Web 2.0: Driving Innovation in the Law Firm Library

dc_speaking Steven Lastres, Don MacLeod, and I will be speaking at 9 a.m. on Tuesaday, July 28, 2009 at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

Here is some information on the program from AALL:

Target Audience: Law firm librarians who need to understand how new web technologies can foster collaboration and deliver library services.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Participants will be able to assess the benefits and pitfalls of emerging Web 2.0 technologies from three perspectives: library management, knowledge management and lawyer training.

2) Participants will be able to build a convincing business case for Web 2.0 technologies to firm management and other decision-makers.

The presentation begins with an overview of the benefits of Web 2.0 as part of an overall Knowledge Management strategy. The program will explain what the benefits are to lawyers and clients, how to calculate ROI and demonstrate why law librarians should lead the process.

After a discussion of the underlying theory driving the adoption of Web 2.0 technology, the nuts and bolts of building and deploying Web 2.0 technologies will be reviewed, including showing which technologies pay off the best (comparison of tools) and how to get buy-in from management and adoption by end users. Part of this program will look at how to integrate new technologies with existing infrastructure.

The third perspective of Web 2.0 concerns teaching lawyers how to work in a knowledge-sharing environment. This part of the program will provide guidance on how to set up a training program in the law library to help lawyers master the tools they need for sharing information in their daily practice. The program addresses how librarians can encourage lawyers to rely on them for expertise in identifying and using the right resources.

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

Little Knowledge Management is the Next Big Thing

tagBack in September of 2008 I mentioned this idea of “little KM” in a post called “Micro-blogging in your law firm?.” There, I wrote: little KM is about “how” and big KM is about “what.”  Little KM helps people find the big KM.

The Small Stuff. By little KM, I mean meta data; but not the hierarchical, taxonomic stuff of older KM approaches.  It’s not about asking your lawyers to profile, or select prescribed meta data, for their documents when saving them in a document management system.  Rather, little KM is about on-the-fly, user-generated tagging, commenting, and rating.  Little KM is also about self interest; and that’s important.

Little KM is not substantive.  It points or directs people to the substantive stuff (the big KM).  For example, if a lawyer tags a document with “best practice” or “model” it will probably indicate to others that someone thinks highly of that document.  The same is true if a rating system (e.g., five stars, or “thumbs up”) is employed.  Comments can also be helpful to note attributes of a document that are not immediately evident from the contents.  For example, a lawyer may comment that a particular transactional document is favorable to a buyer, rather than a seller.  That can help someone more quickly decide which among several documents to review when working on a new matter.

Self Interest. Altruism may be alive and well, but for the most part, we do things to help ourselves, personally.  The good thing is that with little KM, the side effect is that it also helps others.  When someone tags, comments on, or rates a piece of content (presumably to help themselves find, or make sense of, it later) others get the benefit of that person’s efforts.  This is not to say, of course, that such selfless activities shouldn’t be encouraged.  But, unless people see the personal value of using little KM, it won’t become all that it could.

Low Impact. For little KM to be helpful and effective, it must be easy to use and part of one’s workflow.  If a lawyer must open a new application to tag or rate a document in a work product retrieval system, then it will seldom happen.  Think of the online social bookmarking site Delicious.  It allows you to bookmark websites and tag them with keywords.

delicious-toolbar

The most effective way to use Delicious is not to add URLs on the Delicious website, but rather to use a web browser toolbar button (see above) that allows you to tag your current website.  Here is a Common Craft video that shows how to use Delicious.

In the same way, little KM features inside your firm need to be easy to use.  If they’re not, they will surely fail.

Is your firm using little KM?  Do you have systems that allow lawyers to tag, comment, and rate the big KM?

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

Enterprise 2.0 Jumpstart (Web 2.0 Expo) | Knowledge Management

Web 2.0 Expo Wrap-up Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thanks to Doug Cornelius at KM Space, I was able to attend the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC.  Instead of taking paper notes (speaking of paper-free, I wish I had one of these), I tapped them out on my laptop, and figured that I would share them with you.  They are rough (so please excuse any typos).

