Category Archives: radical transparency

it’s about time (and billing)

Its About Time (and Billing)

It's About Time (and Billing)

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Join me for this complimentary webinar about time and billing

Thursday, June 18, 2009
2:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Central/12:00 PM Pacific
sponsored by Chrometa

Lawyers underestimate their time by 25% due to bad recording habits, disorganization, and bad management. Enroll in this complimentary webinar and learn how to:

– Capture activities that you’ve been missing
– Create a back-up for time-keeping purposes
– Find out what you do most (and least); and
– Maximize billiable time by minimizing waste

Have your questions answered live by our panel.
Mazy Hedayat – Legal technology writer and practicing attorney
Kristi Royse – Speaker and legal time management and billing expert
Brett Owens – Software entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder, Chrometa

Sign up here.

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90’s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at]mha-law.com or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl 🙂

What do you expect from social media?

Courtesy of my colleagues on LinkedIn and the geeks at interactive insights group comes this handy list of websites designed to help measure the “value” of social media (is there any?).

What do you expect from social media such as FaceBook, Twitter, and the rest? Can the reality live up to the hype?


Clio Client Connect – collaboration gets serious

Clio ClientConnect

This weekend at LegalTech the makers of practice management suite Clio launched ClientConnect, a secure portal that will enable attorneys to share documents, collaborate, bill, and take payments in a secure evnironment on the web. And oh yes – it’s free to every Clio subscriber.

ClientConnect very nearly solves the universal problems that plague asynchronous multi-party communication. In other words, with ClientConnect there are no more e-mail roadblocks, mixed signals, or convoluted conversation-threads in the way of attorney-client communication. As a result lawyers can now make files of any kind, as well as time-sheets, notes, and case details available in seconds just by  recording them in Clio or uploading them to Clio’s super-fast collaboration-servers.

The highlights of ClientConnect include

  • document exchange and collaboration
  • clients can audit case activity anytime
  • case notes are now instantly available
  • clients can pay bills in seconds by PayPal

All told both clients and lawyers will benefit from the ability to collaborate in an open, secure, round-the-clock system that requires no software and has a virtual 0 learning curve. For those lawyers still on the fence, the advent of ClientConnect makes it hard to justify not trying Clio’s 30-day free trial.

Twitter and More Twitter!

Can’t enough Twitter? You’re not alone. Herein I present a selection from the 140+ Twitter tools featured recently on Mashable. I’ve highlighted the ones that lawyers can use right away. If you don’t “get” how they can be useful let me know and I’ll post a follow up or explain via comments.

Posting

Brabblr – Post to all your micro blogging services at once Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Tumblr, Jabber, Frazr, etc.

Autopostr – This service lets your friends in Twitter know when you post a new picture on Flickr.

EmailTwitter – With this service, you can send tweets to Twitter from a cellphone without incurring SMS charges.

GroupTweet – Allows you to post private message to a group of Twitter friends.

Hashtags – You can add tags to your Twitter posts with this service.

HelloTxt – Update Twitter and a host of other micro blogging and social networking sites with one click.

LinkBunch – Need to share more than one link in a tweet? LinkBunch puts together all the links and provides you one link that you can share on Twitter. As you might have understood, this can be used not just with Twitter, but also with emails, IMs, SMS, etc.

LiveTwitting – Helps you cover a conference live on Twitter. Similar to liveblogging, only cooler.

MicroRevie – Post reviews on twitter accs and this service will turn them into microformats.

Mobypicture – A service to post to your blog and micro-blogging sites like Twitter through your mobile phone.

OutTwit – A tool for Outlook that will send the latest tweets from your friends as incoming email messages.

SecretTweet Post to Twitter anonymously. If you really need to.

SnapTweet – Allows you to post your Flickr pictures to Twitter.

Snitter – Adobe AIR desktop client for Twitter compatible with Mac and Windows.

Twhirl – desktop client based on Adobe AIR. Impressive features including multiple Twitter accounts, connect to Friendfeed, post image to Twitpic, post to Pownce and Jaiku simultaneously, and search using Tweetscan.

TweetCube – This service allows you to post files on Twitter. Files that can be shared include .zip, .rar, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif, .mp3 and .txt.

Tweetr– an AIR based Twitter client for MAC and PC. You can use this to send files upto 100MB.

Twibler – posts your ebay listings to Twitter automatically.

Twideeo – You can post videos to Twitter using this service that lets you upload the vid to their site and then generates a link to your video.

Twit+ – You can tweet pictures, videos, and files using this service publicly or privately among your friends on Twitter.

Twitxr – Another neat way to post a picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Picassa.

TweetChannel – You can add TweetChannel as your friend in Twitter to help you channel your various posts.

TweetLater – An useful service to schedule your Twitter posts for the future.

Twitpic – Share pictures on Twitter using Twitpic.

Twitsay – You can tweet an audio recording to Twitter using this new and popular service.

Twits Like Me – You can use this service to find people on Twitter who share your interests.

TwitterCal – This service allows you to post events from your Google calendar to your Twitter accounts.

Twitter Feed – This tool allows you to send your blog atom or RSS feed to Twitter.

