Blog Buddies | Knowledge Management

Robert Scoble wrote a nice piece in Fast Company about “how to get good PR for yourself in the blogosphere.” It’s called Meet the Press. He notes how Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, went from relative obscurity to a “media darling” in about a year’s time by — among other things — making real-life connections with bloggers.

A good tip from Scoble: use Upcoming.org to see where other bloggers have indicated they are going. Scoble is using Upcoming.org to “watch” the Enterprise Search Summit and Blogger Social ’08 (and a lot of other stuff). If nothing else, you may find something interesting to do (I was “reminded” that the Five Boro Bike Tour is coming up in May and I learned that a band I like is apparently back together and will be playing in NYC in June). A friend [no blog reference] recently reminded me of another resource for this type of thing: MeetUp.com.

I like Scoble’s ideas and I like Ferriss’ book. I recommend that anyone interested in knowledge management, efficiency, productivity, or just making the most out of your waking hours [and your sleeping hours], give the book a read. (It’s not necessarily about working only 4 hours a week). Need some incentive? Check out Ferriss’ blog.

And if you’ve got a blogging strategy, Scoble would like to hear about it. He invites readers to email him about it at scoble@fastcompany.com and “he’ll post the best ideas at” Scobleizer.com. Looking forward to that.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Innovation at Google – a day in the life | Knowledge Management

This was a fantastic webinar from KMWorld and Google:

Innovation @ Google: A Day In The Life

On March 11, 2008, Naveen Viswanatha, Sales Engineer at Google Enterprise gave a really great presentation. 

My notes from the presentation: 

  • Broad background of Google and Google Enterprise, touting customer base, etc.
  • Internet Evolution – from information to distribution & communitaction to network & platform.
  • Chronology of how Google evolved with the internet – timeline with their many online products.
  • “Innovation is at the core of Google’s competiveness.” 
  • 70-20-10 Rule – i.e. Google splits its business focus: 70% focus on core business (Search, Ads, Apps); 20% on things with strong potential (blogger, Picassa, News, Pack); 10% Wild and Crazy (offline adds, wifi, transit).   
  • How Google hires people – the hiring process is “painfull.” (See Fast Company article: “Our hiring process is legendary”
  • Google has a relatively flat management structure. 
  • Internal tool called “Snippets” (a nag email: what did you work on last week? – what are you working on this week?) – so you can track your work.  AND it is a knowledge-base tool because everyone else can search all other snippets and get information on what they may be working on. 
  • Google Ideas database – post and review ideas within Google – people can comment on and vet out the ideas.  The ideas might turn into an actual project.  [plus, it records the things that are Google’s intellectual property] – it uses the “wisdom of the crowds” philosophy.
  • Innovation is a collaborative process at Google –  “Innovation = Discovery + Collaboration (+ Fun)” 
  • First day at Google is “like drinking from a firehose”
  • Any questions – go to “Moma” – Google’s internal knowledge base – search of their key knowledge areas. 
  • Can look for experts within the company – Google expert search within Moma – lots of an individual’s information is searchable (including resumes, which they encourage people to keep up to date).   
  • Search results within Moma – you can take notes in the search results (of the things that you are searching) – uses Google Docs [I used Google Docs to take notes for this blog post] – and you can publish the notes — it publishes it out to the people you want (they use gMail, chat, Goolge Calendar – can overlay colleague’s calendars on top of your own so that you can schedule meetings, etc.). 
  • Regarding the notes – others can make changes to your notes (which you created in Google Docs) in real time – you can see the changes on your screen. 
  • It’s all about the “…ability to find and leverage collective wisdom of the organization…” 
  • How are experts are established?  Expert databases are hard to keep upto date.  So they leverage the things that people do already: resumes, blogs, wikis, Snippets, Moma, etc.
  • Are these tools avaiable to the public?  Yes and no.  Search is the key enabler to tap into the repositories that are already in use at your organization (touting Google Search Appliance). 