Today’s Workshop: Enterprise 2.0 Jumpstart

Speaker: Thomas Vander Wal of InfoCloud Solutions, Inc. (www.infocloudsolutions.com)From the Web 2.0 Expo:

This workshop provides an overview of the Web 2.0 tools and the changes
these social tools and user focused ease of use tools play for enterprise
(organizations that are large to small with business, non-profit, or public
service focus). There have great changes made to tools and services provided
on the web in the last 5 years or so as the layers and use of the tools on
top of the web browser have changed for the better. This change has value to
the organizations using the web and not just the people using sites.

The workshop focuses on conceptual models to help people things about the
important components for success using the social web tools and services to
augment the organization’s reach and engage better with customers and
employees.

The workshops covers advantages, lessons learned, and current along with
potential gaps around deciding how to make first steps, how to select tools,
and how to increase the chances for success with the Web 2.0 tools for
Enterprise use.

My Notes:

History – how did we get to Enterprise 2.0?

  • Old office systems were clunky, required too much IT involvement, etc.
  • The consumer web started to change – offer improved direction and features: blogging, etc.
  • the volume of information changed: email, IM etc. have greatly increased to amount of data floating around the enterprise.
  • People started to realize that Individuals — regardless of rank — offer solutions.  So, there was a need to give them the tools – the ability to contribute.
One factor contributing to Enterprise 2.0 Adoption: is that new employees are expecting web 2.0 tools (they grew up on the web and don’t understand why they can’t do it at work).  They understand the ideas — and ability to connect — related to social networking.
There is a bit of deja vu going on with the concerns about E2.0: similar to the 1990s with email (and before that with the telephone) – companies have a false concern that E2.0 tools will lead to information leaks outside the company.  [I remember someone once saying that if the telephone were introduced today, most companies would reject it because it would be too risky – people might use it to improperly disclose information to people outside the company]
So, what’s this web 2.0 / enterprise 2.0 stuff about?
  • people meeting and discussing: their wants, desires, needs, interests.
  • sharing.
  • but really: all about “me” – and those who I follow.  A very ego-centric world.  So, it’s social.
  • tools that help people advance as a society [whether that society is the world – on the web, or the enterprise]
When so many people have such far-reaching access, it can lead to a flood of information, many layers of
information, so we need tools to be able to get to the specific information that we need.
The digital nature of these w2.0 / E2.0 tools help ease the technology pain.  The ease of use of new tools increase the likelihood that people will use them to capture the information that is important to the company.

Information is great, but Actionable Information is more important.  It’s fine to capture all of this information, but you need to be able to do something with.

What does your organization know?  This is a key question in KM.  Most organizations don’t know everything they know.  A lot of information is trapped in people’s heads and it doesn’t do any good to the organization of those people leave.
Also important is what your company calls things.  If there are different terms, then it may be difficult to
communicate.  Knowing what your customers / clients call things is also important.

Vander Wal described his Four Rings of Social Enterprise:

  1. the tools: blogs, wikis, feeds, social bookmarking, voting, profiles, widgets, mashups, favoriting, comments.
  2. interface / ease of use: this is the platform, e.g., oracle, SharePoint [1&2 combine to make up the usability; eventually, the tools get out of the way, if the software is smart enough, it can take unstructured data and know what to do with it to make it actionable (e.g., stikkit.com)]
  3. Sociality: what are your relationships you have with others?  who do you want to share with?  everyone?  select people or groups?  [tools and sociality combine to make intelligence and business needs].  There are “spheres of sociality”  personal, selective, collective, the mob.
  4. Encouraging use: this is easy for younger employees.   [The combination of encouraging use and sociality leads to”social comfort”] – show success stories regularly; buiild and show use cases; manage the community – promote contributed content.  Show how good ideas in one part of the organization can be applied to another part of the organization.
The balance of all four rings: “social software perfection.”

