Tech Annoyances - Part 7

TIP:  Under No Circumstances Personalize Anything for the Client

One of the best ways to annoy your client is to remind them that they are just one of the cogs of your great legal empire.  Taking the time to personalize a communication and making the client feel that they are important to you, is just wasting your time in your efforts to annoy them.  

If you see something that one of your colleagues has written to his clients, and it may be relevant to your client, what ever you do, DO NOT FORWARD IT on to your client with a simple note saying that you saw this and thought it was relevant to your client’s business.  Nothing is more annoying than talking with your client weeks later and saying - “Oh, yeah…  We put something about that out a few weeks ago, but I didn’t think to send it to you.”

Perhaps you’re tempted to create an Extranet for your clients to make it easier for them to share documents back and forth with you -- or, to keep them abreast of the status of a matter without having to call you to ask about it. 

One of the highest levels of annoyance comes when a client has to call you for an update on an open matter, and then you later bill them for their inconvenience.  Putting together an Extranet would only make the client feel that they were involved in the matter, and that you were taking the time to make sure they had access to relevant information on their case.  

What’s so annoying about that?


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Tech Annoyances - Part 6

TIP: Use Technology to Deliver Boring Stuff A classic, annoying favorite of ours is building PowerPoint presentations with tons of text in small font on each slide. Don’t bother utilizing graphics, videos and other visually appealing tools. The only thing that makes this approach better is if you read the text to them. An annoying PowerPoint is meant to make the point and not to just emphasize it. So include the whole point, the entire point, word-for-word. Here’s another tried-and-tested annoyer. When you hold a client teleconference or web-conference, don’t bother with more sophisticated tools like auto-mute for attendees. If an attendee puts the conference on hold and they have ‘hold’ music, everyone will be struggling to hear you above the music. Classic! A word of warning: When giving online presentations, interactive web tools should be avoided. Do not, we repeat, do NOT give clients an opportunity for real-time participation. If they have a question or comment to share about the presentation, make them put in the extra effort to remember and ask you later.

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What Health Care Needs is More Cowbell! And Some KM!

I'm interrupting the "Tech Annoyances" to make a comment on the Presidential debates.
Listening to the 2nd installment of Obama vs. McCain last night, I heard both of the candidates say that one of the best ways to make health care in America more affordable is to improve the technology and make patient records available electronically.  [skip ahead to about the 51st minute of the debate.]
Now, I know that many viewers saw that answer as an Information Technology issue, but for those of us in the "business", I'd say that it is really a Knowledge Management issue.   It will be a KM issue to pull data from multiple databases, and set up the network of risk analysis programs against that data to prevent those preventable health care errors that injure or kill thousands each year.  It will be KM that will be working with Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists to construct the work flow of health care technology, all the way from proper data entry to verifying that there are no dangerous drug interactions.
Many of us have heard of the nearly tragic story of Dennis Quaid's twin newborn's accidental over dosage of Heperin.  Situations like that can be reduced not solely by improving the technology in health care, but, by increasing the ability to leverage the information against existing data, and producing a process that improves the ability for health care professionals to make informed decisions, and be given the overall risks associated with a procedure (ranging from administering drugs to operations.)  That, my friends and fellow Americans, is what Knowledge Management is all about.
Yes, technology is a great resource, but it cannot by itself make health care more efficient.  Knowledge Management is the key to making health care and IT  more efficient. 
In the words of Bruce Dickinson,  "Health care has a fever, and the only prescription... is more KM!"

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Tech Annoyances - Part 5

TIP:  Make It Complicated for the Client (the more difficult, the more satisfying)

The more technologically advanced you make your web site, the more your clients will see you for the technology wizard that you are.  One of the best ways to annoy your clients is to assume that they are all using Internet Explorer (IE) version 7, and then use the most advanced plug-ins available.  Since some of your clients are still using an older version of IE, or may even have the audacity of using another web browser like Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, this will give them the extra motivation of taking the time to upgrade to IE 7 just to view your very cool site.