The event is archived: here  

I really encourage people to check this out.  Especially those who are new to KM.  This presentation gave a glimpse into Google as a company and it shows off some great ways that any organization can approach KM. 

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Knowledge Management for Law Firms :: In case you missed it… Mar 2 – 8, 2008

Here are some of my favorite legal knowledge management & technology blog posts and other items from the week of – March 2 – 8 , 2008:

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Social Networks, Blogs, Privacy, Mash-Ups, Virtual Worlds and Open Source

PLI presentation:
Here’s the agenda:
Day 1
9:00 Introduction (Peter Brown, Leonard T. Nuara)
9:15 The Newest Forms of Communication: Social Networks and Blogs (E. Judson Jennings, Lori Lesser)
  • What is the business model of social networks?
  • Who are the users and what are they saying?
  • What are the critical legal issues for social networks and blogs?
  • Are blogs and social network postings covered by fair use under copyright law?

10:15 Cutting Edge Litigation Issues (Paul R. Gupta, Peter J. Pizzi)

  • Litigation in the Web 2.0 world
  • Content owners turn to litigation
  • Social networks lead to litigation
  • Virtual worlds – “real” litigation

11:30 The Maturing of the Open Source Movement (Stephen J. Davidson)

  • Business and government turn to open source
  • Understanding the new open source license – GPLv3
  • Current open source litigation

1:45 Privacy and Data Breaches (Thomas M. Laudise, Marc J. Zwillinger)

  • Complying with state notification laws, a comprehensive strategy
  • Lessons learned from data breaches big and small
  • What your IT staff and your vendors don’t want to tell you when data goes missing
  • Secondary fallout from breaches: Dealing with vendors
    and banks
  • New risks created by new technologies and Web 2.0

3:00 Developing Corporate Policies for Information Security and Privacy: The In-House Perspective (Michael F. Cronin, Lynn A. Goldstein, Tracy Pulito)

  • Panel discussion by in-house counsel
  • Defining the duties of a Chief Privacy Officer
  • Only collect what you can protect – What data are you storing and where is it kept?
  • Are data breaches inevitable? Simple ways to eliminate common causes of data breaches

4:00 Ethical Issues Arising from Virtual Worlds, Social Networks and Blogs (Justin Brookman, Sean F. Kane)

  • What can you say on a personal or law firm sponsored blog?
  • Risks in using the internet to investigate potential employees or adversaries
  • Monitoring blogs of employees
  • What real-life ethical consequences arise from “virtual” legal or business activities?

Day Two

9:00 What You Need to Know About Virtual Worlds (Peter Brown, Leonard T. Nuara)

  • The purchase and sale of virtual property
  • Advertising and promotion in virtual worlds
  • Trademark and copyright infringement in virtual worlds

10:00 Resolving Disputes in Outsourcing Transactions (Kenneth A. Adler)

  • Analyzing and identifying the critical issues
  • Negotiating new contract provisions
  • Crisis points in outsourcing contracts and how to draft meaningful protections

11:15 Employee Mobility in a High-Technology World (Victoria Cundiff, Steve Fram)

  • How to maximize protection of trade secrets when employees leave
  • How hiring companies immunize themselves from trade secret claims
  • Using technology to protect trade secrets and detect misuse
  • Protecting trade secrets in a virtual workplace
  • Choice of law issues in a mobile environment

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Knowledge Management for Law Firms :: In case you missed it… Feb 17-23, 2008

Here are some of my favorite legal knowledge management & technology blog posts and other items from the week of February 17 – 23, 2008:

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Knowledge Management for Law Firms :: In case you missed it… Feb 10-16, 2008

Here are some of my favorite legal knowledge management blog posts and other items from the week of February 10 – 16, 2008:

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Too Much E-Mail Leaves Workers Disoriented, Inefficient | Knowledge Management

Update: the Wired link below is apparently dead.  Here is another link to the same study on ABC News and another on MSNBC.