Benefits and Cautions of Enterprise 2.0 (Inside, Outside and Through the Firewall)

Enterprise 2.0 – Inside the firewall
Benefits:

  • fills in gaps in communication
  • individual voices: more people can contribute their own perspectives (in a 1.0 environment, you might not even know that certain people have ideas about what the company is doing).  You never know who might be able to contribute valuable perspectives.
  • flexible structures:
  • tools are starting to get out of the way: again, ease of use…
  • ease of connecting:
  • tools embrace horizontal interaction: this is the idea of how ideas can be applied in various parts of the organization.
  • easy to iterate & create more efficient workflows: this helps the organization work much more quickly
  • low, if any, abuse of the tools: since the tools used the organizations LDAP/AD feeds to identify users, the users are reluctant to abuse the system – there is accountability (even the intelligence community uses wikis and blogs they’ve never had a case of abuse of the tools)
Cautions:
  • know offerings of tools (i.e. the tools mentioned in the first ring, above): what does each tool offer
  • adoption may be slow – you must work to improve engagement/use (incentives are often counter productive – it can lead to people putting junk into the system) – get people focused on the “me” aspect – figure out how the tools can be beneficial to them so that they will want to contribute
  • formal training is not needed: use overview sessions (in intelligence agencies, trainers go around and spend small amounts of time with users)
  • the web is different from in-house: e.g., there is no anonimity in-house
  • understand employee fears: and address them
Enterprise 2.0 – Outside the firewall
Benefits:

  • a more human approach: e.g., rather than press releases, blogs allow companies to interact with their customers and clients.
  • embrace conversations with customers: web 2.o allows you to connect with customers [cited book: Cluetrain Manifesto: marketing is a conversation – it’s happening whether the company is involved in it or not.]
  • supports interaction through ease of use
  • eases customer support: lets customers show their love and support: e.g., endorsing products and services in blog posts, twitter posts, etc.
  • allow direct connection to the customer: web 2.0 is yet another channel to connect with customers
  • let’s customers help innovate
Cautions:

  • listen first: listening to customer / client feedback
  • marketing will need to adapt: this is a new way of doing things.
  • moderate the comments and discussion (with a light hand) [but you don’t want to make the comments seem artificially positive – you may be criticized if you delete all negative, but relevant, comments]
  • avoid lock-in: allow people to get the information out of your site and on to other sites.
  • must be easy to join and engage: if it is too difficult to contribute, people won’t bother.
  • consider scaling & long-term use: make sure you can handle it if your company blog grows and generates more and more comments, etc.
Enterprise 2.0 – Through the firewall (communication from within the company to those outside the company)
Benefits:

  • authenticated interactions: know who is allowed to interact.
  • common space for franchisees
  • preferred customer usage (e.g. invitation only beta testing and previsews)
  • transparent communications
  • directly engaging with customers / clients
Cautions:

  • transparent communications: must be aware of legal ramifications, leaks, etc.
  • set nimble processes for setting official organization responses.
  • set firm policies for handling caustic situations
  • scaling: problems if your site or services are down
  • information reuse by customers
  • how to engage
Enterprise 2.0: Value of Multiple Perspectives

  • Personal
  • Collective: when aggregating information about “social objects,” you can follow the links to the various individuals and get multiple perspectives.
  • Collaborative – a group perspective around a “social object” (you may not be able to see the individual contributions (things are seen as a whole).
  • New User: this is someone who doesn’t know yet how to use the system.
  • Service Owner: this person is concerned about more technical and structural aspects of the E 2.0 systems.
  • External Developers: example is Twitter: most of the people who use Twitter use it via third-party interface [Ijust started using Twittelator on the iPhone]
Examples of Users (using Digg.com or Mixx.com as an example):

  • Non-user (newbies)
  • Non-Contributing Collective User (this person simply consumes content )
  • Non-Contributing Selective User (maybe uses a selective view of a site)
  • Light Contributing User (this person might tag, favorite, or comment on content)
  • Heavy Contributing User (this person also adds new content)
The above was combined into a matrix of perception with depth of perception and faces of perception.
Elements of Social Software

  • Identity
  • Objects
  • Presence
  • Actions
  • Sharing

Once an OBJECT is shared, a person (through IDENTITY) builds RELATIONSHIPS, and then RELATIONSHIPS form CONVERSATIONS about OBJECTS, this turns into GROUPS that COLLABORATE.  Of course, there was a venn-type diagram to explain this.

Focus on the individual voice: Information, understanding, and knowledge in context from their perspective.