Another best practice is to not test your flash or javascript inserts and send out a presentation that is completely unusable.  Your client will benefit by being able to send out the “Friday Funny” to his peers showing just how useless your communication really is.  If it is really good, they’ll send out the “Friday Funny” on a Wednesday.

Since all of your recipients are using high-speed Internet services, they want you to test the limits of their e-mail attachment capabilities.   A great way to do this is to print out a high-quality document with lots of colors, and then scan it into a high-resolution PDF document.  Nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” better than a 15 Mb PDF document that has only two pages of content.  They would probably send this to their peers as another “Friday Funny,” but their peers’ email boxes would reject it because the attachment is too large.


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Tech Annoyances - Part 4

TIP: Provide Content Rarely and Irregularly Blogs are HOT and in demand, so this best practice will take some effort … Not. Since people prefer blogs that are regularly updated with fresh, compelling content, this is another easy best practice: You should only post up information on your legal topic blog when you feel like it. This will likely coincide with when your work slows down, and you have time and really need more clients. This has the added advantage of impacting your writing style, so it comes across as desperate. Oh – and think about all the Web 2.0 tools you can use, especially those social networking sites like LinkedIn. This social networking, where people participate in online communities, can be powerful. Best Practice: Join, but don’t add anything to the group. Or if you have an urge to contribute, send out connection invitations to people you don’t really know. A potential downside to joining these sites is that you may end up connecting with old contacts who could send you work.

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Tech Annoyances - Part 3

TIP: Send A LOT of Content Daily email newsletters are perhaps the best thing you can do to annoy your clients each every morning. Clients truly desire the minutia of legal issues like “European Practice” or “Corporate Finance” and giving them anything less than a daily newsletter on such generic legal topics would be a serious disappointment.
This works extremely well for those clients that cannot figure out how to create a rule to send these newsletters straight to their trash folders. For those lucky few, they can truly see you are the expert in your field, and that you must be available to work on these issues immediately because you have a lot of time on your hands to write these annoying daily newsletters.
Some firms tailor their newsletters to make sure that the right content is going to the right clients. Taking the time to understand what issues effect your individual clients and then dissemenating targeted information in an as needed manner is breaking every annoyance rule we're attempting to lay out for you. So, remember, dump as much information as you can, as often as you can, to as many clients as you can! That's truly annoying.

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Tech Annoyances - Part 2

TIP: Share Useless Content

A lawyer once said: “It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt.”  Following Abe Lincoln’s advice, send clients e-mail announcements on major changes regarding a government regulation, but only send the title of the regulation and a link to the Code of Federal Regulations to let them figure out the change for themselves.  Or, even better, cut and paste the entire regulation and put it in the body of your email.

Taking this approach tells your clients that they are savvy enough to understand the issues all on their own.  We’ve actually seen some lawyers accidentally give clients a one or two paragraph overview of major legal changes and how that may affect their business.  Remember, useful is not annoying.

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Tech Annoyances - Part 1

Greg and I put together a fun article on how to annoy clients with technology. It was on track to be published, but at the 11th hour was rejected. Apparently our writing style lacks a certain diplomacy. But then we had our "duh" moment and wonder why the heck we were trying to publish something in paper. The obvious response was publishing on our own blog. So over the next days we will be posting up the various tips from that article. Here's the intro and first tip: Using Technology to Annoy Clients Given the ever-expanding universe of technology, there is truly no end to the ways you can annoy your clients. To help you along in this process, we want to arm you with some ‘best practices’ for aggravating and just plain bothering your clients. Remember the old adage: “If one cookie tastes good, make them eat the whole bag.” TIP: Share the Wrong Content Spam presents a great opportunity to annoy since it already has people annoyed. So this is an easy best practice. Every time you e-mail out an e-newsletter or event notice, send it to all of your clients. This will ensure that each client will get at least one e-mail on a topic that is of no concern to them. Less-worthy lawyers waste valuable time developing targeted lists so that bankruptcy clients only get bankruptcy content. If you want to move up the ladder another notch on this tip, make sure you send these e-mails often.

