Articles filed under Web 2.0

Addleshaw Goddard started using social software over three years ago by using WordPress to run two blogs for a couple of our business services teams. Wikis followed. Beyond the obviously different experience for our lawyers of knowledge sharing using blogs and wikis, these developments have taken our IT people into new areas.

Expensive centralised, standalone systems and complex processes of communicating and storing information are amongst some of the main contributors to wasteful and inefficient processes. People need to work on a platform that gets them out of their in-boxes and word documents. New tools like wikis, blogs, RSS and personal dashboards are combined in this platform and move away from a document-centric view of the world towards people-centric solutions.

A wide range of legal compliance and other issues surround Web 2.0 services, for which a failure of observance might lead to serious consequences. Legal vulnerability potentially arises through deliberate or accidental abuse of information that is posted or mutually exchanged. This article covers the legal, security and operational issues that might arise.

To date, there have been some startling and high-profile instances of businesses making a complete pig’s ear of both using social media (Web 2.0 services) and reacting to others’ use of social media. This article cites examples of getting it wrong that seem most relevant to lawyers and law firms. By looking at these mistakes, lawyers using social media can hopefully avoid repeating them.

Back in the early days of the internet, much of the debate within law firms was around whether they should have a website and, if so, then who was going to look at it. Was it even appropriate for lawyers to have a website, was it demeaning for professionals to use these types of technologies and should there be biographies and direct contact details for partners? Today those arguments are viewed as irrelevant.

Company Law Forum from LexisNexis is the first attempt at a substantial Web 2.0 site from a “mainstream” law publisher.

CaseCheck is a free, fully searchable, online archive of continually updated Scottish Court and EAT Case summaries. Built upon an open source blogging platform the content for the site is user generated and archive is composed of a back catalogue of previously issued email newsletters. However, the site is also designed to be a platform to give lawyers, barristers and experts a stage on which to demonstrate their expertise by summarising and commenting on developments and court decisions that the legal community needs to keep up to date with.

The internet is changing from a one-to-many broadcasting medium to a many-to-many communications system. It is becoming a shared resource where anyone can put forward their ideas, amend or correct the ideas of others, talk to their friends, locate long lost friends or find new ones, create and load up pictures or video clips or set themselves up in virtual worlds.

The phrase “Web 2.0” was coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2003 and refers to the way software developers are now using the web as a platform for delivering applications to end users and the consequent transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality. It is often referred to as the “participatory web” or the “read/write” web which exploits the many-to-many potential of the internet, connecting individuals to each other.

Inevitably, Web 2.0 has spawned numerous industry-specific buzzwords: “Gov 2.0” is Web 2.0 in the context of government, “Library 2.0” is Web 2.0 as it relates to librarianship, and of course “Law 2.0” is Web 2.0 for lawyers. What relevance does Web 2.0 have for lawyers and the provision of legal information?

For the legal world attempting to come to terms with the implications of the internet, the thought that the world has already moved on may come as something of a shock; however, such is the case. Web 2.0 is upon is – even if Web 1.0 doesn’t seem to have been fully assimilated.

It is sometimes difficult to comprehend how, in the not too distant past, anyone could book a hotel without looking at TripAdvisor or could invite someone out for lunch without checking a user review published in Toptable or london- eating. Today, we rely on the collective wisdom of total strangers (although not necessarily to the operator of the website) to make important decisions like where to stay during a holiday abroad or where to take a key client for lunch. This is the spirit of Web 2.0 – the latest reincarnation of e-business and one that is proving very rewarding for a new breed of hugely popular websites.