairly short post. I always read whatever she writes.
Runner-up – Tie: showcases Jordan’s stylish and thoughtful essays on a variety of law practice topics. Often the first to delve into a topic, Jordan always makes you think and his posts are often retweeted by many people on Twitter. Ernest “Ernie the Attorney” Svenson is one of the pioneering lawyer bloggers and, although he doesn’t write so much about law any more, he’s great on legal technology, New Orleans and wry observations about the human condition. I always enjoy reading whatever Ernie writes.
9. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog
The Blawggies have always had a spot for the best law professor blawg. In part, it’s my little effort to bring closer (unsuccessfully, as of yet) the great divide between practicing lawyers and law professors (although realizing that a favorable mention of a law professor’s blog outside academia might be disastrous for his or her tenure chances, I try to be careful). When I find an interesting post in Google Reader, I star it. I’m not sure any law-related blog has gotten more starred posts than Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog, although my early background in tax law has something to do with that. Paul covers not just tax issues, but the economic turmoil, law school topics and more.
Runner-up - Tie: Jim Maule’s Mauled Again is another great tax law blog with a broader scope and very interesting posts. Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog has great coverage of cyberlaw and intellectual property law issues.
10. Best New Law-related Blog – Social Media Law Student
As you will see in the next award, the two biggest trends in law-related blogging in 2009 were group blogs and social media. This category’s winner combines both and answers the question “what will blogs of people who establish a reputation in Twitter or other social media look like?” In fact, I’ve argued that this blog gives us a glimpse of what the next generation of blogging will look like. For the purists out there, I realize that the winner had a few posts in late 2008, but I’m still counting it as a new blawg for 2009.
The story of Rex (@rex7) Gradeless and his immense Twitter following has been widely told, but fewer people know about the blog that grew out of the initial Twitter success. Social Media Law Student is a group blog that he is a founder of and it covers a lot of territory in the areas of social media and law and law practice. It’s evolved into a great resource with thoughtful articles with a slightly irreverent style and lots of energy. Definitely a blog to watch.
Runner-up - Tie: Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. and the Hildebrandt Blog. Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. is the perfect example of a niche legal technology blog. Great coverage of the use of the iPhone in legal practice – developments, tips, news, apps recommendations. I don’t even have an iPhone and I’m a regular reader. The Hildebrandt Blog is almost too new for me to mention, so I hope they keep it going for a while. Suffice to say, it’s off to a great start with insightful and incisive posts on law practice management topics, exactly what you’d hope to see from one of the leading law practice management consulting firms.
11. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology
Longtime readers will know that I used to give my own blog this award every year, which had more to do with the tendency for the author’s attribution on a list like this to disappear when the list gets reposted on the Internet than my sense of humor about putting myself on the list. Last year, I simply named this award after my blog so I could keep a mention and a link in the post. There’s no bigger fan of legal tech blogs than I am and it’s always difficult for me to pick a winner, but this year I felt one blog really stood out.
Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology was last year’s runner-up and Ron has, especially lately, been posting great items on the “big picture” legal technology topics (he’s great on outsourcing, for example) and legal technology strategy. In a way, his blog reminds me on an Adam Smith, Esq. on legal technology. The fact that Ron and I have similar perspectives on legal technology and similar interests doesn’t hurt either.
Runner-up – I couldn’t decide on a legal tech blog as a runner-up, so I decided to go with a tech advice blog I really like that I think many lawyers will find quite useful – Ask Dave Taylor, which is a great Q&A blog that offers practical answers to all kinds of technology questions. Give it a try.
12. Most Important Trend in Law-related Blogging – Tie: Microblogging (Social Media) and Group Blogging
It is impossible to overestimate the impact Twitter and social media have had on law-related blogging in 2009. I use the term microblogging to describe the use of Twitter as a vehicle to publish content that might have otherwise gone into a blog post. Because a post on Twitter (known as a “tweet”) is limited to 140 characters, microblogging consists of quick insights, short observations and pointers to links. There are also community and communications aspects to Twitter/microblogging that are somewhat different than what you get with blogging and comments.
What happened in 2009 was that microblogging siphoned a huge amount of content and energy away from blogging into social media. I like to say that any tweet on DennisKennedy.Microblog (my blog’s Twitter account – @dkennedyblog) would have probably ended up as an extended post on my blog in the past. The same is true for many other bloggers. So, we are seeing a movement of bloggers into social media and, even more interesting, a movement of people successful in social media into blogging (e.g., Social Media Law Student). Where it will end up, I don’t know, but it’s definitely where the action is in law-related blogging.
A second trend, somewhat related, is the movement to group blogging. If a blogger is running a blog, participating in other blogs, using social media, podcasting and other things as well, something has to give. Often, the traditional blog post is what gets pushed back and you see bloggers posting to their blogs much less frequently than before. One solution is to add additional bloggers to an existing blog. Another approach is simply to start group blogs. Law firms are also using the group blogging approach to get blogs up and running.
I, only half-jokingly, like to say that I’ve participated in more now-dead group blogs than any other blawgger. I can attest to the fact that it is very difficult to sustain group blogs over the long haul.
Runner-up – Federation. There might be a better word for this. The idea is that, if I have all of these outlets for what I am producing, I should be able to see them automatically in one place and people should be able to subscribe to everything I’m doing in one place. People are looking at things like FriendFeed, Posterous and other tools/services for help with this.
And there you have it – the 2009 Blawggie Awards.
As usual , it’s painful not to give awards to all the blogs I like, but, as with any awards, you have to make some choices. I’m making available for download soon an OPML file with the Blawggie winners and a list of many of the other law-related blogs to which I currently subscribe and grabbed for this list. Follow the instructions in your RSS reader for importing OPML files and you’ll be able to instantly start reading the law-related blogs I do. I welcome your feedback, but, as ever, I really invite you to post your own awards as a way of saying “thank you” to the blogs and bloggers that matter most to you. Or, perhaps most important, if you don’t have a blog, but have been thinking about starting one, I encourage you to jump right in.
Best wishes for 2010.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 Twitter: @collabtools
The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast – Legal technology with an Internet focus.
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Recent Microblog Posts – December 20, 2009

