Archive for the 'Legal technology' Category

Just Go with the Flow

November 18, 2010

Fraser Milner’s CTO, Scott Saundry drew my attention to the concept of “In-the-Flow” and “Above-the-Flow” – specifically in the context of Wikis. But after reading the originating article, I find that this intuitive principle aptly describes any knowledge access and sharing activity that’s vying for adoption. Done right, it should practically integrate into the flow of principal daily activities – hence being In-the-Flow. If our venerable knowledge worker has to stray far from what they do (to make their living), there’s a risk that it will end up Above-the-Flow and therefore will be used less frequently.

As an example, using Outlook’s Linked-In connector is clearly In-the-Flow, but having to  download, open, edit and then re-upload a document into a cloud based Document Management solution, is Above-the-Flow.

Most of us who plan and implement information and knowledge systems learned the hard way how this principle works. But thanks to Scott, I now have a term of art that’s a bullseye.

Here’s Andrew McAfee’s blog post from 2008 on the topic. It’s worth a  read even if (like me), Wikis is not your thing.


22 Tweets

March 26, 2009

twitter2I remember a conversation I had with a client, circa 1995, about the world wide web and the Internet. “But will anyone make any money from this thing?” he asked. My answer was: “I am making money from this thing right now. Am I not consulting you on building your first Intranet?”.

Of course, the Internet is now a multi-billion dollar business and a paradigm changing technology etc. But this story should remind us that yes, one can benefit in all kinds of ways, even from seemingly nascent and not so obvious aspects of emerging trends.

Let’s go back to the future: I recently joined the already hot Twitter community. I’ll reserve for a forthcoming post, a more thorough analysis of this latest incarnation of Web 2.0/social networking tool and how it could (or not, as the case may be) help my clients, who are large law firms. It is clear however, that Twitter recently hit the exponential growth curve that propelled the likes of FaceBook and YouTube to be the juggernauts they are today. You can like, love, be obsessed, or hate some or all of them. But don’t be indifferent. If you are in the business of providing professional services, be it a consultant or a lawyer, investing time in digital networking is now more compelling (and in some ways, bewildering) than ever. So is Twitter the right platform for you? There are plenty of other blogs by lawyers who discuss this very issue, so I’ll stay out of the fray, for a bit longer. For now, I’ll share a revelatory moment I just had.

While working away on my computer, I noticed a stream of short Twitter messages (that are only sent around to a consenting community) consisting of 22 questions and answers. This turned out to be a real time interview, between Lance Godard, aka @22Tweets on Twitter (@ is preceding all of Tweeter’s alias names) and one of the lawyers in this community, the New York based Fred Abramson (aka @fredabramson). So how is this innovative interview process on Twitter, equal real business you ask? As I was glancing at this rapid fire interview, I learned (within minutes) that Abrams’ target market is entrepreneurs and consultants. Guess what? That’s exactly what I am!

I found the idea to be brilliant. Lance (a marketing consultant to lawyers and law firms) created the equivalent of an interview show called @22Tweets on the Twitter platform. By only asking 22 questions – keeping it short is the name of the game here on Twitter – he also created a memorable brand. By connecting a vendor to a potential client, he demonstrated why some consider Twitter a viable business development tool. I can assure you that the founders of Twitter didn’t dream of this kind of application. But here it is. And there’s more. @22Tweets shows the emergence of Twitter as a great ‘mashup’ tool. It’s email, RSS, FaceBook like, Instant Messaging, and otherwise a communications channel, like a real time podcast, or a radio show of sorts.

For some like Fred Abramson, and Lance Godard, this platform is showing real promise.