New Resources

My favorite websites and online tools

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: New Resources, Web 2.0 |

Drlogo11This week’s Daily Record column is entitled “My favorite websites and online tools.”

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


My favorite websites and online tools

As you can probably imagine, I spend a lot of time online. Throughout my day, I find myself returning to the same Web sites over and over again. And, similarly, there are certain online tools that I use repeatedly.

It occurred to me that sharing my favorite Web sites and online tools might be useful to my readers. Although not all of these tools will be relevant to you, you may find a gem or two that will make your online life much simpler and more fulfilling.
Every morning I turn to three Web sites for information and news. First, I review the most popular news of the day at Yahoo News ( popular). The popular news is categorized in three ways: the “most e-mailed news,” the “most viewed news” and the “most recommended news.” Skimming over the news stories and headlines in each section gives me a good sense of what’s happening in the world and the interest level of certain events to other Internet users.

I then read through my RSS feeds using my RSS feed reader of choice, Feedly ( Feedly pulls the feeds to blogs and other news sources that you subscribe to using Google Reader and presents them to you in a far more user-friendly interface. Feeds appear in a magazine-like view that is much easier on the eyes and sorting through new items is simple and intuitive.
Another benefit of Feedly is that it allows content to be shared quickly via e-mail, Twitter or on other social networking sites. Next, I hit Trendalicious ( trendy/), a Web site that offers a real-time ranking of the 100 most popular Web pages as reflected by the top pages trending on three Web sites that sort online content based upon user input: Delicious, digg and reddit. Trendalicious is a great way to get a feel for the topics and new technology products that the online community is focusing on at any given time.

As I peruse the blogs posts, news stories and Web sites that I discover using the above sources, I bookmark those that I find particularly interesting using Diigo (, a Web- based bookmarking site. I prefer Web-based bookmarking sites to using the bookmark function of my browser because it is more streamlined and I can access my bookmarks from any computer.

Diigo is my preferred web-based bookmarking site for a number of reasons. First, Diigo automatically backs up any site that you bookmark to your “delicious” ( account. Delicious is one of the most popular Web-based bookmarking services, and backing up your bookmarks to that database as well ensures that your information will not be lost on the off-chance that Diigo or Delicious should fail and lose all of your data.
Diigo also allows you to annotate web pages that interest you. You simply highlight the Web pages or add “sticky notes” using Diigo’s interface and save them to Diigo. The annotations will subsequently appear on the Web sites anytime you visit thereafter.

I also frequently use the “SimilarWeb” Firefox browser add-on (www.similar whenever I land on a Web site that interests me. This add-on provides me with links to: (1) similar Web sites; (2) related articles from news sites and blogs; and (3) the latest social media buzz about the Web site. It’s an invaluable tool that is a real time saver.
Finally, once I’ve caught up with the news of the day, I update my daily to-do list by visiting TeuxDeux (, a simple, intuitive, Web-based to-do application. I recently started using TeuxDeux and it is now my to-do list application of choice.

My next step is to get to work tackling the items on my to-do list. As I do so, I find myself constantly revisiting the Web sites and tools mentioned above throughout my day. Hopefully you’ll find that a few of these resources will become as invaluable to you as they are to me.

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The Great Twitter Debate

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: About this Blog, New Media 101, New Resources, Privacy Rights, Uncategorized |

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Great Twitter Debate“, posted with vodpod

Legal blogosphere posts discussing Twitter and lawyers:

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Some new resources for lawyer collaboration…Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies

Posted on August 23, 2008. Filed under: Collaboration, New Resources | Tags: , |

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell have added two great resources to support their recently published ABA book Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, including a blogsite and a wiki. The purpose of the site is to:

[M]ake the book a living document that can be updated and expanded. We hope it will also serve as a gathering place for discussion and conversation by the community of the book’s readers and all others interested in the tools and technologies we use and might use to work together.

Blogs can be a great tool to use in conjunction with a printed book. They allow authors to carry on a conversation with their readers, updating them on important and even unimportant developments until the next time the book is printed.  The conversation can also help the author with future updating and editions of the book as comments may provide authors with guidance on readers’ interests and suggest areas that were not explored.

