Friday, January 30, 2009

Collaboration Through Wikis at Hicks Morley

Heather Colman has a piece on the use of wikis at her Canadian firm, Hicks Morley, published on Collaboration Through Wikis at Hicks Morley.

I had the pleasure of meeting Heather back in October and heard her presentation on the selection and adoption of wikis at her law firm.
Since our successful launch, 768 pages, 384 links and 530 internal shortcuts have been added by individual users. The most surprising statistic is that 1,445 documents have been added as attachments. This illustrates the wiki’s overall appeal including its use as a mini Document Management system. ThoughtFarmer has become an effective replacement for the cumbersome Shared Drive. The statistics highlight how easy it is for users, including lawyers, to add pages and content. The automatic navigational structure, search engine and ‘browse by tags’ functionality makes it easier and faster to find information resulting in a substantial drop in the number of email queries. The Intranet has also become a Personal Knowledge Management enabler with many lawyers using their profiles to store personal precedent collections, articles, presentations, speaking notes, etc.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

LegalTech Knowledge Management Cocktail Party

If you are attending Legal Tech in New York next week and you like knowledge management, then go to the ILTA Knowledge Management Cocktail Reception. It takes place Wednesday, February 4th 2009 from 5pm to 7pm at the Bridges Bar in the Hilton.

Register for the ITLA KM Cocktail Reception

I’ve attended LegalTech and the KM reception for the past few years (but not this year). Meet and greet other KM professionals.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Social Networks for Lawyers

Omar Ha-Redeye writes on about two new social networks for lawyers: Lawyrs Looking for Alternative Social Networks and Social Network on Jurafide for American Clients. is a networking and marketing site that facilitates communication between U.S. clients and non-U.S. lawyers. looks like a social networking platform for lawyers with some group discussions and legal news. 

Omar signed up on Lawyrs but finds that it is missing the ability to pull in your contacts and see who you know is in the site. A fatal flaw.

I did not bother signing up for either one. Legal OnRamp seems to be the dominant site in the world of social networking in the legal field. I previously wrote about my bad experiences with LawLink and ABA's LegallyMinded. I still hold out some hope for Martindale Hubbell Connected. So, I am skeptical that either of these two companies with no apparent connection to the US legal market can provide an interesting online networking platform.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Use Google Analytics To Track Your Sharepoint Intranet

I assumed that you could not use Google Analytics for your intranet. Apparently I was wrong.

Sadalit Van Buren takes you through the steps on her A Matter of Degree blog: How to Use Google Analytics with Sharepoint (MOSS 2007).

Google Analytics is not the most robust tools for measuring traffic. But these are tight economic times and it is good to have a free tool.

I use Google Analytics to view trends on this blog and some other sites I control. It does a great job of showing trends and the most viewed pages.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Author Wanted for a Report on Social Networking for Lawyers

I received a request to write a report on social networking for lawyers. It is a bigger project than I want to take on. (Since my change to compliance from knowledge management. Yes, I will be publishing a compliance blog. It should be online shortly.)

If you are interested in writing a detailed report for a very good publishing house, let me know.

Here is the request:

Below is a brief synopsis which highlights some of the areas that I would expect the report to cover, although I'm very happy to receive input from you, of course. I'm also open to different suggestions for the most effective title. With the reports, we normally look at a printed product of at least 70-80 pages (which equates to around 40,000-45,000 words). This should include case study material or practical examples, which the author can write himself or ask a third party to write.

As we approach experts working within the industry, who are in the best position to provide accurate, well-informed content, we do understand that they will be taking on such projects alongside their day-to-day roles. For that reason we seek to offer a fair remuneration package, which would include a fee plus a royalty share of sales.

As this seems to be an issue of particularly topical interest, we would ideally like to publish this report in April 2009 so would need to receive copy by early April. Both deadline and fees are negotiable. The report will obviously be marketed extensively to our law firm database in the US and UK so there is additional value for you from the profile-raising point of view.


Social networking for lawyers

Social networking and Web 2.0 collaborative tools have enjoyed an exponential increase in popularity in recent years. However, whilst such tools have been embraced by many businesses in a variety of sectors, law firms – and lawyers in particular – have been slower to appreciate the value that they can create in a professional context.

This report will review the substantial benefits that social networking and Web 2.0 can bring to law firms, in particular in the current economic climate (e.g. cost-conscious marketing; maximizing lawyer downtime to develop know-how). The report will also look at how potential pitfalls – such as damage to brand and reputation – can be avoided.

