Friday, March 24, 2006

RSS Subject Collections - FeedRinse can help!

Check out This new service allows you to filter your RSS feeds to include (or exclude) keyword phrases, authors or tags! Very cool! At least on initial testing, it seems to do this very well, with little effort, and right out of the box.

There are lots of great mixers out there (see RSSMix, as an example) that will allow you to splice together mulitiple feeds, but other than FeedDigest, none do a great job of filtering those feed collections down for concepts or subjects.

If we're going to put together RSS Subject Collections, we need to be able to mix together multiple quality sources on a subject, then filter things down to a conceptual level. If HBS Working Knowledge publishes an article on 'Global Economics', we want it in our Economics subject feed. What we don't need is all the other stuff, which is where filters like FeedRinse come in.

Librarians in the room take notice. Want to know where the future of our profession is? Mix together some traditional collection development theory with these tools to combine & filter RSS feeds -- the results are a truly dynamic product (and profession).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Announcing CALL Blog 2006!

I am proud to announce that Connie Crosby, Michael Lines and myself are set to start work on CALL Blog 2006 - released today for public viewing!

This addition of a conference blog is a historical first for CALL (Canadian Association of Law Libraries), and anyone going can take part!

So... Are you going to the CALL conference? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at blogging? I can't imagine a better scenario to 'test the waters'... Conference blogs are a short term commitment, and a great chance to see how easy the process is. Simply send Michael an email to take part.

And, let's say you did like it :-), and wanted to start a blog of your own. Then you can send ME an email. I have an open offer to help any Canadian law librarian (or technician) get their blogging efforts off the ground -- I think our profession has that much to gain from it.

See you in Edmonton!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Social Software and the KM Connection

How closely aligned are social software tools and your KM goals? As noted by Jack Vinson this morning, Mike Gotta's post is an excellent reminder that the two often go hand-in-hand.

I'm currently in Portal construction mode these days (why new posts have been sparse), so both Jack and Mike's comments really hit home. When it comes to delivering on the goals of KM, as Jack points out, it really is about "smoothing bumps in the path of finding, using and creating knowledge".

I've always been a fan of well honed online communities (both public and behind the firewall), and their ability to connect those who wouldn't otherwise be connected. As KM practitioners, we seek new ways to extract the 'tacit' (stuff in people's heads) and make it explicit (get it codified). Why? So we can generate connections - yes, between people and knowledge, but also to enable social connections. Building knowledge based collections is important (and not to be forgotten), but only half the battle. To complete the circle, we must also facilitate the 'social'.

One of the biggest changes for KM in recent years, has been the expanded role of documenting experience and expertise. And perhaps obviously, social software tools (read - forums, blogs, wikis, reading lists & bookmark sharing, etc.) have the potential for a big impact. Why? Two reasons come to my mind:
  • First, these software packages are indeed documenting internal expertise, but are also paving the way for physical conversations within your organization. Like-minded practitioners get to know about each other, and those in search of 'someone' who does 'something' won't waste their time - that person will be obvious.

  • The second reason, is that social software can take some informal 'behind closed door' conversations, and make them public. Not all conversations are made to be public, but some are. Think about how many global emails get sent around. Any of them repetitive? any worth saving?
Most corporate environments, law being no different, can become silos when individuals or groups fail to connect. Social software tools are just another channel (the more, the better!) to get people talking - this is good for company culture, internal communications, the cross-selling of practice groups ... and one of the goals of KM.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lunch with Shannon Emmerson

Before the weekend begins, I want to blog about a great lunch I had this week with Shannon Emmerson from Electronic Arts. Based out of Vancouver, Shannon is the Manager, Worldwide Knowledge at EA, an organization with close to 6000 employees!

I met Shannon a couple weeks ago while attending the Northern Voice Moose Camp. During one of the roundtable discussions, she overheard me mention KM, and thankfully introduced herself. It's always great to meet others doing KM work here in Vancouver -- and honestly, I don't get that opportunity very often.

We had an interesting chat, from which I noted a number of the same culture issues we face in the legal environment. I suppose that shouldn't come as any surprise, but it was a good reminder that I should be branching my reading out (again!) to include KM practices in other industries.

If you're interested in finding out more about the KM efforts at EA, check out this link to a presentation Shannon did last year at SFU. [approved for posting]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New Law Librarian Page

Ask, and ye shall receive! :-) has launched a new Large Law Firm SuperSection, including a page dedicated to law librarians! According to the press release, the law librarian page "provides information on emerging trends in management of digital and print resources, and career resources".

Also, be on the look out for blog posts from Joy London's Excited Utterances. For those wondering what's going on with Joy's blog (& the lack of posts), she's just started a new legal KM position and trying to get herself established. I expect she'll be back blogging shortly!