Technology-Lawyer

Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Archive for December, 2012

Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW 2013?

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW?

The answer is: Yes, I have been invited to speak at two sessions. I definitely want to make my return to ABA TECHSHOW after the blood clot in my leg last spring forced me to cancel my trip to ABA TECHSHOW 2012.

ABA TECHSHOW 2013 will be held April 4 – 6, 2013. If you are interested in learning practical ways lawyers can use technology better, it’s the place to be.

On Thursday, April 4, from 2:00 to 3:00, I’ll be co-presenting with Allison Shields a session called “Leveraging LinkedIn & Finagling Facebook: Building Relevance on Leading Social Media.” It’s on the Social Media Track and is labeled for an “Intermediate” audience. Here’s the description from the schedule:

LinkedIn is no longer just “the professional’s” social network any more than Facebook is just the “personal” social network. The volume of users and traffic requires that you market to both. Learn how to derive value from both of these essential platforms. Explore the differences, identify necessary information to complete profiles, and learn valuable insights into the best features. Review tools to maximize the benefits of these services, and acquire up-to-date information needed to customize privacy settings to avoid ethical pitfalls.

I wanted to be clear that I wouldn’t have chosen the word “finagling” to use in this title and am not quite sure how it’s being used, but let’s agree to use the word in the sense of one of its dictionary meanings: “to plan out usually with subtle skill or care.” Maybe we can get the title changed.

Allison and I plan to share as many practical insights and tips from our Facebook and LinkedIn “In One Hour” books as time will permit, so you should get especially good value from the the session.

The second session I’m scheduled for will be with Patrick Crowley and is simply called “Mobile Collaboration.” It will be on Friday, April 5, from 2:30 to 3:30. It’s labeled for an “Introductory” audience. Here’s the description:

Technology can cut the costs of working with others in a variety of locations, locally or abroad. Google+ Hangouts, Facetime, Google Drive, Cloud Connect, SharePoint and others can help you not just keep in touch, but collaborate with other lawyers in your firm, co-counsel, or clients in real time. Learn how you can utilize your mobile device to provide better service to your clients by sharing documents, developing ideas, and boosting your productivity whether you’re in or out of the office.

I have written a new article about mobile collaboration that is scheduled to appear in the Law Practice Today webzine in January. Mobile collaboration will be one of the hot topics in legal tech in 2013, so I’m excited to get the chance to speak at this session.

Although not yet finalized, I’m expecting to be co-hosting a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner event with Allison Shields with a social media theme and another with Tom Mighell, probably with a future of legal technology theme. Watch for the opportunity to sign up for the dinners on the TECHSHOW website.

Note that there is a mobile app for TECHSHOW available and you can follow Twitter posts about TECHSHOW by searching Twitter for the #ABATECHSHOW hashtag.

Hope to see you there. If you are a reader of this blog, please introduce yourself. I always enjoy speaking with readers of my blog.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Announcing the 2012 Blawggie Awards

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.”

The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog.

This ninth 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. What was originally just a crazy idea turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging.

I’ve included some explanatory and historical information about the Blawggies at the end of this post. As I’ve said before and explain in more detail at the end of this post, the Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. I choose the winners from only the blogs I read regularly. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone as I write this post.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert In this era of short attention spans, many people, especially lawyers, do not like three thousand word posts such as this one. Even fewer like long introductions to long blog posts, or reading through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F (or command- F for Mac users) and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs. And I definitely encourage you to add the RSS feeds to all of these blogs to your Google Reader (or other RSS reader) or “regularly-visited blogs” list.

2012 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca

2. The “Marty Schwimmer” Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. The “Kennedy-Mighell Report” Best Legal Podcast – Lu Ann Reeb’s Legal Talk Network

6. The “Sherry Fowler” Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Evan Schaeffer’s Beyond the Underground

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog

8. The “DennisKennedy.Blog” Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

9. Best New Blawg – MoFo Tech Blog

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2012 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law21.ca

Jordan Furlong’s Law21 blog was the runner-up in the “best overall” category and it just made sense to move it up to the top spot this year. As I said last year, Jordan covers law practice and the legal professions with insight, creativity and a willingness to challenge business-as-usual approaches. The typical post is a thoughtful, well-written meditation on the changing landscape for the practice of law. He makes you think. This year, Jordan has offered great perspectives on legal education and many of the trends lawyers and law firms must come to terms with – soon. Always a pleasure to read, I can’t recommend this blog highly enough.

