The Value of Podcast Listening

The ABA Journal has published my latest monthly legal technology column in its July 2011 issue. The column is titled “Ear! Ear! Podcast Gains Are in the Listening, Not Creating.” The column focuses on the benefits of listening to podcasts and how to listen to podcasts better and more effectively than you might be doing now.

I am a huge fan of the podcasting medium and I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’m always looking for ways to find great podcasts and to manage them in good ways so that I always have great podcasts to listen to all queued up on my iPod. Unfortunately, most of the articles and materials you can find about podcasts, especially for lawyers, seem to be focused on creating podcasts rather than on simply listening to them.

I decided to fill this seeming void with a practical article sharing some of my favorite podcast listening tips and making my case that podcasts can be a fantastic resource for lawyers. Read the article and see how well I did.

I talk about the different ways you can obtain and listen to podcasts and how, despite the name, an iPod is not a necessary part of the experience.

I sketch out the basic approach of using the iTunes store to find individual episodes and, more important, to subscribe to podcasts to automatically receive new episodes. I also mention the great Huffduffer website as a way to locate well-regarded podcast episodes. And I reveal my latest trick of finding podcasts or audios from seminar presentations as a way to quickly get an overview of and up to speed on a new topic.

I also advocate turning your car into a commuting education center by running podcasts through your car stereo. Best of all, I talk about the radically, yet incredibly effective, approach of listening to podcasts at double speed.

As I say in the conclusion of the column:

Podcasts are a wonderful learning medium for lawyers. The richness and value of the free content will surprise you. It’s an easy and useful way to keep up with developments in your field and topics of interest, and to make better use of your commute and other listening times.

Check out the article here. And, of course, you might just want to start out your investigation of podcast listening with the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter ñ @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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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iCloud and Legal Technologists: New Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcasts

Tom Mighell and I have recorded two more episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. Let me remind you that if you subscribe in iTunes, each new podcast episode will automatically appear in iTunes for you for easy transfer to your iPod, iPhone or iPad.

Our last two episodes:

Lawyers in the iCloud (#58)

The episode description:

We used to focus on new Windows announcements and the software we installed on our PCs. Times have changed. The recent Apple announcements about iOS 5, Lion and most important, iCloud, have captured most of the headlines. The action is increasingly happening outside Windows and outside PCs. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about the recent Apple iCloud announcement, the possible implications of iCloud, and where iCloud suggests legal technology is going.

Tom likes to do topical news stories from time to time and recent announcements from Apple about the new Mac OS called Lion, iOS 5 and the iCloud certainly seemed newsworthy. We decided to focus on iCloud for this episode, even though I have a suspicion that iOS 5 might one day be seen as the biggest story.

Although admittedly, the fact that iCloud won’t debut until this fall made our assessments a little icloudy, we jumped right in and talked about the introduction of Apple’s big cloud computing offering. We start out with the basics and took off running with our observations about the implications of iCloud and how it might point to a post-PC world. We speculate on why Apple’s approach is different from that of Google and others (think apps vs. browser and invisible vs. visible).

We also touch on some of our favorite themes – mobile platform, anytime-anywhere computing, and, most important, how personal or home technology is forcing changes in technology and technology expectations at work. It’s a fascinating conversation and one that we had no idea when we started about where it would end.

In the second segment, we take on a question Paul Kedrosky raised in his blog post titled “What wow moments have you had in technology lately?” I’m not sure our answers will be a huge surprise, but it made us (and hopefully you) reflect on technology that really did change the way we thought.

In tour Parting Shots, Tom likes Seth Godin’s Email Checklist and I recommend the collection of speaker slides from ABA TECHSHOW 2011, during which Tom gives a realtime demo of how big a help the URL-shortening service Bitly can be.

So You Want to Be a Legal Technologist (#57)

The episode summary:

Over the last few years, legal technology has become a field, even a career for some. You will often hear the term ìlegal technologistî used to describe those in this field. How does someone get started in legal technology and what does it take to be considered a legal technologist? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the history of legal technologists, how to get started in the field, and what they wish they would have known when they started out.