Case Studies:

1. Comcast Cares

Started on Twitter: one Comcast employee would look for people on twitter who would voice complaints, he would reach out to them.
  • now comcast searches blogs and other forums and reaches out to people there, as well.
  • it is a whole new way to connect with customers
  • now the team is 7 – 10 employees
  • have various searches and alerts to monitor the web and community forums for mentions of Comcast.
  • provides customer feedback and assistance
  • as of August ’08 – interacted with 11,500 Twitter users
2. Starbucks Ideastorm
  • built on SalesForce.com system
  • a “My Starbucks” platform
  • open to all to make recommendations for new ideas for Starbucks
  • customers suggest ideas and other customers can vote
  • in one month there were over 600 comments and 53, 000 votes
  • gets customers involved and drives innovation
  • what about long-term engagement?
3. McDonalds Franchisee Community
  • built on Awareness hosted platform
  • About 2 -3 months to build & deploy
  • internal McDonalds corporate & franchisees
  • inside the firewall and through to trused external customers
  • news, blogs, community, profiles, & photos
  • focus on community neighborhoods, with 200 planned.
LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Deliver Facebook for the Enterprise | Knowledge Management

I attended a webinar from NewsGator called Deliver ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’ with SharePoint

NewsGator, Deliver Facebook for the Enterprise | Knowledge Management

Here are my rough notes, so please forgive typos:

September 11, 2008

Speakers:

  • Deb Bannon Senior Product Manager at Microsoft
  • Laura Farrelly – Marketing at NewsGator

What is social computing (SC)?

  • examples – Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia
  • a collaboration mechanism using the Internet

Many employees are demanding the same type of web functionality in their companies

Social Computing is in the “collaboration spectrum”

  • SC – really about the connection with people rather than about content.

Enterprise 2.0

  • the enterprise use of web 2.0 technologies
  • power is moving from institutions to communities
  • moving from a top down to a bottom up model

Business Drivers for SC:

  • drive collaboration & social interaction
  • capture and share tacit knowledge
  • discover content in new ways
  • capture “wisdom of the masses” via social feedback
  • build sense of connection to the company
  • easy search and find relevant subject matter and subject matter experts
  • encourages participation
  • increases efficiency, productivity and speed

Growth in the Market

  • expected to by over $5B in 2013

Employees want the technology, but IT departments want to make sure the platforms are secure, manageable, and compliant

SharePoint (SP) can be used to bring web 2.0 into the enterprise

  • includes blog and wikis
  • enterprise search
  • consistent user interface and one-stop place for all such collaboration tools
  • easy to customize
  • NewsGator can integrate with SP

NewsGator Demo

  • “Facebook for the enterprise” – short review of what Facebook looks like.
  • Facebook Groups reviewed also
  • There is a risk of using consumer-based social networking products in the enterprise (for obvious reasons)
  • NewsGator’s answer is a dedicated platform for the enterprise (NewsGator’s platform, of course)

Live NewsGator Demo (very much like Facebook):

  • based on fake pharmaceutical company
  • recent activities section
  • anytime a name is displayed, it is hypertexted to the the person’s profile
  • there is a social network graph (this is nice) the closer (physically) the contact, the stronger the connection (not sure how the relationships — or thier strength — are established) Update – Laura Farrelly has clarified this blow in the comments – Thanks Laura!
  • can add tags to communities
  • communities are auto populated with info from SP and news feeds, emails, etc.
  • discussion threads are accessible via email – so that people can contribute via email.
  • RSS feeds (which is NewsGator’s forte)

Example from Universal McCann, which is using SP with NewsGator

  • global media communications agency
  • BTW – Universal McCann’s website is pretty slick (although maybe too slick – it’s a bit hard to navigate)
  • built communities based on area of interest rather than geographic location or projects
  • they use the platform also to connect with their customers
  • Universal McCann has a white paper on their site called The Social Butterfly Effect
  • Link to Universal McCann video case study.

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

Web 2.0 Law Firm Adoption (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 27, 2008 1:00 pm

These are my notes from the program.  [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog.  Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]

From ILTASee the description and download the slides here

Title: Web 2.0 – Law Firm Adoption
Description: As Web2.0 tools mature, there is an increased number of adoptions by Fortune 500 companies.  We explore and learn if Web 2.0 solutions already being adapted by Fortune 500 companies would be accepted by the lawyers in your firm.
Speaker(s): Bruce MacEwen – Adam Smith, Esq.

Learning Objectives: Learn how the new Web 2.0 tools are being utilized by Fortune 500 companies and its potential impact for law firms.
Analyze adoption rates amongst law firms.