Runner-up – Ride the Lightning – I’ve really enjoyed Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning blog this year. Sharon’s a longtime friend of mine and I like the way her writing captures her voice. She focuses on computer security and ediscovery, but has branched out in privacy and other areas. Her post on digital estate planning got a lot of deserved attention and got many people thinking about that important subject.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – The Trademark Blog

Perceptive readers will note that this category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose The Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. As I thought about this category this year, I came to the conclusion that Marty’s blog really is the best practice-specific blog this year. Marty is one of the original lawyer bloggers (blogging for more than ten years) and The Trademark Blog continues to have great energy and wit, while providing great information about trademark and related issues and developments. It’s a great example of a blawg that can be enjoyed by those who don’t even practice in the trademark field. If you are writing a blawg, you’ll want to read Marty’s blawg to get ideas about how improve your blawg. If you have trademark questions or want to learn more about trademarks, you will quickly realize that Marty is the go-to-guy on trademark.

Runner-up – The Contracts Guy Blog – I wanted to recognize the good work of a fellow lawyer in St. Louis. Brian Rogers’ The Contracts Guy Blog is a great example of a niche practice blog that provides useful and practical information on a specific topic, in this case contracts law with a Missouri focus. Brian has a corporate law practice and, as an in-house counsel, I appreciate how his blog reflects the concerns of corporate counsel and business people. It’s another good example of how to create an effective practice-specific blawg.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog

There are so many great law practice management blogs out there that it’s difficult for me to choose just one. However, Steven B. Levy’s Lexician Blog emerged as my winner. Steven focuses on the very important area od legal project management and incorporates his technology experiences and insights gained from working at Microsoft earlier in his career. This blog has the consistent posting of thoughtful and though-provoking material that I find so appealing. If you aren’t familiar with the legal project management trend, this blog is where you want to start.

Runners-up – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Management Tips Blog; Allison Shields’ LegalEase Blog; 3 Geeks and a Law Blog; Adam Smith, Esq. – So many great blogs in this category and so many had great 2012s. I picked the four runners-up to highlight some of the best and give you a way to sample the great content and different approaches out there. I especially want to congratulate Allison, who was able to keep a steady flow of great posts going this year while writing two books with me.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I use this category annually to highlight the blogs written by law librarians, a category that I don’t think gets enough attention. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. If you want to try just one, Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog provides a steady stream of links to great US government and other information. The Law Librarian Blog is a great starting place and there’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – I also use this category to remind people that blawgging is a global phenomenon. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list.

5. The Kennedy-Mighell Report Best Legal Podcast – Lu Ann Reeb’s Legal Talk Network

I was tempted to give The Kennedy-Mighell Report the actual award this year, but I knew that would embarrass Tom. However, I really thought our podcast had a great year, with many great topics. We’re on a short hiatus with the podcast, as I’ll explain shortly, but expect to announce the re-start of the podcast in the very near future.

This year’s award is an emotional one for me. As you probably know, Lu Ann Reed had to shutter the Legal Talk Network family of podcasts this fall (see Bob Ambrogi’s post about the last Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast). I could not have enjoyed my relationship with the Legal Talk Network (and working with Lu Ann, Kate Kinney, Mike Hochmann, Scott Hess and others at LTN) any more and I’ll always remember the call I got from Lu Ann wanting to know if Tom and I would bring our podcast to LTN. LTN played a huge role in the history of legal podcasting and set a standard of professionalism that raised the bar for legal podcasts. Most important to me, Lu Ann was able to provide a platform to make legal issues accessible to lawyers and the public and developed a great list of podcasting talent. It was a sad day to learn about what was happening this fall, but what a body of work and a legacy. The archive is still available, so start downloading the episodes that interest you most. Lu Ann, you are the greatest.

6. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Evan Schaeffer’s Beyond the Underground

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

This fall, longtime blawgger Evan Schaeffer sent me a copy of his new book, How to Feed a Lawyer: And Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground (Disclosure: link is through my Amazon Affiliate account and may generate income to me), which is a collection of some of his blog posts over the years and includes many of his classic blog series about traits of lawyers. The book is excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was great to revisit those early posts and re-experience them.