Yes, the title is an illusion to a Byrds song later covered by Patti Smith.

In this episode, we discuss the idea of and the work of “legal technologists.”

People occasionally refer to Tom and I as legal technologists. We wanted to talk about what that means and the ways someone can become a legal technologist.

We start with a bit of history, invoking names like Bob Ambrogi, Ross Kodner and others. We make some distinctions between legal technologists and legal tech consultants for purposes of illustrating our points. We chart out our own paths to becoming known as legal technologists and then we offer a few thoughts about how people wanting to become a legal technologist might actually do that. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being known as a legal technologist.

In the second segment, we answer an audience question about Google’s new “+1″ feature. After the my disappointment with Google’s Wave and Buzz, I found myself more skeptical than Tom is about this new feature and its potential impact on search results.

We end with our Parting Shots. Tom likes social email – Rapportive, Xobni and Gmail’s new social add-on. I recommend a post on the How-to Geek blog called “7 Search Tips You Probably Don’t Know About.”

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. As I said earlier, I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and eliminate the need to wait to find out about new podcasts until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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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Decluttering Your Hard Drives

The ABA Journal has published my latest monthly legal technology column in its May 2011 issue. The column is titled “Declutter Home Hard Drives and Aid Performance.” The column covers some simple ways you can declutter, clean up and organize your hard drives. I do focus on your home computer(s), but similar principles will apply in the work setting.

Here’s the inspiration behind the column. I got a new personal computer for 2011 (MacBook Air) and needed to load data and files onto the new computer. That process got me thinking about whether there were some good ways to keep drives organized and to get them in good order after, seemingly inevitably, they get cluttered and wildly disorganized.

As I say in the column, “While it’s tempting just to buy a bigger drive or rely on desktop search tools or the enhanced search tools in recent versions of Windows and Mac OS X, these approaches are only short-term fixes.”

Although I couldnít resist the chance to work the buzzphrase “data hygiene” into the column, I decided to focus on a few basic principles and techniques – pruning, decluttering and organizing.

In pruning and decluttering, you look to eliminate duplicated and unneeded files and stop your computer from automatically creating and saving excessive numbers of files to free up space. After pruning and decluttering, you take a closer look at your approach to folders and try to simplify your approach.

Just some nuts-and-bolts concepts, but if you are moving data to a new computer, you’ll appreciate the making some efforts in these directions. Even if you are not moving to a new computer, you’ll appreciate having a cleaner, better-organized file structure.

Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter ñ @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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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Freemium, IgniteLaw and ILTA

I received a package in the mail today with several copies of the June 2011 issue of ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine.

On page 22, you will find my article called “Freemium,” which is loosely based on the presentation I did for IgniteLaw 2011 called “The Freemium Practice of Law.”

Even better, you can find a copy of my article online here.

The article discusses the potential application of Chris Anderson’s free and freemium principles from his book “Free” to the practice of law. I managed to reference Monty Python, Open Source software and modern portfolio theory, although, alas, my favorite reference to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in my IgniteLaw presentation hit the cutting room floor.

As many readers know, I occasionally use this blog to show some of my approaches to writing. You might be interested in comparing this article to my original IgniteLaw script to see the choices, especially in resequencing the points, I made when adapting the talk to an article format.

The rest of the issue looks great, but I wanted to highlight JoAnna Forshee’s article about IgniteLaw 2011 on page 132 (online here), which summarize IgniteLaw and points to ways others might use the “Ignite” format.

Let me know what you think of my Freemium article. I’d enjoy hearing about efforts to experiment with freemium approaches in the practice of law.

Thanks to the great people at ILTA (always a pleasure to work with) for their interest in this topic and for publishing my article. If you aren’t familiar with ILTA, you need to be.