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Well, Duh!

I'd been saying this all along . . . (see my post: Online Social Networking: A Fancy Word for Friendship ). --------------------------- @ Mixx: Social Networking: From Shut-Ins To Political Action To Products By David Kaplan - Tue 23 Sep 2008 06:56 AM PST It’s day two of Advertising Week in New York, and to keep people in their seats at theInteractive Advertising Bureau’s Mixx conference, Charlie Rose was tapped to bring his talk show format to a morning session with new media academic Clay Shirky. In offering a primer of social networkings evolution, Shirky told Rose that it started with with people who didn’t leave the house—“people who were confined in some way”—and then spread to others who wanted to share photos and details about their lives. It then got serious as political activists started using it, which was shortly followed by the business world. -- Almost all you need is love: In seeking to understand how social networks work, Shirky says you have to understand “household economics.” Shirky: “Economists have a tough time explaining why you feed your children. Household economics is not seen as terribly important. But it is and it explains a lot about why we do what we do, especially in social networking. Non-financial motivations are getting people to do something. People create value for each other because we’re human. We’re not self-obsessed, we like to know other people. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBaysaid the idea behind it was that people are basically good. He was proven wrong three months later when eBay nearly tanked because people were stealing from another. ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll send you a check for those Beanie Babies.’ But when the grades were added for buyers and sellers, people suddenly got good.”

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Have You Fed Your Creativity Lately?? It looks a little thin to me....

We here at the Geeklawblog discuss a lot on the topics of Knowledge Management, Marketing, Research and Competitive Intelligence.  On the surface, these ideas tend to mean the “repackaging of existing data into usable information for the benefit of those in our firm.”  In other words, we attempt to create a way to make our “results” greater than the sum of our “parts”.

But, when I started thinking about it, perhaps the key word in the previous sentence isn’t “results” or “parts”, but rather it is the word “create.”  To me, it is the creativity part of my job that most inspires me.  Being able to look at a problem and come up with a unique solution, and implementing that solution makes me want to come in to work much more than the paycheck at the end of the week.  And, I’m guessing, that for those of you that have jobs that ask you to be creative, you also value that creative reward more than the financial reward.

I watched a talk by Sir Ken Robinson where he discusses creativity, and how something so important tends to be discounted in our educational system.  My absolute favorite portion of the talk was when Robinson defines creativity:

  • Creativity  - “The process of having original ideas that have value.”

Simple, but inspiring for those of us lucky enough who are asked to be creative in our day-to-day functions. 

When we look around at our peers, which ones stand out to you?   Is it the KM director that has installed and supports a dozen applications?  Or, is it that one KM person that created a way to use applications in a unique way, thus creating something of value??  Is it the librarian that billed 2000 hours of research work, thus making money for the firm?  Or, is it the librarian that created a system to monitor what the competition was doing, and made sure that the lawyers in the firm got that information in their hands in order to be better prepared and to make proactive decisions?  

You get the idea….  All four of these samples are “valuable”, but the creative samples are “original ideas” that not only provide value, they also generate a competitive advantage that can spur additional value on down the line.  Take a look and see if your creative side needs a little nourishment.

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YouTube-Pulitzer contest

CBS and YouTube are petitioning the folks at Pulitzer to create a prize for video news. . . . maybe I will be able to get that Pulitzer that I've always dreamed about . . . YouTube Partners With Pulitzer Center For Contest By Doug Caverly - Mon, 09/08/2008 - 2:52pm. Poor video quality, the pointlessness of many clips, and the fact that the site isn't profitable have all kept YouTube from earning much respect. But a new contest called Project: Report may go a ways towards changing that. The contest is being backed by Sony VAIO and Intel, so the prizes are sure to create some excitement. More important is YouTube's partnership with the Pulitzer Center, which lends quite a bit of authority to any matter and leads to Project: Report's journalistic focus. "[N]on-professional, aspiring journalists" are being encouraged "to tell stories that might not otherwise be covered by traditional media." In the first of three rounds, participants should "profile someone in your community, in three minutes or less, highlighting a story you think deserves to be heard by a wide audience," according to a post on theYouTube Blog. Then, following the October 5th end of the submission period, judges will narrow the field to 10 finalists, and more information about the second and third rounds should be released. The overall winner will get grants, gear, and the opportunity to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project. Project: Report won't turn YouTube into some beacon of truth overnight, and to be honest, such a beacon probably wouldn't be half as popular. YouTube's at least demonstrating a sort of ability to be mature, though, and taken in conjunction with all of its recent political coverage, this development may be part of a trend.

