Bob Ambrogi on E-Discovery Blogs

Welcome to those of you visiting this blog after it was mentioned in Bob Ambrogi’s excellent list of EDD blogs on Law.com. I’ve been a long-time fan of Bob’s articles on Internet resources and his two recent articles are great updates of an article Tom Mighell and I wrote last year called “EDD-ucating Yourself About Electronic Discovery.”
You will notice that this blog is not a “pure” electronic discovery blog as were most, if not all, of the other blog’s on Bob’s list. I write regularly about e-discovery, but probably about one every couple of weeks. I tend to focus on trends and practical issues involved in electronic discovery. I let the other bloggers cover case law and legal developments.
I will point you to the archive for the electronic discovery category for this blog. That’s where you’ll find my electronic discovery posts.
I’ll recommend three posts to give you a flavor for my approach to EDD: “26 Electronic DIscovery Trends for 2008,” “Electronic Discovery Trends and Blogs” and “The Electronic Discovery Continuum.”
You will probably also enjoy the recent roundtable article I was part of called “The New Federal Rules on E-Discovery: The First 180 Days.”
I’ve done a significant amount of writing and speaking on EDD issues over the past few years. My focus in EDD is on education. I do no EDD consulting and have tried to be an independent voice on e-discovery. I concentrate on speaking and writing, including writing white papers for EDD vendors.
I focus on three areas of e-discovery:
1. Trends.
2. Practical technology issues (e.g., metadata).
3. Client perspectives on EDD.
If you are new to this blog, I hope you find it valuable and consider subscribing to the blog’s RSS feed. As I said, EDD is a just one part of the subject matter of this blog. I think you’ll also find the rest of what I cover interesting enough to keep you returning.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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How About 3 EDD Trends Instead of 26?

I had a couple of inquiries about my post yesterday “26 Electronic Discovery Trends for 2008.”
They basically said, “of the 26, which ones do you think are the most important?” A fair question, and one that I answered in my presentation, as you will see if you look at the slides from the presentation in which I mentioned these trends. I realize that 26 is way too many, but, in part, I used that many to give a sense of the Singularity.
Here are the three that I want to highlight.
1. The most important one, to me, is the “EDD Gap” – the growing gap between the lawyers and law firms that “get” EDD and those that do not. That’s the one that I think will have the most impact over time.
2. The most interesting one, to me, is “EDD in the Cloud.” By “cloud,” I mean cloud computing. As data is processed, stored and handled in the cloud, traditional assumptions will no longer apply and new issues will arise.
When I started to work on this list of new trends, I mentioned what I planned to do to Tom Mighell. Tom mentioned that he hadn’t seen much really new in terms of EDD trends and I told him that I’d come up with something new for him. That’s a bigger challenge than you might think. First,Tom is so knowledgeable that it’s difficult to come up with something that he considers “new.”Second, he has the habit of including the notion of “meaningful” as part of determining whether he would accept a trend as being new. For example, my mention of the Singularity probably would not pass with Tom because it’s too theoretical and not practical enough. I decided that if I had 26 items on my list, I had a chance of getting Tom’s approval of at least one. I picked “EDD in the cloud” as the first one to run by Tom,and I got the thumbs up. We might talk about these trends in a future podcast.
3. The one I’ll watch most closely is the trend toward “technology counsel” as an evolution beyond the litigation support manager role. It also plays a part in the EDD Gap trend.
By the way, the reference in trend #24 about standards is illustrated by the announcement today of the EDRM XML standard for the e-discovery industry.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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26 Electronic Discovery Trends for 2008