Target readership

Lawyers wishing to gain a more thorough understanding of the application of Web 2.0 in the business context; marketing, business development and HR professionals looking to exploit a new channel

Proposed contents

A brief introduction to some key concepts and how they might be used in law firms

Why use social media in law firms?
• Reputation management
• Marketing
• Recruitment
• Offering value-adding legal services
• Encouraging press contact

Using blogs to raise your and your practice group’s profile

Using wikis as a tool for knowledge sharing and collaboration in the organization

Using LinkedIn, Facebook, Legal OnRamp, LawLink, Second Life – and getting the maximum value from them

Mitigating the risks of social media

Ensuring workers are properly briefed on appropriate/inappropriate usage

Case studies

The report should include a number of case studies illustrating how firms and lawyers use social media for a variety of purposes – to share know-how, recruit, develop new business, communicate with clients and strengthen relationships. Could include some examples from other kinds of businesses too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Top Legal Blogs

I have had mixed things to say about Avvo in the past: Avvo's Online Ratings For Lawyers Come To Boston and Avvo Revisited - I am a 23% Better Lawyer.

Avvo put together a great list of the Top Legal Blogs.

Rather than using the voodoo used by the ABA, Avvo used the blogs Alexa ranking. Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources. The Alexa information may be off because it relies on information from its toolbar users. I wonder how many lawyers have the toolbar installed. (I did not install it until I saw the blog list.) So there are a few oddballs in the list. But there is a great transparency to the list that I have not seen in other legal blog listings.

Sadly KM space does not make the top 100 with an Alexa ranking of only 1,319,459.

You can certainly argue that Alexa is not a useful tool for measuring traffic and ranking site (as I pointed out). The ranking shows the popularity of these blogs to Alexa users. You can interpret whether this carries over to a different population of lawyers and those in the legal field.

As Brian Leiter argues on his Law School reports blog, even site visitors and page views do not capture the best statistic. He points out that average site visit time should be factored into the number site visits to measure impact.

You also should look at the number of subscribers and incoming links to a site. I have yet to see an effective way to mash this all together in a meaningful way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Online Networking for Lawyers

Online social and business networking sites are a booming business. Tap into the success of these powerful tools by using them to strengthen your business and personal connections, share your expertise, and enhance your marketing and recruiting efforts.

This is the lead in for the article I wrote, Online Networking for Lawyers (pdf.), for the January 2008 issue of Trial Magazine, themed Law Firm 2.0.

The article is reprinted with permission of TRIAL (January 2009).
Copyright American Association for Justice, formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA®).

Cross-posted from Online Networking For Lawyers


Can he live up to the expectations?
This photo is from his senatorial website:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is Knowledge Management Just Overhead For Law Firms?

Just about everyone I talk to expects 2009 to be a difficult year for the economy as the job cuts and corporate failures of the last quarter really come into effect. Law firms with their thin capitalization and thick layer of fixed costs are bracing for a difficult year. I keep hearing "Flat is the new Up."

Where does knowledge management fit in this climate for law firms?

Two articles address this topic in the January issue of KIM Legal magazine. Karen Battersby in: More Than Just An Overhead and Toby Brown of Fulbright and Jaworski in: Doom and Gloom, or Time to Prosper? both look ahead to the challenges.
  • The efficiency gains from KM should be welcomed when clients are more likely to challenge every item on the bill.
  • With layoffs (whether formal or performance-based) it is important to transfer the knowledge from individual lawyers to teams of lawyers.
  • KM can allow senior lawyers to delegate more to junior lawyers, allowing the senior lawyers to focus on client relationships.
  • Use KM to increase the level of client service.
  • With extra capacity is some areas, it is a great time for law firms to use that capacity on knowledge management activities.  
  • Focus on expanding the use of existing systems instead of going out and purchasing something new.
You can read more from Toby at the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lexis Web Search

LexisNexis has put out Lexis Web Search in beta release:
The Lexis Web product includes important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. You can trust that all content has met LexisNexis criteria for being authoritative and accurate.
I see that my Real Estate Space blog is included in the index. I also saw JD Supra, Connie Crosby, Slaw and Goodwin Procter in the search results. I assume they have included most law firm websites. They even included Kevin O'Keefe's Real Lawyers Have Blogs.

I could not find a list of the included sites.(KM Space is not one of the included sites.)