TwitterGram – Post an mp3 on Twitter using this service.

Twitteroo – This is another popular desktop client for Twitter.

TwitterIM – Using this tool, you can tweet from Windows Live Messenger and ICQ.

Twitterlights – This tool allows you to highlight snippets of text from any webpage and send it to twitter. The url of the page also gets converted into a tinyurl and gets included in your tweet.

Twitter Reply – With this tool, you can send your Twitter updates on a secret email address, or through Windows Live Messenger or ICQ.

Twittershare – This desktop/web application also allows you to post pictures on Twitter. Works on Mac as well.

VisualTwitter – Allow you to post pictures on Twitter.

Reading

TopTweet – This site provides you updates from the top Twitter personalities. Yes, it took us a lot of tries to take a screenshot without Scoble in it.

TweetWire – TweetWire grabs the freshest links posted on Twitter and displays them Yahoo News page style.

Twitter100 – Just like in your personal start pages, this tool will allocate a box to each of the people you follow on a single page and display their latest tweets.

Twitterator – Twitterator enables you to follow a group of people at one go.

Twitter Digest – This tool allows you to subscribe to a message stream from a Twitter user of a group of users on the web or through an atom feed.

Alpha Twitter This site provides you with the top links on Twitter.

Search

Summize – The leader of this space; lets you create an RSS feed consisting of posts responsive to your query.

Flaptor Twitter Search – Simple Twitter search engine. You can get an RSS feed out of your search query as well.

Terraminds – Another search tool for Twitter.

Tweet Scan – This is a search engine for Twitter indexing all the public messages on Twitter.

Twits Like Me – This tool helps you find people on Twitter who share your interests.

Twitterment – Search engine for Twitter powered by Google search.

TwitterWho – Using this, you can search for multiple queries on Twitter at one go.

Twubble – Find people who share your interests and highlight current friends you already follow.

Analytics

TwitBuzz – Follows links, messages, and users on Twitter and displays them nicely on its site Digg-style.

TweetBeep – Like Google Alerts – sends an alert whenever a keyword is mentioned or somebody links to you.

TwitGraph – Provides graphs of your Twitter usage – tweets by day, top 5 words, top 5 links, top replies.

Twitterlinkr – Shows the most popular links being posted on Twitter.

24oclocks – Tweets displayed by the hour of the day.

GeoTwitterous – Displays where the people you follow call home on a global map.

My Tweet Map – Latest tweets from your friends on a map.

Quotably – Check out a user’s conversations in a conversation thread. Extremely useful.

Sitevolume – Like Alexa: lets you see how many times a term has been used on Twitter, Digg, MySpace, YouTube, or Flickr. Add in multiple terms and see bar graphs comparing the terms.

Twetterboard – An analytics service that provides information about popular Twitter users and popular links.

Tweetburner – Tweetburner gives you click stats for the links you posted in Twitter.

Twittermeter – See how frequently a word has been used on Twitter. You can also compare two or more words.

Twemes – Twemes follows Twitter public messages with particular tags to build a meme around a topic.

TweetStats – Twitter statistics including timeline, tweets/mo. and tweets/hr.

TweetVolume – See how many times a particular word appears; compare up to 5 words via bar graph.

TwitterLocal – This tool allows you to generate an RSS Feed of a filtered list of tweets from a certain area.

Tweetmeme – Displays popular topics on Twitter and those people talking about that topic.

Twist – Trends of what people are saying on Twitter (like Google Trends for internet search words).

Twittermap – This tool displays the most recent public updates in the last 12 hours.

Twittermeter – Allows you to compare any keywords used on Twitter on through a graphical interface.

Twitt(url)y – Tracks the most linked to urls on Twitter and display them Digg-style.

iPhone + Others

Twitter for iPhone Another Twitter client for your iPhone.

iTwtr This is an open source Twitter client for iphones.

Pocket Tweets – A web based Twitter client for the iphone.

Twittai – A Java-based Twitter client compatible with more than 200 kinds of mobile phones.

ceTwit – Twitter client for Windows Mobile. Not as cool as the iPhone versions, but then again, what is?

Twapper – Send updates from your 30boxes calendar to your mobile phone using Twitter.

TwitterFone – You can update Twitter from your mobile phone using this service.

Qik – Stream videos from mobile phone to Twitter. Works really well.

Utilities

Crowd Status View the status of friends on one page.

@answerme – Track the questions you ask.

CommuterFeed – Shared traffic reports using Twitter.

Hahlo – if you are not satisfied with your Twitter interface, you can check out Hahlo to manage your Twitter account. It gives you a separate profile page and the rest of the Twitter features in a new look.

LoudTwitter – This tool posts your Twitter posts on your blog. Hey, isn’t Twitter supposed to be some kind of a blog, too? Now I’m confused.

My Tweeple – Manage your friends and followers in Twitter on a single web page.

Politweets – You can check out your presidential candidate’s popularity on Twitter here.

StrawPoll – Sends out polls on Twitter that you can participate on. As they say, you can never have too many polls.

TrackThis – Get updates of your shipment using Twitter. It supports FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL tracking codes.