I greatly enjoyed getting the opportunity last week to give the keynote presentation at the 2007 Lexis Concordance Partners in Excellence. It was a great group of people and I learned a lot about Concordance, its resellers, and related products. I was especially intrigued by the MindTalent Reader / HeadCram program and expect to write about it soon.
I used the presentation as a way to look at some of what I saw coming in the next year or two in electronic discovery. I mentioned 26 trends to consider for 2008 and beyond. These are trends I’m thinking about and, although the list is extensive, I would not say it s complete. I offer a summer of the list to get you thinking about what we might be facing in the near future of electronic discovery. A discussion starter, if you will. These ideas will find their way into my future EDD presentations.
Electronic Discovery Technology Trends for 2008 and (Most Importantly) Beyond
1. EDD as The Tail, Not the Dog – Records Management, Not EDD, is the Driver
2. Underestimating Lawyer Inertia
3. Moving Beyond Metadata and Documents – What is a Document Anymore?
4. Unpredictable Court Decisions – If You Don’t Educate Judges, Judges Will Educate You
5. Technology Outpaces Rules – Problems with Old and New Technologies
6. Changing the Focus to Reasonable Processes and Procedures
7. Data Explosion
8. Court-, Client-, Vendor-, Regulator-, or Lawyer-driven? Are Lawyers the Chokepoint?
9. The New Role of Technology Counsel
10. Unintended and Unexpected Consequences
11. EDD Information Overload and Information Underload – Is It Even Possible to Keep Up with All of This?
12. EDD in the Cloud – Web 2.0, Virtualization, and Beyond
13. The EDD Gap – Some Firms Get It and Many Firms Do Not
14. Who is the EDD Buyer Today and Tomorrow? Who Makes the Call?
15. Will We Reach EDD 2.0 Before Most Get to EDD 1.0?
16. The Coming Singularity – Kurzweil: Does the Pace Only Increase and the Complexity Only Become More Complex (Faster)?
17. The Continuing Shakeout – Expansion from Nontraditional Players
18. Hosted Services and SLAs – Negotiated Agreements
19. Eliminating the Humans? Automated Review and What Belongs in the Human Domain?
20. New Search Frontiers – Foreign Languages, Images, Audio, and Video
21. Unstructured Data – Google Expectations?
22. Outsiders Moving In – Non-EDD Players
23. EDD Goes International – What Happens When Data Located Around the World?
24. Best Practices and Standards – Standards Boards and Guidelines?
25. Integration and Platforms – Open vs. Closed?
26. Collaboration and Workflow – Project Management Gets Bigger
In the presentation, I compared the list above to the 10 items I discussed in my 2006 – 2007 EDD presentations:
1. Records Management, not EDD, is the Driver for Most Clients
2. Toward the One-Stop Shop (or the EDD General Contractor?)
3. Metadata Makes Headlines
4. The Coming Vendor Shakeout
5. Client-Driven and Court-Driven
6. Ethical Wildcards
7. Easy or Scary? Are We Making This Too Hard? Building on What We Know and Analogies
8. Project Management – EDD is All About Project Management
9. Litigation Support Managers – High Growth Area
10. One Big Thing That Must Happen – Communication – Who Must Be Talking to Each Other?
I’ve also put an edited version of my presentation slides up on Scribd.com, if you’d like to see the whole presentation.
For those of you who like to think about these topics (and especially those of you who have to make decisions and take actions about them), I also recommend some recent articles: Monica Bay’s “Defuse Fear and Disarm EDD Vendors” part 1 and part 2 (excellent ideas and quotes, although I disagree with the tone of the title – EDD vendors are some of my favorite (and most knowledgeable) people in the EDD field); Browning Marean’s “E-Discovery Looks Like Risky Business” (I note that both Browning and I use Kurzweil’s notion of the Singularity); and the roundtable article “The New Federal Rules on E-Discovery: The First 180 Days.”
There’s much to think about in EDD as we approach the end of 2007.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Electronic Discovery Trends and Beyond Bullet Points

I’m giving a keynote presentation tomorrow on electronic discovery trends at a conference of electronic discovery vendors. This audience is different from my usual audience of lawyers and that has allowed me to take some creative new approaches to the topic.
I was fiddling with the introduction this evening and went back to Cliff Atkinson’s approach outlined in his essential book for presenters, Beyond Bullet Points. He has a great exercise to help you organize your introduction. I worked through the exercise and was pleasantly surprised with what came out of the exercise. It’s a little long and doesn’t fit the recommended template, so I’m not sure that I’ll use the entire thing, but I thought I’d post it here, in part to help me get it fixed in my mind by typing it out.
Let me know what you think and whether this intro makes you interested in the presentation that will follow it.