[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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Recent Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcasts: The Legal Tech Multiverse and Digital Manners

Tom Mighell and I have recorded two more episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here.

Our last two episodes:

Missing Manners for the Digital Age (#56)

The episode description:

Should you really be checking your BlackBerry while I’m having a conversation with you? Do you need to reply to every email, text message, cell phone call and Twitter direct message? When is it OK to unfriend people on Facebook? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the evolving notion of “digital etiquette,” where people are most likely to make missteps in digital manners, and their take on guiding principles for good and polite behavior in our digital world.

Sometimes Tom and I know exactly where we want to go with our podcasts and sometimes it’s a surprise to us where they go. This episode is an example of the latter type. Before we hit record, we were saying that we had no idea where this one was going to go. At the end, we were quite pleased with the directions it had taken and some of the topics we touched on. See what you think.

The genesis for this episode was our appreciation for the new Slate podcast on digital manners called “Manners for the Digital Age” with Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe. The premise is that our new digital world might well require a whole new set of etiquette rules.

We take a look at whether traditional etiquette rules, the old email etiquette rules, or even good old common sense get us to where we need to be in our new social media world.

We touch on WIlliam Gibson’s notion that, especially with smartphones, the Internet now has intruded into and is part of our “real world” experience. We also have the feeling that “common sense” really doesn’t get us far enough. We discuss some of our own pet peeves and take some tentative steps for suggestions for ways to deal with digital etiquette.

In our Q&A segment, we dive into the topic of QR codes (note this blog’s QR code below). Our Parting Shots deal with gadgets and keyboard shortcuts.

The Legal Technology Multiverse (#55)

The episode summary:

As the number of legal technology options and platforms have increased, management of legal technology has become more complicated than ever before. Routine recommendations are changing because of smartphones, use of Macs, Web 2.0 and other changes. In important ways, our view of technology and even the Internet has become more personalized and less universal. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss how our technology is becoming more complex and varied, the resulting changes to questions you must ask and traditional recommendations, and ways to start to address the implications of this trend.

I’m of two minds about this podcast. I’m so pleased with the actual content and our treatment of the topic. I also quite disappointed that I had a technical glitch that required the use of the backup recording for me. Thanks again to the stellar crew at the Legal Talk Network for salvaging the episode.

In the episode, we discuss what we are calling the “legal technology multiverse” – the idea that there is no longer one common, universal technology or Internet experience and that each of us is starting to have our own unique technology experience. Apps play a big role in this and there are implications in both tech support and the very discussions we have about technology.

I recently spoke to a group of third year law students and invited them to ask me whatever they wanted about legal technology. I knew that there was a risk I’d get stumped, but I didn’t expect that I might get stumped by the very first question or that the first question would get me thinking about the legal tech multiverse.

The first question was about what might be a good case management software choice for a start-up law firm with a mixed Mac/PC environment.

Now, there are many great experts on case management tools, so it’s never been one of my strong topics – I turn to one of my expert friends. I was immediately on shaky ground, but I took a deep breath, said, “that’s a great question,” and, fortunately, found an answer starting to form.

What I realized, though, is that the “standard” case management advice, which has applied for many years, no longer stands alone. There are many nuances and answers to this question will vary based on a number of factors.

In the podcast, Tom and I explore not just this question, but the transition of legal technology and law firms from a relatively homogenous environment to a much more diverse environment than we’ve ever seen before. It’s not just Macs or the cloud. Smartphones, apps and other Internet technologies are moving into standard use. There is also a growing interest in Open Source software.

All of this raises a multitude of new questions, including, not least of which, where do you find good help for what you want to do.

This episode is one of our best and it was so disappointing to me to find my main recording had come out garbled.

In the rest of the show, we answer a question about recommend iPad apps. Our Parting Shots cover turning dual monitors into quadruple monitors and the valuable blog about using iPads in business, iPadCTO.

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. As I said earlier, I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and not wait until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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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