It was great to get notice today that this blog was again named as one of the ABA Journal Blawg 100 for 2008 in the “Plugged-in” category. There are nine other excellent blogs in the category and other excellent ones that did not get named, so I’m honored to be in the company and it’s always nice to get recognition for what I do with this blog. I also like the way the blurb about my blog both referred to me as a “tech guru” and mentioned my companion microblog (DennisKennedy.microblog – @dkennedyblog), probably the most innovative thing I’ve tried in blogging in the last few years.

I want to congratulate every blogger who made the list. I also want to compliment the ABA Journal on the immense amount of work that went into the Blawg 100 selections and descriptions and for its support of the blawgging community.
However, I do have some mixed feelings about this recognition that come from the fact that, as the author of a monthly technology column for the ABA Journal, I’m a paid contributor to the magazine. For that reason, I really wouldn’t mind if they left me off the list entirely, but, because of this and because my relationship with the ABA Journal might not be completely clear from the Blawg 100 blurb, I do have a favor to ask.
Part of the Blawg 100 is a contest for votes for the top blog in each category. There are nine other great choices in the Plugged-in or Technology category, several of which are likely to end up with one of my own 2008 Blawggie awards. Please vote for one of them – I would be very uncomfortable if I won this category and was a paid contributor to the magazine. It wouldn’t feel right to me, and it probably wouldn’t look right to others.
Instead, if you like my blog, I ask you to check out my most recent ABA Journal column, consider becoming a follower of my microblog (@dkennedyblog), subscribing to the RSS feed for this blog, or buying a copy of The Lawyers Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together.
While you’re looking at the Blawg 100, pay special attention to the interview with Ernest “Ernie the Attorney” Svenson, with his observations on blogging and a great quote from Martha Graham.
And, of course, the Blawg 100, in addition to generating conversation about law-related blogs, gives you a great way to sample blogs and pick some new blogs to subscribe to.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com.
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I’ve noticed a lot of discussion in the last week or so about ways lawyers (and others) might use Twitter. There have been some good primers on Twitter and Kevin O’Keefe, in particular, has talked about ways lawyers might use Twitter.
I’d suggest that you start with Adrian Lursson’s post listing lawyers who use Twitter and Grant Griffiths’ Twitter tutorial for lawyers if you want to get some more background.
Here’s an example of Twitter use that I’ve found compelling.
I’ve experimented with Twitter (I’m @denniskennedy on Twitter) for a while now – actually quite a while – and I have a few thoughts on the subject. They aren’t too original, frankly.
Twitter is another possible channel of communication that for the right people with the right audiences might be quite successful for certain purposes. For others, it probably won’t be very useful. And, as Jerry Lawson once presciently said about lawyer blogs, for some lawyers, it would be a disaster.
For a variety of reasons, I’ve found it easier lately to maintain a regular presence on Twitter than on my blog or other channels.
My friend, Marty “The Trademark Blog” Schwimmer, recently pointed me to a possible use of Twitter that I found compelling and launched the subject mentioned in the title of this post.
Marty started using Twitter to create a companion “microblog” for The Trademark Blog. I emailed him immediately when I saw it to tell him that he was a genius. He deflected my praise and said that he got the idea from Techmeme, but I’ll still give him credit because we talked about some of the nuances of this approach over the last two weeks.
Typical of my approach, I became convinced about how the idea would work for my blog and then, rather than hopping right in, I let the idea incubate for a while and thought it through. At least for a couple of weeks.
Here’s my thinking.
I’ve said before that the true difficulty of blogging is not the time commitment or the usual things people ask bloggers about. No, the real burden of blogging is the “everydayness” of blogging. How do you maintain a consistent, regular presence?
This is especially true when your style of blogging centers on longer, essayish posts. Or, God forbid, you commit to a series of posts. That final unwritten part (or two) of my series on “my new laptop computer is an iPod Touch” has blocked many a new post for me, as has the yet unwritten ILTA reflections post.
