BlawgWorld 2007 now available

Technolawyer – a technology information service for lawyers – is publishing an ebook today called BlawgWorld 2007 with TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide. BlawgWorld 2007 contains “thought-provoking essays from 77 of the most influential blawgs”, including eLegal Canton. My blog was also included in the 2006 edition.

According to the press release “BlawgWorld 2007 features a remarkable collection of essays from the legal blogosphere and the 2007 TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide offers a new way for law firms to find answers to management and technology questions.”

The 2006 edition was downloaded 45,000 times.

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The ultimate in transparency – put your life online to prove your innocence

This month’s Wired magazine has an article entitled The Visible Man: An FBI Target Puts His Whole Life Online. Its about an artist who found himself wrongly on the terrorist watch list. So to prove his innocence he started to put every moment of his life online, down to every purchase he makes and his location at all times.

As Wired puts it: Elahi’s site is the perfect alibi. Or an audacious art project. Or both.

He says I’ve discovered that the best way to protect your privacy is to give it away. I submit that he is not protecting his privacy, he’s really giving up his privacy to protect himself against being wrongfully accused. Its interesting food for thought though, and worth a read.

Read the Wired article

Bloggers risk the sack, says survey

That’s the title of an article in the latest newsletter of out-law.com, a publication of the UK law firm, Pinsent Masons. It says that: “Of those [employees] who keep a blog, 39% admitted that they had posted details which could be potentially sensitive or damaging about their place of work, employer or a colleague.” Those types of remarks can lead to discipline, or even termination.

The informality of blogs, as is often the case with new communications media, lulls people into a false sense of security. People often forget the rules, and do or say things that they would never put in a letter, for example.

The article has links to other material on corporate blogging from a UK legal perspective.

Read the article

Apple stock rollercoaster based on faked email

Apple’s stock dropped temporarily yesterday in high volume trading based on the publication of an internal email saying that the launch of the iPhone and Mac OS X Leopard were both being delayed by several months. 23 minutes after that hit the stock markets, there was another email from Apple saying that the first one was fake, did not come from Apple, and that the launches are on schedule.

It will be interesting to find out who was behind that, why, and how they were able to fake it.

This shows the danger of relying on such information without corroboration and the speed at which it disseminates, but also the speed at which false things get corrected.

Read the emails themselves and some commentary at:

Infectious Greed by Paul Kedrosky

GigaOm

New look for eLegal blog

My blog has been changed to a completely new look. The old version has served well for 2 ½ years – but it was time for a change. Why? Several reasons.

The previous look had a lot going on, not unlike many other blogs. That suits the traditional blog reader well, but may be overwhelming or confusing to those new to blogs. While I’m glad to have anyone as a reader, my main target audience is clients, potential clients, and client influencers. Now that IE7 makes RSS feeds easier to use, more people will be introduced to blogs. The thought is that a cleaner, simpler look will be more attractive to those new readers.

If you look at some of the client comments in my profile, there is a common theme of giving practical advice in a field of complex, changing legal issues. The cleaner, simpler look of the blog is consistent with that approach.

The change also provides on a more consistent look and feel for my eLegal brand, powered by Harrison Pensa, across different platforms.

The new look moved the blog roll, archive lists and other links to a second page. While it takes an extra click to get to them, I think the tradeoff is worth it. Check out the blog list at the “weblinks” link. The list has been updated to include blogs I follow that I think my readers would find interesting.

I guess I was 91st on their list

I disconnected from the blogosphere over Christmas, so missed the kerfuffle over Microsoft’s delivery of 90 computers loaded with Vista to selected blogers.

The reason, of course, was to get some publicity about Vista.

Many have commented about the ethics of this. I tend to side with the view that this is more about disclosure than anything. If one comments on something they received for free, or is being paid to adopt a position on something, be up front about it.

Vendor product giveaways for reviews and publicity is hardly a novel concept.

Microsoft is one of those successful corporations that some will bash regardless of what they do. Its important to look at issues like this based on the facts – not one’s inherent bias. (And yes, that’s often easier said than done.)

Take a look at Dave Taylor’s piece on this which has links to various comments, via Techmeme

2006 CLawBies – thanks to Steve Matthews

I’m back in the office after a Christmas break, and am pleasantly surprised to see that my blog has been recognized by the Vancouver Law Librarian blog as a runner up for the Best Practitioner Support Blog in the 2006 CLawBies – Canada Law Blog Awards

The winner in the category was David Fraser’s Canadian Privacy Law Blog. Congrats to David Fraser.

Take a look at the 2006 CLawBies

How to get RSS feeds in Internet Explorer 7

I have commented before that blogs and RSS feeds are about to hit the mainstream as IE7 has a built in RSS reader. Until now, a 3rd party plug in was required to do that. Setting up RSS feeds in IE7 is simple. Here’s how.

Go to a blog that you want to follow, such as mine at www.canton.elegal.ca

There is an RSS symbol in the upper right of Explorer that looks like this:

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If it is orange, there is an RSS feed on that page.

Click on that logo – then click on “subscribe to this feed” that appears near the top of the content.

Click on “subscribe” in the box that comes up, and you are done.

To view new entries in the blogs you have subscribed to, click on the star symbol at the top left of Explorer, then on the blog you want to look at.

If you don’t have IE7 yet, just run windows update.

Digg inundation

Digg is one of the many blogs I monitor – but I’m considering deleting it from my RSS list.

Why? There are just too many entries. Even though I look at my blog feeds daily the sheer number of Digg posts take too long to get through. On many days I just ignore the Digg posts because I don’t have time.

To me, there are 2 basic types of blogs. First is the niche blog that has a few posts by an author. The second is an aggregator that pulls various items together in one place. The aggregator blog loses its appeal if it has too much content – and perhaps is not doing a good enough job at filtering them…

Walmart’s flog

The term “flog” (fake blog) has been coined in light of the controversy over the blog that on its face appeared to be written by an independent person, but was really created by Walmart’s PR agency. Turns out there were at least 3 different Walmart flogs.

This controversy has been in the press for a couple of weeks, and I’ve avoided mentioning it as it seemed to be getting lots of attention. The term flog is so appropriate, I just had to weigh in on this.

It reminds me of TV ads or infomercials that purport to be real people talking about a product. We all take those with a grain of salt (at least I do – but perhaps being skeptical is just part of my nature being a lawyer) – but even those sometimes have captions indicating they are actors or it is a dramatization.

Given the sheer number of blogs out there, we shouldn’t blindly accept all of them at face value – after all, reputation is earned, not born.

Nonetheless, it strikes me that if a business is going to create a blog to promote themselves, its misleading if they don’t disclose that. It doesn’t do one’s reputation much good when the world finds out what is really going on – unless you subscribe to the “any publicity is good publicity” concept.

To catch up on the facts and issues, take a look at Mathew Ingram’s post