Top 10 Uses for RSS in Law Firms
Top 10 Uses for RSS in Law Firms
1) Current Awareness - Surfing your favourite websites, newspapers & blogs is a waste of time. Smart firms & lawyers need to automate web content to come to them via RSS. These personalized collections can then be customized (through mixing and filtering) to only deliver the content that matches a lawyers' interests.
2) RSS for Firm Marketing - From blogs, to press releases, to firm newsletters and publications -- adding an additional delivery channel using RSS feeds is not a huge investment. And speaking from experience, those clients that do use it, will tell you how much they love it!
3) Vanity Feeds - Every time one of your lawyers, or the firm, gets mentioned in the news media or blogosphere, someone should be notified by RSS. Your firm's ability to use RSS could be the difference between finding out immediately or days later.
4) Internal Research Collections - Your library catalogue should offer an RSS feed for newly added materials that match your Lawyer's research interests. Same thing goes for internal KM & research collections. In the future, I expect Internal RSS will be as important to law firms as RSS is to bloggers today.
5) Client Press - Do your clients have their press releases RSS-enabled? Are you tracking your clients in the news media? What do you know about their latest products, disputes, and business initiatives? Knowing more about your client's business is always good for firm business.
6) Feeding on Marketing Content for KM - Do your firm members have blogs? contribute to an industry discussion forum? wikis? Are you feeding those public internet contributions back into your internal KM repositories? Something to think about.
7) Case Law & Legislative Changes - The importance of RSS notification for new & changing legislation cannot be underestimated. Nor can receiving the newest judgement just minutes after it has been published on a Court's website. In the future, searches on those websites will, via RSS, enable us to receive exactly the legislation and topical cases we desire. I also expect these applications may be coming sooner than most firms are anticipating.
8) Aggregated Tagging - Do your lawyers tag with a tool like Del.icio.us or Furl? (If they don't now, they might in the future, read on...) Tagging is the new 'favourites' or 'bookmarking' for online reading. Rather than creating a browser-based bookmark, these 'gems' are classified & kept in an online web collection, which just happens to be RSS-enabled! Does it not make sense to take those feeds, from multiple firm members, and aggregate them behind the firewall into a searchable repository? The line between public web-vs-behind the firewall collections is blurring. In the future, your KM efforts should be capturing firm members' public web contributions, and RSS technology will be right in the middle of that.
9) RSS Republishing - RSS helps to move web content to where it needs to be. We can automate the republication of any firm content -- from story headlines to full-text of publications -- to anywhere on a law firm's Intranet or public website. RSS is a very powerful website maintenance tool.
10) Feed Mixing & Filtering for Subject Collections - RSS should be easy for the end user, and starting from scratch building a personal feed collection doesn't always make sense. One new task I see for Law Librarians will be to create, remix and filter groups of feeds for different subjects. Creating & offering these pre-fab feed widgets that your lawyers can plug into their Aggregator could be a very valuable tool.