It also made me think about how many of the early blawgger were/are excellent writers. Evan is a classic example. I often tell people that my blog was an “experiment in writing” where I could try new things. Evan always took an experimental and writerly approach and it’s fascinating to see the posts collected together and remember the buzz at the time when I would be reading these great posts on a regular basis from Evan. The Legal Underground blog (as it was formerly named) became quite popular, especially with law students. The humor in the posts is still very funny.

It’s also interesting to see how today the advice to bloggers is to stay on topic, think carefully about what you post, follow standard formats, keep posts short and the like. In the early days of blawgging, those rules definitely did not exist. Yet, blawgs became quite popular even though they broke all of today’s rules. Something to think about, no? You definitely have to check out Evan’s blog. And he’s another St. Louis blawgger.

Runner-up – Jane Genova’s Law and More – Topical, opinionated, wide-ranging, thoughtful and well-written, the Law and More blog is one that I just enjoy reading every day.

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Paul Caron’s The TaxProf Blog

The Blawggies have always had a spot for the best law professor blog. In part, it’s my little effort to bridge the great divide between practicing lawyers and law professors.

I have a repeat winner here and it’s a great blog to read as we approach the fiscal cliff. As I said last year, the test of a great blog is how it keeps me returning to it time after time because of its great posts when it’s outside my subject matter. The topic here is U.S. tax, but Paul ventures into the real word with regular, thoughtful posts. It’s a blog with an academic focus and a a real world impact. My greatest compliment: reading this blog makes me want to take a class from Paul. I hope he’s thinking about doing some online courses.

Runner-up – Legal Skills Prof Blog – Yes, I know, I’m involved in this one, but I don’t post very often, so I can pretend to be objective. This blog has great coverage of the current debate about what needs to be done with the current approach to legal education and what law schools are doing in the area of skills education.

8. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.

I own an iPhone, an iPad (that will probably go to my wife or daughter soon) and an iPad Mini. I enjoy reading Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. every day. It’s another of example of how a blogger can cover a niche topic and become a “go to” resource. Jeff does a great job of covering the iOS waterfront from the perspective of the practicing lawyer. Jeff provides news, tips, apps and hardware recommendations and more.

Runners-up – Tie, V. Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM; Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology; The TechnoLawyer Blog – Again, a category with lots of great choices. Ron’s blog won this category last year. We have similar interests in and perspectives on legal technology and he’s great at posting about issues that intrigue me, like outsourcing, strategy and bigger issues. I have long been interested in knowledge management and Mary’s blog has done an excellent job this year of covering KM and related topics, with coverage of tech conference, too. It’s another great example of a blogger posting thoughtful and thought-provoking content on a regular basis. The TechnoLawyer Blog covers technology issues from a practitioner’s perspective with a focus on practical and helpful material. It’s also the external portal for you to enter all of the great resources at TechnoLawyer.

[Note: I used to give my own blog this award every year, in part because of the attribution issue I talk about in this post and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends got a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn't, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that, and my friends laugh even more at that. Or maybe they just like to laugh at me.]

9. Best New Blawg – MoFo Tech Blog

Last year, I was disappointed that I didn’t have a new blawg to highlight. This year, I have a winner and a runner-up, so there seems to be new life in the blawg world. I did notice an increase in law firm group blogs this year and Tom Mighell certainly did not run out new blogs for his Blawg of the Day feature.

This year’s winner is the MoFo Tech Blog from the Morrison & Foerster law firm. Again, this choice reflects my own subject matter interest, but it’s also a good example of a group blog from a prominent law firm on a specific niche, in this case technology law. I like the coverage of the technology industry, intellectual property issues and much more. However, I especially like the name of the blog. It seems that many lawyers and law firms have doubts about what names they can use, whether they can use pictures of judges, court houses or dogs on their websites and whether and how they can use social media. There’s a general concern about what kind of “professional” image lawyers and firms must project. Amidst all that, Morrison & Foerster brands to the “MoFo” name and strides boldly across this part of the legal ethics and discipline landscape like a, well, like a mofo brandishing the MoFo brand. I admire that. And I admire their tech blog, too.

Runner-up – Law Technology Today The Law Technology Today blog is a new blog that I’ll be a small part of (one post a month) from the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center. I’m also on the LTRC Board. Hmm, perhaps I’m a little biased on this choice. Josh Poje got the blog launched and we’ve assembled a stellar cast of legal tech experts to contribute regular posts. This blog should become a must read for anyone interested in the use of technology in the practice of law.