The December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were supposed to “change everything” about electronic discovery. As we approach the first anniversary of the amendments, the impact is probably not what anyone expected and the electronic discovery industry is caught between two polar opposite forces. On one side is the relentless, accelerating pace of technological change, especially as it impacts data, and the acceleration growth in volume and variety of data. On the other side is the stubborn reluctance of the legal profession to take more than baby steps toward dealing with data and EDD issues. Call it the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
You, me, and everyone else in the EDD and lit support industry are caught up in and trying to navigate safely the waters of the in-between, without being swept into the whirlpools of Charybdis or eaten by the multi-headed monster of Scylla, for those who had an ancient Greek lit class in college. We know it as being caught between a rock and a hard place.
Let’s face it, we struggle to keep up-to-date and have enough actionable information to deal with either force, let alone both at once. If there are opportunities, how do we recognize them and what to do we do to make them happen? Are we at a time of great opportunity, as many believe, or have we reached a crossroads where we must choose new directions, recognizing that what has served us well before might no longer be the right course?
There’s no doubt that we want to deal with both forces successfully and profitably, and helping our customers help their customers and clients. We know that we cannot slow the pace of technology, no matter how much lawyers wish that that could be. That means that we need to find ways to bring lawyers further into the world of e-discovery than they have shown themselves to be comfortable. Or, perhaps, determine new roles for lawyers and others within this system.
How do we get from here to there? Working together – beginning with the conversation we start today.

It’s a little too literary and I’d like it to be more conversational than “written,” but I like the way the exercise has helped me focus on my themes and my story for the presentation. I highly recommend Atkiinson’s book and the exercises in Chapter 2 in particular for your next presentation.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Electronic Discovery Trends and Blogs: Thinking Aloud about Information Overload and Information Underload