Here’s the latest collection of posts from DennisKennedy.Microblog, which 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.
Remember that December is “By Request” month at DennisKennedy.Blog. I invite you to ask your questions and I’ll try to answer them in blog posts.
Here are recent posts from the microblog:

Andy Oram’s great blog series – “Being online: identity, anonymity, and all things in between” –
Jane Genova: “Writing Instructors: Sentence students to 3 hrs. reading mainstream legal media” –
Ron Friedmann on “New vs. Old Thinking about the Legal Market” – – toward a “new and better regime”
Michelle James: “Improv Theater and Complex Adaptive Systems” – – 7 basic improv principles
Yvonne Divita on looking forward, not backward, and the importance of taking a retreat –
Celine Roque’s tips and tricks for making the most out of Google Reader –
Allison Shields asks “Are you paying attention to what (and whom) you are attracting?” –
Jordan Furlong on the “hyperlocal lawyer” – – extreme-niche lawyering in your future?
Saw great documentary Waterlife a week ago and I’m still thinking about it –
Robert Paterson: “The Dreadnought Moment has come for Pub TV – KETC” – – new media in St. Louis
New blog post: By Request: What Do You Think of Google Wave So Far? The LazyWave Experiment –
Adam Pash: Most Popular Free Windows Downloads of 2009 –
Jack Vinson (@jackvinson) on scanning the filters and filtering the scans – – dealing w/ info overload
Georgina Laidlaw on building a better portfolio –
Trent Hamm – The Best Career Advice: Do Stuff –
Chris Brogan on revisiting your site carefully (and thoughtfully) –
Steve Rubel: “nowadays no two people see the same Internet.” – - important to always remember this
Joe Weinman on hedging your options for the cloud – – modern portfolio theory for the cloud?
Katie Donnelly tells how St. Louis’s KETC’s Mortgage Crisis Project Brings Public into Public Media –
RT @tommighell Check out latest Kennedy-Mighell Report – Going Mobile: The Rise of the Mobile Platform
RT @nipper: New iPhone app Dragon Dictation is completely free for a limited time.
By Request December continues at DennisKennedy.Blog – topic is LegalTech NY (#ltny) and ABA TECHSHOW (#techshow) –
It’s “By Request December” at DennisKennedy.Blog and today’s installment is “Advice for 1Ls”
Digital Inspiration: “The Biggest Nuisance on Facebook – Photo Tags” – – review your settings

Check out the latest episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast on the Legal Talk Network – “Going Mobile: The Rise of the Mobile Platform”
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 Twitter: @collabtools
Listen to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on Legal Talk Network. Twitter: @tkmreport
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By Request: What Do You Think of Google Wave So Far? The LazyWave Experiment

