Setting Your Legal Tech Priorities for 2012: BYO Upgrades Exercise

My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “BYO Upgrades: How to Set Your Priorities.”

My editor, Reg Davis, gets the credit for this topic. The premise was to imagine you have a good technology budget (we said $3,000) and assume that everything was possible in terms of technology and policy.

The idea is that this simple exercise would tell you a lot about what you want, what is important to you, and where your priorities are. Once you complete the exercise, you can do a little analysis. For example, if you wanted to spend $600 of your $3,000 on training, you might question the actual percentage of your tech budget you are spending on training.

I make some suggestions in the article, based on my perspective, but the key to this exercise is that you determine your own answers.

As I conclude, “Most of us will find a gap between what we are spending money on and what we think we want to spend on. Closing that gap is a great technology goal for 2012.”

I enjoyed writing this column and hope that you enjoy it and find it helpful. Check out the article here.

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

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @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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My Infatuation with Solid State Drives

My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Solid State Drives Can Bring Magic to Your Computer.”

This column grew out of two things: how much I love the solid state drive in my MacBook Air (as you’ll be able to sense from the article) and a fascinating podcast with Scott Moulton on Solid State Drive Forensics. Solid state drives (SSDs) bring great benefits, but they are also at the frontier of computer forensics.

The article is meant to give an introductions and overview of SSDs and get people thinking about the role SSDs will be playing in our computing experience.

There’s some good discussion in the comments about a number of the issues SSDs raise, even though the remarkably crabby “Jojo the Magic Monkey” seems to think the article is “garbage.” That’s disappointing, of course, because I’m generally more successful with the magic monkey audience.

You’ll also see in the comments and if you do some price checking, that the article was written before flooding in Malaysia helped push the prices significantly higher than at the time I wrote the article. That’s a danger of writing on print publication schedules.

That said, I don’t think I’d buy a computer without an SSD again even at today’s higher costs – it’s made that much of a difference.

Check out the article here.

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

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @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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Tie Down That Public Wifi

My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Tie Down That Wi-Fi: Security in Public Requires Vigilance.”

It’s meant to be a simple primer to improve your level of security when using a public wifi hotspot, with the emphasis on free and simple techniques. It’s not so much that people are careless with the use of public wifi, especially on Windows computers, but that they haven’t been taught the basic precautions.

This article focuses on the basic precautions – assess vulnerabilities (tools like Shields Up, apply basic protections (firewalls and malware protection), limit potential for damage (turn off file-sharing), and treat security as an evolving process (practice safety, monitor developments and try to keep improving).

In one sense, like the old “I don’t have to be faster than the bear chasing us, just faster than you” joke, you want to make yourself a less inviting target than the other people using the wifi hotspot.

If no one taught you the basics of wifi security, this article will be a helpful start. It’s probably a good refresher for many of you.

I’ve gotten some good feedback on this article from people who’ve found it helpful.

The money quote:

A few simple steps can help you be safer, but the key is to remember that good security is an ongoing process and commitment.

Check out the article here.

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

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @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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Non-Marketing Uses of Social Media for Lawyers

Since Tom Mighell and I haven’t gotten much chance over the last year or so to write together, we jumped at the chance to write an article on “non-marketing” uses of social media for lawyers for the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine. Then we realized that volunteering to write an article is far easier than finding the time to actually write it.

The result, however, is an article we really liked and one we’ve gotten some great feedback on. It’s called “Not Your Marketer’s Social Media: Ten Ways Lawyers Can Benefit from Non-Marketing Uses of Social Media.

The article grew out of our podcast called “Using Social Media for Non-Marketing” and expands on some of the ideas in the podcast and adds a few new things. The main idea is that lawyers can benefit from social media in many different ways and that the over-attention on using social media for marketing to potential clients has a limiting effect on ways that lawyers think they might use social media. The article is an attempt to “think different” about social media – in practical ways that match your own personality and approach – and to go back to the basics on social media. Then, see what evolves from uses that best fit your own approach and comfort.

We’ll also be talking about some of these ideas as part of a panel with Tim Stanley of Justia called “Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift” at the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 on November 9 in Philadelphia. The Conference should be great and I encourage you attend (registration info here – early bird discount and chance to win iPad 2 until October 3). Please say hello if you attend our session.

Check out the new article and let us know what you think about it.

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

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @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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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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