Great article [dead link] on Wired. Best take-away: “Resist the urge to immediately follow up an e-mail with an instant message or phone call. Make sure the subject line clearly reflects the topic and urgency of an e-mail. And use ‘reply all’ sparingly.”

We in KM have a special hatred of email. Let’s hope that 2008 brings RSS, internal blogs, and wikis to reduce the amount of unnecessary email we have to battle. We’ll deal with RSS overload at another time.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

"Innovation" is not a four-letter word | Knowledge Management

Legal KM folks are innovators. They’re always looking for new ways to get the right information to the right people at the right time.  Always trying to make the practice of law more efficient. 

Innovation, by definition, is about newness. “The introduction of something new” or “a new idea, method, or device,” according to dictionary.com. New can be good or it can be bad.  Either way, it will meet resistance. Most people tend to dislike change – the more drastic, the more resistance. Lawyers, and those others who work in the legal field, are not shy about expressing their aversion to change. 

Remember when your firm announced that it was switching from DOS-based WordPerfect 5.1 to the new-fangled Windows-based WYSIWYG Microsoft Word?  Remember “reveal codes?” Some legal secretaries still want to go back to those good old days, but most are now pretty happy with the change.

My mother didn’t need a microwave oven in the late 1970s, — or more accurately, she didn’t know she needed one. Today, estimates claim that 95% of households have one. There’s a reason for it. It’s not the only way to cook food and boil water and pop popcorn, but it’s pretty efficient.

The same goes for my iPod. Aside from being super cool, it is a great device that makes it easy to listen to music.  I could carry around my old Sony Walkman and a bunch of cassette tapes, but, well you get the picture. 

So, why do lawyers, in particular, hate change? I’ve experienced this, but I’m not alone. There are several reasons, and this article mentions some.  A lot has to do with focus and familiarity.

Lawyers work long, hard hours. They write briefs, try cases, do deals, etc. Few, however, focus on the business of law or ways to make the practice of law better.  If they work at firms, then they assume that there are others that deal with that. 

Lawyers, like most people, also tend to do what’s familiar.  We like what we like.  We fear things that are different.  Even if something is better and more efficient, we find ways to avoid it. 

That’s where the KM folks come in.  We don’t focus on what lawyers focus on.  We focus on making it easier for them to focus on what they need to focus on.  We are also more comfortable with change, so we need to make it as painless as possible for them.  Say what you will about lawyers, but they tend to be a reasonable bunch.  Once you get them past the focus and familiarity challenges, they are usually receptive (and sometimes even appreciative).  In the end, most of the time they’ll ask you, “Why haven’t we been doing it this way all along?”  And that’s just what you want. 

So, why innovate? 

Or should I avoid the “i word” and say, “Why introduce some new method or idea?”?  Well, it’s not for innovation’s sake.  It’s not for the sake of being cutting (or bleeding) edge.  It’s to help make things better, easier, and more efficient. 

My mom never asked for a microwave oven, but she did plead for more time to do things other than slave over a hot stove.  Your lawyers may never ask you for a work product retrieval system, an enterprise search engine, blogs, or wikis.  But they will ask you for a better and faster way to find the firm’s documents and other information.  They will ask for a better way to communicate with members of their practice groups and clients.  In short, they’ll ask you to innovate — just not in so many words.   

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Too Much E-Mail Leaves Workers Disoriented, Inefficient | Knowledge Management

Great article on Wired.  Best take-away: “Resist the urge to immediately follow up an e-mail with an instant message or phone call. Make sure the subject line clearly reflects the topic and urgency of an e-mail. And use ‘reply all’ sparingly.”

We in KM have a special hatred of email.  Let’s hope that 2008 brings RSS, internal blogs, and wikis to reduce the amount of unnecessary email we have to battle.  We’ll deal with RSS overload at another time. 

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms