My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Data Diet: Feed Your Head with a Better Info Balance.”

This column grew out of some podcasts I listened to of interviews with Clay Johnson about his new book, The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption.

Some of Johnson’s main themes won’t be a big surprise to you – decreasing the quantity of information you consume – but he also makes some great points about improving the quality of your information intake as well. As I say, “We might want to reduce our intake, but we also want to improve the ‘nutrition’ of what we do consume.”

This ABA Journal column gives an overview of Johnson’s ideas and gives a few suggestions for improving your data diet.

We’ve recently gone to a lower word count on the column, so I don’t go into a lot of detail. (Lower word counts are a mixed blessing for me – a little easier to write, but not everything will fit.) My idea is give you you some good starting points and practical ideas.

I’m also hoping the comments section will let other people contribute their ideas. I see that the initial comments mention the idea of listening to podcasts at double speed, one of my favorite suggestions.

The money quote:

Social media analyst Clay Shirky has famously said we suffer from filter failure rather than information overload. Concentrating on improving your information diet might be the best move you can make this year.

Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Got Disaster? Your On-Hand Technology Can See You Through.”

This column grew out of a podcast Tom Mighell and I did called Technology in a Time of Emergency, which was, in a way, our response to the tenth anniversary of 9-11 and which also grew out of some long power outages I went through over the years and the history of how blogging and social media have played roles in major natural and other disasters. I recommend the podcast episode highly – it’s one of our favorites and it has a lot of useful information and insights.

This ABA Journal column is a short version of some of the ideas in the podcast, distilled down to a few main take-aways.

The money quote:

I don’t want to downplay the importance of data backup and disaster recovery. However, in a real disaster, our concerns are more personal, more visceral and more immediate than just our data.

The article focuses on four key areas – electricity conservation, SMS, smartphones and apps, and Twitter and social media – and gives a few ideas on ways they can help you when you face the unexpected. Although I hope you never have to use any of these ideas, it’s best to be prepared.

Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “BYO Upgrades: How to Set Your Priorities.”

My editor, Reg Davis, gets the credit for this topic. The premise was to imagine you have a good technology budget (we said $3,000) and assume that everything was possible in terms of technology and policy.

The idea is that this simple exercise would tell you a lot about what you want, what is important to you, and where your priorities are. Once you complete the exercise, you can do a little analysis. For example, if you wanted to spend $600 of your $3,000 on training, you might question the actual percentage of your tech budget you are spending on training.

I make some suggestions in the article, based on my perspective, but the key to this exercise is that you determine your own answers.

As I conclude, “Most of us will find a gap between what we are spending money on and what we think we want to spend on. Closing that gap is a great technology goal for 2012.”

I enjoyed writing this column and hope that you enjoy it and find it helpful. Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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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. Twitter: @collabtools

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My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Solid State Drives Can Bring Magic to Your Computer.”

This column grew out of two things: how much I love the solid state drive in my MacBook Air (as you’ll be able to sense from the article) and a fascinating podcast with Scott Moulton on Solid State Drive Forensics. Solid state drives (SSDs) bring great benefits, but they are also at the frontier of computer forensics.

The article is meant to give an introductions and overview of SSDs and get people thinking about the role SSDs will be playing in our computing experience.

There’s some good discussion in the comments about a number of the issues SSDs raise, even though the remarkably crabby “Jojo the Magic Monkey” seems to think the article is “garbage.” That’s disappointing, of course, because I’m generally more successful with the magic monkey audience.

You’ll also see in the comments and if you do some price checking, that the article was written before flooding in Malaysia helped push the prices significantly higher than at the time I wrote the article. That’s a danger of writing on print publication schedules.

That said, I don’t think I’d buy a computer without an SSD again even at today’s higher costs – it’s made that much of a difference.

Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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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. Twitter: @collabtools

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Here’s a great conference for anyone interested in marketing a law firm or a law practice. The ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 will take place on November 8 & 9 in Philadelphia.

The Conference is called titled “Reputation, Referrals, Rankings,” and has a great agenda of timely topics, including:

Tuesday, November 8

  • Keynote #1: Lie to Me! “Emotion Management” of Your Marketing Will Invite Trust, Not Contempt
  • ROI: Examining the Return on Investment for Business Development Spending
  • The Business of You – Surviving and Thriving in Big Law
  • Luncheon: Effects of Rankings & Ratings on the Legal Profession
  • An Ethics Guide to Lawyer Marketing
  • The Power of Video in Lawyer Marketing
  • Golden Gavel Awards Ceremony and Reception

Wednesday, November 9

  • Keynote #2: “In Search of…Lawyers” How the Internet Has Changed Everything
  • Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift? (I’ll be Joining Tom Mighell and Tim Stanley on this panel)
  • Associate Business Development Training
  • Luncheon: 10×10 – 10 Topics, 10 Presenters, 10 Minutes Each. (It’s like speed dating, but better)

The best news is that there is still time to register and some seats still available. It’d be great to see you there.

For more information, see the conference website here (conference brochure).

Also, there’s also still time to register for the replay on November 3 of the very popular LinkeIn for Lawyers webinar Allison Shields, Michelle Golden and I presented in August. Details are available on the ALI-ABA website.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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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. Twitter: @collabtools

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My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Tie Down That Wi-Fi: Security in Public Requires Vigilance.”

It’s meant to be a simple primer to improve your level of security when using a public wifi hotspot, with the emphasis on free and simple techniques. It’s not so much that people are careless with the use of public wifi, especially on Windows computers, but that they haven’t been taught the basic precautions.