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

Here’s a daily email newsletter in which Jeff Brandt highlights three or four blawg posts on legal tech and summarizes and comments on them. Jeff’s comments are witty, perceptive and generally great, and I enjoy reading them everyday. His eye for selection is also great. In a world where no one likes to get more email, this free email newsletter is one that you will want to have.

And there you have it – the 2012 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) I like, but this post is already long enough (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you don’t read my blog).

When it really comes down to it, the Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

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 ten years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I’ve explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is “repurposed.”

I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those 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 write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “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.’”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, the number of blawgs I read continues to decrease and the number of non-law-related blogs I read increases. Also, the blawgs I do read are concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident of the correct spelling, although I’m seeing more of the single “g” approach lately.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

All best wishes for 2013.

Dennis

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

What Tech Gifts Do You Recommend for Techie Lawyers (and Others)?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

What Tech Gifts Do You Recommend for Techie Lawyers (and Others)?

The answer is: Normally, I don’t make these kinds of recommendations, leaving that task in the excellent hands of people like Reid Trautz, who has posted the latest edition of his annual gift guide for lawyers.

However, there is one item that I see as the must have for techie lawyers, especially those who travel a lot. It’s perfect for all of my friends who speak regularly on legal tech and have so many gadgets and chargers that their hotel rooms look like they are decorated with Christmas lights.

Here it is.

Ok, admit it, I made you laugh. However, I really do think a sleep mask is great for travel.

Before I give me some of my general thoughts, let me recommend the gift guide that Allison Shields posted, which links to a number of tech gift guides, including the 2012 Holiday Tech Toys podcast from Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway, an annual tradition.

Here are a few of my thoughts.

It’s difficult to give (or receive in some cases) tech gifts, especially as tech has become so much more personal. For example, I’m really liking my iPad Mini and would thoroughly recommend it, if it fits your use case. However, giving it as a gift is tricky because the amount of memory that makes sense will vary from person to person. It’s nice to get an iPod, iPad or other device, but if it doesn’t have enough memory or isn’t in the color you want, it’s not quite as nice as you hope it would be. It’s best to determine what your gift recipient really wants, which takes away the surprise element.

Headphones are another example of a tech gift where people have certain ideas and requirements in mind. I have a collections of headphones and earphones, each of which has a specific use. That said, I’ll put in a good word for the MEElectronics M6-BK-MEE Sport Noise-Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Memory Wire that I use when I work out. Great price, good sound and they stay in my ears well and block out music and other sounds in the fitness center where I work out.

I tend to take a practical approach to tech and I think that approach works really well for tech gifts. For the techies on your list, I’d suggest the practical stuff, things like cables, chargers, connectors and the like. You really can never have enough, especially if you speak and travel. External hard drives and higher capacity USB drives will always be appreciated – you can’t have too many.

For the tech speaker on your list, the hottest thing among speakers is using an Apple TV and Airplay so you can present wirelessly with an iPad. They’ll be happy to see an Apple TV.

A gift card to buy some apps is another good idea.

Not surprisingly, I also recommend one or more of the reasonably-priced “In One Hour” books from the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section. I’ve ready many of them and you can pick topics that interest your gift recipient. I especially like the ones of LinkedIn and Facebook, but I might be a little biased.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Would You Explain #gas and #bikeride?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

Would You Explain #gas and #bikeride?

The answer is: Yes, I’d be happy to explain my use of #gas and #bikeride on Twitter and Facebook. They are good examples of what are known as hashtags.

If you follow me on Twitter (@denniskennedy) or are a Friend of mine on Facebook (you know who you are), you will occasionally see updates from me that look like:

#gas – Webster Groves, MO Circle K – $2.95, regular

or

#bikeride – today, 15 miles

I’ve been doing this for several years, as I’ll explain, as a Twitter experiment. They all start out as tweets on Twitter. After I linked my Facebook account to Twitter, they are automatically posted to Facebook as updates as soon as I tweet them on Twitter.

So, what do they mean?

First, we need to talk about “hashtags.” Hashtags are a Twitter phenomenon, although they are used in other places as well. See the Wikipedia explanation of hashtags.

Hashtags serve several purposes. I’ll illustrate this using Twitter as my example.