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More LinkedIn in InterAction

Tomorrow, version 5.6 of InterAction will be released. On Friday, I was able to preview a demo of one of its new features. 5.6 has an optional LinkedIn function set. The default on installation has this turned off, but a simple admin effort will turn it on. Once enabled, the function set takes the contact names and company names in InterAction and runs them against LinkedIn's list. Matches are then given a LinkedIn icon which allows users to see their LinkedIn connections with the contact. The first time you click a LinkedIn icon, you are asked to allow access. This is a one-time effort which is reversible from the LinkedIn account management menu. Once access is granted, LinkedIn then provides you connection lines with the contact record. In the demo, I saw the LexisNexis reps connections to me (3rd level) and how he could connect through his own connections to contact me. This is just the LinkedIn functions we're used to. The LinkedIn icon will also show in an Outlook view, if you have the Web client and open a contact through the InterAction access button. In talking with the rep, LexisNexis is planning further integrations, like co-mingling InterAction "Who Knows Whom" with the LinkedIn connections. They are looking for ideas on how to expand these functions, so feel free to contact them. As previously posted here, this new tool-set appears to be moving LinkedIn into a higher value category. LinkedIn is interesting and has potential, but now we're actually seeing some of this potential in action.

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Google In Quotes

A nifty tool for reporters, writers and news junkies, Google is cooking up a new tool that lets you compare quotes on people of interest on a variety of topics. Right now, you are limited to 20 political figures in the U.S. Edition (other people of interested are selected for Canada, UK, and India). They have some popular issues already defined but you can also run a search on any topic you choose. It pulls the quote, cites the sources and gives a link. There is also a "spin" feature which randomly selects other results on your search.

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IT Props

As my esteemed colleague has commented on some Ike IT frustrations, I feel compelled to comment on some Ike IT stars. My firm's IT group road out the storm and kept our systems up and running. As the 'main' office for our firm, all of our critical systems reside here in Houston. Of course we have an off-site backup, as all firms should. Even though our building sustained some damage, our systems never went down. IT staff was on-site and at our backup location monitoring things and making sure we stayed live. The result, I never stopped getting emails (and working) and we had critical infrastructure available for lawyers and staff that needed it. Kudos to our IT group!

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Heller Ehrman - Dissolving.... Who's Next??

The writing was on the wall for this one.  Heller Ehrman is going to dissolve on Friday.  Legal Times posted it, and additional information was published by Cal Law.
Some of the background information is found on the Heller Highwater blog.
There are RUMORS, that Thacher Proffitt and Seyfarth Shaw are looking to merge with someone to prevent the same fate.  

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Copyrighted Governmental Works.... Why???