This article focuses on the basic precautions – assess vulnerabilities (tools like Shields Up, apply basic protections (firewalls and malware protection), limit potential for damage (turn off file-sharing), and treat security as an evolving process (practice safety, monitor developments and try to keep improving).

In one sense, like the old “I don’t have to be faster than the bear chasing us, just faster than you” joke, you want to make yourself a less inviting target than the other people using the wifi hotspot.

If no one taught you the basics of wifi security, this article will be a helpful start. It’s probably a good refresher for many of you.

I’ve gotten some good feedback on this article from people who’ve found it helpful.

The money quote:

A few simple steps can help you be safer, but the key is to remember that good security is an ongoing process and commitment.

Check out the article here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The American Bar Association’s Law Student Division is holding what looks to be a great conference this Saturday at the St. Louis University School of Law. I got the chance to volunteer to speak – and I couldn’t resist. In these difficult economic times, I feel it’s important to do what I can to help law students. People helped me while I was in law school, and it’s always been important for me to do what I can.

Details on the event are here. It looks like registration is closed, but I’d guess they might be able to find a place for for you if ask.

The sessions look really good and address important issues for law students.

I’ll be part of a panel on practical networking in the afternoon. I see this as a Q & A session. I want to cover both social networking and regular networking. I’ll also be part of a lunch session called “Lunch with Experience” where I’ll share my observations about legal careers and answer questions.

It sounds like fun for me and I expect to learn a lot in addition to sharing some of what I know and have observed over my legal career. If you read this blog and are there, introduce yourself and say hello.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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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. Twitter: @collabtools

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Since Tom Mighell and I haven’t gotten much chance over the last year or so to write together, we jumped at the chance to write an article on “non-marketing” uses of social media for lawyers for the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine. Then we realized that volunteering to write an article is far easier than finding the time to actually write it.

The result, however, is an article we really liked and one we’ve gotten some great feedback on. It’s called “Not Your Marketer’s Social Media: Ten Ways Lawyers Can Benefit from Non-Marketing Uses of Social Media.

The article grew out of our podcast called “Using Social Media for Non-Marketing” and expands on some of the ideas in the podcast and adds a few new things. The main idea is that lawyers can benefit from social media in many different ways and that the over-attention on using social media for marketing to potential clients has a limiting effect on ways that lawyers think they might use social media. The article is an attempt to “think different” about social media – in practical ways that match your own personality and approach – and to go back to the basics on social media. Then, see what evolves from uses that best fit your own approach and comfort.

We’ll also be talking about some of these ideas as part of a panel with Tim Stanley of Justia called “Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift” at the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 on November 9 in Philadelphia. The Conference should be great and I encourage you attend (registration info here – early bird discount and chance to win iPad 2 until October 3). Please say hello if you attend our session.

Check out the new article and let us know what you think about it.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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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. Twitter: @collabtools

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I’m excited to be a panelist at a CLE session the Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems of the American Bar Association will sponsor the following CLE at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, on August 5, 2011.

The session is titled “eAttorney, MiAttorney: How Technology Has Changed Communication and Collaboration With Clients.” It will happen on Friday, August 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, Room 716B, 700 Level, South Building,

Here’s the description of the session:

Whether by iPad, Facebook or JDSupra, advancing technology is rapidly affecting the attorney/client relationship. What will the future hold? Come hear perspectives from corporate counsel, a legal futurist, and an ethics expert as they discuss key trends in the new ways lawyers communicate and collaborate with clients – and each other. The panel will focus in particular on emerging ethical requirements, and provide practical suggestions for strategies to meet the challenge and promise of evolving communication media.

Here’s the panel:

Moderator: Daniel Schwartz, Hartford, Connecticut

Panelists: Michael Downey, St. Louis, Missouri, Jordan Furlong, Ottawa, Canada
, Dennis Kennedy, St. Louis, Missouri

We’ve put together a great format for the session, you should get some great information, insights and ideas from this group. I’m really looking forward to this one. I hope you get the chance to attend this one.

Learn more about the ABA Annual Meeting, including registration information and the complete program book here.  

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The ABA Journal has published my latest monthly legal technology column in its July 2011 issue. The column is titled “Ear! Ear! Podcast Gains Are in the Listening, Not Creating.” The column focuses on the benefits of listening to podcasts and how to listen to podcasts better and more effectively than you might be doing now.

I am a huge fan of the podcasting medium and I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’m always looking for ways to find great podcasts and to manage them in good ways so that I always have great podcasts to listen to all queued up on my iPod. Unfortunately, most of the articles and materials you can find about podcasts, especially for lawyers, seem to be focused on creating podcasts rather than on simply listening to them.

I decided to fill this seeming void with a practical article sharing some of my favorite podcast listening tips and making my case that podcasts can be a fantastic resource for lawyers. Read the article and see how well I did.

I talk about the different ways you can obtain and listen to podcasts and how, despite the name, an iPod is not a necessary part of the experience.

I sketch out the basic approach of using the iTunes store to find individual episodes and, more important, to subscribe to podcasts to automatically receive new episodes. I also mention the great Huffduffer website as a way to locate well-regarded podcast episodes. And I reveal my latest trick of finding podcasts or audios from seminar presentations as a way to quickly get an overview of and up to speed on a new topic.

I also advocate turning your car into a commuting education center by running podcasts through your car stereo. Best of all, I talk about the radically, yet incredibly effective, approach of listening to podcasts at double speed.

As I say in the conclusion of the column:

Podcasts are a wonderful learning medium for lawyers. The richness and value of the free content will surprise you. It’s an easy and useful way to keep up with developments in your field and topics of interest, and to make better use of your commute and other listening times.

Check out the article here. And, of course, you might just want to start out your investigation of podcast listening with the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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