But wait…there’s more.  Dennis and Tom have also created another useful resource in the wiki (on DIY wiki provider PBwiki) to collect the tools that lawyers can use to collaborate with each other and their clients, and a page of resources and links to books, websites and blogs that will help you further explore how to use these tools effectively.  While they may find a few additional possibilities to add on the tabs we developed for the MCBA seminar, I’m looking forward to joining this conversation.

I’ve been going to the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Techshow for several years and always try to catch the panels that Dennis and Tom are on (Tom was the “Grand Poobah” at the 2008 verion). Dennis and Tom are some of the earliest denizens of the blawgosphere with excellent blogs ( and Tom’s Inter Alia).

–Greg Bell

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Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers

Posted on July 8, 2008. Filed under: Networking, New Resources, Social Media, Web 2.0 |

This week’s Daily Record column is entitled “Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers”

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers

“Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. … Social media or social networking (one example of social media) has a number of characteristics that make it fundamentally different from traditional media such as newspapers, television, books and radio. Primarily, social media depends on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words builds shared-meaning, using technology as a conduit.”

— Wikipedia entry for social media

All lawyers understand the importance of networking.

Interacting with colleagues, current clients and potential clients is a surefire way to increase business opportunities and referrals.

In the past, networking traditionally occurred in many forums, including events sponsored by bar associations or other professional organizations, on the golf course or while participating in community activities. Not all lawyers relished the concept of networking, but the general school of thought was that it was a necessary part of doing business, and staying cooped up in an office day in and day out was counterproductive to rainmaking.

With the recent explosion of social media and online networking opportunities, however, traditional notions regarding network- ing may no longer be applicable. The time-tested, traditional methods certainly still apply, but emerging social media technologies are expanding networking opportunities exponentially.

Social media appears in many forms, including e-mail, blogs, online forums and message boards. The ability to network with other lawyers and potential clients from the comfort of your office, on your own terms and your own schedule, is now a reality.

The only drawback to this new form of interaction is that it is not time tested, and its effectiveness has yet to be proven. Nevertheless, opportunities to network online are increasingly available and lawyers who ignore the possibilities do so to their own detriment.

Examples of social media applications that facilitate professional and social networking include Facebook, LinkedIn and, most recently, micro-blogs such as Twitter.

Facebook, likely the most well known of the three networking sites, originally launched as a social net- work for college students, but was opened to the public in September 2006. While it remains predominantly a social network- ing site, it can provide valuable professional networking opportunities for lawyers.

Over the last year, lawyers have flocked to Facebook in droves and created networking groups centered around various areas of practice. It is a cost-free and useful way to meet other lawyers from across the country and to re-connect with law school and undergraduate colleagues.

LinkedIn is a free online professional networking site that consists of a membership “of more than 20 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.” Its primary goal is to increase business opportunities for members by providing the ability to connect with potential clients, employees, employers and other members of their profession. LinkedIn has been around for a while now and shows promise. Only time will tell if it will live up to its potential as a professional networking resource.

One of the newer, emerging technologies seeing a huge amount of growth is Twitter. In my opinion, it is one of the most promising professional networking resources available.

Twitter is a free networking and micro-blogging service in which conversations occur in, at the most, 140-character snippets. Once a member, you can locate others with similar interests or backgrounds through a directory such as Twellow (, then follow and reply to Twitter posts.

There has been a great influx of practicing and non-practicing lawyers onto Twitter in recent months, allowing for exchanges on topics such as recent court decisions and law practice management. In addition to facilitating law-related discussions, Twitter allows member to get a good feel for the people with whom they converse, since posts also include people’s thoughts regarding their day-to-day activities and current events.

Emerging social media technologies are leveling the playing field and changing the way lawyers interact and network. Time- tested and proven networking methods should not be abandoned, but astute attorneys will recognize the potential for increasing one’s professional network by taking advantage of free, online networking opportunities

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Free Voice Control for Power Point Presentations

Posted on June 4, 2008. Filed under: New Resources, Uncategorized |

Lifehacker had a really interesting post the other day about using speech recognition to control Power Point presentations–an idea that many a lawyer might find to be intriguing.  And, some lawyers might even consider it to be a form of Nirvana–not that I’m  friends with any of those types.  

First, you download Microsoft’s new freeware tool, Windows Speech Recognition Macros.  Then, you download Rob Chamber’s free Next Slide Macro.

And, voila!  You should be able to control Power Point presentations by saying “next slide” and “previous slide”. 

Nicole Black


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