December is “By Request” month at DennisKennedy.Blog. I’m invite you to ask your questions about legal technology and other issues I cover in this blog, or even stuff I don’t usually cover. I’ll my best to answer them during the month.
Here’s the question:
What Do You Think of Google Wave So Far?
Google Wave, once you cut through the hoopla and hyperbole, is, according to Wikipedia, “a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.”
While some consider Google Wave as the next generation of email or even the replacement for email, Gina Trapani’s fundamental insight that Wave is “mostly a document collaboration tool” is the most useful way to think about Wave. In fact, Wave addresses and corrects the most annoying omission from Google Docs (Google’s collaborative word processing tool) in that it allows collaborators on a document to communicate in real-time without switching over to a separate instant messaging tool.
There was initially a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about Wave, in part from the outsized expectations for it, in part because it had an invitation-only release where only a limited number of people could try it, and in part because, as I am wont to say, there is a consensus that email is not really working for any of us very well anymore.
After a month or so of people working with Google Wave, it’s probably fair to say that people experimenting with Wave are generally underwhelmed, puzzled and still trying to figure out how they might use it well. If there’s one word that captures the general reaction I’ve heard, it would definitely be “Meh.”
Tom Mighell and I set up a public Wave in connection with our podcast, in part as a way to generate questions for our audience Q&A segment (we’re looking for more questions for our recording session this week) and in part to provide a place to continue conversations started by the podcast. If you are already a Wave user, search for it in Wave using “with: public” “Kennedy-Mighell Report.”
There’s been some activity, but not a whole lot. The This Week in Law podcast has a similar public Wave and I’d say it has had mixed results at best.
Other Waves I’ve been part of seem to gradually wash out.
One Wave that I found successful illustrated that Wave is really useful as an instant message platform for multiple people who are available at the same time to talk about a specific topic. I started an ad hoc discussion of the pricing of the recent release of our collaboration book on the Kindle platform with some other Kindle authors. It was great while we all online one evening, but the discussion died off afterwards.
At this point, it strikes me that Google Wave could work well for document collaboration, brainstorming, planning a presentation or conference and the like, where notes could be collected and gathered. But, you can do that on Google Docs, too.
It could also work well as a companion or adjunct to a podcast, webzine, conference or even an article. But, the comments section on a blog post or even a wiki can accomplish similar things.
As I said, I really think Wave works well as a multi-participant instant messaging platform. But, you can accomplish something similar with Skype or other IM tools.
Wave is definitely in beta. There are some uses that people will build out and find that they work. Bob Ambrogi has written a good article called “Google’s Wave” (free registration currently required) that explores ways lawyers might use wave and suggests some ways that lawyers might experiment with Wave. In my opinion, Bob is a bit of an optimist on some of these ideas, but his list gives a roadmap for lawyers who might want to experiment with Wave.
Speaking of experimenting, this brings me to my latest idea for using Wave. I’m calling it the “LazyWave.”
Many of you will recall the long-running web tradition of “lazyweb,” pioneered by Matt Jones and Ben Hammersley, which was the first example of what people now tend to call “crowd sourcing.” The idea was that you simply put up a question on your website or blog and hoped that knowledgeable members of your audience would answer it for you. As the Wikipedia entry says:

“Asking the lazyweb” as a phrase has become a way to request an idea you have neither the time nor the inclination to create.

Examples might be: “In Boston next week, looking for a good lobster restaurant that’s affordable.” “iTunes not syncing my podcasts to my iPod Touch. Any suggestions?” “Want to buy a small (<25”) HDTV – what’s a good choice?" Sometimes you got answers and sometime you didn’t, but it was a quick way to do research with little effort. You can still see the actual site, which shuttered in 2006.
So, it struck me that the same idea/principle could be used in Wave, and that Wave could be a perfect vehicle to be a platform for “lazy” requests, those where you might not know the answer but others might know the answer off the top of their heads and be willing to share the answer.
There are a couple ways this LazyWave could be done – public, private, small, focused, etc.
I got the idea for this the other day when I was thinking about getting a new computer bag. Usually, when I’m thinking about a new computer bag, I’m interested in what people like my pals Reid Trautz, Matt Homann, Ross Kodner, Adriana Linares and others who travel and speak frequently on legal tech are now using, recommending or wanting.
I thought, hey, this might be a job for Google Wave. I could ask the question as the start of a new “wave” discussion and see what everyone had to say.
Then I thought I could take it a step further. What if I put together a “wave” that stayed open, added a group of knowledgeable experts (or least people with shared interests) and encouraged these people to drop in and participate and ask their own questions from time to time. We could all share answers to questions, insights and experiences. This seemed to be a good way to experiment with Wave.
I also thought it reflected the “Lazyweb” approach. I thought I might even call it my “LazyWave.” When I think I might have come up with a new term, I always figure that someone else has probably used it already and run a Google search. Interestingly, at least to me, was that when I did a quick search on Google, no one seemed to have used this word for this purpose (and still hadn’t as of tonight).
I went ahead and started a Wave I called my LazyWave as a placeholder until I decided how I wanted to work it. It looked like I could not start a Wave unless I added another person to the Wave. I added Tom Mighell and he noticed it before I could explain to him what I had in mind. Tom’s response: “Okay – the point? Especially if it’s just you and me?”
A less than auspicious start.
To sum up, very mixed, generally disappointing, results with Wave. A couple of areas where I see good potential, even though other tools accomplish similar things. And a couple of ideas, like the podcast Wave and my LazyWave (as yet still an) idea.
I’d be curious to hear specific examples of Wave uses that readers have found successful.
Hope that helps. I welcome your comments and questions.
REMEMBER: It’s “By Request December” at DennisKennedy.Blog. I’ll be answering reader questions all month about legal technology, blogging, social media or whatever topics interest you. Send me your questions.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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