Who Do We Know? | Knowledge Management

There’s an interesting article, Email Software Delves Into Employees’ Contacts, in The Wall Street Journal that discusses how more firms are using applications that mine email traffic and other contact information to infer relationships. Thomson-owned Contact Networks and Dun & Bradstreet-owned Visible Path are mentioned, but BranchIT is not.

I like these tools to help solve the “who-do-we-know?” problem. If you’re not familiar with this type of tool, there is a nice online demo from Visible Path that helps explain things. The best part about these tools is that they require no input from the lawyers. They need not submit contacts or even keep their Rolodexes up to date. Relationships are determined passively. The downside: some people just don’t like the idea of an application monitoring their email and other electronic activities. Apparently, these companies are slowly overcoming such obstacles: Contact Networks reports that “about 40 law firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP” are using the application.

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

Microsoft Enterprise Search: Extending SharePoint for Advanced Search Solutions | Knowledge Management

KM World put on a nice webinar called Microsoft Enterprise Search: Extending SharePoint for Advanced Search Solutions.  It is archived for about 90 days, so check it out.  (Sorry no notes on this one).

Also, here is an interesting press release from CMS Watch called SharePoint Has Become the New Lotus NotesI would love to hear what everyone thinks about it. 

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

Wiki Webinar – March 19, 2008 | Knowledge Management

This is a PBWiki Webinar called “Getting the most out of PBwiki 2.0 for your business” on Wednesday, March 19, 2008.  Register.

From the invite: “Join us and explore how PBwiki 2.0 can help your business get more from your wiki. Explore examples of using folders and access controls, as well as how you can customize your wiki’s look in seconds, just based on your company logo.  Plus, ask the PBwiki team your questions.”

I’m looking forward to this because I am not crazy about PBWiki 1.0.

See other LawyerKM wiki posts.

See a page with all of my favorite blogs (many of which also discuss wikis).

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

Google's Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven | Knowledge Management

Google’s Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven  

Presentation on March 12, 2008, Vijay Koduri, Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise and Gautam Malkamekar of Persistent Systems. 

My notes from the presentation:

  • Google Enterprise overview:
    • “mission organize the world’s information…”
    • enterprise information (i.e. info behind the firewall) is 40% world’s information.
  • 600 Google employees dedicated to G Enterprise.
  • 15,000 customers.
  • Google Apps – the suite of apps (now also including Google Sites [see my gripe about Sites here]).
  • 2000 new Apps customers every day!
  • “Search is the starting point to the world’s information.”
  • Knowledge workers (“KWs”) spend 25% of time looking for information.
  • KWs search about 5 repositories looking for information.
  • Expertise location is important 
  • Impact on business is loss of productivity, not optimizing billable hours.
  • What is Universal Search?
    • one search searches multiple repositories
    • the results are delivered without categorizing
    • the results are ranked by relevancy
    • an example of Universal search is Google’s Moma internal knowledge base
  • Universal search allows client access via extranets (security is observed to only give access to allowed material).
  • ROI: increase of billable hours – eliminate some time searching so that billers can spend some of that time doing billable activities (time is money).
  • The Google Search Appliance (GSA) searches pretty much all repositories in the enterprise (file shares, intranets, databases, enterprise apps, content management).
  • “OneBox” – Can make real time queries into various apps (ex. see a snapshot of a regional sales report in the search results – not just a link to the report).
  •  Case Study: Akin Gump (not many details).
    • deployed GSA
    • used it to search intranet pages

Second part of webinar – Persistent Systems & Live demo 

The info here is spare because there were some technical problems)

How Universal Search is “extended” to interwoven

  • Persistent Systems overview
  • Connector Deployment – there is Persistent Systems connector between the Interwoven databases and the GSA (fed via XML)
  • Quick – easy install, simple configuration. 

Live demo of Connector

  • an apparently simple “walk through” set up – it took 5 minutes. 
  • A Google browser is used, allowing to search just public content or public & secure content. 
  • only content to which the user has access appears – demonstrated this feature by signing in as different users with different access credentials. 
  • demonstrated Google OneBox – shows relevant real time information in the search results.
  • They can also connect into other DMS products, like Hummingbird


  • The GSA is a closed box and Google does not share the info with anyone outside of the enterprise
  • GSA can search MS Exchange databases, too.
  • It can search across multiple Worksite servers in different geographical locations.
  • Security is checked
  • The search must originate from the web page, but can be embedded in FileSite, with some custom work.
  • Pricing: based on number of documents in organization.  Starting $30,000 (for two-year license, hardware, software, support) for 500,000 documents.  Can index up to 30 million documents with stacked GSAs.
  • There is a small business version of product “Google Mini” 50,000 documents – $3,000.
  • Application can search Word Perfect, as well as Word and many, many other file types.
  • Information can be compartmentalized so that only certain people can see it.
  • Works with single sign on mechanisms. 
  • OneBox works by doing a real-time query. 
  • Google does not keep your search statistics, but you can keep track of your own search statistics within the enterprise with Google Analytics. 
  • They skipped my question: how many Am Law 100 firms have deployed GSA and how many have deployed the Persistent Systems connector?

