Do Things Once – The Wiki Way

I’m a “social media evangelist.”  I encourage responsible use of social media.  I think that having a good LinkedIn profile, for example,  is important.  Since I often spread the good word, I often get questions about how to use various social media sites.

One question I get a lot is: “How do I get my picture from one website (e.g., my firm’s web page) to appear on my LinkedIn profile?”   Not rocket science.  I can practically do it in my sleep.

The first time someone asked me, I called them and walked them through the steps involved.  It took a few minutes.  No big deal.  I didn’t mind doing it once.

But when someone else asked me the same question, I kicked myself for not taking a few extra minutes to write it down and send it to them in an email.  So, I did.  Now, if a third person asked, I’d be ready and forward that email – so as to not reinvent the wheel.

The third time was déjà vu all over again.  I knew I had answered the question before.  I knew I was ready to answer it again.  But now I just had to find it.  It was somewhere in my rat’s nest of Outlook folders.  It took several minutes, but I found it and forwarded the answer along. Not horrible, but there had to be a better way.

That better way was a wiki.  I had learned my lesson.  The next time I would be ready.  I saved the instructions into a wiki page.  No more email folder hunting.   I knew it was in the wiki.  A quick search for “LinkedIn” would bring it up.

That next time was today.  The whole transaction took me about 20 seconds.

The goal is to do things once, then re-use what you’ve done.  It saves time and frustration, and allows you to provide faster and more consistent customer service.

How do you use wikis to make your life — and the lives of others — easier?

Knowledge Management, Technology & Social Media for Lawyers and Law Firms

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

The FBI Wiki | Knowledge Management

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation — following in the footsteps of the intelligence community — has created and is testing a wiki.  In fact, the users of FBI’s wiki, Bureaupedia, will be able to link to articles in Intellipedia, the wiki of the spies.

“An agent that retires after 30 years leaves with all of that — what we call a tacit knowledge — everything leaves with him,” said Zalmai Azmi, FBI’s chief information officer, who will be retiring in October. That includes “best practices, things that he did differently, things that he wishes he had done differently.”

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

Google Defeated by LawyerKM | Knowledge Management

It is truly a David versus Goliath story. In this corner, little LawyerKM. In the opposite corner, gargantuan Google. But LawyerKM has won the fight over Google Sites.

Back in March when I learned that Google finally finished Googleizing JotSpot and made it into Google Sites, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to check it out. But, to my great displeasure, Google made Sites a part of their Google Apps platform, and required that people “Sign up with your school or work email address.” I couldn’t sign up because I didn’t have a school email address and my employer didn’t allow such use of my work email address.

So, I wrote an An Open Letter to Google Sites and published it right here in this very blog. I demanded [read plead] that Google reconsider. I’d like to say that dozens of my loyal readers commented in support of my cause, but that would be a bit of an exaggeration. Only one person, Tim, supported me. (Thank you, Tim!)

Well, the gargantuan Google has finally come to its senses and agreed with little LawyerKM. Yesterday, Google announced that Google Sites is now open to everyone.

You’re welcome.

Watch the video… then go make a Google Site.


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

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

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

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