My idea then was to use Twitter as a microblog that worked with this blog. The Twitter blog will be a place for short items – quick links and observations of the “one quick thing” nature (another of Marty’s great ideas). Then, to integrate with this blog, I’ll collect them every week or so into a post on this blog with its own category.
It’s a new and different approach, and definitely an experiment. I also expect it to find its own, somewhat different, audience. It can also see the Twitter posts turning into seeds for extended posts on this blog. I’m also planning to try using the hash tag #legaltech as a way to help people find the posts.
How to find the new DennisKennedy.Microblog? It’s at @dkennedyblog (the Twitter character limit on user names got me there). I start there with the obligatory reflexive post and, of course, the obligatory Babylon 5 reference.
I welcome you to the new experiment and invite you to follow the new microblog. Let me know what you think about it.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the book’s companion website at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com.
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As some of you already know, there’s been a lot happening with me in the last few weeks in addition to the publication of the new book.
I’ve joined MasterCard Worldwide as an in house counsel focusing on information technology law and working out of the St. Louis offices. My six word summary – great people, great work, great company. It’s a great opportunity that I’m very excited about, even though it brings my solo law practice to an end.
A commonly-asked question: will there be changes to this blog and website? Certainly – at a minimum, I have some updating to do and I’m getting started on that. I’m still sorting that out and also taking the opportunity to assess what directions I want to go with the blog. I’m guessing that I’ll focus to an even greater degree on legal tech topics and areas of personal interest. I haven’t written on legal topics on this blog since Missouri put into place advertising rules that I couldn’t understand how to comply with, and I don’t expect to go in that direction in my new position either.We’ll get that worked out. I might even take this opportunity to help my wife start a blog.
I’d enjoy hearing from readers with their suggestions of how I might refocus the blog a bit – comment on this post or email me at denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com.
It’s also worth saying again, as I mention in the disclaimer on my page, the posts and opinions expressed on this blog and this website are solely my personal opinions. They do not represent or reflect (nor are they intended to represent or reflect) the positions, opinions, viewpoints, policies and/or statements of my employer or any other entity or person.
More about this later.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I was reading Brian Clark’s post “The Best of Copyblogger in 2007 and realized how much I like this type of year-end post. It tells a lot about the subject matter a bog covers and provides a roadmap to the best posts.
I’ve thought about doing similar posts each year, but the idea has always seemed a little too daunting. I took a stab at it today and it was easier than I thought. I looked through the 135 posts (a smaller number than in any calendar year of this blog so far, in part due to working on a book project) and put together this post. Enjoy!
January
In January , I looked at resolutions – for your PCh and for my own legal technology (hmm, some might be on my list for 2008, too). January was also the time for my annual Martin Luther King Day reflection. I ended the month looking at the biggest unanswered question in electronic discovery: What will “documents” mean in a world where almost all information is held in gigantic databases?
February
February was most notable for my experiment in publishing my annual legal technology trends article as a series of posts and in a number of forms. The idea was to let people see how I wrote and edited the article to create different versions. Here’s the start of the long version and the short version. There was also an intermediate (and probably the best) version published on LLRX.com. Other highlights included two posts on newsreaders (here and here), one on wikis for lawyers, and a note that non-lawyers might not be treating electronic discovery with the same emphasis that lawyers are putting on it.
March
In March, Tom Mighell and I announced our upcoming book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies. March also had posts on two of my favorite concepts of the year: Impromptu Consultation and the Post-Email Era and The Electronic Discovery Continuum – Accelerating Complexity. I also covered topics ranging from Track Changes to Firefox productivity extensions to document assembly, and made my 2007 legal trends article available as a PDF download.
April
April found me a bit overwhelmed with email overload, but also making some of my better posts of the year: Green Legal Technology: Is the Time Ripe?, Are Lawyers Doing Work That Should Be Done By Machines?, Do Excerpt Feeds and Poor Sound Quality Podcasts Have Something in Common?, Reports of Death of PowerPoint Greatly Exaggerated?, and Has Blogging Peaked?. I also noted the tenth anniversary of Dave Winer’s Scripting News blog, probably the greatest influence on my launch of this blog.
