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Archive for January, 2007

A Project Called Steve

Steve” is a collaborative research project exploring the potential for user-generated descriptions of the subjects of works of art to improve access to museum collections and encourage engagement with cultural content.

Steve asks you to tag works of art, hoping to develop from this folksonomy ways of making art and artifacts more accessible generally. Now this is a far bit from legal research, but it intrigues me because it invites mass tagging into a specialist’s area. A long time back, when tagging was newish, a number of us posted about it, doubting it’s applicability in law, where a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Librarians’ Strategic Role

At tomorrow’s NYC Legal Tech, a discussion on an important theme I’ve not seen discussed outside AALL – the Law Librarian’s Role in Firmwide Strategic Issues.

This is part of an educational track on “The Evolving Role of the Law Librarian.” Major mergers bring all sorts of challenges such as maintaining continuity of information services, with attendant financial, logistical and organizational concerns.

“Law firm mergers are a fact of life in today’s economy,” says panelist Todd Erich Bennett, who has been through two major mergers that led to Thelen Reid & Priest forming in late 2006. “We . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous Smart PR & Smart Feeds

This past Wednesday morning when I came into work, I had an email pop out at me in my inbox. The subject line read, ‘Hello from Gary Price’. After my holy smokes moment, I proceeded to open it, and read a very nice introduction to a fellow Librarian whose career I’ve been following since at least 1996. Search Engine Watch? ResourceShelf? Docuticker? Yes, indeed, that Gary Price.

I remember reading when Gary left SEW to go to the new, a time when the Jeeves butler was in the process of getting the proverbial boot, and thinking: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You’ve got a piece of text you want to share with others, and you want them to be able to comment on it. You could of course email it round and get comments back that way. And you could put it up on a website with a comment function — if you had one and if you knew how. Or you could use

This simple web application allows you to post up to 30,000 characters to a URL that it generates and that belongs only to you and your text. You can inform others of the URL at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Courts and Wikipedia – a New Crutch for Judicial Notice?

Apiece in yesterday’s NYT about how US courts are using Wikipedia

The NYT story suggests that it’s largely due to law clerks who turn to Wikipedia to verify background facts, even though the controversy about the source has not abated. That’s also what I’ve seen recently, marking Jessup Moot factums, where Wikipedia seems to be substituting for conventional authority.

The NYT story ends with Stephen Gillers of NYU:

Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University Law School, saw this as crucial: “The most critical fact is public acceptance, including the litigants,” he said. “A judge should not use Wikipedia

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

12,000 Academics Can’t Be Wrong

The Guardian has a piece on the petition signed by 12,000 academics “urging the European commission to make publicly funded academic research available for free on the internet.”

Be quite a thing, wouldn’t it, if all the legal research funded in whole or in part by public money were made freely available? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


I've been meaning to post about open ID for some time now, but have been held back by the fact that I didn't understand it—a small matter, you might think, but one that even so got in my way.Now, thanks to man-about-the-internet Simon (isn't everybody?) Willison, I grasp the thing, and find it to be both more and less useful than I'd imagined.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Defuses the Bomb

The New York Times has reported that Google has adjusted its search algorithms to avoid Google Bombs. Victims have included President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Rick Santorum, and Senator John Kerry.

It used to be searching for the words “miserable failure” would lead to President Bush’s home page at the White House.

Google announced on Thursday on its official blog that “by improving our analysis of the link structure of the Web” such mischief would instead “typically return commentary, discussions, and articles” about the tactic itself.

Indeed, a search on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Innovation in the Practice of Law

The legal market is not known – yet – for embracing innovation. And the life of a law practice management innovator can be lonely. That can and will change…  

The College of Law Practice Management (of which I am a Vice-President – full disclosure) sponsors the InnovAction Award, which is designed to identify and honor innovation in law practice management.

To get an idea of what we’re up to, take a look at the ezine on Innovaction that Jordan Furlong edited, and which we discussed last year.

If you are in a law firm, inhouse department, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Vandals Attack the Library

Word from this morning’s Telegraph, that the British Library may be starting to charge scholars to use its reading room (yes the haunt of Marx and Dickens)

With a threat of cuts of up to seven per cent to its £100 million budget, money-saving measures are being lined up at the library, which has a collection of 150 million items. Opening hours would be cut by more than a third under the proposals. In a further symbolic blow, a reduction of 15 per cent would be made to the library’s permanent collection, which includes a copy of every book . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous