Keep Tabs Without RSS Using Google Reader

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

Look Who's 3! | Knowledge Management

LawyerKM is three today! They grow up so fast, don’t they?

We came to life three years ago with a simple question: Is blogging good for law firms? We were referring to internal blogging at the time. But it didn’t much matter because nobody answered. For all we know, nobody even read that post.

Since then, however, we’ve written quite a bit about blogs and lots of other stuff. And people have been reading — and commenting.

Thanks for reading and for all of the great ideas in the comments and on Twitter and elsewhere.

Here’s to the future.

-Patrick

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

More Micro-blogging in Your Law Firm | Knowledge Management

When it comes to micro-blogging (“MBing” – I just made that up), Twitter started it all – on the web.

Then came Socialcast (which I covered here), and then the much-hyped Yammer, which won the top prize at TechCrunch50.

Now, there is a new kid on the MBing block: Present.ly.

Present.ly and the other MBing applications are all about constant awareness. According to their website, though, Present.ly is not a micro-blogging application, it is a “micro-update communications tool for your company” that provides your employees with “the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask questions, post media, and more.”

In addition to short, frequent updates, there are other features, such as the ability to attach files (like documents, pictures, and videos).  It also supports the most popular internet browsers and mobile devices, including BlackBerry and iPhone.  An interesting twist, and one that I think is essential to enterprise adoption, is the ability to form groups – this allows more focused tweets (so that you don’t have to bother the entire firm with your message).  Finally, Present.ly is customizable and it offers a Twitter-compatible API so that you can adapt tools you use for Twitter to Present.ly.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. So, should you run out and start micro-blogging in your law firm?  That’s a very personal and firm-specific question.  I noted my doubts about law firm micro-blog adoption and Jevon MacDonald listed some pros and cons of enterprise micro-blogging here and here.

One problem I have with Twitter in the enterprise is focus.  It may sound like blasphemy to some faithful Tweeters, but Twitter is distracting.  There, I said it.  I love Twitter, but I use it when I have a few minutes to kill.  I don’t go there to find information that I need.  For me, it’s background.  It’s the Musak of the Web.  As Susan Cartier Liebel said “Tweeting is backslapping and chatting on the street.”  (Other Tweeters have chimed in about their take on Twitter here).  Yes, I know that in the enterprise, presumably, people won’t tweet about what they had for breakfast or their new shoes, but are we inviting a new form of media overload into the firm?  Aren’t email overload and RSS overload enough?  I’m probably not alone when I say that I need to concentrate on my work to do a good job.  Micro-blog posts from my colleagues every few minutes will not help me concentrate on the task at hand.

Another problem is that the signal to noise ratio on Twitter is low.  People are willing to tweet just about anything; but too much of it is just noise.  If people need to have the right information at the right time, how does Twitter in the law firm help with that?  In my experience, probably a fraction of 1% of the tweets that I skim are actually worth reading.  Does micro-blogging have a place in law firms?  Maybe.  It goes back to the question of: what’s the right tool for the job?  If I have a really important question, I probably won’t blast it out on a micro-blog and sit back waiting for responses.

Here is a brief video introduction to Present.ly (listen closely – it’s quick)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPIk3LF5_b4&hl=en&fs=1]

Here’s a list of enterprise micro-blogging tools.

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

ILTA – Live Blogging Day 2 | Knowledge Management

Day 2 at ILTA is on.  If you missed it, I covered three sessions from day one at ILTA yesterday.  Click the ILTA tag to see them.   Doug Cornelius at KM Space and David Hobbie at Caselines are also live blogging.  Other WordPress bloggers are, as well (click the ILTA tag attached to this post to see some).  Also search Twitter for coverage.   

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.

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

You Can Never Be Too Popular – except on Twitter

[update] – this looks like a Twitter accident.

They say that you can never be too popular.  Twitter disagrees.  Prolific Tweeter, Connie Crosby, of Connie Crosby Blog, Slaw and Crosby Group Consulting fame has apparently been bounced from (but maybe now reinstated to) Twitter.  You can see some other people tweeting about it on Twitter.

We’re not sure what’s going on here, but some think, that she had too many Twitter followers.  Another Tweeter, reports that Connie “still has the account but the content is gone except for 1 tweet and 2 followers!”

Keep upto date on this — where else — on Twitter.

@conniecrosby – hope to see you Tweeting again soon.

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