May
May was a busy month, with the number posts dropping somewhat. I noted the anniversary of Eric Raymond’s seminal essay, The Theater and the Bazaar (essential if you want to understand Open Source), posted my Handout Materials on Ethical Issues for Law Firm Websites, commented on “peak blogging,” highlighted some great tips on presenting from Jon Udell, and suggested that lawyers who thought that simple auto accident cases would not involve electronic discovery might be sadly mistaken.
June
I started June with a post on my visit with Marty “The Trademark Blog” Schwimmer and some thoughts about the history and future of blogging by lawyers in a post called Birth of the Blawg. I ended the month mentioning a white paper I had written on dealing with metadata under the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In between, I posted on Pollard’s Laws of Communication, Collection and Collaboration, Talking About GPL and Creative Commons for Bloggers, and Seven Step Guide for Knowledge Management Initiatives in Corporate Legal Departments.
July
July featured one of my most rantish and popular posts – Presumptuous Computing – A Trend to Reverse. Yesterday, iTunes presumed that a stray mouse click meant that I wanted to uncheck ALL of my songs and podcasts and I spent a long time rechecking the items I wanted to put on my iPod, earning iTunes a special place among my least favorite programs. I also posted on two of my favorite topics of 2007 – Google Reader’s Shared Items and storage. I ended the month focused on Babylon 5: The Lost Tales.
August
August meant a new Springsteen single – Radio Nowhere. We lost power again in St. Louis. I had a great time at the ILTA Conference. A new episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast focused on lawyers using Facebook and the Google Reader. I also posted on the idea of using technology counsel in electronic discovery, clean legal technology, and a roundtable article I participated in on the impact of the December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on electronic discovery.
September
In September, I took a nostalgic look back at Google on its 9th Birthday. The important post of the month was called The Brand is the Talent. I also posted about a roundtable article on lawyer podcasting. By September, it became apparent that working on the book was going to start cutting into my time for blogging, as I mentioned in the post Collaboration Tools, AmLaw Tech Survey 2007, and Expect a Reduced Number of Posts for a Little While.
October
October was a big e-discovery month. I started the month with Electronic Discovery Trends and Blogs: Thinking Aloud about Information Overload and Information Underload, which touches one of my favorite subjects, info underload. I followed that with 26 Electronic Discovery Trends for 2008, based on a presentation I gave, and then the short version, How About 3 EDD Trends Instead of 26? My new ABA Journal legal tech column debuted in October. I also commented on the RIAA’s approach to customer relationship in The Benefits of Treating Regular Customers Like Criminals.
November
November had the smallest number of monthly posts in the history of this blog as most of my time went into finishing the final draft of the book. My infatuation with storage was on display in Windows Home Server and SharePoint and I noted Bob Ambrogi’s useful article on electronic discovery blogs.
December
If it’s December at DennisKennedy.Blog, then it must be time for the Blawggie Awards. This year was no exception. I must admit that I am a little disappointed that the Blawggies post did not inspire blawggers to post their own set of awards, but I had a lot of fun with the post and appreciate the kind emails and comments I’ve received. December also marked the untimely death of influential blogger Marc Orchant. I’ll also note my post on the 2 trillion text messages sent in 2007 and the potential consequences of the move to email alternatives.
That was 2007 on DennisKennedy.Blog. Thanks for reading and commenting. If you are new to this blog, this post will give you a quick way to see some of the most representative (and best) posts.
Best wishes for 2008. If you haven’t yet started your own blog, 2008 would be a great time to start.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Get your legal technology information by audio. Check out The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast.
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A while back, I had a great conversation with Frank Gillman, Chief Technology Officer of Allen Matkins LLP, about the different ways that lawyers could use technology to attract and retain lawyers and other professionals. Our conclusion was that there were many underused and untapped opportunities – some quite simple and inexpensive – to use technology in these areas.
