Marlene (@gebauerm) and Greg (@glambert) talk with Legal Rebel, Jae Um (@jaesunum), Founder & Executive Director at Six Parsecs, about her unique writing style (it involves the use of emojis), and her ideas behind her series on Legal Innovation Woes.
Greg breaks

down a conversation which amplified the idea of why it’s important to be seen as a driver for the firm’s bottom line, and how he deleted Facebook and twitters apps from his phone, as well as how didn’t melt while in Arizona over the weekend.

Marlene talks about CIVIL, a new cryptocurrency model helping to rebuild trust and integrity in journalism. Marlene also needs some suggestions on multi-player mobile games. Ones in which she can win.

Continue Reading Podcast Episode 11 – Jae Um on Legal Innovation, Emotions, and Emojis

First of all, I am not Catholic. I was raised Pentecostal (just one step below snake handling.) However, I saw a picture running around Facebook last night that was being disseminated by major news networks that implied that society has so drastically changed between the death of Pope John Paul II (2005) and the announcement of Pope Francis I (2013).

With all due respect, I’m calling BS.

First of all, apparently, the picture from 2005 is a shot from JPII’s corpse being displayed. So, many are saying, “Hey, of course people wouldn’t take pictures at a funeral!!”

Au contraire mon frere.

Image [cc] Ammar Abd Rabbo

Take a look at this picture that I found in doing a simple little Flickr search (for creative common pictures, no less.) Granted, all of these cameras don’t double as phones, GPS, pagers, blackberry’s, gaming systems, ect. But, basically, people haven’t changed, technology has (slightly.) Turn all of those flip-phones, digital cameras, film cameras, and video cameras into cell phones, and iPads, you have a duplicate of the 2013 pictures.

I’m not saying that anyone is right here. But, I will say that all of the “news” outlets that pushed this out as some monumental shift in humanity in eight years has overblown downfall of said humanity. We haven’t changed at all… we just have new toys to play with.

So, the next time you see something on Facebook that makes you think that humanity has lost its mind… just remember, by applying that rule, we lost our mind about the same time that the Internet evolved, or cell phones evolved, or instant photography evolved, or tintype cameras evolved, or pencils evolved, or paper evolved, or our ability to share a common experience evolved.

People that think that this is some garish expression of the base of humanity, let me share to you what I shared with a friend on Facebook last night that posted the initial photo:

I don’t know… each one will share it with multiple friends as a personal experience. So, even though there will be a news reel with the same scene, there will be 100,000 personal experiences being shared with millions of friends. That’s not reporting a news story, that’s sharing a personal experience with friends. [someone commented that this is why the media is there, so people should just soak in the experience]
Personal experiences should be… well, personal, but today, it is seen like you are being selfish if you aren’t sharing that with someone else. I don’t think that any of these people feel that they are unique, but rather that they are sharing a unique experience with someone else.

Even after all of this, I still think that all of those media outlets that released this photo with a deceptive caption should be called out for lazy journalism. I’m just a simple blogger that doesn’t exactly spend a lot of time researching the topics I write about, but I know when something looks too good to be true. I usually don’t point out when my Facebook friends get hooked by these types of sloppy journalism tricks. But this time, I’m standing up and calling BS!! Technology shifts at a rapid rate… humanity usually lags far behind.

Kevin O’Keefe, wrote about the dueling Lexis and Thomson Reuters blogger summits on Tuesday in his post, Who’s Influencing Who. He seems to be concerned that the big L and TR are trying to curry favorable blog content by lavishing a few bloggers with fancy perks.  I happened to stumble across his post as I was lounging on my pillow top King Size bed and perusing my Twitter feed on Tuesday afternoon in the St. Paul Hotel, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I even mentioned it to my dinner companions later that evening at the St. Paul Grill, where I enjoyed a wonderfully buttery cream of mushroom soup, bourbon glazed Pork Chops, and asparagus with hollandaise, washed down with a very drinkable (and free flowing) Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which was kindly paid for by my very good friends at Thomson Reuters.  In return for this spectacular treatment, Thomson asked exactly two things of me: 1) venture to the Twin Cities in January! and 2) listen to five hours or so of the marketing pitches, development road maps, and executive presentations that they will be presenting at Legal Tech New York in a couple of weeks. The one thing no one ever overtly asked me to do was to write about the event or the product announcements.  Now, I’m not stupid, and they’re certainly not either.  If you invite bloggers to a summit, you’re looking to create buzz.  If you ply them with good food and wine, you’re hoping it’s really good buzz.  I’m sure the Lexis event was much the same.

Some of my colleagues who were in Eagan are, in fact, journalists as well as bloggers.  I’ll let them speak for themselves, but speaking only for me, I am not a journalist.  I do not have pretensions to be a journalist.  My lifelong friendship and goodwill can be openly bought for the price of a couple of rounds of drinks and a few hours of good conversation.  And I will gladly say nice things on this blog and elsewhere about anyone who wishes to purchase my friendship in such a manner. (BTW, Toby and Greg: really great guys.) That said, drinks, presents, perks, and “flights to Eagan, Minnesota in January” on their own, don’t buy much from me, it’s much more about the good conversations.  Please feel free to take that into account as you read anything I write.   Including the following.

Back to Thomson…

I came away from the excursion to Eagan having learned a couple of things.

1) Thomson has a lot of really smart, very interesting, and incredibly nice people working for them. 