LawyerKM’s notes:

These notes are highlights, you can see the slides on the ILTA site.
Bruce has many good diagrams in his presentation – check it out.

Web 2.0 Agenda:

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Mashups
  • Social Networking
  • Implications for law firms

The nature of the web and how it has changed:

Web 1.0 > Web 1.5 > Web 2.0
key difference is 1.0=surf, 1.5=search,  2.0=share

Blogs 101
23 blogs known in 1999
125 million blogs in 2008

Blogs as a management tool: a place in professional services firms because there are so many advantages over email.

Blog Basics:
important to have firm-wide blogging policies
you’re personally responsibe
respect and keep secretsinclude positive and negative comments (for credibility); some firms use blogs just for a replacement of client alerts, etc. and disallow comments (whether your firm does this depends on the culture)
be nice

Be Aware:
there is significant time committment to blogging.
your firm may require legal approval

Do’s & Don’ts:
there were a number of these, see the slides link above.
Highlights: don’t get defensive; develop a tone of voice – there is a brand aspect to your blog, a brand is a promise to your readers.

Why blog?
Internally – facilitates collaboration
Externally- demonstrates expertise

Web 2.0 [and Enterprised 2.0] –  At the heart of the knowledge management function; also at the heart of the project management function.

What lawyers do (cases, deals, etc.) are projects.  The intrinsic characteristics of blogs lend themselves to project manaement – the most recent thing is on top.

The way a firm is organized is usually different that the way people interact (see Bruce’s diagram)

Wikis
like a blog with multiple authors (e.g. wikipedia)
“it will never work in theory, but it works in practice”
the concerns that people will vandalize wiki pages is unfounded (if it happens, the good people will fix it and the vandals will be exposed)
Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein reported 75% drop in email on projects after implementing wikis.
There is very little instruction required.

There is not much downside to trying out wikis and blogs becuase they are generally inexpensive and they are generally accepted because they mirror the way people work.

Mashups
Definition: basically mixing two or more databases together (e.g. craigslist rentals with google maps or chicago crime with google maps)
Hypo – key clients mashup with a map of an area – could have real value to a firm.
Hypo – “caller ID on steroids” when a client calls, identifies the person as a client, it pulls up all types of firm info and a news feed related to the client.  [this is a great idea – other than this I haven’t heard too many good ideas for mashups in organizations].  this is real “just in time” information that can be very useful for lawyers – getting the right information to the right people at the right time.

This stuff is not “high tech” it is “appropriate tech”

Social Networks
MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Legal OnRamp (specifically for lawyers).

Bruce is disturbed by the number of members and the presence detection features of Legal OnRamp.   [to me this is of minor concern – better platforms, like Facebook allow better control over privacy and presence detection].

Success Stories:
there are some anecdotes, but most are struggling for a balance

McKinsey study: companys are shifting from experimental to broad adoption.  But, 21% were satisfied and 22 were not satified.
Specific internal uses: KM is 83%
External uses: improving client services is 73%

Leadership buy-in, promotion, and endorsement are keys to the success of social networking.  [in my view, this certainly is the key.  you may get some adoption, without it, but it will never be widely adotped and considered a success without it.]

Main take-away: power of the tools is to strengthen relationships that already exist.  It requires business and IT / KM to really collaborate.  It is the IT / KM job to identify new tools, such as social networking, and for senior management to push it forward.

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

Web 2.0 in Law Firms (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 26, 2008 9:00 am

These are my notes from the program.  [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog.  Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]

From ILTA:

Title: Recap of G100 CIO Event – Web 2.0 Focus

Description: Join the G100 CIO Advisory Board as they provide a recap of the G100 CIO event held on Monday, August 25 in conjunction with ILTA ’08.  The focus is “Web 2.0 – What It Means to Law Firms,” including a summary of what Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager for Google Apps shared with the group around the phenomenon of Web 2.0 in general.
Date/Time: 8/26/2008 9:00 a.m.
Location: Fort Worth 5,6,7
Speaker(s): Peter Lesser – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
David Rigali – Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP
Karen Levy – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Peter Attwood – Simmons & Simmons

LawyerKM’s notes:

