Since I’ll be discussing External Knowledge Management: Using Internet Resources to Your Advantage at LegalTech next week (see my post about it), I thought I’d share a new Google tool that can help.

Google Reader is not new, but Google just announced a new feature that allows you to follow changes to any website — even those that do not offer RSS feeds.

It’s simple: find the website you’d like to track, copy the URL into the “Add a subscription” field in Google Reader, then click “create a feed.”  I did it for my firm’s website’s articles page:

google-reader-create-feed1

According to Google: “Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.”

Obviously, this is a great tool for keeping up with clients’ websites that don’t offer RSS feeds.  But even if a website has RSS feeds, you may want to set up the Google Reader tracker for parts of websites that the RSS feeds do not cover.  For example, if a company has a web page listing employees, it might not publish changes to that page with an RSS feed.  You can keep tabs on who joins or leaves the company by using this new Google Reader feature.

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

New Jersey State courts have announced the adoption of several Web 2.o technologies to better serve the legal community.   These include RSS feeds, a Twitter page, a YouTube channel, and a Facebook page.  The text of the press release is below (and here’s a link to it).

Judiciary Uses Social Media to Keep Court Users Informed

SMS text messages.  RSS feeds.  Facebook.  YouTube.

The Judiciary is taking advantage of the latest media developments to keep the public informed of the latest court developments.  Now, lawyers, litigants, law enforcement, state agencies, reporters and others can obtain up-to-the-minute court news and information on their cell phones as well as online.

“Our court users rely heavily on social media to stay informed and connected.  We are responding to their expectations for timely information that maximizes the convenience of the Internet and of cell phones and other devices,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.

Court users can sign up for breaking news alerts via short message service (SMS) text alerts on their cell phones.  Users sign up for the service through a link on the Judiciary home page, njcourts.com.  The text messages will announce unscheduled court closings and other high priority information so that users who are not in the office or at home in front of their computers will receive the information in real time on their cell phones.  The Judiciary also has begun using Twitter to send short “tweets” about breaking court news.  To sign up for either of these options, users can click on the SMS or Twitter links on the Judiciary home page.  Those links will take them to the appropriate Web sites to sign up for those services.

Users also can add one of three Judiciary RSS feeds to their home pages.  Users can choose to receive the news release feed, notices to the bar, or Supreme and Appellate Court opinions, or all three options, by clicking on the RSS icon on the Judiciary home page.  The site will link directly to a sign-up page that will allow users to have the feeds sent to their personal start page on Google, Yahoo or another Web-based personal site.   As soon as a new item is posted to the Judiciary Web site in one of those categories, the information will be available immediately on the personal start page.

Facebook users can join the group “New Jersey Courts” to see press releases, court information and photos of court events. The Judiciary’s Facebook page is updated daily and the links can be shared with others who are not currently members of the group.

Finally, the Judiciary has begun posting videos on YouTube for court users to learn more about the courts.  Topics covered by the videos include the Judiciary’s mortgage foreclosure mediation program and the Veteran’s Assistance Project.  Future videos will address help available for self-represented litigants and volunteer opportunities.  To find video clips about the New Jersey courts, go to youtube.com/njcourts.

For more information on how to sign up for any of the new services, call 609-292-9580.

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

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

RSS overload continues to plague us. To combat it, I recently eliminated some of my Google Reader feeds that I just never get to (I’m down to 141 now). Still, I have thousands of unread posts in those feeds. There’s something new from AideRSS that may help focus your feed reading on the good stuff and weed out the rest.

I’ve mentioned AideRSS before (see RSS Overload is the New Black). It’s an application that filters RSS feeds and delivers only the best ones to your RSS reader. The problem is that you have to go to the AideRSS site, create an account, enter feeds that you want filtered, and then add the new filtered feed to your reader. Not horrible, but a little cumbersome.

Now, however, AideRSS has integrated with Google Reader. This means that all you need to do is install a FireFox extension and Presto! – the AideRSS PostRank filtering system is applied to all of your RSS feeds in Google Reader. This makes the service 1,000% more valuable. For a nice detailed description of this, head over to Eric Blue’s Blog.

Of course, I can’t describe it as well as the people who made it, so here’s a video about this new Google Reader integration.

Other LawyerKM posts on RSS

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

After only four days without Internet access, I am considering declaring RSS Bankruptcy. There are just too many RSS feed items in my Google Reader account, and I can’t keep up.

By now, most people have heard of e-mail bankruptcy: the act of starting over by deleting most (if not all) of the e-mail messages in your in-box and requesting that people resend messages if they are really important. It’s becoming pretty popular. Maybe the next version of Microsoft Outlook should have an e-mail bankruptcy button. Here’s an article about how venture capitalist Fred Wilson declared e-mail bankruptcy last month. His message was, “I am so far behind on e-mail that I am declaring bankruptcy,” he wrote. “If you’ve sent me an e-mail (and you aren’t my wife, partner, or colleague), you might want to send it again. I am starting over.”

I sympathize with Wilson. I know that I’ll spend most of the day playing the “e-mail catch-up game” when I return to the office after vacation. It’s stressful. But I feel an almost equivalent level of stress when I see that I have several thousand unread RSS items in my Google Reader account. There are close to a thousand items in my KM folder alone. Part of me wants to at least skim the items, but the other part wants to simply pretend they never existed. This is nothing new, really. I wrote about it last year in RSS Overload is the New Black. So, I should have seen it coming.

For now, I’m not ready for RSS bankruptcy. I’m just going to allow the items to accumulate, read some at my leisure, and really do nothing. (I know, it’s all very Zen.) If I miss something, it’s OK. I’m sure someone will re-blog it and I’ll see it eventually. Or maybe I’ll see it on Twitter, or maybe in my FriendFeed wrap-up email. Or maybe I should follow Tim Ferriss’ lead and outsource my RSS reading, the way he outsources his e-mail. Or maybe… it just doesn’t matter.

How do you deal with RSS overload?

Update: One thing that will help is Google’s new Google Reader application for the iPhone, which is still in beta. Read about it on Lifehacker. The previous version was pretty good, but it was clearly a “light” version of the full web-based RSS reader. The new version more accurately resembles the full version. Very handy.

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

On March 18, 2008 NewsGator conducted a webinar called “Increase Employee Productivity with Enterprise RSS.” Replay here

More LawyerKM on RSS here.

More on RSS from other KM sites here.

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

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

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

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

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

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