2) Thomson now sees itself as primarily a software and solutions company, rather than an information and news provider.  Interesting.

3) Thomson is moving a number of their new and existing products to the cloud.  (I’m pretty sure Mike Suchsland, President of the Legal group at Thomson, paused momentarily after he said this as if  expecting a gasp of shocked surprise from the bloggers around the table. And he seemed just a little disappointed at the “yeah, we figured” response he got.)

4) Thomson has a “new class of products, tools, and technologies that [they] think will define the next generation of technology for the evolving legal marketplace”  Um… maybe.  We (the bloggers) didn’t get to play with any software. We saw a couple of demos and some screen shots.  Two new products, Concourse (for corporate, government, and large firms) and Firm Central (for small firms) are matter centric collaboration and communication hubs that nicely incorporate existing and future TR products into a single, simple, intuitive user interface, that can be customized to meet your firm’s needs.  My take is that these are pretty early products.  They could definitely grow into generation defining products, but I don’t think they’re there yet.  And I think Thomson would probably agree.  Concourse looks very much like a consumer, rather than enterprise, product. (Which is good thing.) It has larger fonts and plenty of white space. It’s designed to work on a tablet as well as a desktop.  I can imagine it would require very little user training and moderately savvy users who are familiar with consumer products like Dropbox and GoogleDocs will probably pick it up very quickly.

My big takeaway from the event is that in their new role as a software and solutions provider, Thomson is focused heavily on design, seamless integration between products, and overall ease of use. They are very much trying to bring the consumer experience to the enterprise, so I think they are moving in the right direction.

As I didn’t get a chance to use any of the software, I can’t say for sure whether the new TR products are any good or not, but I can say that the people working on them are pretty good conversationalists and they bought me a few drinks. So they’re OK in my book.  Does that impugn my integrity?

Some of the more journalistic attendees at the Thomson Reuters event took copious notes and I’m sure some of them will post extensive “reviews” of the products we saw.  Rather than duplicate their efforts, I will take the easy (lazy blogger) way out and link to other posts below as I find them.

Monica Bay: Thomson Reuters to Debut Concourse at LegalTech New York

Jean O’Grady: Thomson Reuters Legal Announces New Strategic Direction: Content no Longer King, Shift to Client Centric Platforms

Bob Ambrogi: Thomson Reuters Unveils New Tools for Litigators, Corporate Counsel and Small Firms

Lisa Solomon: Thomson Reuters’ Firm Central doesn’t measure up to its small law practice management competition

I remember the birth of the web.  Programmers were excited about the new opportunities.  HTML was in its infancy – it was simple to understand and easy to implement.  The idea of linking information together, making it easier to locate and share, seemed revolutionary and created a platform on which just about anyone could contribute to the web of information.  In the beginning, relatively few people understood the power of contribution.  Web developers/designers continued to push the technology to become more graphically appealing, websites started having advertisers and all the web eye candy gained more attention.  So much so,  that in the early part of this century TV started to imitate websites.  We started to see a real blending of media.  TV and websites started to compete with each other.  News crawlers (text streams you see at the bottom of the screen on many news stations), multiple data sources being updated in real time (stock prices) and teasers for the next show are just three examples of flashy content designed to keep your attention.  The ability to embed video into websites further blurred the lines between the two and TV was changed forever.  This is Web 1.0.
Missing from all of this “advancement” were easy/intuitive interfaces allowing contribution from many platforms (computers, smartphones, pda) and locations.  With an easy to use interface, adoption would quicken and more people would start to understand the power of collaboration (contributing and sharing information).  As more people started to understand the value of collaboration, the demand for easier interfaces grew.  This concept is at the heart of the Web 2.0.

“Just as Web 1.0 changed TV, Web 2.0 is changing journalism.”

We are just starting to understand the power of Web 2.0.  Creative companies are linking data points together to infer meaning that is instantly consumable.  For example, Foursquare allows you to get and share information about your location.  Need to find a café, Foursquare can help.  Progressive journalists like CNN’s Rick Sanchez @ricksanchezcnn use social media to interact with their audience in real-time.  Rick’s list is based on the concept of leveraging social media.
For some, the need for a connected world seems to be a distraction.  I frequently hear people saying they don’t have time to keep up with Twitter.  I understand the lack of time and the struggle to keep up with the times, but Twitter is a way to “keep up”.  Twitter will expose you to sources of information you would otherwise not be familiar with.  I realize this seems counter-intuitive, but it is true.  You will need to invest time to build your networks (either people or subjects) and in the beginning, it might seem like you spend more time searching than consuming.  Give it a little time and you will be rewarded.
Web 2.0 – it’s about collaboration, simplified entry points to the web, creating networks out of  interests and sharing information.  Web 2.0 – it’s about time.

I posed this question on Twitter but got no responses. I suppose that answers that.

But, I think I just got lost in the Twittersphere so I raise the question again.

Do “Real” Journalists Twitter?

You see, I have been having this long-standing debate (well, ok, a 4-month debate) with a former reporter who claims that no reporter worth his/her salt would deign to use Twitter as a story source and that there are no reporters at reputable papers using Twitter.


Well, if that were true, I wouldn’t be able to follow @jsnell, @pogue, @Tracyo42, @stephditta, @jenleereeves, @judywriter, @brianstelter and many, many more.

And then on Twellow, an app that works like a yellow pages for Twitter, there is a category devoted to reporters.

I guess for some, ignorance is bliss . . .