Webinar is archived here.

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

Twitter and Follow | Knowledge Management

twitter common

Another great Common Craft video (see below). This one is about Twitter.

I like Twitter (see the link to follow LawyerKM on Twitter on the right –>>). But I’m getting a little inundated with information these days, and Twitter isn’t helping. Neither is following people like Robert Scoble, the self-proclaimed “tech geek videoblogger” and prolific twitterer (or is it tweeter?). More than 11,000 people follow Scoble on Twitter.

I like following him as a Google Reader friend because he essentially vets content for me. Well, not directly, but you get the idea: I read the stuff that he has shared because if he thinks it’s interesting enough to share, then it probably is interesting enough for me to read. (See RSS Overload is the New Black to see how Scoble rips through 600 RSS feeds in a flash with Google Reader).

And for me, “following” is the killer app of Twitter. Socially, it may be interesting to learn that a friend is shopping for a new sweater or is exhausted from a six-mile run, but in a law firm – we can take the “following” concept to a business level. Whether it’s blogs, micro-blogs, instant messages, or tagged / favorite documents, if my boss thinks it’s important, I should too. If certain information flows to (or from) smart, important people (like the senior partners in my law firm), I want to catch that flow, too.

Give young attorneys a way (other than email blasts) to capture information flows and follow senior attorneys so that they can benefit from what these smart, important people are consuming (or generating).

And by the way – if you, too, feel inundated, check out one way to get a lot of content in one space: the LawyerKM Netvibes Universe.


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

Social Network Aggregation (Pull yourself together with Netvibes) | Knowledge Management

“What is Ginger?” you may ask. It’s the new and improved release of Netvibes (the last release was called Coriander – there’s a spice theme going on here).


What is Netvibes? It’s an “ajax-based personalized [internet] start page much like Pageflakes, My Yahoo!, iGoogle, and Microsoft Live.” (see Wikipedia) It lets you bring in customized widgets and all types of other feeds or streams of information – everything from RSS news feeds to various web applications. The new release embraces social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Last night, I tweeted from Ginger. I know that doesn’t sound good.

The Netvibes folks probably say it best: it’s a

“dashboard that’s updated live directly from all your favorite Web services (email, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, widgets) and media content (blogs, podcasts, video). Everything you enjoy on the Web, available at a glance, all in one place — spend less time surfing and logging in from site to site and more time enjoying your web, your way.”

As Doug at KM Space noted, this is about aggregating yourself (or your stuff) – and this type of thing can be used inside the enterprise. Ginger is yet another way to help you aggregate your stuff – to bring all of these streams into one place to access (and use) the various web applications via widgets.

The killer thing is that Ginger gives you a personal space and a public space – the public space is called your “universe” – and it’s there for all of your Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers (and anyone else you want) to see. There are also universes by companies and news providers, like Slate, USA Today, and others.

In addition to the private and public aspects of Ginger, you can see and “follow” friends’ activities.

I could go on and on, but your best bet: check it out here. Or see what Ars Technica had to say about it.

Here’s a link to the LawyerKM Netvibes Universe. It’s still in its infancy, but includes a feed of the LawyerKM blog, a KM blog search feed, the LawyerKM Twitter feed, and a wall on which you can write. I’m not crazy about the color, which I’ll likely change.

lkm uni

Please add LawyerKM as a friend. Use the Contacts tab at the top of the screen, search for “LawyerKM” and click the icon. On the following screen, click the “Add Friend” button.

lmk uni

Will I replace my iGoogle home page with Netvibes’ new Ginger? Not sure yet. But iGoogle, you’d better get in this game. You’ve been warned.

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

An Open Letter to Google Sites

Dear Google Sites,

Many people have said many things about the Googleized JotSpot. I’d like to say some things, too. But I can’t because you packaged Google Sites with the Google Apps product suite. That means that I can’t register to use Sites with my beloved Gmail address. You require that people “Sign up with your school or work email address.” I don’t have a school email address. And I can’t use my work address for such things. But I do want to collaborate with people and use this really exciting new application. I read about Sites in Scott Johnston’s blog post and I watched his YouTube video.

Please reconsider allowing your loyal Gmail users to register to use Google Sites with their Gmail addresses.

Thanks in advance…



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

Wikis outside of the law firm

Collaborative book writing is nothing new. Wikinomics authors Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams have an “unwritten chapter” of their book in a wiki.

One of my recent favorite books — The 4-Hour Workweek — by Tim Ferriss,


is heading into its expanded and updated version [read his blog entry about it here] and he is asking his readers to help him edit it on a PBWiki wiki. The wiki password is in the blog entry.

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