  • The panel recapped the G100 CIO Advisory Board meeting from 8/25/08
  • What is Web 2.0?
  • an aspect of collaboration rather than just web consuption.
  • structured vs. unstructured data – it may be ok to have multiple collaborators.
  • Is it different the Enterprise 2.0? – trying to take the concepts of web 2.0 and incorporate them in organizations.
  • At Mallesons wikis started with IT staff and now it is among the practice groups – someof the most prolific users are the more senior attorneys.  average age of partner there is 39 (is this a factor?)
    • Firm culture is important – some use DMS as a confidential repository, some have them open.  The latter may find wikis more acceptable. 
    • They has a client facing wiki.
    • They allow people to even restructure the wiki page.
    • Firms are not looking to IT to set it up.  It is very low cost. 
    • Use: from a practice group perspective, the wiki content was not a part of the record (i.e., the matter records) – the content is more practice-group related rather than matter related. 
    • Some fear contributions to wikis becuase they don’t want to be seen as having written something stupid.
    • The wikis are getting 1000 hits per day. 
    • Best adoption was in IP practice group.
    • In technology department they have a wiki page for their meeting agendas.
  • The panel was asked if they will use wikis.
    • Lesser said not now, but didn’t rule it out for the future.  It is a cultural thing.
    • Levy – there are ways to introduce it (admin first, perhaps) – find out where it fits.  It’s a tool and it may fit some problems, not others.
    • Attwood – has tried it in IT, some have worked, others not, agrees with Levy
    • Brandt – thought was – if it is “cheap to fail” why not try it. 
  • Question: what about blogging?
    • Lesser’s firm has a policy against it – presumably refering to external blogs (but there is one internal blog).
  • What about the fear of discovery (from a litigation perspective)?
    • Brandt – the stuff is still there (now it’s just in email and other electronic places) [great point – people need to understnad this!!].  Levy agreed. 
  • Google Apps (some of the notes below are beyond Google specifically)
    • idea is cloud computing and using Offie-style apps (like Word, email, spreadsheets, presentations) on Google’s servers. 
    • the price is fixed, the upgrades in functionality are frequent. 
    • Docs has full doc version control.
    • there is real time collaboration on documents.
    • Attwood was surprised how far forward Google is.
    • Lesser thought this was the most interesting topic.  Many in the room thought they might see this in the next 1-1.5 years.  It may be client driven (if a client adopts it, law firms may have to adopt it as well). 
    • The thought was to sit with Google to adjust it to make it legal specific.
    • The functionality is very far from the feature set that we are used to from Microsoft. 
    • Security seems to be there.  It is encrypted. 
    • Google allows you to tie in your own authentication methods
    • There was debate about whether firms are ready to give up all they have done in the last 10-15 years. 
    • Many firms are looking at getting away from a specialiszed approach and going for a more corporate approach.  Stop making and using customized applications and use more standardized applications.
    • The cost issue (often 1/10 of what the existing systems might cost) may be the thing that convinces partners to move away from the customized apps and go for more standardized apps.
    • The panel agreed that communicating with Google early on may convince them to focus on what they might be able to do to make it work for law firms.
    • A benefit to focusing on more out-of-the-box approach is that you can upgrade quickly. 
    • The panel plans to reach out to Google and others, like Microsoft, etc. to see how firms can move in this direction.
  • One take away
  • Levy – the dramatic gap in cost between the traditional approach and the new Google approach.
  • Attwood – this is moving much faster than he thought. 
  • Lesser – thinks that the whole cloud computing could work.
  • Brandt – There seems to be no real road map to the development of the products – it is based on user feedback, which is good.

It was refreshing to hear such forward-looking ideas on the panel. 

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

Enterprise 2.0 and Your Law Firm | Knowledge Management

If you are at all interested in knowledge management, web 2.0, enterprise 2.0, and the like, you should point your RSS reader to Read Write Web.  It is easily one of my favorite blogs, and it is packed with useful information.

Bernard Lunn, of RWW, wrote a piece called Enterprise 2.0: The Nature of the Firm.  In addition to being an insightful piece, it is an announcement that ReadWriteWeb is dedicating a new “channel” to Enterprise 2.0.

“When the irresistible force of social media hits the immovable force of a traditional enterprise, it makes a loud noise.”

If this quote from the article rings true to you then you should tune into this channel.  

I will.  And I look forward to reading more of what Lunn has to say on the topic.