First off, I'm going to let you know that I am very biased on this topic, and believe that it is the goverment's express duty to make its laws known to the people they affect.  So, when I was at the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and managing the court's public website, OSCN, we made every effort to make whatever writings came out of the court available online.
But, there are a number of governments, from local to state, that attempt to put a copyright on any and all of their publications, and use that as leverage to either sell access to the information via their own publications or through publishers like Westlaw and Lexis.  Oregon just recently backed off of their attempt to sue for copyright protection once there was a public outcry against them.  My good friend Bonnie Shucha, up in Wisconsin, blogged about that case back in July.
I read today on CNET that Carl Malamud is trying to take on any government that he can by copying their published works and making it available on public.resource.org.  Great idea, but pretty hard for one man to do.  But, I do like how he is putting the web to use by also hosting the Pacer Recycling website where you can upload your old Pacer documents to his site, and others can then use them rather than going back to Pacer.
Getting governments to contribute to the public domain shouldn't be a difficult task, but it can be.  Even when I was at OSCN, we offered the free use of our database to house the court decisions and statutes of other states.  We only had one state to take us up on the offer (good ol' Wyoming!!)  We even helped digitize some of their older cases and put the whole thing in Universal Citation System format, so that the big boys at the major legal publishers didn't try to sue for the pagination rights.  I was truly surprised when other courts didn't take us up on the offer to house their cases.  There were actually a couple of them (who shall remain nameless Western Mountainous States) that were actually pretty hostile to the idea because they thought it would cut a revenue source for them.  
I wish Carl the best of luck, and will be watching to see if he finally gets under the governments' or publishers' skin and they sue him for copyright enfringment.

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IT Chic - Bluetooth Watches for Women

This looks like a very hip, highly functional cool new tool that I would seriously consider owning. Depends upon how it looks, 'tho . . . Sony Ericsson Announces Bluetooth Watches For Women London, UK – 24th of September, 2008 – Convenient, good looking and distinctive, the Bluetooth ™ MBW-200 range of Bluetooth™ watches is an expansion of the highly successful Bluetooth ™ MBW-150 range. With three different sophisticated designs to match your personality, be the first among your friends to control your phone with your watch. Missed an important call or SMS because you couldn’t hear or find your phone at the bottom of your handbag? With the MBW-200 this is now a thing of the past. Using innovative Bluetooth™ technology, the watch displays the caller ID and vibrates as your phone is ringing or when you receive an SMS. Reject or mute the call with a button on the watch or use the Bluetooth™ headset or mobile phone to answer the call and start chatting. “The MBW-200 series is the next step in the development of Bluetooth™ wireless technology.” said Karmen Mandic, Product Business Manager, at Sony Ericsson. “Now women can buy a Bluetooth™ watch that gives them both wireless functionality and an opportunity to express their personal taste. We’re all looking for products that make our lives more convenient. With a glance at your watch you can see who is calling, what the time is and with a push of a button you can change your music or use it as a music remote control when your phone is on the other side of the room– all in one stylish device.” Designed in partnership with watch industry leader Fossil and the Bluetooth™ knowhow of Sony Ericsson, the MBW-200 series comes in three distinct designs; Sparkling Allure, Contemporary Elegance and Evening Classic. The Bluetooth™ Watch Collection features scratch resistant mineral crystal glass with an anti-glare coating for optimum readability and glow. The discreet, yet stylish and clear monochrome OLED display is invisible when not in use and clearly visible on a bright day so that you can see who is calling or which track is playing with ease. Can’t decide which stylish Bluetooth™ Watch is for you? Sony Ericsson has teamed up with three leading female tennis players to show how each MBW-200 watch has a distinct personality to match anyone’s personal style and fashion tastes. The Sparkling Allure Edition, as modelled by 19-year-old Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, is glamorous, yet strong and sporty – created for the ultimate young and funky fashionista. With its on trend white leather strap and display with crystal décor stones, this stylish number is perfect for making a fashion statement while being practical and convenient. The Contemporary Elegance Edition, as modelled by 18-year-old Danish ‘Princess of Tennis’ Caroline Wozniacki, is perfect for the young professional who wants to stay focussed on the job at the same time as staying connected. Enjoy the benefits of the stainless steel watch with its efficient call handling and make a dazzling impression wherever you are. The Evening Classic Edition, adorning 19-year-old Hungarian superstar Agnes Szavay, has a classic yet casual profile. The stylish leather strap and discreet black face can be worn in any environment, whether at home, in the office or on a weekend away. For those who are always on the move the vibration alert of an SMS, or out of phone range, means that never again will you miss an important message. Bluetooth™ Watch MBW-200 collection features:Bringing together contemporary design and cutting edge Bluetooth™ technology Reject or mute call through the watch Vibrates on new SMS/MMS - and an out of range warning – when 10 m away from your phone Discreet yet clear caller ID - OLED display Play, pause, stop or skip a track on your phone’s music player Quartz movements for exact time keeping – both digital and analogue Auto pairing™ - easier to connect the watch to your phone Water resistant up to 3 ATM Allergy safe stainless steel Mineral crystal scratch resistant face with antiglare coating The MBW-200 range is available in selected markets in Q4. Sony Ericsson will also expand the MBW-150 range with yet another design. The MBW-150 Classic is a sporty edition with a brown leather strap and white face that will be available early next year in selected markets. The Sony Ericsson MBW-200 at a glance MBW-200Time indicator Analogue Digital from mobile phone Discreet call handling Caller ID in display Reject/mute call through watch Change volume Music player control Play, pause, stop, next track skip Change volume SMS/MMS message alert Vibrates on new SMS/MMS Out of range warningVibration alert at 10m from phone Standby time Battery indicator Bluetooth functionality for up to 7 days Analogue time keeping for up to 7 days SpecificationsIn-Box: Bluetooth™ Watch Charging clip Standard charger CST-60 User guide Exclusive box 3 different variants
Evening Classic Black dial with crystal décor Black detail on crown Black leather bracelet Stainless steel clasp Stainless steel case 60g weight
Contemporary Elegance Display with crystal décor stone Red minute hand Pattern detail on dial Brushed stainless steel bracelet Double security clasp with stainless steel folding blade Stainless steel case 60g weight
Sparkling Allure Rose gold rim with crystal décor stones Rose gold hands with white fill Mother of pearl look ‘carbon fiber’ texture display White crocodile leather bracelet Chrome finish polish on case Rose gold clasp Weight 60g Size: 37.3 x 39.6 x 14 mmAvailability and versionsAvailable in selected markets from early Q4 2008.

