Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh Canada... Rogers Canadian IPhone 3G Pricing

Looks like pricing for Rogers 3G iPhone will delay Canada's adoption. See the press release, but once again Canadian consumers will be hit with some of the world's worst data plan charges. Seriously - a regular cell phone user will hit $100-150 monthly, and still may trigger overage charges.

Another point. The fact that 3G technology is coming to Canada - a technology that's supposed to revolutionize the high-volume mobile web - probably means little without an unlimited data plan even being on Rogers menu. A good quote taken from Mark Evans post:
The early feedback from the wireless-only people in our office and the comments flowing in is that the Rogers plans are terrible, and the lack of an unlimited, all-you-can-eat data plan a la AT&T in the U.S. is a “joke”.
The great Canadian mobile fleecing continues.... I think I'm on the iPhone boycott list for the foreseeable future.


New Report on BC Legislation Tracking

It's been well covered in the last 24 hrs between Connie & I; but once more on my home turf:

Connie Crosby has published a new white paper comparing the two main BC legislation tracking services - Quickscribe & QP. As I mentioned over on the company blog, the report also offers a number of suggestions for the improvement for both products. And regardless of which one you subscribe to, it should prove an insightful read on how legislation tracking might be improved for the future.

The report also coincides with the launch of Connie's new website for Crosby Group Consulting; to which I'd like to offer a hardy congratulations!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Testing Lexmonitor's Threaded Post Tracking

As I noted on Law Firm Web Strategy yesterday, the gang over at Lexblog are moving beyond the world of designing law blogs. This past Saturday, Kevin O'Keefe & company soft-launched a new legal blog monitoring tool called Lexmonitor.

One of the really cool features Lexmonitor is testing out, is a threaded-post tracking feature that seems very techmeme-esque. So, to give this thing a run for its money, I'm going to experiment by linking into some of the blog coverage about Lexmonitor. In theory, the posts should thread together on the Lexmonitor homepage.

Other law blog coverage so far:
Like I said, in theory all these posts should string together; similar to Techmeme's conversation threading, with the quantity of inter-linked conversations identifying the hottest topics.

And like Kevin said, "soft-launch". No critique either way, but let's press the gas pedal a bit. shall we? :)


Yahoo Pipes Tutorial on Slaw

Heads up for those who've asked me about Yahoo Pipes recently... I have a tutorial on using Yahoo Pipes for RSS feed mixing that went up on yesterday.


The Good Work of Lawyers

This post is a bit off my regular beat, but as this is my personal blog, I'd like some leeway for a bit of a tangent... :)

In a world where the legal profession doesn't always get much positive press, I'd like to highlight the work of one local lawyer I recently became aware of.

I got a chance to meet Lorne Welwood a few weeks ago, when my wife started practising at his law firm. Lorne is a founding partner at Abbotsford firm of Welwood Wiens Warkentin; but the interesting part about Lorne is that he also serves as the Executive Director for Hope Services, a BC Adoption Agency.

Perhaps it's just me, but the concept of a senior practitioner donating a substantial portion of his time to an adoption agency, while still managing a legal practice, is pretty amazing. It's one thing to donate time to a cause. A lot of lawyers do, in fact. But having the vision to see the legal skill set as an opportunity to expand life's calling, is extremely admirable.

It also strikes me that this a big world, and a story like this can't be that unusual. And with the hordes of legal bloggers out there; there might be other stories to tell? So, give it some thought. Do you have a story about the good work of lawyers? Consider dropping a comment on this post, or blogging about it!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Breaking the Twitter Habit? or, Is Jaiku betamax?

Full marks to Scott Vine at Informationoverlord for his roundup on micro-blogging services titled Is Jaiku betamax?. Scott makes the important point that it's all about where his friends are, and not necessarily how maxed out the feature list is.

Both Scott & I are big fans of twitter, so this isn't a question of allegiances. But with respect to the micro-blogging platforms available and their value to users, I have to wonder ... If there was an open micro-blogging standard, where the front end didn't matter, would twitter still be the tool of choice?

If the people at twitter are smart, they will protect this network at all costs. Don't blame them. Best thing they could do is pretend they own a brand new DNS (analogy) for resolving short-web messaging -- right in the middle of the web's latest layer of infrastructure. Building stability at all costs.

Or in the alternative, someone should create an OpenID equivalent for trusted 'friends' and networking contacts. With the number of email alerts required to seed each new system, portability is becoming increasingly important.

There are plausible alternatives either way, with reliability & user satisfaction still being the deciding factors - IMO. I suspect Scott may yet get to choose his micro-blogging platform. It may just take some time, and Twitter's short term execution will either satisfy or drive others to innovate.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Darlene Fichter, CALL '08, & Just Being A Librarian

If I wasn't already aware how unfortunate I was to miss CALL this year, the point was driven home further by Connie Crosby's Slaw post & relay of the presentation slides from Darlene Fichter's Web 2.0 session. Darlene's presentation looks like it was outstanding!

And while it sounds like I might have been blushing at the mention of Legalpubs, Slaw & all in the same presentation, at the core of that would certainly have been my career-long pride of being a Librarian. Those of you that know me well, will also know how strongly I believe in showcasing our unique skills; or at the very least, a librarian's spin to how the web is evolving.

Then, to boost this feel-good moment a tad further, I see that Wendy Reynolds has launched her first Slaw article titled Why Librarianship?. Wendy's piece is an important one. Not only for showcasing the relevancy of our profession, but also to poke holes at a time when we have an opportunity to renew our role as information intermediaries - this time virtual style! Her addition to Slaw is both exciting, and a comfort.

My personal take is that the future for Librarians is set to skyrocket. Do we need an overhaul to our profession to make that happen? Probably not. But a little fine tuning wouldn't hurt either. And Wendy's point about required technology skills from our MLS graduates is well taken. Not because of a looming gap in traditional Library work (something I'm not totally sold on); but because the world is racing to integrate digital lifestyle (Librarians won't hold credibility if they lag on this), and, because it's an opportunity. Companies want Librarians, if they have the compatible skills to work with the other professionals on their team - who are also all becoming increasingly tech savvy.

But here's the thing. Believe it or not, as a profession we are trail blazers. Sure, the computer programming types are ahead of us, but after that... we're right up there! And we need our new graduates to pickup where current practitioners have left off. No lag. No gap. Just digital savvy information professionals, who might also have an MBA, JD or a graduate degree in another discipline, ready & willing to help as 'concierges of knowledge' to the other professionals, academics, or the guy on the street. [ok laugh a little, but sometimes this librarian needs a grandiose vision :) ]

I just hope we don't miss out on all this over a few coding skills. We need to stay relevant. It's that simple.

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Quickscribe Manual Updates: May, 2008