Yeah, so, I haven’t written in over a month. My apologies. New job, new responsibilities have been taking up my time. I’ll talk more about that in another post. Rather interesting thing, the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. And a segment in tonight’s Ignite Law talked about the future of legal journalism, which folds nicely into the Initiative.
Ignite Law. New thing at ABA TechShow this year and I have to say it was interesting. Matt Homann, with some help, put this thing together. The premise is that 18 speakers have 6 minutes and 20 slides to cover a topic. It is cleverly subtitled “The future of law practice: in 6 minute increments.” You can argue that six minutes is the maximum attention span given to any particular subject these days, but it presents a challenge for those speaking on a topic. I initially thought we’d get to feel how long six minutes can be, but it actually went faster than I expected.
The topics were as varied as the speakers. Tom Mighell, known for his speed talking, did not disappoint while talking about practice management education. Carolyn Elefant did an excellent job covering outsourcing and the story of Tom Goldstein, who may give credence to the use of ghostwriters for blogs in the legal profession and perhaps silence the debate. Kevin Chern covered his favorite topics: legal ethics and marketing, as did Will Hornsby, who’s ABA disclaimer is well known it requires to introduction or tweeting.
One that stood out for me was Marc Lauritsen, who talked about what he called ChoiceBoxing, or “using online environments for collaborative deliberation that leverage interactive visualization and social production techniques” to help lawyers and clients make decisions. It followed the same logic in the booked Linked, finding the nodes and hubs of information that help form groups, or collaboration environments, in order to solve a problem or, in this case, make decisions. If 3-D graphics become common place, common every day technology, ChoiceBoxing will be an even more invaluable tool. It was interesting to approach law from an engineering perspective rather than the typical lawyer-turned-tech evangelist perspective.
Overall, I’d say Ignite Law was a success. However, if it is to be done again, some changes need to be made. There is a year to plan, so the “last minute” excuse is no longer applicable.
Top of the list: no presenter is allowed to use the phrase “preaching to the choir.” Do I really need to elaborate on this?
That might be the biggest change to make, actually. I am sure there are others, and people reading this who attended no doubt have opinions. Feel free to post them in the comments.
An excellent way to kick off ABA TechShow 2010, though, so good job Matt!