Twitterfeed – Posts your blog posts automatically to Twitter.

Tweetclouds – Create a word cloud from a public Twitter stream using this service.

Tweet Clouds Make a tag cloud from your Twitter posts.

Tweetpeek – You can create a group Twitter feed with Tweetpeek.

TweetWheel – You can find out which of your Twitter friends know each other with this service.

Twitku – Mashup of Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce public timelines. You can also post from its interface.

Twitpoll – You can participate on polls using Twitter through Twitpoll.

Tweetshots – this service allows you to take your Twitter posts to Tumblr, embed in websites, or send over email.

TwitterAnswers – Combines Twitter and Mosio so that you can send questions over Twitter and have them answered by other people.

Twitter Census – You can create surveys on Twitter using this service.

TwitterNotes – You can create notes on TwitterNotes using Twitter and tagging your notes.

Xpenser – Record your expenses using Twitter. You can also use other mediums like email, SMS, IM, voice, etc.

getting (the) Gist

Gist combs through your in-box and contact list to give you a clearer view of who and what is important. This sounds like a pointless task until you’ve experienced the crush of too much e-mail from too many sources. Suddenly, tools like Xobni and Gist look like virtual life-preservers. But since it’s still being tested, Gist is somewhat raw and experimental, a love-it-or-leave-it proposition. Then again, what do you expect for free? Funny you should ask ..

First Impressions
I really like the look and feel of Gist. There are a number of reasons tthe application appealed to me –

Sliders
: Slide-based controls are one of the easiest ways to express interest (or disinterest) in a topic.

Change Anything
: The more you can customize a tool, the more comfortable it feels. Of course this feature is much more charming the first time than the 40th.

It Just Works: Plugging in your Gmail account is easy but  for the moment that’s all you can do. But given the limits of the data in my Gmail account, Gist came up with some interesting connections. Well played.

Now the Bad News

Even if Gist makes a dent in the ocean of e-mail, would the product catch on? Early adopters might use it and give it a favorable rating; but what about the people who make (and pay) real money? Well, since Gist has thrown its hat into the ring let’s talk about what it could do better.

Semantic Search, Anyone?: If smart search were ever going to come out from behind the clouds, this would be an opportune time. No matter how imoprtant information on the web might be, it will never be as crucial as the treasure-trove of information buried in my own system.

If I Have to Rate One More Thing: The downside of having to rate everything is that if you don’t you can get incoherent results. After 14 years in practice, do you want to guess how much data that is?

Keep It Relevant: Gist tries to make connections between contacts, email, attachments, articles on the web, and my in-box. Often however, it brings up items that share or a word or phrase in common – and nothing else. That’s not a real connection.

Learn to Behave: If making relevant connections is too much to ask at this stage, how about learning from me as I use Gist? It’s simple behaviorism: if the application begins to react like me then I will perceive it as ‘smart.’

Parting Shots
I will use Gist some more and hope that it evolves. Thus far I give it a 3.5 out of 5. In the meantime I would certainly recommend it … except that it’s in closed beta so you’ll have to wait a little longer.

NextFest 2008 – Twitter Posts

As promised here, below are my Tweets from the Chris Anderson presentation entitled The Future of Free. You can also follow me on Twitter to stay plugged in or to see more updates.

Where Business Is Headed?

10:00AM Sitting in the front row listening to The Future of Free; Chris Anderson discussing supply and demand on the Internet and how to get value by giving things away

10:09AM Our language reflects what we think of the concept of free in that there is both “good” free (liberation) and “bad” free (come-on) but there is no “free” lunch (so to speak)

10:14AM The different types of “free” that make up the freeconomy

Cross-Subsidy: see King Gillette and the disposable razors. It’s about loss leaders; give-a-ways; disposable products

Too Cheap To Meter: See Moore’s Law of Diminishing Costs – ever-cheaper inputs yield ever more complex products that can be made for next to nothing; telephones, gas, electricity, computer memory, computing power, Internet bandwidth

Ad-Supported Free: This is 3rd party subsidization – i.e. TV, Radio, Internet – and it is the model of the 20th century (the one we all know)

Allen Kay > developed graphical user interface at Xerox Park > used by Apple and MS Windows > lead to Tim Berners Lee and HTML > gave us the WWW >  what’s next?

10:38AM Moore’s Law leads to novel and “wasteful” ways to use technology – which can change everything – the Internet is all about waste, new ideas, frequent failure, occasional successes, and the cycle

Technologists have only one legitimate job >> make it cheap and fast then get out of the way and let the crowd decide how to use it. Don’t try to tell us what to do because you can’t see the forest for the trees.

10:48AM The rule in the “free” Internet economy … marginal cost = zero, so in order to make money you must give it away in exchange for the new currencies of attention and reputation [the Internet leads the way here]

Attention = links

Reputation = page rank

The new paradigm: give away 100 to covert 1 and still cover your costs

10:57AM In the Q&A session Mr. Anderson answered my question about converting groups of professionals and other scarcity-based “knowledge workers” like Attorneys, CPA’s, Physicians, etc.