Fast forward a few months (and after starting associate salaries took another big bump up into the $150,000+ range at leading US law firms). Andrew Sandler at Aspen Knowledge called me about kicking off the Strategic Speakers Series that he was planning. He wanted to produce a series of video webinars that addressed legal technology with a strong business focus. His goal was to give law firm decision-makers information on ways to think strategically about technology in law firms and to place technology squarely within the business needs of a law firm.
That’s the approach I like best, and I also really enjoyed working with Andrew on a video webinar about best practices for technology committees last year.
I immediately suggested to Andrew that he try to get Frank to do a webinar with me on the topic of using technology for recruiting and retention so that we could extend our earlier discussion and share it with others.
I’m pleased to announce that on September 27 at 12:00 Central, Aspen Knowledge will present Frank Gillman and Dennis Kennedy on “Winning the Battle for Legal Talent with Technology.”
Here’s the program description:

The fight to retain and attract top legal talent is one of the most talked about topics in the legal industry and for good reason. The two most significant continual investments a firm makes are in legal recruiting and in technology. What many firms don’t realize is that technology itself can be a deciding factor in the recruiting wars. Our speakers will show your firm how to effectively connect these two factors to give you a competitive edge in this critical war.

You can get more information at Aspen Knowledge’s Knowledge Center and register here. Please mention that you heard about the webinar on my blog when you register.
Also, if you have topics you’d like Frank and I to address, specific questions, or, best of all, examples of ways your firm is using technology to recruit and retain law students, lawyers, and other professionals, please leave comment to this post or email me at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com. I know that I’ll be mentioning some of the efforts Meredith Williams spoke about in our recent presentation at ILTA that Baker Donelson is using – if I worked at that firm and had regular access to those tools, it would be difficult for me to leave to a firm that did not offer the same tools.
This webinar will be especially valuable to hiring partners, members of technology committees, department chairs, managing partners, and executive directors of law firms in addition to lawyers and IT directors. It will also be a great way to check out the way that video can be used to present educational and other materials using Aspen Conferencing’s videoconferencing services.
Register for webinar.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Get your legal technology information by audio. Check out The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast.
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For readers of this blog:
1. Tom Mighell and I are planning the next edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. We’re thinking of doing a segment where we answer questions from listeners (and listeners-to-be). Ideally, I think, we’d like to have questions that can be answered quickly, say, in a minute or so. If you have questions, email them to me at denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com.
2. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be speaking at the ILTA legal tech conference in August. I really enjoy this conference. I’ve been thinking about putting together a blogger meet-up one of the evenings there. To me, this simply means finding a spot in a hotel lobby or hotel bar and seeing who shows up, but if there is sufficient interest and people want to do something more elaborate, that’s cool, too. Let me know if you are interested. Maybe we can create a little Facebook group for the meet-up. If you’d like to try to get together with me while I’m at the conference, let me know and we’ll see what we can set up. For more details on one of my sessions on blogs and wikis and the rest of the great KM track, see Ron Friedman’s overview here.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Read the blog posts and RSS feed items I find most interesting on my new linkblog or subscribe to its RSS feed</a.
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The American Bar Association has today launched a completely revamped version of the website for the ABA Journal to stellar notices, like this, this and this. My friend and ABA webmaster Fred Faulkner played a big role in this launch and I enjoyed getting the chance to congratulate him on his excellent work this evening. Fred was a key reason that the Law Practice Today webzine got off the ground so successfully and I clearly see Fred’s influence on this new site. I miss getting the chance to work with Fred on a regular basis as we used to do on Law Practice Today.
You will want to visit the site for legal news, a great blawg directory, and free content from the magazine archives.
I like the direction that the ABA Journal is going with the website and the print publication. In fact, I like it so much that I’ve recently agreed to take over the legal technology column for the publication starting this fall. I’m looking forward to working with Ed Adams and the ABA Journal editorial team.
