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Archive for January, 2009

Who Runs Gov

The Washington Post has started a website that aims to give you the lowdown on the people and deals in the new administration in Washington D.C. Who Runs Gov leads today (sadly) with a profile on Michelle Obama that asks such penetrating questions as “[S]hould she advise her husband? should she stop working? should her primary role be as a mother to the couple’s two daughters?” Fortunately, there are profiles of others that may be more to the point: e.g. Richard Holbrooke, Linda Douglass, and Eric Holder. One feature of the site that has me scratching my . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Lawyrs Looking for Alternative Social Networks

Devin Johnston, a second-year law student at the University of Manitoba, predicts the death of Facebook within three years.

A major reason is alternative social media platforms that will compete with it more effectively.

I’ve already mentioned Jurafide as one alternative for lawyers seeking American clients, and Jordan Furlong has mentioned LawLink just over a year ago. At that time, LawLink was restricted to American attorneys. It has since opened up to include lawyers from the UK, Canada, and Australia.

However, they still have a statement under the “threat of perjury” that the registrant is a practicing attorney . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

The Friday Fillip

Slaw may not be a family website but that doesn’t mean that anything goes here. We exercise restraint, avoid the crude and generally stay within the bounds of taste, if not always good taste. And yet the word “porn” has appeared here before, and not in some dry discussion of the Criminal Code prohibition either. I’m speaking of library porn, of course (Porn for Librarians, More Library Porn). However, no more book smut today. No, today is porn that is a cut above, that should elevate you, indeed.

I’m speaking of stair porn.

Uh huh. There is . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

NFB on the Law

Yesterday the NFB made a huge collection of its film available to view for free online. They even have the press conference from their launch available for viewing (after a free registration), and a blog post. The site is tricked out with all kinds of 2.0 gizmos, probably enough to satisfy even the most twittery (or is that twitchy?) Slawyers.

A search for ‘law’ brings up three results:

The Days of Whiskey Gap
Colin Low, 1961, 28 min 5 s
Rousing tales of the North-West Mounted Police are brought to life through photos and artists’ sketches. In 1873,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training

Doug Jasinski on Social Media for Lawyers

My friend Doug Jasinski at Skunkworks here in Vancouver spoke on Social Media for Lawyers (powerpoint link) at yesterday’s Vancouver LMA lunch. I didn’t get out to see it, but Doug was nice enough to relay a copy of the slides to me this morning. And I have to say, this may be one of the best slide shows I’ve seen put together on the topic. For not attending, and all… :)

Thanks for the repub permission, Doug. I have no doubt you did a crackerjack job! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Twitter Metrics Using TwitClicks

Using Twitter for data mining and information gathering isn’t new. Most Twitter users effectively search for key terms using Summize, and for PR professionals this is almost a must-do these days to monitor your brand.

I regularly use Twitter (and other microblogs) to direct my “followers” to stories of interest, which can be pieces I’ve authored or news stories. But I have no idea if people actually like the stuff I post unless I get positive feedback (which I occasionally do). I do know that on sites where I have administrative control I notice a steadily . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

Interwoven Announces Definitive Agreement to Be Acquired by Autonomy

As per the title of this post: Interwoven Announces Definitive Agreement to be Acquired by Autonomy.

Many law firms in Canada (and the United States) use Interwoven for their document management system (DMS). Interwoven is a very robust DMS that can manage large volumes of documents while keeping good version control and honoring security settings. However, up to and including version 8.2, many users complain that its search capabilities were too arcane (searching has been improved with version 8.3 which involved Interwoven incorporating Vivisimo search technology). Plus, Interwoven’s Universal Search product appears to be getting good buzz.

As such, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

Obama – Executive Order on Presidential Records

Well it is great to see some rational decision making coming out of the Whitehouse these days. Today I note Obama’s Executive Order on Presidential Records has been added to the Whitehouse website.

Hopefully this will help fulfill one of the many things on Michel-Adrien’s Wish List!

Here’s a snippet:

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Living the New Plentiful in 2009

Enough doom and gloom already! The New Year had barely started when the business section of my local newspaper offered readers a cynical New Year’s message: “The good news is that 2009 is only 12 months long.”

Many of my friends and colleagues have been remarking that the recession and ensuing panic is only being made worse by the media’s endless barrage of negative messages and news stories.

I have been searching for a positive spin to this negativity and found the answer in a blog post by Marshall Goldsmith, business coach: “We all need to think like entrepreneurs.”

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Off the Top of My Head

Joel Alleyne’s December column: The Need to Forget – Less Is More has been on my mind since reading it, though perhaps this incongruous statement should be “in” my mind. Unlike the individual described in the column, my challenge is more often remembering rather than forgetting.

Specific factors in my organization require me to act as the facilitator of institutional memory:

  • I have been with my firm for 10 years and part of our technology committee for the entire time
  • The combined longevity of our entire 5 person IT team is about 13 years
  • I monitor RSS feeds for others
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management


As we all know, there’s a continuing quest to encompass and, at the same time, tame the spate of information from the internet. Google is the most obvious champion in the quest: all the world’s knowledge … conjured up according to your particular search/need. Without that there’d be simply the blare of everything, which is to say, nothing. Another approach is to filter the flood through others, your friends or people whose judgment you respect: social networks perform this function, of course — Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Somewhere in between are those services that bring you streams of everything in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Human Security Gateway

The Human Security Report Project, affiliated with Simon Fraser University’s School for International Studies, conducts research on political violence and makes that research available to scholars and the public generally. The Human Security Gateway is the tool used for dissemination of this material and as well relevant research available elsewhere.

Currently the counter on the site claims 23,701 resources, categorized as News Articles, Factsheets, Reports or Academic Articles. As well, it’s possible to filter the data by topic and region. There are, for example, 2,472 resources under the heading of International Law, Justice and Accountability . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law