The smartest decision I’ve made in my blogging career (other than starting this blog) was the decision I made a couple of years ago NOT to start a blog on electronic discovery.
I had the notion then that there was a need for a blog that focused on the actual technology and practical issues in e-discovery, not case law, rules and law-related news. I had the probably misguided notion that I could do exactly that. There were only a few EDD blogs around then.
I had a conversation at the time with Julia Wotipka about what she was planning at DiscoveryResources.org (a sponsor of this blog) and about Mary Mack’s about-to-be-launched blog, Sound Evidence. I realized that I could contribute more to the EDD world with the Thinking E-Discovery column I’ve written with Tom Mighell and Evan Schaeffer on the DiscoveryResources.org site.
Instead of starting a new blog, I simply created an electronic discovery category on this blog with an archive into which all EDD posts get saved. It now contains around 70 posts on e-discovery topics that I’ve tagged to that category, all available in one place. It was designed to work more or less hand-in-hand with the set of electronic discovery resources on my website (on the “must get updated soon” to-do list).
Over time, I subscribed to the RSS feeds of E-discovery blogs as they’ve arrived on the scene. There are some excellent ones, and I’d single out Rob Robinson’s Information Governance Engagement Area blog and Sharon Nelson’s new Ride the Lightning blog as ones that I especially enjoy. To those who know me (and my tradition of the Blawggies), it’s no surprise that I have a lot of respect for the EDD blogs that have been around for a long time.
I’m giving a presentation next week that will be an update (and a rethinking) of the Electronic Discovery Trends presentation that I’ve given over the last few years. That’s the one where I first had my “electronic discovery 2.0″ epiphany early on the morning before I gave it and wanted to rewrite the whole thing, but decided against it. I’ll add some development of those ideas and a few new things to the presentation next week, but that’s not the focus of this post.
As I have been researching the presentation, I’ve been paying attention to the posts on EDD that have been showing up in my newsreader and noticing several new EDD blogs. I was also reading Bob Ambrogi’s excellent new article on EDD resources and comparing it to the article “EDD-ucating Yourself on Electronic Discovery” about EDD resources that Tom Mighell and I wrote last year, just to get a feel for the changes in the resources that have occurred in the last year. And I’ve also been noticing the increase in the number of EDD-related press releases I get by email lately – I must be on a lot of lists.
On a couple of days last week, I saw at least 50 items each day in my email and newsreader alone.
Now, e-discovery is a hot topic and I want to stay informed, but I guess I’m not convinced that there are 50 “news” items a day on the topic.
In other words, is getting 50 or more items a day the functional and practical equivalent of getting no items a day? At what point are you trying to drink from a firehose?
The interesting aspect of the phenomenon is that each individual blog or resource is great in its way, but, in the aggregate, they delivery something overwhelming. For me, it’s even more overwhelming because I see the same case summaries and press releases in several places. One EDD article might get posted about, often excerpted, in several places over a period of time. If you follow my Google Reader Shared Items. you’ll note that I’ll sometimes share the same underlying item several times because I’m not sure whether it’s a new item or one I’ve seen before.
I’m sure that people who get other print and email newsletters and publications on electronic discovery get even more information and duplication than I do.
I’m curious about how others are coping with this EDD information overload.
I’ve written and spoken before about the combination of information overload and information underload. In fact, my post on info underload is the post from this blog used in TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld.
As I research my EDD presentation, I realize that I’m experiencing a classic example of information underload. I have mountains of information about EDD, yet it is very difficult to put my hands on information that’s most relevant to my task at hand. The noise-to-signal is quite high. I have some strategies I use, but the problem seems to have increased lately.
Anyway, that might be my problem more than it is your problem, but I’m curious to hear if others are experiencing the same problem.
But back to my original point . . .
I’m now thinking that it was a smart move for me not to start a new e-discovery blog for several reasons, especially as events have turned out, but I still think that there’s an attractive niche for an e-discovery blog that focuses on the technology and practical aspects of EDD with a unique voice and a focus on education, and that posts a few items a week. I think of Craig Ball‘s award-winning EDD column and how it might translate into a blog or Sharon Nelson’s new blog as possible examples.
I also think that there’s a place for a blog with a unique voice that steps back and offers perspective and analysis on developments in EDD a couple of times a week, rather than simply reporting and excerpting new cases and articles. For example, I like when Rob Robinson offers the occasional analytical post.
In the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of new EDD blogs that have gone live. The one that’s gotten the most attention has been the Law.com EDD Update blog, with a splashy launch and some well-known Law.com-related names in electronic discovery. I subscribed to the feed immediately and was surprised by the sheer number of posts each day. Although it’s seemed to have tapered off a bit, this blog really added to the duplication I experienced because it had a general coverage, multiple voices, and posts about press releases and announcements that I was getting elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are not following any other EDD blogs, it’s a pretty good place to start (even though I always hesitate to recommend a blog before it’s been around for a while). I’d generally suggest that people start with the Information Governance Engagement Area or the Electronic Discovery Law blog, as two examples, or some of the others Tom and I listed in our article.
At the same time, I noticed the launch of Mark Reichenbach’s On the Mark blog. It’s interesting to compare and contrast. On the Mark has a single voice and shows a personality even in its first few posts. There’s a sense of perspective and analysis, and opinion more than just reportage. It’s caught my interest, as did Sharon Nelson’s blog did for the same reasons. It’s worth noting, however, that some believe that the single-voiced blogs are losing ground to group blogs these days – I sure hope not. I’ve grown to like Dave Winer’s definition of a blog as “the unedited voice of a person.
Those reading e-discovery blogs have a bit of a dilemma. How do you sort out what blogs to read and where to begin? Do you want general or specific blogs, analysis or news? How many posts, even if duplicated info, are too many? I don’t have the answer, but am interested in what other people are doing?
Those starting EDD blogs have a larger dilemma. What direction do you go? Will your EDD blog be a case of “carrying coals to Newcastle” in already crowded blawgspace? What is your uniqueness and who is your audience?
We’re past the early days of blogging when the few legal bloggers all knew each other and would (seriously) feel that if a legal blogger started a blog in a certain topic area, you probably would stay away from that area. There’s a lot more to think about these days than ever before.
I’m fascinated to see how this stage in the evolution of law-related blogging plays out.
Adding a simple category for electronic discovery posts was the best approach for me, since I had an established blog. As I always say, let’s see a thousand flowers bloom and see what all works.
I’ll be curious to see next year, when Tom and I update our EDD resources article and/or Bob updates his, how much changes in the course of the next year.
In the meantime, I expect to be writing more about information overload and information underload. I found today two fascinating posts that address the notion of information underload and some of the other ideas I touch upon in this post that I highly recommend for further reading if this subject interests you.
The first is Robert Scoble’s “Content Commodities” (money quote: “So, now that we’re awash in great blogs and other news, what does that all mean?”). Robert mentions his linkblog – my Google Reader Shared Items can be found here, to give you an idea of what he is referring to.
The second is Dave Pollard’s “The Short Shelf Life of Information (and the Long Life of Memes),” which struck me as one of the most important and thought-provoking blog posts I’ve read in a while. It covers some similar topics as this post of mine, but touches on knowledge management, blog archives , and much, much more.
The money quote:

The only sustainable value you bring to an organization is what you show and teach and inspire in other people you work with.

Pollard’s post gets my highest recommendation.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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