Friday, October 19, 2007

Quickscribe Offers Elite RSS Service for BC Legislation

BC Legislation service Quickscribe is on a roll these days. They've just launched their new website -- which looks great -- and are now offering one of the best RSS for legislation tools on the market.

Even if you aren't a subscriber to their online service, the free version of this RSS tool is a welcome addition to watching legislative changes here in the BC. In particular, I see two features that really stand out: 1) the ability to personalize which Acts and Regs you want in the feed, and 2) the section-by-section changes that are detailed to the subscriber.

Other than law librarians who may be tracking changes for multiple stakeholders, most users aren't going to need updates for every BC Act & Regulation. As I've said before, RSS technology is at its best when used as a filtering tool. The Quickscribe offering fits that vision by allowing users the choice of all BC legislation, topic categories, or the ability to hand pick your own custom list of Acts & Regs. And according to Quickscribe's Mike Pasta, in the future we can expect to see both keyword search feeds, and RSS tracking for current bills.

The second aspect worth noting is the detail within the feed items. Each entry identifies the specific section that was added/substituted/replaced, the date of the change, and how it was brought into force. Here's a sample entry:

For Quickscribe's paid subscribers, the icing on the cake is the ability to link into their online tool, and see each paragraph in full text, before and after the amendment. I tried to do a screen capture on this, but wasn't able to do it justice. You can check out this video tutorial for a better picture.

Back when I posted my top-10 uses for RSS in law firms, I said that legislative feeds are going to be an important selling point for the future. BC firms are now in the position to re-publish these feeds on their Intranets (sorted by practice area, industry, etc.), and lawyers can create custom solutions for their personal information needs.

Now, if I can just get an RSS icon on the bottom of my CanLII search results, I'll be one happy law librarian.

[Disclosure: Mike Pasta and I have been bantering RSS for a couple years now, and obviously before Stem was conceived. I'm thankful that within my first 2 weeks of operation Quickscribe became a client. When I get involved with non-law firms, it's because of fit & personal choice (see my JD Supra post), and my contract terms leave the decision to endorse (or not) any client project in my control. ]

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