The most interesting purpose, at least to me, is they represent a form of self-organization to facilitate the search of tweets and an informal form of tagging. People found that if they put a # symbol (pound sign or hash) at the front of a word (or set of words), it became much easier to use Twitter Search to find tweets that were intended to be related to a topic. The hashtag term provided a focused subset of tweets intended to address a specific topic. Many hashtags grow organically and arise out of events (#hurricane, #earthquake, #tsunami, et al.). In a short time, people will include the hashtag in tweets as they post news, resources and other information about the event or topic. The hashtag term produces more “on topic” tweets and reduces “noise” that you get with searches on the term itself.

To see how this works, do a quick Twitter search on “bears” and then on “#bears.”

This usage of hashtags is fascinating in the case of breaking events, and can help you evaluate “news” you get critically. These types of hashtags can relate to almost anything (sports teams, TV shows, bands) and they tend to develop a quasi-officialness. If you want to see comments and participate in the conversation while watching a TV show, you’ll want to search on #topchef rather than top chef.

A second purpose of hashtags is the “official” or promoted form of hashtag. It’s an extension of the idea of the first use I described. A great example is a conference where the conference organizers will encourage people to use the official hashtag (e.g., #abatechshow) rather than other variations. You might have even noticed ads that include a reference to an official hashtag. These hashtags work in the same way to help people use the search function to find relevant tweets.

A third purpose of hashtags is a kind of “meta” usage. In these cases, the hashtag is used as a comment, often ironic, about the contents of the tweet. For me, this harkens back to the early days of HTML when people would use non-functioning HTML tags to make comments (e.g., comment). Hashtags can be used in a similar way – #joking or #sarcasm. There are some classic hashtags that express frustration or other emotions – #FAIL. Some hashtags can get very meta and comment on the tweet – “thingsnobodywouldsay.” In other words, they attempt to add depth and nuance to a 140 character form of expression. It’s interesting stuff.

Which brings me to #gas and #bikeride.

The original source of #gas for me was Marty “The Trademark Blog” Schwimmer. We had been talking about the “Internet of Things” and how people might act as sensors or nodes for certain types of data that could be collected and aggregated via Twitter. Marty suggested that people around the country (or world) could tweet the price of gas, use the #gas hashtag when they did so, and then we all could use the Twitter search function to see what prices were elsewhere, see patterns, track changing prices, et al.

I loved this idea and told Marty he was brilliant. Interestingly, Marty convinced me to do this, but didn’t convince himself. For quite a few years, I’ve tweeted gas prices when I’ve filled up my car. When I connected Twitter and Facebook, these #gas tweets populated my Facebook updates, generally confusing my friends. I should have, and probably will, decouple my Twitter account from Facebook, but haven’t done so yet.

However, I’ve found that the #gas posts have an interesting effect. I went to ABA TECHSHOW a couple of years ago, In the first hour I was there, four or five people told me the gas prices in their area and comment on relative prices by geographic region. I’ve also had people locally tell me that they’ve saved money by remembering the price I’d posted and avoiding higher prices elsewhere.

#bikeride is a simple idea. I wanted to keep a record of the mileage I’d ridden for myself and share it with a few friends. I decided to experiment with the hashtag on Twitter as a way to do that and noticed that other cyclists used the same hashtag.

I post my mileage after I ride and sometimes make a note about weather or route. Again, it starts in Twitter and automatically goes to Facebook. #bikeride is actually something that has outlived its usefulness for me as a tracking tool because I use an iPhone app I really like called Endomondo to record and store my rides.

I keep doing the #bikeride tweets, however, because they also have had an interesting effect. I’ve found other friends who ride bikes. I’ve had people tell me that I’ve inspired them to start riding. I’ve had people ask me advice about buying bikes.

Anyway, that’s the long answer. Both are hashtag experiments. Both have had intriguing results. I’m curious whether others have had memorable results from using hashtags.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Will You Be Writing a 2012 or 2013 Legal Tech Trends Article?

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

Will You Be Writing a 2012 or 2013 Legal Tech Trends Article?

The answer is: No. Well, maybe if someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, I’d think about it, but I still think I’d say no.

I get this question fairly often around the end of the year. It used to be an annual tradition for me to write an article summarizing the most important legal tech trends I found in the preceding year or make predictions about the next year. I’ve drifted away from that practice for a number of reasons:

1. Tom Mighell and I typically cover this topic in an episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast (an example). In fact, we’ve already talked about covering this topic in an upcoming episode.

