"Google launches search engine for US patents"
"Electronic Evidence - Fear and Loathing in the Legal Profession"

"How Web 2.0 Could Light Up Your Law Firm"

What is "Web 2.0" exactly? This article describes the key elements & possible law firm uses:

"Grappling with Web 2.0 can be a bit daunting in that it has become an amalgamation of disparate trends and ideas. Equal parts buzzword, technology standard, aesthetic ideal, business model and social movement, Web 2.0 may become a phrase we come to mock as 'so 2006.'

But this lack of an easy definition doesn't diminish the importance of what Web 2.0 seeks to describe. The evolution of how we use the Web and the technologies that drive that evolution are no less important for being saddled with such a jargony name.

"The Web's movement from an information repository to an application platform and global collaboration tool is full of great promise for changing business models and new methods of delivering services. But what are the drivers of this change? Here are a few key ingredients of what is being called Web 2.0.

[snip]

"Now take this sampling of Web 2.0 terms and technologies and imagine how your law firm might adopt them in the coming months.

  • An online directory where users roll over a name to find a co-worker's photo and key contact data: AJAX.
  • An intranet where everyone throughout an organization can post information about client preferences, process guidelines and vendors: Wiki.
  • A document management system that allows users to enter keywords on every file: Tagging/folksonomy.
  • Firmwide use of Web applications for everything from office software to voicemail management to CRM): Perpetual beta, AJAX.
  • Intranet page showing the latest local headlines, firmwide wiki entries, holiday party photos, weather forecast and who's in/out of the office at the moment: Mashup, RSS/ATOM."

Are these applications of interest to paralegals? Seems like a good career stretch to me...

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