It was a big honor for me to be asked to write the column and get the chance to continue the great tradition of the column that “the two Davids” – David Beckman and David Hirsch (two of the biggest names in legal technology history) – established and carried forward for many years. Their column was always my first stop in the ABA Journal when it arrived (except, of course, the issue that had an article with my picture in it – the lawyer equivalent of getting your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone, or at least inside it). I salute the two Davids and hope that I can carry on in their footsteps.
I started out writing about legal technology in a column for Lawyers Weekly USA and I’ve always liked the regular monthly column format. This new column will become my primary outlet for regular articles on legal technology. I’m planning to take an approach that is highly practical, appeals to all lawyers and helps them in their daily work, and also makes people stretch just a bit and think about technology. I have a list of column ideas already put together, but will always welcome ideas for new columns.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Read the blog posts and RSS feed items I find most interesting on my new linkblog or subscribe to its RSS feed.
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One of the more popular features of my blog is the occasional “by request” times I set aside to post answers to questions submitted by readers. I haven’t done that for a while and thought that this might be a good time to do that again.
So, for the next week, it will be “By Request” time again and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can from what readers submit to me.
To submit a question, either leave a comment to this post or email me at denniskennedyblog@gmail.com with your questions. I don’t identify questioners in my posts, and I might modify questions slightly to make the answers more useful to all readers (or to make them easier to answer for me, heh).
It’s a great way for you to follow up on a recent post of mine or to ask me questions that my posts have raised or to ask general questions about some of the topics I cover on this blog or elsewhere.
– Dennis

One of the more popular features of my blog is the occasional “by request” times I set aside to post answers to questions submitted by readers. I haven’t done that for a while and thought that this might be a good time to do that again.
So, for the next week, it will be “By Request” time again and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can from what readers submit to me.
To submit a question, either leave a comment to this post or email me at denniskennedyblog@gmail.com with your questions. I don’t identify questioners in my posts, and I might modify questions slightly to make the answers more useful to all readers (or to make them easier to answer for me, heh).
It’s a great way for you to follow up on a recent post of mine or to ask me questions that my posts have raised or to ask general questions about some of the topics I cover on this blog or elsewhere.
– Dennis

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are pleased to announce that they will be writing a book on collaboration tools that will be published in early 2008 by the American Bar Association. The book is tentatively titled: “Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel.”
Nearly every lawyer finds that colleagues, co-counsel, clients and even opposing counsel use the Internet and technology to collaborate and work together on documents, projects and cases. In the simplest scenario, lawyers and clients use the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word to work together on a document. Technology today lets lawyers take collaboration to the next level. Many legal technology tools now include collaborative elements.
At the same time, lawyers increasingly use the Internet in many ways to work together. From document sharing to videoconferencing, there are more tools than most lawyers can imagine for working together, online.
Two key trends are at play here. First, for years lawyers have understood the clear benefits of collaboration and working together as a routine matter. Second, the availability of simple, inexpensive (even free) collaboration technology has created an environment where working together makes sense to nearly every lawyer in nearly every firm. The push forward on both trends is likely to continue.
Two other important factors also come into play. First, business clients are routinely using technology to collaborate and will expect their lawyers to follow. Therefore, collaboration tools illustrate a classic example of a client-driven technology. Second, events in the world from increased travel costs to possible pandemics make it even more likely that these tools will be adopted by necessity.
To the extent lawyers have experimented with these tools, they may have the nagging feeling that they are simply touching the tip of the iceberg of what might be available to them and how they might use these tools to their benefit. We believe that they are right to feel that way, because it is undoubtedly true.
The book will provide intensely practical advice for lawyers and law firms wanting to take better advantage of these tools and the benefits they bring. It will take a look at how to use these tools wells, focus on both categories of tools and specific individual tools, and provide concrete action steps and techniques so that even the least tech-savvy lawyer can catch up with the early adopters and successful innovators.
Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential New Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell (expected publication date: early 2008)
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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