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iCyte is 20/20 - Finding, Storing, Tagging and Saving Your Research

While at the AALL annual meeting, I met Stephen Foley, the Chief Tech Officer of a new company called iCyte.   iCyte is beta testing its product which is designed to help the researcher better compile the information he or she gathers on the web, and to house copies of the original version of the web pages where the information was gathered.  I remember using a similar product like this years ago (pre-1999 because I was still working at Oklahoma City University's School of Law at the time.)  But for the life of me, I cannot remember what the product was called (if you remember it, please tell me!!)  That product, however, only allowed you to save the information locally.  With iCyte, it actually stores the information on the iCyte server, allowing you to access the saved information from any computer with an Internet connection.
Here is what the service includes:
  • a browser plug in - the software to be installed on your personal computer (“Client”); and
  • access to and storage of annotations on an iCyte server (“Server”); and
  • The Client enables you to annotate relevant portions of web-based documents (including web pages and PDF documents). The annotations and the web-based document are then saved as part of a project on the Server (“Annotations”), allowing extraction, publication, sorting, searching and editing at a later date
And there are some service options available as well.
  • Public - a Public setting will allow other users and members of the public to view and access (but not edit) all of your Annotations in that project.
  • Private - a Private setting will allow only those users who have been explicitly been given privileges by you to access, view and/or edit (as specified by you) your Annotations in that project.
  • Enterprise (for users subject to an Enterprise End User Licence Agreement) - an Enterprise setting will allow only those users who are a part of your enterprise to access, view and/or edit (as specified by you) any of your Annotations in that project.
If you are like me, you tend to research by doing the following:
  1. Find the information you need online using your web browser (I'm still testing Chrome and liking it...)
  2. Copy the information to a MS Word document
  3. Analyze the information and then reformat it in the standard research format.
  4. Proof, proof, and re-proof.
  5. Hand it over to the requester (reluctantly, because you just know there was something else out there but you didn't have enough time to find it because the associate waited until the last minute to ask for your assistance.....  oh, I'm getting off topic ... )
The value of a product like iCyte allows you to work in the same manner, but the copying and pasting is much better because you can now save your research process online, keep a copy of the original web page, and use tags to mark-up the data so you can better review the information at a later time.
I'm looking forward to testing this to see if it really matches my expectations.  I'm not sure if the beta test is open to everyone, but if you're interested, you should contact Stephen and ask to be included in the beta testing.