At first I thought Lexis had merely wrapped a frame around a Google Custom Site Search, like I did when I put together the KM Sites Search. But I saw some great tools to help you deal with the search results:
  • Navigation based on Lexis Search by Topic or Headnote legal classification system
  • Navigation based on Lexis LexisNexis SmartIndexing Technology
  • Navigation based on legal citations
  • Recommended list of sources to search in LexisNexis
Those are the kinds of things I saw in great enterprise search tools like Vivisimo. Maybe this is a by-product of the partnership among Vivisimo and Lexis for Interwoven's Universal Search.

It is a great free product from Lexis. (It is odd to put "Lexis" and "free" in the same sentence.) There are links to premium lexis content and a Google adwords panel. Perhaps that will be enough to support the creation and maintenance of Lexis Web Search.

Thanks to Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog and Leslie Street of Due Process: The Georgetown Law Library Blog pointing out this new service: Lexis Offers (in Beta) Legal-Specific Search Engine for the Web.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Separation Between the Personal and Professional Online

One question that most people encounter online is where to draw the line between personal and professional. Do you keep your "friends" in Facebook and your "professional connections" in LinkedIn?

Before you start thinking how to corral information online think about how these people are grouped in real life. Are some of your co-workers your friends? Are there interesting pieces of your personal life that you would want to share with your professional contacts? (The answers should be yes if not, you need a more interesting personal life or a different job.)

Alin Wagner-Lahmy has nice article on this at the Official Blog of Martindale-Hubbell: CES Day 5: The Personal and the Professional.
Sharing professional and social info with one’s professional and social connections gives a better way to broadcast your message to many people, and strengthen your online presence and relationships, and it also gives a more holistic view of a person and allows a much more interesting and fun way to communicate with your friends, colleagues, etc – a connection between two or more people is much more stronger when they share a personal experience, interest or emotion.
Anything you put online is potentially discoverable by anyone from any aspect of your life. If you are broadcasting information think about the channel of your communication. Think about the audience in the different social internet sites. You will inevitably have very different groups of information in those sites.

The same holds true for knowledge management. You want to put the information that is most interesting and relevant to a particular group in a place where that group can see it. You filter the content and organize the content depending on the expected audience.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Free Admission to LegalTech New York

. . . IF, you are a blogger.

Bob Ambrogi has more information on how bloggers can get a complimentary pass, special accomodations and a free breakfast at BobAmbrogi's LawSites.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2008

As things are winding down here at KM Space, I thought I would offer up a look back at 2008.

Below are the top ten blog posts viewed over the past year. I pulled up the top content list from Google Analytics. I am not sure these are the best posts or the most interesting posts. But they are the most visited.

1. Sharepoint Wiki Disaster. A post highlighting two of the fatal flaws of Sharepoint's wikis.

2. Wikis in Sharepoint. Some images of Goodwin's Sharepoint wikis, including one of the (few) great features.

3. About this Blog and Doug Cornelius. This is a lesson to you other bloggers. Your readers want to know who you are and more about you.

4. Maps on Sharepoint. I never did get around to setting up maps on Goodwin's Sharepoint intranet.

5. Facebook at Law Firms: Cannot be Banned. An old post that first got me interested in Facebook and how law firms could use Facebook.

6. Making Wikis Work - Success Factors. I point out some of the great uses we found for wikis at Goodwin Procter.

7. Tacit Versus Explicit Knowledge. I point out that writing something down is not enough.

8. Wikis at The Rosen  Law Firm. A great success story on the adoption of a wiki by a law firm.

9. Lawyers, Law Students and Facebook. A study of the numerous Facebook groups for law firms.

10. Blogger and My Blackberry. It just goes to show that you can generate interesting content when you are trapped in a delayed airplane.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Canadian Law Blog Awards

Steve Matthews of Stem Legal has announced the winners of the Canadian Law Blog Awards for 2008.

Congratulations to the winners!

2008 Canadian Law Blog Awards WinnerFor the second year in a row that includes me. Once again, Steve bestowed a Friend of the North Award, as a U.S. blogger that looks north of the border to network and exchange ideas. I am honored to share this award with Mary Abraham of Above and Beyond KM (newly re-launched at

I was happy to see Jordan Furlong's Law21 as the winner of best Canadian Law Blog. He has wonderful insight into the practice and business of law.

It was tough to beat out SLAW with its all star line-up of contributors, including Jordan. They did not go home empty-handed. SLAW grabbed the CLawBie Legal Culture Award and Best Legal Technology Award.

The delightful Connie Crosby picked up the Non-legal Audience Award CLawBie for her Connie Crosby blog and micro-blogging on Twitter.

