Thoughts on JDSupra’s Legal Updates LinkedIn App

In case you haven’t heard, JDSupra and LinkedIn have partnered to bring you Legal Updates.

Basically, it’s another way to showcase your JDSupra profile, and another way for people to find legal information a little faster. Generally speaking, outside legal circles, JDSupra is relatively unknown. And there has been a fair amount of debate about whether or not it is useful for lawyers or marketers catering to the legal profession. I’d wager it is useful to both, and like any other online medium, it is more about how you use it than if you use it. For example, I post more decisions or pleadings to my JDSupra profile than I post my own stuff. Like my tweeting habits, I prefer to post information that others will find useful, or even helpful. If there was a way to post and answer questions on JDSupra, I’d do that too. But then JDSupra would be more like LinkedIN, or some other integrated platform like martindale.com Connected, and that is unnecessary.

Speaking of such platforms, JDSupra’s Legal Updates reminds me of a post I wrote in December of 2009 about a dashboard for the Web. I talked about the number of browser tabs, and the number of browser windows, I have open at any given time in order to access a multitude of applications. And now I’ve taken to using different browsers as well. There are a couple of companies that have created solutions for specific applications, like Meebo for the myriad of IM clients, and shortcuts.in for keyboard shortcuts. Aaron Raddon left a comment pointing out Raindrop from Mozilla, and now there is Legal Updates.

Legal Updates lets you hook your JDSupra profile to your LinkedIn profile, so you can access and upload documents from one place. That makes it convenient, but the app also lets you manage your JDSupra profile from LinkedIn, too. In a way, I like that. I’m not on JDSupra all the time, but LinkedIN is almost always open, so having to remember one less login credential is nice. I can easily browse, or set up feeds, which makes more inclined to check back often. It’s easy to recommend, mark as favorite or share. There is not a comments function, but there is a JDSupra group so comments might be unnecessary, or overkill, depending on your perspective. However, I wonder what impact that will have on the JDSupra site. Will more people install the Legal Updates app, and thus search, view and manage JDSupra info from LinkedIn instead of the JDSupra site? Does that mean there is the possibility that you only need on User Interface, say LinkedIn for the sake of simplicity, and the rest is all back end?

Are separate websites, then, really necessary? Puts a new spin on the Dashboard for the Web idea, no?

Come to think of it, that’s pretty much how Meebo operates. It uses your credentials from whatever IM clients you give it, and lets you access buddy lists and what not from a single UI, the Meebo UI. Makes you wonder what else can be filtered and accessed that way, which also brings up the question: do you really want so much information concentrated in one spot? Sure, it would be convenient. But if there is a breach of some kind, your very well might be SOL.

In any case, Legal Updates seems a step closer to a Web dashboard, or another example of melding two platforms together. It will be interesting to see what others do as this whole idea of “convergence” becomes more appealing. Not just appealing, really, but actionable. And, of course, fraught with challenges, which makes it interesting.

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