2. I had gotten into the habit of matching the number of trends to the year (12 Trends for 2012?) and the number of trends simply got to be too large for me to attempt. (See my 2008 article)

3. Too many of the people I respect in legal tech said either that the trends are really the same as the previous year or that there was nothing really eye-openingly new. For example, I’m not sure that saying predictive coding or technology-assisted review in e-discovery is really something that would not have been said for the last several years. It doesn’t really feel new to me. Social media? Cloud? Those topics have been around for quite a while. I’m reluctant to write an article that simply says some things I’ve mentioned before are still around and haven’t made much progress.

4. I don’t really have a regular writing outlet these that makes sense for an article like that, and it would be a very long blog post (even by my standards).

With a couple of possible exceptions, legal tech seems like a sleepy area lately. The agendas for legal tech shows (with the exception of tablets and apps) look a lot like they did a few years back. Those observations, unfortunately, would make for a rather sleepy legal tech trends article. It’s more fun for me, and more interesting for you, that Tom and I cover the topic in the podcast format rather than that I write an article.

I am, however, definitely interested in what others see as the hot, significant trends and whether people disagree with my overall assessment.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Will There Be Blawggie Awards in 2012?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

Will there be Blawggie Awards in 2012?

The answer is: Yes, I think so. In fact, I’m pretty sure there will be. Probably on the usual date: December 20. I suspect that I’ll have a smaller list of awards and less-expansive commentary than in the past, but you never know.

I started the Blawggie Awards for best law-related bogs back in 2004. 2012 will be the 9th edition of the Blawggies, making them, as I like to say, the longest-running set of awards for law-related blogging presented by a lawyer blogger named Dennis Kennedy located in St. Louis, MO.

I started the Blawggies because I wanted to acknowledge the blogs I read every day and really liked, and I wanted to see if you could just announce your own set of awards on your blog and people would take them seriously. Blogging is about experimenting.

Over the years, the Blawggies have become something of an institution. As I’ve often said, the reactions to the Blawggies have varied greatly, with a common reaction being “Who is this guy and why does he think he can give awards?” On the other hand, the Blawggies have actually inspired some other annual legal blogging awards. One of my goals with the Blawggies has always been to help people find great blogs to read.

I occasionally get asked if someone can nominate a blog (OK, surprisingly, it’s often their own they have in mind) for consideration for the Blawggies. Unfortunately, the main criterion for the awards is that I actually read the blogs on a regular basis, so the idea of nomination doesn’t really make sense. However, I don’t mind if you mention some law-related blogs in the comments that you think are especially good and that you’d like to bring to the attention of readers of this blog.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

It’s Q & A Time for Rest of December at DennisKennedy.Blog

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

One of my longtime traditions at DennisKennedy.Blog is answering audience questions. This approach lets me catch up publicly on questions from readers I get by email, comments and otherwise and encourages current readers (like you) to ask their own questions.

It also gives me starting points for new blog posts. It’s been a little difficult for me to get back into the rhythm of blogging after the death of my mother last month (thank you everyone who sent their condolences and a big thank you especially to Rev. Bill Haworth at the Garrett Presbyterian Church ) and I’ve had a lot of other things going on as well.

Blogging has had to take a bit of a backseat lately, although I haven’t totally disappeared – some new articles from me that have appeared lately include: Talkin’ Tools: Smartphones, Tablets Walk the Walk, ‘Facing’ It: It Can Be Worth It to Join the Social Media Giant and, with Allison Shields, When lawyers ‘like’ Facebook: Using the site to attract and maintain clients. I’ve also been posting on Twitter and elsewhere on social media.

So, I’ve decided to run a new round of the Q & A format for this blog until at least the end of the month (perhaps longer, if the approach is popular).

The approach is simple. I’ll dip into the questions I’ve already gotten throughout the last few months and readers like you may submit questions for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

As a general matter, I would expect the questions to be about legal technology and related topics (including blogging and social media, law practice management, and future of law practice), but feel free to ask about anything. I also hope others use the comments section to have conversations around the questions and answers.

As usual, I reserve the right not to answer all questions or, more likely, to answer an easier version of the question you ask me. Historically, I haven’t included names of the questioners and probably won’t this time either, but, if you are OK with me using your name, let me know that in your communication with your question.

It should be fun. Let me know what’s on your mind.

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.