Those also happened to be my three nominees for CLawbies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Looking For The Intersection Of Knowledge Management And Enterprise 2.0

Back in early October a group of New York law firm knowledge management leaders and a group of Toronto law firm knowledge management leaders gathered to discuss current issues in knowledge management. One of our topics was: Does Enterprise 2.0 = Knowledge Management 2.0?

You can read some more notes on the gathering:

One exercise was to have half of the attendees compile a list of words  and concepts related to knowledge management while the other half compiled a list of words and concepts related to Enterprise 2.0. I decided to reproduce the lists. Take what you will from the lists and the intersection of the lists.

Knowledge Management:
• Adult learning
• Best practice identification
• Best practices
• Blog searching
• Business activity monitoring/alerting
• Business intelligence – generation; dissemination
• Business processes for collecting, storing and retrieving information about people, key events and work product
• Capturing hidden information
• Capturing, organizing and leveraging institutional knowledge
• Client base
• Client stickiness
• Codify
• Collaboration
• Collaborative work
• Collective expertise and experience
• Collective knowledge
• Content – management, presentation, search, structure
• Creation of precedents so everyone has a starting point to work with
• Cultural acceptance of the need to store and collaborate and providing incentives to share
• Deal/matter tracking
• Decision management
• Delivering more value to clients
• Delivering right information to right person at right time
• Discipline that makes wise use of intellectual and business resources
• E-mail folders and inquiries
• Enterprise search engines
• Experience
• Experience management
• Expertise
• Expertise location
• Expertise location (internal and external)
• Findability
• Gathering, indexing and sharing information for the purpose of furthering the organization’s strategic business goals
• Harnessing the collective intelligence of the organization
• Having actionable information at your fingertips
• Improving the way people work; marking them work smarter
• Information flow
• Information management
• Innovation
• Integrating business processes
• Integration
• Knowledge base – searchable, sortable
• Leverage
• Leveraging corporate memory
• Lotus Notes
• Making information useful/useable
• Matter databases
• Matter info/management
• More than precedents
• Multi-disciplinary
• Multi-faceted
• Networking
• Not valued enough
• Organized information flow
• Organized retrieval
• Organizing work product to prevent reinvention of wheel
• People / processes / technology
• Personalized generally
• Portals
• Practice smarter
• Process of transforming: data > information > knowledge > wisdom
• Promoting and supporting collaboration and efficiency
• Right place – right time
• Sharing knowledge to further the aims of the enterprise
• Skills
• Social networking – knowing who has interests and expertise in your company and finding it quickly
• Standards
• Storing the collective wisdom of the organization
• Structured
• Synthesize
• Systematized
• Tacit information
• Thinking in public
• Using knowledge to find solutions for client problems
• Using social media tools and storytelling to enhance collaboration and exchange information
• Using social media tools and storytelling to permit in-the-flow exchange of information in context
• Using technology to improve process
• Value-added information
• We know more than me
• Who worked on what and what did they do
• Wikis/blogs
• Wind milling existing processes to collect and deploy knowledge
• Working smarter

Enterprise 2.0:
• Accessible
• An enterprise where everyone knows what everyone knows, and who they know and what they have done
• Collaboration
• Comprehensive management
• Confusing label
• Connectivity
• Content over format
• Contributing not just extracting
• Dynamic financial data
• Enabling end users to use computing more easily and effectively to manage and analyze information and to collaborate
• Enterprise search
• Framework for sharing
• Giving up control
• Globalization
• Holistic approach to an organization’s organization
• I never heard anyone say Enterprise 1.0
• Integrated organizational function
• Jargon
• Knowledge = KM, Marketing/Business Intelligence, Financial; mash-up
• Knowledge sharing
• Learn
• Leveraging Web 2.0 Technology
• Listening to the customer/client
• Manage
• “Merger” of technology with commerce and business making it more interactive and collaborative and participatory for the transaction; an “active” partnership
• Misunderstood
• Overwork
• Peers
• Personalization
• Profile knowledge
• Profitability
• Ramped-up customer service
• Social networks
• Tag knowledge
• Technology enabling collaboration
• The successor to Enterprise 1.0?
• Value
• Virtual organization
• Web stuff plus something
• Where enterprise knowledge (+ not individual knowledge) rules
• Works across systems in organized way

Monday, January 5, 2009

KM Sites Search

I have update my KM Sites search tool.

The search below is built from a custom Google Search

Google Custom Search

It searches the following sites:

Some of these sites are not active any more, but still offer a great repository of thoughts on knowledge management.

Let me know of any other sites that should be on the list and included in the search.