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

Help Me Help You: Social Media in Your Law Firm | Knowledge Management

Common Crafts new video, Social Media in Plain English, really emphasizes how a lot of this new-fangled social technology (esp. tagging, commenting, and voting) is really nothing new, and nothing to be afraid of. It’s just a twist on the old way (and often better and more effective way) to do things. It’s not appropriate for every aspect of the way lawyers work, but it can be helpful in many respects. (post continued below video)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpIOClX1jPE&hl=en]

(See other LawyerKM Common Craft stuff here)

Allowing comments on model documents in your precedent repository (or DMS – see e.g., Interwoven) can add a perspective–and value–that the author or the KM staff or your PSLs did not initially recognize. For example, you may have added a particular sample because it is a good example of a certain kind of brief related to a particular industry. And that’s the way the KM staff described it in the “official” description in your KM system. But a non-KM user (i.e., a practicing lawyer) may think that it’s a good example not because of the industry to which it is related, but because of the nature of the litigants (e.g., limited liability company vs. professional corporation) – a piece of meta data that’s not likely to be part of your official taxonomy.

As we all have come to accept, meta data is important to the ability to locate the information we need. But don’t forget about user-created meta data (tags, comments, votes, etc.). KM folks may think we know what’s important to the lawyers we support (and much of the time, we do), but those lawyers know what’s important to them. So, why not allow them to help us learn? Sort of “Help me help you…” but I suspect that your lawyers won’t be begging you with as much desperation as Tom begs Cuba.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-oHuogx6_Y&hl=en]

So, don’t be afraid. Maybe we should call it “Business Media” instead of “Social Media.”

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

Attorney 2.0 – Generation Y in Your Law Firm

Ready or not, there is a new generation of lawyers headed your way. Since “two point zero” is all the buzz these days, we can call this group “Attorney 2.0,” if you like. But before the whole “two point zero” craze, there was the “Generation __” craze. It started with Generation X (attribute whatever characteristics you like), the term that increased in popularity in the 1990s.

Then came Generation Y, those born between 1983 and 1997 (some define Gen Y as “current 13 to 30 year-olds”). However you define them, some Gen Y’ers are now young adults and some of those young adults are lawyers – and they are working at your law firm. Right now.

“So what?” you may ask. Here’s the thing: Generation Y is different because they grew up on the Web. In a ReadWriteWeb piece called Why Gen Y is Going to Change the Web, Sarah Perez discusses some of these imminent changes. As Perez puts it, Gen Y is “the most digitally active generation yet, having been born plugged in.” Here is the key take-away for those legal KM folks among us:

Work Tools Need to Mirror Web Tools: Gen Y will drive adoption of “Enterprise 2.0” products and services. Gen Y in the workplace will not just want, but expect their company to provide them with tools that mirror those they use in their personal lives. If socializing on Facebook helps them get a sale, then they’re not going to understand why they can’t use it at work. For more buckled down companies, if workers aren’t provided with the tools they want, they’re going to be savvy enough to go around I.T.’s back and get their own.

* Check out the SlideShare presentation, The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 @ Work, below.

For all of us struggling over the issue of whether knowledge management is about technology or culture, well, when talking about Gen Y lawyers, the answer is “yes.” In other words, for the Attorney 2.0 set, technology is their culture. Sharing, collaboration, social networking, tagging, and voting (and all of that other web 2.0 / enterprise 2.0 stuff) is their culture. [See Doug Cornelius’ post about his survey of summer associates’ use of social networking websites]. These lawyers grew up on the Web. They are accustomed to changes; rapid changes. They roll with it and look forward to it. They are not “change averse” like the generations before them.

Will Gen Y lawyers tag legal documents in your DMS? You bet. Will they comment on a blog post or contribute to a wiki? Definitely. Will they subscribe to RSS feeds? Absolutely. Will all of this replace the monthly litigation department meeting where people share knowledge and collaborate face-to-face? Of course not.

Generation Y lawyers organize their digital lives with the tools of the web (Delicious, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Reader, Newsvine, Netvibes, etc.). They will want to do the same at work because it will help them be more productive. Isn’t that one of the goals of knowledge management?

For the Attorney 2.0 Generation, this is not innovation: it’s a no brainer.

[slideshare id=396865&doc=genyweb20-1210364558509716-8&w=425]

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