Friday, October 27, 2006

AmLaw 100 Firms with KM Programs

From the ILTA KM listerv... Lisa Kellar, Senior Practice Consultant at Hunton & Williams LLP, has published results to her informal poll on the number of AmLaw 100 law firms with KM Programs.

I'm passing along Lisa's email below, with permission:

Some of you know that I recently attempted to reach the AmLaw 100 to find out what percent of them have formal KM programs. I offered to share the final numbers without revealing any firm-specific information - the numbers are below. The higher of the two numbers represents the percent if all of the 9 firms that I didn't hear from, said they DO have a KM Program.

  • AmLaw 50 = 78% - 84%
  • AmLaw 100 = 66% - 73%

This survey was based on my own personal definition of what a formal KM program is and would probably vary based on your own definition. For my purposes, I defined a firm as having a formal KM program if they met any of the following conditions:

  • the firm has a Chief Knowledge Officer, a Director of KM (or similar) position
  • the firm has a KM department or people with KM in their title
  • the firm has a KM budget
  • the firm has at least one attorney spending 50% of his/her time on KM activities
These are obviously rough percentages, but still, a good sign that things are headed in the right direction. Thanks Lisa!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

UBC SLAIS Bloggers?

I just came across Allan Cho's blog. Allan is a 2nd yr student out at UBC SLAIS.

So now I'm wondering, are there any more?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Google CSE - Blawg Search

Blawg Search from Bill Gratsch at

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vertical Search is Back!

With the addition of the new Google Coop Custom Search Engine (CSE), I'm now predicting an increase in the number of vertical search web properties. I'm also thinking that this new feature could be WAY more important than anyone is giving it credit for.

Why? consider...

1) Google has just given us the opportunity to segment their database. This is huge! The average person has simply never had a filtering tool of this magnitude. Don't want spam? Find a CSE that fits your search.

2) Google has found a way to add a human element to their top web property. People add the element of 'authority', and if you trust someone, you can trust their collection. Frankly, that's as Web 2.0 as we've seen out of G!

3) Vertical Search is now possible for anyone and everyone willing to take the time. Why delve into spidering technology when Google can power your application. Sure, it's not a business model, but Google's revenues are driven by partnering up with mom-n-pop web developers. And by sharing a cut of the ad revenue, you can expect vertical search portals to be back in vogue.

4) Librarians now have a huge tool at their fingertips. Can you say Subject Collections? Dust off your collection development skills people, we're being turned loose on the Google generation! Who uses the raw-Google search anymore, anyway? keep your spam, I'm using a Librarian-enabled search engine! ;-)

5) This concept leverages the Google's Adsense revenue stream better than ANY they've previously come up with. Imagine thousands of vertical search properties, and some of them potentially creating viable web-brands. Google takes a cut of the ad revenue on every one of them, their brand becomes even more powerful (if that's possible...), and website owners have once again found Google religion ($$$).

Update - Emma has a good post up comparing Rollyo & Google CSE, with a couple of law firm-esque practical examples.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Connie's Been Shifted!

I've never been slashdotted, but it must be somewhat similar to being shifted (close, no?). Either way, it's nice to see Connie Crosby's mention in the Shifted Librarian blog.

The favoured event? Connie's most recent LLRX post on the use of Flickr by Librarians, which includes a fantastic Q&A session with Librarian/Flickr power user Michael Porter. If you're looking for some insight into the Libraries and Librarians group inside Flickr, it's well worth the read...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When is a Law Blog Just a Newsletter?

Blogs are the new black for law firms, right? Ok, well let me throw out a scenario. Firm management wants to get into the blogosphere because they hear it's the next great thing. So they hire a web design firm, and fire up Wordpress with all the standard features enabled - comments, permalinks, RSS, trackbacks, pings, etc. But then, things go horribly wrong.

How wrong? Well, imagine a blog with no identified bloggers -- "because it's a firm effort... and we don't want any stars, do we?". Then imagine that *nothing* is written in first person -- I mean nothing. A blogroll? "Why would we want to send people away from our blog? that's crazy". The standard fare that typically went into the firm's newsletter is now transferred into the blog.

So... is it a blog? Nope, not even close. Here's my take... If you're not prepared to put your picture on it, tell me about the 'person or people' writing it, or give some of your thoughts on a subject, it's not a blog. I'm not trying to put up a barrier to entry here, but if you don't want to be a blogger, why are you putting one up? Let's just call a spade a spade, and a newsletter a newsletter, shall we? I like newsletters. I find them very informative.

Why does this happen then?

A couple of reasons come to mind. First of all, very likely not one of the lawyers involved has ever read a blog. They've simply been told they should be on this bandwagon. Second reason, zero effort has been made to train those involved. Some kind of blogging coach, a crash course, or 'something' would have been appropriate. And lastly, there should have been a discussion on 'why blogging is different' and the social side of this technology.

For some lawyers, blogging comes easy. Others... are going to need some help. Nothing wrong with that. And for those wondering, the answer is 'yes', I did have a certain law blog in mind when writing this post, and 'no' I'm not going to call them on it. Perhaps the better question is, could it be yours?

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Google Reader, 5 reasons I hate it

I still don't like the new google reader.
  1. It's really really slow. I'm watching that 'loading' test tube bottle way too much.
  2. I have to manually mark everything I read by scrolling over it. A big waste of time.
  3. Unread item counts are sometimes incorrect.
  4. Reading by category folders doesn't mark enclosed items as read, scrolling or no scrolling.
  5. You have move through items s-l-o-w-l-y. Scroll too fast and it won't mark all items in-between as read.

I know I'm in the minority, but for web based Aggregators, I still like the Bloglines reader way better. The Bloglines AJAX interface is also better than Google's (IMO), and while I'm not a fan of frame designed sites, this is one situation where it works.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Vancouver Law Library Blogs

I'm very proud to announce that two of my Vancouver colleagues have jumped on the law library blogging circuit. Similar to Anh Huynh and Kay Samuels who recently started contributing to Connie Crosby's blog, two of our more ambitious VALL members, Emma Wood & Rob Golbeck, have started their own blogs!

Check out Emma's Ballad in Plain E and Rob's LibTech Life. For those reading along at home, make sure you grab a copy of Emma's feed, and Rob's feed. Both sites will be a part of my blog roll by the end of today.

There are obviously a limited number of Library Technician blogs online (especially in the law library realm), and both Rob & Emma should be congratulated for being among the first. And the fact that it's these two who are leading the way, at least for me, comes as no surprise. Both Emma and Rob are active in various local Associations, especially LTAIG, and both are great communicators. Regular VLLB readers will remember that I recently blogged about Emma's article in Free Pint.

I will make one tiny point of disclosure -- Rob & I work together. And we all know what that means... double brownie points for taking me to task whenever I put my foot in my mouth. ;-)

Best of luck Emma & Rob! Our west coast tribe is expanding!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Canadian Law Student Blogs Featured

A new article on Canadian Law Student Bloggers is included in the fall edition of the CBA National's Law Student issue.

Congratulations to Alastair Clarke, who finally outed himself as the anonymous author of Queens Law Life. Also, congrats to the other prominent law student bloggers included in the article: Sarah Shody, Andrew Kirk, Ryan Austin, and Michael Paris. Nice way to start your legal career!

I now have a question. What happens to your blog when you graduate? Anyone care to blog a response?