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Protecting Knowledge

In a week and a day, Nevada steps up with a new law requiring encryption of electronically transmitted personal information. NRS 597.970 Restrictions on transfer of personal information through electronic transmission. [Effective October 1, 2008.]

1. A business in this State shall not transfer any personal information of a customer through an electronic transmission other than a facsimile to a person outside of the secure system of the business unless the business uses encryption to ensure the security of electronic transmission. Leaving the discussion of the technical and legal aspects of this new law to others, I find this new law refreshing in a number of ways. Lawyers and regulators love to ramble about protecting clients' knowledge but balked when it comes to actually imposing defined methods and duties. Where state bars and courts soft-peddle the duty, the State of Nevada has taken a much stronger stance. More importantly, this new law recognizes the unsecure nature of the Internet and looks at knowledge (personal information in this case) as an asset to be protected. I like this angle. We talk about KM but do not usually recognize that the "M" is management and good management means good protection. I predict the Nevada law will see various challenges in the near future, but welcome dialogue on this vital KM issue.

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My co-blogger Greg has already posted a great list of DR lessons, so I thought I would add a thought of my own. My DR/KM recommendation is for an organization, instead of individuals. For the duration of Ike and his aftermath, I have lived electronically on my BlackBerry. I tried not to complain too much, since I at least had access to information. But it became very apparent not many resources are well-tuned for mobile access. I know my other co-blogger Lisa may take issue with this comment as she goes to great lengths to format websites for mobile viewing. Even though they are viewable, they are not very WAP friendly, as navigation and browsing are tedious. And beyond web sites, I could have benefited from mobile access to systems and information. Although I was able to limp along and BS my way through many tasks, I wasn't able to really live on my BB. For KM, I think we need to look ahead and move more purposely in a WAP direction. What good is knowledge if it's not accessible when I need it most?

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Disaster Recovery -- What I Learned From Ike

The good news is that all of the geeks are alive and well after Ike.  The great news is that one of us got to actually go on a vacation and left the other two to pick up the virtual limbs left on our blog.
Here are just some quick things I learned from Ike:
  1. If you are not directly effected by a disaster, you truly don't know the frustration that occurs with trying to do the simplest of tasks.
  2. If your IT department is in another city, they will attempt to 'test' your system during the crisis, and forget that you need access to your communication tools.  (Like taking down email access over the weekend to 'test' a new product.)
  3. If the power comes on across the street, you will learn to despise your neighbors (most of whom you've never met before.)  It also means that it will be days before the electric company gets around to restoring power to your home!
  4. Your neighbor, that you thought was the dumbest one on the block, is the only one smart enough to have bought a generator in advance of the storm.  
  5. You have a lot of really nice people in your neighborhood.
  6. You have an old lady in your neighborhood that you've never met before, but she still yells at everyone to get off her lawn (even though you're removing all of the branches from it.)
  7. It is good to have family.
  8. It is good to have friends.
  9. You learn that by acting locally, you affect so many, and it can make a difference on a regional scale.
  10. Text Messaging (SMS) is great, but not fail-proof.
  11. My Amazon Kindle was a surprising resource with its basic web service.
  12. Twitter was nice to let my friends know how I was fairing.
  13. My power inverter that I bought for my car (so the kids could watch movies on trips) is a great tool to power a few items (like a fan and other low-powered things.)
  14. Pool water can help refill the toilet tank!!
  15. Next time there is a hurricane coming this way, I'm buying ice four-days in advance!!
  16. I'm a lucky guy to have friends, family and neighbors that helped keep me sane through it all!
  17. There are still other friends and neighbors that are out there that need a little help to keep sane through it all.
  18. It is good to be home!

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